Saturday, May 26, 2012

A little more success, and some hope.

So I did some work to put together a slightly better rig to hold my leg molds, a pair of leftover pressboard shelves cut to size with a series of clamps along the out edges.  With that done, I mixed up another batch of resin, and set to work trying again.

This time the leg came out much better, and overall the part came out looking more like I expected.  The sharp edge of the leg was a little dull and jagged, this is in part because this is where the split for the mold was made.Also, the blades along the outer side of the leg didn't get as much definition.  The blades were very much expected, I didn't put in the proper venting for them when I made the mold.  I figured I could always just add those pieces on later if I needed, with the number of extra bits in the Raider and Ravager kit I should have enough to finish one titan at the very least.

Titan Leg V2
The bottom tip of the leg saw a little air get captured, so it resulted in a bit of deformity; no big loss though, because one of the things I had wanted to try was putting a metal rod into the leg when I was pouring the resin so there was a little more rigid structure for the titan to stand on, I can insert the rod where the deformity is and the green stuff over top.

The next leg is in the block curing now, I had did a little more research and it was suggested that putting talc powder on the inside of the mold helped the resin reach all the nooks and crannies, so that is the experiment this time, hopefully it will help show an improved result.

If I can get 3 more legs of the above quality, then I'll play with adding the rod for the next 4.  But first, time to get the body finished and get some more silicone rubber to cast the part.  I'd say to expect more updates, but I'm sure we all know I'm lazy and they may be not come soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Work has begun.

I'm still working on the flyer, mostly trying to figure out how to get the nice rounded organic feel to a lot of it without leaving it to the symmetry of my sculpting skills(since they don't much exist).  So I started doing some more scratch work on another project I've wanted to try.

The Tormentor Titan
The one thing that bothers about playing Dark Eldar, is as you scale up, there isn't really anything to use.  Apocalypse formations are limited, specialty units are virtually non-existent, and the few Forgeworld offerings are more 40K bolt-ons than Apocalypse vehicles.

So I did some digging into the dark corners of the internet to find out about where the army stands in Epic.  There isn't really anything in the official Epic rules for Dark Eldar, but there is a community who put together rules to expand the game and include Dark Eldar, along with other "lesser races" in the form of the Epic Raiders fandex.  So obviously the cover is as far as I needed to look to know I wanted the Dark Eldar Tormentor Titan.

I've played around with some rules ideas to guide what I want to build, but I'm going to keep those to myself until the project is done and I can fit them to the model.  I've finished the leg model, and have an idea on how it's attaching to the body assembly, so I picked up some Mold Max 30 silicon rubber to cast the part.  I hadn't used the product before, but I liked it being a mix by weight product which made it more exact with the use of a kitchen scale.  I built a mold box, and set the leg into clay, along with some bolts for alignment keys, and cast the first half of the mold, planning on doing a 2 part mold.  There wasn't any real problems, everything went smoothly.  I hit the local Michael's and got some mold release, removed the clay, and hit the part and mold with some mold release.  I then poured the second half of the mold.

Problems occurred!  The mold release either didn't properly cover, or reacted with the silicon mold compound, there was no release between the mold halves, I had a part encased in a block of silicon rubber.  So I went about splitting the block and getting to the part.  I managed to extract it and was basically left with a split mold.  From reading I knew this wasn't going to be as durable or reusable as a 2 part mold, but I figured I'd give it a try.  Now usually I'm using much smaller molds, and often they are placed snuggly into boxes of some sort, but this mold was a bit larger, so I tried using some boards held tight with some elastics and straps.  Once I started pouring the resin, it was obvious these weren't tight enough, because resin seeped out the sides and bottom.  I tightened things as much as I could and finished pouring the mold.

It didn't turn out terribly, I got a lot of flashing and bubbled edges because of the seepage, but it could be salvageable.  I noticed that the mold itself has a couple of major bubbles on the one side, likely the second half, but they should be fixable, the biggest issue with this cast is that the top ball joint and edge of the leg only had the resin harden on the mold while some of the resin seeped out, making them hollow.
Bubbles in the mold
Rough edges because of seepage
I'm going to build up a proper box that I can place the mold in and tight more uniformly and try again.  The goal is to get 4 good legs out of the mold, and then see if I can manage 4 more.  As was pointed out to me, if I'm going to spend the time and money to cast and mold one, I may as well do 2.  So hopefully over the next little while I can refine my process and get the 4-8 legs I need and move onto finishing the body assembly.