Monday, April 30, 2012

Flashy: Phase Three-Flash and Function

A little more work tonight, a little bit further.

First thing I worked on today was filling in the gaps in the recessed section of the trapezoid and in the indents along the barrel.  I used cut-outs from a very thin sintra sign, trimmed and fir them to place, and hot-glued them where they needed to be.

Next part is placing the end cap on Flashy.  Eventually I'll be layering on some bondo and smoothing out a sloping cone from the barrel to the width of the endcap, but first I need to make the end cap.  I cut little lengths of sintra and glued them around the inside of the pipe.  I glued on this black end-cap pipe that came with a set of shelves I had, and it made a perfect seat for the end cap, the cap to an old pill bottle.  The pill bottle cap actually works out well, because Flashy has all these indents at almost the exact spacing and shape as the pill bottle cap.

 I also cut some details into the trapezoid, the little "keyhole" marks.

Finally, I made the "clip" out of another piece of thicker sintra.  Trimmed it down to the right shape, glued it into place at the butt end of the grip, and it's good to go.

This thing is really starting to come together.

Time to make the trigger.  After dremmeling out a recess in the frame for the trigger, I cut the basic shape of the trigger out of sintra.

The trigger fits well, and looks pretty good.  I may afix the trigger into place, or I may mold it as a separate piece. I'm not sure at this point.

Things are definitely starting to come together for Flashy.  I really like the look and the feel of the pistol.

The next task will be the tricky one; I'll be taking a stab at Bondo.  I need to create the bevel from the barrel width to the end-cap width, and fill in the trapezoid a bit.  After that it's all about finding a few detail pieces, and hopefully getting it ready to resin cast.

Malgus Notes

For those of you playing the home game; no, I have not discarded my desire to do Darth Malgus.  In fact with a few recent aquisitions and some notes online, I'm re-doubling my efforts to progress towards obtaining my "Sith Lord" designation in the 501st.

Just putting a few links down here for future reference for this project...

Pepakura Notes and Tutorials

Fierfek's Pepakura Files - Has Some Malgus Stuff

EVA Foam -> Rotocast Finish

This could be...interesting.

Flashy: Phase Two-Barrels of Fun and the Sin of Tra

I made a little more progress on Flashy over the weekend.  I'm really enjoying how the pistol is coming along.  If there's one complaint that I have, it's that I think I'm shooting myself in the foot for being able to wire up some electronics in this thing.  Ideally, I'd like to have an LED light be inside the trapezoidial housing under the front of the barrel.  My problem is I don't think I'm making the gun quite right to do that.

Not much can be done about it at this step.  I guess I'll just press on and see where things go.  This is my first run at the subject, and my first prop ever of this type.  I need to remember that it doesn't have to have all the bells and whistles on the first try.  I need to get some experience with this stuff, and then I can move on to more advanced concepts like "electronics".

Anyway, on with the progress report...

Next up, the barrel!  I'm using a 1.25" pvc pipe for the barrel, cut to about 11" long.  I need it to have a slot in the bottom, running about 9" long, to slide over Flashy's basic frame.  This was done with a dremmel and a quik-lock plastic-cutting wheel.

This led to the next step, modifying the frame to be able to accept the barrel where I want it to rest.  As you can see, the barrel is way out too far.

As I mentioned in my last post, I probably jumped the gun a bit by glueing one of the halves of the pistol grips in place.  I needed to cut out a large amount of the frame to fit the barrel. 

Fortunately I was still able to do so, with one side of the frame still flush witht he base of the Scrollsaw.  Three quick line-cuts, and the frame can accept Flashy's barrel.

Decent hand-size, if I do say so myself.

The barrel needed a few modifications' there are indents on the left and right of the barrel that needed to get marked off and cut out.

Looking better...looking better...

Now we move on to "the Trapezoid".  The trapezoid starts out narrow at the bottom, and goes up the gun at a slope to be as wide as the barrel.  I marked off and cut the two sides out of Sintra sheets.

I then marked off and cut out the indentations on the sides of the trapezoid.

Looking decent!  But...I discovered another problem.  The trapesoids have indentations that are flush with the frame.  The barrel will need to have more voids cut out of them to allow for the indentations.

Next step is the top of the barrel.  There are 5 flat polygons that make up the encosure around the barrel, other than the sides of the trapezoid.  I measured them off and cut them out.

One quick application of hot glue and they're in their basic position.

A little more glue, and the trapezoid is in place.

I really like how this thing is coming along.  It's not going to be perfect when it's done, but I think it is going to be pretty.

Next think is to finish the sides of the trapezoid and get the end-cap in place.

Then it's on to unraveling the mysteries of "Bondo"...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Flashy: Phase One-Basic Shapes and Pistol Grips

So today I had the desire to get working on Flashy.

I copied the concept drawing I did and laid it out on 1/2" MDF board.  Taping it down and tracing over it with pencil, I got the basic body of the gun laid out.

Next step was to fire up the scrollsaw and cut out the basic body of the gun.

That leaves us with the basic shape.  From here, the gun will start to take form.

 Next part I wanted to work on was the pistol grips.  Taking a page from Volpin's ME3 Rifle build, I cut the grips out of 1/4" MDF, stacked them on top of each other, and taped them together.  Cutting them out together gave me two identical grips, one for each side.

I sanded them down, rounding out the edges, and glued one of the grips into place.

I may have jumped the gun on that one, as I may need to trim the body some more when I get to making the barrel, so I won't glue on the second grip until later.

One night of work.  Progress.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Flashy Build: Conceptual Artwork

In my opinion, a great final product starts with a plan.

The gun has a few angles, but I don't think they're too drastic that they can't be worked with.

I didn't draw the scope on the side view, it's something I'll probably do on it's own.

Now I just need to dissect the shapes and figure out how to make the component parts. I'm thinking of 1/2" MDF for the basic shape of the gun.  The center barrel will be a 1.5" PVC pipe, with a 2" end cap piece.  I'll need to find a good funnel to cut up and make the bridge between the two diameters of pipe.

I could leave the Trapezoid-box hollow, and run electronics through it.  There are LED lights on the side and the front, including the smaller "barrel", that are all the same color of the crystal loaded in the gun.

Plot and plan.  Plot and Plan.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Flashy Things are the Best

So I think it's time I start to figure out this whole "prop making" thing.  Lord knows I'm surrounded by enough of a creative community.

I think it's best if I start small-ish.  The last time I had the idea to do this, it was to make a Clone Trooper long rifle (DC-15A for those in the know) for use on a vaccuform table.  That's a 54" long weapon, to be molded in 3 segments, 2 halves each.  I don't know what I was thinking that day.

The next was to try to make the Laser Pistol from Fallout 3, and that was just overly complex.

I want to try to make a gun, one that can be resin cast and duplicated.  Possibly with space in it for having LEDs and maybe sounds.

I keep seeing one certain blaster in Star Wars The Old Republic.  Known by many names, the one it may be best known as is "Flashy".  It's a pistol given to the Smuggler by Corso Riggs at the end of the Ord Mantel story arc.

I like the look of it, it's simple yet interesting, and it actually can be further modded out.  I've seen models with longer barrels on it, although I can't find an image of it online.

So here's what I'm going to try.  the plan is to make a master out of wood and then pour a resin mold around it.

Just getting some images here to act as a reference for wherever I start to work on it.

Probably going to have to mold the scope separately.

So yeah, something to work on in my copious amounts of free time. 

Right along side my Rifts Conversion, my Podcasts, my campaigns, finishing my Jedi Shadow, trying not to start my Jedi Knight, and packing my damn house up for a summertime move.

I'm such a smart kid.

"The Time Has Come..."

Back in September of 2010, I managed to find a group of people in the local 501st Garrison who were interested in playing Star Wars Saga Edition, and who I was interested in running a game for.  I've been in the Legion since 2006, and it ws always a delicate dance of bringing up Star Wars Gaming; you never know what you're going to find when you broach the subject. In spite of the fact we all dress up like bad guys from Star Wars, the Legion draws folks from all walks and backgrounds, and not everyone is as "supportive" of gamer nerds.

With this new found (or forged) group of gamers, we set off on a grand adventure in the Clone Wars era.  Three clone troopers, one verpine Jedi, and one overly large togorian teenager who aspired to be a pirate.  Many adventures were had in the backdrop of the Clone Wars.  Called the "Brothers in Arms" campaign, the group grew, and faced new challenges.  One of the clone troopers turned out to be a clone of Sifo Dias, the Jedi who initially ordered the clone army in the first place.  That discovery changed the tone, and some of the party dynamics.

During a break in the game, one of the other clone troopers decided to switch over to a Bith Jedi.  Another change, another adjustment.  The game shifted slightly too, with characters starting to see the world in more shades of grey, and that the Republic, while worth fighting for, was also not without it's corruption.

Finally, last night, while finishing off the last of the other Syfo Dias clones in a secrect cloning facility on Kamino, the clone troopers in the party received a call that has been anticipated since day one of the campaign. 

"Execute Order 66"

Instantly, the other clone troopers (NPCs) accompanying them turned on the Jedi and opened fire.  Two clone troopers NPCs who the heroes had known since day one of the game and grew to like in a "Rosencrants and Guildenstern" sort of manner turned on each other.  One followed orders, and the other resisted his training and followed his heart, killing his counterpart for the PCs.  The PCs got to take down an overly harsh clone commander who has also been in their hair since the beginning.  His death was much less tragic, and much more celebrated.

The clone troopers themselves sided with their fellow PCs, not really understanding why the order was given, or what went wrong.  All they know now is that they are on Kamino, with several hundred thousand clone troopers between them and their ship, and in the company of two fugitives with "kill on sight" orders hanging over their heads.

The game has changed, and it was a welcome and highly anticipated change.

The only downside was that my text message in the middle of combat to the two clone trooper PCs that read "Execute Order 66" only got to one of them.  It slightly derailed the drama, but only slightly.  A tip to enjoy tech when it works, but don't rely on it without a back up.

And Nick?  Time to get a new phone, buddy.  The one you have is unreliable...