Heavy/Scratch: 1/18th Scale Bumblebee Project

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Jedi_Master_Ben, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. Jedi_Master_Ben

    Jedi_Master_Ben Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone,

    For awhile now, I have been dropping hints about this project during some of my other inquiry posts in some of my other threads. This will be the home for this project devleopment.

    The History:

    The insperation for this project came about in two ways. The first form of insperation came to me while at this years JOECON in Atlanta, GA. I saw in the custom room a 1/18th scale Ironhide Hiss tank (non transformable) from the Marvel GI Joe vs Transformers comics. It had a new 25th anv Cobra soldier in the gun turret and Ironhide was made of hiss tank parts. It was awesome! It looked like they were ment to exist together as a single toyline. The next day, my family went to see Transformers at the Imax theater before heading home. At that point, I started to notice that the soldiers in the movie could have easily been replaced with GI Joe characters and would not come off as campy. A few days later, the new deluxe figures came to Statesboro and I picked up the Arcee and Bumblebee. I took my Scarlet 25th anv figure and started to see if Arcee was to scale and also see if my theory held up. I was quite pleased with the results. I then took some pictures of my joes and the deluxe figures and digibashed them together in a sceen to see just how they would look to scale. I really liked the way the picture came out and was determined to move forward with this project. Here is the digibashed picture I made:

    [​IMG]

    Phase 1:


    Preping:

    I decided to go with the deluxe Bumblebee Concept Camaro '08 as my test subject for this project because I like the design when it transforms (plus he is my daughter's favorit from the movie). I did some checking arround to see what methods to "grow" Bumblebee includeing 3d scanning and prototyping which was way to much for this projcet (somewhere close to $2000, Ouch!). I settled on a product someone over at GTG forums told me about, Hydrospan. You treat it like any other resin casting stuff but, after it cures, you put it into water and it expands more than double its size. Think of it like a sponge, while maintaining all the detail. I ordered the supplies I would need, mold max 15T silicon for molding, Hydrospan, Dubcity 1/18th scale Concept Camaro '08 ( I got it at first thinking I was going to cut it up until I saw it was dicast metal. Not a total loss, I decided to cast the tires and break disks) and of course another deluxe concept Bumblebee to take apart.

    I got some very helpful advice from the members of this board in helping dissassemble my Bumblebee (Thanks guys!) and proceeded to scan the individual pieces and printed out the images. I took the print outs to Office Max to have them inlarged to double the size (based on the scale conversion I did) so I had a reference guide fore each part as the hydrospan pieces grow. With all the prep work done, it was off to making the first sets of molds.

    Molding:

    Now that I have all the parts and the prep work done, it was time to make the molds of the original parts. I made mold frames from foam boards. I then super glued toothpics onto every part and stuck each part on a clay base. I then arranged the pieces in a gang mold formation to maximize the space in each frame. Also, I labeled each frame based on each body part, Left leg, right arm, ect. Here are all the pieces in there mold frames:

    [​IMG]

    I then mixed the silicon molding material (mold max 15T) based on wieght in grams. The mix ratio was a 10:1. I decided to mix up about 900g per batch so I can control the amount of silicon mixed with out waisting. This ment I had to do this over the past 3 days, ensureing that each batch had ample time to cure before doing the next batch. I also use a preasure pot to get rid of air bubbles in my molds, which sometimes leaves the mold a bit shallow and parts sticking out. The good thing about silicon that it sticks to itself, so I just pour extra silicon from the next batch to help fill in the shallow areas of the previous batch. Here is a pic with some of the mold frames in the preasure pot:

    [​IMG]

    And here are all the mold done still in their frames, fresh out of the preasure pot. Notice, you can see the Dubcity tires in one of the frames, the silicon is transparent so I can see the resin flow into the molds. Here is the picture of all the molds:

    [​IMG]

    Phase 2:

    I demolded all the orignial donor parts and started to mix the Hydrospan 100. The mix ratio is a 2:1 (2 part a for 1 part b). The substance is much thicker than most resin compounds so the molds had to be split open to accomadate the hydrospan material. I then placed the molds into the preasure pot and applied 50 lbs of presure using my air compressor. I repeated these steps until I had a complete copy of all the parts (some pieces had to be redone because of air bubbles). The substance comes out like a translucent brown and has the conistancy of harden gummy bears. I had to be carefull removing the parts from the mold so they did not tear coming out of the molds.

    The next step was to place the parts into some bins filled with cold water. I made sure that the size of the bins would accomidate the growth of the parts. I was surprised to see that some of the smaller pieces grew to max size in a matter of hours. By the end of the day, just about all the parts reached max size. The parts changed color while taking on water. They became a translucent green tint. The part were still gummy like, but kept all the details of the original parts.

    A few days later, all the parts reached max size. It was time to prep them for molding. This was time sensitive, because as soon as you take the parts out of water, they will shrink back to normal size over a period of time based on the thickness and size of the piece. I cut up some plastic scrap rods from some old model kit frams and made sprews for the pieces and super glued the stems to a logical surface for the best cast solutions.

    Once I had a selection of parts in a foam board frame, I was able to pour silicon molding material and begin the process by placing the molds in to the presure pot. I used a lot of silicon to make these parts, something like a gallon and a half was used (figure $124.00 per gallon, ouch!). With all the molds finished and the hydrospan parts removed (at this point, it would not matter if the parts rip comming out of the molds), I can start the post cureing of the molds using a griddle set to 250 drees for 4 to 6 hours. This helps burn off any extra alchole from the silicon mixture. Good, now onto casting.

    Phase 3:

    I had ordered a trial kit ($30.00) of some Smooth-cast product that mixes at 1:1. This was called color correct 326, which was a translucent product that had a work time of 7 min and a cure time of 30 min. this allowed me to make translucent parts like the windows with the aid of color tints. In addition, by mixing in some white, I can create a solid color plastic part.

    I seperated the molds into 4 groupes; The Car parts color, The Robot parts color, The window parts color, and the tires (in black). I measured my part a and part b uing a gram scale and then mixed in the color tints into part b and mix. I then combined part a and b and mix that together. I then poured the plastic in to the molds and rushed them to the pot for preasure treatment. When cured, I demold the parts and cleaned off any flashing and cut off the sprews.

    I then started to assemble the robot. I went to Lowe's hardware and picked up a brass rod and some screws. I then assemble the pieces, started with the legs and cut pieces of the rod in place of the pins from the orginial donor figure. About a day or two later and I have assembled the robot. How cool this thing looks!!!

    That's all I have gotten done so far. The next step will be casting in hydrospan.


    So until next time, thanks for stopping by.

    Jedi_Master_Ben
     

    Attached Files:

  2. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Wow!

    Way to go!:thumb 
     
  3. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    definitely curious as to how this will turn out.
     
  4. Bobby Lemain

    Bobby Lemain Cassette Man

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    indeed.
     
  5. Wiggyof09

    Wiggyof09 Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of issues with hydrospan though. if you do not let it fully hydrate you could end up with some parts of the pieces being larger than others, especially if some parts are thicker than others. Just something to look out for if you plan on casting the pieces before they grow to full size.
     
  6. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Cool, I'd love to see that done with Classics grimlock or astro train.
     
  7. EvaUnit13

    EvaUnit13 REBUILD

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    Awesome!! What'd happen if you took the finished product and kept repeating the enlarging steps...
     
  8. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    you'd have mold degradation with every step, that's what. you're not gonna be able to take a deluxe bumblebee and make him into a life-size 1:1 scale transforming robot.
     
  9. edicius

    edicius I need a drink.

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    Wow, this is seriously one of the most ambitious bits of work I've ever seen.
     
  10. onesock

    onesock Banned

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    If this works out, you need to cast Classics Astrotrain in that stuff. You will be rich, believe me.
     
  11. grimlockams prime

    grimlockams prime Check you feet

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    but how awesome would that be?
     
  12. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've been wanting to use hydrospan, so I'm curious how this will turn out.
     
  13. EvaUnit13

    EvaUnit13 REBUILD

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    Aww... that sucks
     
  14. Greenshadow0

    Greenshadow0 Well-Known Member

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    Wow,I can't wait to see the end result.
     
  15. OMEGAPRIME1983

    OMEGAPRIME1983 Well-Known Member

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    im quit curious to see how this works out, You could makes lots of $$ doin this, you really could. Make a Movie Scream outta this stuff bring him to the right scale, and Bonecrusher too, mmhmm, you would so clean up I think.
     
  16. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Jot me on the list as excited. O_O
     
  17. Jeremy.B

    Jeremy.B Formerly Leader Blackout TFW2005 Supporter

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    Nicely done! Can't wait to see your BIG BB! How will the plastic quality be?
     
  18. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    I can't wait to see the final product.
     
  19. Whelpd

    Whelpd Well-Known Member

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    Never seen a project like this before
     
  20. TENIME_art

    TENIME_art Ethically Challenged

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    Still thinking about doing different colored casts of the Deluxe sized figure after you're done with this? Like I said, count me in for a blue, a black, and a white.

    On topic: Can't wait to see the finished product!! This is so gonna rule!! :rock 
     

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