Tuesday, February 28, 2017

3.5 Hours Later

Another great thing about Lego is it provides lay out lines with the height of the block.  So it helps with measuring.  You remember how much of each A and B you use for each set up.

OR...if your smart...you keep a notebook of specific hints and cheats for yourself.  You move on to other projects and maybe 3 years later you pick up an old project.  Sometimes its nice to have those notes.  There was at least once or twice I forgot something VERY simple that caused me of end of aggravation.

The reason it took me 3 and a half hours to bed this master is because it is built up.  I could have sunk this master into the clay, but I need it to stay firmly and securely in the silicone.  If I take the time and build up the clay bed around it, it removes easily because the master isn't imbedded into the clay which would hold it more firmly than we want and possibly dislodge the master from the 1st half of the silicone mold.

I built the clay up 2 layers of Lego block height.  I use a medium clay which needs to be worked so its a chore.

This pelvis is for the 5" Marauder.   The pegs broke off because the clearances were off.  So with them out of the way, I ground the proper clearance in.  Then I made the mold.  This no peg pelvis is for the 5" Marauder Magno.  Then I drilled a hole and installed a 5mm peg for the thighs to mount to.

Tomorrow night I'll have all the molds to make both the 5" magno and 5" Marauder.  But I only have the parts currently for 1 magno.  The Magno Marauder is not my focus at this time.  I simply want a basic 5" Marauder on my desk top so I can finally say I made it.  After so many disappointments.  I walked away from the project countless times in frustration.  So dammit...I want one now and will make more later after I get the Jade figures made.

Yep...I like the way this is going.  I feel better, I look forward to making the figures now.  No pressure.  No deadlines.  No stress.  Figure are getting made and projects are slowly getting done.

Its gonna be a great year.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Homeworld's New Look

I figured I'd play around with Homeworld's look a bit.  It's been what...8 year's now (Holy Shit)...and I thought it time we change up the look a bit.  Im going to see if I can properly update Homeworld's Hot List and bring a more updated look, check out more of the features and see if I can improve this blog a notch or two.

This pic is simply because.   I commissioned it by James Koebel.  It has no relevance to this post.  I just really like it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

I Never Built Models

Would you believe I really don't care for or think much of models?  I've never bought or built one in my life.  Dad bought an Ocean Liner that he attempted to build with me.  It soon became his.  I never got to touch it.  But the concept of all the continual waiting.  Waiting for the paint or glue to dry.  Just build the damn thing I always thought.

Maybe it was the structure or rigidity of being forced to color inside the lines that turned me off as a kid.  Being forced to work within the confines of the box or the limited selection.  Planes, trains, cars and boats...I couldn't tell you.

Today... can see the appeal.  But the only reason I would buy a model would be to incorporate some of the parts from it into a custom.

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.

Best Contact Email

Hey Guys...just a heads up.  The best way to contact me is via golddober@gmail.com

I don't use the yahoo email address.  So if you try to contact me via yahoo...you could literally be waiting months for a reply.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

How much is 100 MB?

ok...I took a test video.  RAY MILLER Im not.  Forget the Blair Witch Project.  I suck.  But it was a  test.  I shot 3 minutes of video.  I cant upload it to my blog because its over (apparently) 100 MB.  

It was a 3 minute video.  So if a 3 minute video is over 100 MB... Im stuck with still photo's and long posts.  Sorry guys.

It seems whatever technology you buy you are then required to take a 6 month course on it to be able to operate it competently.  Why not just make the shit USER FRIENDLY?  New symbols, new language...heck I had to rewrite this post 3 times because parts of it just keep disappearing on me.  That's an everyday occurrence here.

I'll see if I can get the video's up on you tube and link them.  I hate hassles.  Not problems...BS hassles.  Just once I would like things to work as expected.

I was simply born 400 years to late.

Friday, February 24, 2017

3D Prints Arent Perfect

Booger.  I had hoped once I reworked the thighs on the 5" Marauder and I was done.  Not so.

The pelvis was a bad print.  I just didn't know and couldn't tell.  So when I put the thighs on the pelvis, the pegs would break off because the clearance was not there.  There were also 2 holes in the print.  One filled with silicone when I first made a mold of it and I filled the other with clay.  With the pegs broken off, I have ground the clearances nto the pelvis.  Im making a mold of it to use the pelvis with no pegs for the 5" magno.  Lucked out there.  Then I'll install the 5mm pelvis pegs and make the final pelvis mold for Marauder.

There was definitely more work to Marauder than I thought.  Then I get to go through the whole process again with a 3 3/4" Marauder.  Fun.

So maybe...MAYBE...with any luck I can get these final 2 molds done this weekend.

I don't know why I want those molds done so bad right now.  They just mean more work when Im already losing ground.  lol.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Today's Tasteless Humor

Mary had a little lamb,
But it will drink no more.
For what it thought was H2O,
Was H2SO4.

Tinting Is Getting Easier

Some times you run a bunch of parts from the same batch because you need the consistent color and one freaky cast just says...Nuh uh.  Great.  Now you have to try and match a tint which is much harder than it sounds. 

I have in the past run of as many as 7 casts before I was able to get a good match sometimes.  As you can well imagine, I do have surpluses of parts in varying shades of one color.  Well, the clear blue is a bit darker than I wanted, but the Orange Clear Overlord which is now n Orange clear Flight Commander came out great in 2 tries.  They are urethane so they'll take a couple of days to cure.

So next is to make some replacement molds.  The only problem is all the molds I need to make are replacement or final mold.  Which means the bed is a previous mold.  So I'll make a whole bunch of smaller video's focused on one point.  These short video's will cover the entire process.  Except making a clay bed.  That video will have to wait until I need to make a mold needing a clay bed for the master.  Each video will focus on a separate point.  This way you don't get bored watching a 25 minute long video or have to worry about setting a large amount of time aside for one sitting.

Its shift change weekend from afternoons to days.  Ugggh  So hopefully I can fall asleep and be on them by 9 am.  Hopefully.  Its 4:30 am now.

I like to change it up a bit.   Instead of counting sheep, I try listing Micronauts. 

Red TT, Blue TT...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Jade/Ronin and September Sale

Im finishing up 3 figures this weekend, then I'll detail and clear coat all the figures I have made to date. There's about 10.  Im trying for 1 figure per week.

This weekend, my plan is to then make a video of me making a mold of Marauder's thighs.  Something I  have been wanting to do for a while.  Then, I plan to spend the next few weeks making the missile packs for them and a few extra to sell individually.  Then spend the rest of my time making Jade and Ronin. That's the plan.  And maybe...hopefully, find the time to make a few Marauders before the sale.  Hopefully.

NOW...

I have had this idea for a while.  I can now implement it when Jade is offered at the sale.

I will be offering a 5% discount on the price to those who have purchased past figures.  Not 5% off Jade in total...5% off Jade for every figure you have purchased of mine to a maximum 25% off. 

If you purchased any of these figures...Roboid/Sultan/Flight Commander/Overlord/Deimos and wish to purchase Jade, then you will get 5% off your Jade purchase.  If you have 3 figures, that's 15% off your Jade purchase.  This offer extends to anyone who purchased this figure. Whether it be from Homeworld directly, you bought it from a friend, you bought it off ebay...I don't care where you bought it or got it from.  Maybe I even gifted it to you.  It doesn't matter.  If you own any of my figures, you will be entitled to no less than a 5% discount.

Exact details and Prices will be announced with the Sale notice. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Rivets, Rivets, RIVETS

Ok...I wont detail my trip to UPS.  It was everything I expected it to be.  A hassle.  And apparently everyone in line in front of me wasn't pleased to have to personally pick up their packages. 

How does UPS stay in business?

Anyways, I got my transition rivets.  Tomorrow, I'll start putting some of these figures together and take a shot of what I have made so far.

I have a couple other plans I'd like to share, but will wait until I actually start them. 

Its going to be an awesome year!

ANOTHER REASON WHY UPS SUCKS

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 days...it 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.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Whats Left On Marauder

What still needs to be done to make a complete 5" Marauder?

I need to make finished thigh molds.  I had to rework the thighs.  I have yet to rework the pelvis.  The print was flawed.   There isn't enough clearance for the thigh so the 5 mm peg keeps snapping off.  Once I grind in the clearance I'll need tore install the 5mm peg and make a finish mold of that.

I already modified the molds, for proper rivet size.  The part of the mold that created the rivet holes was too big.  So I snipped it off so now the rivet hole will fill with resin and I can drill the proper size hole in.  The feet need to be drilled out and magnets installed.   So a good week's worth of work before I have workable casts to complete it.

Here's what Im working on tonight.  I have a couple ready for riveting.  Full Urethane.
 
I been kinda lazy with pictures lately sorry.   When this is finished, it'll be like looking through glass.   Below is a shot of some of the figures in various stages of completion.  There is order in the chaos believe it or not.  lol.
Yup...a freakin Orange clear Overlord.  I have a couple of variant red and blue Roboids and 4 or 5 Deimos figures as well.  So things are moving along nicely.
 
AND...I might even be able to reproduce the Color Chromed Magno's in 3 3/4" form.  :-)
 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cleaning Casts

How do I clean my casts?

A lot of guys use an acetone bath for their 3D printed parts.  I suppose I could too, although I have never tried it.  I notice the acetone lightly melts the plastic.  Sometimes distorting detail.

I use a mild liquid hand soap, some steel wool or green dish scrubbie and cool water.  The scrubbie will lightly dull the surface but blend everything consistently at the same time softening sharp edges from the flashing.

For urethane figures it makes them kinda cloudy.  But once the clear coat is applied it will be glass clear.

For all my basic sanding needs, I use my pocket knife and precision or ''Swiss'' files.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

No Marauder This Weekend

Well, I made the molds and made the casts for a 5" Marauder and started fitting things together.

There are some issues with clearances on the masters that need to be addressed.  Its way more work than I anticipated as the masters themselves will need to be reworked. 

So unfortunately its not this weekend.

I have run into so many problems and continue to run into so many problems getting this figure and the comic made...some days I want to just give up on it altogether.  Its frustrating.  Every time I feel like Im making progress another shoe drops.   Im closer today than I was 4 years ago and Marauder WILL eventually get made...but I gotta be honest...I have lost all enthusiasm for the project.  It will get made, but there is no sense of fulfillment.  Im simply going through the motions because I have too much time and money invested into it.  Its become a symbol of systematic failure to me.

Marauder being made will be done with no fan fare or enthusiasm.  One day it will simply be available for sale.  Sorry...Im just SO frustrated with this.

Well...back to the 3 3/4" figures...at least they are going well and I believe I have all the issues worked out that were hounding me in the past with them.  Im really enjoying making them for the first time in a long time.

So there is that little bit of good news.  :-)

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

SMOOTH ON SILICONE RUBBER...NOT RECOMENDED FOR MY PROJECTS

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.

SMOOTH ON SILICONE RUBBER...GRADE = F

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.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

50

What is 50?

50 is 1/2 of 100.  Its 25% of 200.   Its the sum of 17 and 33.

Its generic.  Its boring.  Its no different than any other number.  Unless you turn it.  Then it takes on a whole new meaning.

Today I turned 50.  I don't feel 50.  I feel no different than I did when I was 25.  Except Im 50.  Its an uncomfortable age.  Your mortality stares you square in the face.  The new found wrinkles and grey hair reminding you nothing lasts forever.

To the world, I am old.  Its an awkward age because anyone older than you doesn't see it that way.

Im 50.  How the hell did that happen?

A Happy 10th Anniversary to my loving wife.