[NOT-DIACLONE] Powered Suits

Posted by Sanjeev 
Sanjeev (Admin)
My normal inclination would be to lump this stuff into the not-Hasbro thread, but this is kinda off the beaten path a bit. Plus, my ego demands a separate thread. :P

A lot of you may have heard about this already (via teh facebooks), but I'm just gonna mirror some info here about a new toy project from my blog. My bootleg Diaclone Powered Suit:

What's crazy about this thing is that it's gonna be about 99% 3D-printed! I'll probably just add it to my Shapeways store once the design has been finalized. The body and shoulders are going to be printed stainless steel to mirror these parts being diecast metal in the original toys. The plastic bits will be a mix of high-resolution (but brittle) and super-tough (but low-res) plastics. And finally, since the steel they print is ferromagnetic, the shoulders will be jointed via magnets that I'll supply (the only non-printed parts of the whole rig). Pretty cool shit!

So besides the materials and manufacturing methods, my boot will offer certain advantages people familiar with the originals will definitely appreciate. The first obvious one is that you'll be able to buy as many as you like! The vintage ones are notoriously rare and hyper-expensive (around $200 a whack!). I'm gonna be doing all three styles of the suit, so folks will be able to complete their sets or even army-build and custom-paint for the truly hardcore! But besides that, as I alluded to earlier, the shoulders ARE JOINTED:

Yes, as coveted and beloved as the originals are, it's pretty fucking dumb that the shoulders are static. They look awesome standing at attention on your shelf...but the play value isn't nearly what it coulda been.

Also, I always thought it was kinda wack how their guns were massive, but only fit on their backs. So I went and designed a pretty sweet shoulder bracket to mount the weapons facing forward:

There are other little changes and additions here and there, so for those really interested, check out the blog. I'm also working on a 3D-printed dummy driver...with a twist. It won't be articulated--just a chunk of static plastic--but it'll could be a nice addition for folks who may not have a spare stock driver to fill their suits.

As always, let me know what you think. Thanks!
That looks very cool. I like it!

If I could make one suggestion (and I know it's like this on the original toy) maybe redesign the plastic codpiece, because it looks like it's just begging to be snapped off. Other then that, I like where this is going. :D
Sanjeev (Admin)
Glad you're feeling it!

As for your suggestion, I'm way ahead of ya! Well, to be honest, that wang-protector is *completely* cosmetic and non-load-bearing (heh..."wang"..."load"). I had problems with the early-design hatch's attachment arms snapping off, but never any issues with the codpiece. That said, I *did* end up thickening it a little anyway. See, the original bit tapers just slightly...which lead to very obvious print lines in the early design. So I removed the taper (thus thickening the bit) and now it prints nice and smooth, while being tougher!
Nice, 'Jeev! You should consider making modernized Diaclone drivers while you're at it.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Well, I'm making that dummy driver that'll come with the suit, but I assume you mean something more involved. By all means, if you have any specific ideas on how to "modernize" a Diaclone driver, let's hear it!
You wouldn't need to get crazy with it. Upsized a little, maybe, and toss in some articulation (elbow, knee, and neck joints would be a good start). But keep the diecast body and head, and the same basic design. Maybe this is already what you're doing with the armor driver?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Haha...I appreciate the suggestion, but adding joints to figure that's under 30mm is a TALL order (pun intended)!

And printing steel at that scale most likely wouldn't work--just doesn't have very good resolution. Then again, i.materialise is trialing a new *hi-res* stainless steel printer. Sounds killer...but the price is out-fucking-rageous. Just for the fuck of it, I priced out printing a MUSCLE-style Gin Gin shrunk to fit their 40mm height maximum (the figure's originally around 45mm, like all MUSCLEs). It came out to around $250. I'm just hoping when the "trial" is over, the prices become reasonable. Not holding my breath...

Anyway, upsizing obviously won't help either because then the driver won't fit in the suit! And if you increase the suit size, not only will it cost even more (it's damn close to around $100 as it is!), it won't fit inside Big Powered or be compatible with other Diaclone toys.

My driver's actually almost done, but I'm gonna wait a couple weeks for a print to show off. Right now, it's different from a stock driver in one key aspect, which I think is groovy as hell...but for now, it's a secret! ;)
Man, that's some nice work! I was completely unaware of the original toy, so I don't have much frame of reference for it, so I went looking for the original toy. I love what you did here!

More serious than thou
Leave it to Sanjeev to come with the vintage...and in METAL no less!!!! Can't wait to see the driver either. Major props!

- Mike

Deep in the Hasbro Jungle
Love seeing a project like this!
Doing almost anything with the iconic little Diakron(whoops! K B Toys nostalgia kicking in ;0)
I mean, Di-uh-CLoooonnne! pilots or their suits is too much.
This could sure add some display fun value to some incomplete Diaclone toys, or even early TFs with the cockpits.
Looking forward to fiddling with a suit, though I can only imagine the rage-inducing fiddle faddle of a tiny driver fig with more joints.
The Perfessir would have to talk me down from crunching toys in a big shop vise, haha!
Sanjeev (Admin)
Ha...you'd NEED a shop vice to put a dent in these steel parts!

For real, thanks for the kind words, guys. Despite the stoopid-high price tag, I sure hope the few hardcore folks throw down really appreciate them. But oh man...so...SOOOO much more planned with these toys. Even I'm bewildered by what's in the pipeline...

I actually got another set of prototype bits in the mail last night. Definitely needs some more tweaking, but we're getting DAMN close to wrapping things up with Type C. Of course, I've got to get on A and B, but I'll probably start that shit over the weekend. I made some changes today based on the latest parts and put through in another order...this time, WITH my new dummy driver *and* the shoulder bracket for the weapon! I'm pretty psyched to see how they turn out.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Speaking of 3D printing, I can't believe I forgot to post this here! The Powered Suit Fake Type (bootleg Diaclone Powered Suit) is now officially available!

In order to keep the costs down, I had to split these figures up into SEVERAL separate "items" (lots of parts) to be printed in different materials, colors, etc., so as a result, the purchasing process is pretty confusing. So be sure to read the ordering instructions on my blog carefully:

To summarize, there's an all-plastic ("ST") version that's available directly from Shapeways in different colors for around $35. These are nice because you can assemble them right out of the package and because they're in color, you don't necessarily have to paint them. Then there's the steel version for around $85. The steel ("DX") version features high-res translucent plastic bits (that you can paint or just leave clear for that Henshin Cyborg look!) and steel bits available in different finishes. The only caveat is that if you order the DX version, you need to e-mail me through my blog to order the magnets(!) for the shoulder joints (don't worry--the magnets are only a buck).

I've sold a bunch so far and folks on instagram seem to be digging them. Obviously, the only complaint so far has been how complicated the ordering process is! Unfortunately, I can't really help that given Shapeways' ultra-basic flat store structure. I *could* have made the ordering simpler...but that would have resulted in even higher prices and fewer options.
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