Minor/Repaint: HA Jazz and BB LED MOD

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by godzebu, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. godzebu

    godzebu Well-Known Member

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    Howdy~

    *Important note: I do not (and will not) take all the credit for what you are about to see for it has been done before. See the link below
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/radicons-customs/319407-custom-led-human-alliance-jazz.html
    Thank you "RyanUybengkee" for trying this out. If you are reading this, I also share the issues you may had (wiring issue with connecting 4 headlight LEDs on his chest and arms, tail light led, and etc).
    ___________________________________________________________

    With that said folks.....

    Zebu proudly presents: LED upgraded HA Jazz and Bumblebee!

    Background and concept:: I am bit burned out on paiting my TF fgures and wanted to do some LED upgrades for two of my favorate HA figures.
    The concept of these upgrade were to bring these figures to move-like feel with (relatively simple) MOD where they had their headlights on bright for the promo shots for TFTM.

    Objectives:
    1. Well.... have LEDs
    2. Relatively simple (depends on the defination of "simple" I guess) LED works so that they do not interfere with the transformation.
    3. Durable and bright LED works.

    WIP note: Some WIP pcitures are at the bottome of this post. Here are some notes for your reference.
    1. As you can see from the pictures below, HA Jazz's LED lights are exremely bright. I can definately use it as flashlight (in fact, my wife used it to go to the bath room in the middle of the night LOL). I used LEDs from e-bay (3mm LED 5 color for Modifying Gundam MG PG HGUC Resin | eBay). These LEDs are rated for 3V but I've used two 3 V, CR 1220 batteries in a stright connections to push these LEDs to limit. I did some pilot studies to make sure that these LEDs can withstand 6V generated by two CR 1220 battary. It was left on for 10 stright minutes and there were no issues. My only assumption is that while voltage from two CR 1220 battaries is 6V, they generate small amperage so LEDs does not burn up. Anyways, the bottom line is... now we have extremely bright LED configuration (I'm pretty sure that I've pused these LEDs to limit. If someone else tried this LEDs and went up higher than 6V, please let me know).
    2. Battary for HA Jazz is stored at the body cavity where his head gets stored during car mode. I've made some extra room with dremel. This was the harest part. He has literally 0.5 mm clearance for his head.
    3. Wires for HA Jazz was routed through his body via small holes (1 mm each).
    4. The LED switch for HA Jazz is located on his left shoulder where his human ally seats.
    5. HA BB uses 3V, CR 2032 (much bigger than CR 1220) battery as the power source. It is stored at the interior car ceiling (there sill is enough room for Sam).
    6. Wireing for HA BB was very primitive in a sense that they are more exposed on the back than HA Jazz. While this made the MOD easier to do and no wires to be seen during his car mode nor bot mode, the figure itself feels bit more fraile due to exposed wiring system. Transforming BB will take more time (on the other hand, HA Jazz has exactly the same method of tranformation).
    7. HA BB's LED switch is located between the driver and the passenger seats inside of the car.

    Well.... thank you for reading this long winded post so far...
    without further ado, ladies and gentlemen...I give you HA Jazz and Bumblebee. (Once again, these photos are not altered in anyways).

    [​IMG]
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    Post project notes:
    1. No paiting: I may do some partial air burshing and dry brusing but not the entire figure as these are ment to be transformed regularly and played with.
    2. LED MOD challeges for HA Jazz: Due to the fact this shoulders comes apart from his chest during transformation and has 360 range, it is difficult to put LEDs that will be operated by single switch (the wires will eventually be cut off with repeat transformation and shoulder rotations). Also, his chest LED should've been blue (Perhaps an easy update point for HA Jazz MK II).
    3. Must improve the wiring for HA BB: HA BB has less body cavities than most other HA figures so it is difficult to route the wires through his body cavities(perhaps a hard update point for HA BB MK II?).
    ____________________________________________________________

    Update 1

    After being inspired by 'Big Hank' and the fear of upsetting someone name "BIG HANK" (o.k I'm kidding about fear of Big Hank, he seem like a nice dude...a gentle giant if you will... LOL), I've made some update and posting WIP for my HA BB.

    1. Upgrade for wiring: I've ripped out the old "primitive" wirings for HA BB you see above and installed new, thinner, "smartly intergrated" wiring system (drilling and what not). See below photos as reference.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    2. LED for HA BB head: Although LED was already placed in the HA BB you see above, the light piping for HA BB has very poor transparency. Thanks to BIG HANK, I was able to make the upgrade (bit different method but the concept is the same).
    a. I've used left over spur tree of gundam model (clear kind) to make the eyes.
    [​IMG]

    b. I've gutted the head of BB (removed front half of light piping and cut the area right above the ball joint on the neck... you'll see why below), and placed clear plastic eye balls (after coloring them with Mr. Color: Clear Blue and drilling just a bit to make the pupils).
    [​IMG]

    c. Now, here comes the fun part. Essentially, I've used the same MOD as I did for my Custom Shockwave (If you are observant type, then you'll realize that I'm copying the head LED design of Leader Optimus Prime :) ). First, cut top 1/3 of ball joint. Second, dig out ball joint to make room for LED. Thrid, two drill holes (0.8 mm) inside of the ball joint. These holes run along the side of the BB's beck where his jugular veins would be (if he had a jugular veins). Fourth, place LED with its positive and negative wires through the holes. Fifth, drill a hole on the neck PC joint to let the light through..... and Let there be LIGHT!!!!
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    Alright, this make the final LED upgrade for this figure. I don't think I'll make anymore upgrade because it will make the figure more fragile. It is perfect now to serve as a "everyday" figure.
    [​IMG]
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    ____________________________________________________________

    Thanks for reading this looooooooong post. Please feel free to make critique and/or suggestions. I'm all ears~:) 

    Zebu
     

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  2. roaddemon2001

    roaddemon2001 Mr. fixit

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    beautiful.
     
  3. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Great job bud. I love LED work, it just so fitting for cars that turn into robots.

    With that being said, I think you did yourself a bit of a dis-service by not going all the way and doing the eyes as well. I know you can do it.

    I did an HA BB headlights and eyes for a board member a while ago, I'll see if I have any pics. There may be a WIP pic in there too.


    I'm working on a Jazz as well, I cut off the tail lights and cast them in clear to make the tail lights light up. When I get back from vacation I'll grab some WIP pics of 'ol Jazz. He's torn apart like Megs got ahold of him!
     
  4. legolas grof

    legolas grof Cardboard Industries CEO

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    well done! i've always wanted to see that done on bee :) 
     
  5. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Hey Zebu, Found a few pics:

    The HA BB with the greenish eyes are stock, you can see I replaced them with with blue acrylic rod. rounded the edges a bit and drilled out the pupil to refract the light a bit different than the rest of the eye.

    [​IMG]
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    Looks like I did the fog lights and headlights, didn't remember that:

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I'm veering off topic. You have done great, but I think the eyes need to be done too. Also in my opinion the LEDs are too bright. I know that was kind of your point, but the brightness doesn't scale out correctly to my eyes. Maybe a 470 ohm resistor to tone those lights down.:thumbs2: 
     
  6. speedlee

    speedlee Fanatic Customizer

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    Wow, the shots with the base makes it look really cool and realistic !!! :D 
     
  7. godzebu

    godzebu Well-Known Member

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    Thanks~

    BIG HANK!!!

    Great to hear from you bud (I wished this post would catch your attention).
    It's funny that you mentioned about BB's eyes. If you look closely on last two photos (second to last is with lights off of course and last one is with the light on), I actually did the LED work on the head. It's just not coming through like I wanted. I really like your idea of drilling hole in the eyes. I think I have a great Idea how to improve BB overall on my MK II version (drumroll please.....).

    Also with Jazz. Yeah the tail lighting is yet another challege. I thought about your approch as well but didn't know how it would interfere the transformation. Does your HA Jazz transform after the MOD? I really would like to see some photos for reference.

    Well... thanks for the awesome tips and pointers. Look forward to hear from you more :) 



    Thanks~There is always room to improve.

    Thanks, that was the whole point of making the base. I lack skills on taking great photos so taking photos on this hangar base somewhat masks my lack of skills :) 
     
  8. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    You know I thought BB's eyes looked lit up in that pic, but you didn't specify so I let it go.

    Yeah grab some acrylic rod for the eyes, don't drill the pupil all the way, just deep enough to look accurate and let bit more light trough than the rest of the eye. If that BB I did was for me and I was painting it I would add another step: scoring lines from the pupil outward across the eyes, then I would put a silver wash in the recesses to look more CG model accurate.

    Jazz will transform, he has headlights, tail lights, turn signals (don't blink, but lit up), front fog lights, and the backup lights plus eyes. He's all tore up since I'm doing a back pack mod to be more accurate, new hands and some new front fenders on his forearms to be more accurate.
     
  9. RyanUybengkee

    RyanUybengkee Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the shout-out brother!! i'm happy i an inspire someone..doesn't happen very often. LOL!.. good work.. now YOU know how challenging it is to install the lights to HA Jazz... what i did was i relied on metal contacts between plastics..that way, we use less wires... :)  but, make no mistake, that is one heck of a feat already.

    Good work..


    Ps: Love the background ! so Awesome!!!


    -RYan
     
  10. godzebu

    godzebu Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good. Is this a commission work?
     
  11. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Nah, just to push my limits. Most likely I'll Ebay him after I'm done and lived with him for a few weeks, like always. I hate clutter, lol. I have to have a bout 400-500 figures, I display like 12.
     
  12. godzebu

    godzebu Well-Known Member

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    HA BB head LED upgrade and WIP posted on the first post.

    Enjoy :) ~

    Zebu
     
  13. robowarrior

    robowarrior Arcee's BF

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    Awesome job man!!! I've always loved LED custom jobs! Everytime I see your Autobot Hangar, I admire that thing so much! I want one made for me!! haha :D 
     
  14. Spekkio

    Spekkio Master of War

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    I really hate offering feedback on something that I can't do. (And there's a LOT I can't do.) And given how Jazz transforms, it's probably impossible...but his fog lights are lit and his headlights aren't. But like I said, probably impossible. Or highly improbable, anyway.
     
  15. godzebu

    godzebu Well-Known Member

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    Are we talking commission? or just make one for you because I'm a nice guy?
    That's a joke of course. As I said before, obtaining chain base isthe most difficult part since they are so rare now. Once you get them then rest is only left to one's imagination.

    Don't worry. I appreciate your feedback anyways.
    As I mentioned on my post project note, what you said about the headlights vs. fog lights is an issue. Trust me I've considered all kinds of possibilities and can not come up with viable solution because of the mobility of Jazz. It not only has 360 degree rotation (which can by bypassed by embedding the led like the HA BB's head) but it also has two 90 degree joints prior to the head light (shoulder) at the apical end of the shoulder to dital end which will cause severe stress on the wire during transformation.

    With that said, technically, I could install LED but it will only last few transformations ( or until the wire breaks) if I was to do the LED work that will turn all four LEDs (or more..including his tail light) at once.

    I can do away with wires using Hall IC (Hall effect switch, google it! its cool stuff) and magnet. But there also be an issue of losing the ability to turn on or off LED at will.

    Lastly, another obvious solution is install multiple switches for multiple LEDs. I don't know how BIG HANK is doing it but I would love to see if he is even doing that (only time will tell).

    If you have anyother suggestions or thoughts or comments, I'd love to hear them................I am all ear~:) 
     
  16. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Hey Zebu, good lookin' stuff with BB! I like the clear sprue idea! Very resourceful buddy! The eyes are soo much better now.

    Regarding multiple switches, yep I have no problems doing that if that's the most logical solution.

    Typically classic "hood for feet" type bots need this treatment. Here are some examples of Tracks and a Cliffjumper where I used this approach. The Tail lights and eyes on both figures are a completely independent circuit (including power source) from the headlights (which are their own dedicated circuit). Because the front of the car splits for the legs, there is a complete circuit in one leg (for one head light) and the other leg's head light gets connected to it via a miniature connector for car mode.

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    As for the Hall chip, it's a great idea and you should definitely play around with it, but there is a simpler way to make a contact for 360 degree rotation, I'll show you some pics of my DOTM Jolt when I get back home. ICs can be fun but in a Transformers they can be a nightmare too. Here's a short video of a ROTF Deluxe Wheelie where I installed LEDs into his eyes. I also utilized a SOIC sized 555 chip to change the one eye from red to blue (like when Mikaela torched his eye). I used the faction change gimmick as the actuator. When he's showing the Decepticon symbol both eyes are red, but when you turn it to Autobot the one eye turns blue. I wanted to make it a bit more interactive than just a switch to change up the eye.


    [​IMG]


    And just for fun here's a little video of a Movie Scorponok I did with motorized claws and "real" legs. There's a thread in here somewhere but I'm too lazy to search, LOL.

    ROTFScorponok.mp4 video by hankbig - Photobucket
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  17. jicco

    jicco TF Customizer

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    awesome mods and tutorial. Those pics with the base is really convincing. Can't wait to get them.
     
  18. Starstriker

    Starstriker Well-Known Member

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    Very nice work. Is there a switch? Or do you just insert the batteries to turn it on?
     
  19. godzebu

    godzebu Well-Known Member

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    Yes there are switches on these figure.

    For HA JAZZ, the switch is located at under the foldable sitting area for the Lennox on his shoulder.

    For HA BB, the switch is located between the passenger and the driver seats.

    I'll update more pictures showing the wiring schematics.

    :) 
     

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