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About Photon

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  • Birthday 01/03/1969

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    Boston, USA

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  1. Thanks for the suggestion. I think that would work great. I actually did find a large sheet of frosted translucent plastic at a local craft shop. It’s about 60cm square (and about .15mm thick) and was only a couple dollars.
  2. So I've made a few attempts to scratch build the hydraulic greebles seen in the recesses of the doors (presumably some sort of locking mechanism), but I haven't been happy with the results. I decided to model it on the computer and 3D print them. My printer can't output the fine detail needed here, so I found someone on Etsy with a SLA printer. The price for three was a bit more than I was willing to spend, so I just ordered one and decided to come up with some way reproduce it. (yeah, I'm a cheap skate) I found a pretty cool product that I think is worth sharing here. Apologies if this is old hat. It's called 'Blue Stuff" (yeah, I know...) from a company in Spain called Green Stuff World. It's a reusable thermoplastic for making molds. You just drop it in hot water for a few minutes and then press your part into it. I got some directly from the company on Ebay. After ordering, I found that there is another nearly identical Japanese product called 'Hinodewashi Oyumaru' . I suppose 'Blue Stuff' is not such a bad name after all... So here's the process. Put the kettle on. Drop a couple bars into the hot water and let them soften for a few minutes. For a two-part mold, I pressed the part half way into the Stuff and used a sculpting tool to press it up close all around the part. Then I pressed some registration marks around the part with the blunt end of a pen. ( the 3D printed part was printed in transparent resin, so it doesn't photograph very well.) Pop a couple more bars into the water to soften, while the 1st half of the mold cools. Then you just smoosh the softened Stuff onto the cooled mold half. After everything is cool you can peel the two halves apart and remove the original (comes out very easily). The stuff is tough, but pliable when cool. Here's a shot of the empty mold. The red arrow is pointing to the part I had printed. Then you mix up some epoxy putty,such as Milliput, and press it into both halves of the mold. Close it up such that the registration keys match up and give it a squeeze. I actually clamped it gently in a vise while it set up. Here's the finished epoxy part: There was a bit of flash to clean up but It was easy with a scalpel and a small file. Here's a shot of the original 3D printed part with some primer on it next to the epoxy casts, the last one straight from the mold with out any clean up. Not too bad, huh? I think this would be an easy way to reproduce small detail bits for scratch building when you need multiples of something you only have one of and don't want to spring for six Sd.Kfz. 11/4 kits. Here I've just roughly positioned them behind the door to get a feel for how things are coming along. Thanks for reading along. Sorry if everyone already knew about this stuff. I was pretty excited to have found it. Its dead easy to use and can be reused over and over again. Just chuck it back in the hot water. Peter
  3. Quick update. I've got the ceiling and the beginnings of some lighting. Cheap strip LEDs from China via Ebay. I went for warm white (70's film stock vibes) rather than the cool, which tends to have a blueish cast. Got everything wired in series. They're bright as hell, I also bought an LED dimmer from the same seller, but it doesn't seem to do anything . Here everything's just barely balanced, no glue I need to find a suitable diffuser material for the LEDs. I have some meant for fluorescent light fixtures, but its WAY out of scale. I'm going to try and find some milky white translucent sheet plastic.
  4. Thanks. Yes, that sketch is Ian's. I believe it's from his book, "Robots, Space Dudes, Flying Ships, Etc."
  5. Thanks! There might be. I haven't really looked into it. Part of me is reluctant to add figures because once added they become the focal point.
  6. Thanks, man. Considering that outside of this forum, no ones probably ever going to see this model, I should probably dial it back a few clicks.
  7. wow...will be following with interest. Great start!
  8. Unfortunately, I was just working from a single vantage point sketch and I arbitrarily chose the size that I wanted the final model to be. As a result, it’s a weird scale (~1:15 if I had to guess). So there really aren’t any figures commercially available that I know of. I’ve since become aware of the Neca figures of Lambert, Dallas, & Kane in their compression suits. These look great, but they’re 7.5” tall. I really don’t have the space to display a diorama that big. Maybe I’ll try my hand at sculpting something...
  9. Home today because my cars in the repair shop, I turned my attention to the airlock floor grate. This one cost me 2D6 sanity points, but I'm really happy how it turned out (not to mention chromosome damage from the cement fumes). Rather than take the easy way out and throw down some Evergreen strips, I decided to try to shoot for Ron Cobb's vision seen above. To cut these to the same length with a 45 chamfer at each end, I modified an Xacto mitre box by adding a stop and a small clamp to hold the piece being cut. Then it was a matter of cutting them with a razor saw and cleaning up any burrs. These were then glued to a thin strip to make up each 'rail' of the grate. I cut some grooves in a piece of MDF with the right spacing and glued some thin styrene strips at either end. I continued this border completely around the rails. The other day at work (when I should have been eating lunch), I used the milling machine to cut some slots in a sheet of .030" styrene, using double sided tape to hold it in place. I build a 2nd outer frame from thicker styrene and glued everything up. Here is the result... I never thought it would turn out as nice as it did. I have no idea how I'll paint it, but that's a problem for another day. thanks for tuning in Pete
  10. Looks fantastic. You’re a force of nature (with a very deep spares box). Can’t wait to see it come together once you hit it with some primer.
  11. Thanks for the input. Yeah, I’m a bit torn as to which view. I do like your reversible idea, but I would like to finish this in my lifetime! Also, that front wall will be hiding a lot of sins, having it removable will force me to confront them.
  12. I've decided that building this as a sort of shadow box would be a pretty cool way of displaying it. Ten or so years ago I was in Chicago for a wedding and had the good fortune of seeing the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago. They were really impressive and I'd love to get some of that vibe here. So for this display, I'd like to have it lit and be able to peer into the room through an opening. The question is: Should the front of the box represent an interior view of the room, or a view from outside the ship? Both are cool and have their merits. Here's a screen shot from the movie showing the Airlock from the inside of the Nostromo. One problem is the interior opening is small and would restrict the view. Not ideal. If I went in this direction I would eliminate the smaller opening and use the larger angled opening that mirrors the shape of the exterior doors. Also the greebles in the four triangular shaped quadrants surrounding the door look a bit arbitrary. Another option would be to model it from the outside of the ship. Here's a photo of the actual filming miniature (built by Bill Pearson, I think). This was used for the scene where Kane's body is ejected. I think this would also make for a really striking display, though it might rob some attention from the interior, which should be the focal point. What do you guys think? Do you have a preference? thanks! Pete
  13. Thanks everyone. I think this ones going to be really fun. Pete-thanks for the rust tip. Your Hovertank looks ace! I’ve been interested in M.a.K for a while, but a bit leery about falling down that rabbit hole.
  14. So my while Nostromo Airlock model continues to [slowly] progress, I needed a break from the exactness that that model seems to be demanding from me. I've been wanting to do something in the style of Ian McQue for a while and when I saw this sketch, one thing lead to another... So against all better judgement, I now have two works in progress. I think the detailing of this one will be a lot looser and more spontaneous compared to the airlock, which I feel much more pressure to keep as screen accurate as I can. Armor transplant This all came together pretty quickly over a couple of afternoons. I'm really looking forward to hanging some panels and pipes on this. 4-40 threaded insert on bottom should give me some options later to support the model for display. (something I don't usually think about until the end when it's too late ) I gave this Fujimi driver figure an arsendectemy so he'd fit in his seat. At 1:24 scale he's almost too big. My only other option (to hand) is a 1:32 Anakin figure from the Pod Racer kit, which seems way too small. Once I've decided on the pilot, I'll have a go at building the cab. I don't have a lot of painting experience, so I'm really looking forward to the opportunity for trying some rust and chipping effects thanks for looking in Peter
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