Heavy/Scratch: WIP: OS KO Arcee to Masterpiece Arcee

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Snaku, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I guess I spoke too soon saying that I'd have to wait til tomorrow to finish installing the ball. The apoxie isn't fully cured but it was hard enough that I could carefully assemble her and position the balljoint to be attached to her lower torso. So here it is:

    ArceeBallJoint.jpg

    It doesn't look like much right now but by the time I get off work tomorrow, it should be hard enough that I can dissasemble her and work on sculpting the midtorso onto the upper side's balljoint.

    What I haven't figured out yet is how I'm going to assemble her when this is done. I had to cut off the upper screw on her crotch piece leaving only the one in her lower butt. That's just not going to be strong enough. I'll need to figure out a place to put a new screw hole (I can't just glue it because it would trap moving parts and I need them separate for painting when all the building is done. The problem is there's not much of her crotch piece left so it's going to be challenging installing a new screw hole. I'm sure I'll figure something out though.

    Btw, you can see that I've filled the gun ports on her "wings." I have no interest in plugging weapons there and the holes are unsightly so they get filled in. I've sanded the one on the left down to where it's level and should be invisible when painted. Tomorrow I'll sand the other one. I'll also sand and smooth the inner chest where I've filled it with apoxie. Not strictly necessary since it'll be covered in robot mode but I'm'a try to keep this thing looking as professional as possible.

    I'm excited! Despite a few minor bumps in the road, this is going very well and I should be able to accomplish most of my goals for her. The ball joint was the second most difficult part and it's done. The most difficult part is going to be sculpting the new belly. I'm optimistic that it will go well too. Wish me luck.

    Also, does anybody have any idea on how to remove her rear wheels from the split mushroom pegs they're on? I've tried squeezing them with pliers so the wheels can slip over but there's not enough area to grip and the pliers end up slipping and scratching the surface. I'd like to paint her rims and that would work better if the wheels were off.
     
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  2. SHADDO

    SHADDO Arashikage Decepticon

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    Use a hairdryer, set on high, for 30-60 seconds. That will soften the plastic JUST ENOUGH so that you can more easily squeeze the split mushroom peg together and pop the wheel right off, no problem.

    Do the same thing to the peg before popping the wheel back on, so it goes back on with less rub. Then stick one of your tools back between the pegs after popping the wheel on, while the plastic is still relaxed, and hold it there for several seconds, separating the peg back out as the plastic finishes cooling down. That will help keep its proper shape and tightness, without risk of popping off randomly.

    The hairdryer method is perfectly safe, and much better than sticking the plastic in boiling water, as boiling water will make the plastic more brittle, while the hairdryer simply softens without the chemical reaction of the plastic vs. boiling water. This is also effective for assembly/disassembly of virtually any plastic figure, where you have no pins, such as ball joints, split mushroom pegs, regular mushroom pegs, etc., or other tight fitting parts that could cause breakages or stress marks.

    Also highly effective with placing decals, particularly from Reprolabels/Toyhax, so that they conform to curvature and textured areas properly. For this purpose, DO NOT HEAT MORE THAN 10 SECONDS at a time or you risk melting/bubbling up the decals! Then take a plastic toothpick, or something similarly effective, to run across the decal, in order to smooth it out and get the corners and edges down.

    Hope this is helpful! Looking forward to seeing your progress and the finished piece!
     
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  3. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! I'll definitely give that a try.

    More updates. I've had to rip out and rebuild the top and bottom ball joints now. Top twice and bottom once. Sooner or later I'll get it right. Right now it's curing once again but I managed to get her partially assembled so I could snap a few photos.

    ArceeBallJoint3.jpg ArceeBallJoint1.jpg

    Kind of a goofy pose (she's only partially assembled with only a couple screws and no pins so getting her standing at all was tricky), but it showcases the balljoint and her new posability. I didn't mean to have her neck/collar out of joint but by the time I noticed it, she was already precariously balanced and I didn't want to try to set her up again.

    I've also sanded down her shoulders: I didn't like how big they were and, if I wanna' give her cap sleeves, they'll need to be smaller anyway. I'd like to bring them in a little closer to her body too to give her a more feminine shape. I'm not thrilled about cutting and gluing her arm posts though: just feels like no matter what I do they won't be as strong after that.
     
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  4. SHADDO

    SHADDO Arashikage Decepticon

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    Anytime! Hopefully that trick will be very useful here, but also later on. Let me know how it goes, and keep up the good work! She's turning out quite nicely!
     
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  5. primalxconvoy

    primalxconvoy グーグル 翻訳は素晴らしいです!

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    Great job so far.
     
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  6. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Minor update today. I wasn't able to do much more than reinforce the balljoint connections and begin to install the inner portion of her waist, which is a sheet of thin styrene wrapped around the ball socket and packed with apoxie sculpt to solidify it. When it's finished (the inner waist, that is), I'll coat it with XTC-3D which is an epoxy resin meant to fill in the striations in 3d prints but it should do fine to make a harder surface over the styrene. I'm waiting for the apoxie I added to both parts of the waist to cure so tomorrow I should be able to begin construction on the lower part of the waist which will complete her silhouette and get rid of the Raziel look she's got going right now.

    I've figured out how I'm going to assemble her torso. I'll add a screw hole into the bottom of the balljoint piece (really it'll be into the apoxie that's anchoring it) so that the crotch piece can be screwed into it. Then I'll make the lower waist portion install from the top down, either with screws or with magnets. Then the ball can go down inside it to make the final connection. That way I don't have to choose between depending on one screw to hold the crotch together or gluing it together with the legs trapped forever.

    Here's a shot I took before I disassembled her again to add the reinforcements. Not much new in the image since yesterday but it shows the posability again. Pictures like this will serve to keep me going if I start to lose steam: I just can't get over how much I love the added dynamic the waist and hands give her.

    ArceeWaistWIP2.jpg


    And here's the 3D design for the feet. I'm gonna' finish these up and take them to my buddy tomorrow for 3D printing. The ankle should fit into Arcee's legs where her existing feet are and it will allow ankle and toe posability. I've also put a 4mm hole into the heel into which an optional stiletto piece can be plugged. This way I can display her flat footed like G1 or with heels like some of her more recent interpretations.

    ArceeFoot1.JPG ArceeFoot2.JPG ArceeFoot3.JPG

    Once I've got the printed feet and I test and confirm that they work, I'll upload them to Shapeways and Thingiverse for anybody who wants them. They'll require one 1mm pin and one 2mm each to assemble.
     
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  7. GAUGE

    GAUGE Tin Foil Hats = Alternative Facts

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    I hope you fix her ugly face too.
     
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  8. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    It's on my to do list but it's not at the top. I've done a couple of test sculpts but they haven't gone well so I'm thinking it's off to shapeways. I've only done a little bit of 3d modeling but I'm pretty sure I can make a good face/head for her.
     
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  9. wwoptimusprime

    wwoptimusprime Till all are one

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    Just got mine in the mail today. She's awsome as is but, deffinetly want to try some of your mods. :) 
     
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  10. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Best of luck to you! The hip mod is fairly straightforward but some of the others are pretty challenging. I've been working on waist for.. what.. four or five days now? It's coming along but it's coming slowly.

    So not much new to report today. I tested her in alt mode again after all the detaching and reattaching I've had to do for the balljoint parts. It's very tight but she can still get into alt mode as long as I crank the balljoint as far back as it can go. If I had it to do again, I'd probably go a little further to make sure the ball joint doesn't extend her waist too much. I'd also slide her upper torso back a little on its part of the waist: set it so the front of the waist is directly under the front grill part of her car hood instead of behind it.

    I've started building the lower part of her waist. No pics because right now it's just some styrene covered in blue painter's tape and a bit of apoxie sculpt clay. I haven't quite figured out how it's going to anchor. I mean I know I want it to either screw in or use magnets; I'm just not sure where the screws/magnets will anchor.

    As for the articulated Gundam hands, I'm not sure I can really recommend them. They're very cool in theory but the fingers pop off way too easily and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I start losing them. I tried doing the superglue mod to thicken up the joints but that made it worse. I guess, since the joint is a 'C' shape that goes around a horizontal pin, thickening them with superglue made it so the 'C' doesn't wrap as far around the pin as it's supposed to. I'll try a few more things: hopefully I can get them to behave themselves.
     
  11. TigerBlade

    TigerBlade Prepare for extermination

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    Awesome work so far! Keeping an eye on those feet :) 
     
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  12. OMEGAPRIME1983

    OMEGAPRIME1983 Well-Known Member

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    I very much enjoy where this is going.
     
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  13. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Sorry no update yesterday. Work on the waist is incredibly slow going. I had made some progress yesterday but it was mostly a taped together mess that wouldn't have been very revealing in photos so I didn't post anything.

    I moved her waist forward a little so it sits under her "rib cage" instead of behind it. Just slightly but I think it's an improvement. It means that all of the original plastic from her waist is now buried since there was no way to dig it out without completely destroying the progress I'd made and starting over, but that's fine. I've built the lower waist. It needs work: once the apoxie is fully cured, I'll be filing it down a little on the left side (my left; her right) to make it more symetrical with the other side. The hard ridges on her belly are temporary. I'll get the middle section evened out with sandpaper and those edges straight and then I'll fill in the sides. The idea is there will be a hard edge there but it won't be so concave on the outside sections. I'll also be partially filling in her "belly button" since I carved it too big

    I abandoned the idea of having her lower waist be a separate piece: there was just no way to get it lined up correctly without just building it directly onto her hips. Instead, the front of her crotch is now fused with the front of the bikini (for lack of a better word), and it wedges in under a screw I installed inside her belly. Then the screw in her butt gets installed and it makes a secure connection on both sides rather than putting all that stress on a single screw.

    ArceeWaistAssembled.jpg
    ArceeWaistAssembled2.jpg
    ArceeWaistAssembled3.jpg
    ArceeWaistAssembeledBack.jpg

    As you can see from the last pic, her back still needs quite a bit of work. Unfortunately, even after I'm done, there will be a slight gap where the button edge of the ball joint will be visible. I discovered when I assembled her in alt mode yesterday that I had lengthened her torso slightly and that, for her to fit in alt mode, her waist will need to be arched back as far as it can go. She still looks exactly like she should in alt mode, but it means I have to leave the back of her waist open just a little more than I'd like to accommodate the required flexibility.

    I'm hoping my friend with the 3d printer will have the feet for me tomorrow, but I told him not to worry if he has to put it off for a while. He just got the thing and has been printing nonstop for himself and for our coworkers who've requested stuff. I was also PM'd by @Big Hache who is working to make a new head to be possibly uploaded to Shapeways.

    Now that I look at her in these assembled pics with the new waist, her linebacker shoulders are really standing out to me. I'll have to give some thought to how I'm going to bring them in. I already sanded them a little smaller last week, but it's not enough.

    [Edit] I realized I've been talking about adding the waist joint to get rid of the permanently arched back yet I haven't shown it from the side so that the change is visible. Here's a side shot. Note that I'm going to file down the upper waist part in the back where it's sticking out too far.
    ArceeWaistAssembledSide.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
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  14. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Minor update. Might have a bigger one later tonight when I've had more time to work on her. My friend brought the new feet to work today and they're glorious. I had to take a torch to one of the pins to open up the holes a little (I left no space for tolerance at all because I'd rather it be too tight and have to work it than too loose), but I got the pins in. A little sanding to the ankle joints and they fit nicely.

    ArceeFeet1.jpg

    A little sanding to the heel pegs and they plug in nicely: high heels look great!

    ArceeFeet2.jpg

    And prior to assembling them, I tried the ankle pieces in her legs and they fit great. I'm so glad I was careful about measuring all of the relevant distances and such....

    ArceeFeet3.jpg

    ....except one. How did I miss that?!

    So yeah, I'm going to be changing the design a bit so that it'll fit between her ankle covers. I'll probably still sand and finish these feet in case I decide to cut off the ankle covers and build my own (I'd like them to be jointed so they move with the feet), but I haven't decided that I definitely want to build new ankles and I want these feet to be usable by anybody else who wants a set printed, so it's back into Blender I go.

    [Edit] filed down her belly a bit so it's shaped a little better and is more symmetrical. Still needs some work but it's closer. I couldn't resist posing her with her new feet even though they don't fit (I sanded one of them down to see how it would look - not bad but I think, when I get a design that works, I'll end up ordering a set from Shapeways). Also I think I'm going to have to give up on the articulated hands. The fingers won't stay on at all and it's just getting worse every time I mess with them. I think it started when I tried to use the super glue trick to tighten them: it had the opposite effect and they've just continued to degrade since then. Fortunately I have a second set (I bought two in case I screwed one up), so when she's getting closer to finished, I'll break them out and I'll try to take better care of them this time around.

    ArceeWIP.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
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  15. SHADDO

    SHADDO Arashikage Decepticon

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    Awesome work! I love the feet you've designed. Nicely done!
     
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  16. Scourgatron

    Scourgatron What of it?

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    I can't wait to get a pair of these feet.
     
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  17. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I wish they fit. I'm going to have to do some serious redesigning but I'm hopeful that they'll evoke the same style when I'm done.

    Not much to report today. I got a os ko warbo today so I spent much of the evening transforming and posing him and then rearranging my display to make him fit. I did some more sanding today and I think the lower portion of her waist is finished. Well except for a small panel I need to add to the back to partially cover the ball joint.

    Still trying to work up the nerve to cut her arm stalls so I can bring her shoulders in. I think, when my 2mm metal rods/pins arrive, I'll do the shoulder mod and I'll drill into the stalks a bit so I can epoxy in some pins to provide some reinforcement. The apoxie is nice and strong but it's kind of brittle so I'd rather have it reinforced.

    Once the shoulders are moved in, I'll see about making the sleeves to cover the ball joint holes. And that should be all the surgery that's left. New feet once I've reengineered them and a new head will round out the package. I don't think I'll reshape the lower legs like I'd planned: I'm not as good at the straight mechanical edges as I'd hoped and I don't want to ruin them. I might take a stab at designing a 3d printed set though.

    Oh and I've still got to fill in her thigh holes. Oh and move the wheels from her legs to the back of the car and engineer some hinges to move them. And then the thigh fillers. Never mind, I'm nowhere near done :p 
     
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  18. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    Man, this looks awesome!

    Where are you getting your pins? I've found some places where I can buy 2mm pins for cheap in bulk, but it'd be nicer if I had a local shop where I could find them. I'm specifically interested in 2mm x 30mm ~ 2mm x 40mm pins.
     
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  19. Ellamin

    Ellamin Heroes protect Freedom! not safety! BAKA!!

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    ooh, I like it even more than before! I kinda want this to inspire an upgrade kit or something for both versions of her.
     
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  20. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    I just ordered then from Amazon. Ordered the 1mm metal pins a few months ago and then ordered some 2mm more recently. I wish I could find some with knurled ends but all I found were just straight pins.

    That would be pretty cool. I actually wish they had done a black Apple os rather than a straight os. Still it's a fun project and I'm really enjoying it so I suppose it works for me as is.

    I realize I said thigh fillers twice in my last post. The first one was the sides to replace the saddlebags. The second will be removable fillers for the backs of her thighs to cover up the wheel hole once I move them.
     

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