Friday, March 24, 2017

Project Halo: Cortana Chip

Halo has been a long standing FPS for quite some time now. Some of the weapons from the game have always stayed in the back of my head and maybe one of these days I'll get around to making a few if for nothing else than to have a few "trophies" on my wall. When GamerCrates came asking me if I could make a Halo related item for the November Crate I started thinking of something small I could make for the fans. Now generally I make pretty big props, Guns, Swords, things that are fairly iconic to the game play. A lot of ideas made it to rough prototype but I had to give this one some thought. I needed something that fans could easily identify from halo, but it had to be small. Something I could bring out of the game and they could hold in their hand...

That's when one specific image came to mind. This one.

So after a bit of 3D work I printed out the first version. Gave it some post print details and cleaned it all up. Then got to work on the molding process. This one took a lot of work to get into production and even more with the post castings clean up and shine.  Here are some progress pictures.
Here is the original very rough one.

Once I got down the molding and clean up I had 200 of these beauties to make.

 This is a progress pics from left to right. Original prototype, first test casting, with aging, buffed to remove some of the aging, polished and shined, and packaged.

 Ever wonder what 200 old Cortana chips looks like? yeah me neither but I did get to find out, and now you do to.

Here are a few of the final shots of the finished products.

If you would like to pick yourself up one for your master chief armor cosplay, to hang on your wall, or to wear around your neck head on over here to my Etsy shop and grab one while they last. This will be a limited run item when they are gone they are gone, so don't wait.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Project Cthulhu: Cthulhu Coins

A long time ago I was introduced to a prop page that just caught my attention. It made me think of all the wondrous things a decent craftsmen could do with some out of the box crafting skills and a bit of imagination. That page spawned many others that page has now morphed into Propnomicon. I had read a decent amount of Lovecraft back in high school and was always fascinated  with his amazing descriptions of this things of nightmare. When I found out that there was an entire role-playing game based on this mythos I was even more fascinated. I had wanted to work on some of these impressive props that people had cobbled together so many years ago but as with a lot of things it got shuffled to the ever growing back burner. Life and all it's many complications had caused it to slowly be lost to the ethers.

This year, after a very busy X-mas season, things had died down a bit and the orders had slowed to a crawl for a bit. I decided I wanted to dust off this old ambition and make something I had intended to so many years ago. I didn't want to do anything to big as I still had many projects to finish up, but I wanted to take a break from my "regular" builds and make something a little different. I decided I wanted to make myself some coins that would fit right into the cthulhu mythos that so long ago had fascinated me.

I took a morning after the hustle and bustle of the morning had died down, sat down with my coffee at my computer and started some 3D modeling. One thought came right off the bat as I had carved it into my jack-o-lantern not so long ago.

Here are the 3 designs I had settled on.

After printing them it took some work to get them to look like coins rather than 3D printed objects (those ever annoying striation lines). But when I had them where I was happy with them I made a mold of them. The very next day (the mold was barely cured) I was so excited to see them in brass I poured a cold cast. here are the results.

Beautiful just as I had imagined them.

I then proceeded to cold cast in bronze.


Even Silver (aluminum cold cast)

Here's a picture of all the cold casts

Here's a closer look at the details of each coin.

Over all for a sideline project that was somewhat an old thought come to life I am incredibly happy with what I have achieved. If you like them, please do not hesitate to go here to my Etsy shop and pick your self up some, I would be more than happy to share them with you.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Project Ghost in the Shell: Section 9 Badge

So ages ago I remember the first time I saw the original Ghost in the Shell, I wasn't a stranger to anime but when I came across this one for some reason it struck a cord in me. The cyberpunk feel to it, when at the time things had attempted but I hadn't come across anything that quite captured the feeling, the atmosphere.

Ghost in the Shell stuck with me through the years. I had delved into every new release of the story they had released. I even hunted down the PS2 game they released, played through it twice in the span of a week. When there were rumors of a new live action in production I searched out any info I could find. In the process I decided to go back and watch Stand Alone Complex (S.A.C.) beginning to end, since originally I had watched it on Adult Swim and I knew I had missed a few episodes. When I had finished that I realized there was still more I hadn't seen Arise was next on my list.

Needless to say after watching Ghost in the Shell related stuff for probably 2 months I had the itch. I wanted to make something from it. I had been thinking about what I could possibly make that would, at least in my mind, capture the nostalgia I had for the series. Just a small something that hadn't been done before. Something subtle, one of those 'only a true fan would get it' kinda things.

I finally settled on what I was going to make, start with is probably a better way to say it but that's for other blogs. The Section 9 badge.

Turns out the morning I had started working on the badge steam released the Ghost in the Shell: First assault. I ended up loading that up and it ate away half my day but in turn only fueled the desire to make the idea real.

I started my digital work on a 3d model. It didn't take me all that long to get a model worked up and tweaked and printed out on Jarvis. Once I had the piece in hand I headed to the shop. I'm not sure if it was the excitement of having this thing real or the want to do more but I sanded it down and had a coat of filler primer in under an hour. While I was working on it my mind was swimming with other ideas at the same time, so the next day was pretty much sand it down, filler primer, run down do digital work, run to the shop, sand it down, more primer, finish digital work, start a print on the indivi... I'm getting ahead of myself. Long story short I had a lot of ideas in the pipeline.

I ended up getting the badge finished to a nice smooth finish and boxed it up to mold. I had a few other projects working at the same time so I ended up having quite a few small molds to pour.I would share the picture here but I'll keep that one for a later post seeing as how it would give away some of the stuff I was working on.

After I had my mold poured and cured I couldn't wait to get a badge cold cast. I really wanted to see it metal and  shiny. So here is the first casting I did.
I loved it It was exactly what I had wanted. However I quickly realized that the fine lines I had in it were a bit to deep. A little bite of glazing putty and all better but that also meant I would have to make a new mold. So I smoothed it out even more and boxed up my new version and poured another mold. As soon as it was cured I did another cold cast in brass and I gotta say it turned out amazingly. Judge for yourself.

Then I wanted to see it in silver (aluminum) and that one was even better.

Here are the 2 together.

So there you have it the first of my Ghost in the Shell projects and personally I think it turned out pretty amazing. Tell me what you think in the comments below.

You can pick up your own over at my Etsy store


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Project: Fallout Fusion Core.

I woke up one morning after spending a day off, playing fallout 4 pretty much all day long, thinking I wanted to make something else from fallout. I fired up the game started kind of poking around looking for something small, something most fans would recognize when they saw it. Then as I climbed in a suit of power armor it hit me, or at least the digital me hit it. Fusion cores.
So I searched to see if I could find a 3d model of it, even if it was something I would have to doctor up to my liking. Luckily I found one, and as a bonus it was pretty close. After a few treks here and there I started Jarvis up and got to 3d printing. First print went fairly fast I was still curious if I had gotten the sizing accurate so before I fired up the next print I pulled the piece out pulled up some reference and compared. I was suddenly very concerned that I had made it to small and would have to size it up and start all over. Then I remembered, I have huge hands, so I waited for my niece to get mostly ready for school, then walked up and literally asked "hey hold this for a second" turned her hand around a few times and realized it was just about perfect scale wise. Believe it or not she has gotten used to my odd "hey hold this for a second" moments.
While the second of the bigger prints was going I spent about 2 hours pick pocketing a brotherhood of steel Knight, basically sticking up on the digital fusion cores, I finally decided that 530 was probably enough to hold me over for a while, did a mission or two and by that point my prints were all done.
After a few tweaks it all fit together perfectly. Then the ever annoying sanding and filing. Luckily this one didn't take that long but I think the excitement of getting it to mold was probably pushing my productivity a bit.
Once I had it all prepped and looking pretty smooth I gave it an acetone gassing and got it all smooth. Final examination I realized between sanding and gassing the rivets on the side had all but disappeared, so I drilled then out and replaced them with some real rivets and it looked perfect.
After I had it to the finish I was happy with I made my mold boxes and poured some silicone. I always get a bit anxious waiting for silicone to cure. I have to find a place to set it out of sight so it's not a temptation to poke at it, hoping it's cured. After the wait as soon as I thought it was cured enough I popped the mold and started prepping for casting. I got a perfect pour the first carrying which was very satisfying. I applied the yellow"enamel" got it aged and shined up where it needed it. The final product was exactly how I had envisioned it. So without further ado, my fusion core from Fallout 4.

So months and months later I was cleaning up the shop a bit and found the original casting. It had a few flaws tat bugged me the biggest one was that in my rush to want to see it done I used a yellow paint rather than the enamel because the paint would dry in about 2 hours where as the enamel would take around 24 hours to fully dry. So I gave it another shot this time actually using the yellow enamel and I have to say now it looks spot on. Tell me what you think.

I am very proud of this one now and it is now available here for purchase. If you would like your very own Fallout 4 Fusion core you can purchase it below or on my Facebook page in the shop. 

Get your very own Fusion Core now so when you find that power armor you can actually slap it in there and kick some raider butt. 
(Legal notice: fusion core will not actually provide power to power armor, and if it does let me know ;)

Only $25  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Project Destiny: Raze Lighter TKK Exotic Sword

I love Destiny when they announced that they would be releasing a huge new DLC called The Taken King (TKK) I was excited. I followed all the updates, and sneak peeks. When they finally released info that there would be new heavy weapon exotics that would happen to be swords I was very excited. I had already made both the hunter blade and the Sword of Crota, so for them to be releasing a new and usable melee weapon in Destiny was a moment of "yup I know my next project"

When picture started leaking I collected them. When they showed it in a live stream of new content gameplay I screenshot it. I collected all the info I could as it came along. I started my plans, I drew up blueprints best I could. The one thing that was hard to get a handle on was the actual size. Sure I could guesstimate the size, but perspectives and it moving about makes it hard to get it accurate.

When I saw that a few very talented people had tried there hand at 3D modeling these new swords I of course jumped on them. I wanted to compare there size to my plans. I took a look and realized very quickly that they just seemed to small. Now don't get me wrong a lot of the sword was very accurate but it seemed over all small for a "heavy weapon". In some of my screenshots this sword stuck over the guardians shoulder and nearly to his knee. This was the Claymore of Destiny, the weapon only a guardian could wield.

I went ahead with my research and decided I wanted this to be as accurate as I could make it. I wanted my guardian customers to feel the power of this Heavy Weapon Exotic Raze Lighter. I wanted it to seem bigger than life, so at a Con it would stand out as a mighty weapon not just a sword.

I printed out my plans and got to building. I 3D modeled the handle, cross guard, and the crystal. I went to printing those as I worked on the blade.
After I had all of my pieces nearly ready for molding I went back for one more reference and noticed I had the pummel all wrong. I had overlooked such a small detail I was actually kind of surprised at myself given I pride myself at the details. After modeling, printing, and finishing the new pummel, I was finally ready to mold this beast.

After everything was molded and peeled open I thought I was good to go. Time to cast my first Raze Lighter.

Turns out the initial fabrication was only the beginning. While most of the parts came out wonderfully, the crystal was just not turning out the way I had hoped, as well as, It was just to heavy.

It took many test runs and each one that came out not quite right discouraged me. After all the work put in so far I just couldn't seem to get the crystal to look right. Don't get me wrong, some looked pretty good, but they weren't what I was looking for. Here are a few of the "not quite" Castings.

On a whim as I was slush casting yet another crystal I tossed some of my cold cast powders in between layers. That's it! I had gotten closer than any other casting it just needed more. I gave it another try, this time I put a lot more in, I had thought it would be to much but wouldn't know till I could de-mold it. When I pulled it out I was pleasantly surprised it had turned out exactly how I wanted it.  The weight issue was quickly solved after that. This monster measures in at 4ft 8 inchs (picture below) but only weighs about 3 pounds. Now I can present to you The Exotic Sword The Raze Lighter:


If you would like one of your own, head over to my Etsy store: here and pick one up today.