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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    35. Custom helicopter fins for Siege Springer

    fin3.jpg

    I was thinking about this for a while. I'm aware of the 3d printed kit to add fins, but they're really small and in the wrong spot compared to the cartoon. After getting the Shockwave Lab Z Sword for Dai Atlas, I noticed that parts of it would make for good fins. Made resin copies of part of the Z sword and glued on a properly sized tab. Made a resin copy of that so that it's all one solid piece. As I only had 1 mold instead of 2, I opted to cast in black (as I was casting other stuff in black) and then painted after getting 2 copies. Mixed together Tamiya medium gray, white, and blue until I got a match.

    fin2.jpg

    The fins can stay on for the other alt mode and even robot mode (but not even remotely practical).
    fin1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  2. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    31c. Re-did paint job on custom Siege Springer swords

    swords1.jpg

    Didn't end up liking the paint jobs and did them over again. Fortunately, the resin the I used can withstand short exposures to acetone without melting, so used that to get the paint off. This time, used Tamiya metallic silver and metallic gold (different than their other silver and gold sprays...and relatively expensive too). They also require a coat of Tamiya black before using too. Turned out a lot better. Used about 5 or 6 light coats to get the desired effect.

    swords2.jpg

    Used black paint to cover up any metallic paint that got on the hilt. Used Krylon gallery series UV archival glossy spray to protect the colors. Do NOT use Tamiya clear as that will smudge the metallics.
     
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  3. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    36. Copies of Matrix Workshop Siege Starscream null rays with Blast Effects port mod

    null2.jpg

    Null rays come with their coronation kit. Made a custom cape for it earlier. Anyhow, Matrix Workshop kits have oversized peg problems so sanded / filed them down. I wanted to add a blast effects ports to the Null Rays. This proved difficult as the plastic on the tip was too weak on one Null Ray (and broke) but the other one handled it just fine. Made a mold of the Null Ray that survived and then made casts.

    null1.jpg
     
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  4. Max Tower

    Max Tower Well-Known Member

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    It looks like we may have to wait for someone to make a solid mould for clear pieces before they are viable enough to be mass-produced.
    There is certainly a desire for them - but the variable stain effect some have would be a complete pain in the tail to try to replicate I imagine.
    I'd certainly like some Jetfire effects in Light Blue or Fusciha for example.

    Small suggestions and comments on this thread.

    1) I think Drill bits may be a bit to agressive for making holes bigger - I personally prefer rolled up sand paper - but round precision files would work too. Fine Emery boards & Manicure/ Pedicure files are also very good tools for minor sanding of plastic too.

    2) Regarding the issue of silicon post snapping off - perhaps a metal or solid resin insert for that part of the mould would work as an alternative way to handle such part and would make them easier to get out of the mould too.

    3) Chilling flexible parts - I once tried putting them in the freezer (I forget why) and they do get pretty hard even at the Minus 10 / Minus 20 or so that is the most they usually do. Might be a bit safer than Co2. & they'd not be as likely to snap on you like they might if Liquid Nitrogen was used on them.

    4) Steam from a kettle works a treat for straightening stuff - it can also sometimes work well for removing flash marks in solid clear plastic or even reduce the visibility of hair line cracks or stress marks or unsticking stuck joints - careful though as it can make some plastic shrink or fog.


    I bet those Prowl / Barricade weapons would be very popular too if they were more widely available / Likewise Red Alert's gun repurposed for Sideswipe would be nice too - They are a nice thing to have for sure.

    Anyway good job, always nice to see someone being clever and creative.
     
  5. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Hi, thanks for posting. I haven't had major issues with using the drill bits so far for making 3 and 5mm TF ports and they're the only way to do perfect circles of those sizes. I usually grip the bits by hand to expand ports and if possible, work my way up with smaller bits first to avoid cracking and chipping. Also, the resins I use are far more sturdy than 3d prints and regular plastic used in toys.

    I did think about posts before, and I know they can work for much larger scale casts. For TF scale 3mm ports, that would be too difficult to do. I'm not sure if you've tried "editing" silicone molds before but trying to get precise cuts or holes is an exercise in futility. Silicone just laughs at a drill bit and expands to go around it (I've tried with massive fails each time). Resin also likes to stick and bond to a lot of different materials so it would be a problem if it just sticks to the post. 5 min epoxy, for example, is just a highly viscous (and somewhat softer) resin.

    Cold is an interesting idea. My concern is that silicone has a minimum working temp and i don't want to have a situation where there are air bubbles in the colder part of the silicone only. Trapped air bubbles in a silicone mold that touches the original creates a solid resin bubble when casting. I'm tempted to make copies of Convobat's swords (which is a redeco of Wheeljack's swords) so I may give that a try with the freezer later. The silicone I use is colorless and translucent, so I can see if there are bubbles or not. However, would need to straighten out the swords first as they're both crooked (as well as Convobat's wings and ears).

    It does bug me when Hasbro doesn't include all the available accessories for a toy. Would it really cost that much more to let Prowl and Barricade have both sets of weapons? I'm sure people thought it was weird when Prowl first came out that he has shoulder ports but nothing to put in them. I do have 3rd party weapons for them ordered, so I'll see how they compare (ordered before I got Prowl just for his weapon).
     
  6. Max Tower

    Max Tower Well-Known Member

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    Did you recast Red Wing's Tailplane from the Toyhax one too - or is that the colour the Rainmaker ones are (or is it just painted) ?

    The other advantage of that clear cast piece you made for Brunt is that if you ever decided to Buy Zetar then you could do the same to him too for his canon mode.

    I have a suggestion for your springer swords if your interested get some gold paint and paint all the indented areas on the silver sword then wipe off any excess when the paint is still wet with a damp cloth or paper towel then do the reverse on the other colour- this would give an effect to the sort of gold or silver decoration you see on some antique silverware. Silver paint inside a gold sword and gold paint inside a silver one.

    Just a thought anyway. Also another thought I had - is that same sword in clear tint-red would work quite well for POTP Slash too.
     
  7. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    I got the fin originally from the Starscream Toyhax kit and eventually made 6 copies for the other seekers. I casted them in black and then painted afterward. If I were to make them again, I would use color matching resin, which I just started using in the past few weeks.

    For Brunt cannon, I did cast those in clear, but I also finally got a transparent dye sampler pack, which worked extremely well for the Omega Supreme copies.

    I did something similar for Barricade’s belly armor. Just hard to see unless you look really close. It’s actually spray painted silver with the lavender paint going over the surfaces.

    As for sword deco, I was already thinking of something like that and have something cooking atm: resin copy of the Bloodstained letter opener (short sword).
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  8. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Miscellaneous:

    Custom Springer helicopter fins in car mode:
    springer1.jpg

    Multiple items in this picture:
    stuff1.jpg
    1. Dai Atlas blaster with blast effects peg. I have 3mm clear tubes and they do fit snug into the barrel. I was going to leave it clear but then had the bright idea to just paint the inside of the clear tube black. This makes the whole tube look black and blend in. Since paint is on inside of tube, no paint will scuff when placing blast effects on it.

    2. POTP modded Matrix resin copies. Modded as one solid piece and no parts protruding from the back. The first attempt didn't turn out so good but my son wanted to keep it anyways; I painted that one. The 2nd attempt came out bubble free but forgot to paint it. This was before I realized you have to let crystal clear casts sit for a week in order to harden. I pulled that one out of the mold too early and it warped enough as not to fit in a POTP leader chest. These days, I know to bake pieces in the oven to harden in 2 hours rather than wait a week.

    3. Earlier test run of the custom Galvatron cannon. This was also before I knew about clear resin needing extra time to harden. Some fins ended up warping.
     
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  9. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    WIP: Trying different color scheme

    Trying out a fluorescent resin dye sampler pack. Did blue with a little green thrown in for a blue energy type deco. The picture makes it look transparent but the fluorescent dyes are really translucent.

    Brunt nozzle, Omega Supreme effects x2, Bloodstained backer bonus letter opener (TF figures can't actually hold this and I would need to make a custom handle).
    blue.jpg
     
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  10. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    37. Cleaning up and making new cast of Matrix Workshop Siege Optimus Prime Axe

    For solid 3d prints, if you put in some (or a lot of) effort, you can clean them up to look smooth. For translucent parts...not so much. Even if you could clean up the print lines externally, there is no way to fix the internal lines.

    For that, you would need to recast. For the axe, I could have cleaned up the external lines even more, but then I would lose a lot of molding detail. In person, though, it feels completely smooth. Prior to recasting, I sanded down to 3000 grit, used a buffer and plastic polish, and even used acrylic clear sprays for the areas that were hard to reach.

    axe.jpg

    Now to get back to cleaning up my workstation. Also got a 2nd pressure pot to run 2 sets of casts at once. I can put up a pressure pot tutorial too.
     
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  11. Amadeus Novilium

    Amadeus Novilium Clouds are white.

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    I'm considering making a weapon mold army, I have the materials to make said mold, but I have no resin, what would you recommend?
     
  12. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Leader of the Scarlet empire

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    Yes please put up a tutorial
     
  13. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    If you don't have a pressure pot, then don't even bother. You can use a pressure pot to help make both the molds and casts.

    As for resins, there's 2 resins that I'm primarily using these days(both by Smooth On): Crystal clear and Color matching. I've stopped using their black and white opaque resins due to various issues (black gets too hot, shrinks, and makes its own bubbles; white resin has too much dye in it and can create bubble issues for small TF parts). I used to cast either just plain clear or some neutral color and then paint over. Now I'm trying to cast in the target color. Color matching is light amber if nothing is added. Crystal clear needs extra safety precautions to use.

    I get the versions with a pot life of 9 minutes (my goal is to get everything pressurized by half that time). The ones with less pot life are too fast for me to use.

    People will say you can use almost anything to dye or colorize resin. For small TF stuff, that's not true. Viscosity will increase too much and then you'll get a lot of bubbles. Use resin specific dyes: uvo (opaque), so strong (clear), ignite (fluorescent translucent). Tiny amounts go a very long way.
     
  14. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    Pressure Pot Tutorial / Recipe
    pressure.jpg

    Warning: Obviously, proceed at your own risk. I am not responsible for any careless actions, holes in ceilings, exploding pots, sprained thumbs, etc...

    Recently bought a 2nd pot so I can run 2 sets of casts simultaneously. I originally followed a guide off youtube for my 1st pot but made changes for my 2nd pot.

    I used this pressure tank:
    2-1/2 gal. Air Pressure Paint Tank

    You don’t have to use this specific type or brand. It’s popular to use because it’s cheaper there, especially with coupons or sales. 2.5 gallon capacity is sufficient.

    Other equipment:
    Adjustable wrench
    Pipe wrench (do NOT use a vice grip as a substitute)
    PTFE (Teflon) tape
    WD40 or some other type of lubricant spray
    Vaseline
    Pressure gauge (if your tank does not come with one)
    1/4” x 3” NPT nipple (i don’t make up these terms)
    1/4” NPT ball valve fitting
    1/4” NPT universal coupler for air compressor (get the one with a flange)
    3/8” NPT hex plug
    NPT couplers and adapters (optional depending on the fittings you get)
    Leftover silicone (silicone caulk is ok too) and mold release spray (optional)
    Vice grips as a stop-gap air leak fix (optional)

    Edit: 100 or 150 grit sandpaper (optional: remove any spurs from the nipple after using a pipe wrench)

    Note: NPT is just a thread standard on pipes. Has a tapered edge. Threaded ends must have some type of filler material, hence the teflon tape. Package doesn't have to say NPT on it either. Parts labeled as for air compressor are of course fine to use. It's ok to get certain other parts in the regular plumbing section (made out of brass), such as the nipple and ball valve fittings.

    Picture note: Get or borrow a pipe wrench. The teeth grip the pipe and turn one way. If you want to turn the other way, then put the wrench on the opposite way.
    wrench.jpg

    First step is to remove all 4 of the fittings rom the lid. This may require a lot of elbow grease. Use a pipe wrench (need the teeth to grip pipe safely) and not vice grips to remove the outlet pipe from under the lid.

    Picture Note: Bottom of lid view. The lighter circular area near the edge is the gasket.
    lid.jpg

    When done, you should should see three holes on top of the lid. Ignore the hook hole in the middle; nothing goes in there unless you really want a handle of sorts for the lid. The bottom of the lid will have 2 holes connected to the holes on the other side.

    If you have not done any sort of pipe work before, ALL non-coated threads (coated ones will have a red plastic coating between threads) need to be covered with teflon (PTFE) tape. 2-3 layers is typically enough. Otherwise, you WILL get an air leak. Some people still use tape on coated threads regardless. If you have to undo the fitting and put it back on, then you have to do redo the tape (for coated threads, then you must do tape if you use it again).

    The larger hole is for 3/8” NPT fittings. This hole is not actually needed. On my first pot, I used this as an exhaust port but it almost got in the way of the lid clamps. For my second pot, I used a 3/8” hex plug. Cover threads with teflon tape and tighten with your wrench. The plug just plugs the hole as it will not be used.

    The smaller hole is for 1/4” NPT fittings. The pot should come with a 4 way pipe fitting (all 1/4” NPT threads; circle in the middle) with a regulator valve and a pressure gauge already in place. For use as a pressure pot, leave the regulator valve wide open (turn clockwise; the regulator valve is the turn lever coming from the circle part).

    The 4 way fitting actually already has male couplers in it (silver color). Depending on the fittings you have, you may or may not need to remove them. For mine, I removed the bottom one. Put teflon tape on the threads of the remaining couplers. I put the ball valve fitting (which is used for exhaust) on one side and the universal coupler (used for intake) on the other. Tighten with wrench. You want the universal coupler with the flange for one handed operation.

    Picture note: There are different types of universal couplers for compressor hoses. You want the one with the flange for one-handed operation. The other one is too annoying to use when pressed for time.
    plugs.jpg

    Picture note: Pressure gauge on top, regulator valve in middle of circle section, universal coupler on the left, ball valve on the right, and nipple on the bottom with the silver coupler removed. It doesn't matter which side the ball valve and universal coupler go on. The threads here have white teflon tape on them.
    parts.jpg

    Unless you’re quite lucky, the 4 way fitting will most likely get in the way of the lid clamps. The NPT nipple is used to raise the 4-way fitting vertically to avoid this. 3" is long enough. Put teflon tape on the nipple threads. Then put one end of the nipple into the 4 way fitting and use the pipe wrench to tighten (use another wrench to hold the fitting still). Put the other end of the nipple into the lid and tighten with the pipe wrench.

    Picture note: Tightening the nipple with wrenches (I know this sounds funny...)
    wrench2.jpg

    Edit: If the pipe wrench creates sharp spurs on the nipple pipe, use 100 or 150 grit sandpaper to remove the spurs.

    I don’t use the ringed safety valve as I can adjust pressure from the compressor (if for some odd reason, you can't do this from your compressor, then you'll need to add a safety valve). Depending on the fittings you have, you may need to use couplers or 3/8" to 1/4” adapters. I didn’t have to use any on my 2nd pot, but I did on my first pot when I had different parts. The lid is now done.

    lid2.jpg

    There should be a circular gasket under the lid. Get a jar of vaseline. Use a brush and place a very light coat over the entire gasket. This will help prevent tiny air leaks. Don’t do large gobs, otherwise, you’ll get vaseline all over the inside of your pot and all over your workspace.

    The bottom of the pot is concave, so it’s hard to keep molds / casts level in there. Some people make trays (which are useful for stacking). I simply poured leftover silicone in the bottom to make a flat surface and let that cure (useful to do as a test run too). I had some cheap stuff that I never planned on using again. If you have leftover tubes of silicone caulk (which is typically just 100% silicone), you can use that too and will create a firm, level surface after it cures. After you get a level surface, spray with mold release spray to make clean up easier.

    Use WD40 or some other type of lubricating spray on the lid clamp screws. Loosen the screws until they almost fall out and then spray the threads (just need light coats). Tighten and loosen the screws afterward. This will help save your hands and fingers.

    Do some test runs before you actually start molding and casting for real and get used to doing everything relatively quickly. I usually buy silicone and resins that have a POT life of around 9 minutes, so that means everything has to be in the pot AND fully pressurized before then (i usually aim for at least half the pot time to give ample time for bubbles to escape). If you can't do this fast enough, then get slower curing silicone and resin.

    The pot is rated for 60psi. This is the magic number needed for most resins. Silicone molds may need somewhat less (like 40psi) but you can just run at 60psi to keep things constant. You could potentially go a little higher but that is completely at your own risk for minimal extra gain (not to mention the danger factor of going over the pressure rating). It doesn't mean your pot will automatically blow up. I've had it accidentally go to 90 before when I didn't watch it, so be careful and keep periodic eye on the pressure gauge.

    gauge.jpg

    To tighten the lid properly, simultaneously do one pair of opposite screws and then simultaneously do the other pair of screws. Do NOT go back to the first set. Your air compressor should already be pressurized before putting your mold or cast into the pot. Attach the hose, open the pressure regulator valve on your air compressor, get to your target pressure, and adjust the pressure regulator valve on the compressor as needed until your air compressor is fully pressurized again.

    After your pot is pressurized, you may get an air leak. My 2nd pot hasn’t leaked yet. My first one did until I was able to wear in the lid with frequent use. Check your fittings. If the leak is coming from the fitting, then you’ll have to do undo that fitting, re-apply tape, and try again. Most of the time, the leaks are coming from just under the lid. If you can pinpoint areas of the leak (you can feel the air coming out), you can use a vice grip to clamp that area down. If it's been a while since you coated the gasket with vaseline, then place another thin coat (again, for tiny leaks, NOT big ones). It is NOT advisable to have your compressor work non-stop to keep the pressure high despite the leak. Besides damaging your compressor, this will also introduce lots of moisture / water into the pot if the compressor runs non-stop.

    Even if you don’t feel or hear anything, your pot may still lose pressure slowly. For molds and casts, you're supposed to maintain the same pressure throughout. In that case, you can just leave the hose attached the whole time and your compressor will kick in as needed whenever it needs to maintain pressures (as needed use is fine as opposed to non-stop use). I do this the vast majority of time.

    When done, remove hose if still attached, turn down pressure regulator valve on your compressor, exhaust all the air from the pot by opening the ball valve fitting, and then remove the lid.

    Your air compressor should also have an exhaust ball valve. This needs to be opened and emptied after you’re done using it for the day, otherwise, you can get water build up inside and rust.

    If you notice extra dirt and/or moisture inside the pressure pot regardless, this is coming from your compressor. In that case, you may need to install filters on the hose.

    Good luck.

    Side note regarding choice of compressor: Mine is OK and got it from Lowe's. Supposed to be "quiet" but still sounds like a truck. It's rated for 2 gallons and 125 max PSI. My only gripe about it is that it's slow. If I were to ever get another one, I would try to get a somewhat larger capacity model.

    Edit: Mine ended up having 2 slow / quiet air leaks. As I have a vent running, I missed them initially. To help localize a leak, make a cup shape with your hand. The air leak will get louder as you pass your hand over. Both of mine were from the fittings instead of the lid. I originally thought I had one leak, fixed that one (remove fitting, re-tape, replace fitting), and then found a 2nd leak.

    Various mods (of mods), custom stuff for more details.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  15. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    38. Electrical / vinyl tape for loose joints on MP8 Re-issue Grimlock

    grimlock.jpg

    Recently got this figure. The only disappointing problem was how floppy the figure is. The wrists and hips are the worst offenders. Weapons automatically tip over, and the figure will do the splits when trying different poses.

    A lot of people use Pledge floor polish to tighten joints. This doesn't always work: does not work for larger gaps or for gaps that are out of reach. This can also leave unsightly white crusting on your figures and is not always removable without some sort of light surface damage.

    Electrical tape is a good alternative and is removable without damage. However, for most effective use, you would need to take apart the loose joints.

    Right hand / wrist:
    righthand.jpg

    The red circle is vinyl tape cut to shape. The LED goes through the hole. The vinyl tape helps to close the gap inside the wrist piece and create traction. Be very CAREFUL with the right hand as the wires can easily disconnect / tear off from the LED. I had to repair mine with solder and used a leftover LED leg as a rigid wire.

    Left hand / wrist:
    lefthand.jpg
    Used a plastic spacer and then fine tuned with layers of electrical tape.

    Hips:
    hip.jpg
    One screw will disassemble the whole hip assembly. The black vinyl tape circle on the hip peg is for forward / backward motion. The red piece below has a black vinyl tape circle with the center cut out. This is for sideways motion. Used multiple layers until I got a tight fit.

    Now Grimlock can be posed without weapons toppling over or him doing splits over and over again.
     
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  16. ziltama

    ziltama Lurks, mods, molds, and casts

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    39. Custom Cyberverse inspired Shield for Siege Optimus Prime (and other figures):

    This took a while to do. The local resin shop has a lot of casted examples and one of them was a huge 3D Autobot insignia. The original was carved out of wood. I got the idea to use something smaller and thinner for a shield. The local Auto Zone shops sell Transformers decals made out of zinc. Removed the adhesive from the back and all the paint from the front. Then made a large mold. Used many rubber bands and heavy bookends in the pot to help keep the mold straight. Added a peg afterward made out of the same resin and used said resin as a glue. Normally, I don't do end to end attachments like this but it works since resin likes to stick to itself and won't separate afterward.

    I tried to do clear coat sprays afterward to make it more shiny and translucent, but I messed up and handled it before it dried completely. So, I'll try that again later. Fortunately, the resins I use are resistant to acetone for short exposures (long enough to get any paint off). Place piece in cup with messed up paint, swish acetone around until all paint is off, pour out excess acetone (best to have a scrap metal container and then let it evaporate in ventilated area), have piece fall onto a paper towel without touching it, and then wait around 10 minutes to handle again (enough time for the acetone to evaporate and surface to harden again). Obviously, don't try that on any manufactured plastic piece as they will melt into nothingness.

    cyberprime.jpg
     
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  17. toynut

    toynut Well-Known Member

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    Shockwave is playing with himself.....Good morning :) 
     
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  18. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Leader of the Scarlet empire

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    That is cool
     
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  19. Damocles Prime

    Damocles Prime Well-Known Member

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    Dude you need an etsy shop or something. I love seeing your stuff but then get immediately butthurt that I cant buy it.
     
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  20. Lunatic Prime

    Lunatic Prime Former Prime

    Joined:
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    Ebay:
    This would actually work in the IDW Comics Beast Hunters/Rage of the Dinobots fiction :p 
     
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