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THE Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing


WraithVerge
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Ok, WV (or anybody else who can help)...

 

Any idea where I can find clear, plastic cubes? Like, a little cube that you can fill with stuff, then glue the side shut to make a paperweight, or something?

 

I looked all over my Hobby Lobby, and could not find anything like this. I'm actually thinking about trying to cut up a CD case and building my own, but that plastic is a teense thinner than I'd really like.

 

Also, some kind of "slime," like the stuff that came with the He-Man Slime PIt, but in pearlescent colors (preferably pink-ish) would be helpful.

 

(yes, I'm wanting to build Energon cubes. :P)

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Actually, I believe someone made up energon cubes for display purposes. I don't know exactly who, but it might be reprolabels. i recall seeing omething to that effect somewhere on the internet. I'll check it out.

 

As for kitbashing some cubes, try going to wal-mart and looking in the stationary department for clear plastic office holders. (You know, ones that hold papers, in boxes and what-not.) the plastic on those is a bit thicker. also, they should have clear plastic clip boarrds at your local dollar store that are luminescent in color. the pink ones in particluar(or purple; take your pick) might be what you need.

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http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...me=STRK:MEWA:IT

 

In the center of that auction's picture, there is a Cosmos in a clear cube. THAT is the type of cube I'm talking about, but with a 6th side to glue into place after the cube is filled.

 

You would think Hobby Lobby would sell that sort of thing for making paperweights and whatnot, but damned if I can find 'em there..

Edited by Dark_Lord_Prime
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Okay...it's been a while. Time for a new one.

 

The Idiot's Guide To Kitbashing 9:

 

DISASTERS

 

In kitbashing and scratchbuilding, nothing gives one more satisfaction than a job well done, and a brand-new kitbash to show pics of to your friends. Conversely, nothing causes more grief and frustration than something going horribly wrong, and your project sits there on ther table in pieces (or a puddle of goo, depending on what happened!) because of an unforeseen problem. Sometimes things don't work out as planned, or something that looked good on paper didn't look as good in 3-d, or you just got through painting your kitbash and it LOOKED dry, but when you picked it up.....

 

AAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

 

It's enough to make the hardiest soul want to pack it in and just sit down in a corner and cry. But whatever the disaster, don't give up.

 

In case of emergency:

 

Step 1: step back and take a deep breath.

 

Step 2: DO NOT PANIC

 

Step 3: accept the situation, and try to identify the problem

 

Step 4: If necessary, get on the internet and consult the IGTKB

 

But out of all the advice I can give, the two biggest things are DO NOT PANIC, and try to identify the problem as precisely as you can. Here's a few things that just may make the difference:

 

1) Desig Flaws:

 

A good majority of scratchbuilding problems (as well as kitbashing ones) start at this level. Something that looked good on paper and seemed to work out just didn't cut it when put into action. The good news about this is that often, all it is is one part or piece that throws everything else off.

 

You see, in designing transforms (as well as modifying them), tolerances between two pieces often come down to a matter of millimeters. All it takes is for one piece to be off just a litlle, and it resonates throughout the entire project. When a part is slightly off, it throws other parts slightly off, each of which in turn throw other parts slightly off, untill milimeters turn into gaping openings and gross misalignments. The solution here is to do a little "detective work" before reahing for the dremel tool, sandpaper, or exacto knife. You need to trace the problem back to it's origin, and many times this is not easy. But it beats doing a lot of unnecessary cutting and grinding, and many times it's just one little piece that needs coaxing with a bit of trimming or sanding.

 

Now, with that said, the best solution is prevention. And the best way to do this: TEST FIT OFTEN. Don't be afraid to do mock-ups, and do some 'dry-runs' of the transform sequence often. You'll be surprised what you'll find when you do this. As for major design flaws....well that isn't so easy. If you run into a major foul-up late in the game, it's not irreparable. But keep in mind that you may have to do a LOT of reworking on your project, and it probably won't be easy. But if you take it slow and don't get frustrated, it's often not as bad as you think.

 

2) Warped Parts:

 

This happens a lot with model kits, and I'm listing it here because many of us use model kits as a basis for our projects: you get a piece that is twisted and warped, and it just refuses to stay straight. Quite frankly, it looks like someone put it in a full-nelson! the cause of this is that the part comes to rest the wrong way when it comes out of the mold at the factory. The solution is simple: 1) for minor warps, simply start guing at one end, and clamp it down. Then work along the part, gluing each section little by little, and claming each section, until the length of it is done.

2: for severly twisted parts, immerse the part in hot (NOT BOILING) water for about 60 seconds, the twist it in the opposite direction. make sure to compensate for it twisting back by 'overtwisting' it slightly, so that it untwists just enough as it cools to be in alignment.

 

3) Paint Problems:

 

Cracking and peeling: This is caused bypainting over either an surface that wasn't properly cleaned, or a previously applied layer of paint that is incompatable with the current brand/type you are using. The biggest problem with this is that sometimes this occurs after a couple of weeks have passed (and decals and other goodies have been applied.) Unfortunately, in either case, you are going to have to strip the part or project back down to the bare plastic and repaint it. Once again, prevention is the best cure; make sure your parts are cleaned with alcohol, and you use the same or compatible brands of paint.

 

"Fogging" or misty clearcoat: Your model looks as if someone just dipped it in powdered sugar. this is caused by either too much moisture in the air when you are spraying, or in the case of dullcote, the can wasn't shaken enough, and some of the talc used as a flattening agent has settled to the bottom, coming out in huge amounts towards the end.

 

Thankfully, this one has two easy fixes: the first to try is to simply respray the project or part with another layer of clear/dullcote. This SHOULD, in 99% of cases, resolve the problem. For the 1% that it doesn't, simply use denatured alcohol on it. ( BE CAREFUL with this stuff; use neoprene gloves!!! it can absorb through skin and latex!!! POISON!!) Be GENTLE as you use it, and simply rub away the offending coating until it clears, then respray. Simple, huh?

 

Foreign item in wet paint: You just sprayed, and dust/hair/ other landed on your paint job. The solution: pick it out CAREFULLY with tweezers, and LET IT DRY. then when the paint is fully dry, wet-sdand the damaged area, and respray/repaint the sanded area.

 

Thumbprint in wet paint: we've ALL done this one- we thought the paint was dry, so we pick up the piece to see, and to our horror: A HUGE HONKIN' THUMBPRINT!!! @%#$#%^#$!!!!

 

Now, our first natural reaction is to 'fix' it, namely by trying to 'smooth ' the afflicted area. DON'T. Instead, let it dry. (Trust me on this.) after the area is FULLY dry, wet sand the area with 220-grit paper, then 440. finally, go to 0000-grade steel wool. be gentle as you go, removing ONLY the damaged paint. Then simply respray as usual.

 

4) Glue on transparent plastic: another one we all have had experience with; model glue getting on clear plastic, ruining it. (usually just as we're about to finish the project!) This is enough to make you want to rip your hair out by the roots! To solve this, let the glue dry. trying to wipe it off will only make things worse (unless the entire canopy has just been deluged by glue!!). then, start sanding it with 220-grit sandpaper. Then 440-grit, then 600-grit, until you come to 0000-grade steel wool. Don't worry that the piece looks all scratched up. Just keep sanding LIGHTLY, taking care not to change the dimensions of the parts. Now, you're going to use TOOTHPASTE to polish the part. (toothpaste= silica abrasive used to 'polish" teeth.) or you can use rubbing compound, found in automotive paint sections of wal mart and pep-boys. Lastly, a coat of Future acryllic floor wax, and your damaged clear plastic part is as good as new! Toothpaste: saviour of windshields everywhere.....

 

 

While these aren't the only problems you'll run into in doing your projects, they are the most common that I've found. Hopefully, this will help many of you out. As usuall, all questions, tips and comments can be posted here. Now...to redesign my thumbprint in toothpaste with cracked paint.... :P

Edited by WraithVerge
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also....watch out for low budget and crappy paints...i made the mistake of buying some at my local department store (in the crafts section -grrrr-) and i was about to go insane!!!! some of my repaints turned out very bubbly and hideous..

 

so...in sumation, dont go fruggle on yer paints.. "THis I COmmand!"

 

 

 

-JR

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Definitely.

 

brands to avoid:

 

Plasti-Cote

 

Dupli-Color

 

ANY store brand (Ames dependable, wal-mart brand, sears brand, ect.)

 

In fact, testors, pactra and Krylon are best. AT ALL COSTS DO NOT EVER USE RUST-OLEUM. IT WILL DISOLVE YOUR PROJECT!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Quick question, cant remember if i've asked this before, but i dont have time to search...the Plastic Welder stuff mentioned on the first page of the thread: where can i get it?

 

Edit: ok, so searching is a good thing...someone else asked it, and the answer was walmart. Now, uh...where at walmart? (its so hard to find stuff, at least at the one here)

Edited by Opticon
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Quick question, cant remember if i've asked this before, but i dont have time to search...the Plastic Welder stuff mentioned on the first page of the thread: where can i get it?

 

Edit: ok, so searching is a good thing...someone else asked it, and the answer was walmart. Now, uh...where at walmart? (its so hard to find stuff, at least at the one here)

I had a hard time finding this as well. I had to resort to going to a local hobby shop to get it.

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