Sunday, November 27, 2011

SC2 Spectre Cosplay: Legs 3

Worked on the legs a little bit, tiny progress--sanded the insides of the legs to remove the fiberglass jaggies and scuffed the outer suface of the legs to prep for bondo.  I picked up the 3M "bondo" variant which is technically called "body filler" as bondo is the name of the company from which the material name is attributed.  I was reminded just how foul the stuff smells due to raw styrene monomer present in the material--it's just horrid.  Thankfully much of the smell dissipates after the material is cured.  One thing I don't really like about the 3M body filler is that the hardener isn't a profoundly different color from the "resin."  One is gray and the other is white so when mixing the two it's pretty much impossible to tell if the material is thoroughly mixed like you can with standard bondo.  The 3M variety does cure to a nice light-gray solid though.

I coated the legs entirely with body filler and tried to contour the surfaces as best as I could in an attempt to minimize sanding time.  It was probably a futile attempt.  I also discovered / encountered a bit of a problem with the legs--after laying up the body filler I tried to "put on" the legs... but they don't fit!!  My foot can't squeeze through the opening now that the model is entirely rigid.  I'll have to improvise a solution eventually.  Cutting a slat in the back of the legs that goes through the entirety of the model or at least partially is one idea that came to mind--the slat can be re-affixed with some kind of latching mechanism and shouldn't detract from the look too much.  Tons and tons of painful sanding is foreseeable in the immediate future. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Root beer quest

Was delighted to find this on my desk today when coming into work.  There's some good people that I work with, it brings a tear to the eye :'D.  

I guess I'm a little bit of a root beer connoisseur (or try to be) and like to pick up / try all sorts of varieties so I suppose one of my coworker friends decided to help me on my "quest."  One my current favorites right now is Natural Brew, it has a nice complex taste that's quite different from your run-of-the-mill "chemicals and soda water" root beer.  I'm looking forward to trying this one!

Edit: it's pretty good, very similar to Natural Brew, has a good complexity, slightly more apparent carbonation, it would be a hard pick to decide from the two.

SC2 Spectre Cosplay: Legs 2

Last week I ordered some Epoxamite from Smooth-On to use in stiffening up the papercraft model of the Spectre legs I constructed. There were 3 different hardeners to choose from when buying the epoxy resin (101, 102, and 103). I ordered 102 which is a medium cure-time epoxy and found that the cure time is quite long. Next time I'd get the 101 to speed things up. Basically have to leave the material to cure overnight and then some with the 102.

Coated / laminated the outside of the pep model with a thin layer of Epoxamite and waited a day for it to cure. The rigidity of the model after the coating left a lot to be desired (card stock at large scales is pretty weaksauce flimsy) and the model was still flexible. So I separated the shin bit of the model from the boot bit and cut up some tight-weave (what I had on hand) fiberglass cloth and coated the insides w/ fiberglass. A day later and the rigidity is now at an acceptable level. Next steps will be to trim excess fiberglass and smoothen the inside of the model as the fiberglass is pretty sharp and rough / jagged.

The boot looks pretty hideous by itself. I'll need to make an incision and splice a few inches of length to the final segment so I can meld it to a pair of dress shoes I have laying around. I'm not yet sure how I'm planning to work with the shoes because if there's no flexibility in the model during walking in the toe area, the model will fracture / separate from itself or walking will look incredibly awkward.

Monday, November 7, 2011

SC2 Spectre Cosplay: Legs 1

Spent a good part of this evening working on completing the other (left) leg armor pepakura piece for the Spectre cosplay.  The new piece looks like its of a little better quality than the one I did previously as a result of becoming more skilled at building pepakura models.  Hopefully this won't make any difference after "finishing" the pieces.

Since I constructed these pieces from card-stock paper it's a bit flimsy--so in order to add rigidity to the models the next step will be to do a fiberglass layup.  A lot of people seem to be able to get away with skipping fiberglass and just coating the model with fiberglass resin (essentially epoxy) to add a clear rigid coating to the material.  The downside to using resin alone is the end product may be a bit brittle and not quite as rigid as it would be after doing a proper fiberglass layup.  Downsides to the layup are time and mess due to the hassles involved with having to sand fiberglass.  I have a bit of fiberglass cloth laying around so that's the tentative plan.  Hopefully will be doing that step shortly.