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Scratch Build – In Progress Project: Star Wars Sandcrawler

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by artoodeeto, 30 May 2010.

  1. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    May 30, 2010 –
    I’ll warn you up front, there’s a LOT to read and see here. If you love Star Wars, scratch model building, and/or case modding, read on! It is WELL worth noting, for any new modders out there, that I did not arrive at all these ideas overnight. Most of the time, I thought I had a good plan to start with, and often I found I needed to scrap it either due to impracticality, or just thinking of a different, better way to do it. And remember, this crawler is the third time I’ve built the same model. I learned a lot from the first two, without which the third would not have been possible.

    This build is sponsored by Danger Den and Outoftheboxmods.com, who combined to sponsor me the entire water cooling system.
    I write this as I near completion on this project, but it’s not *quite* done yet. At this point the exterior and the computer are finished, but I’m going to build some interior of the model, and that’s what I have left to do. The computer has been fully functional throughout the entire build, and in fact what’s in there now is the second computer, having been upgraded in May 2009. I’m currently running an AMD Phenom II 940, Nvidia GTX285, OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD, Asus Crosshair II Formula motherboard, and a SCSI card for my Epson 11x17 scanner.

    I’ve been meaning to start a worklog here, and one advantage of beginning it on this site so late is that I can present all the pics in chronological order. This has taken over 3 years to get to this point.

    This is the 3rd Sandcrawler computer case model that I’ve built. It’s massive: about 18 inches tall at the front, over 36 inches long, and around 17 inches wide.
    The first two looked pretty terrible, partly because I didn’t have good reference pics, and partly because I just wasn’t great at scratch building yet. I cut corners, and it showed. The first one was constructed January - February 2002, and the second one I started in mid-2004, but didn’t finish until August 2006. They’re basically the same, differing mainly in construction materials. The first was made from plastic S-core board, horrible stuff to work with (glue won’t stick to it) but lightweight, which was why I chose it. The second was built from MDF, but both models had essentially the same proportions. I have a large plastic model collection, and used up nearly all of my spare model parts on the first crawler. Consequently I didn’t have anything left over for the second. Also, the first model had 9 LEDs, while the second had 12. The third one has somewhere around 150!

    May 2010 -
    This is the 3rd crawler model as it is right now:
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    February 2002 –
    Following are pics of the first model:

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    August 2006 –
    And the second model:
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    Then in April 2007, I found a book called Sculpting a Galaxy, published by ILM. It was a cool book, but one I probably wouldn’t have bought except for one thing. It had the following photo in it:
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    Finally!!! A side profile pic of the original film model. I was quite excited, and resolved to build one more version. Originally, I was going to keep the lower track section intact from the second model and just rebuild the upper part, but a couple years later I changed my mind and rebuilt the lower section too….more on that later. The line drawings in the above pic are from one of those Star Wars Guide to Vehicles books. The side profile provided in that book was quite inaccurate. There are two front profiles. The narrow one is the correct one, while the wide one is my version. I did this sort-of on purpose: since I didn’t want to rebuild the lower section originally, and since my proportions were off in the first two models, I left it too wide for the third model. I could have made it longer and taller, but I didn’t really have the space at the time. Had I made the decision at the time to rebuild the lower section, I may have adjusted the proportions anyway. Too late now though, without completely rebuilding the whole thing. And to be honest, I think it looks better wider anyway. Next up, the posterboard mockup…
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  2. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    May 7-9, 2007 –
    I had run in to so many construction/measurement issues on the first two models that I decided to mock the third one up in posterboard before building it from 1/8” MDF. Good decision – it allowed me to fix quite a number of errors. The hard part is that even with front and side profile views, most of its body panels are still angled away or toward the viewer in at least one direction, if not two. Thus even with liberal use of trigonometry it still was challenging to figure out the true dimensions of the various panels. One of the following pictures shows the correct sized posterboard template piece taped onto the corresponding piece from the second model. Shows you just how far off that model was!

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    May 16-17, 2007 –
    Next, I put together some pieces of cardboard to make a box approximately the same dimensions as the computer parts. This way I could figure out exactly how much space I had to construct the interior of the sandcrawler model. The goal is to have people see it, see the opening cutaways that reveal the inside of the model, and say “where the heck is the computer?”

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    I had no place to store the mockup, so I kept it upside down on top of the second model…further evidence of how badly proportioned that old model was:
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    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  3. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    May 12, 2007 –
    Construction begins! Well, tracing out the template pieces onto MDF. All parts were cut using a thin aluminum ruler as a straightedge, and a large utility knife to do the cutting. Made for a VERY sore arm, as even though the MDF is only 1/8” thick it still took 3 to 5 swipes with the knife to cut all the way through.

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    May 18, 2007 –
    Now for the *real* construction! Metal brackets, brass hinges, and a LOT of superglue are what hold this thing together:
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    May 20, 2007 –
    The front section was a real pain. I used hinges to get all the weird angles since I didn’t feel like trying to use a highly suspect protractor to suss out the angles…it’s nearly perfect but as I found when I built the cockpit, the front section is slightly skewed to one side. It’s very hard to tell thankfully, and it’s not something I can fix anyway.
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    June 3, 2007 –
    Added the window frames. Yep. They’re matchsticks. :)
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  4. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    June 9, 2007 –
    New model is now on lower portion of old one. It wasn’t til 2 years after this point that I decided to reconstruct the lower parts including the tank treads.

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    June 10, 2007 –
    Began adding the internal parts. Upper floor is in there now, and note those gray pipes. Those were intended to be rotating “engine” pieces that spun while the computer was running. They would be visible through a side cutaway panel. I pulled them out only a few months ago in 2010 when I changed the computer over to water cooling…but don’t fear, I replaced them with something that serves a similar visual function.
    The idea with the gray pipes was that I would ziptie them to fan blades, which would provide the rotation. Didn’t work, so for a long time the pipes just sat there.
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    This shot shows a hidden fan chamber. Air was to be pulled up through the white pipes, then the gray, and into the large 120mm fan blowing air into the computer compartment. It sort of worked, but I soon dispensed with the white pipes and cut holes in the roof, which allowed for MUCH better airflow. Now there’s a large radiator sitting in the same compartment, with fans blowing air from inside the case through the radiator and out the holes in the roof.
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    June 30, 2007 –
    The original roof. Very flat, no? Remember this photo. I reconstructed the center and rear roofs later…
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    July 28, 2007 –
    And a side-by-side not long before I tossed the upper part of the old second model.
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    August 6, 2007 –
    Added the holes in the roof. Blue light is from a fan that I eventually painted. [​IMG]

    At this point I let it sit for a long time. I knew the next step would be adding the lights, and I knew how tedious it would be, so I procrastinated. For about a year…!
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  5. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    A YEAR and FOUR MONTHS after I began construction... Granted I only spent about 4 months of that time working on it, but still.

    August 5, 2008 –
    You can see the leads for the LEDs poking up. I added the ceiling for the upper areas, and you can see the cutaways I made lower down on the sides. I cut these openings after the model was built, so they’re a bit crooked, unlike the upper ones which were cut prior to assembly.
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    LED wiring 101…I was totally clueless on how to wire these. Consequently, this first batch was in parallel, with no resistor, on a 12V line. These are 2V LEDs. I shouldn’t have been surprised that they exploded…
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    August 7-8, 2008 –
    Replaced them with all yellow LEDs just like the rest of the interior. This time they’re still in parallel, but I wired them through a fan speed controller. Zalman to be exact. It worked for awhile, but in 2009 a section blew out again, at which point I rewired all of them. The following pics show some of the crazy wiring I had to do the first time around. It’s cleaner now, but back then…man what a mess!
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    All cables are routed out through a hole in the base, in between the rear tank treads. When I rebuilt the lower portion, I added half a PVC pipe under there. From the outside it looks like machinery, but it really functions as a cable router, forcing the cables to bend away from the tank treads. In the pic below, the bending cables tended to mush into the tank treads.
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    The computer compartment. The boxy bit in the lower left is the rear interior room. The room on the other side only occupies the upper section because that lower area is where the power supply used to sit, before I pulled it out of its case and installed it below the floor of the big interior room.
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    Lit up…FINALLY!! I had to use a pine stake to hold the loading door shut…hadn’t had the bright idea yet of using magnets to do it.
    And once again, after this I let it sit for a long time…
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  6. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    TEN MONTHS later…

    May 9-10, 2009 –

    I was tired of how messy looking the inside of the base was, so I decided to paint it black.
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    May 12, 2009 –
    Finally got around to finishing the cockpit. Hardly anything is visible through the windows, so I didn’t do a tremendous amount of detailing. Those chairs are made of paper, the control panel is a printout of a pic of a Cessna control panel, and that R2D2. He’s leftover from an X-wing model I had years ago, and, along with the metal motherboard tray, is the only thing that’s been on all 3 sandcrawlers. There are several things from the second crawler I reused on the third, like the droid suction tubes, but R2 is the main thing.
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  7. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    May 13, 2009 –

    Finally had the idea to use magnets to keep the front loading door shut. It didn’t occur to me until I added the interior walls and ceiling. This left me with a noticeable gap between exterior and interior walls, which I decided to cover using posterboard. Then I thought hey….I can recess flat metal pieces in the door, and glue magnets on the backsides of the posterboard pieces so it’ll all be hidden, but the door will stay shut! Worked perfectly!
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    June 20-July 8, 2009 –
    After this…I finally decided it was time to rebuild the base. It just looked bad, and the tank tracks were, to my eye, slightly too large for the scale of the rest of the model. I dismantled the old treads, and reused all 400 washers masquerading as “wheels”. Had to scrape them off the old MDF sidewalls I’d made and reglue them onto the new ones. On the old treads, I’d used strips of vinyl floor matting to simulate the treads themselves. The matting was ribbed on one side and textured on the other. I reused the matting as well, but I decided to make it an interior tread, ie, the textured part would be covered by exterior plastic pieces, and the ribbed part would still be visible. I cut the strips narrower and a little shorter, got myself some sheet styrene, and went to work. There are almost 600 individual treads, all cut with ruler and utility knife.
    The tread assemblies themselves, on the inside, are an upside-down T shape. There are caster wheels in there, the original idea being this would roll, but I soon gave up on that and built the treads over the wheels. It doesn’t roll, but those wheels and T shaped pine stakes do hold all the weight.
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    At this point I realized that I’d made the tank tread supports a little too tall (see first pic below). When I went to dismantle them to shorten them a bit, I discovered that the superglue I used to put those 600 styrene outer treads onto the vinyl inner tread stuck to neither the styrene nor the vinyl. I had to pop all of them off, scrape ALL the dried glue off the vinyl, and reglue all 600 treads using a spray automotive grade trim adhesive.
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    These little guys are the compartments from which extend the boarding ramps that the Jawas used. They are now lit inside and out, although again I skimped on detail because you can’t really see inside them. The boarding ramp does retract, and the little door closes.
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    July 9, 2009 –
    Everything is back together now. Note the extended boarding ramp down there between the treads.
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    All the cutaways opened up:
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    Wait…what was that in that last pic above? No computer wiring mess? No way! Let’s have a closer look:
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    Yep. All cables are now routed under the raised-up motherboard, leading to a much cleaner setup.
     
  8. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    September 19, 2009 –
    Remember that posterboard mockup? It was held together with scotch tape, and when I was done with it I cut all the tape but kept the posterboard pieces. At this point, I decided to draw out random panel lines on them, and slice them up with an x-acto knife, then use low-tack painters tape to hold the main panels together, spray their backsides with that automotive trim adhesive, and stick them on the model exterior to achieve the paneled look. Worked perfectly!
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    These side pieces look weird because I had to account for those opening cutaways.
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    September - October, 2009 –
    All covering pieces are in place. Note that I covered the inside of the loading door, this covered up those metal pieces that stick to the magnets. I also added paneling to the tank tread sidewalls.
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  9. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    October 23, 2009 –
    It was around this time, about two and a half years after I started this project, that two significant events occurred that heavily influenced the remaining tasks.

    1. I contacted an amazing professional model builder by the name of Randy Cooper. I had noticed pics of a sandcrawler replica he’d built that was a near spot-on double of the film model, although a little smaller. It was static display whereas the film model was radio controlled, but those were the only really noticeable differences. He very kindly offered to send me a packet of photographic reference material that he’d used to build his model. Once I received it, I wondered how I’d ever managed to get this far without it. I saw, and later decided to fix, several key areas I’d gotten wrong. Mainly, the back of the model needed major overhauling. Remember how it was basically just a flat roof, and flat rear wall with the two big white pipes? This was totally wrong, so I began rebuilding that area. That opening you can see in the second pic is an air vent. The power supply used to be there; now that vent doesn’t really serve a direct purpose, although it certainly doesn’t hurt airflow.
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    2. November 1, 2009 –
    Remember how I said a section of LED lights blew out on me? Well, this is when that happened. Right before I moved to a new apartment. I decided that since I knew I hadn’t wired them exactly right, and that 20 had just died, I really ought to learn how to do it properly and re-do all of them. Before the rewiring:
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    New LEDs with resistors! I learned I needed to rewire in series, 6 to a strand on a 12V line, with a 1 ohm resistor on each strand.
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    Here I’d gotten all the new LEDs in place, and made marks as to which side was positive and which negative. Good thing I did. I managed to get them all hooked up correctly the first time, but it would have been seriously annoying if I’d done any of them backwards.
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    The cockpit lights after I’d gotten the new positive wire soldered in. Note the lights with the plug – I left the front and center roof panels removable in case I ever need to fiddle with the lights again. There are four lights in the ceiling in that spot, but I needed 6 to a strand, so I stuck in 2 more lights into the removable roof and used the plug to ensure the roof would stay removable.
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    And finally with the negative wire soldered in:
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    Overall view:
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  10. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    November 25, 2009 –
    I left wires sticking out so I could add lights in the rear compartments.
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    I also changed the central roof panel a bit, added a recessed area where previously there’d just been a square opening: I wanted the roof to have some vertical variation to it. Flat = boring.
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    I also took that tiny opening in the middle of the roof and changed it to a horseshoe-shaped opening. All openings are covered with aluminum windowscreen mesh.
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    December 7, 2009 –
    Finally done rewiring the lights, rebuilding the rearmost roof, and cutting holes in the central roof. On the rear roof closeup, you’ll notice cutaways. These open purely so I can get to the four LEDs on each side in case any of them burn out.
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    Gratuitous shot of my extra bedroom where I have my computer and other toys. The Star Wars fighters are all toys, but that 4 foot long Star Destroyer was the very first thing I built from scratch, way back in 1995 when I was a senior in high school. It’s fallen off the ceiling (in other apartments) several times and off a high desk once and suffered hardly any damage. Helps that it’s just posterboard over a wood dowel frame and weighs all of 5 pounds. Still, I love it, and hope to have it the rest of my life…
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    Last edited: 2 Jan 2011
  11. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    December 19, 2009 –
    It was around this date that I heard about a “Rods ‘n Mods” show at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco, California. I live in Southern CA near Los Angeles, but I’m originally from up near San Francisco, and I very much wanted to take part in this one-of-a-kind case modding show. The show date was Valentine’s weekend in February 2010…not much time to get the outside of the model done! I kicked it into overdrive for the next 5 months, and by last February had enough of it done before the show that it was presentable.

    Added a “ridge” of sorts around the rear roof section. Note the hinge in the middle of the forward-facing flap. This flap lifts up so I can still remove the central roof section to gain access to the lights.
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    There’s a lot of detail that needs to be added back here. It began with a fan. An Asus northbridge fan from a Crosshair II Formula motherboard to be exact. This fan is only supposed to be used when water cooling, as there’s not enough airflow over the northbridge. I wasn’t using it, but I needed two, not one. I took the opportunity to order a couple on ebay. These fans also serve the purpose of being “handles” with which I can easily open the rear roof panels to access the lights below. After that, it was time to begin sculpting two key pieces of machinery for the back.

    January 2, 2010 –
    I chose to sculpt them because it was the easiest method for me. I don’t have a lathe, nor do the model kits exist anymore whose parts were originally used for these areas. The cylindrical piece approximates a Saturn V rocket stage model piece that was used in the film model. I used gray Roma Plastilina #2 clay that never hardens, and after sculpting I molded it with brushable latex, then made multiple casts from epoxy and casting resin. It took about a month of working at it in my free time to complete that task.
    For the cylinder, I started by using a tin can as a “cookie cutter.” Only one real issue resulted – it was very hard to get the clay out of the can! I managed it without screwing it up too much, and began refining it. I used a 1/12 scale Testors Ferrari F-40 model hubcap to top off the piece.
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    January 7-14, 2010 –
    I’m still amazed at how simply the next piece began. I got the main shapes together; these resemble the Harrier model engine pieces used on the film model. I then refined the sculpture from there, and did the detailing with a pin (rivetholes) and solder wire.
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    January 23, 2010 –
    Molding with latex, and then a plaster of paris mothermold:
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  12. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    January 23, 2010 –
    Let the kitbashing commence! Initially, I collected together model pieces that came from models in my collection, both assembled and unassembled. The assembled ones were all kits I built many years ago while I was learning how to build and detail models. None of them had turned out very well, and I realized that I could both appease my girlfriend’s desire to have fewer boxes and thus more space in the extra closet, and my need for spare model pieces, in one fell swoop. I quickly discovered, however, that it was nowhere near enough. I almost didn’t realize how massive this sandcrawler is til it came time to detail it. Incidentally, in the photo below you can see my book of reference material in the lower left corner. In the first couple pics I’d just piled all the model parts everywhere to sort through them and see what I had.
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    January 24, 2010 –
    Starting to glue on detail parts. The gray cylinder at this point was still clay; I think I had made the mold of it by then but the cast wasn’t yet ready. Those twin fans were screwed down, and I used a lot more model pieces than I thought I would and it still didn’t look chock-full of machinery stuff the way it was supposed to. Clearly I needed to solve this issue: my satisfaction with the final build was at risk….
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    January 27, 2010 –
    At last, two of the casts are ready. The yellowish material is casting epoxy. I’d glued on many of the model parts that I had, and to my eye it wasn’t nearly enough. Two of the pics below are nearly the same, but if you look carefully the opening flap is open in one of them and closed in the other.
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  13. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    January 28-30, 2010 –
    I decided to look on ebay for cheap model kits whose parts I could use on this behemoth. During my search, I came across some auctions called “junkyard” boxes. Little did I know what a motherlode it would be! I ordered a box of mostly old car model engine pieces for about $20, and WOW was it stuffed full of all the exact type of parts I’d been looking for! The first pic below shows my worktable before adding the new stuff; the next one is after I sorted through and emptied about 2/3 of the box.
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    The box itself when I received it:
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    I also bought some popsicle sticks to use for interior wall paneling:
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    Now I could detail this out the way I wanted to. Model parts, drinking straws, popsicle sticks and superglue. How can a guy go wrong?
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    The red ladder in this next pic is a leftover from the same X-wing model that R2D2 came from. Unfortunately I only had one, so I had to scratchbuild an almost-matching ladder for the corresponding bay on the other side of the model.
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    No, that black thing above this bay in the pic below isn’t a pushpin. It’s a couple of model pieces that wound up looking like a pushpin unintentionally. Eh well. Not the only slightly-goofy result on this build.
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    This shot gives a better idea of the scale of this thing.
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    This shot shows how I wired those two fans so they’d spin. As it turned out they spun at something like 3,000rpm and made more noise than I liked, so I eventually bought a couple of resistors. I’m not sure exactly how much they slowed down, but it was enough that they don’t make a noticeable amount of noise anymore.
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  14. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    February 2-3, 2010 –
    No more flat front roof! Hubcaps, engine parts, missile fins, posterboard pieces, and sheet styrene, and I’m not even done with it at this point.
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    In the recessed area we have halves from an A-wing’s engine, chassis from a Mercedes SLK, bendy straws, and recessed even lower in the center, a constructed Jaguar XJ-220 engine.
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    The fully-detailed rear roof. Too many model parts to list ‘em all, but it’s fun to see what you can spot.
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    January 30, 2010 –
    Backing up a few days…that rear wall is looking especially blank. Commence more fun…ugh! So the directions for the epoxy said not to use it for larger casts, apparently it clouds up from the heat it generates and doesn’t look all clear and shiny. I was concerned that it wouldn’t cure properly as well, so for the large rear-wall pieces I initially used casting resin. I didn’t realize that it would take far longer to set than the epoxy, which took 24 hours. The first clear resin cast I pulled from the mold, while a bit sticky, still looked good.
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    What I didn’t immediately realize was that some of the resin had stayed in the mold in the detailed areas and corners. Consequently, cast #2 came out resembling melted ice:
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    February 3, 2010 –
    ARG! I was in a hurry to get this done in time for the Exploratorium show, and the last thing I wanted to deal with was not only recasting a piece, but having to make a new mold too. I didn’t have to re-do the plaster mothermold, but I did have to remake the latex mold. Making the brushable latex mold works beautifully, but it is very time consuming waiting for each layer to dry. It can take hours, or a whole day if it’s cold, to dry. Add to this the fact that you need at least 8 layers on there to have a sturdy mold, and it can take a week, or at least a couple of days! But, the first latex mold was ruined, and I knew I wouldn’t be happy with a piece that looked like the Jawas had mistakenly tried to incinerate it…so I did it again. I cast the second piece out of epoxy because it set so much faster than the resin, and I didn’t care about its cloudy appearance since I was going to paint it. Thankfully it cast just as rock-hard as the other epoxy casts.
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    One of my cats liked to steal my seat whenever I got up, and he’d give me this look of utter betrayal that I wasn’t paying attention to him :)
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    Fan flaps closed, then open. I’d also started adding roof detail to the central area:
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  15. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    February 4-9, 2010 –
    Now that the roof areas had some good progress, time to start on some other spots.

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    I needed to add some things to the front loading door. Among them were these sort of half-pyramid shapes. I decided to make them by taking a 1cm square wood dowel, cutting it into several 1cm cubes. I then cut these cubes in half along the diagonal, which left me with this shape:
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    It’s not quite right…but the parts are so small it took me awhile to hit upon how to fix them. I buried them in a leftover chunk of clay, and hit them with the power sander to take off the material that I needed to remove. Worked fairly well, and while they’re not perfect, it was good enough. In the second photo, that’s one of those little $3 propane tanks.
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    So I put all 7 pieces on the door, and soon discovered something. They didn’t look quite right. It wasn’t til I’d found the 8th piece amongst the mess on the table that I realized I’d missed one. So…off they came. I had to strip off some of the posterboard they were glued to, pull them off of that, cut a new piece of posterboard, glue all 8 onto that, then glue that whole thing back on the door. My girlfriend pointed out something I hadn’t noticed…that stuff in the middle of the door resembles a big ol’ smiley face. *grumble grumble…it’s a lot less noticeable now that it’s painted.
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    Last edited: 2 Jan 2011
  16. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    February 7-8, 2010 –
    Still adding detail, this time to the rear.
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    Closeup of one droid suction tube and boarding ramp compartment. You can see a couple of the LEDs next to the tube that are lit while the computer is on.
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    This photo shows a little flap I made so I could access the spot where the lights in the removable upper section plug into the wiring that runs to the power supply. This way I can just unhook one plug and pull the entire top of the model off to access the computer.
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    I had to add little squares of posterboard between the hinge screws before covering the hinges with a larger piece of posterboard to hide them.
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    The two halves of the model, nearly ready for the primer coat!
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    All prepped for painting, after nearly 3 long years!
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  17. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    February 8, 2010 –
    Painting day, and not a moment too soon! Two days before I had to leave for the show…First the primer coat. It’s a reddish brown primer from Orchard Supply Hardware.
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    February 9, 2010 –
    Now time for the main coat. I used Testors Model Master Italian Brown, sprayed in a semi-transparent layer over the red-brown primer. I then used Flat Black to create the dark streaks. Did I mention it was raining outside? I feel so lucky that I have a girlfriend willing to put up with my crazy ideas. I set up my table, a tarp, a huge commercial grade floor fan, my air compressor, and my airbrush just inside the open sliding glass door.
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  18. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    February 11-13, 2010 –
    Exploratorium show!
    This thing barely fit in the back of my extended cab Dodge Dakota. Yikes!
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    The computer itself I had to dismantle and pack into boxes.
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    Now at this point the paint job was most certainly not done. I had only primed the lower section, and done primer, topcoat, and dark streaks on the upper section. But, it was done enough to display at the show. So much fun seeing one little kid in particular who looked in the cockpit, then turned around and shouted something completely unintelligible to his dad, except for the words “R2D2!!” :D made me smile.
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    Me and my parents, who came down to San Francisco to see the show and my case (and graciously let my girlfriend and I stay with them while we were up there).
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    See whose mods you can spot!
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    Several of the mods got featured on CNET too! WOOT!
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  19. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    February 20, 2010 –
    With the show over, and the crawler safely back home, it was time to finish the paint job. First, I dismantled the underside and added a couple structural support dowels.
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    Then I masked off some random panels, painted them black, and discovered that they were far darker than I wanted. So I sprayed some of that Italian Brown over them to fade them, and it worked beautifully.
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    I then masked off the recessed bays so I could airbrush them with Light Gull Gray.
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    February 22, 2010 –
    Then it was time to add all those rust stains and paint chips. These pics didn’t come out great, my flash washes everything out and non-flash photos are very yellow from my indoor lights. For the rust stains, I used Rust paint and Rust paint mixed with Mango Orange to create a couple shades of rustiness. It helped add some depth. The Mango paint was a semi-gloss, so in all pics before I sprayed the whole thing with a flat coat, it’s a little shiny.
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    Paint job is nearly done! I added light gray streaks over the rust stains and paint chips. Only step left after this was to use powder pastels to create a dusty weathered look, then spray it with a clear topcoat to seal it.
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    Before I did that though, I made yet another modification.
     
  20. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Member

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    February 23-28, 2010 –
    Time to get inventive with the power supply! I’d never taken one apart before, so I first got some advice on the forums from experienced people. My goal was to have the power supply showing under the floor of the large rear compartment, so it would not only be a functional computer part but would be part of the model as well.
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    The room through whose floor the power supply will be visible. Of course, this means I need to cut a hole in the floor…also cut a hole in the wall of the room for the PSU fan.
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    March 2, 2010 –
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    March 7, 2010 –
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    And finally, time for that pastel dust coat. I bought light colored pastels, earthy tones, and they worked great! In fact, I was a little worried I’d overdone it, but after I sprayed the clear flat coat much of the dustiness went away. Enough remained to give it a nice weathered look.
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