Some beginner questions

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by CyberShadow, Oct 18, 2008.

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  1. CyberShadow

    CyberShadow Wheeljacks Lab

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    Hi. I am a big tabletop wargamer, and have rediscovered my old Transformer collection, so bashing a few together seems like an obvious next step. Typically for me, I have not actually started anything yet, but I do have at least six projects already lined up. :D 

    Anyway, I do have a few questions...

    1. Joints seem to be the toughest part. I know that there is a thread here about them already, but I wondered if people most often made their own joints and hinges, or if they cannibalised these bits from other Transformers and robot model kits? I thought about picking up a couple of cheap Gundam kits for this, or some broken Transformers from eBay, but most joints and hinges seem to be not too difficult to make.

    2. Painting. I hate the thought of my paint getting worn away. I know that Krylon is popular (a car primer, right?), and a sealant is a must, and I will probably be using Vallejo since I have a load already. Any tips on this? In particular, what about painting joints and moving parts? Wont these bits have a life span measured in minutes?

    3. How do you guys make sure that the final product will be able to support its own weight and actually stand on its own? Is there a secret to this?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    Welcome to Radicons! You've made the right choice. :D 

    Let's have a go at these here questions...

    1: All of the above, and pretty much whatever works. Generally I'd say if you've got a junker fig that can provide you with a joint you'll find useful, cannibalise it.
    If you think you can easily knock up a joint yourself (especially things like simple hinges for flaps etc, which take virtually no effort to make), then go for that.
    It's also worth looking at certain model kits with joints, like Lego's Bionicles, Knights Kingdom and Exoforce ranges, and MegaBloks Neo Shifters.

    2: Krylon Fusion is probably the popular paint you're referring to, which is a spray specially formulated to bond to plastics. I've never tried it myself, as it's a US brand, not available over here, but I've heard a lot of good.
    I'm using Vallejo paints as well, among others, and I love 'em, they should do you fine. But you're right, painting moving parts is tricky. You need to check your fig to find the areas that will rub while you're playing with it, and try to clear room for the paint, by sanding or filing the surfaces. It helps to wash your fig in detergent first, as it helps clear of any grease, and the paint will adhere better.
    And you're right, a clearcoat of some sort will be hugely beneficial. I've just recently jumped on the bandwagon and got the local version of Future Floor Finish (it's called Klear here), and that makes for a fantastic topcoat. You also want to make sure your paint's cured properly before you mess with it too much.

    3: I'm not sure what you mean here. Are you referring to heavy mods where you've built your own legs or something? In which case, it's pretty much a case of making sure your structure is nice and robust, and that you're using suitably tight joints for the purpose.

    Hope that's of some help.
     
  3. CyberShadow

    CyberShadow Wheeljacks Lab

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    Thanks. Useful stuff. My aim is to become a full Radicon as soon as I can, but given my habit for starting projects and being distracted by the next shiny toy... it could take some time!

    I guessed that Krylon would be difficult to find over here. I will probably stick to my current primers - GW and Halfords car sprays. They have worked well so far.

    By standing these things up, I guess that I am worried about joints holding in place to support the figure. And, yes, when I build my own leg structures. If I throw together a robot which moving parts, how can I be sure that - when it is done - it will be able to stand without just falling down and the hips/knees/ankles not holding it up? Especially when these joints often need to be movable for transformation?

    Many thanks.
     
  4. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    Ah, you're a local. :D 
    For joints, balljoints are great, as long as they're suitably tight (like Bionicles), and as long as they don't have to support too much weight. They can take a fair bit, but if you're using them on as ankles on a heavy figure, they may fail you.
    Both Neoshifters (I believe) and Knights Kingdom/Exoforce provide excellent ratchet joints, so they'll hold their position with a lot more weight on them.

    As for priming, I must admit I rarely prime myself, although I do wash and sand my figs now to get a decent tooth. As long as I do the multiple thin coats thing, I find it still covers well with little hassle. I am now occasionally using Vallejo Model Color Foundation White, when a primer's really necessary.

    Oh, and grab yourself some Klear floor polish. I'm not sure how available it is where you are (I grabbed it off Amazon), but you'll be glad you did. As a topcoat, it's hard to beat.
     
  5. Cinemastique

    Cinemastique Earth Culture Specialist

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    Scour the "Tutorials and How-To" section on here for LOTS of tips from the more experienced.

    Another handy use for Future Polish (Klear for you Brits) is tightening up those loose leg joints! It's a little more negotiable than nail polish, and it's good to get a few uses out of something. Careful... some of my figs have gotten TOO tight!

    Also, don't sweat the "Full Radicon" thing. Even among the elite guys here (you'll get to know them very well), being a Radicon is never about rate of production. What's most important is to customize for your own joy! Some experienced bashers turn out a custom a week, but others who've been doing it just as long can spend months meticulously detailing a project (a-HEM, you know who you are).

    The oohs and ahs are nice at the end, of course, but go for quality and fun above all! All the best!
     
  6. Nemesis Predaking

    Nemesis Predaking Offical Enforcer WTF@TFW Veteran

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    Each Radicon has there own style & methods that works best for them.
    It's just a matter of finding what's best for you & what you can find in your area that is readily available

    Myself I use Krylon Fuison & Krylon Outdoor spaces (tougher then Fusion).
    For detailing I stick with Testors paints as I can get them anywhere.

    You can check out the "show off your workbench" thread.
    http://www.tfw2005.com/radicons-customs/general-discussion-10/show-off-your-workbench-144130/?catid=searchresults&searchid=11463
    It will give you some insight as to what other Radicon use as far as tools & such.

    The "Tutorials and How-To" section is also a great palce to look.
    I don't thing a week goes by I don't look it over to see what else I can learn.

    Some things you will want to have on hand are 90% or higher Isopropyl Alcohol & some sticky tac
    (for masking off area's that tape will not get).

    Have fun with it & don't be afraid to ask questions.
    Bashing is all about doing what makes you happy, If we like it after all is said & done. it's a bonus.
     
  7. CyberShadow

    CyberShadow Wheeljacks Lab

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    Thanks for your comments guys. I will try to get something started and post here as soon as I can... I dont feel like a 'full member' of this section until I have at least posted one WIP picture!
     
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