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Well, it's been a few years since Donald came into being from the JPG resin Gonk kit, and that's far too long to go without any Gonk action, so I've spent the last couple of weeks designing a 3D model in fusion 360. I've also been waiting for some warmer weather so I can get printing again, and since summer seems to have finally arrived, I fired up the Mars at the weekend and started Gonking around.

 

The design I've drawn up is loosely based on the Gonk you see in the Sandcrawler in ANH, which is also similar to the one that's guesting in Bad Batch at the moment. Actually, the main reference I've been using is the old Kenner 3¾ action figure, which can be seen below.

 

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I've taken the dimesions for the 3D model from that action figure, but scaled up 1.6 times, which seemed like it would give me something that would roughly equate to 1/12 to fit in with my Bandai droids. Although I'll be printing out the main components, some of the smaller details will be scratch built as I still want to get some traditional modelling into the project.

I started off with the feet which are modelled pretty closely on those from the action figure, but I scaled them up sightly less that I did with the rest of the figure, because at 1.6 times they looked too big compared to the body. The print lines on these weren't too bad, but I gave them a good wet sanding to smooth them out. There are still a few tiny traces of texture around the corners of the raised squares on the top, but they should look fine once I've got some primer on.

 

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The holes for the legs go right through the foot, and I'll be scratch building the legs using some styrene tube for the main structure with some wire or something similar wrapped around to create the corrugated effect. The ends of the tubes will then slot into the holes in the feet. I may add some more detailing to the feet with  styrene or spare photo etch depending on whether I find something suitable.

 

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The feet are modelled hollow, which can be seen from the underside. They're done with 1mm think walls, and I added the framework to give them some rigidity. I might back fill the cavities with some lead shot to give them some extra weight and make the model a bit more stable.

 

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I was fairly happy with the way the feet turned out, so I moved on to the lower body. This too printed out pretty well, although the inset channels down each side will need some additional sanding to better smooth them out. It's sitting upside down as you're looking at it here, and the square cutout in the middle is where the legs will attach, although I'm still figuring out exactly how I'm going to mount them. The four holes are there simply to reduce suction on the FEP film when the final layers were printing and also to slightly reduce the amount of resin used. They don't make much difference on that score, but every bit counts I suppose. There should be a panel line running around the lower edge of the body, and I did add one to the 3D model, but I saved two STL files, one with and one without the line, then accidentally printed the wrong one. Since the print took 8 hours, I couldn't be bother to do it again, so the panel line will have to wait for the next Gonk I do.

 

51221492569_df2346463e_b.jpg

 

Again, like the feet, I designed the body hollow with 1mm walls, and added an internal framework to keep it all square while printing. The top edge and the frames look a little messy here, but that's just where the print supports have been removed. All that will be hidden when the lower body is clipped into the waist band part.

 

51221492479_83192954bf_b.jpg

 

The remainder of the main parts have been printed now, but I'll leave those for the next update. And, as usual with my droid builds, I'm open to possible names. Anyone who's followed any of the old builds before will know the form those names tend to take (not that I condone such flagrant ridicule of political figures, of course:coolio:)

 

GONK:cat:

 

 

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8 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Nice work so far, GONK droids are basically mobile power units aren't they ? 

According to my only slightly nerdy son, they are a GNK (hence gonk I guess) series power droid, which is a heavily armoured autonomous fusion generator. I reckon they look like a mobile double plug. ;) :D

Steve.

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11 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Nice work so far, GONK droids are basically mobile power units aren't they ? 

 

2 hours ago, stevehnz said:

According to my only slightly nerdy son, they are a GNK (hence gonk I guess) series power droid, which is a heavily armoured autonomous fusion generator. I reckon they look like a mobile double plug. ;) :D

Steve.

 

Thanks Dennis, Thanks Steve,

 

Yes, Gonks are essentially walking generators. The name was more of a production nickname based on the sound they make, then they were later given the in-universe GNK designation to reference that. This one is essentially an EG-6 in general form but it'll differ in the details.

 

So, the next part to print was the waist band. I'd originally had this as part of the upper body model, but decided it would be better if printed separately. It's essentially just an open rectangle with rounded corners and an inset panel line running around the middle. Each side then had a recessed lip added around the inner edge into which the upper and lower body parts will sit. The cross frame in the middle was added to reduce flexing and distortion, which seems to have worked well as the print is remarkably flat and square.

 

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On the reference I'm using there's no panel line around the centre, but I prefered the look with the line added. I also added a couple of small recessed panels on one end, again just for the look of it.

 

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The body sections then simply drop into the recesses on each side. I didn't allow any tolerance on the size here; the dimensions of the recess are the same as the base of the body down to a 10th of a mm. I though that, if the fit was too tight I could simply sand the bases of the body sections until they slid into place. As it turned out they droped into place perfectly without any additional sanding, which shows just how accurate 3D printers can be.

 

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The only areas that are slightly off are the corners of the recess which I left square. What I should really have done was round them off to match the radius of the body corners. The small gap which that creates doesn't really bother me much though, and I probably won't bother filling it. It actually gives it a kind of manufactured look rather than everything being too blended together.

 

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Okay, I'll leave it there for now. More later on.

 

Gonk:cat:

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Andy Moore said:

similar wrapped around to create the corrugated effect.

Thin wire (I've used electric motor brush springs before now) with PTFE tape wrapped over the top.

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3 hours ago, rockpopandchips said:

Looking good, I hope your printing a box full to sell on later, my JPG Gonk could do with a freind as well... 👍😁

 

Well, this one is a bit of a trial run, but if it works out okay I might see if I can print up a few extras.

 

2 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Thin wire (I've used electric motor brush springs before now) with PTFE tape wrapped over the top.

 

Hmmm, very interesting Pete. I was actually planning something very similar, but using thinnly rolled green stuff putty to wrap over the wire. PTFE tape would be a very good alternative though. I'll probably try both ways and see how they look. How well does PTFE tape take paint?

 

GONK:cat:

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Looks good Andy.

I'm interested in seeing how the little booger turns out!

 

My suggestion for the ribbed leg covers is fine solder wrapped around whatever you are using as a leg, then coated with either thick paint or liquid mask.

I have used that on scale oxy hoses,

The liquid mask (latex) let them stay flexible and I just painted acrylic over that.

 

The oldest hoses I have are over ten years and no degradation.

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Love the attention to detail in recreating something that in real life was presumably a couple of stackable plastic storage tubs stuck face-to-face :)

I also suspect from all the sanding that 3D printing is not for me yet, at least not if I want to get the kind of finish you're achieving.

But it's cool to watch from the sidelines.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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10 hours ago, Andy Moore said:

How well does PTFE tape take paint?

I used cheap (Hycote) acrylic primer on the Sternail build. The finish is still on there.

cnpiWtx.jpg

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15 hours ago, Will Vale said:

Love the attention to detail in recreating something that in real life was presumably a couple of stackable plastic storage tubs stuck face-to-face :)

I also suspect from all the sanding that 3D printing is not for me yet, at least not if I want to get the kind of finish you're achieving.

But it's cool to watch from the sidelines.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

The resin sands extremely well though. With some wet sandpaper it doesn't take much at all to get it as smooth as a baby's you know what. 

 

And that's only on some pieces. Most don't need sanding at all.

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Posted (edited)

Looking great Andy. I also have the Elegoo Mars and the accuracy is astounding. With layer heights of 0,01mm that's pretty damn good. (although I know it depends on the screen resolution as well).

 

Those legs are a tricky one. But I'll be interested to see how they turn out.

 

Racked my brains, but couldn't come up with a decent name.  VLAD-1MA could work perhaps, with MA for Elegoo Mars (got to work that in there for the first Gonk off the 3D print line), no explanation needed for the political reference. 

Edited by Portaler
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Thanks everyone

 

20 hours ago, Tzulscha said:

My suggestion for the ribbed leg covers is fine solder wrapped around whatever you are using as a leg, then coated with either thick paint or liquid mask.

I have used that on scale oxy hoses,

The liquid mask (latex) let them stay flexible and I just painted acrylic over that.

 

Thanks, yes that might work. I'll try it out along with the other options and see what works best.

 

18 hours ago, Will Vale said:

I also suspect from all the sanding that 3D printing is not for me yet, at least not if I want to get the kind of finish you're achieving.

 

The sanding isn't too bad most of the time. A lot of stuff disappears under a coat of primer. I've not actually tried printing any minis yet, but I'll give one a go after I've finished the Gonk.

 

11 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I used cheap (Hycote) acrylic primer on the Sternail build. The finish is still on there.

 

Cheers Pete, the results look excellent. Definitely the kind of look I'm aiming for.

 

2 hours ago, Portaler said:

VLAD-1MA could work perhaps, with MA for Elegoo Mars (got to work that in there for the first Gonk off the 3D print line), no explanation needed for the political reference. 

 

That's not a bad idea. An alternative could be PT-1N. It would give me an excuse to paint it red too.

 

The upper body was the next section to print, and this is essentially identical to the lower body except it lacks the cutout for the feet, but has an opening on the front for the face plate. Actually, it's only nominally the front due to the opening, otherwise the body is entirely symmetrical. As you see it here, it's been washed and cured but is otherwise straight from the printer with no sanding or clean-up. The radiused edges around the top had a bit of a step/ridge, which may have been caused by suction from the FEP film while printing the flat top. Angling the model on the build plate may have lessened this, but I've found that has a tendency to result in more print lines. Doing it this way left the top mirror smooth and it just needed a little extra sanding around the edges.

 

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This also had the internal support structure, except at the front as it would have blocked off the opening for the face plate. Ignore the broken bit near the back. That was clipped away to help remove an awkward print support.

 

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I printed off two face plates, one with some greebling in place, and one clean that I can greeble in the traditional manner. Not sure which one I'll use yet. I modelled a small open vent on the detailed one which printed okay but some of the bars ended up a little misshapen. I'm not too bother about it though, as it actually looks like the kind of damage that would happen to a part like that on a real machine. The face plates just drop into the opening on the front of the upper body and each has a raised frame around the top to hold it in place.

 

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I've also printed up a small vent piece that may or may not get used. This wasn't designed specifically for this Gonk, but rather as a general greeble piece. I wasn't sure how well it would print as I'd designed it with some almost paper thin slats, and they did indeed end up slightly wavey much like the vent bars on the face plate.

 

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A couple of the slats also got torn while I was rather heavy-handedly washing out the uncured resin gunk after printing. That was entirely my fault, but again, it looks like the sort of damage you might find on a component like this.

 

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So, these are all the main printed componets for the model. The rest of the build will be traditional kit bashing and scratch building (unless I think up any other little details to print)

 

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And this is how it's looking pieced together (minus the legs at this point). That vent piece has developed a slight bow post-curing which I can't straighten out so, unless I can sand the base of it flat again, I probably won't be using it.

 

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More later

 

GONK:cat:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It's just two plastic storage boxes really, isn't it? :poke:

Nice printing and I like the broken and bent vent pieces. They add character.

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1 hour ago, Portaler said:

Cool. Looking very clean. No tap on the back of this one for dirty bilge removal ?? 😜

 

Also what happened to his "E" ?

 

Not sure what details and greebles this one will have yet, but the 'E' will be on the side. I'll be adding it from styrene sheet.

 

54 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

It's just two plastic storage boxes really, isn't it? :poke:

 

Ahh well, you see, that's what I'm working up to Pete. A range of scale model home storage solutions.

 

 

So, I think I might have a solution for the legs. I was sorting through some kit boxes in the stash and found a bag of heat shrink tubing. I had a little light bulb moment, and went to fetch some styrene tube and wire. A few minutes later I had this...

 

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This was done quite quick and rough, but it seems to work in princial. An added bonus is that the heat used to shrink the sleeve also softened the styrene tube allowing me to add a bit of a bend to it. The wire banding also worked as it would on real reinforced tubing, closing up on the compressed side and spreading apart on the expanded side. I'll have a play with some different gauges of wire to see what works best, but I think this is what I'll go with for the legs.

 

GONK:cat:

 

 

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Very nice, Andy. I really like the approach of using a combination of printed and scratch built parts, rather than just printing the whole thing as a monolithic figure.


Fusion 360 and the Mars are a potent combination indeed. It’s kind of miraculous that’s it’s in reach of the hobbyist for so little money. I really should fire mine up more than I do. I had originally intended to use it as a desktop greeble factory, but have yet to really explore that possibility.

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Posted (edited)

Yes definitely a lightbulb moment of genius !!!

 

"Yes! Of course! June 4, 2021 ! That was the day I invented Gonk legs. I remember it vividly. I was standing on the edge of my toilet hanging a clock, the porcelain was wet, I slipped, hit my head on the sink, and when I came to I had a revelation! A vision! A picture in my head! A picture of this! "

 

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Edited by Portaler
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7 hours ago, Portaler said:

Yes definitely a lightbulb moment of genius !!!

 

spacer.png

 

"Yes! Of course! June 4, 2021 ! That was the day I invented Gonk legs. I remember it vividly. I was standing on the edge of my toilet hanging a clock, the porcelain was wet, I slipped, hit my head on the sink, and when I came to I had a revelation! A vision! A picture in my head! A picture of this! "

Weird and funny Im actually watching the movie now. 

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Thanks everyone

 

20 hours ago, Photon said:

Fusion 360 and the Mars are a potent combination indeed. It’s kind of miraculous that’s it’s in reach of the hobbyist for so little money.

 

It is crazy just how far it's come in such a short period of time. 3 or 4 years ago it would never have occured to me that I'd be printing my own kit parts by now.

 

So, I'm still mulling over the leg options. I'm most probably going to go with the heat shrink sleave shown above, but I think I'll still try Pete's PTFE tape idea as well, as I think the tape, being thinner, will pull down between the wire wrapping better and create more definition.

 

Right now, the legs are just two lengths of 8mm styrene tube waiting for their eventual covering.

 

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I also needed to figure out how I was going to mount the legs to the body, and I've gone with the simplest solution which was to print a box that will sit in the square hole in the bottom of the lower body. The box simply has two holes for the legs to push into. I drew up and printed two versions to see which worked better. On the left hand box the holes are vertical and also set back from the centre line slightly to bring the feet in line with the centre of gravity of the model. The right hand box has the holes canted over by 5° which will allow me to have the Gonk looking slightly up or down depending on which way round I put the box. The holes on this one do go through the centre line of the box to allow it to be reversable.

 

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I erred on the side of caution with the 5° angle, and the difference between that and the straight one isn't huge, so I may print another with maybe a 10-15° angle.

 

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The original hole I'd modelled in the base of the lower body wasn't really deep enough, so I cut away some of the frame structure on the inside and glued a styrene plate in place for the leg box to sit on to.

 

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With the body in place, the angle looks a little better, and I think the head up (or head down if reveresed) pose adds some character to Mr Gonk.

 

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So this is how he's currently looking with all the main parts pieced together. The legs look very spindly at the moment, but should be better once they've got their wrapping.

 

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And here he is next to Donald. The general proportions on mine are a little more movie accurate, at least to the version I'm representing. I think the JPG Gonk was based on the drawings in one of the Star Wars Essential Guide books, but virtually no two on-screen Gonks looked exacly the same anyway, so the basic proportions aren't all that vital. As long as it looks, as Pete said, like two boxes stuck together, you've got a Gonk.

 

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    Gonk:cat:

 

 

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Thanks chaps,

 

On 06/06/2021 at 20:30, rockpopandchips said:

I don't know why I would  to see him in sleep mode like the one from the A new hope in the sand crawler surrounded by Jawa junk.

 

That's roughly the one he's based on, and if I pose him with his front angled down, he does look a bit like he's deactivated.

 

 

So, I've ordered some 10mm ribbed tubing from ebay, which might be another option for the legs. While I'm waiting for that to arrive, I've been playing with some possible greeble details. To start with I've cut out and glued on the 'E' panel on the upper body. It's not a perfect match to panel on the original droid, but I'm not bothered about creating an exact replica, more just something in the spirit of the original.

 

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When I built Donald, I gave him a scratch built box on his back with some power outlets on it. I thought I'd do something similar here and found part of a fuel tank from a Russian truck in the spares box which looked the part. The power sockets are headlamp casings from something or other, and I'll probably add some further detailing with photo etch, or whatever else I can find. The panel below it on the lower body is a part left over from my old Slave 1 build, and the vent on the side is another spares box bit maybe from the Oshkosh M911. All these bits are only temporarily attached at the moment, but I quite like the look of them so they'll probably be used.

 

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    GONK:cat:

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