Heavy/Scratch: Masterpiece Charlene (for Skids)

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Snaku, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Charlock

    Charlock Well-Known Member

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    That turned out very nicely! Hopefully it's enough to keep your post in this forum... hahaha.

    Seriously, though. It looks fantastic in print! In makes me wonder how the rest would turn out. Do you trust your printer enough with all the joints, or are you going to hold off and have it printed through Shapeways, or some other service?
     
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  2. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Yeah, it's "good enough" now that I could finish her on my printer and paint her up and she'd look fine next to Spike. I've gotten hooked on these DND minis, though, that are called "HD minis." They've got such crisp details and they look wonderful so now that's what I want for Charlene and any other figures I might make.

    As for printers, I use a maker select. It's a decent entry level starter printer that went for $300 when I got it almost two years ago. There are a lot of mods available for it that can make it pretty damn nice. Some people are able to get some really nice results from theirs but I've done all the mods and I'm still plagued with vibration issues - that's what caused the rough ripply looking texture on Charlene's face and it probably contributed to her eyelids not forming correctly.

    Someday I'd like to get a resin printer as those give much nicer and sharper results. There's a fairly inexpensive one that a few of my friends have called the Duplicator 7. The stuff that comes off of it is impressive looking but it isn't quite precise enough. It's like it prints the piece but then a thin layer of resin clings to the outside and comes along for the ride. In my tests of items they printed for me, it added about 50 microns to the outside of the model (5% of a mm}. That doesn't sound like much but when you're making a piece that fits inside another piece, 50 microns on each side means it's 100 microns thicker than planned. And the part it's meant to fit in gets that same 100 microns on the interior of the hole and now you're off by 200 microns which is enough to ruin a small project like this. It also means that tiny details, like her pupils would be mostly filled in.

    I'm going to print the rest on my printer to test for tolerances. Need to make sure the pegs will go into the holes and stay there and have enough tension for an action figure joint. I can make the joints stronger by changing the angle the pieces are printed at. The weakest part of a print in the layer separation. Since each layer is drawn in melted plastic on top of a previous layer that's already cooled, the bond isn't great. It'll remelt the previous layer a little but it's still a weak bond. So a pole or peg printed vertically will snap pretty easily. But if you print it horizontally or at a fairly steep angle, it's much stronger. So what I'll need to do is try to find the best angle for each piece that minimizes how much the supports touch the joints while maximizing the angle of the stress parts.

    There is a way to fix the layer weakness. You throw the piece in the oven at a fairly high temperature but not high enough to melt the plastic. This causes it to recrystallize and form a much stronger bond - this is called annealing. Unfortunately, it also causes the pieces to stretch vertically and shrink horizontally so it's only practical for pieces that don't need precise dimensions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  3. GAUGE

    GAUGE Well-Known Member

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    sexiest minifigure I've ever seen. Nice job so far. Could you also work on a modernized version of her using todays skimpy carwashing attire and perhaps a more current trendy hairstyle? :D  I'd like it to display with other MPs I own. :) 
     
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  4. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I try not to let my pervert flag wave too high but I'm not going to try to pretend that I'm making her for any reason other than that she's sexy. I mean I liked the character and her story and all that but I'm sure I wouldn't have been as moved by it if she weren't hot and I certainly wouldn't be going to all this trouble to make a figure of her.

    As for a modern version, I'm not really taking requests on projects. I've got enough that I already want to do and will probably never finish (next one is a Nendoroid style Arcee figure). I'm also not sure what a modernised version would be. Daisy dukes and a midriff tank top are fairly timeless and her hair is just cowgirl hat hair which I don't think has really changed.
     
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  5. Digger

    Digger ごはん は おかず

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    Aww. Okay.
     
  6. betsuni

    betsuni Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the printer suggestions. I'll take a look at them to figure out which one I'll land with as my first attempt.
     
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  7. NOCV

    NOCV Cretin of Kaon

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    Dude, this work is off the charts!

    Once you have the model finalized, I'd recommended printing it through Shapeways in their fine detail acrylic plastic. You'll get a real smooth surface and ultra sharp details. That's what I do my cassettes in, and I can't imagine Charlene costing more than like $10-12 to print depending on how you sprue her parts.
     
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  8. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    That's my plan. I have your cassettes from Shapeways. Still sprued up. I need to get around to finishing them but the whole dying thing has me kind of intimidated.

    But yeah, I've got it tentatively finalized now. Took longer than I expected because some of my modifiers were clashing and getting angry so I had to repair parts of the model - not overly difficult but time consuming. While I was at it, I added the outward hip articulation and realized I'd screwed up pretty badly so I had to make some pretty drastic changes to her upper thigh and her waist area. I think I'll get back to test printing tonight and, if all goes well (hahaha, it's not going to go well on the first try), get it ready for Shapeways.
     
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  9. NOCV

    NOCV Cretin of Kaon

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    Oh man, that is literally the easiest part. Make sure you use a container that you don't mind staining, microwave a cup of water long enough that it's almost too hot to stick your finger in, mix in a pack of Rit and then toss your parts in. Let'em soak until the water's cooled, then rinse them clean. Easy peasy.
     
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  10. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'll have to get around to doing that. Every now and then I'll see the print sitting in my work room and imagine how cool they'd look with my Legends collection.

    Anyway, print tests have resumed. First torso test is a failure - the head didn't fit at all until I dremelled it out a bit and even then it doesn't sit snuggly at all. But that's what these tests are for so I'll get to making adjustments and see if I can get it to fit. In the meantime, here's the print with the head attached. Once again, MP Spike for scale.

    IMG_20190209_125741.jpg

    Note that I haven't sanded her chest at all, hence the rough texture. I printed it laying on its right side so that I could keep the shoulder sockets clear, which is why you may note a rougher texture on that side - supports break off pretty well but they'll always leave marks.

    Seeing her in physical space, wow, I didn't realize just how stacked she was. Somehow her boobs don't look as big on my computer screen. Oh well, I doubt I'll convince anybody I'm not a huge perv at this point so I don't think I'll worry about it :p 
     
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  11. betsuni

    betsuni Well-Known Member

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    Looking good! At least the size is close to Spike to make her work.

    I died of laughter at this. Especially since you made this figure just for that one scene in the comic.

    Can't wait to see more.
     
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  12. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    I mean it wasn't only for that one scene. I also wanna do the damsel in distress scene with Megatron. And have her sit in Skids' seat.

    Waist printed out pretty well. I had do dremel out the hole for its peg but once I did, it went in nice and tight and is holding perfectly. Making the holes bigger seems to be a common theme - I did set the cutouts a little bigger than the pegs but I guess it wasn't enough.

    Unfortunately, the hip joint didn't work. It just doesn't grab the hip socket at all. I tried to give her an outward hip movement but I guess I'll need to make the peg quite a bit smaller than the ball socket for that to work.

    Here's the latest pic. Chest sanded, waist installed, and thigh held on with blue tak. I'll pick this up tomorrow and get some more pieces printed - got places to go tonight. Then I'll spend some time this week refining all the joints for the next round of tests.

    IMG_20190209_144022.jpg

    [Edit] And what the heck, here's a pic of her booty. It's a little torn up because that's where the supports were.
    IMG_20190209_145350.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  13. betsuni

    betsuni Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I know the other scene you are talking about (and will be fun to make once you have her done).

    Nice! When her chest is cleaned up it doesn't look that big now. Sucks that the hip joint didn't work out like you planned yet. But it is looking really good!
     
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  14. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Hey, question: does anybody know if the human figures coming with MP-44 are the same size as their previous ones? If they're a larger scale, I'd probably want to size my figures to them which would let me have stronger joints.
     
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  15. betsuni

    betsuni Well-Known Member

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    I was trying to figure that out by looking at these photos from the 44 thread.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then comparing to it to my Ironhide in person with the existing Spike. Honestly it looks like they could be either the same size or a hair smaller. I honestly can't really tell other than they seem to have more articulation than the original Spike.
     
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  16. Hicks_Royel

    Hicks_Royel Possibly a manchildren...maybe?

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    I believe the new figures use articulation similar to the Diaclone pilots.

    The eyes look much better.
     
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  17. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    IMG_20190210_102911.jpg

    First round of test prints compete! The shoulder to torso peg and the elbow to upper arm pegs didn't form correctly and the hand got mangled but other than that it all went well. The arm articulates exactly as I'd hoped and seems to be reasonably sturdy. The knee bends just over 90 degrees which is decent but I think I'll try for more so she can go into a kneeling pose. The knee peg actually snapped when I handled her a little too roughly but that's what I get for printing that part on its side with the peg perpendicular to the layer lines - I was asking for it to break. So far none of the other joints have broken.

    I should be able to fix the malformed parts by changing the angle it prints at so all I really need to redesign is the hip joint and I need to add some range to the knee. All of the pegs required sanding to go in but I think it's actually better to start with too tight and sand it down than start with too loose.

    IMG_20190210_105253.jpg

    Please excuse the blue tak in her hip and knee joints. I wanted to show their range. Also note her forearm is extremely rough because I made no effort to clean it up due to the mangled hand.
     
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  18. betsuni

    betsuni Well-Known Member

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    Wow, nice articulation there! Especially the arms and joints. I agree it is always better to have more and sand down than less and falling apart. One thing that is interesting is learning all the things that are required to do 3D printing. Thanks for sharing the details of this adventure.
     
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  19. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Yeah, there's really an art to getting the best results out of a printer. Especially a fairly low quality one like mine. I'd like to think I'm pretty good at it but then I go and print a mangled arm, weak knee pin and malformed shoulder and elbow pins, and her toes didn't form either.

    Still, it was a test and I got what I need from the test so it's a win.
     
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  20. betsuni

    betsuni Well-Known Member

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    At least you have the opportunity to test your models. Plus some of those pieces came out really well.
     
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