Category: "Droids and Robots"

More spring minis

by brae  

I've been making more items for my etsy shop.

My robot makes a handsome model, no? :D

Robox - dyeing trials

by brae  

I bought the white Robox with the intent of altering the color to be more mechanical. The green (military) was darker than I wanted.

Painting is an option, but the figure can't be taken apart other than removing at the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee ball joints. The head and ankles also separate but are smaller joints. The remaining connections have pins. That would make painting difficult and possibly disastrous, so I researched the possibility of using dye. It would still settle into joins, but it might be easier to control than paint.

I had two weapons and the shield to use for testing dye.

I bought a saucepan, tongs and aluminum trays for craft use only. I also had latex gloves and a clock with a second hand for tracking time.

The first attempt was with iDye Poly in silver grey. You are to use the whole packet which dissolves in water, but that is also meant for a large amount of fabric. I didn't use the intensifier since I was looking for a lighter color change.

I decided to cut the packet open in a sandwich bag to use less. I started with a plastic teaspoon measure of the dye in a half quart of water.

After one minute in the boiling dye water, the color came out a dark violet purple. Not exactly what I was going for. I dumped that water completely and then used half the amount of dye in a half quart of fresh water. As expected, this made the plastic lavender. There was just more red in the mix than I wanted. What I did like was the subtle variation in coverage, which gave the items more depth and character.

I cut the shield into pieces for the remaining trials. Since I had three additional colors, I decided to try all of them to make the final choice. First, one teaspoon of iDye Poly in gunmetal in a half quart of water. This was just another shade of purple.

Second, two teaspoons of RIT Dye More in Frost Grey in a half quart of water, which I did for short duration and longer duration for two good results of grey. Third, one teaspoon of RIT Dye More in Graphite in a half quart of water, which was again purple and dark. I opted for RIT Frost Grey in the medium tone.

I pulled the figure apart at the major ball joints.

I had to do three batches since the water would boil off as I went: arms, legs, then torso/head as one unit. My end result was a 95% success. In an unexpected but promising turn, the joints turned darker and that would save me time trying to detail those. One calf and one forearm turned a slightly different shade of grey with more brown in it; the calf is the most obvious. The functionality was impacted slightly in that the ball joints are very tight now (I suspect the heat impacted the two types of plastic differently), except the head rolls about. :D I added some mini hold wax to the head joint and fixed that issue. I will add some lubricant to the other joints.

I will add further details and aging, but I am pleased with the results so far. I can work on the mismatched coloration, or perhaps he's had an overhaul or two with not-quite-right replacement parts. :D


by brae  

While I was researching droid builds for inspiration, I ran across an action figure from 2018 called Robox. This is made by 1000toys and comes in white (pale grey) and black (military). I don't think they are still manufactured, so I had to scout around until I found one on eBay.

Starts out as a box.

The back shield is removed first.

There are two weapons included but you wouldn't know they were missing if left off.

It also comes with decals.

The eye pieces were not yet installed in the one I found, which is good since I'd like to do some customizing.

After unfolding, a fine robot appears! Here he is with the 5 3/4" tall wood model. Robox (yet to be named) is much more flexible than the wood models.

He likes books.

And, now he's going to help me make a martini! Olives, beware!  :D

I think he's a keeper. haaaaaaaa

Droids, part 3 - additional kits

by brae  

Continuing work on the droids. There are additional Bandai kits besides the two kits I have of BB-8 with R2-D2 and BB-8 with D-0, but those are the only ones I plan to build. However, during my scouting around, I ran into two fan made kits for Gonk and MSE (mouse droid) and Chopper by JPG Productions. I was lucky they were still available.

These are cast resin models, which I've never worked with before.

There are decals and other parts to finish as shown.

Of course, you can always upgrade from a basic kit, as I will do. :] I found some excellent examples not only on the JPG page but also other sites, most notably Action Figure Toronto. There are tutorials for Gonk and Mouse, and Chopper, which will help immensely. There's another Chopper tutorial on The Modelling News. All great inspiration. But, back into the boxes they go as I continue where I left off. 

Droids, part 2 - paint testing

by brae  

Continuing work on the droids. As I mentioned last time, I do plan to paint the pieces since I prefer a painted finish to the plain plastic no matter how good the quality. But, I don't want to just dive in without doing some testing since I am working with a new product - Testors Panel Line Accent Color. Here are the sprays I bought for this project as well. I omitted buying blue for R2-D2 since there is so little of it.

I've used regular Testors paint to detail vent lines before for the Datsun, so I am eager to see if this product works better. Here is the Datsun vent.

I've watched a few tutorials on the accent color product, specifically for these droid kits, and it seems like most used it over a non-painted surface. I want to try it with the paints before applying anything to the model parts, just in case I need to rethink my painted base coat for use with the accent color.

After making the RX-7 model commission, the buyer told me to keep the spare parts from the three kits I used to make the one model. I'm using one of the defunct car bodies for testing since it has panel lines and enough surface area to try the four colors.

Looks like a custom car painted like the Irish flag! :D The silver came out faster than I thought it would, so it ran. Good to know before spraying the real model. I finished the car with Testors Dullcote.

After a few days, I tried out the Testors Panel Line Accent Color. I did like it on the painted surfaces, and I can see how it will be useful for mini projects.

I opted to paint the parts while still on the sprues. They are labeled per droid, which makes life easier, but I did have to cut the color portions apart for painting.

The paints are close to the same color as the molded plastic, but the paint gives the aging washes and details a surface to grab. Plus now the silver parts look more metallic.

The paint also dulled any shiny parts.

For the blue that I didn't paint, I sprayed with Testors Dullcote to remove the sheen.

Next up, starting to build!

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