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Old Jun 21, 2011, 07:21 PM
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ToddMerrill's Avatar
United States, CA, Santa Monica
Joined Jun 2011
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I agree speedy01, it is fun! But I really appreciate warhead 71's comment ~ I'm a HUGE fan of your sculpting. Trumps, as for doing anything commercially... I'll have to see. So far it's just fun. I can send you one of my WWI prototypes that I rotationally cast. PM me so we can work it out.
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Old Jul 03, 2011, 06:12 PM
Zach
Illinois
Joined Feb 2004
806 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddMerrill View Post
Here are my tests at sculpting some original pilots. I loosely based them on 1/7th scale pilots. The second image is after I took a sculpting class and focused more on realistic proportions, anatomy, etc. I'm also experimenting with various molding and casting techniques... more to come.
Wow!
Maybe I should take some lessons from Nick that looks great.

Zach
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Old Jul 03, 2011, 06:21 PM
Zach
Illinois
Joined Feb 2004
806 Posts
I finally got around to putting my pilots on my website for sale. I also have some of my mistakes on there too, ones that didn't cast quite right.
You can find them hear: http://tailspinaviation.com/html/pilots.html

If your a US veteran or currently in the service you get free shipping on any order through the 4th. I do this twice a year, once for the 4th of July and once during the week of veterans day.
Orders $50 and over also get free shipping through the 4th.

Zach
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Old Jul 03, 2011, 08:55 PM
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Joined Aug 2006
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simple pilot figure method

I really have enjoyed this thread. Some of you folks have some remarkable skills. You may want to try some of the techniques I used in my Hellcat; inexpensive, quick and very old fashioned. Incidentially, even though the pilots head is plaster it doesn't weigh much and is pretty rugged (survived several crashes, lost one in the grass and made another one with little effort.
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Old Jul 03, 2011, 11:51 PM
Zach
Illinois
Joined Feb 2004
806 Posts
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Originally Posted by f.tom.stark View Post
I really have enjoyed this thread. Some of you folks have some remarkable skills. You may want to try some of the techniques I used in my Hellcat; inexpensive, quick and very old fashioned. Incidentially, even though the pilots head is plaster it doesn't weigh much and is pretty rugged (survived several crashes, lost one in the grass and made another one with little effort.
Looks really nice especially once he gets a little color.

I bet since you mold your heads in two halves you could cast them with that really light air dry clay. You can find the stuff in any craft store. I think the package weighs more than the clay, it's like air.

You could probably just push the clay into the mold to get the shape and then pull it back out and trim off the excess.

You may even be able to let it dry in the mold but you better make sure your mold release agent will work with it first though. I'd hate to be the guy that led you to destroy your mold.

Zach
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Old Jul 04, 2011, 07:14 AM
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Australia, NSW, Sydney
Joined Jun 2010
518 Posts
I have to admit that I have some experience in sculpting and casting (I used to make 28mm wargaming figures) so I upped the scale a bit when I decided that my foam warbirds needed some decent pilots. I meant to get back to this (making a few different types and sizes) but havn't had the time with other model building projects going.
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Old Jul 27, 2011, 08:34 AM
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United States, TN
Joined Sep 2010
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I saw your posting in "Scale electric planes" > "Making scale pilots and replicating them" and saw the figure you made. You stated you hollow poured the resin figure. Could you breifly explain how you did that. I have a friend that made me a pilot but it's solid resin and is quite heavy. Thanks in advance.

Robert Kidwell
Pleasant View,TN USA
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Old Jul 27, 2011, 08:39 AM
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USA, Mt, Billings
Joined Mar 2009
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The easy way to get a hollow casting, particularly for a part like pilots that is not "thickness critical" is to slosh / splash cast them...add a bit of resin and roll it around in the mold until it starts to set up, then add a bit more and roll it around. Repeat until the part is the desired thickness.

The harder way is to do a two part mold (in the case of the pilots perhaps a THREE part to facilitate removal from the mold) with a plug indexed into the center of the mold on the inside.

Roto (rotational) casting is a higher-tech version of slosh-casting and has the advantage of using centrifugal force to ensure resin fills small voids, etc in the mold. More equipment required, etc. I have never done this myself.

Your solid pilot can be made hollow with some careful Dremel work.

An EXCELLENT material for this application would be the Smooth-On FeatherLite resin. It doesn't have the ultimate strengh of "regular" resins but would be perfect for pilots, and detail pieces. I cast some slot car bodies with it for some special events and it's weight is almost the same as vacuum forming with med-light Lexan. The downside (other than strength if that's important) is that the material itself is kind of a PITA to work with...it settles-out VERY quickly as you're trying to make your pour.
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Old Jul 27, 2011, 11:07 AM
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United States, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Oct 2000
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Very nice work!!!

Model boats, especially open Chris Craft etc runabouts sorely need realistic looking drivers and passengers. Open cockpit bipes especially and all other flying scale models with transparent windows need somebody inside that looks the part. If enough modelers world wide would pay a fair price for making and supplying posable, paintable people figures, we might see more of them becoming available in various scales.
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Old Jul 27, 2011, 10:02 PM
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United States, CA, Santa Monica
Joined Jun 2011
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Solid to "hollow"

Hey Robert... other folks got back to your before I could!

For a basic idea of how I'm doing rotational casting check out these steps:
http://www.smooth-on.com/gallery.php?galleryid=292
Unlike Jacob, I'm leaving my pilot figures hollow and not filling them with expanding foam.

For a peek inside what happens within the mold see:
Rotational Casting Machine from BJB (2 min 28 sec)

I'm sure BJB has great products, but I'm using a Smooth-On product called Smooth-Cast 65D. You can order enough to get started here:
http://www.smooth-on.com/index.php?cPath=1207

I'll post more pics of my exact set-up. I made my own rotation device which looks like several of the designs earlier in this thread. I use a bbq grill motor to turn mine... nice and slow.

Noisy Muse has great suggestions and I LOVE the idea of E-Challenged ~ it would be so satisfying to provide drivers & passengers for boats someday! I'm pretty busy with various pilots right now... but I'm agnostic!
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 12:09 PM
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Think about all those open RC model cars and bikes, as well as non operational display models. A model Chris Craft Runabout on the mantle is driver-optional but on the pond it looks like a runaway.
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 09:03 PM
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United States, NY, Fairport
Joined Jan 2011
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Wow this thread is filled with great information! I just started a pilot line but they are solid casts. I have a 1/12 and 1/8, the 1/12 only weighs 24g not bad IMO. But the bigger guy is just to heavy is a solid cast coming in at 2oz. I am going to have to tinker and look through the thread to find some home made roto-casting designs. Love all your sculpting skills everyone! Just putting a few pics of mine up hope you enjoy! By the way I am not the sculpter i just do castings my friend is the artist. You can check his website out its www.allarddesignstudio.org. By the way I use smooth on-305. Very light weight and no air bubbles and I just ad a drop of black colorant to get the gray color also a smooth on product. My website is www.scalepilotsusa.com

Matt
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 10:01 PM
Editor - Flying Models
United States, CT
Joined Aug 2003
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Matt, your castings look great, but we need bigger photos on your web site!!!

Thayer
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 10:16 PM
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fuelsguy's Avatar
Seattle
Joined Dec 2001
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Really nice pilots Matt.
This thread, and more importantly the pilot quality, has come a long way since Glenn and I started it back in 2009, Well done, everyone.

Ivor
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 10:39 PM
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United States, NY, Fairport
Joined Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thayer View Post
Matt, your castings look great, but we need bigger photos on your web site!!!

Thayer
Haha you could not be more right about that Thayer! The website stinks, trying to figure out how to make them enlarged. Funds are low so had to do the website myself and its a learning curve. It was more or less a easier way for people to order.

Ivor,
After reading the thread you couldn't be more right, hats off to everyone.

Cheers,
Matt
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