The silicone order’s now arrived, a day late. Will be finishing up that process shortly.

I need to get to the hackspace to double-check a thread type; it’s either UNF or whitworth. Then I can order it. It’s for the high-vacuum station that’ll operate as an optical coater and outer-space environmental test chamber for the open-source space program.

Camera is now “fixed” in that I managed to cut the cheap adaptor ring off without breaking it.

Need to open up the Myvu video goggles. There should be a current-set resistor somewhere on the control board that I can replace to make it run just one display, and make it into a decent starters monocular display for the Raspberry Pi based wearble computer system. Then coding, typing and designing as I go will be doable.

Workshop’s being rearranged since my brother moved out. A new cabinet’s down there (big metal thing and reason why my back hurts so much now), so I’m seperating stuff up properly into tools, consumables and materials (including moulds).

Going to put the camera and phone on charge and see if I can’t also harvest the ornemental plums today too, on camera.

Some hair-dye would be good too.

As mentioned on Twitter, I’ve had some computer trouble lately. And it now looks like not only my original boot drive is dead (gone from stalling to jamming up a different machine in POST), but my motherboard too (since it’s started acting the same with the new HD already!).
Current theories; SATA controller gone bad on one channel & damaged drive irreprably, or possibly (untested) PSU is failing & damaging random parts. Other drives are mercifully ok so far, as is replacement main disk now it’s in another machine. Still, keeping an eye on it.

I’ve spent a fair bit of today rebuilding the machine I had reserved for CNC use into a new workshop PC. I’m not going to bring it indoors because I want to feel like I’ve *gained* something in all this shit, rather than lost & partially clawed back. What I’ll gain is basically the ability to record from a webcam in the workshop. Not much of a thing, but it’s something that will be handy for my visible presence.

I will test the PSU indoors to see if it’s noticibly acting up, but I’m keeping my master storage drives disconnected from things until I have something I know’s stable or have a different backup arrangement.

Don’t chide me for keeping the wrong type or frequency of backups. I know I cocked up the last manual set I tried, and the reason it took a week from drive failure to installing a new one is because I was DAMN careful working out how to make my data innately more secure this time. Before my hardware let me down and threw the whole lot back into the skip of chaos where I have so much experience clawing my way along already.

Current plan is to grab the essential files off the drives, get things working again, back them up, then copy less essential files and do a staged set of tidying up.

Only small issue is there’s no printer down here. Old workshop machine may go indoors to be used just for printing receipts & stuff.

Things will be resolved when I can afford to replace the guts of the indoor machine, providing it’s not just the PSU.

Maybe I should do these weekly? What do you think?

Anyway it’s warmed up a little. Workshop’s averaging about 10c when I get down there. Done a couple of test-casts and they look alright.

Will be casting up some from the still-intact moulds tomorrow with a view to ship on Saturday. Others are in progress.
The first couple of layers of filler have gone down to get the new moulds sorted. Another couple of days of that and they should be built up and finished enough to start laying on fresh silicone. After that I make up the new fibreglass jackets. So all being well, should able to cast the full range again by the end of next week.
Only potential delay I’m aware of will be if I run short on silicone or fibreglass resin. Should have enough of all regular resins and foam to fill current orders.

That said I know I’ll need more silicone to account for some more new items, but I don’t want to do piecemeal orders and get charged a tonne on separate shipping. Since TOMPS can get it to you in 2 days, it’s not worth it. I can just find other things to do in the meantime.

Webshop prep has stalled a bit again, but I’m aware we may be loosing internet here for a short while near the end of the month as our phoneline has to be physically dug up and replaced. Launching only to be unable to receive orders would not be good, so it’s not a huge concern. I would still like it to tie in nicely with a complete set of new moulds though, plus some stock on hand.

New soldering station also arrived on Monday, so with the donated oscilloscope and a repaired multimeter, I’m good to start work on the mecha-ears project again, as well as a few other ideas people may be interested in.

Also a complete fluke-find has gifted me with a LOT of leather in a texture that’s almost identical to vinyl leather I’ve previously used for texturing paw-pads. There’s enough I should be able to revamp the whole range and keep the distinctive look as well as push the foam-filled prototypes to a standard item.

Finally as promised, an entry about the horns!

Okay, so some of you will have seen these at MCM Expo, surface-finished, mounted up to headbands and listed in three price bands. Since then I’ve got the final blank horn prices sorted. They’re all individually priced now, along with their various options.

These horns are made for costume use, so are designed to be lightweight. They have a thin outer layer of polyurethane resin to preserve surface detail, which is then reinforced within with a rigid polyurethane foam. This provides a good balance between light weight, excellent detail reproduction and good damage resistance. The horns however can still be trimmed to length with a serrated knife or junior hacksaw.

Use of a double-density reinforcing foam is available as an option, but will increase item weight. Integral resin colouring is also available.
Foam-rubber is sadly not yet available due to poor surface reproduction, and issues getting them out of the moulds fully intact.

Please see this image for examples of surface detailing effects: EXAMPLE

Here’s the group-shot:

 

Basic pigments (Red, Blue, Yellow, Black, White, Green, Orange): £1.00
Custom pigments (each, per order*): £5.00

(* Per order means a single £5 charge whether the custom colour mix is used on just the horns or a match set of horns, claws and paw-pads, etc)

Type #1
Maximum weight (pair, untrimmed): 230g (pictured examples 190g)
Approx dimensions (outer): 210 x 175 x 55mm
Base price (GBP): £30.00

Double-density foam: £3.00

Type #2
Maximum weight (pair, untrimmed): 160g (pictured examples 106g)
Approx dimensions (outer): 275 x 160 x 40mm
Base price (GBP): £22.50

Double-density foam: £3.00

Type #3
Maximum weight (pair, untrimmed): 130g (pictured examples 100g)
Approx dimensions (outer): 220 x 140 x 30mm
Base price (GBP): £17.50

Double-density foam: £2.00

Type #4
Maximum weight (pair, untrimmed): 90g (pictured examples 54g)
Approx dimensions (outer): 185 x 135 x 27mm
Base price (GBP): £12.50

Double-density foam: £2.00

Type #5
Maximum weight (pair, untrimmed): 280g (pictured examples 240g)
Approx dimensions (outer): 190 x 170 x 120mm
Base price (GBP): £35.00

Double-density foam: £4.00

Type #6
Maximum weight (pair, untrimmed): 70g (pictured examples 64g)
Approx dimensions (outer): 185 x 115 x 25mm
Base price (GBP): £10.00

Double-density foam: £1.50

Type #7
Maximum weight (pair, untrimmed): 70g (pictured examples 56g)
Approx dimensions (outer): 135 x 185 x 35mm
Base price (GBP): £12.50

Double-density foam: £1.00

Type #8
Maximum weight (pair, untrimmed): 50g (pictured examples 41g)
Approx dimensions (outer): 95 x 145 x 25mm
Base price (GBP): £10.00

Double-density foam: £1.00

Postage
Will be sent 1st Class Recorded within the UK and Airsure internationally. Please ask for a shipping quote.

EDIT: Prices adjusted. Used old formulae sheet. Oops.

If you follow my personal twitter you’ll know the last few weeks have been hectic. Family crisis, deadlines, financial issues and a whole bunch more. The final deadline is now MCM Expo in a weeks time, where I’ll be manning a dealers table for Fatkraken while she costumes. In repayment, I get to sell some of my own items on the table.

It’s Halloween, so I’m selling horns.

Presuming the roto-caster I’ve built in the last week starts working again, I should have a number of each. Some of the first final tests came out today.

Yes, there’s a lot of black there. I was testing some calculations for bulk-casting. Meant mixing up a lot of resin in one colour and black shows any defects better. The two “beige” unicorns horns though actually contain UV and GlowInTheDark powder.

The unicorn horns are cast from a hand-made master. These long ones are 8.5″ long and the shorter ones are 3.5″ long. I’ll be making them up in a host of *co-pony-ough* colours, with the fleece at the bottom either black, white or grey as it’s all I have to hand. They’re a shell casting that’s infilled with rigid PU foam. Will likely be putting them on simple elasticated headbands.

These horns are made in the same way but the moulds are taken from real animal horns. These ones are some breed of goat I believe (of the 8 I got, only 6 had a specific species noted). There’s more coming from Jacob, Heriden and Dalesbred breeds of sheep, but the fibreglass mould-jackets are being tricky. This variety will mostly be mounted on headbands and barrettes, though I may also make a few up in foam rubber.

Once Expo’s over I’ll be selling them directly as loose castings for people to use as they will.

Well after after-Expo, when I wake up from the coma.

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