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General Rahm Kota v2
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Anakin Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it is always tiring when you have to take a step backwards, but I hope you figure it out!
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Ky-Wan Zann ()
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed
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Koda Vonnor (BillCostigan)
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kira, thanks J.

Once I resigned myself to completing this as accurately as I can, whether or not by CVI, the setbacks became less annoying. Building a little bit at a time keeps it fun, and without fun the build is pointless. Very Happy

~ Bill
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Ky-Wan Zann ()
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well mate your a talented guy and it'll be good. You always do great work. Just do it cause you want to , not cause of a con deadline Smile
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, I have so been there. One step forward, two steps back. It never seems to fail. Razz

Good luck. I'm sure it'll turn out great.
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Anakin Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to be honest, I'd love to see it live at CVI, but don't stress out! you're a great builder and I just love to see your progress( I think i have said that before) so keep it up and don't stress out!
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Koda Vonnor (BillCostigan)
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a way of a bump-slash-update, I spent the morning attempting to build custom leather gloves with straps around the wrist. This was to approximate the look of the CG model. I had purchased a couple of sheepskin hides but one turned out to be paper fragile and tore almost by just looking at it. I reverse-engineered (seam-ripped) an old gauntlet that was too large for me and used it to cut out patterned pieces, then tried to sew them up with a machine.

Yep, another "fail" post. Razz

The second hide turned out to be a "napa" hide. Basically a cheap split-grain with an artificial surfacing applied to it. The seams ripped out as soon as I put my hand into it.

So after a frustrating but educational waste of a precious weekend (my Sundays are all shot), I decided to punt the custom gloves. In the interest of short-cutting the CVI countdown clock I ordered a pair of these. That's the company I bought the TFU1 Kota fingerless gloves from. I'll use some of the cheap hide to make wrist straps for them, sew some velcro to the backs to hold the handplates, and call it a day.

Well, not exactly "call" it yet. I'm heading off now to lay some clay on the ARMature for the vambrace re-dux.

Sculpting is therapeutic by comparison. Mr. Green

~ Vonnor
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Koda Vonnor (BillCostigan)
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back on the project again.

Some lessons learned were applied to this re-build. After measuring the first attempt at the arm vambrace halves, I had a good half inch diameter to play with at the elbow. The re-sculpt was completed in about 4 hours. I did that along with the new molds last weekend. Here is the fiberglass lay-up I did today.

Some things I did differently:

    - Built up the mold-walls around the sculpt so that there was only about 1/8" model thickness around all edges.
    - Split the mold halves along the divide so I could fiberglass each half separately
    - Cut a paper contour template and used that to cut out the FG cloth - Wanted to lay 4 layers of cloth one piece per layer - that really came out much cleaner!
    - Mixed the Rondo gel-coat thinner but hotter (little more resin and hardener than normal) - The cool weather helped a lot, had time to brush on the goop then hit it with a blow-dryer and it kicked real fast.
    - Let the gel-coat set up a bit longer so the first resin brush-in didn't funk up the gel
    - Used MUCH less resin - took a lot of time to dab and stipple the resin into the cloth each layer


I still have to add little break-away tabs between the halves, to hold them together while the surface is sanded, slots are cut, and the cross-straps are added (That's what the registry keys are for).



Will be rolling the updates much faster again.

Stay tuned.

~ Vonnor
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Anakin Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good to see you back in the game!
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Koda Vonnor (BillCostigan)
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are the rough break-out vambrace halves. At first glance they look pretty good. The contour and taper are much closer to the reference images and they came out feather light.




But looking at the end view of the aligned pieces, you can see that I accidentally cut one of the skewed split lines wrong on the sculpt. I broke the cardinal rule of all crafting:

    "Measure twice, cut once."


Look at the difference in the twisted cuts.



Not sure how it happened, but the rear half is almost 3/4" bigger around at the elbow than the front half. That caused the "under-bite" misalignment of the two halves seen on the left side of the photo. At the wrist they are both equal. I thought about trying to make it work, but it's going to be quite noticeable near the cross straps so...

I will do one more sculpt/mold/casting. I'll likely go 5 layers of fiberglass this time as 4 was a bit flimsy. Luckily the only significant loss was time. I have plenty of clay, Hydrocal, and resin/bondo.

Third time's a charm, they say. Razz

Practice, practice, practice...

~ Vonnor
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Koda Vonnor (BillCostigan)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of practice, this sculpt went much faster and easier than the last ones. Here it is shaped, scraped, smoothed and walled. I kept the edges very thin this time based on lessons learned from the other two fiberglassing attempts. The edge trim will add the right thickness.

The divider cuts are still a bit off, but I can live with 0.125 diff. Won't be noticeable when worn.

Will take the molds later today or tomorrow then sculpt the left arm - I want to do all the fiberglass castings on the same day.





~ Vonnor
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Ky-Wan Zann ()
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink Excellent to hear Bill Smile
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'They can be a great people Kal-El they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way'

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Koda Vonnor (BillCostigan)
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the left vambrace plates sculpt, with tapered mold walls added and right vambrace molds in the BG. Note the major wall taper at the ends of the channel divider cuts. This is so that the skewed edges of each mold half will clear the plaster armature when removed from the model. I broke a mold a couple tries ago and after adding these tapers had no problems the last go-around.





More to come.

~ Vonnor
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Koda Vonnor (BillCostigan)
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small update:

Last Sunday I poured the Hydrocal molds for the left vambrace plates, and I put sealer on them last night. Today the weather was perfect for laying the fiberglass in all 4 plate molds. All went smoothly except I ran out of MEKP (resin hardener). I found a tube in my basement closet but as soon as I took it out of the packaging the tube just disintegrated in my hand, spilling half the EXTREMELY toxic and chemically active liquid all over my hand and on the floor. Shocked

Evidently it was WAY past it's expiration date.

I managed to grab a plastic mixing cup and salvaged some of the catalyst in the empty squeeze tube from the last batch, but the clean-up was epic. 3 kinds of soap-n-water for the hands, followed by acetone for the floor. The stuff had even started to eat through the plastic cup in the short time it was in there. Luckily I had the NIOSH organic vapor mask on the whole time.

Bottom line: Don't buy Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide until you're gonna use it.

I'll post pix of the vambrace plates tomorrow after I break them out of the junk molds.

~ Vonnor
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Koda Vonnor (BillCostigan)
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vambrace plates:





They came out very nice contours and fit. I did get a small bit of damage on one of the edges, but the edge trim and fill will fix that. I also gel-coated the inside surfaces smooth to help facilitate free rotation/pronation over the shirt.

I'll polish the surfaces and add the edge trim at the 501st Garrison Tyranus armor party next weekend. Right now they're still a little tacky so I need to let them dry.

Stay tuned.

~ Vonnor
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