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Sculpting more Rahm Kota armor

Koda Vonnor

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Not to be told by the photo, I actually did a lot this weekend. I reinforced the inside undercuts on the bell with bondo, finished shaping the shoulder bell and right handguard hard model and primed it for polishing, did the rough clay-up on the left handguard, filled in some low-spots on the bell, ground a flat edge around the bell for the half-round edging, and last but not least, ran out of time. :?




More later...


~ Vonnor

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This is my idea for adding the edge bead to the handguards. Something that will be very easy to sand down on the production pieces. I will have to scrape off this first go-round and slope the edges down a bit more before I add the clay bead, so I can better recreate the look of the CG model.


I also sanded the bell down to 600 grit. It's not perfect curves but it's closer that the TFU version. With the weathering on it will look OK. I was going to use clay for the edge bead on the bell too, but decided it would be too hard to get it uniform width and thickness. I have a piece of acrylic half-round bar 1/2" dia. coming this week. I will take a mold of that and cast a 40A urethane rubber bead and glue it to the hard model, using clay to fill any gaps. I'll make an interim clamshell mold of the edge-beaded bell and pull two castings. These I'll do the corner cuts to and make two more clamshell molds for the production pieces.


And yes, I bought a gallon of Rebound25. :P





More stuff next week.


~ Vonnor

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I've been finding myself with a time shortage lately, too. If only we could figure out how to stockpile that stuff... it sure would come in handy while costuming!


Are you using Super Sculpey on the edges? If so, I can vouch that it works very well for giving a beaded edge to a master mold. No worries there!


Pam :-)

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Heh... that's a really close color match, I would have sworn it was Sculpey! Super Sculpey is similar to oil clay in that it doesn't dry up, and it gets softer when warm. The difference is that it's a polymer clay, so you can bake it to harden it when you're done. The clay turns rock hard, and then you can sand or tool it. The downside is that it can occasionally crack or delaminate when baked, so I tend to leave it unbaked unless I've used it for a sculpture that I want to save. (Though it occurs to me that I've never used it with a silicone mold, so I don't know if it has a sulphur content that would cause issues. I've only used it with plaster molds.)


Pam :-)

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Between earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and other assorted family responsibilities, I didn't get much done this week. Here is the (almost) completed sculpt for the left handguard, shown against the right for reference. The symmetry is not perfect as the hand positions were somewhat different during life-casting.


If you look closely at the right hard model you can see a pencil line along the edge.


Having failed to accurately account for the thickness of the leather gauntlets, I will need to take off some of the handguard thickness. I made the left a little thicker as well to allow for that. I'm not overly concerned that the two handguards will be 3/32" different in thickness. It won't be noticeable in production.





More next week...


~ Vonnor

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Small update:


I made the junk mold for the left handguard hard model, seen behind the mold for the shoulder bell edge bead. I got a piece of half-round 1/2" acrylic rod (shown), taped it to the edge of a level and made some posterboard walls. I put in some Rebound25 mold rubber and it's now setting up. I used the level to be sure the mold comes out level for the urethane rubber pour, plus it was the perfect width and a guaranteed flat surface. 8)


Not sure what happened to the photo, but the Rebound25 is bright orange.




~ Vonnor

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This shows more the sequence of casting the flexible edge bead for the shoulder bell. I used Smooth-On Reoflex40 urethane rubber for the castings. I might have used 60 as the 40 is still VERY soft and flexible. One thing I found is that plain old superglue (cyanoacrylate) is the schiz for sticking flexible urethane to plastics like the Bondo. Also note while pouring I left a bit of a meniscus (concavity) on the surface to help the edging pull down flush on the model. Finally a mock-up of the soft edging idea. Way better edge than I could ever sculpt. Again this is only for building the left/right hard models which will be cast resin. I will cut the respective rear corners off each resin hard model and build the edge back up, then take final production molds.








Yada yada blah... ;)


~ Vonnor

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I primed and polished the bell down to 600 grit, and added the soft urethane edge beading. I have to say it's not that easy to superglue a flexible piece to an edge and get it perfectly straight. The glue sets up too fast. Also any variance in pressure as I held the edging down caused some ripples in the edge contour.


After looking at it though and comparing it to the CG model I think it may be better a little crooked. Plus, whatever corrections I cannot make on the final hard masters I can blend in with the weathering.


It's finally starting to look like something. 8)







As always, more views at the bucket.


~ Vonnor

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Here is half of the shell mold for the shoulder hard models. The three layers are the model, Rebound25 mold rubber from Smooth-On, and Hydrocal plaster. The rubber is thick only around the edges. Most of the mold lining is about 3/16" thick. I left the top pour area without a plaster backing. You can't see them but there are tiny air holes to either side of the pour hole. Registry key number four was a casualty of the brush-on. Should be OK with three given the shape of the shell.


I am still struggling with how to make the shell molds for the handguards. :?





More sometime soon.


~ Vonnor

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Vision degradation complete...




The contacts allow extremely limited vision, appearing as if in a heavily smoke-filled room. I got them with my normal prescription which helps a little bit. Quite fun though. 8)


I also finished up the clam shell mold for the shoulder bell hard models. I will pour two castings next weekend, since the weather will be much cooler and dryer.


Stay tuned...






~ Vonnor

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Today I pulled the final hard models for the left and right shoulder bells. I used Smooth-On Feather Lite® urethane resin, which is what I will be using for the production pieces. It yields very good results with very little bubbling and ample time to mix and pour before it starts to set up (about 4.5min - published pot life is 8.5 but I call foul on that!). De-mold time was about 60min at ~80°F (my AC is on the fritz - likely effected pot-life too).


The second pull is pictured below. There were a few (4-5) flaws in the casting, all where the rubber keys were placed in the lining (see pix). They look like dents and are nice and smooth. I may leave them in for a bit of character. :D


I will cut off the opposite (rear) corners of each bell and build the ridge back up, then do final shaping/sanding/polishing and make the production molds.


I decided I will need to make two-piece rubber block molds for the handguards. The box will be irregularly shaped to conserve rubber. Will need to take Pam's advice on the Super Sculpey edge bead. I will re-do the edge and back-fill before taking the mold.


Be back when I got more.







~ Vonnor

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Showing the rear corner build-up on the right shoulder bell. The Smooth-On Feather Lite resin is a bit soft but the ease of sanding/shaping more than makes up for it. I sanded it to take down a few surface ripples and get it ready for priming.


For the corner build-up I poured a half-round bead using the mold shown a couple pages back and Smooth Cast 300 instead of the rubber used before. Matching 22.5° angles were cut and the piece fit in place. I had to use slow-cure epoxy as it was all I had on hand. The red marks are from the spring clamps.


Note the image naming convention, I can now differentiate right from left shoulder bells. :mrgreen: (Sorry, I'm geeky like that :P)


Also since the corner build-up is looking quite clean, I have decided to wear these bells rather than go to the time and expense of another two shell molds. I am anxious to get started on the arms.


Stay tuned.







~ Vonnor

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Personal reflection: Kota TFU 2 Do


  • Sand/shape left-bell & add corner
  • Fill/sand/prime shoulder bells
  • Lay fiberglass in left handguard mold
  • Make block mold for right handguard model
  • Pour production right handguard
  • Shape/sand/backfill/edge left handguard model
  • Make block mold for left handguard model
  • Pour production left handguard
  • Blueprint machined parts
  • Blueprint leather parts
  • Make loin pad
  • Make hip pad
  • Build sculpting stand for arm
  • Sculpt wrist clip
  • Mold wrist clip
  • Fiberglass wrist clip
  • Shape/sand wrist clip model
  • Make block mold for wrist clip
  • Pour two production wrist clips
  • Make sintra elbow guard model
  • Make shell mold of elbow guard model
  • Pour two prodction elbow guards
  • Sculpt left gauntlet front
  • Sculpt left gauntlet rear
  • Make left gauntlet molds
  • Fiberglass left gauntlet front
  • Fiberglass left gauntlet rear
  • Shape/sand left gauntlet front model
  • Shape/sand left gauntlet rear model
  • Make shell molds for left gauntlet halves
  • Pour production left gauntlet halves
  • Repeat previous nine steps for right gauntlet
  • Make sintra left forearm plate model
  • Make shell mold for left forearm plate
  • Pour production left forearm plate
  • Repeat previous three steps for right forearm plate
  • Make mandrel for belly plate
  • Cut/bend sintra belly plate
  • Lifecast torso
  • Sculpt backplate
  • Mold backplate
  • Fiberglass backplate
  • Shape/sand backplate
  • Sculpt breastplate (BP)
  • Mold BP
  • Fiberglass BP
  • Shape/sand BP
  • Fit backplate/BP to armature
  • Sculpt jetpack bracket
  • Mold jetpack bracket
  • Fiberglass jetpack bracket
  • Shape/sand jetpack bracket
  • Build bandoleer ribbed straps
  • Make metal strap for bando
  • Assemble bandoleer
  • Make shirt and pants
  • Make kama
  • Locate hip straps on pants
  • Assemble main belt with custom hardware
  • Make clips for saber holster frame
  • Sculpt contour mandrel for saber holster
  • Mold holster mandrel
  • Cast holster mandrel
  • Lay fiberglass over holster mandrel
  • Shape/sand saber holster
  • Paint and lace-up saber holster
  • Paint armor
  • Weather armor
  • Build armor mountings/closures
  • Paint glove fingers and belt front
  • Weather boots


80 items. 46 weeks.



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Sometimes the challenge...




...is finding the perfect hardware. :mrgreen:


Strapworks and CDWplus FTW.


~ Vonnor


p.s. hat-tip if you know where these thingies go.







p.p.s. super-hat-tip if you can tell what's wrong with the photo layout :P

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