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Centurion Mecha

Discussion of sculpting and scratchbuilding

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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby mangozac » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:30 am

Detailing of the cannon continues. I've actually been finding it a difficult process as the cannon body is quite large and has a lot of plain, flat surfaces which are just creaming to have some interest added. Of course, vents are always a staple detailing fallback (especially on something that would generate lots of heat like a plasma cannon), but there's only so many of them you can add before it's a bit overboard. I will of course add some lifting/tie down points and I have some more ideas for what to do with the outboard side.

The stumpy arm that connects the cannon to the shoulder has turned out really nicely. It looks quite solid and also passes a few power cables and the like. The entire cannon design is symmetrical and many parts, including the arm, are designed to be able to attach from both sides. While this may limit design choices slightly (everything has to be mirror-able), it's a lot less work than having to build two of these things (even with the CNC cut parts).

I'm still deciding exactly how I'm going to split it up for casting, but I have a feeling it will be four parts: arm, cannon body, barrel assembly and front armour plate. I could mould it with the armour plate already connected to the barrels, but the mould lines would run through the centre of the plate, making them a pain to clean up...

Image

Oh, one other thing I wanted to talk about was the piping. I needed something about 3mm in diameter to use as pipes between the shoulder and cannon body and as details on the top of the cannon body. While I could use styrene tube wrapped in 0.7mm diameter solder for straight sections of ribbed tube, this looked really poor if tight curves are introduced.

I'm a massive fan of the Dragon Forge Pewter Power Cables, as they are so easy to work with and will facilitate bends as sharp as 90 degrees while retaining that nice, ribbed profile. Unfortunately, the largest size he does is 2.15mm diameter - a little bit too small for what I needed.

I tried heat bending some styrene rod but could not get a consistent, clean bend without any warping. Similarly using tube reinforced with some solder wire inside.

The solution is very similar to the pewter power cables. Metal rod facilitates sharp bends while retaining the circular profile so I decided that some thicker diameter solder wire would be the way to go. 3mm is 1/8" and that sounded like it would be a common size. I knew I didn't have any but I checked with another engineer friend of mine and he was kind enough to donate a 150mm length to me. It saved me having to buy an entire reel!

The solder behaves absolutely perfectly for this kind of application. To bend it I drilled a 3mm hole in a block of timer, inserted the wire and then just bent it over with my thumb. Because the solder is so soft it can be cut fairly easily using just a sharp hobby knife! It is easy to accidentally mark the solder though, so you have to be careful handling it. I inadvertently made a couple of marks with my fingernail, but not deep enough for me to worry about too much ;)
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby Malika » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:41 am

Zinge Industries have posable wrapped wire with a diameter of 2.4mm, LINK. Perhaps fill the gaps with some greenstuff?

And there's this by Zinge Industries, 2.75mm diameter: http://zinge.co.uk/index.php?route=prod ... uct_id=101
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby mangozac » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:10 am

Oh yeah I'd forgotten about the Zinge stuff (am I the only one who relates the name zinge for a certain slang word for ladies' privates?). Probably would have been a good idea, although I wouldn't have wanted to wait a couple of weeks to get the parts sent internationally ;)

I should pick some up now just to add to the supplies drawer!
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby Islacrusez » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:13 pm

mangozac wrote:(am I the only one who relates the name zinge for a certain slang word for ladies' privates?).


I believe there's an M in that one!
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby mangozac » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:31 pm

Progress continues and I'm really excited with how the cannon is looking! You can see the detailing is coming along nicely (yes, those are more lifting points on top of the body). I machined up the muzzle today but I'm not 100% sold on it. I machined in three equally spaced muzzle brake slots, but in retrospect a muzzle brake on an energy/plasma weapon probably isn't the brightest idea :P

Image

This shot also débuts my new scale reference: a great little figure from my mate Steve at Mad Robot Miniatures. I'm sure he was quite chuffed with assembling this combination of parts for an Aussie like myself ;)
The figure is standard 28mm heroic scale, so should give you an idea of just how much of a "big freaking gun" this is!
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby Fleafa » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:02 am

Looking great Zac!
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby Arkangel » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:43 pm

Well looks like GW finally got round to doing there own version....

Can't wait to get my hands on 3 of these instead :mrgreen:

Pull your finger out Zac!!

Looking good buddy
Hey do me a favour, point that thing somewhere else!

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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby Fleafa » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:57 pm

Arkangel wrote:Well looks like GW finally got round to doing there own version....

Without wanting to derail the thread, I am really pleased to see GW bringing out models from their back catalogue like the knight, wraithknight and lord of battle. I sure ain't buying them, but I like that they are doing it!
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby FearGFX » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:46 pm

So when he is done will you recast the parts and maybe sell them in your store?
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby mangozac » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:07 am

Arkangel wrote:Well looks like GW finally got round to doing there own version....

Can't wait to get my hands on 3 of these instead :mrgreen:

Thanks mate. Yeah their timing couldn't have been worse beating me to the punch like that. That said, having official rules that people will be able to use this model for won't hurt ;)
Finishing this off is my top priority so hang in there! I've spent the last couple of evenings screwing around with the muzzle design. I'm on to my third iteration and I think this one's a winner!

Fleafa wrote:I am really pleased to see GW bringing out models from their back catalogue like the knight, wraithknight and lord of battle. I sure ain't buying them, but I like that they are doing it!

If you're not interested in buying them why does it make you so happy?

FearGFX wrote:So when he is done will you recast the parts and maybe sell them in your store?

Yep that's the plan. I'm in discussions with a quality hobby supplier that I'm a fan of to have them cast and distribute from the US/worldwide. I'll do a bunch of my own casts for mates. I'm hoping it might even be cheaper than the GW plastic knight kit (especially here in Oz where the RRP is rumoured to be $170)!
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby Fleafa » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:36 am

mangozac wrote:
Fleafa wrote:I am really pleased to see GW bringing out models from their back catalogue like the knight, wraithknight and lord of battle. I sure ain't buying them, but I like that they are doing it!

If you're not interested in buying them why does it make you so happy?


Because I love the old stuff!
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby mangozac » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:19 am

Haha good enough reason then :P
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby mangozac » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:56 am

Ermagherd! It's alive!


Image

The rest of the torso parts got moulded up this week and I finally got some copies done in resin. This has finally allowed be to fully assemble the entire model. Properly. With glue rather than blue-tack. To say it's exciting is an understatement. As is often the case I apologise for the poor photos - I just snapped them quickly before I headed to work this morning.

You can also see the cannon design - in particular the muzzle. This is the third iteration of muzzle design and I'm really happy with it. The cannon is pretty much finished now, although seeing it all assembled I can't help but feel that the barrel is a little too long. I might shorten it a bit.

The armour plates are still the master parts so they'll be going into silicone next. I have some sculpted surface detail planned for the chest armour - I just need to find a moment where I'm feeling particularly sculpting-able. Which will probably be never so I should just bite the bullet and do it.

Image

I've also been doing some work on a resin head copy. I decided that this ranged weapon variant of the Centurion would require more targeting systems and that would be a perfect solution to add some head details. I'm still not sold on the choice of sensor elements - I may swap out the trio of tiny antenna parts for another disc shape.

Image

The last thing I need to do is finalise the pilot's arms and where they attach to the control "sticks". Again for when I'm in a sculpting mood ;)
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby Islacrusez » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:48 am

As long as the barrel doesn't touch the floor when pointed straight down, it should be fine.
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Re: Centurion Mecha

Postby mangozac » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:09 am

It doesn't, but I just feel that a stubbier look would suit better with the proportions of the mech.
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