ByKen McDonnell, writer at
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Ken McDonnell

Ever looked at someone in your life and wished you could send a blue shell after them; just press a button and wait for a spiked, menacing object to race through the sky and take them out of the lead? I sure have.

Well, one redditor decided to make that dream come true. Not the taking out part, but the physical blue shell bit is definitely a go!

How Foam & Remote Control Cars Brought Mario Kart Shells Into the World

Bringing video games into the real world may sound like a bad idea for, say, Grand Theft Auto V. But with Mario Kart, the results really are wonderful.

Told you.

But rather than dressing up as a shell and terrorizing his neighbourhood, Zlurpo decided to create his very own Mario Kart shells to do it for him. And he gave us some insightful DIY tips so that we can follow in his footsteps. Care to find out how he made them? Of course you do!

Step One: The Insulation

First you're gonna need some foam. The insulation kind. Afterwards, simply glue them all together with "Great Stuff." And I'm not referring to your significant other, pizza or ice cream, it's the name of a kind of canned expandable foam meant for filling pipes. This kind of glue doesn't dissolve the foam like a lot of others do.

Step Two: Shape it

Get yourself a big old saw and cut the foam into a big circle. A hacksaw should do the trick.

Step Three: Carve it

After this you'll simply have to carve some waves into the sides of the foam. This'll be for the outer edge of the shell.

Step Four: The Outer Shell

Here you can see that Zlurpo has cut some extra foam and slotted it into the waves he made earlier. Use the same kind of glue we described to hold it in place.

Step Five: Shaping

Now you'll need some very strong sandpaper in order to give the foam the required shape. The image above demonstrates how smooth and well rounded it should be. This'll take quite a long time and Zlurpo recommends using a knife or saw to hack off the larger sections of the foam that you won't be needing. God help you if you decide to simply sand it down.

Step Six: Mario Foam

Now the real shape of the design is coming to life. You'll have to cut into the foam in various ways in order to get this shape, but here's how Zlurpo went about it:

It was all carved and shaped with the saw and a couple knifes and some sandpaper. I cut the groves in with 80 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sharpie.

Step Seven: Painting Time

You can add some Bondo to the roughest parts of the shell in order to smooth things out a bit, according to its creator. Once you've got it on simply sand the Bondo down. It's gotta be super smooth. Afterwards you need to paint it. Cover the shell in normal grey house paint and let it dry.

Step Eight: Rubber

Once the paint has dried, you'll need to cover the shell in silicone rubber. Like, a lot of it. Be sure to cover the entire shell in the stuff to ensure it eventually hardens. Zlurpo added five layers of rubber to the shells and plaster mixed the rubber with fiber.

Step Nine: Molding Time

This is where things get a little complicated. Zlurpo describes creating an outer mold for the shell, a kind of jacket. Once it's made, he describes the following steps:

So I made the other side of the mold, took off the plaster mold jacket, took off the mold (cutting it around the middle) and then cast the two sides in fiberglass. Then I used fiberglass to put the two sides together.

That's a lot of work, but you gotta love the results.

Step Ten: Paint it

After the mold is finished, you can start painting your shell white. You can now give your shell its signature color and use an airbrush to add some detail shading. The results are quite spectacular.

Look at all them shells! And better yet, you can add little RC cars to the bottom of them to get them running around your neighbourhood. You'll obviously need some powerful RC cars to carry the weight, but we've all got them lying around, right?

Check out the shells in action below!

Do you think you could make some Mario kart shells?


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