Thursday, March 25, 2010

Brainstorming About The Boots

Today on my lunch break I went to Home Depot to pick up some supplies. I got some more Bondo, a coping saw, and a new file. I also hit up HobbyTown USA for some superglue. I got a bottle of thin, a bottle of thick, a bottle of “undo”, and a spray bottle of the kicker.

But that’s really not the interesting part. What is interesting about this outing is what I thought of during it. I got to thinking about the composition of the boot, and how it all goes together. There are actually two types of embossed leather on it. One is the Micro-S pattern that is also found on the shield. The other is the inverse of the cape outer shell. Based on all of the research and pricing I’ve done, getting those two embossings done is well outside of the budget of this project. On the way into Home Depot, it occurred to me that I already have the cape pattern, and it would be very easy to produce the inverse of it.

And that’s when it hit me. The thing that has been driving the boot development is the assumption that I have to have them done in leather. But if I discard that assumption, and accept that I can make the embossing patterns out of something else, like urethane, it’s a whole new picture.

I quickly ran through my head what would be involved and realized just how completely simple it would be to do in urethane, using a CA Boot as a base. All I would need to do is make a positive master mold of a foot or two of cape material, and then get a panel of the micro-S pattern laser etched, and pull a mold off that. Those things are EASY, and are inside my skillset and toolset. After thinking this through, I got really excited about it, and realized just how easy it will be to make this happen. It’s borderline simple actually, and there’s only ONE component I would need to acquire to make it happen, and that’s the laser etched Micro-S pattern. And that’s a no brainer. I’ve already got it drawn up in illustrator, and already know of a cutter than can output it for me, as they’ve already done a sample for me for a different part of the project.

I can even use techniques I learned while making the cape to help. I was thinking I can pour up a thin layer of urethane, and make it really opaque using the stuff I found, then back it with fabric for strength and flexibility. I also know that my new sewing machine can sew through the stuff, so if I really wanted to sew parts of it together, I totally could.

This all got me really excited, because I think I can bang it out pretty quickly and get REALLY good results. I’m super excited right now. The other benefit is that this will not only be really inexpensive, but I will also be able to help out fellow collectors, since I will have molds for boot components in case they are interested. VERY cool.

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