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THE Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing


WraithVerge
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and now....

 

 

Five things you should NOT do while kitbashing a transformer!

 

they are:

 

5) talk on the phone (even the headset types or bluetooth variety; it's a distraction, especially when you're working with a rotary tool.)

 

4) get into an argument with anyone (distraction)

 

3) Flirt with your girlfriend/boyfriend/other (more distractions)

 

2) Look out the window at some girls (or guys) going by. (ESPECIALLY if you're doing #2)

 

1) EAT. (greasy hands make for sloppy work, y'know.)

 

 

But in all seriousness, concentration is vitally important in kitbashing, for both project quality AND personal safety. If you can't work on a project w/o distractions, then it's probably best to wait until another time. (And if the distraction in question argues that your hobby is stupid, then wait until THEY'RE doing their "hobby", and "gently" remind them of what they said earlier. If they say "this is different", then you know that the person is full of BS, and really needs to be put into a straightjacket. :tftongue )

 

Guessing you got into an argument with your girlfriend. :tfgrin I try to work on mine at night so that the kids, and my wife are all in bed, also no phone calls late at night.

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and now....

 

 

Five things you should NOT do while kitbashing a transformer!

 

they are:

 

5) talk on the phone (even the headset types or bluetooth variety; it's a distraction, especially when you're working with a rotary tool.)

 

4) get into an argument with anyone (distraction)

 

3) Flirt with your girlfriend/boyfriend/other (more distractions)

 

2) Look out the window at some girls (or guys) going by. (ESPECIALLY if you're doing #2)

 

1) EAT. (greasy hands make for sloppy work, y'know.)

 

 

But in all seriousness, concentration is vitally important in kitbashing, for both project quality AND personal safety. If you can't work on a project w/o distractions, then it's probably best to wait until another time. (And if the distraction in question argues that your hobby is stupid, then wait until THEY'RE doing their "hobby", and "gently" remind them of what they said earlier. If they say "this is different", then you know that the person is full of BS, and really needs to be put into a straightjacket. :tftongue )

 

Guessing you got into an argument with your girlfriend. :tfgrin I try to work on mine at night so that the kids, and my wife are all in bed, also no phone calls late at night.

 

I don't have a girlfriend, or significant other. I just wanted to be funny.

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Okay...

 

 

Lately, I've been running into quite a few questions about where to get plastics and other kitbashing materials. I know as well as everyone else that getting these much-needed and often-scarce supplies can be a royal pain- in-the-azimuth. So, I've compiled a little list of "where to get what" (note: these are US locations; you may not have these available depending upon where you live)

 

PLASTICS (sheet and shapes):

 

US Plastics Corporation (google this name online)

 

Hobbytown USA (online or local store)

 

Wal-Mart (local store, thin plastic signs)

 

Evergreen Plastics (also online)

 

Plastruct Corp (online)

 

Radio Shack (online and local stores, housings for electronic projects)

 

Local Hobby shops

 

Also try asking your local computer repair places if they throw away any old computer or printer cabinets. (these can provide you with a LOT of thick planks for scratchbuilding projects.)

 

ADHESIVES (plastic welder, expoxy):

 

Ocean State Job Lot

 

Big Lots

 

Wal-Mart

 

K-Mart

 

Ace Hardware

 

True Value Hardware

 

PAINT (Krylon):

 

Sears

 

Wal-Mart

 

K-Mart

 

PAINTS (acryllics)

 

Wal-Mart

 

Michaels (only on sale)

 

HobbyTown USA

 

Local Hobby Stores

 

JoAnne's Fabrics and More

 

WHERE NOT TO GO:

 

Lowes

 

Home Depot

 

Michaels (they will rake you over the coals on prices for glues AND adhesives, not to mention they hire more than a few people who don't seem to know where things are!!!) [no offense to anyone who happens to work at one.]

 

Target (don't go here for ANYTHING; their prices are high, and they have a VERY poor selection!)

 

ANy hobby store where you ask them a question, "and they look at you like you have antenna sticking out of your head."(quoting kydd776)

 

So, while this list is by no means exhaustive, it should provide at least some guide to those of you needing materiel.

 

 

-WV

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Good list, thanks WV. :thumb

On the "Target" entry, when you say "Anything" do you mean for kitbashing supplies, or in general? (They're rather awesome once stuff starts going on clearance.)

 

Btw, I was the one that made the antenna comment.

 

I'll toss something in, if you use any material like Mighty Putty, get an air-freshener or potpourri in the room while you're working with it. The stuff stinks! (it smells like a hair-perm solution :guh )

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Sorry, my bad. :lol As far as supplies for KB'ing, yeah; They stink on ice.

 

Usually, I open a window and turn on a fan for ventillation if I use a xylene or touluene-based puty. The fumes from those can lead to cumulative damage, over time. (I know from experience.) The rule of thumb here is this: if you can smell the fumes, then it's entering your body. So I emphasize caution here.

Edited by WraithVerge
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Dying -

Is this the proper thread to ask about dying plastics, and of course Transformers specifically?

 

I want to dye a TFA Jazz RED! - but just the car parts.

 

Dying would create the same matte kind of look that the TFA figs have in general right?

 

I think i read somewhere that plain RIT clothing dye works well - any suggestions here?

Is there another thread about it?

cross posted in the painting thread....

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Good list, thanks WV. :thumb

On the "Target" entry, when you say "Anything" do you mean for kitbashing supplies, or in general? (They're rather awesome once stuff starts going on clearance.)

 

Btw, I was the one that made the antenna comment.

 

I'll toss something in, if you use any material like Mighty Putty, get an air-freshener or potpourri in the room while you're working with it. The stuff stinks! (it smells like a hair-perm solution :guh )

 

Yes mighty putty is great for kitbashing I used it for the cab of my Deadend monster truck left it rough to make it look like he'd had the cab's windows bashed in a few times, and to fill in the cyber planet key to make into a combination port for my Brakedown. It does stink (smell bad) though I thought it smelled more like burning plastic.

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Idiot's Guide To Kitbashing Special Topic- Sculpting/Creating Shapes and Structures:

 

 

In kitbashing Transformers, the meat of getting the project done is to actually make/ modify the parts needed to complete the project in question. The specific terminology used for this is fabrication;essentially, to fabricate or make. In doing this, there are several methods I tend to use. Note: no one specific method is always superior to another; there are several methods one can use to construct parts, or even a combination of methods. The superior method is the one that works the best for the project, and the best for you.

 

Generally, the four methods I use are:

 

1)RESIN/EPOXY OVERLAY: I take a piece of sprue, and proceed to coat it several times with a resin or epoxy material, allow it to cure, then repeat the process until i have enough material to work with. Then I use a rotary tool to grind and smooth the part to size and shape. This method works best when dealing with smaller parts that won't weigh much when done, or when a small piece like a joint needs considerable strength. The drawback is that you end up grinding quite a bit of material away, and that air bubbles can form in the resin/epoxy material. Also, the process is material-intensive, and can produce a lot of fumes.

 

2) LAMINATE CONSTRUCTION: In this method, I use plastic welder to glue together 3-4 sheets of ABS/styrene plastic, then clamp it with a C-clamp. After it cures overnight, I then use the rotary tool to cut and grind it down to shape. This results in a part that is larger than the resin/epoxy casted version, lighter due to less adhesive, and stronger due to the multiple layers. The drawbacks I find are that you have to make sure the layers are SECURELY clamped, or you get "voids", or spaces between the layers. Also, it's a royal pain to do, as the glue tends to run out between the layers if you use too much; if you use too little, the part will have no strength. You're also limited to plastic welder due to the fact that super glue is brittle, and will tend to "shear" when the rotational forces of the rotary tool are applied. As for model glue, it just makes one big gooey mess unless you use it EXACTINGLY.

 

3) HOLLOWFORM CONSTRUCTION: As the name implies, hollowform construction is just that: taking solid "walls" of plastic, and gluing them together to form the part. While you can construct larger, lighter shapes than the first two, structurally it's the weakest: the part relies SOLELY on the strength of the bonds at its' corners and edges, which is a lot less surface area for the adhesive to "grab" onto. This method is useful for making external shapes like large wings and, when properly reinforced, bodies and limbs. (this technique works pretty well when you overlay the hollow parts onto a frame, like bionicle.) Using pre-formed hollow shapes like square and round-tube styrene pieces also falls into this category.

 

4) SOLID CONSTRUCTION: This method utilizes solid pieces of plastic to manufacture the parts: smaller wings, tailfins, and when in larger block forms, heads, solid fists and other parts. Much like #1, you can create literally any shape you wish, the drawback to this method is that you end up wasting a considerable amount of material proportionate to the part being made. Also, in the case of plastics, the sanded plastic is considerably weaker than molded plastic due to the tendency of molded plastic to "case-harden" after being molded; that is, the plastic molded will have a harder outer shell, and a softer, malleable center. (This is why the first millimeter or two of grinding plastic with a rotary tool is always abatch. Because ground-down plastic lacks this outer "shell" in the ground-down area, it also lacks the resilliency that molded plastic has.

 

Once the raw material is ready, I will usually use a combination of files, knives, sandpaper, drills, and my handy dremel tool to shape the parts in question; this entire part is the sculpting process, and it largely depends upon your ability to replicate the shapes in your head. The actual shaping process is trial-and-error; you tend to get the "feel' of it after a while. This is why you should start out with smaller projects, modifying parts and doing weapons and accesories, before getting onto the larger stuff like making limbs and such: it teaches you the finer points of detail, and it gets you ready for the larger stuff to come. All I can really say for this part is: WORK SLOWLY, and test-fit OFTEN It's better to remove too little, than to remove too much and ruin the whole piece that took you 3 days to make.

 

Now, modifying parts is an offshoot of this process, and involves reshaping the part in question to fit your specifications. In truth, it's just really doing the same thing as fabrication: you either add or subtract the material needed, and then shape it to what you want. I give you the same advice here; WORK SLOWLY, and know what you want.

 

Aside from that, It's all up to you. I hope the tips I gave here can guide you in making the parts that you neeed. BTW, the methods listed are by NO MEANS exhaustive: you may know of other techniques out there that I do not. These are just the methods I have come to trust in my time, and can serve you as well. If anyone has anything to add to this, please feel free to! I am always open to new ideas.

 

So, as always, I wish all of you the best of luck in your projects, and I want to see them soon! Good luck, and keep 'bashing!

 

 

Now, where did I leave my root beer float...

 

 

*CRASH!!!*

 

 

...never mind...

 

 

*drip, drip ,drip...*

Edited by WraithVerge
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