Monday, November 19, 2007

More Body Work

Tonight was more of what I had shown before. I'm just doing some final clean up work on the body, trying to hide the seams, and finalizing the "bondo squish" clean up.

Frankly, it's all going VERY well. Things are really looking good.

Here's how the upper body looked after the paint had a chance to dry over night.

The bondo squish thing worked out really well, and it's very nice looking. There are a couple of tiny little imperfections that I'd like to work out. I spent some time sanding it with the 320 sand paper, and also some 400. Now that it's getting to a point where I'm happy with it, the 400 seems more appropriate.

Here's how it looked after a little bit of sanding

With it looking pretty good, I hit it with another coat of primer. Primer is really NOT a good filler tool. You should not expect to be able to hide anything but the most trivial of seams and problems with primer. Use putty for filling in cracks. Primer is best used as a way to reveal the work you still need to do.

Though the body clean up work is not completely done, I don't think I'm going to document much more of it. It's kind of on a repeat cycle at this point, and I'm sure all two of my readers are going to get tired of the same old pics. I'll probably just do one or two more passes at the body, and then move on.

Speaking of moving on, here's what the bottom half looked like when I came in tonight

As you can see, I'm still patching a couple of little imperfections. I used a file and my 400 grit sandpaper to knock down that primer, and it ended up looking like this:

Naturally, I applied some primer to it after that. During the dry time, I switched gears. Since the next op I'm going to do is attach the two body parts via the hinges, it was time to cut a couple of shims. The shim will be used to take the place of the paint that will eventually go on the body. I will temporarily place a sheet of styrene between the door and the body when I attach them to each other. That way, when they get a little thicker due to a couple coats of paint, the door will still close properly.

This gave me the opportunity to bust out one of my favorite tools of all time, the digital micrometer. I used this to measure the thickness of the styrene. The manual recommends between .010" and .020".

Once I found the proper thicknesses from my styrene stash, I just roughly cut a couple rectangles out using scissors. I will cut these to the proper size later on.

While I was still waiting for the paint to dry on the body pieces, I actually did some more work on a different project. It's an interesting project, and I think i will actually start another blog for it. I think it will make for an interesting blog, as it will use some different techniques than the ones I'm using here. Since the discovery of this website, I've found that writing a blog is much more easy than the old R2 days, so I may end up spawning multiple blogs to track different projects that are running concurrently. No decision has been made at this time, but I'm leaning towards that.

Perhaps the most exciting news for today comes all the way from the east coast. I was talking on the phone today with an old friend of mine who lives out there, and w were putting together a trade deal. On a whim, I asked him if he happened to have any cans of old Plasti-Kote paint lying around. He went out to his garage, and found out that he had TWO large cans of paint that he's willing to trade. Both 1004 and 1006, which are the main colors that were used on federation props in the later years of trek. So I'm pretty stoked, as those paints are no longer made and are impossible to find. This way, I'll be able to paint the tricorder with the accurate paints, rather than have to resort to a dupli-color "close enough" match.

That's about it for tonight. I hope to have more progress tomorrow.

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