I recently took a £20 commission from a dear friend to make a basic modification to a set of driving goggles. She wanted them “steampunked” and I had a lovely bit of filigree from a 1920/30s wall clock. I’m sad to see it go, but it did seem to be the perfect use for it. So on with making some Winged Messenger goggles.
The first thing I had to do was cut out the middle of the “sun flare”, as it had an odd number of points.

I then filed and put it on the sanding disk to get the burrs off and round the edges. The natural tarnish looks good and authentic, so there didn’t seem need to polish it.
The brass is also thicker than I remembered, so it didn’t seem like it would need extra reinforcement, and I just drilled out the existing holes to put in some rivets.
Standard rivets? Yes. But the frame on the goggles is silver, so the aluminium rivets fade in very well. Okay they’re not real metal (aluminised plastic frames), but the mix is pretty good and it drilled nicely. Too nicely. It was hard to stop the drill pulling through and through the padding.

Still, basically turned out nice. :)

Will be dropping it to them at Expo at the weekend rather than posting it as the timing’s not right for postage (will be refunding the postage, of course).


I’ve also just tried styrene water-clear resin for the first time, and have learnt a few things.

  1. It’s cheap.
  2. It STINKS. The whole workshop. Even after airing it for several days.
  3. 6% shrinkage is a problem when casting eyes, unless you’re costuming as something from a Rob Zombie music video.

The latter is actually an interesting effect, though likely to be hard to reproduce exactly. The pulling away from the mould due to shrinkage during gelling has left river-delta style patterns down the sides, with a clear centre underneath.
It may be avoidable by using a double-fill to take up the slack (but that may increase optical distortion), or a very thin mould that will pull in with the shrinkage due to surface tension (but may distort the shape).
The urethanes are more expensive, but looking more reliable. Will be making a comparison set tomorrow. The cure time is much shorter on PU’s compared to styrenes (3-5min vs 15-20). Gives much less time for proper degassing. May be doable degassing in-mould in a small fast chamber.

[20/06/2010: Amalgamating old posts from “Dreamwidth Creative Blog” into sci-fi-fox.com to re-purpose DW blog account.]

Straight to the workshop this morning, and finally managed to dig out the custom wax seal I made for Ash!
I had to modify it because last time I wasn’t happy with my own piss-poor engraving and due to the fact I didn’t reverse the text or images. So the stamped text came out backwards! D’oh!

It polished up pretty well with rotary tool and felt wheel though.

Also checked on the paw-pad castings. Was a bit worried since the part-A had settled out and I used a portion of the surface fluid by itself on the first run.
I’ve since scrawled “SHAKE BEFORE USE” on the side of the heated cabinet.
Regardless the elastomer seems to have set and cured pretty well. No areas of unmixed dye, and a glossy surface finish. I’m still going to give them another 24hrs before they go in the post though, just to be on the safe side. They should be fully hardened at 7 days, but they can be used an manipulated as-is.
Texture’s good too. Feels very natural.

Bit miffed that TOMPS haven’t gotten back to me yet regarding the order cockup, where they sent me Shore-60 instead of 80. I had intended to make up the “tire-tough” footpads with the new 4″ wide velcro embedded in them, and strap them to the bottoms of my shoes to test them at tomorrows LondonFur meet.
Really I should have checked the order contents when it arrives, but I assumed that they were correct because I’d been told the 80 was in a larger set than the 40, due to new suppliers. There were two sizes in there, so I assumed. I should have asked for the product numbers, rather than the descriptions.
It’ll get sorted eventually.

So, spent a little while here, setting up the ghetto Ikea light-box, and getting some much improved publicity shots of my works.
I really need some bigger, brighter lights though. Maybe my welding halogen..
Also depth-of-field is a bit messed up in some. Should be resolved with more light and using Macro shots, rather than regular with zoom.

Some unedited, resized shots below cut..
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