Star Wars Credits and Coinage - References and Recreation

Muddler

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Some progress on the ingots!

I've played around a lot with different types of resin and variations of coloring and finishing:

6s0tguj.jpg

While those look okay on first glance, they were all still a little dissapointing on close inspection. (I put quite some effort into getting a nice smooth surface for the casting-master. But any kind of treatment on the cast resin-parts - no matter if with or without sanding or priming - always messes up the surface a bit.)


But then I went for cold-metal-casting. And this finally brought the look and haptics I was hoping for!

JGLBFZo.jpg

For this one I used brass-powder mixed into the resin.
While the parts look a little dull coming freshly out of the mold, polishing them with steel wool brings out the metallic shine. They got a nice heavy metal-feel to them and there is no color which could rub off! (Actually the opposite. Handling them around will intensify the weathered metallic look).

XiYvKis.jpg lBSGpFZ.jpg

While I'm pretty sure that this is NOT what the prop guys did for the movie, I still found this to be my perfect approach for this task!
I wanted something that looks and feels authentic- and this is it! (The parts actually also smell like metal! Yeah, I know I'm crazy...:lol)
Now testing out pewter- and bronze-powder for the other color-shadings.

Stay tuned!
 
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Muddler

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Way to go @Muddler ! Those look... amazing!!! Are you going to sell some? If so, how long/many?
Thanks! I was actually surprised myself how well the metal casts turned out. ;)
But there's still a lot to optimize regarding the mixing-rate of metal and resin and the types of metal-powders I could use.
I really want to get this right.

Chances are still high that I'll be selling a few at some point, but I don't think offering just this type of Ingot would be really practical.

So I'll first continue my work on those two guys:

SBLkEkn.jpg TcxNSmD.jpg

6XJj9LS.jpg QwQLpBh.jpg

(Sorry for the crappy Images. Didn't have the time for detailed renders...)

If I get those done in a neat way, I might offer a set of all three in some combination.

I'll keep you up to date! :D
 
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Muddler

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Got my first test-casts in silver and bronze done.

au1CGOH.jpg SZPuFmB.jpg

(Two shots with slightly different lighting to give a better Impression of the metallic surface).

While the silver one came out quite nicely, I unfortunately had some problems with the bronze-cast. Seemed like the grain-size of the powder was too large. There were too many air-bubbles which resulted in defects on the surface:

QfyoVZS.jpg

And the specific weight of the powder had it all sink to the bottom of the mold, resulting in a layer of pure resin on the backside of the ingot. So the backside just looks dull-brown and can't be polished.
(I don't know if it shows enough on the picture, but you can actually see a translucent portion at the edge.)

SKjBF1E.jpg

I already mixed it in a 50/50 ratio with the resin (which was described as sufficient to keep the particles from sinking in several tutorials). Even dusted the backside of the mold with it, but the metal-particles still sank completely into the resin.
So this powder doesn't seem to be the right one for my purposes...

I wasn't really happy with the overall color anyway, because it looks a little too brown for my taste. I'd rather have it a little more reddish and a bit shinier.
Ordered very fine-grained copper-powder already. Maybe gotta mix it a bit with the brass-powder.

Will keep on experimenting...
 
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Muddler

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Finally some update...

Unfortunately had some setbacks with getting my models printed. The friend of mine who usually does the 3D-Prints for me had some issues with his printer. So I first took the break to rework all my meshes. (Even the one I did all the test-castings with. Found that the dimensions weren't exact enough...)

Finally I got a bit restless and had the pieces printed by a professional company. Gotta admit that those SLS-printed parts are really nice!
Here's what I got:

hJHsPRa.jpg

First two iterations of priming and sanding:

mmPV4cN.jpg


Hope I can start casting by end of the week :D


But what really kept me busy was the resin-metal-mix.

I've tried three different types of resins and several metal powders. While some of the powders were too grainy, I also got some that were actually too fine! They were advertised as "very fine pigment with strong coloring effects". The pigment size was 9µm. Didn't worry too much about the numbers, but as I unpacked this stuff I was shocked and fascinated at the same time. This stuff is crazy! It sticks to almost anything!

qGiPT5H.jpg (just from "slightly dusting the mold". Glad I wore latex-gloves anyway...)

I went for only using it outside the house (Won't think about one of the kids opening a container and "gold-finishing" the basement...). While these pigments really create an awesome metallic look, they are rather light (and kind of "fluffy"). You can color the resin with a very small amount. But the volume you need to actually add some mass to the cast is not really practical.
So I went for mixing different powders. The fine stuff is nice for the basic color. I then add about 1/3 in volume of larger-grained powder (around 50-70µm) to add some mass and create the desired metallic feel. I additionally dust the molds with the powder to get a higher concentration on the surface.

But I still got some problems with smaller air-bubbles. I don't own a vacuum-chamber, so slow and thorough mixing is the clue...
The last two weeks felt like no real progress at all, but I guess I've learned a lot.

Hope I'll have something nicer to show you soon...
 
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Muddler

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Gaining momentum! :D

Got my first test casts of all three ingots done:

Va1N8Ok.jpg rNm5Sax.jpg

So far I'm quite happy with the current metal-mixtures. The bronze-ones look a little dull in comparison, but that's actually pretty consistent with the reference shots.
The reddish color is far more on spot than the former bronze-mixtures I used, so I guess I'm gonna stick with this one.

And though it's surely not 100% screen accurate, I really like the way the light works on the burnished surface:
(It's still smooth upon touch! The surface just looks like the item has been in real use for quite a while...)

KqOY2GF.jpg

Instead of the painted resin that has obvioulsy been used on set, I rather prefer the genuine metal look! Or what do you guys think?
 
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Yodamann

Active Member
How did you sand down in the nooks in the ingots? I've done some 3d print finishing, and I've never been able to get it as smooth as you have
 

Muddler

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How did you sand down in the nooks in the ingots? I've done some 3d print finishing, and I've never been able to get it as smooth as you have
For the inset parts I use folded sanding paper wrapped around a wooden chopstick:

aHZGI4Y.jpg Bc3BXjN.jpg 40gHiar.jpg

This way I can reach most of the inset areas. For the outer groove I use the paper alone just folded:

yq8aIMp.jpg CqO8uOr.jpg

The really small areas are then done by just a very slim strip of sanding paper folded over several times.


In general, when I get the 3D prints, I give them a first round of sanding with 320 paper. If there are edges I like to round a bit, I also do this with a file or paper on the raw print.

Then I use sprayable automobile filler primer. I apply 3-4 thin layers (with about 5 minutes between). Then I let the part dry for 24 hours before I start sanding them down (first 320 or 400, later 600 paper)
If you do it to early, the deeper layers might not be completely dry which will "smear" and ruin the surface.

And then it's basically rewind / repeat.

For these parts I did 5 cycles of priming and (wet-) sanding. For the last rounds - when the surface is already quite smooth - I start using 000 steel-wool.
When it then feels smooth enough, I apply a final thin layer of the primer. As soon as this one has dried I can start making the mold!
 

Muddler

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While I'm usually a stickler for screen accuracy, I really like the way these look! Nice work!!!
I think they look terrific!
Excellent work, will have to get in on this run when it happens

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk
Thanks a lot! :$

I'd definetely like to offer a run for the ingots, but first I gotta make sure that I'm able to produce parts in constant quality.

I'll surely let you know when I'm confident enough to start a run!

(So I guess I can skip the "Interest-Thread" for this one...;))
 

pretzel399

Active Member
Hahahaaa...yeah, it looks like you can skip the "Interest Thread" alright! Sounds great Muddler...keep up the fantastic work!
 

Muddler

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Darn, I'm kind of stuck...
Really could use your help and opinion on this one!
Maybe I'm overly nitpicky, but what really keeps me busy is the backside of the ingots.
So far I've tried out three different versions, which all look absolutely fine from the frontside.

RJM3WCn.jpg

I started off with simple one-part molds, which is quite likely what the prop-guys on SOLO did. As they obviously painted their casts, this was the most efficient way of doing it.
Problem for me is now my stupid "gotta be metal"-idea.
While the details on the front came out nice, most of the powder (no matter which type) sank to the bottom of the mold, wich left the backside with too less metal (or none at all).
For my own testcasts I went for "cheating" and just spray-painted the back with metallic finish:

Zjh0CQe.jpg W1pcM0G.jpg xGsEI0o.jpg

They look okay on first glance, but I wasn't really satisfied. The backside wasn't completely even and smooth and the paint will surely rub off after some time. Additionally the color doesn't quite match the metal-frontside (see comparison on the right)., This was even worse with the gold and bronze paint.

So I made another classic two-part-mold - although this might seem a bit overkill for such simple-shaped items.
But here agaIn the metal was the problem:

s1xh7Of.jpg asFVE0N.jpg

The backside was nice and smooth now and could be dusted with an additional layer of metalpowder before casting.
But now the sides looked crappy. Sanding and barnishing couldn't hide the remains of the flashing on the seams of the mold. (Kind of logical. The additional dust-layer of metal is missing).

So frustrated I took the one sided molds again and made some plain silicone-backparts for them. I then did a two-phase casting. I filled the front part only halfway with the resin-metal-mix and applied a thin layer on the corresponding side of the backpart. I then let both dry separately. When the resin was about 80% cured (about 2 hours later), I then filled in another layer of freshly mixed resin and carefully pressed both parts together.
This gave the best results so far.

FiRQAA3.jpg L2GCQmw.jpg

But as the second pic is showing you're still able to see a very thin line of flashing at the edge of the back...:angry

I guess I can still leave it this way, but it's not the 100% I was aiming for.

So if anybody has got experience with this kind of stuff and would be willing to share his secrets with me, I'd be really happy!

Furthermore I'd of course be very interested in your opinions. Do you still think they are okay this way? Would you be dissapointed if you ordered some of those and you'd be able to see this thin flashing-line on the bottom edge?
(Maybe it's stupid to ask you that. Might have been wiser not to mention it at all...)

Just don't know what to think right now. Would really like to start casting some more, but this issue keeps holding me back...:unsure
 
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