Sunday, November 26, 2017

VYTAFLEX Test Results -1

Ok///Im not going to waste time taking pics of these results.  Colossal fail.
I made...1 drop, 2 drop and 3 drops of Orange dye in different cups.
I then did the same thing and added 1 drop of yellow.

When compared to vintage Antennae color,...None of them is close.  Very dark orange.  3 drops of yellow was closer.

So that means...
A...this rubber accepts tinting very well and only a very little amount need be used to achieve color
B...I might need to lean more heavily on a yellow base with maybe a hint of orange

Next...this cures to a soft brown chicken eggshell.  A slightly darker almond.  Not off white.

And finally...Yes...this one I will post pics of later...This is my thoughts...the hardener is like honey.  So when you stir it you stir air into it.  Air bubbles can clearly be seen dotting the surface on the non pressurized rubber.  Where as the pressurized rubber is of a much nicer surface finish. 

So I would recommend pressurizing this.  I keep thinking about how a Lobros tongue would be in't have to worry about it breaking.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


I have 7 different tests going on right now with the VYTAFLEX  40.  I have different amounts of orange and yellow tints or combinations of and one without to see how close to the original color I can get. 

I'm going to make one sample test and see how it turns out without being pressurized.  Im sure it helps keep it from breaking down sooner as air bubbles are weak spots.  But I want to see what happens to be sure.  I pressurize all my stuff.  Molds and casts at 55 PSI.  30-40 PSI is all that's required but I like to go just a bit more.  It never hurts and cuts me some slack if there's a slow leak.

I picked up more silicone so I can remake the Lobstros Antennae mold correctly.  I'd love to make a set of Clear Rubber Antennae...Im going to check into that.  I'd buy and waste an entire container for a few sets.  lol.

And my rivets arrived.  I also found the missing rivets this morning.   Im hoping to start the Roboid S2.0 in 3 weeks.  The sooner I get them done the sooner I can get the Crimson Warrior done.  Then I can start making some extra missile packs for September Sale 2018. And maybe a few other things so you can save on shipping.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Aluminium VS Stainless Steel Rivets

Stainless Steel Rivets...or Aluminium...Which to use?

I use Aluminium Rivets.

While both do not rust and the Stainless Rivets are shinier, I would recommend the Aluminium Rivets for one simple reason...They are easier to remove if you make a mistake.

Stainless Steel is hard on files.  It dulls and wrecks them.  You can actually melt the plastic from the heat generated simply filing them, trying to remove them.

They are also harder to set because the Stainless is harder than Aluminium.  So the pressure needed to set them is greater than that needed for Aluminium.  If you aren't can easily crack your parts.

There's nothing wrong with using stainless rivets.  But you need to be aware that when setting them, you need to adjust your 'feel'.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


I was thinking that in order to make shipping worth it, Im going to try and have several items available for Homeworlds 2018 September sale.  If I do it that way...then I might be able to make Acroyear arms.   I just need to be careful.  Its easy to underestimate the work involved.

Im working on the figures for next years September Sale first.  Then, I'll start making some missile packs for past figures.  If I get that far, then I'll make some Acroyear arms also.  Im trying to find ways to maximize on shipping.  But Im only 1 person who has a full time job.  There's only so much I can do.

I have a small business card which offers small discounts on shipping and supplies.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Since I can think of no other use for this rubber resin than Lobstros Antennae, that leaves me with a lot of resin I probably wont use.  I probably could find a use but I don't have the time for undertaking additional projects utilizing this resin at this time. 

So what I am going to do is because the cure time is so long, Im going to pour a bunch of the same amount in Dixie cups each with different amounts of color and see which comes closest.  Rather than fill the mold, wait 16 hours...repeat.  Its not like I was considering keeping any of these casts.  They are just tests so they are all garbage.  They all have issues.  First and foremost is the disgusting flash.  So its easier and faster to just waste it experimenting with samples in disposable cups.

Wasting it this way will actually save me time and resin...and mold life. 

One step closer to making a complete Lobstros.  Once I have these antennae done, its just a matter of finding the time for the project.  If I want to be ready for next years September Sale, I need to start making the figures for it by next month.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Rubber Urethane VYTAFLEX 40  from Smooth On was used for the making of both Membros Hydrapipes and Lobstros Antennae.  Here's what I found.

It has a 30 minute pot life and a 16 hour cure time.  It is a 1:1 ratio mix.  I pressurized these @ 55 PSI.  I wouldn't cast period without a pressure pot.  Resin/Rubber or Silicone.  The results are night and day compared to not.  And the casts are more solid and sturdier. 

It is a very thick resin akin to pouring a thick honey.  It will not do well in small detailed Sprue Molds.  I needed to use a straw to help the rubber resin flow through the mold by controlled forced air into the straw.  If you blow into the straw like you are filling up a balloon, you'll blow everything apart.  TRUST ME ON THIS ONE!  ;-)   For larger casts with larger channels it would do better.  The stuff I do is too small and detailed.  And I don't see it taking to rivets all that well.  Also its a very unforgiving resin.  I don't know of a way to hide or fix flaws in rubber.  So it needs to be done in one shot.  The mold needs to be perfect because this resin doesn't hide flaws 

Everything I expected to happen happened with the exception of color.  Im very surprised at how well this took the color.  It will need tweaking, but not nearly as much as I thought.  It was a pleasant surprise.

The VF-40 is actually quite an incredible rubber resin.  I would recommend it more for one piece cast figures.  I find its uses limited for my purposes.  Outside of the antennae I don't have a use for it, so I may have to get creative.  But color options would be limited...unless...I wonder how a double pour would work with this???   MORE TESTING!!!  :-)  It would be the only way to get around single color casts...if it works and I don't see a reason for it not to.

Im also loving the fact I can make a decent rubber cast utilizing my already made silicone molds.  And they are so very polite at being removed from the mold.  It wouldn't surprise me if I was able to get an extra 50% more casts with the rubber because of how soft it is on the mold.  Like all molds,  mold life is greatly influenced by how rough you remove the cast.

The VF-40 worked very well for the Antennae.  Im undecided as to whether it worked well or not on the Hydra Pipe.  Its very floppy because it is so long and skinny.  Im sure repeated attempts at plugging/unplugging the pipe will result in the peg(?) of the hydra pipe simply pulling off.  It stretches incredibly at that thickness, but jeez I don't trust it staying on.

Im gonna play with it some and see if my suspicions hold up or not.  DESTRUCTIVE TESTING!
Man wouldn't you love to be hosting MYTHBUSTERS? Hey man...what do you do for a living?  Me?  I blow shit up.  LMAO I said...I didn't want to make a 2 part split mold for the Antennae for many reasons and I was right.  This is rubber, not plastic.  I cant simply sand an incorrect part of the rubber cast.  The length wise split mold has left flash that is a complete PITA to remove.  You need a VERY sharp exacto knife or razor blade to carefully remove it.  Not only does it leave a tell tail sign you cant blend in its too time consuming.  Im remaking the mold to how I recently showed with the magnet so the mold split will be on the edge of the 5 mm peg portion.  No flash.  It has to be done that way.  It'll look terrible otherwise.  You can see it for yourself in the pictures.  But like I said, I really only need to hit the color and I can make these no problem.  I just need to finish the new molds when I get more silicone.
Showing Flash Issues On Rubber Casts
The floppy consistency of the VF-40 Lobstros antennae in comparison to that of the vintage is quite similar.  These might be a touch softer, but unless you have an original in your other hand for immediate comparison, and even would be had pressed to tell them apart.  For making these Antennae, I would highly recommend using this product. 

The lighting plays enormous tricks.  In some pics they look almost 100% identical in color, when in fact they are not.  Lobstros Antennae are a nice subtle orange.  I used yellow attempting to overcome any peculiarities in the resin.  I wanted to be sure a tint would work so I put in an extra drop.  These antennae are a darker yellow...more of a mustard.  It needs some orange to balance it out.

My antennae are NOT exact replicas.  I made the master out of 4340 steel.  It differs in that my spaces on the antennae are slightly closer together than vintage.  This was done on purpose.  If I should manage to hit the color accurately, I want to be sure my work and vintage can be easily distinguished.  I will NOT have my work intentionally misrepresenting original figures or their accessories.
Casts Supplied by Ray Miller /Steel Master Made By Me.
I calculated a shrinkage allowance into the 5 mm peg end and it fits nicely.  They are not loose at all.  Its a bit to buy a complete resin package for 2 Antennae if that's the only use you have for it.  So Im gonna pump out a bunch of these for people who need them ONCE I get the color right or at least close and new molds made.  AGGHH!  That Flash is bugging me something fierce..
Again, without an original in hand for comparison, even this shade of yellow isn't that bad.

And the better news...because of their nature and size, I can pop them in an envelope and mail them out for like $2 or $2.50 

But I need to get more silicone and remake these molds the right way.  These current casts are from molds I made a while ago.  Im simply getting some use out of them by doing all my testing on them.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


I still another 7 hours before the VYTAFLEX Lobstros Antennae are fully cured.  I leave everything alone for full cure.
However, I cut out the bottom of my disposable mixing cup and removed what was half cured on the bottom.

It seems colors are more opaque.  While it is definitely a shade of yellow, Im gonna try a few more test pieces to see if I can change the shade some.  Its a mustard yellow.  Im hoping to get a lighter shade.

So I have a round urethane rubber disc.  Its definitely rubber.  And Im liking the properties.  Although not fully cured, its flexible, bendable...everything a rubber should be and of a similar feel to that of the Lobstros antennae.  But its still curing so it doesn't quite go back to its original form right away.  It will once its fully cured.
From where I stand now...Im very optimistic about this product.  If the antennae are as good as this disc, then we there man.  All that is left is simply finding the right or an acceptable shade of color. 

This I going to work VERY nicely.  Im quite pleased.


Im currently trying something new.  VYTAFLEX 40 a urethane rubber.

WOW.  This is an entirely new animal.

I would NOT recommend this product for complex sprue molds.  Its like pouring thick honey.  It does have a 30 minute pot life and a 16 hour cure time.  So tomorrow I'll know what happened.

If you must use this product for a sprue mold, make sure the channels are large.  Also...I needed a straw to gently help the flow of this product through the mold.  I would recommend this product for SMUSH molds over SPRUE molds.

Im not sure how it will cure or how it reacts to color.  I tinted the pour yellow.  We'll see how or if this translates into a yellow cast or not.

The one thing I am curious about is...I have a Membros Hydrapipe  mold.  So I filled it to see if it will work and how durable it might be once cured.  If it could be a viable option.

I should maybe consider a Parts Package.  Where I package up various parts and sell them together.  Would make shipping nicer for some of you...keep what you need and trade/sell the rest.

We'll see.