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 Professional Digital Artist

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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 Banned

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

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    I bought a set of 8 different colored ones on eBay, however, I plan on making some copies because my son wants one to match each Seeker. So, I plan to make another blue one and to do one in smoke (transparent black). However, I'll have to do a 2 part mold (which I don't like doing due to the extra work involved) because 1) the razors I use are too big relative to the Kremzeek limbs and 2) I would break the limbs if I try to yank out the Kremzeek from one slot in a 1-part mold.
     
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  16. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    23. LED mod for Siege Jetfire's head

    The new switch came in earlier than expected. Used a 5.8mm x 5.8mm latching switch, pair of SR63 batteries (could not find a single coin cell that would fit and provide enough current), and a 3mm white led (6000mcd). 26 gauge wiring barely fits (so 24 will not work). Used shrink wrap to make my own mini-battery pack. Still hate soldering to batteries but was needed to ensure a stable power connection (although a custom plastic case could potentially work here since there's a little bit of wiggle room). In terms of custom parts, made a transparent blue copy of the lightpiping part and only used the eyes part.

    This is the layout for the LED parts. I cut out the unneeded pins on the power switch.
    headled1.jpg

    This does fit and able to be crammed inside without any modding of helmet parts.
    headled2.jpg

    This is the resin copy of the eyes I used as the original lightpiping piece had to be removed in order to fit the LED parts inside. The upper left was the first attempt (with an obvious air bubble). The other 2 are from the second attempt. I cut off the eyes piece and used that.
    headled3.jpg

    The spring now hits against the power switch. It's still needed in order for the battle mask to fit. I had originally used a rigid support but then realized the battle mask would no longer fit, so put the spring back in.
    headled4.jpg

    This is the switch from behind. Painted the base of the switch blue. I painted the tip white to try and match Jetfire's white but is now flaking off. Should've left it bare white.
    headledx.jpg

    Lights up well, even in daylight.
    headled6.jpg

    Works with the battle mask after I put the spring back in.
    headled7.jpg

    The power switch has no effect on alt mode.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  17. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    24. Custom resin copies of Kremzeek

    Bought a set of 8 different colored Kremzeek's on eBay, which I assume are copies of the Kremzeek that comes with MP Megatron. My son wanted to have a Kremzeek for each Siege Seeker, so that means I would need 2 blue ones. I also thought of some other color ideas too, but those will have to wait a bit longer (have some more Kremzeeks literally cooking in the oven, though).

    Still waiting for the local Smooth On distributor to get the sampler So Strong color pack. Really don't want to pay full price for all the different colors. I tried Tamiya clear paints, which do work...for larger objects with large vent holes. They just created bubbles despite use of the pressure pot and cutting in extra air vents. I'm guessing the Tamiya clear paints are making the resin too viscous so bubbles can't escape. When I cast without adding colors, then I get no bubbles. Maybe I'll try food coloring next since that should not make the resin more viscous.

    That being said, you get much more creative freedom with (spray) painting.

    I thought I'd show some more steps in the process. I had to do a 2-part mold for this as Kremzeek is not 1-part mold friendly.

    I do some pre-molding work by pouring a layer of silicone at the bottom of the container and used a pressure pot to get rid of bubbles. I have a few sets of circular organizer sets in which they stack vertically and have screw tops. I cut out the bottoms of half of them. This is convenient because I can then increase the vertical height of the mold as needed. The kremzeeks don't lie flat, so I used leftover cured silicone (i started to save and re-use them to save on silicone costs) and cut out small rectangle pieces to place under the feet to make them reasonably level. I mixed a tiny batch of silicone to act as glue to keep the silicone risers in place.
    mold1.jpg

    This is where I made a mistake. I was supposed to put in memory locks but I forgot (this helps keep the layers in the correct position; i was going to use metal nuts). I poured the next layer to just about halfway up the Kremzeek bodies and then let it cure in the pressure pot to get rid of bubbles. I did some minor "editing" work on the silicone afterward with a razor. Some silicone had spilled on top of the bodies and cut that out. Some of the limbs were buried too deep and cut part of the silicone off the limbs.
    mold2.jpg

    The next step is to use mold release spray, otherwise, the next layer of silicone poured will just defeat the purpose of making a 2-part mold. At this point, I realized I forgot to use memory locks. Regardless, it worked out fine when I thought of something else. Instead, I cut out silicone at the edge about 2/3 to 3/4 around the Kremzeeks. This way, it creates a pocket after I pour in the next layer of silicone. The silicone will be solid at the edges except where I didn't cut out the silicone earlier. The surface with the mold release spray will create an opening big enough to pull out the Kremzeek with enough space around it. I purposely cut it so that the feet will be at the opening (important for next step). Poured the last layer of silicone and let it cure again in the pressure pot.

    mold3.jpg

    This is after the last layer of silicone has cured. It basically created a pocket. I removed the originals. I cut off a tiny piece of silicone at the opposite end to let the mold stand up on its own vertically (trying to avoid cutting back into the mold release spray area, but even if you do, it should still be ok).
    mold4.jpg

    As I purposely had the mold set so that the feet are at the opening, I then made vent holes to ensure no air bubbles when casting clear resin. I used a razor to cut out thin shafts from the bottom of the feet (easiest to fix afterward) to the edge of the mold. I also cut out an additional pocket at the end to act as a reservoir for extra resin. This is just in case: as the resin gets pushed further down into the mold after the air pockets are pushed out, this may leave gaps at the top of the casting if there is no extra resin available (this is more of an issue with larger castings than this, though). Rubber bands are used to hold the mold parts in place. Otherwise, besides resin leakage, the flash may get too thick to easily remove. Left the resin to cure in the pressure pot. After the recommended cure time, then I placed the molds (did not de-mold yet) in a toaster oven at 150F degrees for 2 hours to harden the resin (any longer may result in small pieces permanently sticking to the silicone; this step is needed, otherwise, may take a week for the clear resin to harden enough).
    mold5.jpg

    This is what it looks like after the resin casts are removed. No air bubbles in the Kremzeeks. There's a lot more flash than I'm used to from doing 1-part molds. Used a razor and side cutter to remove the flash and the resin from the air vents. I accidentally cut off too much of one of the Kremzeeks' feet (arrgh), so I had to toss one of them (casted 2 more after this). I did sand the bottom of the feet (eventually to 1500 grit) and then used a buffer wheel to get the bottom of the feet smooth. Then I did painting (body is Tamiya clear blue spray paint, eyes and mouth are silver paint followed by clear red).
    mold6.jpg

    The 3 on the left are some of the ones I bought off eBay. The one on the right is mine.
    mold7.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  18. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    24b. They're multiplying

    Ended up making some more with different color schemes: smoky, silver, and the ever powerful Golden Kremzeek. One functional difference I noticed is that mine stand up much better than the eBay originals, since I simply sanded down the feet. Some of the eBay ones keep toppling over because their feets were not sanded down flat.

    Blue, Smoky, Silver, and Gold
    kremzeeks2.jpg

    eBay set on the left and my copies on the right
    kremzeek1.jpg

    With Bumblebee
    kremzeek3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  19. Cataraks

    Cataraks Decepticon Cannibal

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    A fishing lure led? Man, that's genius. I didn't even know they made those.
     
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  20. Ricardo Dawkins

    Ricardo Dawkins Well-Known Member

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    Wow... I want to do this to my future copy.
     
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