Heavy/Scratch: Scratch building 1/18th Scale Blackout

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Jedi_Master_Ben, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. Jedi_Master_Ben

    Jedi_Master_Ben Well-Known Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    I was very impressed with Ra88's 1/18th scale kitbash Movie Blackout. I wanted to do the same except have him transform into the MH-53. I got two types of helicopters, a Chinnook from Chap Mei, and a Blackhawk from Power Team Elite. I figure the Chinnook would be the main body of the MH-53 with the tail and some of the engine parts from the Blackhawk along with some other styreen pieces. That's as far as I have gotten.

    What I am stuck on is the bot mode. I have been lurking for some time now and studied alot of projects WIP, but I can't seem to find suitable bot parts in the scale I want to be. Do anyone have any ideas?

    Also, for those who built your figures from scratch, any idea or tutorials that help with creating the joint mechinizms so that limbs can move (scews, nuts gears, ect).

    Thank you for your time.

    Ben

    Update:

    I have started by making a mold and casted the head with hydrospan. I plan on growing this and then make a mold of that and cast that in hydrospan to creat a size close to 4cm for this project. Something happened though during the molding phase, some debre must have gotten in the left eye socket and deformed the mold. Here is a pic:

    [​IMG]




    So I remolded the head but this time I also molded the chest piece, the hip section and the upper thighs pieces. I figure this is a good way to make sure the parts fit and function before cutting up the helicopters. More to come, so stay tuned.

    Update:

    Added a pic to show the differnce between each growth stage. The second cast is just the right size I need for this project that best fits in with the 1/18th scale (GI Joe figure scale). More to come, so stay tuned.

    [​IMG]

    Update:

    I just finished the mold for the head and chest part and started casting. While I am waiting for the part to cure, here is a pic of the head cast I made for encline. It is placed next to the originial part for size comparison. I also include the grown Bumblebee head and my Sam custom for further size comparison. Here is the pic:

    [​IMG]

    Update: 28-NOV-08

    I have finished growing the second stage of the cockpit halves. These things are huge! I used up all my silicon rubber to make these parts. Luckly, these are the biggest pieces to the figure, mostly the half that has the two shafts coming out of the inside so that the center chest piece spins to possition. I am pleased at how well this is turning out so far.

    [​IMG]

    Now with the cest piece complete, I can better estimate the overall size of the finished figure will be. I put the cockpit next to a PTE blackhawk helicopter that can fit 1/18th scale figures and figure it is a good match. The next size up would just put the cockpit too big for this scale. So I am happy with the way it's coming along.

    [​IMG]

    Stay tuned more to come.

    Update 6-JUL-09:

    I took some time off from other projects and work to start this project up again. I had to make some evaluations from what I have done so far. I concluded two things:

    1. At the rate I was going to grow the robot phase in two stages, would have been very expensive. The amount of rubber used to make the two halves was close to half a gallon of silicon which equals to about $ 50.

    2. The Hydrospan is too weak to work with in the second stage of growth. My usual molding techniques were not working well to support the pieces while maintaining the shape integraty of the parts being molded.

    I have conclude that the rest of the project should be split into three parts:

    1. critical parts that are too unique or specialized will continue to be grown in hydrospan. These include hands, hinges and other special pieces.

    2. Simple designs and shapes will be constructed by means of scatchbuilding out of styrene.

    3. Alt mode shell will continue to come from the two donor helicopter I aquired for this project.


    Ok, so with all that said, I got to thinking "how the heck do I begin the scatch building of this monster?". I figure I start with some materials that I already am comfortable working with and run the scale numbers. I went with Foamboard, the same stuff I use to make my mold boxes. It is easy to cut and take hot glue well which making the project move quickly. I tried to find a multiplier that would translate to the existing pieces I have made. My first attempt at multiplying 1.6 twice resulted the parts to be a bit smaller than the chest ratio. So I did a back measurement by taking the difference of a expanded part to the original part and discovered the multiplier to be 2.75. With the scale multiplier in hand, I proceeded to build a mock up of the legs. At this point, I need to grow the hinges in the knees and the hips to complete the legs. I am feeling good about this so far. Here are some pics of the foamboard progress, sorry for the blurriness of the first one, but this should give you all a sence how big this guy is going to be:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. My03Tundra

    My03Tundra LOVES TO EDIT POSTS!!

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    Ebay:
    Lego's Bionicles sets. Search on eBay for cheap ones that have a LOT of ball socket joints. Also, look around at the discount stores to see what they have for items. I've found some interesting things at Big Lots, Tuesday Morning, and dollar stores.
     
  3. SharkyMcShark

    SharkyMcShark Hi. I'm better than you

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    As I understand it bionicle joints are used quite often in scratch builds. You could also look at the joints from those Neo - planet thingos.

    EDIT: Damn, beaten to it!~
     
  4. Kouri

    Kouri kupo

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    Ebay:
    Bionicles have a tendency to go on clearance come Black Friday. If you don't mind beating a few housewives to get to the toy aisle, a few Barraki ought to get the job done.
     
  5. Ra88

    Ra88 Dutchman!

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    Bionicles are good, but I recommend using some kind of stronger skeleton as well. Otherwise, they could collapse beneath the weight of the helicopter parts.
     
  6. Jedi_Master_Ben

    Jedi_Master_Ben Well-Known Member

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    Just an update on this, I started by molding the head and made a hydrospan cast of the head. I plan on growing this twice to achieve the size I need. I also have an idea on how to plan the bot construcion. I figure I can start building the bot frame parts with foambard and hot glue them together. Once I have the size of the parts figured out, I can worry about the finial materials to build it with. I would like to use styreen sheets, but I am not sure how thick the sheets I can get it. I have seen the white block like materials that Jizai Toys used to make the prototype figures from Japan, does anyone know what that stuff is?
     
  7. Jedi_Master_Ben

    Jedi_Master_Ben Well-Known Member

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    I updated the top with a pic of the first cast of Blackout's head using hydrospan.
     
  8. Yaujta

    Yaujta Not a Bear TFW2005 Supporter

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    HobbyTown USA sells styrene of all thincknesses, from paper thin to sheets about 1/4 inch thick. Some of the textured styrene is good for extra detail work. THey sell tubing and brass rods as well (good for joints and 'hydraulics').
     
  9. encline

    encline customizer of love TFW2005 Supporter

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    I know where I am going tomorrow!!
     
  10. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

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    Any GOOD hobby store should have various sheets. the two big companies are evergreen plastic (based out of WA! Woo HOO!) and Plastruct. Evergreen always seems to be the cheaper one, but that could be because it's local. I'm not sure what jizai toys uses, but i always thought it was styrene. Why it looks so smooth is becasue he used solvent cement instead of superglue. Solvent cement (the liquid watery kind) is always the best method since it leaves no buildup and chemically bonds the pieces together. problem is it takes an "art" to get it right wihtout to much glue, and it takes time to dry and cure. but you can take several sheets and after their done being glued together, you can't tell where the layers are.
     
  11. optimusawesome

    optimusawesome Well-Known Member

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    there was a thread a while back that said you can stiffen the ball joints by applying super glue to the balls. let it dry and harden and it stiffens them up considerably.
     
  12. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

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    of course, practice on a scrap ball joint before doing this. i'm not as big of a fan of this as others. i think there are better ways to tighten up a ball joint. clearcoating the ball has given me some good results. Even coating and there is less chance you'll glue your joint together.
     
  13. Jedi_Master_Ben

    Jedi_Master_Ben Well-Known Member

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    Update:

    I had decided to remold the head but this time have the head attached to the chest peice. This also leads into a change of plans for this project. With the success with my Bumblebee project and after talking with members here, I will now be molding and casting most of original voyager figure. But before going full out, I wanted to do a test to see how many times do I have to cast and remold the parts in order to get close to the Joe scale figures.

    I am pleased to report that I only had to mold and cast twice to achive the desired part size. I will have a comparison pic up later today.
     
  14. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    I like the change in plans I think...
     
  15. Jedi_Master_Ben

    Jedi_Master_Ben Well-Known Member

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    Update:

    Added the pic showing each growth stage.
     
  16. iDarkDesign

    iDarkDesign Rodeo Lawyer

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    Hey Jedi_master_ben,

    I was thinking. Would you do a hydrospan cast from a razorclaw sword? So that Predaking would finally have a decent size sword?

    What about hydrospanning BM Silverbolt? not many parts, no difficult transformation. But that chicken needs some proper hight! (and color) Last up. I would love to see a Hydrospan Vector Prime sword. Like Galaxy Convoy uses in the last episode to defeat Galvatron. It may need a little work to make it look right. (It's longer, but not reall bigger AFAIK)

    let us know!

    iDD
     
  17. rikkuluverx2

    rikkuluverx2 scout

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    good...good...:ev: ...

    -rikkuluverx2
     
  18. cefuroxx

    cefuroxx Well-Known Member

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    did you use a two part mold or what?
     
  19. Jedi_Master_Ben

    Jedi_Master_Ben Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I just finished making the mold for this part (head and chest piece). I pulled it out of the preasure pot during lunch break and I will be able to post cure it when I get home. It will take about 2hrs to post cure plus another to let the mold cool down and then I will be able to make a cast from it. I plan on casting it in dark grey. I will have pics of the cast part soon.

    Next will be to continue the rest of the cockpit pieces. I have to mold the first growth pieces and then do the second growth cast of hydrospan. Then repeat and do the finial cast in plastic, whew! Man I am tired from just typing all that, LOL!

    I am going to be working on this in stages, a section a month, so I budget my time and money on this project.

    Now let me answer some of your questions:

    iDarkDesign: "Hey Jedi_master_ben,

    I was thinking. Would you do a hydrospan cast from a razorclaw sword? So that Predaking would finally have a decent size sword?

    What about hydrospanning BM Silverbolt? not many parts, no difficult transformation. But that chicken needs some proper hight! (and color) Last up. I would love to see a Hydrospan Vector Prime sword. Like Galaxy Convoy uses in the last episode to defeat Galvatron. It may need a little work to make it look right. (It's longer, but not reall bigger AFAIK)

    let us know!

    iDD"

    Answer: Anything is possible with Hydrospan. Just rember that the rule of growth is 60% bigger than the original. So you would need to do the math to figure how large the piece would be or how many times you would need to grow and mold to achieve the size you want. As for the specific pieces you mentioned, I do not have any of those toys and parts. I only have the movie line which is the extent of my collection. IF I were to do a commission to grow those parts, you would have to understand that this is not a cheap venture to take on. Any inquires can be sent to me via PM.

    cefuroxx: "did you use a two part mold or what?"

    Answer: I mostly make envolope molds for my castings. Basically you cut a slit on top where you have the injection holes and resovouar (for excess plastic to sit and be absorbed while in the preasure pot). You can then pull the part from there and you don't have as much of an alignment issue that two piece molds sometimes have. You can find out more on mold making on line searches.

    Thanks again for everyones comments and questions. Until next time.
     
  20. Rhinox555

    Rhinox555 Insert clever joke here.

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    So how much does Hydrospanning usually cost,including all the molding and casting materials.
     

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