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I'm very proud of this resin set. Mainly because it was on and off the workbench for a long time and I finally got it done for you all (and myself). And I learned a lot as a result of crafting this set. There were confident, straight-forward moments and a few challenges with a particular part that set me back a week! The majority of this set was done 2 weeks ago! The challenge and delay came form the darn little GPS dome receiver (Part #5 in the photo below) that gave me a major headache! You may recall my previous post where I showed you all how I began creating it.
Tiny part..BIG challenge!
Well, It was going very well, then I realized that it was over scale by the tiniest amount...do over! Then I realized that its profile was a hair too short/ flat, darn! Do over again! After a third "do over", I began adding rivet detail with a little too much force and...the sculpting epoxy cracked along the rivet lines and ruined it! Arrgghh! After some choice words muttered under my breath, I started over again, but completed this version. I then made a small master mold as I usually do in order to test and check casting performance. I removed the casting and discovered that the part was not staying attached to it's mount on the casting block! DANG NABBIT! Keep in mind guys, I don't use the expensive RPM machines or 3D printers, just good old scratch-building skills and boat-load of styrene and tools that would make a dentist blush. This little buggar of a part is in 1/72nd scale of course, with half the diameter of a dime! So, with my tried and true casting method not working for this GPS dome, due to it's unique shape and dimensions, I had to figure out a way to:
1. Cast the part to minimize or eliminate undercuts, air-pockets, etc. as usual.
2. I had to mount it in such a way to make removal from the casting block with minimal part clean-up and that will preserve all detail on the top surface.
3. Finally I had to somehow make sure this tiny part stays on the casting mount when I pull the mold...ohh boy ;-(
New casting technique developed! (Scotch Tape®, white glue, and strip styrene)
So, while taking a break from the shop catching up on a few videos from the Stan Winston School of Creature Effects for inspiration (this is a great resource for modellers & artists of all types by the way). Suddenly, it hit me! "Ah ha!" I immediately returned to my shop, grabbed a few things: good ol' Scotch Tape, white glue, a two tiny bits of stripe styrene. The scotch tape was applied to the flat most half of the bottom of the tiny GPS part. It was thin enough to act as a filler to take care of the undercuts in the casting, diluted white glue took care of the tiny gaps and helped to build-up a thin fillet for support (a tip I learned from fellow resin caster & master modeller: Jef Verswyvel from Black Box/ Avionix). Finally, the tiny bits of strip styrene acts as supports applied to the bottom side of the GPS flaps, anchoring the part to ensure removal from the mold and eliminating excess clean up for the modeller. So the moment of truth; a test cast to see it my new technique works. I made the mold, poured the resin and pulled the casting, and...Success!
In the MH shop...
Many modellers aren't aware of what goes in to and what goes on behind the scenes when creating sometimes the simplest of parts. Well, after-all, its scale modelling right?..exactly. But it's getting these seemingly simply little parts cast successfully is the challenge at times. More importantly...doing it all in such a way that makes it user-friendly for the modeller from removing the parts from their casting blocks to getting it on your models with the best possible results! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this resin set and appreciate my little dilemma and huge learn, which has already opened a pandoras box of resin casting possibilities. Excitingly, this benefits all you guys! I love this hobby! Hmm, whats next...got a growing list of To Do's so I'll keep you all updated here. Whats that you say, ASRAMS, SDB's, more cockpit sets? Keep the radar on!