May 27 2010

Some experimental pretty things

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.]

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