Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Best Tools

My best tools...are my files.  I don't use sandpaper of any kind nor do I use Acetone.  No chemicals of any kind are used in the finishing process except for whats in the clear coat.

Besides my pocket knifes, my files are my best friends.  Sandpaper will crease where you bend it.  the paper will crack and the grit will fall off where it is bent.  So the edge of the paper really has zero effect.

As a machinist, I deal with metal.  1st year apprenticeship entailed making a static cannon on a base plate.  All bevels were made with a file using a process called draw filing.  the base plate had a 45 degree 1/8" wide bevel which was all done by hand.  Files have hard edges so I can file right up to a corner and come in various shapes and sizes.  Some I have modified for my own purposes.

 So the use of files works perfectly for me.  Plastic is no different than steel except its softer.

 Here's my selection of files.  This is everything I use to sand my products.   When done, they re washed in a non abrasive mild sap and cold water with a well used steel scrubby.  They are then riveted, painted where necessary and clear coated.

These files are round, square and flat for the various jobs required of them.

Friday, February 17, 2017


Another reason why I HATE  UPS...

The companies that use them that I deal with are mostly in the US.  Im not against customs fees.  Im against INFLATED custom fees.   $75.00 worth of rivets gets me a $37.00 custom charge.  That includes brokerage fees which are not applied to packages delivered by USPS.

Another reason why I HATE UPS...they charge inflated fees but then don't accept cash.  My wife has cash but they wont accept it.  Who uses checks?  And I have the cc's.  So they then DONT deliver the package and I now have to re arrange my schedule to theirs to go down and pick up this package which I paid to have delivered to my bloody house.

If I don't pick it up in 3 days they automatically ship it back to its origin whereupon if the original shipper doesn't claim it within 3 gets destroyed.

They don't care.  If it gets damaged, their motto is...Its insured.  If they believe it to be a hazardous item, they dispose of it.  They recently threw out a heirloom painting hundreds of years old because the glass broke and never notified the sender or recipient.

They almost threw out a package worth hundreds on Bry.

The shipper at our company worked for UPS for 8 years and he will NEVER use them and is even less polite when talking about them than I am.

So please...Don't ship me anything via UPS.  Their policies border insanity.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Smooth On Products

I just wish to state...

There are various companies around the world that make plastic resins.  I use Smooth On products for various reasons The main ones are:
1...Their basic products are pretty much idiot proof.
2...They're a 5 minute drive away.
3...The end result is safe to play with.  
4...They are environmentally safe.
5...They give me the results I expect and look for.
6...Educational information available for all products.

Of course more exotic resins might require more stringent safety precautions as with anything. 

Sometimes things go pear shaped and it ''all becomes crap'' due to the frustration of both lost time and productivity. 

Im not slagging Smooth On Silicone Rubber.  It has advertised qualities that would be quite helpful for certain molds.  If I could get the product to work.  The frustration lies in not being able to figure out why this product is failing me.  Im sure under the right circumstances Smooth Ons Silicone Rubber works very well. 

Least I can figure...its either A) a reaction with the 205 release agent  B) The mold cure time is out by at least 12-24 hours depending on the size of the mold or C) Its just a bad lot.   Nothing else makes sense.  Who knows.  Maybe Im overlooking something very simple that I either did or didn't do.  My ego can take it.

But because my results with this product have been mostly negative, Im not going to use the silicone rubber at this time for my projects.  I will buy this product again with the sole purpose of trying to figure out why I couldn't get the results I should have gotten.  I just don't have the time or patience to figure it out by doing product testing at just this particular time.

But believe me...when I do...I will be posting it.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

This N That

I have temporarily switched projects for a couple of days. 

I found a company that has off sizes for rivets.  Jay Cee only stocks hard sizes.  1/4", 3/8" etc.  This new company I am now using (Hanson Rivets) stocks rivets in 1/32 lengths.  Which is REALLY convenient for me as the 1/4" length rivets are too short for the knees and the 3/8" are too long.  This has caused me no end of problems in the past.  They stock 9/32" long semi tubular rivets.  Yeah team!

I should have them by mid next week.  So Im holding off finishing the 3 3/4" figures until they arrive.   So in the meantime...

Im working on the 5" version of Marauder.  I have one mold left to make.  The mold of the left thigh which is currently in progress and tomorrow night I can start putting a 5" Marauder together.  I am hoping if all goes well to have a 5" Marauder...the very 1st one EVER done by Monday morning.  Not sure of the color scheme, but expect purple or dark blue to be a predominant color.

Im running the OOMOO 30.

Any comic book artists/illustrators out there looking for work?  I have a 33 page one shot Im trying to get made.  I have a story.  I just need an illustrator.

This summers first September Sale will feature past figures in various custom colors, urethanes and maybe...MAYBE...I might let a couple of 5" Marauders leave the nest.  Im also planning to reward those who have bought past figures with extra cost savings for your support over the years. 

You wont want to miss this sale!

Silicone Rubber

I went to my Smooth On Dealer this morning and explained my repeated results.

He asked if the product came into contact with any clay.  Apparently the elements in the clay would produce similar results.  But the bed wasn't clay.  It was an expired mold.  The master was a thigh made from their Black Onyx resin.  No problems there.

I brought the bottles back with me and he is going to check on the lot number.  Maybe its a bad lot as the product itself was purchased less than 30 days ago.  The only additive was the 205 release agent which should have posed no problems. 

So I'll just have to wait and see what they say.  They stand by the product.  I stand by my results.  So its most likely a bad lot.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


I...don't know why...I followed the instructions to the letter.  I keep thinking its me.  Yet I keep getting the same damn results.

I don't have anything bad to say about the Smooth On products I use regularly.  But Smooth On Silicone Rubber is a bust for the molds I need!  It says 45 min pot life and 6 hours to de mold. 

After 12 hours...the silicone rubber is a stew of uncured molten mess.  The outside is cured.  But not the center.  This is a theme with this crap.  I have NEVER had a silicone Rubber mold made with Smooth On Products achieve anything even remotely close to a useable mold.  I have tried and tried with this silicone rubber and nothing about it works.  They all turn out a gluey, honey consistency mess.

Please understand.  This is not a one off try.  This isn't the first time I have tried to make a mold with this product.  I have tried this product 4 or 5 times now.  All with the same end result.  I did have one mold that I was able to try.  But only after I washed all the goo off.  Ad even then, the damage to the mold made it not worth the effort.

I wont be trying this again.


Homeworld DOES NOT endorse or recommend the use of this product for our purposes. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

3 3/4" Figures...CHROMED???

I think...Im not 100% sure...YET...

But I might be able to chrome some of my figures.  If that true...Im soon to be broke. 

I'll keep you updated.   But Im VERY excited with this news.

Monday, February 6, 2017

55 PSI

Im sure there's a Sammy Hagar song in there somewhere.

55 PSI.  If you haven't heard me say that number before, it's the PSI (pounds per square inch) I set my pressure pot to. 

Why 55 psi when everyone else references 30-35 psi?  There's lots of reasons.

 If it doesn't cost you anything extra, then why only build to minimum code?  Basically, it cant hurt.
If there is an air leak this helps to at least keep the psi up high enough to work the resin.

Those are my 2 reasons for using 55 psi as my setting for my casts.  I also use 55 psi for the silicone molds.  Before I set up my pressure pot, I would drop the silicone mold repeatedly on the counter top.  I would run an exacto knife through the silicone.  Anything I could think of to break up air bubble and get the silicone around the master and into hard to reach places.  Some molds didn't turn out because the silicone couldn't reach the hard areas in time before they started curing.

Using the pressure pot helps push the silicone into those hard to get to places.  Im surprised where it goes some days.  lol.  Now I don't know if I need to go to 55 PSI for the molds...but its been working well for me at that setting.  Maybe Im going too far for nothing.  Maybe the extra 15-20 psi is nothing but overkill.  I don't know...

But it cant hurt.  :-)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

How to Extend Shelf Life

Shelf Life...Not to be confused with Pot Life.

Shelf Life is the term given for the basic maximum time a product can sit on the shelf before its no longer any good.  I also include "opened".  Once you open it and expose it to air.

One way I extend the shelf life of the resins and silicones is to never wipe the bottles.  Then when they dry, they act as a seal.  This does of course make it difficult to open the bottle later, but nothing a pocket knife and a monkey wrench can fix.

The tighter the seal when you close your bottles, the longer they will last.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Color Tinting...Clear VS Solid Colors

Its an art.  Why? 

Beyond the delicate amounts of color used, different resins react differently when color is introduced.

A Standard white resin requires a great amount of color.  The color needs to overpower the white of the resin.  If you don't add enough color,  the white will bleach the color into what I can only describe as a pastel color.

Clear urethane resins only require a pin drop of color because the color is fighting nothing.

When working with solid colors, you need to make all parts from one pour to achieve exactly the same color throughout the resin.

Clear resins are different.  Because light can pass through clear resins, smaller parts made from the same pour will appear lighter than larger parts because more light is able to pass through them.  So you will end up with various shades of the same color with only like size parts being the same in color.  You will need to have several pours,  adjusting the amount of color used in each pour to match the shades up or the larger parts will be darker compared to the smaller parts and look out of place.