As part of Honda’s ‘Great Journey’ advertising campaign, the entire premise is to try and imagine how autonomous vehicles might adapt for various conditions by 2020.
Rather than us all nipping around in the same hatchback with computer-aided controls, the playful aspect of Honda’s design team was to create scenario specific vehicles – from snow sleds to island hoppers – and to visualise these physically with the detailed models that make up much of the stop motion campaign.
Although Honda’s team are seen crafting blocks of styrofoam into rough shapes and forms of vehicles, the detailed 1:24 scaled models were produced by specialists Ogle, which crafted each vehicle using SLA 3D printing, some high levels of finishing and paint techniques, as well as some delicate hand-shaped details.
“The accuracy demanded of our people and machines was significant. To achieve the required paint finishes and component parts for the models, there was no room for error. Each finish had to be executed to perfection, resulting in a seamless look when being filmed,” said Ogle marketing and sales director Dave Bennion.
“Innovative solutions were sought throughout. For example, to create a hammock effect, a net finish was achieved by sourcing multiple net fabrics and lacquering the component parts, so that they were clear, before applying paint over the pattern of the fabric.
“A considerable amount of time was spent both in design and on the bench to create clearances for paint so that everything would fit and work after the parts had been painted.”
Some of the finer touches were shaped by hand using stainless steel and copper wire to create a robust and realistic effect.
Ogle’s paint department were tasked with delivering finishes that had never been created before. The meticulous process included applying a guide coat of paint to each of the models to ensure all items were rubbed down correctly before being sandblasted to even all the surfaces and soften any remaining layers.
In the final assembly, all the parts were thoroughly tested to allow for the required movement within each model.
Two of the seven models, The Mountain Climber and Jungle Jumper, went through even further inspection because many elements were functional and needed to move, so the overall balance and strength of the model had to be tested and maintained.
The end result is a wonderful – almost child-like – vision of future vehicles, each with a sense of purpose and detail perfectly captured by the models.