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Scratch Build – In Progress Cygnar Storm Strider - Update#28.5 - 9.06.2011

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Gentleman_Dingo, 3 Jun 2011.

  1. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    My balls thank you, sir. Never before have they been compared to Africa. ;) It's nice to see the people I'm following start to follow me as well. It's the greatest compliment.

    Definitely! The case will be in the PAX BYOC. Unfortunately, they have been restrictive about going in to see the cases. Sometimes, if I'm nice and polite and bribe the Enforcers with beer, coffee, compliments and candy I can bring a person back to tour the awesome cases. Even if you can't make it back to see the case in person, I think CPU Magazine is hosting the casemod contest again this year. If so, then the top cases will be in September/October issue of CPU Magazine (http://www.computerpoweruser.com).



    -------------------------------------------------------

    It appears White Moon Dreams release an offical version of the trailer!!!!
     
    Last edited: 21 Jun 2011
  2. AJB2K3

    AJB2K3 New Member

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    Why they say "play like you got a pair" I don't think this is what they meant!
    Sir you making a good job!
     
  3. AnG3L

    AnG3L Ultimate Modder

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    If you are working like this with your first mod bro, I dunno what the heck you gonna do with your second! A real spaceship probably? :p Man that foam carving seems so difficult especially with those designs!! You make it look so easy and I like that! Keep on modding I am watching really closely!!! :)
     
  4. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    Page 5 demands I play like I got a pair! Case modding is play-time for me! Thank you.


    Technically it's my second mod but my first mod was only a couple of hours of work and very little research or effort (circa 2008)... and the case looks like I rushed it. This case is to get people's interest and attention. I wanted to try something that used different tools, skill-sets, and look unique. I wanted to demonstrated that I can work with different materials. And most of all, I wanted to learn how to do aluminum casting. As far as making the foam carving look easy, actually it is. The next update will show you EXACTLY how to get to your general shape with foam and . Once you get there, it's simply paying attention to details and symmetry. But I do a lot of free-hand carving because it saves time. But if you do screw up, it is foam. Just throw it away and get another piece. It's cheap and easy to get it back to where you left off.
     
  5. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    Update #8: Sooo tired of foam…

    Update #8: Sooo tired of foam…
    Count Down: Only 63 more days until PAX 2011.

    I apologize that this update does have more visible progress. I’m at the point where I have to replicate all of the things I have done in the previous updates with the shin guards and the legs. To help elaborate how I’m carving down the foam I stopped at various points of the process and set each part up so you can see the progression.

    Here are the shin guards:

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    As you can see the process is not very elaborate… I simply mark out the depths into blocks and remove the excess foam to the line. Rinse & Repeat.

    Here are the legs:

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    I’ve also began preparing the rings for the shin guards.

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    I can’t wait to do more casting. While I realize all of this foam work is necessary, it is just preparation for main show. Later today I’m headed over to Frye’s Electronics to check out some modder’s bling; lighting tubes, LEDs, motherboards, and wire wraps.
     
  6. robi09

    robi09 New Member

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    cOol man! ... You use fiberblass?
     
  7. Nitrixflare

    Nitrixflare Building and engineering enthusiast

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    Just a consideration, light up the lightning coils with EL wire?
     
  8. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    My options are still open. There is some merit to tube once the metal coils are properly painted though... I do have plans for a MKII version of this case (when I don't have a stringent deadline) that will have water reservoirs for the lightning coils. Those coils would look awesome with EL wire.
     
  9. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    Update 9: Casting tomorrow, prepare tonight!

    Update #8: Casting tomorrow, prepare tonight!
    Count Down: Only 61 more days until PAX 2011.

    I just got the call from Rusty at Hazard Factory, we cast tomorrow! Fortunately I spent the yesterday and today shopping and investing my pieces.

    Shopping!

    Look at all the beautiful meshes at my local hardware store!!!!

    [​IMG]

    I also stopped by a store called RE-PC. They sell computer junk. I pop in to see if they ever have a case worth modding. I did pick up a nice tiny shuttle for $3 USD. But I'll post more on that when that project comes up. Speaking of which, I now ave TWO perspective commissions. I had to tell the third that it will be a bit before I can commit to even the planning. The other commission I've started drawing up the plans for the client's approval. Any rate, here's some pictures of RE-PC. I apologize for the quality but they're taken with my beat up old iphone.

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    Now, back to the update:

    In one of the earlier posts, I described how the white open cell foam had a bumpy texture when we did the material tests. To fix this I have to do an investment of the material to cause the surfaces to smooth out during the casting process. I invest the foam by covering it in a light coat of plaster.

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    Here's both halves with the sprues and vents attached:

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    I also attached sprues to the lightning coils:

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    For the legs, I inserted the aluminum tube for the sand core. This will provide me a conduit for the LED wiring to the Shin guards:

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    Next I needed to fabricate a wedge to make the legs stand off from the lower torso (PSU & HDD enclosure):

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    Here it is on the leg (sorry the picture got a little washed out with the flash):

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    For the most part I'm ready to cast 1 leg, the whole dome, and the lightning coils. I will still need to cast 3 legs, 4 shin guards, and a couple of Cygnar emblems. But I will have enough to start assembling the main enclosure. I will have trouble sleeping tonight. I am excited for tomorrow.

    I have two promises for you:

    1. I will take some more photos and maybe a movie or two of the casting process.

    2. I've talked to a friend who will be kind enough to make up for my bad photography. For the finished case he will get all of the excellent macro pictures necessary to show off this case.

    Well, that is all for today. Stay tuned, another update will be along with the results of the casting.
     
  10. AnG3L

    AnG3L Ultimate Modder

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    Seriously man, this work looks extremely difficult to me. Many props to you my friend for doing something out of the box and not easy for sure!!! I am looking forward for the casting process!! :)
     
  11. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    I just got home from casting!!! Good news 6 pieces came out awesome! 2 pieces came out workable! And one piece... well let's just say it's back to the drawing board on that piece.

    Update will probably be up tomorrow... and maybe a movie?
     
  12. AnG3L

    AnG3L Ultimate Modder

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    I will be waiting!!!!!!!! ;)
     
  13. Shael

    Shael New Member

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    Cant wait to see a vid of the casting process defiantely an ambitious idea for your 1st scarth build but the work so far looks excellent :thumb: keep it up
     
  14. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    Update #9.5: Casting Teaser

    So many pictures... So many little movies...

    I had a friend assist with the photos and movies while we were casting. I'm pretty sure he took over 100 photos for an eight hour period. I went through a bunch of the photos and still have to edit both the photos and the movies. And I'm fighting the urge to back to working on the case instead of updating. But I have a teaser for you until I can get a chunk of photos and a movie uploaded and arranged for a descriptive.

    Here's your teaser:

    Start it up!!!

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    This is Rusty and I (I'm the one with the black shirt that looks like I'm photo-bombing):

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    These are the flames of creativity!!!!

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    This is us pouring ingots:

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    I wonder what's underneath this cooling pool of aluminum???

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    Stay Tuned, more to come after I get done with my actual work (the paying job) and I do some editing.
     
    Last edited: 28 Jun 2011
  15. alpaca

    alpaca llama eats dremel

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    AAH show me whats under there!
     
  16. AnG3L

    AnG3L Ultimate Modder

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    Moooooooooooar!!!!!!!!!! NOW!!! ;) I love the uniform your friend is wearing, looks really heavy!
     
  17. [ZiiP] NaloaC

    [ZiiP] NaloaC Well-Known Member

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    Ok, this is going to be good.... :D
     
  18. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    Update #10: CASTING (part 1)

    Update #10: CASTING (part 1)
    Count Down: Only 59 more days until PAX 2011.

    Ok, due to the sheer number of pictures we had for the casting, I am breaking down the casting update into three parts; Sand preparation, casting, results.

    Let me start by introducing you to the Rusty’s shop. I’ll admit that any tool or resource that I don’t have Rusty probably has 3 of them. For the most part I try not to bug him to use every little tool. He is a professional metal worker and his place of business. So I try to keep my requests to a minimum… But he is as enthusiastic about casting aluminum as I am and he indulges this project. He usually has 2-3 artistic projects going on, some business fabrications and stuff set up for an instructional class.

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    What’s that? Is that a CNC plasma torch? I wonder if that’ll fit into my backpack. ;)

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    For every 45 minutes you spend actually casting a part, you will spend a couple of hours preparing that part for casting. On Sunday, I spent 8 hours in the shop casting parts. I wish that whole time was spent pouring aluminum. I’d have my whole case done by now. ;) When I first get into the shop the first thing you have to do is prepare the sand. Rusty runs a class for South Seattle Community College and the sand is usually a little clumped up and dry afterwards. So I spend the first hour shifting sand, removing the clumps and then breaking them down to fine sand again. Basically I sit there with a screen and shake the sand back and forth like a gold prospector looking for gold. After all of the sand is broken up, we toss the sand into a cement mixer and spray some water into the sand. The point of adding water is to make the sand hold a shape after it is pour. If the sand dries out it will collapse into the mold when you pour the aluminum or collapse into the mold while you move the mold.

    But enough of the descriptions, let’s get to the pictures.

    To start, Rusty and I fabricated a couple of boxes for the larger pieces (2 dome halves and a leg). We already had the smaller boxes for the lightning coils.

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    Then I pick the boxes, I’m going to use for casting each part. The metal box is a little too small for the half dome parts.

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    The small lightning coils require a little bit of a balancing act to get into their mold. Since they have details on both sides I have to get sand into every crevice. To do this I place the parts on a strip of wood and pour sand over the part.

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    You have to be sure to pack the sand in and then smooth over the top so that there’s no bumps that might disturb the mold.

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    Then you pick up the mold and flip it over to fill in the other side.

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    But if your sand doesn’t have enough moisture… that whole flipping thing doesn’t exactly work. :(

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    &*@#!$#$%$@*%^@%

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    After one of the flips with the small lightning coils, I ended up snapping my foam coil in half. Fortunately, I planned ahead and brought some extra foam and wood glue with me to repair any ‘accidents’.

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    This time I attached a board on the back so I don’t have to worry about the moisture levels as much. FLIP!

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    And this is the look you get from me after saying something sarcastic about the time it’s taking me to pack the models in the sand. I’m pretty sure I’m saying, “Are you f&%king kidding me?”

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    Now that I have removed the strip of supporting wood, place the second half of the box down and start filling the other half with sand.

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    I’m careful to pack the sand down. It is necessary for the sand to keep its shape even with lost foam casting. If it dries out or loses its shape the pressure from the pour of aluminum can cause the mold to blow out and form weird shapes under the sand.

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    Once the sand is all packed in, I dig out a cup or gate over the sprues for the pour of the aluminum. Then I dig out the vents.

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    This what the large and medium lightning coils look like when they’re all packed up and ready to get cast:

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    Now the process gets repeated for each box/part. Just to show you what one of the larger piece’s process looks like, these are the pictures for the dome parts. Fortunately I don’t have to flip these pieces.

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    Here is what the dome looks like when it is ready for casting:

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    Wheew… it makes my back sore just editing these pictures. Next update will be the pouring/casting!!!!
     
  19. jamsand

    jamsand Well-Known Member

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    I shiver at the very thought of the bill that must come with this case by now lol. Wish I had somewhere like RE PC near me.
     
  20. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    Actually, it's not that bad. We've been melting down scrap aluminum from old bike rims to make all the parts. The boxes are made from scrap 2x4s from other projects as well. The insulation foam is cheap. The foundry and sand were previous expenses that Rusty has already recouped from other ventures (I believe). The only real expense is the propane gas to heat the metals. The reduction of price is in direct correlation to the amount of effort put into finding things for free or cheap.

    Granted, if I was doing this case as a commission, you can bet it would be a bit pricey.

    The recession hit me hard and made me re-evaluate my career (IT service delivery/vendor management). So I'm trying really hard to keep my purchases to a minimum. I've even taken a second part time job to help pay for lighting and components for this case.

    Another great aspect of this process is that I can reproduce all of the parts I cast. The aluminum parts I make can be used as a master for 2-part impression mold. So if I need to make another case, all I have to do is start at the casting portion of the process.
     

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