Saturday, December 31, 2016

Making Figures With a Change of Pace

Its nice making figures with no deadlines.  No stress.  I cant remember the last time I was this relaxed making figures.  I spilt my coffee on my laptop.  I didn't even swear.  It didn't even phase me.  The funs coming back.  I've done more in the last 5 days than I have in the last 9 months.  I really cant apologize enough for losing my cool a few times over the last few years.  I can be too ambitious and the stress of being a one man show really got the best of me on more than one occasion.

Im now finishing projects I started years ago.  I even did a little bit of work on Marauder.

Im enjoying myself again.  Hopefully it shows in the figures.  Im hoping by this September to have a nice selection of figures to choose from if anyone is interested in any of them.  Im going to hold back pics a bit and hit you all with a WOW factor of eye candy all at once.  :-)

Tomorrow I'll start work on Jade and Ronin.  Maybe I can squeeze some extra missile packs in for an accessory for past figures while Im at it.

2017 looks to be getting off to a great start.  But Summer cant get here soon enough.  I dream about driving my car at last once a week.

Friday, December 30, 2016

CHEAP IN THE WRONG PLACES

Im a cheap prick.  In the wrong places. 

Are you like me...you have a perfectly good stereo from the 80's you just cant throw out because it still works?  You have a perfectly good tube TV.  Cant bring yourself to throw it out because there is nothing wrong with it?  Well then chances are you, like me, are fighting yourself and have made more work for yourself because you, like me, are a cheap prick in the wrong places.

Being cheap in the wrong places, and taking this long to realize it almost got me to call casting quits.

As I have furthered my skills at casting, I have developed systems and molds which significantly reduce the amount of work I need to do.  Yet that requires making newer updated molds.  Which I made and make as the need arises.  But I keep using older molds that there is nothing wrong with except I need to do extra drilling or sanding.  The more time I spend drilling and sanding, especially harder cured resins, the more I have come to not want to continue making figures.

I have spent the last week working on some figures.  Its nice not having deadlines or promises to live up to...And it suddenly hit me.  I had made some VERY nice molds.  But because the old ones were still good, I kept using them.  Well one of the old molds finally crapped out and I pulled out the newer mold.  This newer mold had updates done to it which shaved over half an hour of work per part. Then I found more newer molds, but I kept using the older ones because I could still use them with a bit of work.   Not realizing this bit of extra work per figure was slowly killing my enthusiasm.

I was too cheap to throw out the old molds because of the time I spent to make them.  Sometimes its better to cut your losses.  Which I am now doing.  Im updating all my molds so I don't kill myself and my enthusiasm with all this extra work.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wanted Magnet Info

Well...Sorry guys...unless someone has information on magnets...Dinonauts are a bust. 

The only information I can find on magnets and the only magnets I find are earth magnets.  I cannot grind or machine earth magnets or they lose their field and they are too powerful.  The ones I have are 1/2 the size of the original magnets and I cant use them because they are just too strong.

I cant find the blackish style magnets anywhere.

If you know where I can find the proper magnets please email me at golddober@gmail.com

Otherwise, this is the last post on this subject.

Monday, December 26, 2016

SHELF LIFE

It doesn't matter what product you use.  Everything has a shelf life.  A best before date upon which to be used.

Unlike food however, we can actually increase or decrease shelf life.  What would you say if I told you some of my resins are close to 2 years old and still good?  That they still retain all the properties they should when the cast is fully cured.

Whats Homeworlds BIGGEST piece of advice? STIR WELL.  Always stir your products in their original container and then mix well. 

Next...Air is the enemy.  In all of casting from the mold to the cast to the liquefied products...air is the enemy.  I always try to get as good a seal as possible on my products when putting the lids back on as possible.  Most times I need a small screwdriver to pry and a pipe wrench to get the lid off from some of the overspill drying.  I consider this a good thing.  It adds to an airtight seal.

Just because its 6 months old doesn't make it bad.  Try it first.  Don't just assume its garbage.  Make sure its mixed well in its original container.  Remember...2 minutes is a long time.  Your arm should be tired.  Then when you combine the products, be sure to mix well again.  Most problems can be attributed to improper mixing.  That's why I prefer products with a slightly longer pot life.

HOMEWORLDS FLICKR PHOTO'S

Just to be clear...while I will be deleting Homeworlds Flickr account, I plan to find a comparable service with Google and put them back up.  Homeworld is in need of updating.  Yahoo getting hacked...again...just puts this front and center.

And the pictures will be accessible from Homeworlds Hot List just as they are now...and you can probably expect a few more customs added to it.  :-)


Saturday, December 24, 2016

HO HO HO and and a HAPPY NEW YEAR

After close to 11 years of shiftwork.....Im feeling it.  Can you tell?  I just don't have the energy I used to have.  Im tired all the time...

But I have taken the next week off and am spending some of it making stuff.  I need different magnets for the Dinonauts.  Earth magnets are just too powerful.

Im remaking among other things my Magno Collection in 3 3/4" form...that will include Chromed 3 3/4" figures.  I have a few figures to make for some friends...and Mr Grifka...you need to email me.

Im going to be going through all my parts and turning them into "Planned" 3 3/4" customs.   No Circus Figures.  And there will be other custom figures offered up for sale as well.  No packaging.

I have some Clear Full urethane figures coming up as well.  Now to see if I can beat this cold I just contracted 3 days ago...its a bad one too.

So for now...Have a Safe and Merry Holiday Season and a VERY Happy New Year!



Thursday, December 15, 2016

Flickr Moving To Google

Yahoo is being a PITA...I understand they have had issues with security...luckily I don't pass sensitive information through Yahoo mail.  As it is...at best Yahoo is a complete joke.  I got talked into opening a Flickr account years ago...its on the right side...Homeworlds Flickr pics. 

Because Yahoo is at best a 3rd rate service on the net...how and a better question...WHY are they still around?  Like an athlete who doesn't know when to give it up and retire.  Does anyone really seriously use Yahoo anymore?

Their security or lack thereof is why...Im ditching Yahoo.  Come the new year, I will be closing my Flickr account. and severing my ties with Yahoo. 

So if you haven't stolen any pictures that are in there yet...better hop to it.  I only keep pics of my customs in there.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CASTING VS PRINTING

Casting vs Printing.  Why don't I print?

Mostly because I don't know how to write up 3D files.  But there are other reasons too.  When printing, you need to sand to get rid of print lines.  There are various ways, but its still a PITA. 

Another reason is I put everything through a pressure pot.  When I wash my casts...they sink to the bottom of the sink.  Printed parts float.  If my cast floats...its garbage.  It indicates a massive internal air bubble.

I can ALWAYS make a mold work.  Printing can take a bit.  Orientation is even more important with printing.  Too many electronics parts to adjust when the print goes pear shaped.

My costs for casting are pretty tame.  Its mostly my time.  Printing costs are insane.  You have to include maintenance costs as well.  My maintenance costs are pretty much zero. You need to be computer tech savvy for printing.  Im definitely not that.  lol.

Im learning more of a craft with casting.  Printing intimidates me because I have such a hard time with computers. 

Some parts I have had 3D printed because it was easier than sculpting.  and actually the term 3D printed is wrong.  It may have been printed...but the technical term is...Rapid Prototyping.  Where upon you rapidly print out a prototype and then use it to make a mold and then casts.  But technology has advanced to the point they can print in various colors and mediums so the term 3D Printing became a more commonly used term.  Less syllables, easier to say.

I could I suppose contract out to Shapeways, but then I am not in control of my product and can lose substantial amounts of $$$ on shipping if the print doesn't turn out.  Test pieces.  I would have to drop the Custom Hand Made from my list of product details.  And Shapeways would also take a cut on direct orders.

Rapid Prototyping definitely has its advantages.  I couldn't have done some projects without it.  But when it comes to a final product or result...I prefer the end result of casting over the end results of printing alone.  That's a personal preference.  Some people don't care, some people prefer Prototyped models.  Its simply a personal preference.

2 different processes...2 different skill sets.  I use the one that most compliments the skills I already have.  But if I ever DO learn how to write 3D files...I will admit...I would use it more for making my masters than the process I use now.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Master Orientation

Probably one of the harder processes of making a mold.  Orientation doesn't matter so much with smush molds, but with Sprue Molds its very important.

Basic science says Gravity works with the path of least resistance.  When poured resin will follow this rule.  Gravity will pull it down and a path through the silicone mold will guide it.  The resin flow will push the air out the vent paths.

But how do you orient you master?  The rule I always try to follow is Point It Down.  This is aided by our 2 rules.  You never want your resin to have to flow up into an enclosed space.  This will create an air pocket.  The air is trapped with no place to go.  So your resin flow should always be down.

Sometimes this is unavoidable because of the shape of your master.  If putting in a vent is not a viable choice, you can modify the mold.  Just cut a little bit of the mold to create a pocket for the air to escape into.

A vent is a smaller channel that simply allows air to escape.  This will fill with resin so you don't need very big channel and you will clip these parts off and throw them away or keep them to use as channels for other molds.  A toothpick will make an excellent vent minimizing the wasted resin that will fill it.

The more complex your sprue mold, the harder it will be for the resin to travel through the mold.  I would recommend a resin with a longer pot life to ensure it doesn't start to cure while you are still pouring.

When pouring the resin, we are fighting the properties of Adhesion.  Adhesion is what keeps a drop from going completely flat on a surface.  The water adheres to the surface, keeping the water drop from covering more surface area.  This is the same with resin. 

Conversely...Sometimes before you pour your resin, you might want to apply a little bit of resin to hard to reach areas before you pour.  When the resin hits this area its will use the properties of Cohesion, attaching itself to a liquid of similar properties to help it advance through the mold channels eliminating the chance an area wont get covered with resin  and leave you with an air pocket.

I'll update this soon with some pictures.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sprue Mold

A SPRUE MOLD...is an enclosed mold that uses a series of channels that allows the resin to flow inside it, with vents that allow the air to escape.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

WORK...UGH

While I love the Holiday Season, I hate December.  Companies clear out their shops to get things off the books for the year.  They drop them off at other companies so they have everything ready to go come January.  Where do they drop them off?

AT THE MACHINE SHOP.  So December is usually quite busy for me.  Hence why posting is down. 

Next up is a summarization of Sprue /molds and then we will have some fun making a few things.