Probe droid very slow build

Discussion in 'Studio Scale Models' started by marsattack, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    Hi guys, as some of you may know by now , I am awaiting probe droid legs from master Lee.
    Lee was very generous to accept my comission , I am very lucky he took this on , I am unsure of whether I could have pulled those off! After seeing
    lees and Guys build thread on the probe , I decided I had to have one!

    The probe droid is one of my favourite ships/machine in the Star wars universe, I attempted a build many many years ago, before I even knew the RPF existed, now with more experience and information found here, I am able to have a shot at scratch building this.
    no doubt is a complicated build so bare with me on this very , very slow build process.

    I wanted to originally vac form empty domes for the upper head, lower head and upper body (will call these the "PR domes") out of 3-4mm styrene , which they said it would be more than sufficient in strength.
    I figure vac forming would not distort the mold or buck as silicon may do when casting.

    The next step was to make the bucks the way I have seen here , by cutting fins to a desired shape than covering them with some kind of sculpt putty.

    Although I have seen photos that it does work , after 2 attempts at this , it just did not sit right plus unless ran with a lathe, again no true roundness can be achieved, not to mention the labor intensive procedure.

    these were the original attempts.
    version 1:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    version 2:
    was a 2 piece top head

    [​IMG]

    neither of those I was happy with.
    After talking to the guy who vac forms, also injection molding and some other stuff, he suggested the domes be mastered by a CNC.
    I took the drawings and they were plotted by tracing them.
    The material that is used in the making of master molds was used for these.
    the rear of the PR domes were going to be as hollow as possible


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With this mold or actual heads , it can be easily vacformed over for armor plating.
    Problem discussed today is that if I wanted to do a small run of these as EMPTY PR domes, these could not be feesable as the material itself is way too expensive and takes quite a while to machine.

    So my next step is to either to remove the millimetres required of these domes to be able to get them vacformed OR go back to square one and cast these up, which I dont want to do!
    Vacforming these molds is not easy as the upper and lower head tappers in therefore it cannot be just vacformed with out having a complex mold that retracts.
    They will try a few more options with the facilities they have in the shop before proceeding .
    At least I would like to have access to a finished mold should the need of reproducing these became a "wanted" item.
    Will post as I know more , once we get past the domes, then we start the "skirt"

    thanks
    Marcel
     
  2. moffeaton

    moffeaton Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,860
    You are doing GODS work. I want... nay, NEED a set from you, when you figure it all out. This is going to save everyone so much trouble, and again, you are a SAINT for approaching it this way.

    So how much are we talking to get a machined set made if the vac/cast options don't pan out?

    ALL HAIL MARCEL!
     
  3. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,495
    Marcel that is a great insight, and you address the one BIG problem on the head, the "pinch" at the upper/lower join.
    I have had it in my head that the ILM prop used found items, that pinch would just lock a buck in tight, unless, they then split the form where the material needs to be removed for the larger of the eyes.....its all very odd.

    You look to be throwing the book at this, and i would do my best to vac this, you could use four pulls, to make two halves of the head....in other words, each upper/lower dome, would be made from, an upper/lower dome, sanded in, giving you that pinch?

    If that makes sense lol.

    bests..........lee
     
  4. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    hi Jason, thank you for the compliments.
    My idea was to divide most costs amongst all who wanted them,
    if i went with vacforming , its not much at all .
    please dont quote me 100 percent , but if I went with vac , he did mention $7 to $10 each part. I think it was for 2.5mm but we put the idea on hold due to that problem in removing the vacform.
    Anyways you got that thing I want that you are doing with ZK???
    I would love a copy of that!!

    Also Jason,
    if I start talking costs here , there is a slight chance the mods will change this thread to the junkyard and I dont want it there.
    when I sort out or collect ideas form you guys I will make a special thread for these.
    Give me a week or so,
    again thank you for being first post!!
    Marcel
     
  5. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    Lee go again please?
    so four pulls? how ?
    my guy said he wanted to grab that mold and make the bottom section a jig where it contracts.
    This way there is one piece to the top with a pinch and one to the bottom with a pinch, the pinch is small , it the top part of the head that comes in.
     
  6. Zombie Killer

    Zombie Killer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,161
    Looks good bud. How much do those weigh?
     
  7. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,495

    Yeah, half way Mars, just got your PM buddy lol. Id maybe go the "split" route though.
    If you mark each dome where you can splice up to, dril a small hole, and cut with an exacto, this will stop the cut splitting any further, and allow you to pop the buck out of the pull.......probably easier in theory though right LOL?
    Id be up for a set anyhoo, who knows, i may yet build by ULTIMATE Probe Droid one day......as i said before, never, say never lol.

    lee
     
  8. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    it looks like MDF but its some sort of plastic, when i mentioned the name the other day to you , it was actually the manufacturers business name as the vacformer referred it as.
    It does not weigh much but its very hard.
    this can be superglued, puttied ,sanded and cut
     
  9. Guy Cowen

    Guy Cowen Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,365
    Great great stuff, Ooooh I may be interested also. I'm convinced the head domes are vac formed then split in 2 and re joined, this would make sense and it would keep the trench around the equator?
     
  10. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    hahaha Lee, so I will trade you for another set of legs?? lol
    yes clicked on what you said.
    the drilling will have to be done right after vacforming and the "slicing " also, it would probably just need a small cut , just enough to open .
    I will try this first as the main mold does not have to be cut in half, if this does not work then we chop the mold up!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  11. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    awesome Guy, will try the one that does not require to cut the mold first.
    so Guy if you doing another like Lee then sell yours to me , then i wont have to go through all this mate!!!lol
     
  12. Zombie Killer

    Zombie Killer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,161
    I think you are right Lee about using found parts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  13. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,495

    Its just a hunch Glen, hell i could be way off, i even spent an age looking for stuff laying around in ILM shop photos lol.

    lee
     
  14. Guy Cowen

    Guy Cowen Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,365
    :lol It would take a very large cheque to pry this from me mate :cool
     
  15. Zombie Killer

    Zombie Killer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,161
    Courtesy of Marcel.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. KramStaar

    KramStaar Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,960
    This looks exceptional…
    Mars attacks once again!

    High regards

    MARK
     
  17. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,495
    Thats the sprit...thanks for posting Glen! I see you decided to split the pull, looks fine, as i said, a smal drill hole will stop it running on.
    Your gonna have a blast building this one, its still a huge jewel to me!

    lee
     
  18. Zombie Killer

    Zombie Killer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,161
    I don't think the seam is a big deal either. A strip of styrene behind to support it and some glue and it will be fine. It will get covered in armor anyways.
     
  19. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    Thanks Glen,Mark and Lee !
    Got these today as a test , thought they would take longer.
    I wanted to try Lees idea, and works a treat, naturally a bit of work as the vac is a tight fit, so as always , the machine guy will create some drama!!lol
    the cut has to be relatively high and pry baring the dome may create a fracture else where, not noticeable and totally repairable but there!
    the Hips or vinyl in this case is 3mm as 4mm does not hug well the indent, very strong, the smaller of the pieces is quite rigid and as it get bigger , it gets more flexible.

    Other issues here:
    -the vacs are not exact to my templates, they are a mm off here and there but will be fixed

    -the upper head has been cutoff too early making the bottom part of the head look a little small.

    -the machine guy has tried to file the indent , creating a rough ring, it was smooth prior to this

    -scuff marks will not be there as seen here

    vac pulls are 3mm but naturally thin out at the edge, i have to still work out how to glue them but off the top of my head, will go with Marvins idea of SHIMMING the ring with styrene to allow more surface contact.

    Now the bigger issue is , the material that was used for the bucks is very expensinve, so I dont want to do another set, these are 3mm bigger than what I will make them so the CNC will now trim true the correct size needed to allow for the 3mm styrene pull.
    Before doing this however, I need the armour plating to be done in the lower body section from 1.5mm styrene, I need to do as many as I think will cover all you guys because after I trim it , I can only work off a plaster mold for vac forming .

    The upper head armour plating , I will do AFTER i stick a mockup of the large eye and other eyes to vacform over the top .

    I suppose I can mention costs here without anyone saying they will buy one correct? so please dont , I will do a thread in the JY.
    I can discuss the costs of things here? as I want the opinions of you guys and differences between vinyl , hips and styrene , which I believe are much the same, but was told today they cost different!! :confused
    I have a couple of more pics here and some more work i had done a couple of weeks ago .
    will work on the top part of the head and start the lower skirt.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  20. moffeaton

    moffeaton Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,860
    Correct. By Grabthar's Hammer, we will play by the rules.
     
  21. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,495
    Just a very quick one, but, im pretty sure the lower pull on the props head is more shallow, than the top anyway Mars.

    lee
     
  22. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    ok how about i get a pic like this?
    does this help , it may have been the angle of the other pic

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  23. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,495
    Id buy that for a dollar bro! Oh meant to say, were all done, gotta get to the weekend to pack ya gear bud, and its all yours!
     
  24. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    WOOHOOO!!, Lee you rock mate!
    I have increased the picture size thanks to Mark as I did not know how.
    Hopefully this shows its just under size PLUS the armour plating on top of this.
    My templates were a lot closer , he still needs to rectify those curves a bit.
    Mars
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  25. 3d-builder

    3d-builder Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    Working in a plant facilities shop I see a lot of different
    shapes from plumbing to electrical......... I am not sure
    but doubt if these guys were in a hurry they made all
    those shapes. We have these at work in all different
    sizes because we have to handle all fire alarms as well.
    This shape might fit your needs or maybe it just needs
    to be brought down and the shape is in there? It's nice
    because when you form it, you know it's going to be perfect!:thumbsup
    Maybe even mic stand bases as well rings a bell, as we have these around
    campus in the theater, and there also used to hold open doors! :lol

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  26. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    I have to say , its a very common shape, looking around my house, they could have used anything really!!
    thanks for posting

    I have started an interest thread, I hope its clear and self explanatory, if you do however have any other questions , please lmk
    thanks again
    Marcel

    http://www.therpf.com/f13/probe-dorid-domes-vacformed-146751/

    also received today the armor plating for the upper skirt dome, 1.5mm thick HIPS

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Flixen

    Flixen Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    342
    Hey Marcel,
    im pretty shure its Ureol at least it looks like it.
    Its no the only ame for its just how we cald it at the company i used to work at.
    In the end it's a pretty dens polyurethane foam.
    Its sold by a number of companys and of course the al have divrent names for it. There is also a white version that we cald Vokura ( i think we orderd that material from Great Britain).
    U can get it in different densities.
    LINK

    LINK

    sorry couldent find a english page.

    Hope that helps.

    Felix


     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  28. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    Yes Felix thank you , that is it
    I said urial! Lol
    Is it expensive there?
    Here it is.
    Mars
     
  29. IEDBOUNTYHUNTER

    IEDBOUNTYHUNTER Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    You sure thats Styrene, never seen a styrene part that shiny after forming, at least not on the side that doesnt touch the pattern.
     
  30. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    Hips I think he said Quincy,
    I may have called it styrene.
    Mars
     
  31. IEDBOUNTYHUNTER

    IEDBOUNTYHUNTER Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    HIPS is styrene. high impact poly styrene. and not sure thats what it is.
     
  32. Flixen

    Flixen Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    342
    Don't no exactly I never bought it.
    I think it is at least the white version was.
    The only online sorce I found charges 13€ for a
    150x 100x 50 mm peace.

    I'm looking forward to your build. :)
    The start looks really interesting.
     
  33. 3d-builder

    3d-builder Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    I thought the same about the plastic Marcel it looks more like ABS to me.
    If it is ABS that's still a good choice, but it's usually a bit more expensive
    than the HIPS, so if you were looking to save money and it is ABS that
    would be an option.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  34. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    If its ABS, would it be shiny?
    Then probably yes .
    I can ask to change it but if it's better in any way , I'll leave it.
    Thanks Michael
    Marcel
     
  35. 3d-builder

    3d-builder Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    Yes it's a better choice if your making a after
    market body kit for a car .......but not for the
    stuff we do. Can't hurt to ask them, again I
    am only saying this in regards to your costs ...
    so it's a personal decision "IF" it is ABS or another
    material that is more than HIPS.:thumbsup

    I promise you this... you will never out live
    your probe droid no matter if it's made out
    of HIPS or ABS! LOL LOL
     
  36. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    thanks mate!!
    I spoke to the guy and I am confirmed a 100 percent that this product is HIPS.

    He does seem to know a little of what he is talking about, not only he confirmed it but he gave me a quick lesson on ABS.
    It seems that the rolls we get here in Australia available to small businesses is Styrene (hips) , these sheets are coated with a layer of GP Styrene, which is a no body film of supergloss clear, to one side of the sheet.
    This film is easily removed by fine sandpaper and virtually has no body to it.
    The EVERGREEN stuff you are able to get in the US , we do not import that in large qtys and sizes, the most common styrene here is coated on one side with clear.
    He also explained that ABS is a different colour and is thicker and dense in itself as opposed to styrene and as you can see , light does not go through styrene, he actually made me a pull of ABS to show here.
    This
    The reason why the armour plating has the gloss on the outside , is because he figured that the most surface area to glue on the armour plating was the rear, so the head and upper had will have the matt side up.
    All armor plating is done , I will update the sale thread.
    hope this clarifies the material side of things
    Mars

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    further on the build, I have a sample mock up of the side Trapezoids looking indents , these will also be vacformed , a new CNC mold will be made for these , should have a finished one shortly.

    The head (upper and lower domes) are now being reduced in size by 3mm, now that the armour plating has been finished , also will have them shortly.

    [​IMG]
     
  37. Stormy320

    Stormy320 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,980
    How big is this? Looks great.
     
  38. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    its studio scale , approx 1 foot by 2 feet,

    or do you mean exactly what it measures??
    Mars
     
  39. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    i read your signature stormy, i actually have the 2mtr drawings as the 501st here in Melbourne will build one for a convention, I will be doing the vac form shells later on this year in 1/4s for easy build, but thats another story!

    mars
     
  40. 3d-builder

    3d-builder Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    Oh ok our HIPS here in the states doesn't have that coating on it,
    no wonder it looked all glossy. I was wondering when you go to put
    all the eyes on it how will you do that?
     
  41. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    The gp styrene that's coated has no body, meaning it's a very thin layer.
    This can be taken off with even the thinnest sandpaper.
    However th head will be done in reverse, only the armor plating is gloss on top so there is no need to sandpaper the back.
    Mars
     
  42. Guy Cowen

    Guy Cowen Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,365
    Mike the Hips you sent me for the A-wing is the best I've ever seen, I think the stuff you get in the USA is far nicer to work with than the shiny stuff this side of the pond, I have some 3mm left over of yours that I'm going to use on the Slave 1 as the 3mm stuff I've bought is no where near as rigid.

    So can you send me some :lol
     
  43. 3d-builder

    3d-builder Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    No problem PM me
    Mars looking forward to your next up date
     
  44. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,495
    Styrene here in the UK isnt as good right now. The 2mm stuff from EMA feels so flimsy of late, really rubbery almost, i have a full hull for the snowspeeder cut in in, and while itll do the job fine, anything larger, it would need so much internal support to stop sagging, there is just no rigidity to it anymore.

    lee
     
  45. marsattack

    marsattack Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    Hi guys, I will post here and transfer only the valuable info to the sale thread.
    Sorry I haven't updated this thread,
    I have however managed to not only collect all the kits for this probe , Lee has sent out the legs so they are in transit BUT I also finished up all the designs and CNC work for the Probe droid other than 2 small items.

    I was so impressed by the following and the result was nothing short than a perfect shape.
    We CNC the skirt and underskirt to the correct measurement after scaling .
    After trying out a few things we thought we would vacform the 2 pieces as one in 3mm .
    Although this was an incredible strong pull the detail had been lost,as the styrene is very thick, so rather than "compromise " acuracy and detail , I decided to vacform them out of 1mm.
    Believe it or not the underskirt is very strong, the main skirt is flimsy.

    A ring will be fitted to the main skirt, not only for strength but also for assembly.
    I will post here a few pics of the master molds , however these were machined exactly to take 3mm styrene, so now they have been recut to accomodate 1mm styrene.
    Programmed to cut on monday , but here were the test pulls we did today.
    All are 1mm but not the correct master mold.
    but you get the "gist"

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    now this next picture has the TOP dome as suggested by GUY to be done as a vacform, works great and the "cubes" or those pockets on the side of the skirt will be also vac formed.
    The one picture is untrimmed and actually not correct as it was vacformed the opposite way around.
    [​IMG]

    here is a quick test fit of the cube
    [​IMG]

    The only 2 things missing are the middle washer that separates the main body.
    As this is an important part , I was thinking of , after cutting it out of acrylic or 4.5 mm styrene making it a main part of the armature.
    If for some reason the armature is not something that you want , i will supply it alone.

    Last part is the head armour .
    I have recasted the sat V parts , which will then be cut in half and filled with plaster or similar to be vacformed over .
    still have some in silicon , but also managed to take GUY's advice and cast the eyes HOLLOW

    [​IMG]

    Furthermore test fitting domes, another 2 rings were made for the lower head and upper body and another for the skirt to facilitate the assmbly of cutout styrene.
    total 4 ring have now been cnc and vacformed.


    All parts are now produced and/or underway.
    I will update the sale thread with prices .

    I will start a build thread as soon as the legs get here and the rest of the kits.
    thank you
    Mars
     
  46. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,495
    Mars, thats looking stellar, a proper Probe droid at last, clean and crisp styrene, cant wait to get my hands on this lot, looks like all that hard work is paying off.
    Now i really have to get to work on a couple of legs sets lol, looks like there is all the room in the world for electronics in this one lol.

    lee
     
  47. moffeaton

    moffeaton Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,860
    Standing ovation!
     
  48. Scott Graham

    Scott Graham Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,635
    Wow Marcel. That's a great job you're doing on this! Looking forward to seeing this come together. :)
     
  49. Guy Cowen

    Guy Cowen Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,365
    Just brilliant, what a day when this lands. Your really putting in the love and time it deserves.

    I think I'm going to cry now
     
  50. Guy Cowen

    Guy Cowen Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,365
    I dont know why but that crown really makes me smile, ace stuff.
     

Share This Page