Monday, March 25, 2013

Multipass Tutorial - Step 6

As "The Dude" from The Big Lebowsky is fond of saying, "New S&^T has come to light!!!"

In this step, you perform a modification to the kit. But allow me to ramble for just a bit. First up, big thanks go out to user Charles Kline of the Replica Props Forum! Charles got ahold of one of my kits, and during his build up did a little bit of "Above and Beyond" research, and actually discovered an answer for a long standing question of mine that I was never quite able to answer.

One of my common laments about the multipass project is that there are a few details which I describe as "Irreconcileable". These are things that look one way in one picture, but different in another. Or there's just a detail that I cannot seem to make sense of. Take for example this picture.

This is one of the most valuable pictures of the multipass, as it's a "straight on" shot of the pass, and is of decent resolution. Well, THIS pic isn't, but for my project, I scanned it directly from the "making of" book, and relied on it heavily for the overall shape, and the graphics. One of the things I recognize from this picture is that it has a clipping path around it. This is basically a way that book makers can isolate graphics from one another on a printed page. The bummer with this is that the clipping path may not follow the contours of the prop precisely. Since I'm ALL about precision, this was of course a bummer for me. But I digress. There is one detail that I see in this picture that I could never completely make sense of. Take a look at the horizontal line running along the top of the pass.

To MY eye, it's kind of hard to figure out what is going on here. Is that rounded? Is it a step? Is it an illusion, or a trick of lighting? is it an artifact of the clipping path? I could never really tell for sure, so I just made some assumptions and proceeded with my multipass kit design, not really worrying about it.

But Mister Kline managed to find this screen cap, which CLEARLY shows that this is indeed a hard step, just like the one at the bottom of the pass.

I'll throw in some arrows, just so you know exactly what I'm talking about:

In my mind, what this capture reveals is that the "lip" sticking out is the same height as the lip on the bottom. For reference, here's a great screen capture that shows the lip on the bottom of the pass, as seen in Korben's apartment.

The punchline is that in this step of the tutorial, you make some modifications to the front and back plate so that the lip on the top is the same as the lip on the bottom.

HUGE thanks to Charles for his dedication to building the most accurate Multipass, and for sharing his insights and discoveries. Though I cannot guarantee this link will be active forever, here is the original thread showing Charles' build up.

For this step, we are going to modify both the front and back plates.

To make the modifications with a level of precision, we are going to use the plates themselves as guides. Flip one of the plates around so they line up like this.

Then slide one plate over the other.

The trick here is to align the two pieces using the arches at the tips of the arms. Click on this picture to see some arrows that are pointing to what I'm talking about here. Once you get them aligned, you can either tape the two together, or just hold them in place for the next step. I chose to just hold them in place.

I took a mechanical pencil, and used it to mark where the cuts are going to go. Just follow along the lip of the plate on top. Repeat this step for both pates. This means you will have to flip over the two plates, re-align them, and then mark where you're going to cut.

This is what the plates look like after you've done your pencil work.

Because the cuts we are going to make run the full length of the plate, you'll need to extend your pencil line. I pulled out my trusty straight edge/ruler, lined it up with the marks I had already made, and then just drew them out.

Here's the fully extended pencil lines. You're now all ready to cut.

Using a brand new x-acto blade and my straight edge, I make the cuts. Just line up the straight edge along your pencil mark. If your pencil lines were not PRECISELY where you wanted to make the cuts, but sure to slide the straight edge away from the cut a bit to allow for any fudge factor.

When cutting with the blade, it is MUCH better to do 10 or 12 shallow cuts than to try to cut it all in one slice. More pressure = bad, and usually results in you slipping or losing your grip on the plate.

And here are the completed plates, with both cuts done.

While you are here, take some 220 grit sandpaper (or whatever you are happy with) and sand down any ridges you may have created with your multiple x-acto blade passes. Also sand out and residual melted plastic from those arches.

For reference, here's a shot of how the newly modified top plate looks on top of the center plate. You can see how there is now that step on the top, whereas before there was none. I notice that mine is a tad too shallow. I will probably go back in with the x-acto and straight edge to extend that a little bit. As per the screen capture above, it looks as if the step height on the top should match the step height on the bottom. It's really up to the builder to decide how crazy you want to get on precision at this point.

No comments: