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The Remaking of Big Daddy's "Rat Fink" using 3D Scanning & 3D Printing

Aktualisiert: Feb 14

RF or "Rat Fink" was a well-known character originally designed by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. Rat Fink became a cultural phenomenon and was one of many hot rodding monsters. We were asked to assist with reproducing a modern version of this popular icon. Rat Fink was recreated using 3D scanning and 3D printing for a modern custom hot rodding car.

The first step in recreating the Rat Fink was to travel on site to 3D scan the original model:

The Rat Fink was 3D scanned using an Artec Eva scanner. The 3D model was then scaled larger (digitally), and modifications were made to the tail and feet to accommodate a larger surfboard, which was to be used as the base of the new custom car.

Finally, we prepared the model for 3D printing:

The model was then 3D printed on a large format PLA 3D printer courtesy of Voxel Magic:

While waiting for the rat to be completed Glaz and Colasunno started to work on

building the frame made out of 1/2 inch by 1.5 inch flat steel. Just like Ed “Big

Daddy” Roth would have done back in the day the two hand formed the steel

frame. From there they fabricated the front axle using golf cart hunts and

wheels. They also used a 1953 Pontiac rear axle housing that made up the rear

end. Colasuonno had two Ansen Sprint mags with tires on hand to finish the

rolling chassis. From there the frame was glued and bolted to the surf board. For

power they both decided to use a Chevy big block engine with a 6-71 blower

and 3 Holly 94 deuces carburetors for which to power the board. Using 1.75

pipe the two turned that pipe into a pair of chrome Zoomie headers. They

located a 1950 bronze propeller which was mounted under the board to help

with pushing the wind.

Once the Rat Fink was completed, they fitted it to the board and reinforced it

internally with steel rods. They decided that Rat Fink needed a shifter, so they

used 1/2 inch aluminum solid rod. They then hand formed the shifter and linkage

with an 8-ball shifter handle to complete the look. A classic Moon tank was

mounted on the back of the surf board to fuel the motor. After the mockup was

complete, they disassembled the board.

From there everything that would require chrome was sent to Super Chrome in

Asbury Park, New Jersey. For paint the rat and the surf board were sent to

another fellow Dead Mans Curve club member, John Sbrigato of Brighton

Collision in Brooklyn, New York. All the body work, base green and red paint

was done by John Sbrigato. From there they needed to decide on the color for

the surf board itself. They decided to go with a special blend of aqua, candy,

with heavy flake and white inserts to give it the surf board theme. All of the paint

once again was applied by John Sbrigato.

Once everything was painted at the body shop, the board and the rat were

assembled. Work began on putting the whole project together which measures

at completion 9 1/2 feet long and 5 feet tall. From there it was sent over to the

world famous infamous Pinstripe legend Julian Braet better known to all as Mr J

where the rat really came to life. Mr J went to town doing extensive airbrushing

and hand pin stripping to the entire rat and board. To finish off the tribute to

Roth, “Big Daddy Ed Roth rides again” was done in gold leaf.

From start to finish the entire project took just about six months, which is very

impressive to complete this one of a kind creation. The actually name Surf Fink

came from noted car show producer Bob Larivee Sr. who signed the blower belt

along with Chuck Miller of Zinger’s fame. When Larivee got a look at this one of

a kind creation he came up with the Surf Fink tag. In the future there are plans to

get the Surf Fink out to be shown to the surviving members of Ed “Big Daddy”

Roth’s family. You can look forward to seeing the Surf Fink at many of the shows

which Dead Mans Curve Car Club put on throughout the year such as the Wild

Hot Rod Weekend in Mahwah, New Jersey and their show at the Showboat

Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Looks like Rat Fink's off to the races from here. The final product turned out spectacular. What a great way to bring back this popular character in all his glory and fame. Big Daddy sure would be proud.


So, what character would you choose to bring to life?

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