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Everything posted by WraithVerge

  1. epoxy's cool and all, but it can be a bit brittle for my tastes. as long as the part you're attaching doesn't have a lot of stress on it constantly, it's all good.
  2. Time for another installment: The Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing 6: Alternate Materials Now, in writing this post, I know that some of you are wondering what exactly I mean by "Alternate Materials." Well, it means just what it says; materials that are an ALTERNATE from the usual run of the norm. Stuff that you wouldn't usually use to build with. In short: improvised materials. Examples of alternate materials are: masking tape, cardboard, sculpey, plastic welder, resin, epoxy, paper, wood, fiberglass, metal, and good ol' duct tape. But they're not limited to just those. In fact, just about anything and everything that can be utilized in the construction and detailing of a project. this literally means that anything that you lay your eyes on (with some obvious exceptions) is fair game for use in construction. You see it lying around, it can be used, provided no one else needs it for something. ("HEY!! THAT'S MY KIDNEY!!!") But to use these materials, you need some experience, and often more than a mere exacto knife and sandpaper. When working with these materials, you will find that a dremel tool or other rotary tool is indispensable for cutting and shaping many of these items. As for experience, that comes with using them. From whatIi've learned, sculpey is fine for modeling heads for figures, but doesn't hold up too well when building a transform. Paper, cardboard and masking tape are also fine for 12" figures, but alas, are poor substitutes for plastics such as ABS. And while metal, fiberglass and resin are often good for construction, shaping and forming them can be even more of a challenge than designing the whole piece!!resin alone involdes making a mold of the piece, casting a new part, and cleaning the casting of both mold release as well as "Flash." (the fringes of material that seep between the mold parting lines.) Planning doesn't merely cover design aspects; it should also cover materials and tools as well. knowing what to use and what NOT to use in construction is crucial to a project in both time and money; neither of which is in ready supply nowadays. It pays to take time to research what you're using, and to then make the most of it. Used properly, alternate materials can enhance and spruce up your models. But remember: many projects fail due to bad materials. And time is the one part of a project that cannot be replaced; only spent. okay, I've run my yap enough for now. keep going on those projects of yours out there, and i'll see you next time for another installment. Until then ...HEY!! THAT'S MY KIDNEY!!!
  3. Johnyy Reb, Transtopia is a good site for beginners, as is starship modeler. Starship modeler is for general models, and transtopia is specifically for tf builders. While there's no book as of yet (THERE'S an idea!), most of the info here will serve you well, and any specific questions can be answered by those of us here wit particular expertise in the field. As for your project, Autobot Spike from G1 season 2, I wouls suggest that since he has no transforming parts, you could go one of multiple ways: actionmaster parts for one, or if you're making it in a larger scale, try ebay for old transformer parts. as for actual mechanics, i said before that autobot spike doesn't transform (to my knowledge.) That being the case, it's a simple matter of joining the parts on a basic moveable figure frame. i personally would get a bunch of the appropriate G1 parts, and piece them together so that they move like spike did in that episode. it's going to take some work, but teest fitting and taking your time with it is the keyword here. if you take it slow and carefully, you should have very few problems.
  4. for smaller and cheaper sizes, try these links: http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/ and: http://www.plastruct.com these two are the TOP suppliers of retail hobby plastics for modelbuilders and kitbashers. Hope these help you out! -WV
  5. Alright....I think it's time for yet another riveting installment... The Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing 5: Plastics In kitbashing or scratchbuilding, your end result is only as good as the materials you plan on using in your projects. For most of us, we tend to use whatever is readily available to us in the stores. But in this installment, I'd like to open everyone's eyes to the worldfull of readily-available and free (or at least REALLY cheap!) plastics at hand. First off, most of us are aware of the "sheet styrene" that most hobby shops sell at 3-4 dollars a pack. While this is usefull for most projects, the form it comes in, let alone the cost, is sometimes more than many modelers are willing to shell out in a single trip. Needless to say, this slows down many projects to a crawl. To remedy this, I recommend something I've heard of in recent years; plastic supply houses. They supply some of the smaller-scale businesses with their plastic needs. (like small shops, factories and what not.) They're found in the yellow pages, and I've heard that they ofter have reasonable prices for their wares. Additionally, they sometimes have scraps of different plastics from different orders, that they may be willing to let go for cheaper than normal. This includes ABS plastics ( AcetylButylStearate, what most toys are made of), and styrene. Also, many items around the house can be a good supply for what you need. A lot of objects lying around are made of the materials that you might need. Some examples: Clear Styrene- CD "Jewel Boxes", clear plastic bubbles from candy machines. ABS plastic- Video game system housings (PS2, xbox, ect, ), appliances (AC covers, coffeemakers), old toys, computer tower/scanner housings. styrene- 'for sale' signs, credit cards, old plastic models. Now, obviously you would want to use stuff that is broken or not used anymore. (Your brother's xbox while he's playing HALO 2 is a BIG no-no!!!) Instead of throwing these busted items out, you might want to cannibalize them for their plastic, as well as any cool stuff inside. You can also get some awesome led lights from some stuff too. On another note, let's talk about durability: how strong the material you plan on using will be. Now, while styrene might be good for shaping and detailing, it is a VERY poor plastic as far as strength and durability are concerned. You might be saying "well, i'm not planning on PLAYING with the thing!!" after you finish it, but over time, styrene can become extremely brittle. it's not unheard of for plastic models built several years ago to become so fragile that merely picking them up to move them causes some pretty bad damage. ABS, on the other hand, is a high-impact platic. But working with it can be a royal pain, given it's resillient nature. It can clog up dremel sanding and cutting wheels, and I've lost more than a few attachments to that plastic. Yet for all it's tenacity, it's that selfsame quality that keeps many my projects standing strong. ABS is often good for frameworks, joints, and parts where strength and resiliency is called for. Now, two plastics all of you should be VERY wary of are polypropylene and polyethylene. The are the infamous "soft plastics," which aren't much good for kitbashing. They're what make up those cheap hollow-formed toys you find for a buck or two at the local department stores. Greasy in makeup and flexible in composition, theydon't take glue or paint very well, and cannot reaslly hold any considerable amount of weight. Not to mention that once they break, they are practically IMPOSSIBLE to repair; they are all but useless in my opinion. In short: stay away from them. Well, that's it for this instalment. Next time, we'll go into alternate materials for construction. As always, tips, sugesstions and questions are ALWAYS welcome here at IG2KB. Until then, Best of luck to your projects!!
  6. I've heard of those types of gloves. Thanks for the info, Rodimus. BTW, for working with chemicals, i've been told that there's a type of neoprene glove out there that is excellent for protection against most chemicals today. i'll have to look into it a bit further.
  7. Thanks! Where is this available? Wal-mart usually carries it, but if you live in an area that doesn't have a wal-mart, then try your local hardware store.
  8. I personally would recommend Devcon plastic welder, as it is a lot stronger and far more resillient than even the current run of epoxies on the market. Super glues tend to be too brittle, and contact cement is a royal pain to work with.
  9. okay, i think i want to touch upon a subject here in kitbashing that i feel is important: Safety. The Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing :Special topic-Safety. To start, I wanted to talk about this because I feel that some kitbashers and scratchbuilders don't really give this subject much thought. I want to touch upon it because in my tenure of kitbashing, I gained several scars and my fair share of lung-damage from the "stupidity of my youth." First of all, all of this is common sense, but it bears mentioning: when using exacto knives, dremel tools, and other tools that can cut, WATCH YOUR HANDS!!! It is all too easy, especially with the power tools, to slip and end up giving yourself a nastly little reminder of your current project. Keep in mind that the exacto knives are SURGICALLY sharp, and slice through flesh with almost no effort. if you're using one, and you're cutting through a tough part, DON'T press as hard as you can.instead, take your time with it. otherwise, the blade will either cut right through the part AND your fingers, or it will skip out of the cut channel, and end up gouging YOU. In fact, for heavy work, I STRONGLY recommend a heavy pair of work gloves. Secondly, WEAR PROTECTION FOR YOUR EYES WHEN USING POWER TOOLS! I almost lost an eye because one of my dremel tool's cutting wheels shattered in my face. It was only because I was wearing safety glasses that I wasn't permanently maimed. I CANNOT stress the importance of this ENOUGH. Your eyes are irreplaceable, and VITAL to so many other things besides kitbashing. Third, WHEN WORKING WITH ANY SORT OF CHEMICALS, WHETHER THEY BE PAINTS, GLUES OR CLEANERS ANS SOLVENTS, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ADEQUATE VETILLATION!!! I learned this the hard way, as I used to spray my work indoors on a regular basis. now my lungs bother me with periods of bronchitis, asthma attacks, and Lord knows if I will end up with lung cancer or emphysema at some point in the future. So I'm PLEADING with the rest of you out there: even a SMALL amount of exposure can be more than enough to at the very least sensitize you to the chemical, and at worst give you cancer. So when working with these chemicals, make sure that: 1) you have adequate ventillation 2) you wear respiratory protection for yourself 3) you cover your hands (gloves) if you plan on working closely with these substances 4) if you get anything on you, WASH IT OFF IMMEDIATELY!! and; 5) if you get dizzy, nauseous, or rapid heartbeat, stop what your doing and get IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!!! Keep in mind throughout all of this; you want to enjoy your hobby, not have it be the end of you. hopefully, these tips wil help everyone here keep from doing some of the same stupid crap I used to. -WraithVerge
  10. Concerning DLP's project: First off: sculpey is too brittle for holding any sort of joint. It's not intended for structural support. most modelers use heavy wire, like coat hanger wire, for the supporting skeleton. i would advise you use a combination of coathanger wire, and Devcon Plastic bonder. Plastic bonder is more than capable of holding up to joint stresses (i've used it for that in custom projects before), and is compatible with metal.
  11. Okay, time for...um...part 4.5! yup...that works... The Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing part 4.5: Fusion spray paint. Since the guide was started (and then restarted), I've finally had the unique opportunuty to finally use krylon's fusion spray paint, particularly on my silverstreak/prowl conversion. what I found out during the process was quite, um, interesting. That's First off, they recommend that you wipe any new unpainted surface with paint thinner. One word: DON'T!!! paint thinner eats plastic, particularly styrene (model plastic). The chemical in Fusion that makes it fuse to plastic is xylene ( pronounced " Zigh-Leen"), which is also the principal solvent in model cement. While this makes for a pretty durable paint, it also means that you should be careful about letting drips or runs happen on your stuff, especially if you're using model parts in it. Secondly, if you try using it like regular spray paint, small spots are going to form on the surface of the plastic. This is where the paint pulls away from certain areas. That is why it's doubly important that the project you're working on is clean of ANYTHING that could screw-up paint adhesion. Also, the key word here is LAYERS. Spray misty coats on, letting the color "build', rather than trying to get it all in one shot. Krylon recommends about 30 seconds between layer; from my experience, I would give it at least a couple of minutes between coats. And it also bears mentioning that krylon recommends that after 24 hours, you wait a week before recoating. I would agree with that, since anything earlier risks the paint lifting from the model. Finally, make sure that any clear plastic pieces on the model are either removed or masked THOROUGHLY. ( I learned this one the hard way!) Krylon Fusion is an absolute Starscream to get off of clear plastic. I spent 3 hours polishing Prowl's windshield with toothpaste before I got it back to "clear' again! All in all, I found that once you get used to the way Fusion works, it's actually a pretty durable and long-lasting coating for your models and conversions. But keep in mind: be CAREFUL with the stuff. Okay, that should just about cover my take on Fusion. But I invite any other kitbashers out there to post their recommendations and/or experiences with fusion here, as mine are somewhat limited. Until next time, good luck to everyone's projects, and if you need advice or have a suggestion, please feel free to post! See ya!
  12. I would definitely use it then. But before you take him apart, i would wash optimal optimus in dish detergent and water first, to remove the mold release. in the case of knock-offs, this is especially important, since they tend to use a lot more mold release than has/tak. Also, you may wish to consider using krylon Fusion spray paint, since it bonds to the plastic and is highly resistant to chipping. In fact, this is a great lead in to my next installment.....
  13. Have you considered trying to manufacture the hinges yourself? All a hinge consists of is a rod that is placed inside a tube that is created from parts contributed by both parts to be joined. Take a look at a door hinge and you'll see what i mean. To make a hinge for you project, get a length of metal rod from a wire coathanger, and the tube you can get really cheap from a hobby shop. (Plastruct section) cut the tuibe into an even numbered amount of smaller parts, then line them up along the hinge line using the rod as a guide. Then glue the parts into place. repeat this for the other side, then when both sides are ste, slip the rod in to join them, and trim the excess rod off. (Note; make sure that you leave enough space between the tube parts for their corresponding 'neighbors' to fit in.0
  14. I can help on this. No problem: you idea of making laserbeak into a cd is rather interesting and innovative. i suggest that since the construction is going to be three layers, and that it will have some thickness to it, use pop-rivets for the joints. They come in differents lengths, and i would suggest getting the shortest length they have. If pop rivets aren't an option for you, i can also suggest that you try a 'slip-pin' assembly. This involves drilling a hole in the piece you wish to fit, then gluing a pin into the other piece ajacent to it, and slipping the two together. It's kind of like the way gundam model joints are done; post-in-hole construction. Pressure would keep the assembly together, but it could slip apart for painting and other stuff. i'll leave you to decide which assembly would work the best for you. if anyone else has any ideas for optimus 3000, by all means post them!!
  15. Cool! Okay, I think it's high time for a new installment..... The Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing: Part 4- revenge of the sith-er, I mean, direct scratchbuilding. (heh, heh. freudian slip there....) Seriously, though, there will be times in kitbashing where there's no appropriate robot or vehicle to work from, nobody's done it before, and you're out in the cold by yourself trying to figure out exactly how the hell you're supposed to make the required parts, or the whole damned thing. You don't have Takara's tools, time, supplies, and most importantly, budget. plus, you're not a mechanical engineer. So how do you do it? First off, the best way to solve a problem is to state exactly what the problem is. Most people get confused in scratchbuilding because they have no idea WHAT they need to build. Example: Devastator has a plate connecting his legs to his body. You want him articulated, but there's no appropriate robot to take the atriculation from. How do you do it? Answer: build a waist unit that retains the connectors for the legs and body, and incorporates a set of poseable thighs. That answer seems a little obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people freeze when presented with similar challenges. Trying to determine exactly what you need is going to be the first major step in scratchbuilding. But that's only one part of the battle... Next, you have to determine HOW you're going to build it. Returning to Devastator ( I know someone already did a refit for his legs, so we're going to use an example from my masterpiece Devastator project): Problem:The requirement for Devastator is that he have as few removeable gestalt components as possible. (head, chest shield, thighs and lower arms don't come off for transform back into component constructicons.) Devastator's head has to fold up into Hook's chest, but the chest of the robot you have is solid. Plus, if you cut into it, it will lose all structural integrity and fall apart the moment you transform it. The sides won't hold up, and the arm-slide mechanism for Hook takes up the space where devastator's head would be stored. How do you go about building it? Answer: remove the entire torso, and then cut what's needed from it, retaining as much of the original superstructure as you can. Use ABS plastic and Devcon Plastic Bonder to reinforce the torso, rebuilding the sides if necessary. Since Devastator's head slants forwards at the top, and Hook's arm-slide mechanism is placed fairly close to the top of his torso, and Devastator's head has to be back a little in order to be positioned as close to center on his shoulders as possible, You should be able to just clear the arm-sliders with the head in place. You may also want to consider the possibility of perhaps making the arms part of Devastator's head. in any event, the swivel for his head should allow it to clear the shoulders adequately. Now for the most terrifying thing imaginable; scratchbuilding the WHOLE DAMN THING. This one can petrify most people into submission. You see, most folks see the whole project at once, and this is what scares them; the entire rtinue of moving parts confuses them, and what pepole don't understand frightens them. But the truth be told, it's far easier than you think... Consider plastic model kits. The instructions for them break down complicated assemblies into smaller, simpler, easier to understand ones. If you disassemble a transformer, you'll see that even the most complicated transform mechanism is made up of smaller, simpler units. As Henry David Thoreau said; "Simplify, simplify, simplify." The trick is: break the assembly down into smaller, simpler units. Define what you need to build, and write out exactly how you plan on doing it. All you have to do then is follow your plan.(Most likely, it won't go EXACTLY as you envision it, but having a plan is essential nonetheless.)Then, assemble the components into their larger superstructures, allowing for any adjustments to make them fit. You'll find that once you do this, things will go a lot easier for you. The last piece of advice I can give you on this is; Don't get discouraged if something doesn't work out quite the way you envision it. More often than not, the things we build are not always going to be as we envision them. And it's not because we're all a bunch of dumbasses; it's because as human beings, we can't see all the pontnential flaws, parts conflicts, and difficulties all at once like a computer can. we're analytical beings, but we're not designed to be SuperComputers that can perform the functions of CADCAM, AUTOCAD and CNC machining. In short, allow yourself to make mistakes. It's how we LEARN. And that doesn't make you a DUMBASS: it's what makes you HUMAN. :) Well, that's all I can think of for this installment. As always, if anyone has their own entries to post here, please feel more than welcome to do so. And I'll also answer as best I can any questions regarding kitbashing or scratchbuilding, or someone else here can as well if I'm, not around. So, until next time, Good luck with your projects, and may Primus smile upon all our efforts! (Hey, it sound better that "may the Force be with you!" Plus, I won't get sued by George Lucas! :D)
  16. I can't, but maybe a mod could... Can a mod please pin this?
  17. 25 years of modelbuilding helps. :D BTW, thanks rawhide! This helps out the rest of TFans, and helps me because i didn't have this stored on disk!
  18. FOREWORD "If anyone has the first three of my posts as JackKnife in the original guide, plese post the info here. On that subject, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to all the kitbashing fans here at TFans for removing it. It was stupid, and only ended up hurting people that weren't even involved in my quarrels. As for the new guide, I will be updating it with my latest advances. Just think of it as being revamped and overhauled. -WraithVerge" A year ago, this guide was removed, and it is due to the dilegence of those in the kitbashing community that it is once again present, here at TFans.com. I have spent the better part of my last 33 years in life learning, through trial and error, both the techniques that work, and the ones that don't, that can either make or break a project. Learning these skills took a great deal of time, patience, and of course, blood, sweat and tears. To that end, this guide has been re-established to aid the Kitbasher community, both newbie and expert alike, in their quest to realize their own unique Transforming Robots, vehicles, and characters in the physical world. Therefore, I welcome you all to: The Idiot's Guide To KitBashing
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