Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Margo Mei Commission Build - Part one: Pinning

So I finally finished this sculpt in time for Designercon!  Made some silicone molds and casted copies in resin to sell.  I also painted up two versions of her (I'll have a dedicated 'finished' post later!).

I sold out on kits at Dcon and got a commission from a friend of mine for a custom paint job.  I thought it would be cool to document the process of putting her together from start to finish so here we go!

** Before doing anything I gave the parts a thorough washing.  You can use some dish soap, warm water, and a toothbrush or let it sit in some Purple Power automotive degreaser overnight and then wash.  This is recommended if there is any kind of mold release used.  For this kit I mainly used talcum powder as a release agent so the Purple Power not totally necessary but I like to be safe!**

Step one: Pinning

Pinning is drilling holes into two parts and then using some wire or rod to connect the two.  It's important for resin kits because the pieces can be quite heavy and the connection points not the most ideal for simply gluing so pinning gives added support for putting things together. It also allows you to do a 'dry' fit of the figure to pose it and spot any problems areas where pieces might be warped and don't fit together well.  Another benefit is that you can leave the kit in unglued in multiple pieces, making it easier to store/transport a complicated figure.  The friction fit of the pin and pieces is many times enough to hold things together without gluing.

One thing to note is that I just did some minimal cleaning to the pieces to take off nibs and such so things will fit together.  I'm going to be drilling some holes so it will just be easier to fill them and sand away other imperfections later at the same time.

First thing to do is look at all the parts and think about how to approach pinning.  For this kit I'll be using some 3/64" brass rod.

One hard aspect to pinning two pieces together is actually lining things up so the pieces don't get misaligned when you drill the holes for the rod.  There are a few methods to get things perfect but for this kit I'll be using what is called 'bone' pinning.  This is basically when you hold two parts together and drill through both.  This is probably the most accurate way to pin but it also leaves holes on the model which you will have to fill.

To start this off I drilled a hole at an angle through her jeans and into her leg.  I then drilled the other way into the torso so that the three pieces can be held together with one long pin!  For her left leg I just drilled through her jeans again while holding the leg on.  This is convenient because none of the holes drilled will be visible on the outside!

For the boots I first drilled a hole from the sole through the inside, making sure to not accidentally drill out at the ankle and also to go all the way through.  Then I held the legs in place and drilled through the hole I just made into the leg.

For the head I just drilled right into the neck and put a pin in.  This connection I will actually glue together at this point because I want to close the seam of the chin and neck.

Next up are the arms.  I drilled the hole from the top of the shoulder into the arms.

At this point everything holds together pretty well.  I also pinned the front and back of her hair together but i forgot to take a picture!

To get her to stand on her own, I used some 1/16" steel rod.  This is much stronger than brass and will do a better job as holding her up.  There is a bit of a trick to drilling into the boots:  First I drilled in straight a little bit and then stuck the bit into the hole and angled it up towards the heel.

And that is pretty much it for pinning!  I ended up not pinning the vest together as just some epoxy later is enough to hold it together.  This is a good time to check for misaligned parts and to see what will actually show at joints and things.

For part 2 I will go over filling seams/holes and sanding.

Friday, September 25, 2015

WIP: Original Figure Sculpt Part 3

Been while since my last update.  Been busy!

But here is progress so far.  I've decided to sell this as a garage kit at Designercon in November!

Making the Boots:

Here is also a way to align a pin on two parts without doing any sort of drilling through.  You mark off on the outside 4 lines around the piece so you can draw the line over the cut.  The resulting 'X'  will give you a matching point to drill on each side.

Here is a Step by step on her vest.

Work on her hands

Cut offs!

Next is work on her hair. 

Decided to change the pose of her left hand to make it a little more dynamic.  Here is the refinement process:

Almost done!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

WIP: Original Figure Sculpt Part 2

So here is some more progress

on the sculpting:

Refining the forms...  Also gave her some leg extensions:

Roughing out forms of her shirt...

I plan to cast this in resin so to facilitate painting I need to cut her into pieces (yikes!). After cutting her in half, I cut out a hole in one side and on the opposite side I glued a piece of plastic to act as a peg.  I then filled the hole with some miliput and smushed the two halves together.  The final result is a nice positive and negative connection!

Cleaned up her neck...

Cut off her legs and went through the same process as her torso....

Things are starting to come together and I'm beginning to think this might actually work!