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Unread 03-20-2013, 04:00 PM   #16
msleeper
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I did make my deadline, mostly. There are a few things that need to be finished - the left side vent needs to be fabricated, the gauge on the left "drum", and the left handle needs a real grip on it instead of the 4" long 3/8" diameter bolt. I also probably am going to entirely re-do the lighting using RGB programmable LED strips, since the blue I have is a little too blue and not white/aqua enough for the "electric blue" look. But that's going to be a long battle saved for another day.

One of my top most surreal con experiences is walking around by myself and randomly having Volpin rush up to me and say "omg you finished it!", and then chatting for like 30 minutes about the build.

I really kind of can't stand the saturation of steampunk. 8 out of 10 people who commented on the prop said something to the effect of, "Is that a steampunk Portalgun?" and it made me want to die. And then the people who recognized it, I got like a 50/50 between being impressed and asking me if it was a NECA one (despite it not being out yet). So all in all, kind of an interesting experience.

In the last hours of the build, the weight went from ~4 pounds to ~7 pounds. That doesn't sound like much, but when you consider the way in which you are supposed to hold the gun and how much of the weight is in the front, it's super annoying. My right arm was dead after the con.

I am still waiting for the official photos from Momocon to show up, I know I was in at least a couple of them. Until then, here's a terrible cellphone shot of the lights and another shot that I am calling "the Gravity Gun in unfitting locations" sitting on the counter of the Hyatt lobby ladies' room.





That's effectively it for the project. I will post back with real photos once I find any, and if I can hook up with a friend of mine who owns a bad ass camera, I'll hopefully get some of my own. Hope you all enjoyed!
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Unread 03-21-2013, 04:55 PM   #17
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Sorry you had to deal with people thinking it was steampunk. I LIKE steampunk, but its popularity can be pretty overwhelming, haha

Hopefully you can fix what's bothering you, but until then it looks SUPER rad!
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Unread 03-21-2013, 10:20 PM   #18
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Thank you so much for the followups, it came out really impressive!

That's a good point about the gun's weight. The concept artists did not take balance into consideration when coming up with this thing. If you get the chance, you can drill out the butt/grip of the gun, and fill the thing with lead. Depending on what it's made of, you can either melt down lead fishing weights and pour it in molten, or you can mix up fine lead shot with just a touch of your resin of choice and pack it in. Ideally, you want it to balance at a point just about a finger width in front of the position of your index finger when holding the gun. You probably don't have enough room to add the amount of lead needed to fix the balance here. But something is better than nothing. Also any modifications you can possibly make to shift heavy stuff from the front of the gun to further towards then center will help.

Even though you are adding weight, fixing the balance actually makes it less strenuous to carry around. I take the time to balance nearly all of my sword and gun props, and I find the difference quite noticeable.
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Unread 03-25-2013, 05:53 PM   #19
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I considered doing something like that to add weight to the rear, but what I would rather do is remove the weight from the front. The 6 crystal bars are all solid cast resin. So I could possibly try to rotocast them to make them hollow, or ideally, see about getting them vacuumformed in some clear sheet plastic which I can then frost and tint. That would reduce the weight dramatically and still give me the effect I want.

Finally found a couple from the con. Not the greatest, but better than my self shots!



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Unread 03-27-2013, 08:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verdatum View Post
Grinding up cured silicone to use a filler does in fact work, but as you discovered, it needs to be similar cure-type. Additionally, you want the silicone to be as clean as possible.

Vacuum degassing after mixing everything up is also a really good thing to do if you have the resources. Small air-bubbles like to cling to the chunks, weakening the mold.

I have a 5-gallon bucket full of dead molds and flashing scrap. One of these days, I'm gonna buy an old-timey meat grinder and use it only for grinding up junk silicone.
Crap, I'm late to the party!

Let me know how that meat grinder works for you, I tried it about 5 years ago (did you ever get those Death Note sculpts finished?), with pretty mediocre results. One of the problems was that I was using pmc 121/30 and it was almost too thick for the meat grinder, even when I cut it into cubes. The ground up mold bits got covered in metal grindings from the parts of the meat grinder rubbing on each other which eventually wore out the meat grinder. I ended up with a bag of dirty rubber bits, and they were okay for filler, but you'd get a lumpy surface on your mold, and air bubbles where air was trapped under rubber shreddings against the piece you were trying to make a mold of. Ultimately, it wasn't worth the trouble. I don't know how it would be with Omoo or Smooth Sil, but I'd imagine it would be similar if the shore hardness is similar to urethane rubbers.

Also, if you peoples are using Smooth Cast 325, buy some white pigment tint! It's amazing for adding varying levels of opacity.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 04:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Katachi View Post
Also, if you peoples are using Smooth Cast 325, buy some white pigment tint! It's amazing for adding varying levels of opacity.
Unless I find some substantially brighter LEDs, I am not sure I would want it more opaque. The lighting looks okay indoor and in low light conditions, but it is completely drowned out by daylight or under photography lamps. The blue seems kind of blue, but the orange/amber is totally washed out.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 07:58 PM   #22
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Crap, I'm late to the party!

Let me know how that meat grinder works for you, I tried it about 5 years ago (did you ever get those Death Note sculpts finished?)
I got the sculpt and mold finished. I did a couple pours, however, neither worked out quite right. The first pour had a problem with the vent holes causing huge gaping cavities. The second pour I either got my math wrong, or there was a contaminant that inhibited the cure, because it was waaaay too deadened, giving me a total goo-head. After that life got in the way. I hope to pick the project up again this Summer.

Were you using one of those burly cast-iron meat grinders or a modern plastic one? I wouldn't have thought anything would be too tough for one of those. I'm working almost exclusively with Platsil gel-10, which is nearly as soft as you can get.

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Unless I find some substantially brighter LEDs, I am not sure I would want it more opaque. The lighting looks okay indoor and in low light conditions, but it is completely drowned out by daylight or under photography lamps. The blue seems kind of blue, but the orange/amber is totally washed out.
The Luxeon Rebel LEDs are fantastic and come in a wide range of colors. If you rig it up with a driver that has a dimmer capability, you can adjust it to look best whatever lighting you're in. Heat management becomes a problem though. I haven't seen any pics detailing how you've got the LEDs rigged, but, I should think you could sneak heat sinks in there. If you wanted to get crazy, you can go with heat-pipes that can transfer the heat to a sink located elsewhere on the gun. Probably overkill though.
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Unread 04-04-2013, 09:27 AM   #23
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Were you using one of those burly cast-iron meat grinders or a modern plastic one? I wouldn't have thought anything would be too tough for one of those. I'm working almost exclusively with Platsil gel-10, which is nearly as soft as you can get.
Cast iron, and it left a fine metal powder on all the mold rubber that was ground up because it was rubbing metal on metal. I do a lot of molds that have undercuts and super fine details, and I need a mold rubber with a high tear strength, so I pretty much stick to PMC 121/30.
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