Monday, March 02, 2009

Celebrate March 1, National "Build Something With A Converted Mana Cost Of 143 Or Less" Day

March marks the start of great headway into my third foray into Magic: the Dolls. I've said before, that I'll likely never build another of these again. I said that after building Hotaru. Then there was Lia. I said that again, and now we have the start of Aelia. Aelia is a development project to correct one major flaw withe Hotaru base (Lia shares the Hotaru framework, and belongs into her revision), which is a bad shoulder connection. The main issue isn't tightness of fit, but more of reassembly. The pins tend to hit the walls of the internal structure that hold the shoulder pins in place, rather than slide in smoothly. This causes irreparable wear.

Aelia is structurally compatible and nearly identical to Hotaru's frame, save one difference: a 6mm diameter tube serves as the common shoulder connector than a specialized box-like housing. I've, for the sake of variety, made Aelia 12mm shorter.

All possible range of motion has been copied and refined with this revision. This time through, I'm going to document a few more neglected components along with the significant change with the upper torso.
This is the framework behind Aelia's revision. With the Dremel, I can now afford to save massive amounts of time by using just tubes to form structure. Tubes are massively simpler and faster to produce than a flat 3D solid, which involves designing, accounting for material thickness, and lots of assembly. A tubular approach cuts down development time. However, the Dremel causes the drawback of generating plumes of Magic: the Carcinogenic Dust. The lower component on the spool of thread is the bottom part of the upper torso which receives the ball joint connector. The three tubes assembled on the plate have been ground down to have a 4mm radiused groove to accept the new connector.

This is a shot of the bare skeletal system, devoid of any features except joint systems. I haven't many images of the minimum, since I tend to quickly progress from stage to stage. I was originally debating making a fourth doll, to be in a perpetual state of incompleteness for a demonstration model, but that plan's currently suspended until further notice.

Critical points of interest: the upper torso is made of 8mm OD, 6mm ID tubing, formed by rolling a MtG card around a 5.7mm dia rod to ensure consistency. The neck is angled 60 degrees from the horizontal. Loc-tite glue is great for widening the diameters of pin connections and ball joints, but care needs to be exercised to allow parts to cure before doing a test fit. Internal wall tearing caused by wet glue means a scrapped part, as the tearing will worsen over time.

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