Scratch Builds: Basics of Styrene: Part Two (original for achival purposes)

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by Wikkid, Oct 7, 2011.

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  1. Wikkid

    Wikkid Semi-retired customizer

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    Basics of Styrene: Part Two

    Creating Even Lengths Without Measuring:

    I drew a quick sketch of the part I'm cutting and how to measure it out evenly:

    [​IMG]


    This part needs to be three times the thickness of this saw blade:
    [​IMG][/URL]


    Line it up with the first pencil mark and make a second line:
    [​IMG]


    As you can see, the draft was a bit off. The part is now squared off.
    [​IMG]


    Curving styrene plastic:
    Using the piece I cut earlier, I prepare to give it a curve by finding a tube shaped item (dolly) that resembles the amount of bend I'll need:
    [​IMG]


    I tape the styrene piece to the rounded object and grab my heat gun:
    [​IMG]


    Apply the heat evenly from side to side. Do not overheat the plastic or it will stretch. (You'll see it turning brown if it's too hot):
    [​IMG]


    You'll notice the project piece begin to warp slightly. This is what you're looking for:
    [​IMG]


    Using a rag or cloth, you'll need to manually roll the styrene over the dolly:
    [​IMG]


    As you can see, the part is not perfect . . . . yet:
    [​IMG]


    Remove the project from the dolly . . . . :
    [​IMG]


    . . . . use your heat gun to warm the edges of the plastic again, Then use your rag or cloth to "iron out" any warps by using a slight amount of finger pressure and run evenly across the entire edge:
    [​IMG]



    Once complete, it'll be near perfect so we take it to the next stage:
    [​IMG]


    Using the same tube that the piece was bent around, wrap a piece of sandpaper of your choice around it:
    [​IMG]


    Sand the full length of the project and move around a lot. You don't want to dig any grooves into the piece:
    [​IMG]


    Finish the piece with 320 and it's off to primer:
    [​IMG]


    Multi-Role Hinges
    In some projects, you may be pressed for space and need a mechanism to function in several ways. This multi-role hinge will allow the wheel section to fold away as well as allow the front end to slide forward:
    [​IMG]


    We're using three different sizes of styrene tubing in this project. The largest size is cut into three primary pieces. The middle section is the main support shaft and the smaller tube will act as the slide mechanism:
    [​IMG]


    The section that is glued will also be glued to the actual figure for this project:
    [​IMG]


    The rear section is free floating as it will turn allowing the wheel to fold under. The smaller section is the slide mechanism:
    [​IMG]


    Glue the two piece nub to the smallest rod (It never hurts to have extra support):
    [​IMG]


    Now we glue the assembly to two locations. One is to the figure and the other will be to the foot section:
    [​IMG]


    Now the cover is put in place and is only glued to the forward section of the whole assemble. This adds a whole lot of strength and helps with the believability that this robot is made outta car parts:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Reinforced hinges

    Expanding on the earlier hinge tutorial, it is recommended that you reinforce all hinges for better durability. (where possible):
    [​IMG]

    Having more surface contact for glue adds a lot of support to the structure. Here, I've made a singular brace with a cutaway for the central hinge section:
    [​IMG]

    I then support the central portion with its own reinforcing plate. These are staggered to allow the hinge . . . . :
    [​IMG]


    . . . . only 90 degrees of bend:
    [​IMG]


    Headlight buckets:
    Headlight buckets are a nice addition as they will contain your light source and only allow light to travel in the direction you want. They also make a nice mounting for the LED:

    [​IMG]

    Be sure it fits nice and snug behind your headlamp glass:
    [​IMG]

    LED installed and ready for wiring:
    [​IMG]


    Wide body conversion

    Wide body kits are generally seen on race cars that allow the tires to sit further apart (and remain covered) which gives the vehicle better cornering ability. An example of a wide body kit can be found on G1 Sunstreaker. You'll notice his quarter panels flare out and the back tires do not run in line with the front. (Typically a wide body kit will also be on the fenders) Anyhow, we'll stick to G1 accuracy for this project):
    [​IMG]

    Begin by drawing out your cut line on the quarter panel:

    [​IMG]

    Slash it out with your razor knife:
    [​IMG]


    The central section is the amount I'll be widening this sucker. You'll notice it's longer and tapered at the front end:
    [​IMG]

    The new part is countersunk under the upper quarter section to allow more strength and is then clamped until dry:
    [​IMG]


    Be sure your new extension piece is rounded to fit the original quarter panel skin then glue it on:
    [​IMG]


    Test fit the new quarter panel and begin creating the lower section to whatever specs make you happy:
    [​IMG]


    Get all your imperfections cleaned up using a filler:
    [​IMG]


    . . . . and you're done:
    [​IMG]


    Filler panels

    Filler panels are intended to make your figure "whole". When re-shelling, you're essentially just skinning a car part over a basic structure. Without filler panels, the figure is left with voids in some places. Filler panels will not only make the custom more complete, but will add strength to the part:
    [​IMG]


    The hood/leg is compressed in vehicle mode so it makes most sense to shape your filler panel to that mode. You can use regular styrene plastic or find something with pre-molded details:
    [​IMG]


    Be sure to test fit the adjacent panels as you go. If they put any pressure on the other panels, the alt mode will suffer as the gaps will widen:
    [​IMG]



    Using sandpaper, slowly chew away at portions of the panel until it has a nice, snug fit:
    [​IMG]

    Glue it into place and test fit the surrounding panel:
    [​IMG]

    Now we need to create the upper filler to box in the whole assembly:
    [​IMG]


    And it is recessed and glued into place. Again, test fit all surrounding panels and check:
    [​IMG]

    Long Throw Compact Pistons

    When space is limited, I tend to use these three part pistons for pieces that need to expand and compress:

    [​IMG]

    This is the entire mechanism compressed . . . . :
    [​IMG]


    . . . . and expanded. Pretty straight forward:
    [​IMG]


    Fold Away Hands

    Here's the layout of the parts.:
    [​IMG]


    I first install the fist base plate by drilling a hole through the main styrene rod. I then drill a larger hole in one end of the rod to allow the bolt head to fit within the rod itself and attach the fist baseplate to the bolt then lock it down snug with the nut. (Use thread lock on the nut so it never comes off.)(Oh, and don't over tighten the thing or it'll never move):

    [​IMG]

    You'll need to drill through the sides of the forearms to the exact outer diameter of the rod size to be sure of a tight fit. Install the fist baseplate assembly and insert the pins.
    [​IMG]

    Hand installed:
    [​IMG]

    Check to be sure everything fits:
    [​IMG]


    Now I need a fist cover so it doesn't look like this jet has a huge hand in the cargo bay. For this particular build, I designed a weapon carrier that will house two bombs per arm. One end gets a hinge installed:

    [​IMG]


    Glue said hinge to the backside of the forearm . . . . :
    [​IMG]

    . . . . and be sure everything works and the fist clears the opening. Now is the time to smooth everything out by eliminating the excess pins and fill them in or cover them with something neat:
    [​IMG]


    I'm not entirely sure. A hairdryer on high heat may work but a d00d can pick up an actual heat gun for $10 on sale.

    Once painted, the part gets quite stiff and can be left to slide freely or pull out if extended too far. The other option is to create a groove in the outer tube that runs 3/4 the length of the part. Then pin the inner tube allowing it to slide but only as far as the outer tube groove will allow.

    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/tutor...ratchbuilding-original-archival-purposes.html
     

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