Author Topic: More newb customizing questions  (Read 703 times)

Offline Ruprecht

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More newb customizing questions
« on: May 17, 2005, 02:24 PM »
Oh I've never had so much fun and frustration at the same time.  Some questions for all you vets out there:

1.  Sculpey use  for custom armor, accessories, etc.  I purchased some sculpey so I could mold some pieces to "update" the helmets and also give extra armor to my Republic Commando custom.  4 questions come of this:
  • A - Is sculpey a good product to use for such a thing?
  • B - How do you remove a sculpey piece intact so you can bake it?
  • C - Do I really put them in the oven to bake them, and if so, for how long?
  • D - Is there a good sealant for sculpey that'll keep it from getting brittle, cracking, etc.?

2.  Taping questions (again)
  • A - Has anybody ever tried using the kind of tape that auto-body shop guys use?  I got this idea from watching American Choppers, and seeing the paint guys apply, twist, and bend this tape w/o any breakage, and an apparently good seal to the material.  It could be that the tape just seals better to metal than it does to plastic, but it could be that the tape is just better.



[li]B - I've been doing Shock Troopers, and I'm on my 3rd now.  I still have problems with getting good, clean straight lines when I pull the tape off.  On my 2nd and now 3rd Shocktrooper I began using an exacto knife to cut along the edge of the tape prior to removal, and it helps a little bit.  Is this what you guys do?[/li][/list]

3.  Gluing, etc.
  • A - I got this ultra-stinky, nasty epoxy from Lowe's at the recommendation of one of their employees, and it didn't work too well for repairing broken lightsabers.  I've found that plain ol' superglue works best, but should I be concerned about durability?  I'm thinking of using superglue to attach soft plastic armor and accessories to figures, but if something else is better, please share.

4.  Casting my own molds - DD I'm looking at you!  :D
  • A - What items does one need to successfully make custom heads?
  • B - Do you sculpt a head out of sculpey or clay, then brush on the molding material?  I guess I could really use a tutorial on your whole process, DD, if you have the time and inclination.  I've read through ffurg.com's section on this, but I'd like a first-hand account, if possible.

As always, I submit humbly to the Gods of Customizing for guidance.

B

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: More newb customizing questions
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2005, 02:40 PM »
Well, those are questions that I can't answer except for the glue one - I like plain superglue.

I stay away from sculpting and the like... my area of choice is parts swapping/painting, etc.

Sorry... hopefully though some of the experts here can help you out!

 :P

Offline Darth Delicious

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Re: More newb customizing questions
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2005, 03:45 PM »

4.  Casting my own molds - DD I'm looking at you!  :D
  • A - What items does one need to successfully make custom heads?
  • B - Do you sculpt a head out of sculpey or clay, then brush on the molding material?  I guess I could really use a tutorial on your whole process, DD, if you have the time and inclination.  I've read through ffurg.com's section on this, but I'd like a first-hand account, if possible.

As always, I submit humbly to the Gods of Customizing for guidance.

B

Well, I don't really have enough consistant pics to do a photo tutorial yet, but I can tell you what I do...

First, I make a frame for the mold using wood scraps and hot glue. If you don't have access to these materials, you can use a little metal loaf pan from Wal-Mart...just fill it half-way with Kleen Clay. (Or Sculpey would work as well.)



Imbed the pieces you want to be cast halfway into the clay, up until the point where you want your mold line to be. A good rule of thumb is to try to follow the original mold line of the piece being cast. Make sure your clay is packed firmly against the mold line, or silicone will seep in between the cracks when you begin to make your mold, ruining the detail. Make sure to use something to create pour holes for the mold. I use surgical tubing and a wooden piece to create a "trough" for pouring.



The more parts there are, or the odder the shape of the piece being cast, the harder the mold line is going to be to follow. For example, a Cantina Band member head has a fairly simple line...but an Ishi Tib's mold line is more complicated, and a Tessek is harder still, as the mold line traces around each tentacle. My advice...start out simple to get a feel for it before moving on to more difficult pieces.

Time to pour the first half of your mold! I use a two part silicone that I buy from a local company...check your local area for a company that might be able to provide you with the right materials. Mix the silicone and pour it into your mold starting at the molds lowest point. Once full, this will take about 24 hours to set. That seems like a long time, but that's why it gets into every crack and crevice, giving you the detail you want in your finished pieces. This is also why it's important to make sure the clay is flush against your mold line.

More to come...

-DD
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Offline Ryan

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Re: More newb customizing questions
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2005, 09:23 PM »
Quote
1.  Sculpey use  for custom armor, accessories, etc.  I purchased some sculpey so I could mold some pieces to "update" the helmets and also give extra armor to my Republic Commando custom.  4 questions come of this:

A - Is sculpey a good product to use for such a thing?
B - How do you remove a sculpey piece intact so you can bake it?
C - Do I really put them in the oven to bake them, and if so, for how long?
D - Is there a good sealant for sculpey that'll keep it from getting brittle, cracking, etc.?

From my limited sculppting experience I usually just sculpt it right on to the figure and then you can cure the sculpey in boiling water without hurting the figure. I've heard of people putting a layer of saran wrap over the part you are going to sculp on and sculpting on top of the saran warp so you can take it off and bake it, but boiling it is the easiest and works pretty good. Once it is cured ond dry you can give it a small coat of super glue, this helps with the durability and it can be painted over fine. It will still be fairly delecate because sculpey isn't the best. You can try sculpting with plumber's putty (epoxy putty) it harderns fairly fast, so you have to work with small areas at a time but it dries rock hard. It works great as a glue too.

Quote
.  Gluing, etc.

A - I got this ultra-stinky, nasty epoxy from Lowe's at the recommendation of one of their employees, and it didn't work too well for repairing broken lightsabers.  I've found that plain ol' superglue works best, but should I be concerned about durability?  I'm thinking of using superglue to attach soft plastic armor and accessories to figures, but if something else is better, please share.

2-part epoxys can work ok, sometimes. I usually do use plain old super glue though. The Elmer's brand is my favorite but most others work too. I actually just bought this stuff at the hardware store tonight called SureHold Plastic Surgery, It says it holds: acrylic, ABS, EPDM, Nylon, Fiberglass, Phenolic, Plexiglass, polycarbonate, Polyester, Polystyrene, PVC, and Urethane. When I try it out I'll let you know how it works. Like I asid earlier too, plummber's putty works great.


Quote
2.  Taping questions (again)

A - Has anybody ever tried using the kind of tape that auto-body shop guys use?  I got this idea from watching American Choppers, and seeing the paint guys apply, twist, and bend this tape w/o any breakage, and an apparently good seal to the material.  It could be that the tape just seals better to metal than it does to plastic, but it could be that the tape is just better.

B - I've been doing Shock Troopers, and I'm on my 3rd now.  I still have problems with getting good, clean straight lines when I pull the tape off.  On my 2nd and now 3rd Shocktrooper I began using an exacto knife to cut along the edge of the tape prior to removal, and it helps a little bit.  Is this what you guys do?


I've found that scotch tape, (the clear stuff that you stick on paper and such works pretty good. You have to make sure you get a sticky enough kind and cut it to shape with an exacto, but from my experience it works pretty good. I almost alway send up scraping paint away with my exacto after to clean up the lines though.


Hope that helps. :P
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Offline Ruprecht

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Re: More newb customizing questions
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2005, 08:36 PM »
Thanks for the info guys.  I'll have to post some of the ones I've done so far, and my future ones will, hopefully, be much better thanks to your help.  :D

Offline Jesse James

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Re: More newb customizing questions
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2005, 04:36 AM »
I'll leave the sculpting topics to others since I find my own skills here to be completely trial/error...

With Glues, I like to keep two or three types on-hand at all times...

-Basic superglue...  I like to get good stuff, but basically I have it on hand at all times.

-2-part "Plastic Welder", which my preferred brand is Devcon Plastic Welder (in a black 2-part tube), found at most any hardware store or even Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc.  Simple, but dries out incredibly fast so I try not to open it unless I have a lot of work to do...  It works well on pliable plastics such as the figure's legs/arms/heads (and now torso's even) are made of more often than not...  They're basically a PVC plastic rather than an ABS styrene, which the old torso's are made of (such as on original '95 figures and whatnot).  It's very good stuff.

-Traditional Modeling Plastic Welder...  I prefer Plasti-Struct's Plastic Welder here...  This is strictly for use on ABS plastics (hard, rigid plastics), and while Devcon does some "welding" by actually fusing plastics together (not just "bonding", which super glues tend to only bond and wear out over time), the true plastic welders for model building/ABS plastics will quickly melt the plastic, literally.

Gluing, like almost all techniques, takes some time/work to get the hang...  How long you have to work with the part, etc.  Devcon is one way, Plast-Struct is another... 

I'd say if I had another glue on-hand at all times it's a hot glue gun and sticks.  I use these more as a "placeholder" type glue rather than anything permanent.  This glue won't fuse parts, just bond them for a time, but since gluesticks are cheap as can be it's not a shame to waste it.  Other glues (or "welders") get pricey though so I tend to be more discerning in how I use them.  Cost and all that jazz....

For casting, DD's giving you some great tips so far...  A lot of casting is going to be trial and error as well.  It's the nature of that beast.  I've been doing it for some years now off and on, and it's something that can be a lot of work at times.  Depends what you go into with it.

The FFURG articles are a good start, as they're definitely words from people who have done it.  Ashley ("Delaton" over there) was cranking out casts for people at Celebration 3, and it was neat to watch him work right there at the table at the time.  He's a resin machine!
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