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I make toys for kids who don't want to grow up. I'm on the lookout for new projects. If you're interested in commissioning me to build something ridiculous, shoot me an email.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Genestealer Build Update 15: Skulls, Thighs, and Big Ole Tootsies

 Alright.  It's been a while.

When last I posted I mentioned we were molding the creature's skull so we'd have something to hold up the face.  Here's the first skull out of the molds:

First Skull Front

It came out pretty smooth and nice and lightweight.  The black sharpie marks are where we trim it on its way to being a finished thing:
First Skull Cast

Here it is with a 3D printed jaw in place:
Stealer Gramps' Skull

The teeth and gums will be hand sculpted in oil-based clay on their way to being molded and cast in dental acrylic.  The nose and eyebrows were removed so that we can actuate them with servos later.  That's going to be a good time.

The other thing I mentioned in my last post was the completion of the forming bucks for the thighs.  We formed the first pair of thighs and did a quick rough trimming on them, but they're not quite ready to glue together and try on yet:
Formed Thigh Shell

The big cliffhanger ending in the last post was this sketch of the foot mechanism:
Foots Ball Joint Sketch

Since the creature has digitigrade feet (like the hind legs of a dog or cat) we had to come up with a pair of stilts to walk around on.

In order to give them more footprint than the tip of the steel tube they were made of, Jeff modeled up this block that we'll mount to a ball on the bottom of the steel tube before covering it with a big molded rubber sock that will hide everything and look like a Genestealer foot:
Foot Mechanism

I printed the block as he originally designed it, then decided to fair in the hard corners where the toe hinges connect to the foot block:
20240609_201356

Since we're going to mold these blocks and cast them in rubber, I figured we should shave away some of the excess material:
Foot Grinding Honeycomb

After grinding through most of the printed pieces, I remade the new shape with Bondo and started feeling pretty okay about the foot blocks.  Here they are next to one of the foot forms:
Feet Parts Printed and Bondoed

Your eyes do not deceive you, this guy's foots are huge:
Foot Fairing

HUGE:
Big Ole Foot

Still, they're getting faired out and filled in all the same:
Fairing Foot Forms

To attach the internal foot block, we have to cut the steel strut on the bottom of the stilt to the proper length, then weld a steel ball onto the end.  Here's what it looks like digitally:
Stilt Scan Measuring

The ugly ball on the end of the part we cut off is the tennis ball I'd slipped on the end of the strut prior to scanning me in the stilts.

Between my stilts and Jeff's stilts, we'd need to weld four of these assemblies:
Welded Balls

I managed to weld three of them before my dad passed by and said, "you want me to show you how to make that look good?"

"Sure," says I.  

So he knocked out the last one in seconds, reminding me I'm not much of a welder:
Dad Welding Stilt Ball

This is mine on the left and his on the right:
My Weld vs. Dad's Weld

Mine will work, but his is decidedly better looking.

Meanwhile, we'd molded the foot blocks in silicone and it was time to pour some rubber to make a new, stronger pair with a bit of flexibility.  To maximized the ick and remind me what I'm doing, we tinted them plurple:
Pouring the Icky Sticky Floof

The first pair were cast in a dense flexfoam which proved out to be a bad idea.  Still, I was proud of how closely I guessed the exact right amount of material.  Hardly any overflow:
Expanding FLOOF

Nice:
First Cast Foot Block

A second pair was cast in Smooth-Cast 60D for more rigidity and durability:
Stilts with Foot Pad

For an initial test I have bungee cords holding them onto the ball at the bottom of the strut, but I'll come up with something more elegant later:
Stilts with Foot Pads Side

First, it was time to take them for a test run:
Improved Stilts Test

We've shortened them by about four inches since our last trial run, so they're much easier to get around in.  So I'm still wearing the forearm crutches in case I lose my balance and don't want to tear a meniscus or break my coccyx.  But overall, they're coming together nicely:
Improved Stilts Grin

Getting a start on the skin, here's my friend Kegan adding a layer of clay over the hardcoated foot form:
Kegan Sculpts Feets

Right now they look about like so:
Clay Skin on Foot Forms

And they've been added to the bench of sculpts in progress:
Foot Sculpts Begin

Out of all of these sculpts, the five-fingered hands are closest to done:
Sculpts in Progress

They still need a bit more texture and detailing, but they're getting there:
5-Fingered Hand Sculpt

The challenge is that whenever I'm sculpting some weird little detail on one of them:
Hand sculpting

I get distracted by the other one and have to fix some other weird little detail on it instead:
Other Hand Sculpting

Still, they're almost ready to mold.

Next I'll be finishing up polishing the claws for the three-fingered hands:
Claw Shaping

Once I have all the hands and the feet sculpted, all that's left is the head and the big shorts.

For the shorts, I finally hardcoated the 3D print:
Happy Brushing

Later I decided it would be easier if I sculpted and molded and cast the tail separately.  So I cut it off and mounted it to a board all by itself.  Here I am contemplating it:
Tail Sculpt Contemplation

That thing is...

Yeah.

Stay tuned.  The pace is picking up now that we're almost done making the hard parts.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, amazing work! Thanks for regularly updating the blog!

    ReplyDelete