This is a lot to ask, but... I need some help.

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Vincent Valentine
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This is a lot to ask, but... I need some help.

Post by Vincent Valentine » Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:15 am

Hey fellow FSS modellers.

Okay, I'll cut the BS and go right to it. I was modding my WSC Empress, it having such stubby legs, using the book Plastics Style as reference. Now that the proportions are 100% correct to that book (the legs to the height) I found that the detailing that should be Empress-like on the back of the legs is now all f***ed up (because of these funky proportions).

I regretted my modifications immediately when I saw the manga scans (I didn't and still don't own many volumes of FSS)

I need to borrow or to somehow get a cast of the lower legs of the WSC Empress. Pure and simple.

I CAN recover from the mistake, but since I chopped most of it up, and it's quite heavily modded, I think that I would literally be better off scratch building new legs.

This is the most practical way out, and I don't have the financial means to get another kit just for the lower legs at the moment. (besides, it's not in stock anywhere)

Here's hoping to good news.

jlyc

Post by jlyc » Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:38 am

ok i know you don't want to get another one, but there happens to be an original WSC empress on ebay if you'd like to get an original and make a recast or something and then sell it off again.

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... 34984&rd=1

Vincent Valentine
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Post by Vincent Valentine » Sun Jan 09, 2005 6:22 am

That's Karl's.. from this very board.

I'm confident that it won't go for sale under USD 160.

IMO, that's a lost cause.

I owe him money as it is. Thanks for the suggestion though, nonetheless...

jlyc

Post by jlyc » Sun Jan 09, 2005 6:59 am

no problem. goodluck!!

John F. Moscato
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Post by John F. Moscato » Sun Jan 09, 2005 7:40 am

Hi Winston.

Sorry to hear about your little mishap. Silly question... Might it not be possible to somehow salvage/repair the legs you modified by reproducing the lost detail?

If you had some pics, maybe I could offer some help.
John F. Moscato

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happy hopping
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Post by happy hopping » Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:05 am

Vincent Valentine wrote:That's Karl's.. from this very board.

I'm confident that it won't go for sale under USD 160.

IMO, that's a lost cause.

I owe him money as it is. Thanks for the suggestion though, nonetheless...
Karl is on this board? I like Karl, what's his handle?
If you buy a pet from pet stores , you are encouraging those breeders to breed more. This is the condition that they lives in:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu_JqNdp2As

when you buy a pet:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=WCNr-VrkXl8

Adopt a pet

Vincent Valentine
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Post by Vincent Valentine » Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:44 pm

Hey John,

Thee short answer is : no, I really wouldn't want to undertake such a heavy modification process (again) just to correct the Empress.. seeing as how I've resolved to take the extenshion and place it lower in the default leg.

Long answer: It was a well executed modification on my part, too well executed it seems. The Empress (PS) shows that there is a very large space between the knee and lower leg.

In essence, if I were to take this shape, )( and cut the middle, and extend it most extremely in fashion, that is what I would end up with.

I drilled through using metal guide pins and extended the legs using them as a base. So if I were to go back and correct my mistake, I would have to saw apart the leg, cut a 6 cm chunk out of the middle (which involves cutting through metal rods - joy..) and re-join them as they were. I would also have to re-shape the entire leg because of the extensive sanding and carving that I had done, as well as re-attach most of the sawed off detail, and sculpt in what's left. The worst part is that the legs are asymmetrical, meaning that I'd have to do this perfectly x 2.

And because WSC uses the funky free pose system, this may be permenantly thrown out of whack if I were to do this.

Since I'm pressed for time, having too many in-progress kits as it already is, I don't want to create more hemorrhoids for myself than necessary. Either I somehow get artwork of Nagano's earliest Empress's back legs .. or somehow artistically figure this out, or I get myself new lower legs.

Should my digital camera charger arrive, I'll take some snapped pictures for you all.. perhaps someone can come up with a solution then.

John F. Moscato
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Post by John F. Moscato » Sun Jan 09, 2005 6:01 pm

Actually, when I said "correct the mistake" I meant actually just keeping your newer, long legs, but fixing the errant details :wink:

I know that might seem a tad daunting, but it can most certainly be done. One thing though... From my perspective, it might be better to work on a full new resin casting of your extended leg, as it can be very problematic to scribe/carve a surface made from different compounds: putty/CA/resin all have different densities, and can separate/chip/break if you try to work them the wrong way. Plus, a cast leg will all be the same material, and will be stronger for the final build.

I had a very quick look at a pic of a built-up empress (rear view) and though it wasn't the most hi-res of pics, I didn't see anything really too hard to correct. But as always, I can diagnose better with proper pics.
John F. Moscato

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Post by John F. Moscato » Sun Jan 09, 2005 6:03 pm

Oh, PS... For future reference, when there's a part in a model that you want to modify heavily, and you're unsure if you can pull it off without a hitch, it's best to make a mold & cast of the part. That way, if you mess-up, you still have your originals.
John F. Moscato

Vincent Valentine
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Post by Vincent Valentine » Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:13 am

No kidding John. But when I first started.. I didn't have any RTV.

Yes, I suck.

Here they are:


http://groups.msn.com/AnMsStuff/shoebox.msnw?Page=Last

They're good looking.. just that I'm at a total loss as to how to detail the backside, and even.. the five recesses that run up her leg. The area is simply too long now.

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Post by John F. Moscato » Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:30 pm

Hi Winston.

Your leg mods don't actually look all that bad. I'd say you were 70% there already. Provided that the allignment is perfectly straight, the only real concern is the detailing.

The recesses you speak of actually look rather simple to fix: you can reproduce these with a very sharp chisel... Believe it or not, I actually make my own by grinding old flathead screwdrivers.

If you have any gaps/slots you want to fill and start anew, I'd say pick up some Tamiya Polyester putty to cover the gaps in the kit. It's very fine, sands beautifully, and with a little care, you can chisel into it no problem, or, if you just want to make a "sixth" recess to continue the detail along your extension, you can just leave the existing detailed recesses and chisel out one more.

Between carving with a chisel, and refining your detail with a sharp X-Acto and a very fine file, you should be able to restore it beautifully. You could always employ a dremel too for carving CERTAIN sections, but I wouldn't recommend it for something this small/delicate: hand tools will give you better control. I know you're thinking this is easier said than done, but it's all a matter of practice and good ol' elbow grease.
John F. Moscato

Vincent Valentine
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Post by Vincent Valentine » Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:36 am

Dear John, (remember that TV show?)

I very much appreciate your helping hand here. Right now, it's not the technical aspect of the leg that bothers me, but rather the execution of the detailing.

Let me explain:

All Empress kits use the 'manga' appearance of the MH to base their details off of. As such, the flare in the knee is not nearly as elongated as my own.

There are five indents that run vertical, and I have absolutely no idea on how to execute this on this model. The indents are supposed to be shortly spaced, and small (very short in themselves) too. But because the back of the flare is now so long, to get the same effect by keeping the indentations of the same proportional size (in compare with the art, or even other kits) I would have to put say, 8 indents. And this throws it all off, IMO.

The indents seem to begin (bottom up) from the bulge in the calf (all kits seem to share this in common). It so happens that on this modified leg, the bulge is very much towards the bottom .. which just makes the problem, in my opinion, much worse.

It would be easy enough to pretend and just fabricate my own detailing to just fill this problem out, but I'm an accuracy whore, and I can't bring myself to do that. Also, I now find that the PS look to be much less elegant than what I would have wanted.

If you can, any of you, give me a sketch on how the back of my leg can look (while keeping my proportions) I would absolutely adore to see them. I don't have a grain of art in me, and so I can't climb myself out of this box.

At this stage, it is not the execution of the sculpting, the chiselling or even the fabrication of detail that has me stumped.. rather.. a final goal is what I lack.


But John, perhaps you can help me here.

I'm thinking of ordering clear resin for hobby use. Now, I know that the bubbling is unavoidable without a pressure pot for paint, and I hear that they aren't overly expensive, being about CAD 100 or so. But right now, I rather not fork that out, in light of seeing if I can support Jinnai on his little Red Phantom venture (other reasons as well.)

The primary use would be to cast MH in clear resin (just their heads, mainly) in order to obtain a clear part that can be lit up with a LED. I will probably set up to cast only the fatima compartment clear cover, as this will be an efficiant means to do so.

For a large part, I can see that bubbling will be a problem. But if I were to make such an endeavour as to cast say, the entire Junchoon SR3 head in clear resin, only to want to keep the Fatima compartment and maybe the eyes clear for LED installation.. would this be a good route? Do you have futher suggestions, perhaps?

John F. Moscato
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Post by John F. Moscato » Sat Jan 15, 2005 5:13 pm

Hi Winston.

I'll be perfectly honest with you: I find the concept of "accuracy", with regards to hand-drawn comics/manga/anime to be a laughable one. Think about it: who's to say that the 5 slits you see in the calf in one segment of the manga won't actually be 4 or 7 in a future drawing? Especially the fact that Nagano's renderings of his OWN designs fluctuate virtually from panel to panel, I'm not losing any sleep over accuracy issues---and nore should you: you'll live longer & happier :wink:

That having bveen said, and having seen the manga vol 9JP, there's another solution: dremel-away the entire calf "component, and somply sculpt a new one ( 2 actually) and simply re-do the indentations a wee bit longer, and make 5 of them evenly spaced-out. Problem solved.

At the very worst, if that seems a tad difficult, you can always, as a very last resort, get a couple of recast legs from someone else, and just restore your empress to its original condition and just keep your modified legs to experiment on.

Re: clear casting. You can ANY part of your kit ( or the whole thing ) in clear resin if you so desire, but you're never, NEVER going to get flawless castings unless you vaccuum your mold material and then also pressure-cast your resin. Clear urethanes (and EVERY other urethane resin with a pot life of more than 180 seconds) is VERY sensitive to moisture. Just the fact of mixing your two catalytic components will stir-in very tiny bubbles of air, which in turn, contain minute amounts of moisture. This moisture reacts with the resin and produces a gas that expands. The surface bubbles will simply break and release their gas, but the ones within the mixture will remain trapped and as the resin solidifies, the mixture will create exotherm (heat) which will further cause the gas bubbles to expand.

In a nutshell, whether you cast a tiny hatch, or a whole kit, your results will be the same without pressurizing equipment: a bubbly, hazy, gooey mess! TRUST me on this, I know what I'm talking about.

In a worst case, if you could maybe drum-up a few different people who would also be interested in these clear castings, I can always do them for you for a modest fee, since I'm set-up for just this sort of thing. And unlike the hacks at Volks, I use clear urethanes that are UV resistant, and won't yellow! :wink:
John F. Moscato

Vincent Valentine
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Post by Vincent Valentine » Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:33 pm

Hello John,

Thanks for the helpful response.

To be honest, judging from the marketability of FSS kits, and that I'm the only person in the world who'd want clear parts for MH, I think that it's a safe venture to say that the demand simply isn't there to ask you to cast a selected kit in clear resin for us.

I have heard that pressurizing your mould material is more effective than vaccuuming the RTV.

There seams to be no affordable way out though, and to my displeasure, I'll have to come up with some kind of pressure-rig in order to clear cast larger parts. But I think that I will give clear resin sans pressurizing a try, I don't need absolutely flawless casts, so long as the part is semi-clear.

About the matter at hand:

I know.. if I did anime subject matter casually, I wouldn't cause myself the headache and be so anal about things. But I am.

So I have a request. Would you be able to scan this volume 9 for me? I seek only side and rear shots of the legs, after all.. I find that the front is satisfactory.

As for getting a recast of the lower legs. Well, as you can see by the response in this forum, I'm sh** outta luck.

junchoon
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Post by junchoon » Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:12 am

i still have an original half-finished wsc empress lying somewhere... let me check the legs are at what stage... pls note that i am in Malaysia. postages will not be cheap :)

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