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A good system also is to start by making up a small box out of plasticard, that gives you roughly the inside dimensions of the shell- what you need to fit over the chassis in other words. Then laminate some sheet wood over it and carve. That saves the tickly job of hollowing the thing out afterwards. And also, if you're crafty with the laminations, you can eliminate the problem of end-grain, which is tricky to work and detail. I'd recommend you find some obechi or gelutong from a craft supply- they're easy woods to carve and have less porous grain than balsa, which takes a lot of filling and smoothing. Also Balsa is sooo soft, it's easy to make a big mistake.
Good luck- it's easier than it sounds!
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