Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hero Factory Trading Cards UNCUT SHEET

I am not sure if the  Uncut Trading Card Sheet was made because collectors asked for it or if it was just done because they were printing the cards anyway.  But Hero Factory ran off a few sheets of Uncut Trading Cards for us.

I ended up with 4.  I wanted 2 so I could display both the front and back of the cards, but they were shipped flat in very thin cardboard.  There was no strength or support, so when something fell against it or on it, it creased the cardboard folder as well as the 2 Uncut Sheets inside.  The seller was nice enough to replace them for me.

The sheets are laminated.  And the lamination while it did protect the sheets, it has been disturbed and you can see it in close ups.

Besides the Hero Factory Trading Cards, they also produced the Uncut Trading Card Sheet and 2 different Micronaut Binders.   I'll have to check and see who is responsible for the Micronauts Digital DVD Comic.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chromed "CYRUS"

I thought I would run this picture of Chromed Cyrus again.  With some new readers, I suspect some of you haven't seen this picture yet.

For thos of you who havent seen Cyrus before, Cyrus is a custom figure inspired by Chromantron with 1 very big difference.  ChromeAntron is a static or still figure.  It cannot be posed because it was chromed OVER the rivets.  If you attempt to pose it, you will flake the chrome.

Cyrus on the other hand was totally dismantled for chroming.  Rivets were drilled out.  After chroming, it was reassembled and riveted back together.  It is fully articulate and pose-able.  I currently have 8 Cyrus figures with only 1 chromed and 3 painted. Although, I am having 1 more chromed in the reverse of this current figure.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Reworking the Mold PART 2

Side View of reworked mold with old mold cured to it.
 When I first started casting, it was mentioned to me that some people have been experimenting recycling their old molds.  Grinding them up and reworking it in with fresh silicone to help 'a' recycle and 'b' cut down on costs.

This is something I have been wanting to try, but without a method to grind up the silicone I wasn't sure how.
Reworked mold with old mold cured to it.

Then I became concerned chunks of silicone would trap air against the piece being molded.  So I had been toying with the idea of using only a thin layer of fresh silicone followed by a thicker layer of recycled and reworked silicone.  With no effective grinder, there was no way to try...

I JUST LOVE LEGO.   Lego provides a standard.  It gives one a way to remake the mold frame to exactly the same  dimensions EVERY time. 
Picture of reworked mold
The urethane is very hard on this mold.  I am asking a little "tit" less than 1/16" in diameter to resist being pulled out of a small hole.  Well that "tit" ripped out again.  I have 4 chest canopies left to make...then it hit me.  I am almost out of silicone and I didn't have enough to make a nice beefy mold.  But I did have other crapped out molds I wasn't using.  So I poured some fresh silicone to remake the 2nd half of the mold again.  But the layer was thin.  I am almost out.  Then I grabbed an old worn out mold made with a LEGO frame that has the exact same dimensions and seated it on top of the fresh silicone and let the 2 cure to each other.
 This is NOW, the top of the mold.  Not the casting cavity.

It worked.  I have beefed up the mold using one of my old worn out molds.  This is a VERY cool discovery for me.  Very Cool.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Reworking a Mold

Well what I suspected was going to happen...happened.  All of my molds held up and I should be able to make a few more quite easily...except for the Chest Canopy Mold.  Urethane is so hard on the molds.

One of the advantages to using a pressure pot is that the pressure forces the silicone into all the little nooks and crannies.  The back of the chest canopy has a small hole for the screw to tighten it on.  The silicone even gets into this hole and if you can believe it even molds the threads inside the hole.  Well the urethane plays murder on the mold and after 9 Clear chest canopies, the little "tit" that makes the hole, tore off.
I was a little put out and then I thought about it.  Only HALF of the mold is trashed.  Not the entire mold.  So I put the Chest canopy back into the good half of the mold and made sure it was seated properly and firmly.  Then I poured silicone over it.  It worked.  Hmmm...I have a second mold...same problem.  So I tried it again.  And again it worked.  So now I have 2 molds to use and 8 canopies left to make.  So 4 from each mold.  For the second mold however, I didn't put the head or drill back into the mold so the silicone filled up those spaces and took on their form.  It just makes for a more firm mold lock is all.  The molds with the hole in them with the little "tit" inside it are the reworked molds.  The ones on the top are still in good shape, so there was no need to remake the entire mold.  Thankfully...I am almost out of silicone.

I am only making a small amount of resin, but with 1 mold I still had lots of resin left over.  So I didn't want to waste it.  I will be making a separate post for this, but I now have quite a few sets of Clear Pharoid Wings and also some Blue Pharoid wings that will be for sale shortly.

Reworking the mold is only possible if you can reseat the original piece perfectly.  Otherwise the pressure will force the silicone into whatever airspace is there and create an extra thin layer of silicone around your piece you are using to make the mold.  This 'flap' or thin layer of silicone will play havoc on your finished cast.  If the 'flap' comes out, it will make your cast now out of true shape and it will be thicker and bigger.

8 more chest canopies to go...then full bore assembly.  :~)  YEAH!!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Clear Chest Canopy

The instructions on this particular urethane resin says demold in 90 minutes.   Maybe on paper that might be true.  After making quite a few figures using this urethane, that it is still too soft.  This chest canopy is really incredibly small.  Yet at 4 1/2 hours it is just acceptable for me to consider demolding it.  Otherwise I will have to hang it.  Because if I put it down anywhere, it will develop a flat spot.  It could also sag if hung.  I find the magic number to safely remove from the mold using this urethane resin is 6 hours.  But 4 and 1/2 hours seems to be okay for these chest canopy's.

I remember the first clear magno heads I made.  I was so impressed with myself because it looked really good.  So I took it out of the mold and put it safely down.  Went to look at it a few hours later and there was a huge flat spot on the back of the head from where it had been resting.

On a side note, I have started trimming up the boots.  Taking off the flash, trimming up the lines and drilling the boots for a 5 mm stand.  Sorry I am not providing a stand, but I am sure most people have at least 1 from the Palisades line.  I should have the boots done by monday.  Then I will do the thighs and torso's.  I could quite possibly have all the legs done and riveted by next weekend.  Then comes drilling out the chest piece.  Head, 2 arms, torso and back.   5 holes have to be drilled in it.  5 MM.  I do these all by hand.  I start with a small drill and work my way up.  It takes longer, but its more accurate.  If I accidentally am off center I have several drill bit sizes I can still go through to bring it back inline.  Oh yeah...several weeks worth of work yet.  Easily.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The MICRONAUT Alphabet and Numerical Designations

I was going through my picture files when I came across this.  I had forgotten I had it.  Now that its dug up, if anyone has any information on its origin I would love to hear from you.

Homeworlds Cover page Features the Micronaut Alphabet and Numbering Designations.  To the best of my knowledge no one has determined any kind of pronunciations for any of the letters or numbers.  I wonder if the CIA has this in their code breaker system? 

At the top of the Chart are some of the written characters which actually does say something.  Unless I am mistaken it says, " In the Name of Enigma-Peace"  or something to that effect.  Its a loose translation.  :~)

This lettering system is the same lettering that adorns the Force Commander head Sculpt and Base that was available almost 15 years ago though a Micronaut chat site called Micro Talk.  It is also on the extremely rare Dark Assassin.

Even though you cant speak's still fun to screw up family members by mailing them letters written in this format.  :~)