Heavy/Scratch: 1:18 scale conversion of the Legend Arcee

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Jedi_Master_Ben, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Jedi_Master_Ben

    Jedi_Master_Ben Well-Known Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Today I want to start the thread that will showcase the process of "growing" a Legend Arcee to fit in with the G.I. Joe scale figures. As most of you know me, I have been fixated with up scaling the movie line toys to fit in with Joe scale figures ever since I saw a Hisstank Ironhide at the 2007 JoeCon. I have had some successful projects now with the product known as Hydrospan, a two part mixed resin that when submerged in water will grow 60% larger than the original while maintaining all the details of the original piece. This project purpose is to come up with a better "deluxe" Arcee bike than the one we got from Hasbro. The scale of the deluxe models is 1:14th which is too big for any 3 3/4in action figure. I found that the 1:32 scale transformers (such as Bumblebee and Ironhide) would fit perfectly with the Joe action figures after been grown with Hydrospan. This project has two phases: 1- grow the figure to the appropriate scale and 2 - to sculpt additional details to the new scale figure that scale can handle.

    I will be updating this thread later with some pics.

    Update:

    Ok so just like the other upscale projects, I started by completely taking apart the figure. The pins will be replaced with screws as the pins do not translate structurally well as resin casts. They will be replaced with screws later on. I cut up some toothpicks and use them as sprews and plugged them into a snake stand of clay to form a casting frame. The next step is to make a mold box. I use foam board and glue the pieces with hot glue. It handles fine under pressure in the pressure pot chamber. I line up the parts in the mold and prepare the 2 part silicon for molding. I use Mold Max 15 from Smoothon.com, it has the strength and memory for casting small parts like these. It mixes at a ration 10:1 with the silicon base and the hardener respectfully. Once the mold is filled, I put it in the pressure pot under 60 psi and leave it there for 6 hours so it can cure.

    After the time has elapse, I pull the parts out of the mold and then post cure the mold with a heat source like an electric griddle for 2 hours. This removes any left over alcohol from the mold. The mold is ready for casting when it cools down. To cast with Hydrospan, it mixes at a ratio of 2:1 with part A being the base and part B being the hardener. It is a thicker product than other resin in that it has the consistency of syrup and you have a short window to work with as it has a cure time of 2 hours but like 15 min of work time. Once the mold is full of Hydrospan, I put it in the pressure pot under 60 psi (to insure I crush all air bubbles) for 2 hours. Once cured, it is ready for demolding and flash cleaning. This stuff when cured has a gelatin consistency, so I had to be careful not to rip the parts by accident (figure 1).

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    (Figure 1)​


    After cleaning the parts of mold flashing, the parts are ready to be submerged into water. Now the instruction say the grow time is anywhere from 3 days to 14 days. This depends on the size and thickness of the parts. At this size, I saw full growth as soon as 24 hours (figure 2).

    [​IMG]
    (Figure 2)​

    It's really a remarkable product. This is the cheapest method of up scaling. The next closest method is to scan (or build from scratch using 3DMAX) the parts, upscale the parts in the computer and then print the parts in a rapid prototype printer. The down side is that this cost in the thousands to purchase or rent all the equipment.

    The next phase of the project is to make a mold of the newly grown parts. At this point I have to stop due to I ran out of silicon rubber. I won't be able to order more until after my vacation trip from Disney World next week. Until my return, here are some size comparisons with the Hydrospan parts next to the original and a G.I. Joe figure.

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    That's it for now.

    Update: 17-AUG-10

    I had a great vacation over at Disney World and believe it or not, I actually came back with some extra money left over. So I was able to place an order for the silicon rubber and get the parts molded. I had to be quick as I did not want to leave the parts out of the water for two long while I glue the sprews pegs onto the pieces. Hydrospan can be taken out of the water for a short time while working with it before it starts to shrink back to the original form. Remember, the smaller the part, the faster it grows, well the same can be said for the reverse. I used plastic rods cut about 1/4 inch to make the sprews. Using plastic rods will allow the parts to be re-submerged. This also gives me time to build the mold frames out of foam board. I made two molds, one for the color pieces and one for all the black pieces. I then took clay and rolled it into a clay snakes that would fit into the mold frames. The parts are then carefully inserted into the clay snakes forming a parts frame, like you see done with model kits. The parts frames are then placed into the mold frames. Silicon rubber is mixed 10:1 ratio with the 10 part silicon base to the 1 part hardener solution. I then mixed the silicon and slowly poured the silicon rubber into the mold frames. By controling the flow of the silicon, I can reduce the amount of air that might get trapped in the undercuts. I then placed the molds into the pressure pot at 60 psi. This crushes all the air bubbles while the mold is curing. It takes 6 hours for the silicon molds to cure. Once the mold is cured, the molds are cut open and the Hydrospan parts are removed. The molds are then placed on a heating griddle for 2 hours at 250 degrees. This cooks out any left over achohol out of the molds, this is what is known as 'Post Curing'. After I have removed the molds off the griddle and turned it off, I let the molds set over night so they can cool down.

    The next morning, I mixed up a batch of red and a batch of black colors of resin (Color Cast 327 from Smooth-On) and injected the mixture into the molds in their molds. Each mold is injected with their color resin using a suringe. The molds were then placed into the pressure pot for 2 hours at 60 psi. After the allotted time has passed, I was able to remove the cast pieces from the molds and start removing the sprews and flashing from the parts. I then started to assemble the figure with screws and metal rods that were cut to fit. For the most part, very little tooling was needed done with this figure except for the gun arm. I had to trim it down so that a Joe figure could sit correctly in bike mode. Here are some pics:

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    This concludes the first phase of this project. As you can see, the Arcee figure is completely transformable. The scale is just right for the Joe scale figures. I am very pleased with the outcome of the figure so far. I will have some comparison shots next to the deluxe model later. The next phase of this project is to re-sculpt the head as well as other tweaks to the figure to get her closer to the deluxe version which is more movie accurate. I have some 1:18th scale motorcycle parts that I will mold up next to replace the wheels and add handle bars. I also plan to make the other sister bikes as well using the smaller versions I made as the base for their designs.

    Ok, it's late and I am turning in now. Until next time...

    Update 9-SEP-10:

    Hey everyone! I got one finished up and I like how it turned she turned out. This a second cast I made and tried to match the plastic color of the deluxe model. I made some major modifications to this kit. For starters, I cut the head off and made a ball joint neck joint and modded the head to have a ball joint. I also added some sculpting details to the head to match the deluxe model and make it more movie accurate. The head had some basic sculpt details, but I needed to dig deeper into the face to give it more depth than the original offered. I added handle bars for a figure to hold onto while riding Arcee. Added real wheels and removed the molded wheel legs. Since the Legend design did not have an actual rider in mind when they design it, I had to work around the arm/seat piece. I filled in the gap with fixit sculpt and trimed down the seat so a Joe figure can staddle the seat. The gun arm was modded and suclpted to look more like the deluxe seat area and included a flip out hand like the deluxe version, using styrene strips to make the fingers. I loosely based the hand size from a SW Battle Droid hands. I also scraped off the sculpted hand on the windsheild arm and added a styrene built hand and glued it in place. I had fun painting her and she looks great with her rider. I am working on the other two and basing the engineering designs off the smaller versions I made. Kind of like a blue print for the larger versions. Here are some pics and more to come soon.

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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  2. Demonss

    Demonss Well-Known Member

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    Wow neat!
    I've never seen hydrospan so had no clue how it worked.. so this is really neat to me!
     
  3. CaptainX1

    CaptainX1 Well-Known Member

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    this is interesting....and has me wondering...can you upscale a WFC prime to a voyager size? seeing him shorter than bumblebee after playing the game kinda annoys me
     
  4. general saberwi

    general saberwi legoformer

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    speaking of upscaling, u think u could do voyager animated op to leader size?
     
  5. Jedi_Master_Ben

    Jedi_Master_Ben Well-Known Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    Thank you for the comments. Let me get to these questions:

    You guys are asking close to the same thing so let me give you a general answer to this.

    Just about anything can be molded and casted. For Transformers kits like this, the hardest part is taking apart he figure with out damaging it. To get an idea of how large one casting will result, measure a part like the head of the Transformer you want to grow. Now take that measurement and multiply it by 1.6 ( originial size X 1.6 = new larger size). This will give you the 60% larger size measurement. The down size to this method is that you really can't gage the growth, so if you wanted to see 50% growth then this might not work for you. I was lucky to discover that the 1:32 scale grows close to the scale I wanted. It's not perfect, but it will do for what I want. The best thing is to try and experiment and ask questions. For example, I found doing a double growth of my Blackout project was using way too much rubber and the parts were getting too heavy to work well, so I had to compromise with growing only the hands and and joints (seen in the soup with the other parts) and then kit bash an exsisting toy helicoptor and trying foamboard soaked in fiberglass resin. I hope this helps.

    Thanks again for the comments so far.
     
  6. ---The RAt

    ---The RAt Well-Known Member

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    neat, I remember that stuff being brought up during the customizing class of botcon 2008. That very kickass to see it in use. Have you had any experience with hydroshink(used to make big stuff smaller) :thumb sup
     
  7. hoshi_1123

    hoshi_1123 Drone killer

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    I want to get an oversized WFC Prime as well! i don't really care if he's the right size as long as he's bigger than bumblebee!
     
  8. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Love seeing people use this stuff! LOVE 1:18 TF's. Love this thread :) 

    We've been hearing some rumors that Hydrospan is going out of production. Have you tried to order any recently, have a reliable source? Any sourcing tips would be appreciated.

    D/L
     
  9. rcho

    rcho Well-Known Member

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    I always thought that all the classics line Seekers were a little small. It would be cool if you can upsale them to voyager size.
     
  10. Bern

    Bern Pathetic fools!

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    Ebay:
    There already a Knockoff you can buy for that.


    Its a little pricey but worth it, I have it and the quality is great. Only downside is the face mask is fixed in the down position. So a hydrospan Voyager TFA Prime head might be nice.

    Optimus Prime Leader Class Animated - Animated at KOTOYS.COM

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    Sorry to go offtopic here. This is very nice work and Jedi Master Ben I am adding you to my friends list because I will need your services if they are for sale! ;) 
     
  11. Robcbh

    Robcbh Well-Known Member

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    This is some mad scientist crap going on right here.....Awesome.
     
  12. Sparkplug2517

    Sparkplug2517 Member

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    Dude you need to get a hold of me bc I think that stuff wood work awasom on a ha and with my plan to mod the worst one into the best one and that stuff wold work great on the hood of Side Swipe plus by up scaling it it would alow for easy installing for ball joints
     
  13. reluttr

    reluttr Well-Known Member

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    I cant wait to see how this turns out, I really hope you will later on be offering to sale some copys :D 
     
  14. HAIL_KING_PRIME

    HAIL_KING_PRIME Well-Known Member

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    jeez dude! i wish you woulda kept this hypaspand a secret! ! i mean YOU and others who knew really coulda made some cool customs and made some good money!
     
  15. Geminii

    Geminii Toyetic multiformophile

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    I wonder what the limits are. A double-grown Fort Max would stand nearly four feet tall...
     
  16. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

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    The limits are this stuff is like a gummy bear when cast, not rigid at all. this goes for expanded and unexpanded. it's hard making molds for it and not have the parts warp on ya. Takes time, and ALOT of patience.

    Randy!
     
  17. JacobPGalvatron

    JacobPGalvatron Storm Trooper #1

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    That's so interesting.
     
  18. dsn1014

    dsn1014 41:75:74:6f:62:6f:74

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    wow thanks for explaining how it works, this project is interesting, looking forward to seeing how you get on.
     
  19. uuser

    uuser Well-Known Member

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    This is so cool, make so many impossible projects feasible. Thanks for sharing!
     
  20. Bern

    Bern Pathetic fools!

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    Hydrospan is no secret, there is plenty of money to be made, because 1) its expensive to tool up for, 2) it is time consuming as all hell, and 3) the skills needed when it comes to molding and casting with this are second-to-none.
     

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