Progress! [servbot30 tries to make toys]

Posted by servbot30 
After multiple hurdles and bumps along the way I'm on my way to toy making. I have a professor here in town (had to strong arm him) who's mentoring me in scratch building and working with styrene and apoxie sculpt. I showed some of this to Mason and a couple others at the summit. This was all gonna go into a summit brog but I'm still writing it. (I'm slow) So here are pics of what you guys missed in person and stuff yet seen. Very early stages. Literally only a few weeks of work.

concept (has changed a lot since drawing it but this is the best pic i have)

front torso

front torso angle

back torso

back torso angle

and now for something a lil different

front legs/abdomen

front legs/abdomen angle

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2009 10:58PM by servbot30.
Thanks for sharing the in-progress stuff. Takes a lot of guts to put something out for view, not knowing the reaction. Nice job so far.

The blockier style looks more pleasing than the super skinny sections of previous concept you posted.

It must be great to have some guidance on getting an actual physical object sculpted out, to put things in perspective to scrutinize, and make changes in reality, not just a drawing.

And are those gold leg pieces a foil of some type, or some toy used as a foundation?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Very cool! I love the drawing in the first pic!

Keep posting your progress...and sorry we missed each other at the Summit (but thanks for the t-shirt! ;) ).
Thanks. Any input is greatly appreciated. I was very wary to put stuff up online. Its so much easier to display it in person. But you guys are my target audience and I need you.

Jon- the gold pieces are coax cable pieces. I was in lowes looking for flexible tubing and they caught my eye. So I used them as a foundation for the legs. Since I'm working small (well small for me) I felt a little mixed media might help it take shape. The hips are unpainted beads, the rest styrene and apoxie sculpt. I want to finish it by Saturday so I can cast it in resin and carve it up a bit but yknow how it goes.

Sanjeev- no worries. I only had a short amount of time to be at the summit anyways. I originally was only going to be able to be there for a couple hours but I cheated and "missed" my bus back to NYC. I'm glad you like the shirt!

More progress will be posted over the next few months. Goal is 5 figures by december. (Professor says I'm unrealistic, but since when have giant robots been realistic? :P)
Nice! Just got a great shirt with the Hedorah design in nice gold print on dark shirt. Really cool. Thanks for makin' em Josh.

Coax? Perfect fit for that. I should've seen that, but it works as a leg base for sculpt.

Definitely stay posted with progress.
Looks sharp! I have to admit that I really like the second guy! Using some materials other than just plastic and putty is definitely a smarter way to get more refined and consistent details.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Okay, so I have a bit more time to type at the moment...

So, I've been wondering something. I like the drawing in the first pic. Reminds me of something (good) I'd see in Big O. Anyway, the thing that I'm curious about is why your constructed legs don't really look like it.

I'm not saying the legs are bad, mind you. I'm just saying that they're out of proportion to what you've drawn.

I guess more to the point: why are you constructing this robot out of...stuff? I presume you're looking to resin-cast it eventually. If so, then why not just sculpt the thing from the ground up in epoxy or sculpey?
Having putzed around with stuff like this I found that dealing with primitives (basic 3D shapes) are easier and quicker. No use in reinventing the wheel. Also, the material is much more solid.
The legs I posted up are legs to a different toy I'm working on. It's significantly smaller than the design in the first pic and the following shots of its torso. So the break up would be first drawing/first design and the following work and the second drawing/second design and the stuff I've made for that. I think I wrote that with sense. It's been a long day. I'm somewhere else. Regardless though. How I'm making the stuff. Right now I'm concentrating on creating shapes out of styrene and assembling them with super glue. Afterwards I go in with apoxie sculpt and fill seams and add extra material if needed. Saves me a lot of sculpt. Stuffs expensive so I use it frugally. I hope this answers your questions. Unless I read your post completely wrong and at that I'm dumb. I'm running on low. But I should have more updated stuff by Wednesday to post. I should have a good portion of the first design's leg(s) to show you. Perhaps thatll help. Thanks tons for the query. It helps a lot to hear what you guys have to say.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Hey, works for me. Everyone's construction style is a little different. I figure Sculpey is dirt-ass cheap for big slabs of it, so I tend to use that for the primitives...then use epoxy for detailed shit on top of it.

I guess, basically, 'cause I'm too lazy to hunt for existing scraps to fit the precise geometry I want...

But by all means, do you...and keep posting.
I tell you what. Hand making fluted cylinders is damn hard. All styrene and apoxie sculpt. Lots of hand sanding. Don't like using the dremel. Here's the rough of a lower leg and foot. Foot needs to worked on but the upper bits are almost there. Just gotta be polished up. Bellhed for scale. Upper body is in limbo as I try to sand it to make it level. Right now he leans and the crotch section really needs to be tightened up. If luck prevails the upper thighs will be ready soonish and I can cast the whole leg/foot assembly and have 2 full legs! and from there the upper body can be finished. Holy jesus I can't wait. Strangely enough I thought the head was going to be the hardest part. I think the legs have it beat.

anyways. peak.

Sweet... your puttying and shape forming is coming along!

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Nice Josh. That leg is showing the figure to be bigger than I had first thought. I like the chunkyish old school leg, but the flutes, and overall geometry set it apart as unique, and not a rip of any specific super robot.

I notice you're going a little more squared off rectangle (slightly more modern, aoshima-ish) with the foot, as opposed to apeing old school Popy roundy feet. A little more Big-O feel to the foot. That works good.
If you're serious about this you should invest in a basic lathe. It will really streamline the shaping/sanding/machining of your various parts.
Are there mini-lathes to be found on the cheap? I'm broke a lot of the time so I don't buy much in materials. Just what I can and use every sliver of plastic. If you can point me to a site that has a good lathe I'll totally look into it.
That's amazing! Your awesome dude!! I admire that ya had the guts to undertake such a awesome project!
I think Dremel used to make a lathe attachment. Not sure if it's still around.

MoonBaseTom Season tickets available. Call now.
servbot30 Wrote:
> Are there mini-lathes to be found on the cheap?
> I'm broke a lot of the time so I don't buy much in
> materials. Just what I can and use every sliver of
> plastic. If you can point me to a site that has a
> good lathe I'll totally look into it.

Hmm, on the cheap... Well, it's a relative thing. A decent machine-shop lathe would run in the thousands, if not more. You should be able to get by with a woodworking one. I don't know if they're in your area, but it looks like Harbor Freight has a simple stand-alone one for about $200 and a clamp-on for $100. If you're really good with your hands, you could probably make a simple one - but that's another project entirely.

It's all about the right tool for the job. A lathe is the best way to get any approximation of "evenness" in your parts across the board. And you can do so much with them! For example, the lower legs on your first project could have been carved out of a single piece of dowel instead of multiple pieces. Same with part of the legs on the other project, too. You can even use them for detailing, carving down parts for better fits, drilling through parts to add joints, etc.

If you're working with cylindrical and/or geometric shapes you really should be using a lathe. I don't know what your budget is, but if you're serious about the project you should look into one. Using bits and pieces of stuff that you find is cool, but don't do it at the expense of doing the project right. Go donate plasma for a month to raise the cash and then pick one up. Consider it an investment because that's what it is.
My budget has been buy it when I got it. Earlier in spring I bought 80lbs (400$) of resin epoxy because I knew I'd need it as some point and had the money right then. Since the prof whos been teaching me has been making his stuff by hand I didn't consider anything else I'd need machine-wise. But 100-200$ for a good lalthe seems doable. You raise good points on its versatility. I'll definitely look into getting one as soon as I'm sure I can spend the cash and still make rent.
Updated images of the smaller figure. So far just stacked parts, a head thats almost ready and an arm sans hand. These are the best images i could get (lighting in my place sucks) and also before my camera died. Random gormiti for scale. Though the finished product will be smaller. With GASP! magic powers via hydroshrink.

Cool face! When you get one done, don't forget to "product test" by throwing against a wall. hehe.
Man when these are done they will not be wall worthy. So far its strictly resin cast. Uber fragile. Don't have the monies to get the sweet plastic onell has. I'll have another small update tonight. I took a phone pic and tried to send it to you [Jon] but my phone was being stupid and refused. You coulda been the first on your block to see these sweet (yeah right) toy sculpts.
Also any of you good with kanji? I need the kanji for the phrase/name Micron Ace. Thanks tons in advance.
マイクロン エース
Copy and paste the above into google and it will display correctly.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/2009 01:30AM by DarkXerox.
Big thanks sir. Though I'm a bit stupid. How do I translate that code?
Ok. Just tossed that into google and it spit out characters into the new search bar. Was that what I was supposed to do? I had tried converting it in illustrator and open office but to no avail.
I don't know what to say about illustrator and office. I managed to copy the text directly into illustrator and turned it into a vector for you. :)
You are totally on my list of awesome people. I will repay your kindness.

Now with kanji! Uber thanks to DarkXerox for the help. Its hard to see but I added "vents" to one side of the head. Keep or no? Also has one arm completed with hand propped on the back of that gormiti. My camera is absolute suck. I'll try to get better pics soon.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I say keep the vents, but I could really go either way. "Micron Ace", huh? Good name!

It's funny--when I see this guy, I'm TOTALLY reminded of Monstre Hero's stuff. Very organic, even if it's supposed to be tech...
I will look up this Moster Hero guy then. Thankies for the input.
Gonna throw a question at youse guys who read this thread. Do you prefer symmetrical figures or ones where each arm is different, etc? I could easily make my tiny fig symmetrical but I'm toying with the idea of making his right arm more weaponlike or just weird. Whatcha think?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Asymmetry for mecha (real robots)...symmetry for super robots.
mcfitch (Admin)
I way prefer symmetrical.

Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Gotta agree with Sanjeev and Mason on this one. Good designs there, by the way. I'm very much looking forward to a completed and possibly painted model.

Man, I need to learn how to make molds and cast stuff in resin... I've definitely got material to make into "toys" of this type, but never looked into that casting process before.

More serious than thou

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/2009 03:23PM by fujikuro.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I'm surprised Jerilock hasn't chimed in on this thread yet. He's no joke with the resin casting.
mcfitch (Admin)
It's actually really easy for some of the smaller figures you've posted (I'm assuming that's what you want to cast) as 1 part gravity molds, or 2 part molds. Check the Smooth On website for tips []. You can even call and talk to their tech support which is actually knoledgable and friendly. How novel! Just try it and you'll see how easy it is.

Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
mcfitch Wrote:
> I way prefer my muttonchops precisely symmetrical.
> -Mason

I'll agree on starting with the symetry to get the core fig down, but definitely work up to optional/ add on arms, either to be a mech type weapon arm, or simply to show what happens when he unleashes the hooptydoo weapon. Kinda like the Metaltech Grendizer optional shooty arm.
This looks really awesome. Adding on to repairtechjon's idea, maybe you could add magnemo shoulder joints?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Yeah, "effects" parts could be very a stupidly-oversized missile blasting out of his crotch (like in the new SoC Combattra!).

chunkypuff31 Wrote:
> ...maybe you could add magnemo
> shoulder joints?

YES! I've been waiting for someone to do this for ages. Rare earth magnets are cheap as FUCK in bulk, come in all sorts of weird shapes and sizes, and are *monstrously* strong. Here are some.
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