Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cloak redo

Time: 6hrs 14mins
Total Time : 94hrs & 41mins

6 months has passed since the last update. I've been working on him on & off during this time but the whole project was just wearing thin and I wasn't happy with the cloak. I recently started other projects and now that I've had a bit of a break I'm doing some extra bits on the side with Shuichi. He won't be my primary project but I'll continue to at least pick away at him.

Okay, my biggest beef with this entire mod is that his cloak is too thick, I've been pretending I didn't care the whole time but now I'm changing it. I didn't want to create too much work so I decided I'd duplicate it by resting some thinly rolled magic sculpt on the inside of the cloak (as it fits his torso snuggly) and build from there! The inside of the cloak was first coated in Vaseline so I could separate the old from the new. Unfortunately I couldn't copy the whole lot with the armholes otherwise I wouldn't be able to get the new piece out of the old piece.

I had to add a few miscellaneous pieces as the main part I rolled out obviously wasn't the correct shape. I left to cure overnight and with a little persuasion the pieces separated and I love the new thickness!!!

Then to make up some of the gapped areas and the sleeves, I covered the torso in medical opsite, rolled some new pieces over the arms and torso and pressed the recently cured cloak pieces on top of them very firmly. I'll leave this to cure overnight.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Orochimaru - Another new project

To get a break from Shuichi I'm going to start on Orochimaru. Orochimaru is in my top list of favourite male anime characters and I have more than one model I'd like to mod of him. This particular picture of him has been a favourite of mine for some time.

Orochimaru will be huge compared to Shuichi (who is only 20cm). I'm using a model that is already 38cm high and allowing for the addition of the arms over the head, it should end up about 42cm. He's almost 180cm tall so that makes the model around 1/4. Working on Shuichi at his size is quite frustrating. This will make for a good change.

The model I'm using caught my eye for it's particularly waify appearance (discounting the breasts which are plentiful) and I personally feel it's not very feminine (many would disagree I'm sure). Unfortunately, unlike all my other mods, this is a Thai recast (avoid at all costs) so I'll be recasting some of the main pieces with a better quality resin, also I want to use this model in other mods too so it will be handy to have the molds at hand. The recasting process will probably keep me busy (unfortunately) for a while and I can't actually start on the mod, but I'll get there.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another new project - Kaworu & Shinji

I'm not sure how much of this project I'll reveal. I guessing (I'm soooo optimistic) that it's not going to be as involved as all my other projects as there's going to be very little modification needing to be done with the existing models.

They won't be all that large, about 25cm and they'll be standing. I have other projects in mind involving these two, after all it was a long time ago that I watched Evangelion, it aired in Australia before you could purchase the videos as DVDs weren't around then. It impacted on me alot and fueled my current love for anime.

New project

Although there are a few models available of Bridget, I've still been wanting to mod one for over a year now. There are some gashapons, a new PVC is coming out soon and the resin ones never surfaced. The other reason I wanted to make one is the size, I wanted it big. The PVC coming out soon is 22cm and I don't really go much on the "victim" pose he's in, he looks like he's concerned for his safety, here's a link if you need to see.

He's 157 cm tall and the model I'm using is 40cm so a scale of about 1/4. I really wanted to use this model but she's been on preorder with e2 for 10 months now and shows little likelihood of ever going into production.

So I've ended up purchasing this little magic user as she was in stock at Hobbyfan and reduced significantly as they have a big sale at the moment. She actually has her arms in a much better position that Sakuya and her face is a little more like Bridget than Sakuya. Also she already has those wrist pieces and her arms exposed making for a little less work. Her arms are positioned much better also. The only downside is her hair is attached to her head.

I'm going to be modelling him off a Saigado doujin cover picture for now.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Migration Process

You may notice new posts appearing that are not dated this year, this is because I'm migrating the old posts over first before I make new ones ^__^

Friday, July 27, 2007

Belt, cloak priming again

Time: 1hr 22mins
Total Time : 88hrs & 27mins

Short session today as I’ve gotten as far as I can with a few things and need to wait until morning to get back into it. First I added some more bands onto the top belt. The bands were added by painting with Mr Dissolved Putty, this stuff dries within a minute or so and I layered probably about 6 times to get this thickness.

Next I primed the coat again, this time used a more expensive spray can, duplicolour and I’m not getting the spitting. Although I’m still only spraying probably four quick passes and the dunking back in the warm water. Warning DO NOT PUT SPRAY CANS INTO HOT WATER only warm. I didn’t take a photo but one of the cans nearly blew up, I was so panicked that I just lobbed it and didn’t want to be anywhere near it!!! I’ll go dig it back out of the garden another day and take a photo o_O. After wet sanding with extrememly high grit sandpaper, 3000 maybe? I’m not sure, it’s Tamiya and it has a furry kind of backing instead of just paper, it doesn’t have the grit on it and it was given to me by a fellow forum member so I can’t remember the grit. It doesn’t take much paint off though and gets the surface nice and smooth. I then finish with a coffee filter, that really brings up the shine. The previous paint didn’t need sanding with sandpaper, only the coffee filter, duplicolour has a rougher surface though so it needed it and it’s a small price to pay as opposed to all that spitting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cloak priming & made the belts on the shorts

Time: 9hrs 33mins
Total Time : 87hrs & 5mins


It’s been a whole month since I did anything!!! Argh, got sidetracked with other things like trying to make moulds and then buying a ball jointed doll!!!! I’ve made some good progress with Shuichi and he’s finally looking reasonably like I want him to. I really need to knuckle down and finish this as I have a commission mod to next and I’ll like to get started as soon as I can. First I had to fix this messy cloak, the never ending cloak, after spending many hours sanding (again) and filling the messy bits with putty, Mr Surfacer and Mr Dissolved Putty I was ready to prime to see the real uneven surface under the even gray colour as it’s difficult to see as is.

I’ve had ongoing issues with spray cans and this was no exception, after about 3-4 quick passes my cans spit like crazy thus creating me extra work as I have to sand these spots off and prime again. Anyway I finally developed a technique involving two spray cans and a pot of warm water, after two sprays the can goes in the pot then I use the other can while the first can is warming back up. I alternated with this and left about 20 minutes or so between coats. I didn’t prime the model completely just a bit to get started and identify some problem areas of which there were PLENTY. I didn’t photograph them all but here’s a few circled.

After light sanding to smooth the surface and some puttying and more Mr Surfacer I’m ready to prime again. I like the finish and although I can’t really tell until it’s primed again, it looks smooth and even to me!!

Next I attacked the shorts. I needed to make two belts with the two buckles. I toyed with the idea of making the belts from magic sculpt but was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get the straight line, I also though some sort of ribbon or leather string would work but they were both hard to work with so I ended up going for masking tape. I used Mr Hobby masking sheets which are precut to 1mm and 2mm, it was perfect for the smaller belt. I then handpainted Mr Surfacer over the masking tape to even out the surface and give it some strength. Then I used quilters tape for the bigger belt. Quilters tape is good because it’s not uneven at all and it’s really thick, it’s thicker than masking tape. I also used Mr Surfacer on it.

Then I lightly sanded the surface and cleaned it up along the edges with a scalpel until it looked pretty smooth.

Then I used some Magic Sculpt to make the top and bottom buckles, this was very tricky. I started out using a curved carving tool to shape and manipulate but the buckles would keep falling off or moving slightly. Then I used a pin to carefully go around the outlines of the pieces and press them on to the belt, then I could manipulate the shape of the pieces, I opted for a rounded buckle in the end instead of a square one. The picture is of the initial bits before they are cleaned up.

I then cleaned up the debris with a dry paintbrush and used the pin to hollow out any corners that had talc in them. You can use Magic sculpt with talc or water, each keeps it smooth but allows for different uses, it’s just a matter of experimenting and getting used to how you prefer to work with it. After clean up I handpainted some Mr Dissolved Putty ( I LOVE THIS STUFF) to even out the surfaces and create some nice rounded edges. If you haven’t used this, get some, it’s like thinning out a high quality putty so that you can paint with it, it’s a bit thicker that Mr Surfacer 500 but with the two products combined you can do so much with them, you’ll see the difference below (keep in mind there’s be NO SANDING on any of these belt pieces as the magic sculpt is still not cured so I can’t sand).

I’ll need to add some more bands on the top belt and maybe sand a little once it’s all set tomorrow to even out the surface as it’s a little rough. Also the curve at the top of the buckle needs a little attention to get it to look right but otherwise it’s taking shape!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

More collar today and started sleeves

Time: 7hrs 14mins
Total Time : 77hrs & 32mins
I used the same process to make the other side front collar but this one wouldn’t sit properly for me to join to pieces together so I put some Klean Klay underneath so I could position them how I wanted ready for joining.

Then I smeared some putty over the join but the join kept breaking. I’m thinking next time I need to join pieces like this I may need to pin & glue.

Then I puttied the join between the back collar and front collar. There’s quite a significant difference in shape and making the result even wasn’t going to be as easy as the other side at all!

Then I changed my mind about the collar and decided to cut it in half after all, even after saying how ugly it’s going to make it too!!! I may even change my mind again down the track and join it back, we’ll see!

The join between this front collar and back collar sanded down to a nice shape which I’m happy with. The piece keeps breaking though and it’s starting to annoy me and I need to fix the collar on the right side so I think I’ll take a cast of it and clean it up after that.

I started work on the sleeve ends and laid down 3 layers of masking tape and then draped some thinly rolled Magic Sculpt.

It’s been a while since I’ve used it and its so painful having to stop work and leave it overnight!! It will need some sanding and shaping next. So all in all I’m making decent progress and he’s starting to look like he did in my mind when I first starting playing!!! Yay!!!

My finger is healing well and it’s safe to show you now (as it’s not so gory!!!)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Shirt collar repair and more new cloak bits

Time: 5hrs 41mins
Total Time : 70hrs & 18mins

Onto the front of the cloak finally as although I had other things I was going to do first I had had enough of looking at those horrible raw edged on the front of the cloak. Shuichi has a standard upper collar and front for most jackets although the upper collar is worn upwards instead of folded down so it covers the neck. I should have used magic sculpt but it really is a pain waiting for it to cure overnight. The putty is a little more fiddley but at least you can glue and sandpaper the piece in the same session as creating it. I thought I’d try a different technique that I saw in this modellers site some time ago ( Basically you draw a shape and put your modeling material on top of it. I don’t know the product he uses though but it looks good!!!

After a few minutes the product starts to heat up and it’s like a rubber consistency and it’s bendable, this is when I placed both pieces along the front of the cloak (at the angle I wanted them) and held for about another minute so they would set curved instead of flat.

I then drew the second part of the collar on one side only and repeated the process. I held the bottom piece on top of the top piece and drew the outline so I wouldn’t forget how they lined up. I then glued them together.

I quite like the curve that the upper collar had on the shoulder so I wrapped the should and upper body up to join the back collar with the new front piece and to fill in the gaps right at the top of the cloak so the collar fitted nice and snug. I had to scrape the putty from the middle of the cloak as I need this gap left permanently so he can be displayed with or without the cloak.

I’m happy with the way it sits, I had some putty left over so put some on the back collar around the other side. In the next session I’ll need to repeat the process for the other side as I only have the bottom triangle done. The collar will come in the one piece that extends down the front seams of the cloak. Whoever is assembling it will be expected to leave this piece separate and add it to the model via magnets along with the cloak pieces. I considered sawing down the middle of the collar and leaving left and right separate like the cloak but I feel this would be an aesthetically ugly design.

Lastly I needed to fix the shirt collar underneath as it broke again. I wasn’t going to use magic sculpt again, one of it’s limitations are if you are joining to an area with superglue it’s not very strong.

Instead of using the plumbers tape this time I decided to try and use something called “OpSite Flexigrid”, it’s a material used for dressing and the surgery used it last Wednesday to waterproof the dressing on my finger. I kept looking at it all day thinking, wow it’s so thin and it has a strong tack. The plumbers tape is good but if you play with the area too much it becomes dislodged easy as it has no tack at all.

As you can see the OpSite conforms very nicely to the shape of the head. It’s a bit of a pain to use because you have to ‘crack’ it in two places before you peel the first layer off (which reveals the sticky part), then you stick it to the object, then you peel the other layer off but if you haven’t cracked it in the right spots beforehand you’ll render the piece useless (already wasted two sheets of it). I then used my good friend the Selley’s putty and resculpted the new piece. It’s been sanded somewhat but still needs to be finished off.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cloak now fits!!!

Time: 3hrs 38mins
Total Time : 64hrs & 37mins
Got a decent amount done this time back on the cloak. I was so sick of the cloak that doing the hair and face really broken up the monotony of this cloak for me. I decided firstly that it was still a little bulky and secondly it wasn’t sitting on the body well, meaning it was hard to line up (especially balancing the collar on it). I thought I’d test molding it so the inside would be the shape of the body outline. I wrapped up the torso in plumbing tape which is super thin (it was either this or glad wrap/clingfilm) and I’m very happy with how easily it wraps, conforms and stays stuck. I then put some Vaseline on it and blobbed some putty on roughly at the side and pressed the cloak against the body. I only held it in place for a minute or two as this stuff sets fast, about 2-3 minutes if you are lucky before you have to stop working. The result is perfect and smooth!!!

For the rest of the torso the tape was not coated in Vaseline this time and this made the tape move a fair bit when applying the putty. Also when the putty set some of the tape was ‘inside’ the newly set putty making the cloak pieces pretty hard to remove from the body. I left the Vaseline off because I found the putty slushed around and wouldn’t stay put. So it’s a choice between moving tape and moving putty, I’ll go with the initial plan if I do this again.

Again the result is outstanding, the finish is smooth as can be and the fit is so good that the cloak pieces now stay on by themselves. The final plan of this kit is to set magnets inside it so the cloak is removable so this makes it so much easier to work with.

I was then able to clean up the stray edges with a dremel and sandpaper and then further dremelled the cloak until it was more form fitting.

Now the cloak stays in place without being held I could take some full body shots which I haven’t been able to do without putting him in the stand (which really distracts from the pieces). I’m finally feeling like most of the hard work is behind me, hopefully I’m right!!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lots of progress - hair resculpted/shortened, collar started and cloak reshaped slightly!

Time: 13hrs 41mins
Total Time : 61hrs & 59mins

BIG update again, last one was over 12 hrs now I racked up 13 hrs!!! I was getting sick of the cloak so I decided to work on the collar. I made a start on the collar and realised I should leave it until after because the hair was still too long.

The hair was by far the most challenging and most fun!!! I penciled the areas to be removed and did this with a dremel. These areas still required resculpting. For scribing, I made guide lines with a surgical scalpel, then went over with an Olfa scriber, then used 280grit sandpaper, then 600, then 1200 all wet sanded. I love the result!! I also sanded the chin so it was flatter/squarer and rounded the cheeks a little. I will still need to regouge the eyes to make the cavity a little bigger, I’m not game to do this yet and I’m tempted to recast the face part in case I stuff it up!

Here’s some picture overkill so you can see the progression, reference pics and of course the final result!!

One side of the cloak was spray painted because I thought it was pretty smooth so I thought I’d see what the surface was really like. I was also advised by Kumama that instead of Magic Sculpting the rough and different coloured surfaces I could do this so the colours at least weren’t annoying me, thanks Kumama!! I then sanded it because the spray can was spitting and left some small blobs here and there.

Next I felt the armholes were a little bulky so I reshaped them by putting more putty inside and then slowly reshaped with the dremel and very coarse grit sandpaper. I’m much happier with the result however I probably should have done this before priming some of it but I didn’t really notice when it was unpainted. When I paint again I’m guessing I’ll find odd shapes that I don’t like again (but hopefully not).

I used some Klean Klay to form a very rough collar with a plan to place Magic Sculpt over the top.

I coated the whole neck and back area (around the collar) with Vaseline so the resin wouldn’t permanently bond with the model. I then rolled the resin really thin and wrapped it around the inside and outside of the collar. I also made some cuffs out of the left over resin. I’ll likely not use them but I had the resin spare so I just put did them anyway.

After the resin set overnight I removed the collar and as you can see in the photos the clay is left inside the resin piece. I scooped out the clay with a sewing pin from the three pieces to make them hollow (as I planned to fill them).

Magic Sculpt is expensive and you never quite now how much you’ll need. I continually under and overestimate the amount and it’s frustrating. Basically I’m using the repair putty as much as possible as it’s only $12AUS compared to $80AUS for the Magic Sculpt. I wanted to fill the cavities but they are very small and the putty has quite a gooey consistency so it’s not easy to apply. I decided to make a pipette similar to those made for icing to get it in the gaps. I used some baking paper and it worked wonderfully. As usual you have about 1-2 minutes to work with it so I had to move fast!

It’s now going to require some work to shape and I need to decide whether I join the front two pieces to the back collar or leave them separate.

That’s it for now, it’s taken forever to type this update because I cut a little bit off my fingertip (and some of the nail) on Saturday night so I can't use the index finger on my left hand to type properly and I normally type very fast!!! Also it’s been very hard modeling over the last two days as it hurts to put the glove on, I can’t bend the finger AND I had to grip everything with the second and third. I’ve done the whole hair resculpt over today and yesterday with it like this!!! That’s my one and only big whine in all the updates!!!! It’s not as sore now though. I have to leave the dressing on though and at the moment it gets changed every three days (just as well I work in a doctor’s surgery!!!)

Monday, April 30, 2007

More Cloak!

Time: 12hrs 30mins
Total Time : 48hrs & 18mins

Waaaah, I’ve done 12 hrs this time & I don’t really feel I’ve done much! The gap between the right cloak and the middle piece was filled with ‘Quik Steel’ a black tube that has a different colour in the middle of it and is activated when you squash the piece together. It sets in a few minutes and filled the gap nicely.

I then taped this middle piece to the right cloak to hold in place. The left cloak piece was completely the wrong shape (as I initially wasn’t going to use the middle piece otherwise it would have been fine). You can see from the photos that it didn’t fit whatsoever so I marked in pencil the area that would first need to be taken off. I then used a dremel and close a bit far from the line and lined it up to make sure I hadn’t penciled it off to close. I was happy so cut on the line.

I planned to use polyester putty to close the gap but I couldn’t hold the piece at the same time as puttying so I built up the underneath with Klean Klay so I could rest the left cloak on the middle piece.

I then applied the polyester putty quite liberally on the inside and outside join. After a rough sand at 120grit it was starting to shape nicely.

I then did a fair bit of reshaping that you can’t really tell from the photos I took. Basically I felt it was curving out too much so I kept dremeling with a sanding attachment until the left cloak looked a bit flatter towards the outer side. I had to keep adding polyester putty to the inside as most of the original out layer was sanded away. This you can tell from the photos!

I can’t even remember the time it took to sand and shape this, but it was hours. I then repeated the process to join the left cloak to the left torso.

I sanded for so long I gave up trying to get the surface even and ended up with this.

I decided to add thin rolled layer of magic sculpt over the whole piece to even up the surface (and the different colours were really annoying me). I had to do it in two pieces. Basically I just lay them on top of the cloak and then wet the ends with water and pad down otherwise it won’t stick it would just fall off once it dried. Now I have left it to set overnight and will repeat the process for the top part of the cloak and later, the inside.