Heavy/Scratch: Various mods (of mods), custom stuff

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by ziltama, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. dragonflye18

    dragonflye18 Well-Known Member

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    lol i know the feeling i have two little girls a 3 year old and a almost 6 year old fixing stuff all the time too. and they are getting hooked on transformers tooo
    ( its all going to plan muahaha )
     
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  2. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    43b. Continuation of Matrix Workshop's Prowl kit

    This is to show the final versions. Fixed the chipped plastic with epoxy putty (caused when I tried to expand the port to allow the side cannons to fit): this will bond to PLA quite well as long as it's bare (unpainted) and scuffed up somewhat (not smooth). Decided it was easier to simply plug the entire port and then sand / file away.

    Drilled a pilot hole into the fully cured putty to allow for the precision files to get in. The kind I use ends up being harder than 3d printed plastic (smooth on brand). May not be obvious but if you look at the bottom of the port, the silver part is not even because of chips and the white epoxy has now filled it in. You can also see at the top how the side cannon wasn't painted near the tip.
    prowl2.jpg

    Filed and sanded down. The white epoxy has filled in gaps and doesn't get removed or dislodged when plugging in the side cannons. Again, not sure if obvious, but you can see the white epoxy making the bottom of the port level.
    prowl1.jpg

    Due to missing paint bits and some sanding / filing related scuffs, painted all 3 pieces. Used spray paints to avoid brush marks. Used 2 light coats of Tamiya gray primer, followed by 2 light coats of Tamiya black (needed as undercoat for silver and for the side cannons), waited a few hours for the black to dry (this is ok for light coats of sprayed Tamiya...other paints may vary) and then masked off the side cannons with their masking tape, did 2 light coats of metallic silver, and finally 2 coats of Krylon gallery series UV archival glossy spray (won't smear metallic silver unlike Tamiya clear spray).

    This did a partial job in hiding some print lines as well. Black looks super shiny in this photo.
    prowl3.jpg

    No more tinkering now.
    prowl4.jpg
     
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  3. Geminii

    Geminii Toyetic multiformophile

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    ...this would be a bad time for my brain to instantly start throwing out two-piece all-plastic non-pin hinge designs, wouldn't it?
     
  4. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Yep, bad time. Not planning to do hinges on that one. I do have various hinges here that I can “copy and paste” with molding but it’s a lot of extra work for something my son will end up breaking quickly.
     
  5. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    27b. Custom side ports for Legendary Nemesis Prime

    Made side ports earlier for Legendary Optimus Prime and simply made another set in black resin for Nemesis Prime version. The original mold was made from two parts glued together: 3rd party 5mm coupler piece cut down to size and a negative mold I made of the semicircular hole in the forearms. I've stopped using Smooth On's dedicated black resin: too much dye, gets too hot, and then causes shrinkage and air bubbles. Got too many failures. Now I just use their color matching resin and add a tiny bit of black opaque dye (their UVO line). Still have to be careful, though. If you add too much black dye, the plastic won't harden.

    Still have to do some post-processing work in order to get rid of the mold lines (only visible one in this pic is on the left piece on top of the port part) but turned out well.
    ports1.jpg

    Legendary Nemesis Prime's hands do work much better than vanilla version but can still have fun with side port shenanigans.
    ports2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
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  6. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    First, this is amazing work!

    Second, a question. I am trying to remove Siege Omega's chest and I encountered the long one-sided pin as you noted. How did you extract it? I am planning to drill a hole on the opposite side of the chest with a pin vise and then pin punching it out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  7. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Leader of the Scarlet empire

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    This is a thread i enjoy reading
     
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  8. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    You don't have to drill to get that long pin out. I don't remember how exactly I got it out, but after removing all the screws, you have to position the pieces in such a way that you can get pliers on the open end of the pin and then pull it out. The long pin only has knurls at the closed end piece, so you can start to (gently) pull and manipulate the other pieces on that long pin to get a small piece of the pin out the open end.
     
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  9. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    My pin is recessed flush, but there does seem to be enough room to get a grip in it. I guess I need to find some small needlenose pliers. Thanks!
     
  10. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    You can start pulling pieces off the pin, and actually, the long pin doesn't even have to be removed although it will make separating pieces easier. As you start to pull pieces off the long pin, you can start seeing exposed pin areas in the middle too, if you want to use that.
     
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  11. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Gotcha, thanks!
     
  12. Darkshot22

    Darkshot22 Member

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    these are all amazing!
     
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  13. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Miscellaneous:

    This shows an example of a mold problem. I was trying to make copies of a short sword and ended up making 4 total molds (2 at a time). Casted them in red clear resin. They all technically ended up perfect: no bubbles or surface issues...but 2 of the swords ended up "small".

    May not be too evident in the picture but the top 2 swords are shrunken down compared to the bottom two. The thin areas are about as thin as tissue paper for the small swords:
    misc1.jpg

    The curing times on the labels are merely "suggestions". May need to extend time by 20-30 minutes if becomes a persistent issue with your batch of silicone. All the swords look warped because the original is made of flexible plastic and is not going to hold perfectly straight under pressure and silicone. Going to use a heat gun to fix them.

    Another repair example using pin / nail method:

    I remembered why I try not to make molds of 3d printed parts. Thin sections are not strong enough to survive the demolding process. The barrel snapped. Used one of my smallest drill bits to make holes on both sides of the break to insert a pin. Honestly, after drilling the holes, the main blaster actually looked good as "uzi" style. Cut a finishing nail down to size to use as a pin. The nail I used was friction fitted to both sides, so if I want "uzi" style again, I can just take off the barrel.

    misc2.jpg
    misc3.jpg
     
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  14. Lunatic Prime

    Lunatic Prime Former Prime

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    I definitely prefer UZI style :) 
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  15. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    44. Fixing Matrix Workshop's Barricade / Smokescreen kit
    barri1.jpg

    Not going to go into as much detail as before, but it's similar to fixing their Prowl kit:
    Various mods (of mods), custom stuff

    NONE of the pieces, again, are useable out the box. Fixes are mandatory to avoid damage. TFSafari did say they have reached out to Matrix Workshop, so hopefully, their future kits will actually be useable without modifications.

    Main blaster issues: Oversized circle peg and undersized flat port. Compared to previous pegs, this one has, um, a new variant: 4.95mm x 5.15mm. 0.15mm is still too big for 5mm ports and can't fit without causing some sort of stress to the plastic. Unlike their other 5.3mm x 5.0mm pegs, if you overshoot in filing / sanding down the long axis, you WILL get a loose peg instead. So, keep checking and fitting to avoid overshooting (which is very easy to do with PLA). Aim for 5.0 to 5.05mm for the long axis.

    The flat port is undersized (around 4.8mm). Unlike my earlier attempt, it's better to use a circular / cone shaped precision file to gently expand the port to 5mm wide.
    barri2.jpg

    Side cannons: Oversized flat pegs in all 3 axes. Aim for 5.0 to 5.05mm by 2.5 to 2.55mm for the flat peg. Length is up to you. Unlike the Prowl kit, if you leave the peg at the same length, it will still fit relatively flush into the shoulder cannon ports. However, if you want the side cannons to fit flush into their blaster, then you need to shorten them until both cannons fit flush at the same time.

    Ridiculous this is all needed to avoid damage but hopefully future kits will fix this. Otherwise, I'm not buying again.

    45. Resin copies of CW shotgun blaster
    barri6.jpg

    More pictures are further below. We have CW Prowl, who comes with the white version of the shotgun blaster. We don't have the mold mates that come with the black version. So, made a black resin version. Then got the idea to make a gold one. For the gold one, can't readily make a shiny gold peg (well, there is, but I haven't tried it yet and concerned it will cause surface damage to plastic ports from the metallic powders used). Casted in clear red resin (because I was casting other stuff at the same time), did 2 light coats of Tamiya gray primer, 2 light coats of Tamiya black (needed as undercoat), and then 2 light coats of metallic gold (not their regular gold...the expensive metallic version which doesn't look grainy). Then sprayed over the gold with 2 light coats of Krylon gallery series UV archival glossy spray to protect the gold paint.

    46. Resin copy of Matrix Workshop's Barricade / Smokescreen kit with gold deco
    barri3.jpg

    The concept art featured gold weapons. Need to be very careful when making molds of 3d printed parts. Very thin sections may not survive the demolding process. As noted in the repair post above, the main blaster nozzle snapped off. My first resin cast also had the nozzle snap off. Made a larger incision into the mold and the 2nd attempt had an intact nozzle (at the expense of spending more time afterward with removing flash and mold lines). The side cannons didn't have these issues. Followed the same painting procedure as for the CW shotgun blaster in gold.

    barri4.jpg
    barri5.jpg

    This is a comparison photo of the originals with the copies:
    barri7.jpg

    Edit: The print lines are not as evident on the copies. This is NOT because of molding and casting (silicone "resolution" will simply copy the print lines). This is because of 6 layers of spray paint just to get a nice, even gold coat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  16. RLRazorback

    RLRazorback "I like to play...'

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    Ya know, looking at that gun repair and the "uzi style", if you: left the barrel off, took off the magazine, and lost the rise above the rear stock, you'd have a "Robocop style" pea shooter.
     
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  17. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    46b. Salvaging broken resin copy of Matrix Workshop Barricade / Smokescreen blaster

    I had originally tossed this but then decided to work with it. Did some post-processing (removed flash and mold lines, made peg a proper fit) and painted it. The original nozzle had broken into multiple pieces and was a pain to remove from the mold. Drilled a new nozzle hole for "uzi" style and tried gunmetal color this time. Looks OK but not the biggest fan of the color: looks more like sparkly dark gray. Because the resins I use can withstand short exposures to acetone, I can always get rid of all the paint easily and try again at a later time. (Do NOT attempt to use acetone on any manufactured plastic pieces.)

    This just shows what it looks like at various stages of painting (usually the most time consuming part of post-processing work after casting). I try to spray paint whenever possible to avoid brush stroke marks.

    Masking the handle with tape (you can pretty much use any type of masking or painters tape). If you do not mask the handle, the paint will scrape off into your ports.
    uzi1.jpg

    Applied primer: Typically, I spray 2 light coats (rarely 3). 1st coat will look like it missed (a lot of) spots, which is normal. 2nd coat will even things up. Used Tamiya gray primer spray paint. For some paints / materials, you could get away with not using primer. For 3d printed materials (and even resin copies of them), I like to use primer to help (partially) cover up the print lines.
    uzi2.jpg

    Then did 2 light coats of gunmetal spray. Technically, the paint went on like it was supposed to but turned out lighter than I wanted. I could go over it with light coats of smoke (transparent black) spray later or just repaint from scratch. Followed this by spraying on 2 clear coats to protect color (some metallic paints will warn you against this, so I use Krylon gallery series UV archival varnish spray for those).

    uzi3.jpg
     
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  18. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Tutorial on disassembling the center tank section / chest area of Omega Supreme
    @process

    I decided to spray acrylic clear coats on my custom clear red chest window piece to make it more shiny and transparent. Taught / reminded myself how to disassemble the tank again. Here goes...
    [Original yellow chest window in place for demo purposes and to keep dust out while waiting for clear coats to dry on custom red piece.]

    Tools needed:
    #0 Philips screwdriver, pliers (optional)

    Same photo as in the Omega Supreme head tutorial. You MUST use a #0 Philips screwdriver with a long neck in order to reach some of the screws. Precision screwdriver kits with exchangeable tips will not work. Also make sure tip is flat and NOT pinpoint, otherwise, you will strip the screw heads.
    screwdriver.jpg

    1. Remove the 4 screws. There are two long screws and two short screws (for the hinge cover). The other tunnels are empty.
    tank1.jpg

    2. This is the long pin holding the center tank area / chest piece together. You can only see the opening on this end, so cannot simply push out from the other end.
    tank2.jpg

    3. Gently pull apart the darker beige sides until you meet some resistance. Do not pull any further at this point. The arrow shows a potential stress mark area if you keep pulling at the dark beige sides (you would make a pseudo-hinge, which is bad). You can see the pin being exposed in the middle.
    tank3.jpg

    4. At this point, 3 of the parts may come off. In particular, don't forget to put the wheel part back when reassembling.
    tank4.jpg

    5. This shows the view from underneath. To avoid stress marks, the goal is to move the lighter beige hinge and use that to pull the pieces apart. The beige piece can freely (with some light resistance) move across the pin. The green circles show the part you should grab to move the lighter beige hinge. The lighter beige hinge will then be used to push against the darker beige part.
    tank5.jpg

    6. This shows the front side and after using the lighter beige hinge to further push the darker beige sides apart. Depending on how you shuffle the pieces on the hinge, you could use pliers to remove the pin or just keep using the light beige hinge to pull the main pieces apart. Finish taking the two darker beige halves apart.
    tank6.jpg

    7. Now you can finally remove the chest window section off its long peg. You can see the clear yellow circles from the back. Push on these to release the chest window.
    tank7.jpg
     
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  19. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Miscellaneous: Improving casting yields

    After probably spending way too much money on supplies and figuring out how to do many things on my own, finally starting getting 100% of my more recent batches to come out just right. Before, I'd be lucky if just a few from a batch turned out right. Smooth On's Crystal Clear resin is notoriously difficult to work with and often ended up with many failures. Slowly figured out how to improve yields. Their color matching resin is much more forgiving and much faster to work with. During holiday break, I'll try to make some videos.

    Now I've settled to just using Crystal Clear and color matching resins.

    When to use Crystal Clear: need water clear resin (no amber tint), need very strong and durable resin (even in very thin sections but must be fully hardened before use [i.e. heat]), and/or need very accurate peg / port measurements or need to cast pieces which are very sensitive to size changes (this stuff doesn't shrink when casted correctly). Crystal clear may be used to create opaque resins if you use opaque resin dyes.

    Additional safety precautions must be taken. My work area has an overhead vent. Otherwise, you will need to wear breathing mask / equipment.

    When to use color matching resin: easy to use for routine use, need faster and more forgiving casting options, and/or less concerned about matching exact measurements or dealing with possible shrinkage. This resin may be more susceptible to warping and be less rigid than above.

    Today, had successful 7 out of 7 Crystal Clear casts (just a sliver of clear blue dye [So Strong brand] as that stuff is ridiculously potent):
    casts1.jpg

    No bubbles or shrunken down pieces. This is after the first step in post-processing: cutting / removing flash and shaving off mold lines with a hobby knife / razor. The picture also shows one strategy I use to reduce failures: making resin wells. After air bubbles and gaps clear under pressure, the resin wells will help provide new resin into the molds. This is not exactly the same as making an air vent and sometimes I will combine both for large or highly irregularly shaped pieces. In the same incision used to cut open the mold, I'll cut out a well in the silicone (base is angled down towards the incision). Under pressure, the incision alone should help extra resin go into the mold. If that doesn't work, then you'll need to add another well or cut out an air vent that connects the well to the inner mold cavity.

    Next is fixing peg and port sizes (original is flexible plastic which may easily warp under pressure), using heat gun to fix warps (again, original is flexible plastic), and then spray with clear acrylic to make it smooth and improve transparency (again, original is flexible plastic which is typically matte...silicone will copy that texture which reduces transparency).
     
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  20. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    WIP: Omega Supreme head mod v2

    There are some things I wanted to change about the head mod. One of my issues was that a small part of the forehead painted area kept coming off and got stuck to the visor. There's an area where the two can potentially touch. Also, wanted to better match the colors on the rest of the toy and make it look more vibrant through the visor.

    Used crystal clear resin this time (did color matching resin last time and fit wasn't the best due to some mild warping in certain spots) and used opaque resin dyes to make a solid color cast. Took a while to figure out a good recipe: mainly white dye with a touch of yellow and brown dyes. Matches the color on the tracks and upper arms. Masked off the forehead and side tabs with tape. Sprayed the back (not shown) with black to avoid having the LED shine through the plastic. Spray painted the front with Tamiya Pure Orange spray, which matches the opaque orange on the tips of the clear orange pieces. Then I hand brushed the sides the of the face. I like using synthetic nylon brushes (white bristles) with acrylic paints and used one with a thin rectangular shaped brush. Put some Tamiya medium gray bottle paint into a small jar and then added their purple bottle paint until I got a match for the lavender gray areas on the figure.

    Then I sprayed clear coats when I was all done.

    head.jpg

    Reminds me of Thanos without the helmet.

    Edit: Some concerns about the upcoming LED mod by Shockwave Lab for Omega Supreme. I'm intrigued by the rocket tip LED replacement. I'm concerned, though, about their LED head mod. Their stuff usually comes with no instructions, and their prior LED kits had improperly sized battery chambers (battery did not reliably touch contacts). I hope people don't accidentally damage or break something on their OS heads. Also, you cannot 3d print clear eye replacements. With a head LED mod, you have to remove the lightpiping piece, which will then remove the eyes. I made my own replacement set, but with theirs, you will have missing eyes which will then look very strange. Taping clear cellophane would sorta work, I guess, for their kit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
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