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post #21 of 306 (permalink) Old 08-28-13, 12:09 PM
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Astonishing paintjob on all the models! I really admire the "pimp my tank" chaos kits as well! altough they seem a bit baroque to me, wich isn't a bad thing per se. I think elaborate decorations suits some csm legions better than others. And black legion happens to be one !

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post #22 of 306 (permalink) Old 09-04-13, 03:05 AM
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I have been thinking of how I wanted to make some chaos tanks, I've seen tuts on making trim. What your doing is awesome, I hate the spikes that make the tanks chaos. Keep up the good work.
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post #23 of 306 (permalink) Old 09-06-13, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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As usual, thanks for the positive feedback; during frustrating builds like these tracks, it really is motivating. Everything is on track (See what I did there? clever, yes/no?) but a little behind schedule. Until I can get at least one more Pressure Chamber up-and-running (very soon) I can get caught in a catch-22 when I need to do casting and make moulds at the same time. With a little juggling I've kept things moving forward and the last new moulds will be done very soon.

I have finally got a Vacuum Chamber in the studio and got it to work right away. It's a very interesting addition to the casting process that took some experimenting to get right, but now that I'm getting the hang of it, I'm very pleased with the results. I'll be doing an article about working with a vacuum at some point in the near future. It's been fun learning the process, and it made it much easier to cast the larger 'Raider Track Links I've been finishing. Speaking of the 'Raider Links...



After some less than enjoyable bench work, the Proditor Pattern Land Raider Track Links are ready for the mould making process.

Everything in these pictures is either held in place with friction, gravity, or poster tack; if any of the fit looks a bit off, it's just because of this temporary fitting. One key point about these kits is that they will require the end builder to remove the small 'key' tabs that are used for the original GW links. It's just easier to remove the hidden tabs then to try and carve out a clean gap in these painstakingly crafted pieces. I would have literally blown a brain-fuse if I happened to ruin a part trying to do it. I completely overlooked them until I had several sections done, and potentially harming them was not a happy consideration at that point.



It's was worth the annoying effort in the end; these tacks really complete the transformation of the GW kit, if I do say so myself.

Where the Vacuum Chamber really helped with the 'Raider Links, it wasn't useful for the smaller Rhino Links. After fighting to get it to work with the vacuum, I ended up going back to pressure only to complete the kit. As tricky as this build was, it really did help me learn some about the limitations of each method (pressure and vacuum) and when to consider using each. Funny how the annoying mistakes usually teach you more then the easy successes.



To the left: Satisfaction with a job well done. Yep, these look awesome! To the right: Frustration given physical form in resin!


When you're building a prototype it needs to be really close to perfect. It's almost scary just what details will be replicated in the mould; even a trace of my finger print is forever immortalized in the back side of the odd part. So, any flaw that would take longer than a reasonable amount of time to fix was tossed into the rejection pile. So many lost links. *Sniff*

So, the all of the track links are done, and I am currently preparing them for moulds as I write this and also casting fresh pieces for stock before the moulds take over the chamber. The Proditor Vehicle Accessories are half moulded, and I'll show them once the entire kit is complete. They are turning out very well, and the Vacuum Chamber has been key in that success.

But that, as they say, is another story...

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #24 of 306 (permalink) Old 09-08-13, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Since the subject came up elsewhere, I figured this would be a good time to revisit a little tutorial about how I do my flat-top rivets. To start I'll say that I plan for all my rivets in my CAD designs; that ensures they will be accurate and well placed. When I use a needle pick to transfer the points of the design that I use to cut out a pattern, I also prick the center of each rivet placement. After using a larger pin to expand the hole I carefully drill each hole as a seat for the rivets I make. Made this way, the rivets are not just glued to the surface, but sit in a seat that keeps them from ever popping off from use.

Now with that said, first up, how the heck do you make lots of consistent rivets? Here's what I came up with...


I call it a Razor Rake. By super gluing spacers between several broken down lengths of utility razor, I get a rake of evenly spaced blades.

The plastic spacers combined with the actual thickness of the razor means I get an even spacing to cut uniform rivets. The plastic spacers just need to match the thickness of the styrene I'm working on - 0.4mm in this case. Once placed, the rivets will stand out a razor thickness in height.



Carefully rolling the 'Rake' over a piece of round styrene scores the plastic. Ready for cutting into rivets.

For the first rivet I start just inside the end. The first rivet will be too short to use, but it makes sure all of the following rivets are ready to go. Once I have the first group of lines cut I can place the first blade in the last line as a guide, and score another group of lines. Working that way I can covert long lengths of styrene rod into rivets very quickly.

I don't press hard enough to cut all of the way through in one go. There's two reason for this. First, the rivets will wedge themselves into the Rake; naturally, that's not good. Second, the blade deforms the plastic a bit and keeping the rod as one piece makes the next step possible...



A quick sanding on a fine grit sanding block will remove the minor deformation caused by the Rake.

I just roll the rod under my finger while sliding it carefully back and forth on the 320 grit sanding block pictured. It just takes a few seconds to smooth the rod back down, and the rivets are ready to cut.

The blade can find the scored lines very easily. With a quick rolling chop they each pop off. (Remember to get rid of the stumpy first rivet.) I find it best to carefully place my finger over the blade while I cut, so I can stop the freshly freed rivet from flying away. They get easily lost, as I'm sure you can imagine.

It won't take long before you've got a large pile of rivets ready to be placed. But then you run into the next problem. How the heck do you place that tiny rivet into its tiny hole? It took a bit of trail-and-error to come up with a surprisingly simple solution...



Prefect in its simplicity; by flattening the tip of an old Clay Pick I made a straight forward rivet pressing tool.

The rivets are so light that all you need to do is add a tiny bit of moisture (Read: spit) to the end of the tool, and the rivet will stick just enough to be placed. Carefully align the rivet to the hole, get it as straight as possible, and press gently but firmly. the flat tool applies even pressure, and most times the rivet will pop right into the hole. Most times.

Sometimes they will be stubborn, trying to go in crooked and deforming the rivet in the process. Rather than futz around with a 'bent' rivet, I just disposed of it and get a fresh one to use. They are easy to make, after all. On occasion the hole for the rivet will also be a problem, but a quick 'reshaping' of the hole with a drill bit gets things right. You don't want to drill the hole deeper, just clear out any glue residue - the usual problem I run into.



Once they're in place they just need a bit of clean-up and touch of glue to lock them in place. 8 down, 600+ to go... *Eye-twitch... twitch twitch*

I've become hooked on the pictured sanding sticks made by Alpha Abrasives. Perfect for all sorts of subtle sanding jobs where a file might be too stiff or aggressive; I use one to give the tops of the rivets a light sanding and make sure they are all the same height.

From there I add a tiny dab of Tamiya Extra Thin glue. The brush built into the lid makes it easy to brush the glue around the rivet. It doesn't take much, and it evaporates away into a very clean join, ready to be primed.

Anything as repetitive as rivets will be tedious to do. This process is no different. The build pictured here took over 650 rivets, each drilled and placed just like this. It can be a bit... daunting sometimes, but it's worth it for the final piece. Once you get a feel for the process and get going it actually progresses rather quickly. Here's hoping people find this informative.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #25 of 306 (permalink) Old 09-08-13, 07:42 PM
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Totes amazeballs dude these are some of if not THE best tank conversion/addon kits i have ever seen bar non +rep and kudos to you guy.
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post #26 of 306 (permalink) Old 09-08-13, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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I am but a conduit through which the Dark Lords speak... They say I must scribe my trials so that others may learn, be inspired, and perhaps drawn to their cause. My hands are but an extension of the energies made real by the Warp... The Dark Lords gift me these ideas so that I might make them real. It would be blasphemy to turn from such gifts.

*Cough* Errr...

But seriously, thanks for the kind/positive feedback. Much more to come...

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #27 of 306 (permalink) Old 09-08-13, 08:19 PM
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You're an inspiration to all the unholy followers (and craftsmen) out there. There is more information in this thread than I can digest, especially where the tools and such are concerned. It will take me a long time to get through it all!
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post #28 of 306 (permalink) Old 09-08-13, 10:26 PM
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That's a genius idea about the razor saw, I will look into making one. With the holes do you just have a mark on the drill bit so you know how far to drill the hole?
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post #29 of 306 (permalink) Old 09-08-13, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Since the vast majority of my work is layered up, I just plan for the rivets in the last layer, and drill clean through. But yes, if the material is a thicker single layer I will use a mark on the bit with fine point Sharpie for depth if need be. With practice you don't even need it, you get a feel for drilling a bit shallow and/or use a taller rivet (made with a 0.5-0.75mm spaced Rake) and then file/sand them down to the desired height once they are completely dry.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #30 of 306 (permalink) Old 09-08-13, 10:45 PM
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Hmm that's a good point about the layering as rivet's will generally be on a trim or a piece of armour that's "bolted" to the main body. Cheers for reminding me of that!
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