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!!!)