Heavy/Scratch: Challenge of the Gobots: Guardian Command Center, including a story of failure.. :P

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Demonss, May 27, 2010.

  1. Demonss

    Demonss Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone.
    This is my second entry to the Gobot Challenge.
    Sadly it didn't turn out quite like I had hoped! I ran into a ton of problems building through out the process.. So much so that I hope I can go back and make a few modifications and try to make it better.
    It started as the Micro-master trailer for that one truck (I don't have any idea what it's called).

    I chopped the wings off the micro master base and chopped them down to size to make use of the hinged connection for the legs. That worked out really well.
    The shell of the legs were all scratch built with styrene. IT was important to me to keep the wheels there (to roll like the original base) as well as try to capture the molded detail. I did that by creating a template based off the Real command center and then cutting it out and tracing it onto another piece of styrene and cutting it by hand. That was tough!
    Then I placed that piece of cut styrene on top of the styrene I cut to make the shell to create the texture. It turned out mostly ok (you can see unevenness in the detail, but that's ok considering I did it by hand. I can live with that!).

    The biggest problem I ended up having was trying to cover the legs with strips of styrene. I wanted to make it one solid wrap in order to make it look better, but I tried everything and couldn't get it to work (as some of you may recall I requested some help trying to figure out how to wrap styrene to make a "tire." Sorry for the ruse!).
    I tried everything.. I tried using a torch on a low setting to try to melt the styrene a little.. That didn't work.. I tried boiling the styrene.. That didn't work.. I couldn't get it placed in such a way that would allow it to be molded the way I want. This is DEFINITELy something I want to go back and fix now that I'll have more time!
    Ultimately I ended up making tons of small strips of styrene and gluing it into place and use super glue and baking soda to fill the cracks.. hence the roughness.. even sanding it didn't get rid of all the uneven-ness (the baking soda and super glue was just too strong!). So that was a disappointment and due to the number of things I tried with the legs put me within 4 days of the deadline.. F!!

    Then i started with the LED's. This is the first time the LED's have been part of a project of mine. So I had to do some reading online. I finally got the LED's functioning and put the head back together and.... they didn't work.. WHAT!?
    So then I had to rip the head open again and redo the wiring. Let me tell you.. Building a battery box is no fun! If anyone has any tips to where you can find a pre-built watch battery box let me know! But.. Ultimately I got the LED's back working closed it up and went on from there.

    So quickly I tried to fill in the detail to the upper part right under the head.. It had an odd U shape opening so I had to try to fill that in with putty.. unfortunately being pressed for time I didn't get to sand it quite as much as I would have liked. I've also learned i'm not great with putty. I definitely want to go back and finish this off with styrene to make it look nicer than my cruddy putty job. But with only a few days left I didn't have time as painting had to start soon.


    One thing I loved about the command center as a kid was the insides, so adding the floors as well as the jail was definitely something I needed to do. Sadly I did it by memory so I put the jail on the wrong floor (and it was too late to take it back off!!). Oh well I don't feel the effect is lost doing that.. But what can you do.

    So I went through and took out the airbrush and sprayed the bottom of the command center and the insides with the black that was going to be necessary. After I gave it about 8 hours to dry I painted some liquid mask on the command center and let it dry.. The next day I went on to do the Grey, and it looked SOOO good. So very very smooth! And then tragedy happened.. I went to pull off the liquid mask and just about all the black paint pulled off with it.. F!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To make it worse the liquid mask was stuck in areas that I couldn't get it off.. And it looked horrible! I was convinced that this was NOT getting done in time for the contest.
    I finally decide the only way to get this to work is to fill a bathtub with water and drop it in (and pray the best for the electronics). So I do..
    Drop the command center in and let it soak over night. The next morning I wake up first thing take a toothbrush to it and get rid of ALL the painting I've done.. Awesome.. back to white and burgundy...

    So not wanting to overspray with the airbrush (as I'm still not too experienced with it yet) I decide the best way to get this done is to do it by hand.. so out comes the paint brush and I get to work. Mind you I'm still not testing the LED's because I want to give ample time for the electronics to dry out.
    I finish up the painting later that day and decide to give the led's a try.. AWesome they work still!
    So I make use of what little daylight I have left to take some pics of the stickers of the command center so I can add them to various places of my new Command center. In my opinion, they turned out great!

    I apply the stickers later that night, and I'm ready to take some pics for the contest.
    I turn on the led's and..... nothing.. WTF!!!!
    Seriously..
    So I have to rip the head open again!
    I make a crude battery pack by taping some batteries together and taping wires to the end and then touching the various LED's to figure out what's wrong.

    LED's light up fine.. When I touch before the resistor it doesn't light up.. So I pull that resistor out and touch and everything lights up again.. good! Close up the head put the batteries back in and... Nothing............
    I'm about to lose hair at this point, so I open the head up again and test the switch (why didn't I test this the first time!?) and guess what.. It's not working... Luckily the pack I bought had 2.. So I throw in the second switch reconnect everything (Mind your the LED's are GLUED IN PLACE IN THE HEAD making it a difficult space to work with) and it works.. Thank goodness!

    So sadly.. My command center didn't turn out to be everything I hoped for!
    But at least it gives me a place to go back and fix it up from here!

    Oh.. and to top off all my bad luck, when I had the Command center in my lightbox the camera would not show it any other color than tan...
    I have no idea why.. I'm glad I had the side shots with the Real Command center to show that it was ACTUALLY grey..

    What a disappointment! I think the odds were stacked way against me even having this guy as an entry....
    I look forward to revisiting this to make it better soon!
     

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  2. dsn1014

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

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    despite all your hardship with this guy he turned out great!
     
  3. Demonss

    Demonss Well-Known Member

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    Hah Thanks man!
    Hopefully he'll turn out even better when time and motivation allows.. :) 
     
  4. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    I feel bad fo the criticisms I posted over at S70. I had no idea how badly you struggled with this. In fact, I had no idea you worked on 2 entries. That shows a lot of heart. I have a much better appreciation of the effort that went into this and Night Ranger.
     
  5. Demonss

    Demonss Well-Known Member

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    Criticisms are ok man!
    I have the same criticisms.

    I am happy that it turned out, but not 100% happy with the end result (yet).
    I pretty much expected the criticisms I got, so it's rewarding to see there wasn't something else I missed.. If you know what I mean. I can feel at least accomplished in that regard. :) 
     
  6. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    My goodness, that is REALLLLLY cool. I loved the CC as a kid too (The Autobots lived there until Metroplex was created).

    Considering all the new things you were trying, and this was almost a scratch-build for all the mods you made, this thing just turned out GREAT! Don't sell yourself short!

    D/L
     
  7. reluttr

    reluttr Well-Known Member

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    this is awesome :D !
     
  8. Maximo Prime

    Maximo Prime Bassist of Ill Repute

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    a well worded crit can only push you forward and upward. I love the way this turned out, and to me, if you were to go back, i would suggest making a new one. just my philosophy, let this one stand as a testament to your skills at the time. Surely you learned much during the process, and a 2nd one won't have all the trial and error.

    this is one of my favorites btw.
     

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