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Nacho Libre - The Bike

In O Scale

Inspiration

Nacho Libre

The film Nacho Libre portrays a Catholic monk, Ignacio (Jack Black), who secretly moonlights as a luchador to earn money for the orphanage where he works by day as a cook.

Ignacio changes his name to "Nacho" to keep his identity secret, while his wrestling partner, Steven, adopts the name "Esqueleto" (Skeleton). Their mode of transportation is a three wheel motorized bike which is normally used to transport cargo, like the free cornchips provided by a local resturant.

O Scale

Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi is an O Scale (1/4 inch per foot) model railroad layout. Here we see Ignacio in his ramada, prepping his motor bike, and getting ready to drive into town.

Fuel

Gas Station

Ignacio fuels up at the local petro station. He has many resturants to visit.

Up Hill

A Long Way to Go

Ignacio's bike is like a little mule. Hills will not keep him from his appointed rounds. The orphans will eat tonight!

If you see Ignacio stuck on the side of the road, please help him.

First Stop

El Poco Burro

The cantina El Poco Burro is the local hot spot of Cotopaxi. Though not approved by the monistary, Ignacio knows of its abundence. An easy score for the orphans.

How was Ignacio and his O scale bike made?

Wheels

Brass Tubing

Starting with the front wheels, wrap small brass tubing around the housing of an exacto knife. Remove and then use a hand razor saw to slice across all the windings at one time. Slow and steady, and they will fall apart, leaving you with several lopsided rings. File the ends and squeeze the ends together to form the bike's front wheels. No need to glue them together.

Basket 1

Brass Wire

The bike's forward structure is make with brass wires. I started with the outer frame and made as much of it as possible with one continuous piece of thick brass wire. Next the brass wheels are soldered to the frame. A second piece of brass wire creates the lower frame, which is then also soldered to the wheels and main frame.

My soldering skills are poor, but it's enough to securely adhere brass pieces together. Before soldering, make sure the brass is clean.

Basket 2

Wires and Fenders

Thinner brass wires are bent and wrapped around the basket and soldered into place. Note that the two upper wires are contained within the brass wheels, and the lower wire is outside the brass wheels. It was done this way to mimic the look of the prototype.

The front wheel fenders are also made from brass wires which have been hammer-flattened, curved, trimmed, and soldered into place. Take your time with hammering. Keep your fingers safe.

Back End

Post, Seat, and Rear End

I chopped off the back half of an Arttista #1171 Civilian Motorcycle (O Scale). It was a perfect match for this project. The front wheel, handle bars, and gas tank were removed, and filed flush.

A brass tube was used as a supporting post. Two holes were drilled into this post that would accommodate thick brass wires. The post was soldered to the rear of the basket. Then two more holes were drilled into the front portion of the rear motorcycle. Two straight brass wires were soldered into both the supporting post and into the rear motorcycle.

First Coat

Painting, and Beginning Details

A pale light blue was used over the wire basket pieces. A flat black for the wheels. Pewter color for the wheel rims and fenders. Red was used for the motor components.

Razor scribed scale planks were cut to size and weathered with India Ink, and installed inside the front basket area as a floor. Similar smaller wood was also glued to the underside of the motor as foot rests. Another single weathered plank was installed over the seat and rear fender.

Go Figure

Creating Ignacio

I have a box full of O Scale plastic figures. I'm never able to find a single figure that fits any given project. Body parts are taken from multiple figures and pieced together in a true Frankenstein manner. The pieces are drilled and assembled with brass wire, and without glue. This provides articulated limbs for easier positioning.

Most of this figure is covered by a robe. The thighs were made from wood, and the lower legs and shoes were glued to the foot rests.

The Robe

Positioning and Clothing

With articulated limbs, Ignacio can be posed in many ways. This figure was made in the standard forward riding position. Thin white cloth (an old worn white dish rag) was stained with brown paint and cut to size. Lower robe first, then two saggy robe-like sleeves, then an upper robe portion that covers the sleeves, and finally the hood was laid on top. Thin rope, wound twice, was used as a belt. Half matte medium and half water were used to adhere the cloth to the figure. Tuck in the cloth into the figure's legs, rump, and underarms. After the glue is dry, paint diluted black into areas to represent shadows.

Forward seats, antenna, and Coca-Cola bottles, and other small details were also added. Go nuts!

Thank You

Take a bow, Nacho!

Many thanks to Jack Black and all those involved in making such an excellent character and film.