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I started my first project of 2019...a scale model of the Nostromo Airlock from the 1979 movie Alien. I will be working from this Ron Cobb concept drawing and a handful of photos and frame grabs from the movie.

 

f8w6zEv.jpg

 

y5BpHkF.jpg

 

I have recently bought a "Silhouette Portrait" cutting machine and will be using that to do most of the tricky styrene cutting. I'm starting with the outer doors, which I have cut out the various pieces which will be layered and glued together.

 

ELRLX1t.jpg

 

ayonEj4.jpg

 

The machine is amazing. I never could have cut those out by hand in a million years. The doors are cut from .030" styrene. the raise panel details are cut from .020".

 

 

nLneJZi.jpg

 

 

Things are starting to be glued. I've wrapped the outer edges of the doors with thin strips of styrene. These broke when I bent them and will need a bit of filler, but over all things are off to a good start.

Unfortunately, I ran out of my favorite glue (Tamiya Extra Thin) which is worse than running out of beer, because the local shops sell beer. So it will be a week or more till I can do any more assembly.

 

coy6xKS.jpg

 

Br0vRIf.jpg

 

Thanks for looking in. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Photon
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Fantastic,will follow with interest.

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Photon, curious about your silhouette settings (speed, pressure, etc.)  to cut the styrene. I've had hit or miss luck with mine.

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17 minutes ago, aircooled said:

Photon, curious about your silhouette settings (speed, pressure, etc.)  to cut the styrene. I've had hit or miss luck with mine.

I've got everything cranked up:

Depth 10 (deepest), Speed 1 (slowest), Force 33 (max), 2 passes.

I've had great results right out of the gate. I'm using the blade that came with it (ratchet blade). I have not tried the deep cut blade yet.

The pieces won't be cut clear, you'll need to snap them out by flexing the plastic along the score. They do snap clean, even along curves. This thing is a game changer and pretty cheap $119 USD.

I

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Don't normally look in on Sci Fi but this caught my eye on "View new content" and looks to be very impressive.

I'm fascinated by the Silhouette Portrait cutter and didn't know they existed.  Nearly $100 more to buy UK side of the pond but the results you've got are excellent.

Watching with real interest for such a novel project

Rob

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this build looks to be interesting and different - looking forward to seeing more of your project materialise

 

 

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Hi Photon!

 

Great start on a great project!

I've been toying with the idea of getting a Silouette cutter, mainly for masks/stencils, I didn't realise that it was possible to cut thicker styrene, very interesting!

 

Will be watching Your progress!

 

Keep sticking!    Cheers,  Pete

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Thanks everyone!

 

For the indented areas on the doors, I printed some suitable positive shapes in polystyrene. I gave them a quick sand and filled in any low spots with auto body filler. 

 

 

MZalTiD.jpg

 

These were positioned on the bed of my vacuum former and a sheet of 0.5mm card was loaded in the frame.

 

BU43Qev.jpg

 

Here's the result:

 

PmxkGOl.jpg

 

The detail is a little soft in places, particularly the two smallest dents in the middle column. I'll have to try a second pull to see if I can get those smaller ones to resolve a little better.

 

Here I've cut and glued the dents for one of the doors:

chtKAKN.jpg

 

 

 

and the back side:

Hnnaoe4.jpg

 

I'm very pleased this worked out. It's something I have been thinking about for a while: vacuum forming over a 3D printed shape. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Photon

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This is going to be epic!

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You do realise you're going to have to mass produce this 

stuff for everyone that see's this thread, don't you?

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Lovely stuff. I have a Silhouette cutter too, but rarely use it. When I have for a couple of masks I could never cut by hand it's been worth its weight in gold. Signing up to see more updates. :popcorn:

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Thanks everybody. I really appreciate the encouragement.

 

So, I've been been running my 3D printer solidly, turning out all the "padded bits". I've got the ones that surround the doors pretty much done. These were printed in polystyrene, as I typically do.   A bit warmer today  ( -1° C), so I sprayed some primer on them, then ran in the house and hit them with the hair dryer. 😄

 

Here they are arranged on a 1:1 CAD drawing:

 

w8KcFwv.jpg

 

Something that's been troubling me is how I'm going to bend up the tubular racks seen on both walls. I made up a couple of jigs and tried my first one today. It's not perfect, but I think the technique has promise.

 

kvJuab9.jpg

 

The aluminum block in the center is fixed in place by a couple of screws through the bottom of the plate. The 1/8" rod is held against the block with one of the clamps, then heated locally with a heat gun and bent. The next clamp holds it place and you repeat for the next one, working around the block. The two ends overlap each other. I remove it from the block and cut the overlapping ends flush with a razor blade. The groove in the top of the block is used to align the two ends while gluing. 

 

WIHLSef.jpg

 

To get the two 45° bends, I use a second fixture. This is made from a piece of MDF. There is a stop at one end to align the frame to. and then clamped with

a small piece of aluminum. The nuts in the MDF were pressed into a slightly smaller hole with my vice and secured with a little cyanoacrylate. 

 I heat the rod again locally with the heat gun and bend over the form and install the next clamp. The last side is heated and bent but held by hand while it cools. 

The picture below will help:

 

4qbyCYL.jpg

 

 

For the legs of the tubular racks, I made a jig that will allow me to drill a 1/8 hole exactly in the middle of the rod. Here's a test piece:

 

5aLZAbV.jpg

 

That's it for now. Thanks for looking in.

 

Peter

 

 

 

 

Edited by Photon

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Awesome work  - I've got the book at the front of your pile, and always loved flicking through the pages.  I even pinched a few ideas from it during my Art A level course-work.  Ron Cobb is a superb artist :)

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50 minutes ago, spaddad said:

What scale is this Peter.

I'm not sure what the dimensions of the set were, but If I had to guess, I'd says my model is about 1:15 scale

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