Monday, February 17, 2020

It's been a while.

So, I don't typically go this long without posting at least some news about whats going on in my little corner of the world. But it's been a pretty wild ride since the last post. I'm going to try and keep this short.

So being the last post was about the Outbreak Prime a ton has happened since then. I have made a ton of things since that post was made. A bunch of commissions that kept me very busy for a while. It occupied a lot of my time so I wasn't able to really take the time to sit down and share things here on my blog. Ironically the more busy I got the more kept rolling in. With each new commission I ended up selling more on my regular items. I released new stuff in my Etsy store as I could manage it which just snowballed into having frankly more business than I could handle I was cranking out stuff as fast as I could manage while not sacrificing the quality that I know my customers deserve.

That lead to me having to close shop at the end of 2018 I had so much on my plate that I just couldn't take on anymore before I handled everything I was already working on. I did eventually work through it all and had a ton of happy customers. Things had finally calmed back down a bit. I decided to take a little time to recollect myself, upgrade my shop a bit, and try to get things a little more streamlined as far as production went. I am still only one person trying to keep up with the demand so I had to make things a little easier on myself to go from raw materials to finished product to ship out.

When I did finally opened my shop back up I thought I'd be moving forward with business as usual. Unfortunately that was not the case. Many people that land here know that I have spent quite a few years making replicas from probably my favorite video game, Destiny. I have always loved the game and the aesthetics of the weapons are something that really sparked my creative side. I have made a lot of replicas from Destiny specifically to bring a little bit of that world to our own and to have that little something for other guardians to cherish.

To be very clear on this, I was never officially associated with Bungie. I was simply a maker that happened to be a big fan and had some talent to bring those things to the real world. I loved the fact that Bungie was so supportive of their community and encouraged the community to share their creative side. Hell my Sword of Crota was even featured in their year one video here (@27:06 in the video).

But then things changed. Shortly after opening my shop back up last year I got inundated with email after email from Etsy telling my that X listing had been removed. Apparently the love from Bungie ended, at least as far as I was concerned. Within 2 days anything and everything at all Destiny related had been removed from my shop. My only option was to contact the company that filed the complaints. In the past this has happened to select items here and there and usually I was able to appeal that decision and carry on. This time I never ever got a response back to my emails.

So one of the biggest things I've been making in the past 5+ years was basically yanked from under me. I can still sell them on my own through select circumstance but they aren't exactly in the lime light where everyone can see them anymore. If you find something you are interested in from any of my previous posts or and of the future posts don't hesitate to contact me and ask if I am still selling X item and I can create a custom order for you.

You can contact me here

On the flip side of that it has opened up the chance to follow some other ideas. While I love Destiny and loved making all the things that I have I am excited to be able to follow a few other ideas that I've had. So after this post you can expect to see a lot of catch up posts about a lot of the things I've made over the past few years as well as a lot of new things coming up. If you've read this far I salute you and now you know the story of why my Etsy shop isn't filled with Destiny stuff anymore. 

Now that that's all caught up on with the stuff you actually want to see. Please stay tuned and subscribe seeing as I'm going to be sharing a lot in the next few months. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Project Destiny: Outbreak Prime

It has become a yearly "tradition" to have a new custom commission from probably my biggest fan, "Mr. Japan". For the past two years I have had the same costumer come to me for that special Christmas gift, this year was no different, and what did they want this year? The incredibly complicated to get exotic pulse rifle, the Outbreak Prime.

At the time of the request the first Destiny group had literally just got their hands on it they had published the videos and pics only two days before. Bungie hadn't even released it publicly on, so trying to get my hand on refrence images was not easy. I started out going of of the concept art and the YouTube videos to begin with. Once I had collected what images I could get my hands on I ran over to destinystlgenerator to see if I could get lucky and get the game model as a starting point. Alas it was so "new" with the Rise of Iron expansion that the guy that runs it hadn't gotten to it yet. I was in a bit of a pinch because the commission was for a hard resin model and while I could scratch build it I wanted to have an accurate to the game model to mold and cast. At this point all I had to go on was the few pictures that I had scrapped together and that wasn't enough reference to get it as accurate as I could. So, as a "here's hoping" I sent an email to the guy that runs the DestinySTLgenerator hoping I might be able to get in contact with him. The first email I didn't get a response, I let it sit for about a week, I understand this is a side thing for him and he does it for no profit for the love of it so I didn't want to sound like the pushy "hey do this for me because I'm special" I'm sure he has tons of requests all the time for X, Y, and Z models. I was loosing time on this build, I only had about a month and a half to make a master, get it perfect, mold it, cast it, assemble, and finish it. Then I had to send it out in enough time that it would make it to my customer in Japan by Christmas. Doable, but I had no time to waste, I sent another email offering to pay him if he could get the model for me, I was hoping adding a little incentive to the deal might peak his interest in helping me out. About 4 days later as I was about to head to bed I got a very nice surprise in my inbox. An email from the guy saying very nicely that he had uploaded it for me and that he does this for the love of the game not for profit so don't worry about paying him. I was so excited that he had heard my request that I ran over to the site grabbed the model and promptly donated to his site, his site has helped me on so many occasions that it was the least I could do.

With the base digital model acquired, the pieces loaded up, and my reference photos I started working on the digital model. There was a lot of work to be done given how intricate the model it's self is then on top of that converting digital "no physics" model into a real world object that had supports and would fit together. It took a bit to figure out how to make this thing work in the real world. After about a week, I could finally start 3D printing some of the parts, I hadn't finished the entire model but I needed to get things started or the deadline wasn't going to be met. I got the Jarvises Printing away while I finished up the digital work. Here's some pictures of  finished digital model.

While I continued printing out the pieces I was missing I started getting to work on the assembly and finishing of the pieces I did have. As always, the smoothing and finishing took forever, sanding is probably my least favorite part of prop making, it's just so tedious. Here are a few pictures of the pieces in the finishing process.

Once I had gotten some of the main pieces finished I had to start making sure that it was all going to fit together nicely. If it didn't fit well now than the pieces cast from a mold would need work to make fit and I have learned that this is probably one of the worst outcomes you can have from molding something you intend to cast. All the money that goes into the finishing and molding of a piece just to have to do a ton of work post casting, not fun. Here are a few pictures of the "finished" master.

Then the molding process which I have gotten much faster at over these years but still takes more time than I like to spend on it.

Once I got the mold finished and cleaned up I started casting immediately given I was down to about a week to meet the deadline of getting in a box and sent out to Japan. Luckily taking that little extra time on the master paid off in the cast parts.

At this point I had literally about 48 hours to finish it and get it packed up. Not to mention that I had to lay nearly 50ft of actual red wire to finish the look of the original. Now I had thought no problem everything fits a little bit of clean up and it would be a cake walk to glue everything together. I was very wrong, I had made a fatal mistake that was causing all of the glue to pop at the slightest tweak. I would glue something and 2-5 minutes later it would pop off. After a lot of cursing and struggling to get things to work, my lovely girl came out into the shop sat down and after listening to me vent about how nothing was working, promptly told me I was being dumb about this and that I needed to think it out rather than fight it over and over again, this was the point that I realized my horrible mistake. I made a fatal mistake in my assembly, in an effort to save myself some time I had thought it would be a good idea, at the time, to pre-paint my pieces before assembling them. Horrible idea, while the logistics of having things painted before assembling seemed like a time saver in truth it easily tripled my assembly time. The main problem being that since the pieces were painted the glue to assemble the parts wasn't sticking to the model rather the paint that was coating the model, so I would glue something think it was nicely attached and not even 5 minutes later the bond would pop pulling up the paint it had been attached to. After realizing this fact I spent all night, the night before I had to send it, fixing this mistake. It took me till 2 in the morning to get it assembled and fix the paint issues but I finally managed to get it finished. After all the issues I had with it I have to say I was very happy how it turned out. The next morning before I had to pack it up and send it out I managed to get some great shots of it. Here is the final finished exotic pulse rifle, the Outbreak Prime

Tell me what you think in the comments below.

If you'd like to have your very own Outbreak Prime you can head over to my Etsy Store and pick one  up. 


If you would like to keep more up to date on my various projects head over to my Facebook page and give me a like.

Destiny Project: Queen's wrath Pin

One thing I haven't seen a lot of in the Destiny community is love for the Queen's Wrath. Don't get me wrong I know it was a big thing for a fleeting moment but after the House of Wolves expansion lost it's luster the Queen's Wrath fell by the way side. I decided I wanted to honor it a bit and make a pin for it to ride along side the other faction pins. The casting on this one is a bit tricky given the brass and silver in the logo but I managed to get it to work. I was a little disappointed with the chips on 2 of the points but quickly realized I actually liked it, it gave it more of the 'well loved' feel to it.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

If you'd like to have your very own Queen's Wrath pin you can head over to my Etsy Store and pick one  up. Get one through the link below.

If you would like to keep more up to date on my various projects head over to my Facebook page and give me a like.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Project Destiny: Elemental swords - Infinite Edge

These were a very interesting addition by Bungie. I already made a post about them when they were still rumor but not long after that post I got a commission to create one. The only way to get them in Destiny was to refer a friend. My chances of getting one were very slim seeing as how most of my friends were already playing or had no intention to play so when I received a request to make one I realized "hey maybe I'll get one after all"

At the time of the commission there was not a 3D model to draw upon seeing as how the only look at it was the preview video for the bonuses for referring a friend. So I collected all the reference I could find at the time and started working on a 3D model of the sword. It didn't take all that long with this one given the details were pretty straight forward, the hardest part was getting the angles right and connecting things that, as usual, were not connected in the digital version.
Here is a picture of the finished 3D model.

I proceeded to 3D Print the sword as usual from the pummel up, handle, then cross guard, then the bits attached to the cross guard that I started referring to at the swords roll cage. If you look at it, it does seem more like a roll cage than anything practical. I did not print the blade it's self given that there wasn't really much detail as far as the blade goes so I opted instead to build it from scratch in wood. Here are a few progress pictures.

Once I got it to a finished state, I then started making mold of the individual parts. Thankfully all of my molds turned out pretty spot on. Then I ran into a whole new set of issues.

A few of the parts are very 'thin' and after I had cast them found them to be very fragile in the grand scheme of things. So clearly the typical resin I use to cast my parts wasn't going to cut it. Luckily I had some higher tensile strength resin on hand, the type used to cast 'functioning' parts, basically if the piece has to move a lot or is under stress a lot. I had this on hand because I typically use this for pins, triggers, or swing arms in my guns. I tried it out and luckily it fit the bill perfectly.

I had cast the blade prior to casting the rest of the parts to get a head start on the final challenge on this build. The commissioner wanted the blade to have the effect that the one in the game has, in other words, in this case, the drifting void wisps. I had tried about 4 different ideas on how I could manage this and still keep it from becoming to fragile and looking correct even if it was only on display.
I researched how other people had accomplished 'magical wisps' or 'flaming' props and had tried most of them. the unfortunate problem is they all had something that didn't quite work for my application. I finally started thinking about maybe doing it in a clear resin somehow and realized, every time I over poured a mold, I would peel off the extra that had spilled over and mostly cured and would most times twist and squish it into odd shapes just because I could.

That was it! If I could do that with mistakes then chances are I could do that on intentionally. The main challenge was I only had the cure time to work with. I had to pour it, shape it, color it as I wanted and then get it on the sword blade to shape it before it fully cured. I did a test run and while I turned out way to dark it was a proof of concept, it was possible. So I gave it another go, this time it turned out much closer to what I was looking for. At this point I had a great starting point and with a little bit of touch up paint I got the effect I was looking for.

Here is a few test runs of various methods I tried. The ones on the right are the first run at the clear resin test.

Here are tests that the commissioner liked.

Without further ado here are some finished pictures of the Void Infinite Edge sword.

I sell the versions without the 'flames' here are a few pics of those.

If you'd like to have your very own Infinite Edge (Void, Arc, or Sol) you can head over to my Etsy Store and pick one  up. 


If you would like to keep more up to date on my various projects head over to my Facebook page and give me a like.