Customs: TGping's Scratchbuilding process

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by TGping, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. TGping

    TGping Well-Known Member

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    TGping’s scratchbuilding process
    I have some experience with sculpey maquettes and a lot of illustration experience. Add that to everything I’ve seen on the Radicons page and I have a solid understanding of how I want this to go.
    First I need a concept. In this instance I’m making an armor set for classics Optimus. So I start out with a to scale drawing with at least a couple of different views
    Here:
    [​IMG]

    After I know what you want, I need to measure and plan for everything, on a separate piece of paper, its time to draw transparent and exploded views of everything. Do this especially if you are on a budget :)  Prevents a lot of mistakes from happening.

    And before I go further here are some tools I use:
    Jeweler’s saw- handy for cutting metal and styrene.
    Retractable X-acto cutter- very precise
    Needle nose pliers-you’ll see
    Scissors-cut styrene super easy
    Multiple files- what I use personally for sanding
    Zap-a-gap superglue- my preferred brand
    Insta-set- SAVES A LOT OF TIME
    Small 6-inch metal ruler- must have cork on back.

    Alright, the basis of my building technique. First I draw the shape I want, note the measurements, and draw it as many times as I think I need to build up thickness.
    [​IMG]


    Now I SCORE everything, not cut. USE A RULER TO GUIDE YOU! LoL, sorry I didn’t use one here, very difficult to take pics with no hands. The cork backed rulers don’t slide as much on styrene. And the metal doesn’t get cut by the blade.
    [​IMG]


    I then snap the pieces off that I scored. Yes, no cutting :)  I find cutting all the way through messes up my hands pretty bad. I clench. It all snaps off real easy like.
    [​IMG]


    For really small pieces that need to snap off, I use the needle-nose pliers.
    [​IMG]


    Here they are!
    [​IMG]


    This next step is equally as important as sanding, its called laminating. I glued the pieces together to make a thick piece and then coated the edges in glue… the coating of the edges is actually the laminating part. I’m layering, and laminating. The laminating fills in all the cracks there may be between the layers of styrene. After sanding there shouldn’t be any seams or holes in the edges :) 
    [​IMG]


    Now to change the subject a little… I figured this out on my own. In the pic below you can see the leg guard on the left has huge gaps in it. On the right leg guard I filled in the gaps with Aves Apoxy fixit sculpt. Then I sanded it down. Rather than layering huge spaces like this I just filled them in :)  Still I decide when I should and shouldn’t layer or fill.
    [​IMG]


    Any questions?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. reluttr

    reluttr Well-Known Member

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    Finally a scratch building tutorial! I hope to see more information about this in the future :D 

    Can you please make a tutorial on building other general parts like henges, joints, and ect?

    Also do you have any suggestions for just building a hollow box using the least amount of materials? Because I am wanting to build a skyscraper type tower for a project, but I don't want to make it solid because it would weigh way to much. So my overall goal is to build a sturdy, hollow, light skyscraper. :D 
     
  3. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome, please do more

    Seconded.
     
  4. TGping

    TGping Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys, I sure will, I'm currently building some of those, so when I get to them, I'll post them :D 
     
  5. Quantum_Anomaly

    Quantum_Anomaly Scratch Basher

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    Thirded...yeah, i said it.

    We need to get the best bits of scratchbuilt hinges from you, lobo, and the rest and post them all in a sticky for reference.
     
  6. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    that's really cool. looks like a painful long process. Why not cut 1 of that shape, then use it as a template to trace and cut the rest? To thicken up a custom styrene part, I usually glue the shape on a larger piece of styrene, then when dry cut around and done.
     
  7. TGping

    TGping Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I just haven't quite gotten to the hinge parts, I'll definitely depict how I do them.

    Well, for me, its all about streamlining the process. If I do each piece of styrene like that, I pick up and drop the pencil more, pick up and drop the xacto knife more, pick up and drop the glue more. So I try and use the pencil all at one stage, cut all in one stage, glue all in one stage, and sand in one stage.

    I'm trying to save time. Although, sometimes I will trace an already cut piece, but results vary on those. I find ruling everything out is more consistent. Thanks for pointing this out though, I meant to bring it up earlier :) 

    The gluing of an existing piece to a larger sheet is new to me, Ima try that out soon :) 
     
  8. TGping

    TGping Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the double post, but I have some more to add :) 

    Here is something I just tried, I wanted to make a mold of the bottom of primes feet. The bottom is made up of a series of crevices that would be perfect for the Ginrai armor to plug into. So I took this pic in case it was a bad idea to do :D 

    [​IMG]

    And a couple of hours later

    [​IMG]

    Luckily it worked, however I only gave this about 5 hours, meaning I didnt use 24 hours to cure the Aves Apoxy fixit sculpt. Any longer, and it MAY have fully bonded to prime.

    I intend to sand these down and glue styrene all over them. Just thought I'd share :) 
     

    Attached Files:

  9. OMEGAPRIME1983

    OMEGAPRIME1983 Well-Known Member

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    interesting way to make things. Thanks for the insight, this is very helpful, and I too would like to have an idea as to how to make hinges and joints.
     
  10. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    I'm loving this thread; keep up the good work :thumb 
     
  11. Cyber-Kun

    Cyber-Kun UNLEASHED!

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    how difficult is it to score the styrene?
     
  12. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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  13. TGping

    TGping Well-Known Member

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    Still not quite there yet, but it will be :) 

    Thanks Superquad7 :) 

    Much less difficult than actually cutting through it, I only make one oass over with the blade before I snap the plastic.


    :) 
     
  14. JSP

    JSP Well-Known Member

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    this is great i'm just trying scratching building for the first time and this helps a lot thanks
     
  15. Shadowbreaker

    Shadowbreaker \/ /\

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    Wow, what a Coincidence!

    Good tutorial, there.
     
  16. TGping

    TGping Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys!

    This is the natural follow up to that mold technique I used... check out how I sanded the apoxy down enough to attach styrene panels to:
    [​IMG]

    Here's an in progress shot:
    [​IMG]

    Same progress shot, but I want you to notice the underlying structure, hollow and everything. At this scale you wont have to worry too much about strength, but keep it in mind:
    [​IMG]

    Hollow arm piece... I didnt take a pic of it, but I attached a long tube to the forearm piece that goes through the hand piece and into prime's actual fist:
    [​IMG]

    Beginnings of a fist, which I then applied apoxy to and sculpted by cutting and sanding:
    [​IMG]

    This shows more progress of the chest part, filled with apoxy:
    [​IMG]

    Crotch guard! the beginning:
    [​IMG]

    The power of friction! Seriously, just friction:
    [​IMG]

    And this is one of my more in depth techniques, I took some sticky tack(stuff for keeping posters on the wall) and attached it here(its the yellow globs) :
    [​IMG]

    Then I attached the other piece of shaped styrene to where I want it to be:
    [​IMG]

    And here it is glued in place:
    [​IMG]

    This pic shows a lot of the places I put apoxy, its the gray areas:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the last in progress shot, its all primed in gray:
    [​IMG]
     

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  17. Shwiggie

    Shwiggie Likeable dryskinned biped

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    I'm reasonably certain this is mentioned elsewhere on the board, but after a few days of casually browsing I haven't been able to determine the best place from which to order styrene materials or in what form. I've heard how different people have been using dowels, tubes, and sheets, but what sizes are typical? Or do you order to fit the particular project? And is a certain order size required in general?

    For instance, I've started working on a new weapon for Generations Thunderwing (modeled after his four-barreled cannon from the Marvel comics), so I'm down for rods and sheets. But generally speaking, what's the best solution for procurement?
     
  18. TGping

    TGping Well-Known Member

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    I like to use 1.0mm thick sheets, as far as rods, see if there are 5.0mm ones so you can use them for pegs, and then go smaller from there.

    I just go to an online store... there's a link to online stores in one of the scratchbuilkding tutorials. There are some hobby stores that carry styrene, but if you need it really fast, you could get some of those plastic "for sale" signs that wal-mart has. Its pretty much the same stuff.

    The sheets are about the size of printer paper, so you'll almost always be cutting it down to size. Not sure if this answers your question.

    I'll see about looking up those links to, I forget exactly which one it is.
     

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