Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Paint a little, sand a little, cheap cheap cheap!

(Sung to a tune from "The Music Man.")

The boxes are taking shape.  The usual round of refining; spackle up gaps, sand carefully, paint with primer.  See new gapes, spackle them, sand them, give it another coat of primer.  Eventually I was down to wet-sanding with 220, and that's where I'm going to leave this one.

I may put a couple more details in.  A finger notch above the "battery" (which is actually just a groove in the surface).  Perhaps inset the "injector port" (which for the CBR is an LED in a rather medical-looking chrome bezel).  But I'm a little afraid to try to make a neat inset oval carving into the curve surface that is already there (and took so much time and so many steps to smooth).  Perhaps I'll just dremel one into the first casting, where it will be easier to fix.

This is assuming the pull goes okay.  It has been a loooong time since I did any casting, and I don't believe I ever did latex casting.  At the worst case, I could even ruin the master and have to start from scratch.  Which would be really annoying.

So before that, pictures:

CBR on the left, getting the final (I hope!) divots filled.  Med-Kit on the right, with a lot of shaping and smoothing still to go. 

As I've said before, I wish I had a table saw.  Or a full shop.  Or a ShopBot.  Working with hand tools, it seems smartest to carve from the lightest materials -- balsa and foam, instead of MDF or basswood.  But that makes these very fragile, and I spend a fair amount of time just filling pores.

I didn't know if these lightweight materials would actually make it, or if I could make those curves, or if I was going to end up dropping another hundred bucks at Shapeways to print the whole body.  Thus, no progress pics.

The CBR has two curves, both inspired from the one and only drawing in the Morrow Project official game literature.  The front is rounded over at a generous radius.  And then at the back is a roughly major-limb-diameter curve -- "Apply Med Kit Directly to Forehead."  Err, "...Wound."  The most annoying part of the CBR was actually that little cut-in corner, where the terminals to connect up the external siren go.

Harder to see (because I had it printed in Black Detail), is the top of the CBR kit.

And this is them posing; the CBR with the printed top (the components have yet to be mounted in the holes), and the Med Kit in the bag the original came in.

The core of the CBR is one big block of foam.  Then sheets of styrene were cut to size and glued on every side.  Then a whole bunch of filling -- with mostly wall spackle -- to smooth out the joins.  The Med Kit is, on the other hand, built around an actual US Army bandage-and-aspirin box, with balsa for the flat parts, foam for the curve, and apoxie sculpt for the sunshade around the display.

I'm still of two minds about which was easier; printing the weird cut-outs, or carving them.  Carving is annoying and long and I'm a little worried about how I'm going to cast it and be able to have the right shaped space to stick the VFD in.  Printing was an annoying amount of fiddling to make a mesh that was dimensional and watertight and printable.  But as a result it has nice flat surfaces, square corners, plus it is an exact and known thickness, making mounting buttons and lights easy.

Well, we'll see how it goes.  By this time tomorrow the latex mold for the first one should be curing.  And now I'm off to read Thurston James AGAIN (plus I'm now following a second amazing prop-maker here on Blogger.)

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