Foundation Prime Radiant replica, The Expanse Miller's hat and blaster props...

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey gang,

I've been slowly getting back into making stuff, so I figured I'd do a collective thread about it . I've got a few things on the burner- a revisit of "Vera" from Firefly (has its own thread), I've been tinkering with the Prime Radiant from Foundation since the premiere of Season 2 and a whole mess of pistols and other things from The Expanse. I've also been (very slowly) sculpting new heads for the old Hot Toys Hicks, Apone and Vasqez 1/6 figures. (I might have to do a thread on those in the modeling secion instead of here... we'll see.)

First up some photos from the Expanse and Foundation.

Prime Radiant prototype. The final version will have traced engravings from the screen prop!
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The above is my "almost final version". I made 3-4 different finished copies and probably printed another 4 sets of parts with different types of symbols and lettering. (The real prop has a series of geometric shapes. I've been spending some time trying to redraw them to see if they will print nicely as engravings.

Here's a W-I-P of me redrawing the correct symbols of the prop after perspective-correcting screengrabs.
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I'll see if I can do some w-i-p shots of how I assemble it when I build the next version.

As for the Expanse, the first thing I did was Miller's hat. The original Guido Delgado is impossible to find, so I found a "close enough" trilby, re-bashed it, trimmed the brim and put a new band on it... pretty much redid it from the ground up and even metal printed a badge!
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(I will be remodeling the grips on the airsoft Rhino...)
I've only just made a start on Amos' shotgun. The correct laser scope is impossible to find now, but there's sn updated model that I have and will be modding to get is close. There are a lot of models of FN airsoft out there but only one has the correct details and rivel positions... it's not cheap, however.
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Next up, the Star Helix. This is pretty much done, except for the decals which I'll probably do for ALL the props at once. I looked for a small enough flashlight to fit in the scope, but the tube is so thin that in the end I opted to just prep it for adding a LED. I also made it so it can be tapped and screwed in place, without using any glue!

Printed, primed and test-fitted:
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The first copy I did had threads on the light cap, but it ended up being a very tight fit.
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Here's a test-painting of it (front barrels are not on yet). Much too saturated blue, so I'll be redoing it.
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Mars pistol... this one was pretty fast and easy. (I also managed to snag one of THE last copies of the under-rail laser pointer.) I am talking to a machinist about doing the rear barrel in aluminum for me. Looks rather bland without all the markings!
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I'll be doing Ashford's pistol too... I have the paintball marker, just haven't started on it yet.


(Note: I do have runs going for both the Prime Radiant and a couple Expanse props, but please keep any questions about the runs there or via PM and not here, as per the RPF rules!)

More pics and build info when I have it...
 

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Some shots of Miller's hat... before and after.

The crown taper is all wrong, so I actually created a shaping buck to fix it...
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The buck has a 3d printed shell and is filled with plaster. An IKEA leg serves as the stand for it! That way, if I need to make a differently shaped buck, I can just unscrew this one and swap it out. (The hat on the buck is a brown version I'm working on that will have a Hellboy BPRD badge!)

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The base hat came with this awful turned-over trim edge with a plastic wire inside, so I cut it off, removed the wire and replaced with an accurate edge-ribbon instead.
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I don't have a bust of Thomas Jane, so good ol' Yondu "Mary Poppins" Udanta will have to model for me.
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(I still need to add a black feather!)
 
Well, I promised some W-I-P shots of the Prime Radiant, so here goes.

Where do the supports end and where does the lattice begin? I need a magnifying glass to cut them all off! I use a very fine electronics clipper for it.


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Test-fitting in the shell.
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Gloss-coating the inside. Many layers creates nice light refraction. (I could also fill it with clear resin, but since I don't have a pressure pot, there's too big a risk of air bubbles that will ruin the look.)

Protip: Putting masking tape on a flat glass pane is great when glueing things like this, because the epoxy resin doesn't stick to the tape, and glass panes are often more evenly flat than a wooden workbench! (Also great for flat-sanding by hand... tape some sandpaper to the glass, grit upward.)
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Now... so far so good. After hours of tracing, drawing and tinkering, I managed to transfer most of the correct geometric symbols from the actual prop to my model. (I was originally happy and done with a "close enough" font to do the engravings, but decided to throw caution to the wind and go the extra mile. IF I can make these work... it'll be that much closer to screen accurate.) These are SMALL, like... smaller than a pinhead small... so there's a risk my clear coat will fill them in too much, but I think it'll be OK. (The frosted look will of course disappear one a gloss coat comes on.) Fingers crossed...
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More updates soon...
 
Success!
After a bunch of clear-coats and polishing, I'm ready to show these shots:

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I was a bit afraid that multiple clear coats might fill in the runes, but they turned out fine. The trick was many thin coats (actually, about 8-10 in total) and making the symbols just deep enough. (I did a little insert with some of the runes from the screen prop for comparison.)
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My junkyard thread has also been updated.
 
I love this!

If it’s of interest, I’ve noticed while trying to pick apart the distortions and reflections of the prop in the show, that the gold lattice may be made of two separate frames sitting one on the other. I’ll see if I can get the reference shots uploaded to share (I’m currently on mobile).
 
You’ll notice there are some distortions near the edges, sort of a prism effect, but i don’t believe that’s the case for the sections I’ve marked here.

Some of the shots in the show are almost certainly CGI, and I don’t see the same segmentation in those, so this must have been an artefact of how they made the physical prop (two halves?).

While I’m here, it’s interesting to see that the lower layers in the lattice seem to be repeated and interconnected versions of the lattice receding into the cuboctahedron.
 
I love this!

If it’s of interest, I’ve noticed while trying to pick apart the distortions and reflections of the prop in the show, that the gold lattice may be made of two separate frames sitting one on the other. I’ll see if I can get the reference shots uploaded to share (I’m currently on mobile).
Yeah, it was most likely done to make printing the lattice easier. It's a notoriously difficult part to print. I did mine in two halves (like the screen prop), then merged them before printing. (Printing in two parts turned out not to give much of a benefit to printing the whole thing in one go from the testing I did.)
 
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