Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good ol' fashioned engineering

Experimental modification to determine feasibility of making different body heights: Making an engineer.

For this project, I simply need to shorten the legs to get the right height. Simple. I proceeded by stabilizing the victim by decapitating him. After that, I marked off a good location to start hacking away with my X-acto hand saw. I chose a point 4.5cm from the knee, planning on cutting off a 1.5cm section of thigh. I somehow managed to miss cutting through the pins holding the plastic shells for the thigh together. Lucky. With the section removed, I proceeded to utilize the structural pins to my advantage. The next picture shows how close I was to cutting through the pin. A revolved step plug with two slots will fit into the thigh region, held in place with glue and the pin/slot fit. These were made with the standard method of Magic: The Gathering cards as a core, but with 110 lb cardstock for the outer layer for a softer shell that would better fit and deform into the irregular shaped cavity.

The thighs look like this after the procedure. I secured the two halves with plumbing epoxy (set time of 5-10 minutes, non-paintable with acrylics, cheap to buy), which would have by itself secured both halves together without the revolved step pin I made.

I shortened the shins by a centimeter but opted to use tubes to reinforce the shin in the event the epoxy had issues securing properly. The cross section was triangular, so I was "forced" to use three tubes of cardstock to do it. Hooray for plumber's epoxy being really strong.

The finished leg modification. Not really helpful since there's no height comparison to the other figures here. It's noticeably shorter though. I almost put the feet on incorrectly with the epoxy setting, but luckily I fixed that. Now there's the question of what to do with those cross sections I cut out...
I'll have to do some modifications for the Heavy, if I ever get around to that. The legs will be the same, but the arms and chest need extensions. I'll properly document how I get about doing that if that ever happens. Until that happens, I'll share how I sculpt the heads for these guys in the next installment.

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