MonCal 3po progress 6/21: update page 7

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by MonCal, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Finally have something to show from a massive amount of work ;)

    Vacuum formed .06 ABS head with resin ring / horseshoe and neck bolts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's taken some experimentation to get it to turn out right. Still need to do some tweaking on future pulls but they'll just get easier now :) I just need to finish casting the antenna and make the brass eye sockets and do the plating :) ... then of course move on to hopefully some easier pieces.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2007
  2. TMP

    TMP Sr Member

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    Nice work you have there. How did you chrome it.. It looks like spray on.
     
  3. Studio Stasis

    Studio Stasis Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The gold? That does not look like spray on. That looks plated to me. I would LOVE to know more about how to get a vaccuform like this.
     
  4. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Very nice. I'd be interested in getting a plated one.
     
  5. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    That one is gold plated... vacuum-metalized

    The lighting is poor too though.
     
  6. Star Wars Helmets

    Star Wars Helmets Sr Member

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    That looks very impressive, especially the fact its a vac pull.

    Ive spent a huge amount of time in the past trying to get some fiberglass 3po heads vacuum metalised for forum members and its a really tough task to get a quality finish. I documented a section on my site about it

    ABS would be a much better material so I'm very keen to hear more.

    The head looks really sharp and you seem to have managed to get that undercut where the rear section of the head becomes the front (if you know what I mean)

    Cheers

    Jez
     
  7. Great_Bizarro

    Great_Bizarro Sr Member

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    How do you get such a deep draw pull on those halves without thinning the plastic?
    They look great.
     
  8. Zebardee

    Zebardee Well-Known Member

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    What about normal metal plating instead of "fanta/-vacu plating" or is that considered to be too expensive?
     
  9. hyperdyne

    hyperdyne Sr Member

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    Great job Moncal. :)

    The head was vacuum-metalized and made from ABS. These vac formed heads should allow a much better metalizing. Plus we should have gold and silver versions. :love

    Of course this head is directly off an ANH 3p0 suit. Here is the whole suit which is fully vacuum metalized and wearable (built just like the original):
    [​IMG]
     
  10. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the compliments.. It has turned out pretty good so far. It wasn't exactly easy to get it to this point I guarantee that. ;)

    As for the draw, I don't really have trouble with that. My machine works great... sometimes too great. I have to choke it down occasionally because it can draw too fast. :eek It does thin the plastic but only by a small amount. The piece is very rigid... tougher than a lot of trooper pieces I've seen ;)

    Jez, thanks also. I know you have spent a lot of time working on the 3po and I have read your info and am grateful for what you have documented. The horseshoe / ring piece that the front half "fastens" into is actually resin and it is glued to the inside of the back half and has a lip that covers the edge of the plastic. I have to do some minor filling and sanding to get it perfectly flush.

    I'm still researching all the different plating / metalizing options but the vacuum-metalizing seems to work great.

    I hope that answers all the questions. Thanks again.
    :)
     
  11. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Great work MonCal , I wouldn't mind having one myself plated or not ;)
     
  12. Vincent Manuel

    Vincent Manuel New Member

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    wow thats awesome

    im on the market for a head just like that... do you have a "zorg" head for comparisons ?
     
  13. Durasteel Corporation

    Durasteel Corporation Well-Known Member

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    Great job.


    One question though....how did you avoid proportionate problems with the vac pull vs. a fiberglass lay in from an original mold?

    Ive seen lots of attempts but nothing as detail accurate as a fiberglass repro layed in a mold off an original.

    D
     
  14. Mr. Bojangles

    Mr. Bojangles Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great job MonCal.

    I love to have one myself plated or not. :D
     
  15. TMP

    TMP Sr Member

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    When you say Vac Met...
    I get a bit confused. How does the ABS stand the heat.
    You must reffer to Plastic Chrome were it is put in a chamber and then Vacumemed in Plastic Chrome machinery.
    :confused
     
  16. steveo

    steveo Sr Member

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    Very impressive, MonCal. You keep amazing me with what you come up with. Keep up the great work.

    Steveo
     
  17. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys,
    Thanks all for the compliments....

    Steveo, good to see you here :)

    I won't claim to know all the technical aspects but vac-metalizing doesn't get as hot as ABS needs to melt. Now if a piece is too thin, it can distort or even explode for lack of a better term :eek . This just means that pieces need to be prepared that can handle it. The plated head in the pics is true testiment that it does work though ;) And it is very strong. I can flex the plastic and it doesn't crack or chip off like I initially thought. At first I would baby the piece, absolutely terrified that it would chip or flake but after handling it more and more, I have every bit of confidence in it's rigidity.
     
  18. hyperdyne

    hyperdyne Sr Member

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    Yeah I second what Cal said. The entire suit is ABS and can stand the heat if set up properly. My original head is really thin ABS and it took the metalization with no problems. Really fragile pieces will basically self destruct, so you have to maintain some ridigity in the pieces you expect to metalize.

    The nice thing is that there isnt much prep work needed. My 3p0 was originally painted and I had it metalized right over the paint. It worked awesome.

    Hopefully we will have gold and chrome heads to show off soon.
     
  19. Star Wars Helmets

    Star Wars Helmets Sr Member

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    Mon cal/Hyperdyne

    Well done guys, REALLY impressed. I totally agree - ABS is definitely the way to go for vacuum metalising since you totally avoid any of the nasty silicone decontamination issues you seem to get with resin/FG.

    I'd certainly like more info when you've got it.

    Hyperdyne - I hate it when you show your 3po off. Its just too damned freaking perfect.

    Cheers

    jez
     
  20. protokev DMD

    protokev DMD Sr Member

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    Great work. I have always had a desire to have both an artoo and 3po. I will definitley keep watching this
     
  21. Mr. Bojangles

    Mr. Bojangles Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I am not an expert in vacuum-metalizing, but I did my homework and will play one :D

    So to back up Hyperdyne/Moncal - here a few facts that might help. FG might produce a different result due to the silicone mold and silicone release-agent used. :love

    1. Usually styrene less expensive than abs (but, where I come from, ABS is cheaper than styrene); however styrene tends to embrittle when exposed to the solvents in the paints whereas abs does not - prefer abs.

    2. Vacuum-formed parts are cured in a convection oven at about 150 degrees F. The abs will tolerate at least 25 degrees higher temperature than the styrene without distorting so it is preferable for this reason as well.

    3. Wall thickness is critical so that some stress can be put on the parts without it distorting. The heavier the sheet the better. If you can easily distort the formed sheet in your hands then the sheet is likely too thin.

    4. A very thin film is apply to the sheets and it will highlight surface flaws rather than hide them. Most sheets produced have pin holes, extrusion lines, etc. If you want a reflective finish on a non-textured surface, the original sheets and the surfaces of the formed parts should be glass-smooth and without imperfections.

    5. To get a reflective finish on a textured surface, the texturing should be coarse/bold so that the textured surfaced is not filled in by the paints. If the texture is too fine the surface finish will be patchy - more smooth and reflective in areas where the painted film is heavier and vice versa where it is thinner.

    6. Coating (gold or chrome) is opaque in color so the color of the sheet will not show through. However, be careful that some heavy, dark pigments material can migrate or bloom from the sheet material over time resulting in embrittlement of the coating and/or adhesion loss.


    7. As far as the resin goes, anything rigid (i.e. not "rubbery") that will not deform at 150 degrees F can be processed.
     
  22. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Thanks Mandingo :) That info sounds about right from what I understand. I'm still learning the technical aspects of it ..... that's why I'm hiring someone to do it ;) hehe
     
  23. Lupus Yonderboy

    Lupus Yonderboy Well-Known Member

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    Well done Cal, that's a wicked 3PO [​IMG]
    Looking forward to following your progress mate :)

    Pontus
     
  24. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Hey Pontus :) I haven't spoke to you in quite a while. How's that jawa blaster holdin' up? Been shootin any droids lately ;)
    Thanks very much for the compliment..
    I will be getting a batch of these plated probably in a couple weeks. I will then be able to effectively show how they turn out both in chrome and gold. Then I'll start working on the rest of the suit :)

    Man.... if I could just learn how to either manipulate time, convince my boss I need to do this at work, win the lottery ... or something so I can get more done . hmmmm :confused


    Geez, I was just looking at the difference in lighting between my pics and Hyperdyne's. IT is hard to believe the plating is the same. Sorry about that. I took the pics at night in a poorly lighted room.
     
  25. Lupus Yonderboy

    Lupus Yonderboy Well-Known Member

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    Cal,
    Still the little chap's pride and joy, thank you.
    Been a bit reluctant to get into the droid business myself as they don't seem to last very long around him.
    Things can really go pear-shaped for british-accented protocol droids... First a good demobilizing shot with your blaster, then he gets frantically busy with restraining bolts, micro welder, droid caller and all that jazz. Quite a sight :lol
    keep up the good work mate. I'm really interested in seeing how this turns out ;)
    Good luck with that and pls LMK if you figure ot a way to do it :lol I've been applying for 48 hr days for quite a while now but it doesn't seem to work...

    Cheers,
    Pontus
     
  26. hyperdyne

    hyperdyne Sr Member

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    Cal, no apologies necessary. I have found too that the gold plating is very tough to photograph right. All my pics look like yours. Only until a professional photographer snapped a few pics of 3p0 did my eyes light up. He really was seen in another light (no pun intended). :lol
     
  27. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Well,
    Once again I have a project that doesn't move as fast as I would like ;)

    I finally got these antennas finished up though.

    [​IMG]

    I'll be doing all of the pistons etc. for the suit at some point ;) I need to finish plating some heads first though.... :D

    I didn't actually need this many antennas so I may put some in the junkyard.
     
  28. hyperdyne

    hyperdyne Sr Member

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    :eek :eek :eek


    Nice work yet again.
     
  29. TMP

    TMP Sr Member

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    Are those RUSREP antenas?
     
  30. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    No. These are made to fit the head I'm working on. It's based off of the suit shown and cross referenced with exhibit pics. They should fit other heads as well. The main difference being the hole in the head will probably have to be drilled out to allow it to fit. It will still work to hold the "loop" on the face piece seen in pics of the real suit. Some versions use the loop but most don't. Either way it works fine.
     
  31. Mikie-Wan

    Mikie-Wan Active Member

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    Wow, that's alot of antennas. Is there a run of 3PO heads going on?
    frantically thinking I 'm missing out

    -Mikie
     
  32. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Not just yet ;)

    I'm going to plate these antennas first. It's a different process from the metalizing of the ABS so I want to be sure it will match. I'm getting some brass eyes done too and want to make sure they fit. I will post progress pics as they come.... albeit slowly :unsure
     
  33. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Just finished the eyes.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It seems most 3po heads out there have a 37mm eye socket. That was just a tad tight on mine and I've heard that's tight on the others too so I designed these to be just under that at about 36.5mm. This will help allow for plating ... although that's not that thick ;) They also have a lip so they only go through the socket so far.

    We threw together a prototype led setup. We'll do some work to clean up the wiring etc. but it's getting closer.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The lens / led kit is a snap in piece


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I should be getting the plated antennas this week. Now that I know for sure the eyes fit and once I know the antennas will fit with plating, I will finish some heads.. :)

    Although most of these will be going into heads, I do have a few extra eye kits if someone would like just the eyes, either with or without the led kit.
     
  34. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    pm's replied to.
    If by chance I missed someone, please send me a friendly reminder. :)
    thanks,
     
  35. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    The antennas just showed up today :)


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  36. Trooper TK409

    Trooper TK409 Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful.
     
  37. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    thanks Chris .... :)

    I was a little worried about them showing up and looking like an orange or something ;)

    I might do some in chrome :)
     
  38. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    I want to make sure these eyes will work for everyone. :)
    Zorg doesn't think they will fit his head. I have asked for dimensions from him but I'm guessing he hasn't had time to get those to me. Unfortunately I don't have access to one to make sure and I still think they will fit. Even after talking to several people who think they will work I want to be sure before I send out kits to everyone. It appears that the inner eye "tube" on the zorg head could just be cut off. Depending on how thick the fiberglass is, it might have to be sanded down a little more on the inside (not the diameter of the hole) to allow the 2mm lip on my eye to go into the socket. I have seen some Don Post heads that this will work on too.

    Here are some dimensions:

    [​IMG]


    There are a couple people who have already said they would check this out for me and I really appreciate the help. :)



    .
     
  39. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's not a breakthrough but it's still progress :) I finished the batch of neckbolts. Now I need to send them to get gold plated.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I suppose I could've dusted them off before taking those pics ;)



    For those waiting for led kits, I sincerely apologize for taking so long.... :(
    I hope to get them going next week. I know I keep saying that but I promise I will get them done. Thanks all for your patience in this matter...
     
  40. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Would anyone want a set of the brass neckbolts before they are gold plated? They are scaled off an original casting. I'll be sending them off to the plater here soon but thought I'd check before it's too late :) If so, please don't hesitate to send a pm :)

    thanks.
     
  41. temponaut

    temponaut Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looking very good indeed, MonCal.

    Looking forward to the day when finished heads become available. :D
     
  42. Coinprop

    Coinprop Well-Known Member

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    The bolts looks great my friend. I would be interested in a pair :) Chromed.
    The bar that is holding the 2 halfs together, is it going to be threaded so there can be a bolt on it??
    Or how is it thought out it will work?

    P.S: I love the antenna You sent me Cal, thanks for hleping us out with these parts.
     
  43. TMP

    TMP Sr Member

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    Those are really nice. :)
     
  44. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys..

    Temponaut,
    you and me both... ;) I have been getting somewhat frustrated with it here lately. I've been having troubles with the pulls having what I call "stretch marks" I'm guessing it's because it's been so cold and all my molds are freezing cold.. :unsure

    Coinprop,
    Thanks and you're very welcome. The neck piece (which I have yet to complete and show) will have the male side of the screw on each side of the neck. The neck bolt goes through both halfs of the head and then screws to the neck piece on each side. I'll use a binding screw for that. .. or commonly known as a "sex bolt" :love

    TMP,
    thanks.. :)
     
  45. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Good news...

    The led kits are finished. I just need to pick them up and get them on their way. :)
     
  46. Bluewolf

    Bluewolf New Member

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    Oh, very nice. Now that's something I would really enjoy having.
     
  47. Coinprop

    Coinprop Well-Known Member

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    Cal, sign me up for one pair of neckbolts please. :D
     
  48. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    Finally... :) ...... I will ship all the led kits tomorrow. Thanks everyone for being patient with me. I do apologize for the delay.

    I'm still a few weeks out on getting the neck bolts plated.
     
  49. Trooper TK409

    Trooper TK409 Well-Known Member

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    I'd like a pair of Neck bolts Cal. PM sent.
     
  50. MonCal

    MonCal Well-Known Member

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    You bet Chris.. pm sent.

    I haven't had the funds to get the neckbolts plated yet .... hopefully soon though. :)
     

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