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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    holy crap i didnt relise till i seen this my figuer is assembled backwards too i guss i will have to fix that
     
  2. GAUGE

    GAUGE In Art, There Is No Impossible

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    Yo, @ziltama,

    Did you happen to mold any translucent green lense pieces for the new Siege Refraktor?

    I kinda hate the clear lense. Was really hoping you'd make some to sell to be honest.
     
  3. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Sorry, I don’t sell anything nor have the time to deal with that. Also, don’t have camera bots.
     
  4. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    This is essentially done now except finishing the handle deco. I don't like the look of stickers on the handle, so I'm going to try the acetone method of transferring toner ink printed patterns onto metal. I'm trying to choose which insignias to put on there (predacon, decepticon, onyx prime, etc...). I thought about cyberglyphs as well but not necessarily the biggest fan of those.

    This is what it looks like turned off. One of the earlier prototypes had set screws on both sides but the current version has set screws on just one side. I used electrical tape to tighten where the tubes overlap and then used a set screw to keep them in place. I drilled holes and then used a tap to make threads for the screws. Since I am essentially creating a very small scale light saber with very little room inside, the power switch is on the bottom of the hilt. I spent way too long trying to figure out how mount a micro / mini switch meant for a pcb but finally figured out something. I was thinking of adding a sound module but I couldn't find one tiny enough to fit inside.

    saberoff1.jpg saberoff2.jpg
     
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  5. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    22. Purple saber for Predaking inspired by the brief appearance in the G1 "Chaos" episode.

    Making a regular sized saber would have been so much easier than this. Researched how to make a Star Wars light saber and miniaturized it to fit DNA Design's Predaking hands. The saber does not fit stock Predaking's hands (it could if the thumb was made movable or modded). The fingers can fully close around the middle part of the handle. The hilt is 3 aluminum tubes (need lightweight materials): 2 5/8" tubes and 1 1/2" tube for the hand to hold. The light saber part is a 1/2" acrylic tube with 1/2" cabochon for the tip (solvent welded). There's a small circular foil tape piece in the center of the cabochon to help light reflect back down the tube. The acrylic tube is about 11" long. There's a single piece of 11"x11" cellophane wrap inside the acrylic tube to diffuse light.

    Needing purple light also made the project much harder. Since you cannot buy "purple" LEDs, had to use both blue and red LEDs and then the cellophane would diffuse and "mix" the lights. I bought separate blue and red LEDs on 5mm boards (this was not fun to solder wires to). Each LED is powered by a pair of SR44 button batteries. The bottom hilt contains the power switch (major pain figuring out how to mount this and not move with repeated pressure; micro latching style DPDT switch that can turn on 2 sets of batteries) and both pairs of SR44 batteries. I hate the idea of soldering wires directly to batteries but I had no choice since battery holders were too big. 26 gauge wire was barely small enough to use. 24 gauge was too big for this project. The top part of the hilt contains the LEDs. I was originally planning to use optics to focus the light but it actually made it worse for this small project. The LEDs are mounted to a small aluminum disc (superglue and arctic silver mix; also doubles as heatsink) with notches cut out for the wires to pass under. This would also prevent the LEDs from sliding into the middle part of the hilt (which just has wires going through it). Set screws are used to hold the saber together. Since I can't fit a potentiometer in the saber, I used a 10ohm resistor to tone down the blue light a little bit to get the purple shade I wanted. (I was going to use on red but blue ended up being brighter.) The pictures for some reason show the saber being more blue-ish purple than it really is. The dark lighting one does show the color accurately, which is more reddish / pink-ish purple.

    predsword1.jpg
    predsword2.jpg

    predsword4.jpg

    I didn't want the hilt to look too perfect. I wanted it to have a gray-ish color and not have a chrome-like finish. I did sand the aluminum tubes down to 1500 grit, used a buffing wheel, and then used metal polish. It feels like a hilt and not like plumbing parts. The symbols on the hilt were done via the acetone toner ink transfer method. You laser print the patterns you want and then use acetone to transfer the ink to another surface (Brother laser printers do not work for this as they use some non-standard toner). The symbols have a pseudo scratchy appearance, which is what I wanted. I decided to do some Cyberglyphics after all. The middle handle part just says "Predaking".
    predsword5.jpg
    predsword3.jpg

    This is what the color more accurately looks like in real life:
    predsword6.jpg

    I was going to make a 2nd one for dual wielding but my other pair of blue and red LEDs got fried by a glue gun of all things. Need to order them again. I have put the other LEDs through soldering multiple times at much higher temps without problems, but the glue gun for some reason fried the other LEDs. Then I ended up using the superglue / arctic silver mix to mount them instead. I do have orange LEDs, so I could make an autobot version instead (which would be much easier than doing purple).
     
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  6. Sinestro00

    Sinestro00 When the Curtain Falls

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    Can you give some more info on how you cast these? Did you use a two-part mold, or just one at that was split to remove the original and subsequent molds? I want to make some copies of the blast effects that came with MP-18+. They are long and narrow like these, and are pretty small.
     
  7. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    I'm too "lazy" to do 2 part molds. I make one solid mold and carefully cut it open to release the original. I do multiple (usually 2, sometimes 3) pours, though. The first pour is just for the bottom part of the mold, let it cure, pour in another layer, put in the piece I want to copy and push it down to touch the first layer, and then let it cure. I don't bother with degassing since pouring again afterward just makes more bubbles. I put the mold in a pressure pot to get rid of bubbles while the silicone is curing (I saw the smooth on manufacturer do this in one of their videos and thought it was a great idea; i didn't have to buy a degassing chamber).

    I used to make my own supports out of acrylic sheets for the silicone but got sick and tired of dealing with those and the hot glue. I found plastic organizing trays with rectangular slots that work perfect at the local crafts store. I also found stackable circular containers that screw on to each other like jar tops. I cut out the bottoms on some of those to let me mold larger objects as needed. I then use a straight edge to get the silicone molds out of the plastic trays.

    I try to cut on only one side of a mold (typically box shaped or cylinder shaped) to avoid having to use a support structure during casting. The silicone I use is very strong and durable (smooth on dragonskin but more pricey), so it holds up fine during pressure casting.

    I use smooth on crystal clear resin. Pressure pot is absolutely required (not just for clear parts but even small solid parts to avoid them breaking). If not going to use a pressure pot, then don't even bother. The clear casts typically take forever to harden (5 days; completely different set of time than what's stated for demolding) after curing, so I use a toaster oven to speed up that process (150 degrees at 2 hours is enough after the recommended curing time in the pressure pot) before taking the casting out of the mold.

    Despite pressure casting, sometimes I still get annoying bubbles or air pockets. Pre-heating the mold helps with that and very thoroughly mixing the resin before casting also helps. One sure fire method is to make a small vent by cutting out a small slot to let the air out during casting; this may create some extra work after releasing the casting since there'll be an extra piece now attached to it that needs cutting and sanding / buffing. Some people use the peg part as the vent but then you'll lose the 3mm port part.

    Since we're not using heavy duty factory equipment, the connector part may not meet specs anymore. If the 5mm peg becomes too wide, then you need to sand it down. If the 3mm port is too small, then I use a 3mm drill bit (by hand; power driller would just destroy it) to make it the right size. For the opposite problems (I typically don't get these), then you may need to apply thin layers of resin and then sand / use drill bit.

    I like transparent rather than translucent parts. UVO color add-on will make translucent parts. The local store doesn't have a So Strong color sampler pack for me to try yet (supposedly ordered and I don't want to buy individual bottles yet) which will help make transparent castings. You can add Tamiya transparent clear paints to the resin hardener before mixing to help make transparent color parts but you can't get an intense color from them (if you try, the parts will turn into rubber consistency or not fully cure).

    I've been doing transparent paints on fully hardened clear parts to get the colors I want. Spray paint preferred. My typical formula is 2 coats of color followed by 2 coats of clear to protect the color and for additional shine. Tamiya just makes clear red, blue, and orange for regular plastics (polycarbonate spray is not the same and not transparent). For purple, I do one pass of clear blue followed by one pass of clear red. For the yellow and green pieces I did, those were done by hand. I had a tray and used 5 wells for each color: 100% color, 80% color (diluted with clear), 60%, 40% ,20%.
     
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  8. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    21b. The saber end wasn't as bright as it was earlier. Thought batteries were already running out... or that I forgot to secure the LEDs better in the hilt (they're kinda floating around). Added a spacer to ensure they'll stay close to the acrylic tube. Also replaced the cellophane wrap. Now better again.

    Forgot to add a pic of the saber disassembled:
    apart.jpg
     
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  9. Sinestro00

    Sinestro00 When the Curtain Falls

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    Thanks for the info. I tried to find info on molding small parts online, but all I could find is a video of someone making copies of an airplane propeller (I’ll admit, it wasn’t an exhaustive search). They did one mold pour that completely encased the original, with vent holes at the end of each propeller blade to prevent bubbles. Then they slit the mold to remove the original and create the void. They used some sort of low viscosity resin that cured semi-flexible to avoid breakage upon removal. The material left in the vent holes was easily snipped off and sanded down.
     
  10. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Maybe I'll do a video one day. Sanding clear parts is troublesome. If you want it to be crystal clear and shiny, then you need to use a buffing wheel +/- polish afterwards.
     
  11. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    21c. Predaking purple LED saber V2
    I'm starting to realize that cheaper / less parts is better for this project. Tried a cheaper standard shaped 5mm bi-color red and blue LED that turned out to be a lot brighter. Took some time to figure out how to light both colors at the same time (which is not its typical usage). Had to re-do wiring all over again.

    LED driver (some provide constant current, some provide constant voltage): Made it worse: darker.
    Optics (supposed to focus light): Made it worse: darker.
    LEDs on small pcb: Surprisingly made it worse: darker. I knew these normally ultra bright LEDs would be underpowered since I can't use AAA/AA batteries, but I thought it would still be brighter than standard 5mm LEDs. Nope....can't deliver enough current with button or coin cells.

    Now shows up very well, even in daylight.
    sword21.jpg

    WIP: Light up Jetfire head

    If the lightpiping part is removed, you can fit a LED and battery in there. I'm going to make a transparent copy of the lightpiping and mod it to so that I keep the back part to mount a micro-switch and the front eyes. This is what it looks like with the whole lightpiping part removed with a white LED. You can see the led wires coming out from behind the head. Need to start looking for a latching or slide switch that's small enough to fit in the back lightpiping window.

    jetfireled.jpg
     
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  12. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Tried to internalize everything except for the switch (waiting for that to arrive in the mail next week, probably). Made a resin copy of the eye part (lighter shade of blue to let the light shine through better). I put on a temporary switch. When I used the smaller coin cell battery, now the LED is very dim. In daylight, it just looks like the eyes are painted when turned on. In the dark, it can show through. Tried a few other LEDs but the 1025 coin cell just can't output enough current (right voltage, however). Going to try a few more different LEDs and try other battery combos. The photo in the last post was using a 20mm coin cell, which is too big to place inside.

    The 5mm LED is restricting head movement, so I"ll need to try a 3mm LED next.

    headb.jpg heada.jpg
     
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  13. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Went to the local computer superstore and got some more LEDs and batteries to try. Tried a pair of SR63 batteries, which finally provided enough current to light up the LEDs well and small enough to fit. Got a 3mm white LED which doesn't restrict the vertical head movement (the 5mm LED kept bumping into the neck base). Had to re-wire everything again.

    headLED1.jpg
    headled2.jpg

    Will finish up once the new power switch arrives (the local store doesn't carry micro switches)...and probably re-wire everything yet again. I think there's a wire or something else behind the left eye, which I'll adjust later.
     
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  14. Awesomepow

    Awesomepow Well-Known Member

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    Did I miss how you made / have a blue Kremzeek toy?