Customs: Material for making weapons

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by ComicGuy89, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys, I'm looking for a flat material, something like a sheet-like plastic that can be easily cut without the use of power tools. It doesn't have to be extremely firm, it just has to be able to retain its shape after bending. As such I would be satisfied with credit card-like rigidity (but no way in heck am I gonna cut those up!). It should also be paintable.

    I really have no idea what to use because I know zilch about customs. I was thinking of using "acrylic sheets" that I saw in an art store, but I have no idea how to cut those pieces without a heavy duty saw. I'm looking for material to make blades and other sorts of energon weapons. Specifically, right now, I was thinking of a custom Animated Prime Axe. Thanks guys.
     
  2. reluttr

    reluttr Well-Known Member

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    Go to your local hobby store or ehobby store and buy some "styrene sheets", its exactly what you are looking for. It comes in various thicknesses, colors, and styles. It can be easily cut with a exacto knife or pair of scissors. Its is indeed very paintable and really easy to work with all around. You can use a hair drier or boiling method to heat and bend it as well. You can also purchase Styrene Rods and tubes to make the handle, there is also various detailing materials made of styrene like ladders, tubing, and ect.

    Anyways its pretty much what everyone uses on this board. You may also want to check out some sites like hobbylink japan, they sell various weapon kits that can be easily modified into TF weapons. Also when you get better at kitbashing, you might want to check out hobbylink japan, because they sell many modeling supply's that is hard to find locally like ball-joints and rare model sets you could get parts from.
     
  3. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Yeah, go with Styrene. It's pretty much what everyone uses.

    As an alternative, though, go to HLJ. Search up Modeling Support Goods, or M.S.G for short. They have a great amount of weaponry available, wich also happen to be cast in styrene, according to the write up on HLJ.

    Also, ever thought about 3d printing? Slightly more costly, but also can make things that would be impossible to sculpt by hand.
     
  4. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

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    Very helpful comments, guys! Alright, when I am free next week, will run down to the local Hobby Lobby. The local art store doesn't sell styrene. Is styrene commonly found?

    And Treadshot A1, 3d printing would be great, but it is beyond my means now...haha. Thanks!
     
  5. aurascope

    aurascope Kitbash Resource Indexer

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  6. prime13

    prime13 UCHUU KITAAAA

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    how much ARE styrene sheets anyway?
     
  7. OmarJT82

    OmarJT82 Well-Known Member

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    Will Styrene work in recasting certain parts? Like, for example, the wings of ROTF Voyager class Megatron?
     
  8. Overhaulimus

    Overhaulimus Sword of Fury!

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    No Omar they woulding,you would need to make a mold of the parts and cast them in a casting plastic or resin.
     
  9. hXcpunk23

    hXcpunk23 The Chaos Bringer

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Hobby Lobby sells sheet styrene. You'd have to go to another place like Hobbytown USA or a local hobby/train shop. I stocked up on some various sizes last summer from Hobbylinc.com (based in Atlanta), since I was nowhere near a hobby shop. But if I run out, Hobbytown USA is where I'll go next (I'm up in GA now and have one nearby).

    If you can't find any around you, order it here: Hobbylinc.com - Plastics

    You get a certain number of sheet styrene sealed in the original bags. You just order what you need. The brand I use (until I run out) is Plastruct. Good luck, man--hope you find what you need.
     
  10. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

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    Oh thanks, you saved me the trip to Hobby Lobby. I'll have a look at your links.
     
  11. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Beyond your means? Really? I don't think so. It's a simple matter of downloading what are generally free CAD programs off the net, drawing what you want, then uploading to a site such as www.shapeways.com to have it printed and sent to you.

    I can provide more specific links if need be.
     
  12. ryan.j

    ryan.j Well-Known Member

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    my local model shop (as in radio controlled cars & planes) does a loose A4-ish sheet for about a pound, depending on thickness. they come in clear or opaque white. i'd imagine there are that's not far off the going rate, although obviously economies of scale kick in if you want to buy a hundred sheets or whatever.

    OP, check out the styrene doweling they do too, lots of little tubes and rods etc. v.useful for guns and things. clear rods for mounting aircraft 'inflight' are kinda cool and you can mount an LED underneath them for ze shockwave-stylee lightpiping effect.
     
  13. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

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    Very nice website! Yes, it's not bad I see, will have a look into it. Thanks!
     
  14. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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  15. ryan.j

    ryan.j Well-Known Member

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    slightly off-topic (sorry OP) but you seem to know a bit about these cad apps treadshot, i used to be quite good at Valve Hammer Editor (it's a level editor for the Source videogame engine) back in the day which essentially lets you create primitives in orthographic view, rotate them along any of their planes and drag their vertices around. very basic stuff really but it was easy to use and i got on well with it.

    However it creates messy brushes rather than meshes and won't export to anything remotely useful. i've played with 3DSMax and it made my face hurt and i never got very far with it because i'm not a proper 3d artist and my patience with software is limited, i seem to remember milkshape was okay but i had trouble lining everything up completely flush, and the end result wasn't really usable... is there a Free and Easy (it's been a while since i did any CAD!) app that will let me build some 3d models in the same way the hammer editor did, cos i think i'd be able to produce some pretty decent results with custom heads, guns etc and get them 3d printed up.

    plus, i have a top secret project i'm about to embark on which i just can't face doing entirely in styrene sheets :D 
     
  16. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Yeah, i know a lot about CAD Programs. Not. :p 

    No seriously, i have no idea what you're even on about, i got lost half way through reading your post, sorry. All i can tell you is that I use the CoCreate program, and when i'm done, i'll always have to load it up in MiniMagics, and click save as. I really don't know what MiniMagics does, but if i don't do that step, Shapeways comes back with Manifold errors everytime, even when there blatantly are none. I should also mention whenever i save anything when using these programs, always save as an STL (stereolithography) file (for uploading), but don't make my mistake, and forget to save a copy that can still be edited later!

    *goes to search for links*

    EDIT: Link to CoCreate: http://www.ptc.com/offers/tryout/pe2.htm

    EDIT: Link to Minimagics: http://www.materialise.com/materialise/view/en/2562719-MiniMagics.html

    Oh, come on...Let us know what your little top secret project is...

    BTW, I'd like to continue this in PM (here or on Shapeways) if that's alright with you, to avoid throwing ComicGuy's thread off topic.
     
  17. ryan.j

    ryan.j Well-Known Member

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    thanks for digging those out, i had a play with CoCreate and it's not exactly what i was looking for, but i'll have a play with it and see if i can't get my head around it.

    if anybody else knows where i could find an orthographic-view based 3d modeling tool feel free to PM me with details :) 
     
  18. Houndvoice

    Houndvoice Well-Known Member

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    Since I have a question that's directly tied in with the OP's thread, and I believe he cold also benefit from knowing, I'm going to be bold and post it here...

    >What thickness should the styrene sheets be if I want to make smaller parts, say no longer than 50mm?<

    In my mind I'm thinking 2-3mm thick, but since I know squat about the properties of the material, some expert advice would be most welcome!
     
  19. ryan.j

    ryan.j Well-Known Member

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    sorry if this seems a bit rudimentary, it's just my opinion on some of the basics of making little things rather than hard facts. i'm sure the radicons are much better than me at this sort of thing and will strongly disagree.
    (please ignore the horrible ascii drawing too, i'm at work!)

    2/3mm should be fine for a 5cm long item that will be used for display, rather than any kind of load-bearing. if you're making a box it's okay to use slightly thinner material, and don't forget the doweling for 'pole' type bits that might otherwise bend - the cylindrical stuff is v.useful & strong and you can get square-tube doweling that you can just seal the ends of to make instant little blocks.

    otherwise you can see about sandwiching layers together to add detail and reinforce areas...

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    if that makes any sense. the thing to remember is that how much you need to reinforce a piece basically it comes down to how much weight is being put on it - you'll quickly get a feel for how much weight it'll take.
     
  20. Houndvoice

    Houndvoice Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply (and at work too!) :thumbs2: 
    I'll be looking for some styrene sheet packs with 1-3mm thickness then.

    Could you elaborate on the cylindrical stuff? I think you mean styrene tubes cut in half to reinforce corners?

    New question, is it also possible to make hinges from said tubes? They'd have to be real thin though I guess.
     

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