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

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

  1. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Miscellaneous: Post-processing Magic

    This shows more of the work done during post-processing, which often ends up being longer than the actual molding and casting times. I used to do almost nothing: just pick flash off with my fingers. Now, it's a lot more work depending on the piece and what needs to be fixed. Later on, I may do a peg specific post.

    When making a new chest window for Omega Supreme, I had leftover red resin. Used that to make some more Kremzeeks using molds made in the past.

    1. Removing casts from mold. This is what totally unprocessed pieces look like. Used Smooth On Crystal Clear resin with So Strong red dye. Heated treated pieces BEFORE demolding for 2 hours at 150 degrees F to let them fully harden to avoid warping. Otherwise, would need to wait a week to fully harden.
    kremzeeks1.jpg

    2. Cleaning up flash (excess resin). This process may take a few minutes to several hours depending on the complexity of the piece. I try to avoid using 2 part molds for a reason: flash cleanup is a nightmare. Instead of one area that needs clean up from a regular one part mold (just where the incision is made), the entire figure is surrounded by flash. Flash can be as thin as tissue paper and can be removed by your fingers or can be thick and needs a blade or sanding tool. For the Kremzeeks, I had to use a 2 part mold.

    I pulled off what I could by hand and then used a hobby razor for most of the work. Be very careful when using side cutters. Sometimes, you can't predict how a piece will break off and you don't want a crack or a missing chunk to go into the casted piece itself. There are molding lines which took a lot of time to carefully shave down with a razor so the surface is even on both sides. The original had uneven feet, so I sanded down the feet on these. Now, they can stand upright and be stable. If you do a poor job cleaning up flash, your end project will look poorly, especially if you have to paint.

    Took about half hour to do the first one. Used 2 different molds, so each piece will have clean ups specific to that mold.
    kremzeeks2.jpg

    The one on the right had more clean up work to do and took longer than the first one.
    kremzeeks3.jpg

    3. Painting. Even transparent pieces need some paint. My son wanted one Kremzeek to have lighter eyes and the other to have darker eyes.
    kremzeeks4.jpg

    Used Tamiya gunmetal bottle paint for the eyes and mouth on the left and used Tamiya chrome silver bottle paint for the eyes and mouth on the right (if you want something less grainy, Testors has a pretty smooth bottle silver paint). Sounds crazy, but I used acetone on a hobby cotton swab to clean up the edges of the paint that went outside the grooves. The resin I use can withstand short bursts of acetone without melting or disintegrating (even months later). Do NOT do this on any manufactured plastic.

    4. "Magic" step. For small, complex pieces, you can not sand and buff them like you see people do on YouTube with much larger and simpler objects. Buffing wheels can easily destroy small plastic pieces (I've lost several pieces that way). Even dremel tools can't reach to all areas on small, complex pieces. My "cheat" or "hack" to make small, complex pieces clear is this:

    ts13.jpg

    They make several clear sprays. You want TS13, especially for transparent pieces. When making resin copies, you won't get the internal defects but you will still get any and all surface related defects. Clear spray will help to fill in any micro-gaps (my usual rule is any defect you can NOT catch your fingernail on...fix those with sanding / razor shaving first).

    When I clean up flash, I'll sand down some areas to make them smoother (work my way up to 1500 or sometimes 3000 grit) and/or try to do clean razor cuts or shavings. Then I'll rely on the clear spray to cover up the flash clean up and sanding / razor marks.

    The resin is now much more transparent, almost gem or jewel like. The surface is now very even due to the acrylic paint and light can better shine through. The Kremzeeks I made are the two on the left. The Kremzeek on the right was used for the original mold and I bought that one off eBay.

    kremzeeks5.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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  2. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    29c. Version 2 of Siege Omega Supreme Head and Chest Window Mods
    os1.jpg


    I decided to redo much of my earlier mods to better match colors across the rest of the figure. I left the LED wiring alone, so I will not go into detail about that again.

    Face:
    One problem from my earlier mod was that the visor was able to touch part of the forehead. This lead to paint getting stripped from the forehead and stuck to the visor. I tried to correct it several times to no avail. Instead of casting in orange resin and painting the forehead a different color, I decided to cast in beige resin and then paint the face and sides a different color. Therefore, there is no paint for the visor to get stuck to.

    The flash wasn't completely cleaned off yet in this picture. The flash in the eye holes makes them look uneven, but they're not after cleaning out the flash. This was actually my 2nd attempt at making another head cast. The first failed due to warping (used color matching resin) and didn't quite fit like it should. Used Crystal Clear resin with opaque dyes for this attempt. Used primarily white dye with a relatively small amount of yellow and brown to match the beige on other parts of the figure.
    os2.jpg

    After cleaning off flash, I then used Tamiya Pure Orange spray paint for the face after masking off the forehead section. This matches the opaque orange at the tips of the rocket fingers. This color seems rather strong by itself, but when compared to the rest of the figure, the face "pops" just right. For the sides of the face, I matched the lavender gray color on the figure by mixing Tamiya Medium Gray and Purple bottle paints and then brushed the paint on with a nylon brush.
    os3.jpg

    This picture compares various faces. Original on the left, current version in the middle, and earlier version on the right. You can see the stripped bit of paint on the forehead on the older version on the right. Every time I tried to fix that, the stripped area kept getting bigger. I also remade the eyes with blue clear resin: this came out too good since you could see the wires behind them...which was not good. I figured out a way to tuck the wires behind rather than in front of the LED.
    os5.jpg

    Visor: Nothing really new for V2 mod. I can post something later regarding post-processing a cloudy cast.

    Chest Window:
    The first chest window I made hid a lot of issues that the original piece had because the clear red dye was so strong. I tried to make a window that was lighter red but came out a bit too light and looked sorta pink. I made another red chest window and ended up good this time: just a little lighter compared to the first attempt. Used Smooth On Crystal Clear resin with clear red So Strong dye.

    This picture shows some of the chest windows used earlier. The yellow is the original. The lighter red came out too light and looked pink. Spent a lot of time cleaning that one up but eventually decided to make a new one. The darker red window was the first window I had made. Just a little more dark than I wanted it to be. This window also had a few chips that I didn't notice at first due to the intense red color. This window was also severely warped because I didn't let the mold cool down all the way after heat treating to speed up the hardening process. I then had to use a heat gun to straighten out that window.

    os6.jpg

    I'm so done modding Omega Supreme now...although I'm intrigued by the replacement rocket tip that Shockwave Lab is doing to add LED lighting there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
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  3. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    47. Improving DNA Design's Devastator Head for CW/UW Devastator

    I noticed that the clear "red" plastic on DNA Design's Devastator head is actually more orange than it is red. There is always the possibility that the plastic yellowed with time but the upgrade pieces aren't that old yet. Anyhow, thought I would redo the eye parts in red casted resin.

    Original head: the clear plastic looks more orange to me than red.
    head1.jpg

    Made resin copies. Mine are on the left. I also cut out the middle bar from the goggles as they aren't needed and make it a little harder to position the goggles over the face.
    head2.jpg

    I'm also trying a new LED inside (not shown), which is a little brighter. If I want to make it a lot brighter, then I'll have to redo a lot of the wiring from scratch.

    Goggles on, LED off:
    head3.jpg

    Goggles on, LED on:
    head4.jpg

    Goggles off, LED on:
    head5.jpg
     
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  4. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    48. Custom Siege Omega Supreme rocket nozzle for fishing lure LEDs (pin type battery) and longer pegs
    nozzle0.jpg

    Note: The light is actually red but was too bright for the camera, which made it look "yellow".

    Saw the Shockwave Lab idea and thought of something simpler. Since using fishing lure LEDs (BR/CR 435 in this case), there's no need to dismantle the arm (outside of first time mod) for a battery change.

    Made a resin copy of the nozzle using Smooth On Crystal Clear resin. Used this since I wanted a very accurate fit and for another reason stated later on. I made this solid on purpose (cut out the silicone that would have made it hollow) to allow me to drill a tunnel later. There's no air bubbles per se. On the left, there was a trapped air bubble in the silicone which then created a solid resin bubble in the nozzle tip. This doesn't matter due to the drilling step. (There are ways to prevent this...maybe another post). The specks inside are not bubbles but me being lazy and not cleaning off the resin crusting from the resin cans. Some of the crusted stuff fell into the resin while pouring and didn't notice it. Since I'm painting over it, this also doesn't matter. There was a larger air vent piece on the right. Used my band saw to cut it down followed by sanding.
    nozzle1.jpg

    This was optional but just to show that it works in very select cases. Typically, buffing wheels should not be used on Transformers parts / casts. The small, thin, molded, irregular shaped parts will likely not buff like you want (not to mention getting polish into the molding lines) and there's a high chance the wheel will simply "eat" your piece (force of the wheel will break your piece or send it flying across the room or into your face if unlucky). When people on Youtube show how to use buffing wheels, they are using much larger objects with simple geometry. After sanding down the large air vent piece down to 3000 grit, the back end was large enough and appropriate (simple large circle) to actually use my buffing wheel. No acrylic spray needed here to make it perfectly see through.
    nozzle2.jpg

    Drilled a long 5mm hole until it almost reached the other end (don't want anything stuck inside the nozzle chamber). Used a 4mm drill bit and clear resin made it easy to make adjustments, followed by 4.5mm drill bit and then 5mm drill bit. Used electric driller for this. Especially with the initial drill bit, you may need to stop early and let the drill bit and the plastic cool down. You don't want it to melt and gum up the drill bit. Usually, the ports on my casts end up being a little tight, and then I use a 5mm drill bit to make them the right size. In this case, annoyingly, the nozzle tip ended up a bit loose.

    This is how I fix loose ports. Since resin that is added to the same resin type will bond perfectly to itself, no additional prep was needed. When attempting this to unknown or to a different plastic / resin type (even 3d prints), then you need to use a precision file (the knurled handle will work) to scuff up the port walls to allow the resin to stick. I prepare a small batch of resin, use a brush to paint on a thin layer (if too thick, gravity will pull down the resin and make it very uneven), and then hang the piece with port opening facing down. You don't want resin to pool on the bottom of a port (unless you're trying to make the port shorter). If resin gets on the surface of the port, you can use paper towel that is saturated with isopropyl alcohol to get it off. The resin will typically make the port too tight / small (which is on purpose). After the recommended curing time, I then place the entire piece in a toaster oven at 150F for 2 hours (my generic hardening technique). After the piece completely cools down, then I use a 5mm drill bit by hand to make the opening a proper 5mm size. I go through this process with loose ports on PLA parts too (and they survive the toaster oven just fine...along with the paint job).

    Brushing on resin. You can try to color match or just use clear (or no dye with color matching resin) if you don't have the right match.
    nozzle3.jpg

    Sometimes, you have to figure out a creative way to hang the piece with the port opening facing down.
    nozzle4.jpg

    After hardening in the toaster oven and completely cooling down, then used a 5mm drill bit by hand to make a proper 5mm opening at the nozzle tip.
    nozzle5.jpg

    Masked piece for painting. The bottom third is not normally seen. Also plug the nozzle hole (if you don't have spare 5mm pegs or rods lying around, stuffing the hole with tape will work) to avoid having paint come off and stick to your blast effects pegs. This almost solid resin piece is relatively heavy, so used a fairly strong metal alligator clip to hold the pink peg. I have softer plastic clamps but they will have a high chance of dropping the piece during painting.
    nozzle6.jpg

    Used 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of black paint for undercoat, 2 coats of Tamiya metallic silver (not their regular or other silver spray paints) which is not grainy, and then 2 coats of Krylon UV archival gallery series glossy varnish spray. The other reason to use clear resin, despite the paint job, a decent non-white LED can make the mold lines light up with a different color. The fishing lure LEDs (pin type batteries with built in LED cap) typically come in red and green colors. I bought a few red ones before in 3 and 4mm varieties. My last 3mm LED died, so used 4mm version (BR/CR 435) for these pictures. It's a good thing these are loose in 5mm ports because you don't want them getting stuck.

    Red fishing lure 4mm LED:
    nozzle7.jpg

    Red fishing lure and custom blast effects (camera out of focus but you get the idea):
    nozzle8.jpg

    White LED (modified fishing lure LED):
    nozzle11.jpg

    White LED with a 3rd party Nemesis Prime pink sword
    nozzle9.jpg

    White led with custom blast effect:
    nozzle10.jpg

    J Ray is a manufacturer of fishing lure / pin type batteries with LED caps. Although their web page shows several different colors, you can only really buy red or green varieties online. I had 2 of the red 4mm versions left. Left one alone and replaced the red LED on the other with a larger white one. It's not all that stable with the white LED but will last long enough for photos. The entire outer shell is + and the pin in the middle (not shown) is -. I have the + leg of the LED taped in place with copper foil tape (conductive adhesive type), which is acting as a poor man's swivel. I rotate the LED so that the - leg touches the - pin to turn on the light.
    nozzle12.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
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  5. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    49. Custom Cliffjumper / Red Bumblebee head for Titans Return Roadburn
    cliff2.jpg

    The local comic stores here still have lots of unsold Roadburn figures. Picked one up. Noticed a tiny chip in the left shoulder (didn't care about this) and one partially broken neck peg on the head (this was more of a problem as the head was tilted to the side). Decided to work with it instead of returning it. Took off Bumblebee's head, which was surprisingly difficult and painful, made a mold, and then made a red resin cast. Used Smooth On's color matching resin and dyes.

    Took 3 attempts before I finally got a color match for the red plastic. Red resin dye can act really funny (same dye can look "cool" or "warm" depending on the resin it's mixed with). First two attempts with red and a touch of black failed. Third one was spot on when I mixed in orange with the red with a touch of black.

    This shows "Cliffjumper" holding the blue Roadburn head and a failed earlier cast (didn't match color):
    cliff1.jpg
     
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  6. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    "Repaints"

    Technically, redeco is probably a more accurate term since "repaints" are typically done in different colored plastics rather than being painted over. I may have posted some of these before, but these are some "repaints" / recasts that I've done. A few of these are not TF related.

    1. Non-TF: Lego Infinity Stones. My son got an Avengers Endgame base set and came with Thanos and an Infinity Gauntlet. However, there were only two stones: Purple and Green. I ended up casting the remaining 4, but then the original 2 didn't match. Casted the original 2 and now having a matching set of 6.

    Original:
    re1.jpg

    Casted the missing 4:
    re2.jpg

    Casted the original 2 for a full matching set:
    re3.jpg

    2. Non-TF: Poop emojis. I can't find the original but it was from a light up lollipop toy. These took up a lot of resin to make and a lot of elbow grease.
    re4.jpg

    3. Siege Omega Supreme nozzles. Original is on the left. My son wanted an orange one but then we both agreed it didn't look good after installing it. Didn't show the new silver one with extra long 5mm tunnel in this picture as I didn't want to take apart the arm again.
    re5.jpg

    4. Siege Omega Supreme style blast effects. Original set is on the left.
    re6.jpg

    5. Custom 2mm transparent colored rods. Made a mold of several 2mm rods. Using these on CW shotgun blasters as they have 2mm nozzles. You can also try to bunch 5 of them to fit into 5mm ports (barely). Made these at the same time as the Thanos stones.
    re7.jpg

    6. Siege Hammer type blast effects. Original is on the left.
    re8.jpg

    7. Siege Axe type blast effects. Originals are on the left.
    re9.jpg

    8. Siege Jetfire type blast effects. Original is on the left.
    re11.jpg

    9. Dr. Wu Asura Sword blades. Original blade is on the left.
    re12.jpg

    10. CW Shotgun blasters. Original is on the left.
    re13.jpg

    11. Siege Jetfire cockpit molding. Original is on the left.
    re14.jpg

    12. MP style Kremzeeks. One of the "originals" I bought off eBay is on the left.
    re15.jpg

    13. MW Siege Optimus Prime Axe kit. Original is on the left.
    re16.jpg

    14. MW Barricade / Smokescreen weapons kit. Original is on the left (I fixed the various peg and port problems).
    re17.jpg

    15. Siege Sword type blast effects. Original is on the left.
    re18.jpg

    16. Siege Brunt nozzles. Original is on the left. These are all from the 2nd mold attempt.
    re19.jpg

    17. Siege short flame blast effects. Original is on the left.
    re20.jpg
     
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  7. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Leader of the Scarlet empire

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    Dang that is one good looking infinity gauntlet why didn't lego do that?
     
  8. theosteve

    theosteve Well-Known Member

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    Looks great! Must be a lot of fun being able to do that.
     
  9. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Who knows. Their transparent plastic tends to be a little cloudy. In terms of not having 6 stones, they had sets from Infinity Wars where you had to buy multiple sets to get a full set of stones.

    Thanks. The arthritis and clean up parts are not as fun, though.
     
  10. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Leader of the Scarlet empire

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    I know i got them......all of them
     
  11. Amadeus Novilium

    Amadeus Novilium Say Hi To Your Mom For Me

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    You know you could have just bought a KO gauntlet for like, $10 right?