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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:51 pm
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Location: Geislingen, Germany
I sold every statues and stuff like that from my collection because of the lack of space but if i would buy just one statue again..it would be this. I'm very curious to see Vader completed. Paint job looks great from what i see :thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:34 am 
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Location: Denmark
Well, I have to admit that I won't be able to paint the statues or busts once they are done. I was feeling like crap the following three days after that little painting stunt... so that's not going to happen. Sadly. I would love to... I just can't. The fact that I also can't get any shop to write back to me regarding my inquiries regarding the silicone and resin they have for sale and since I can't buy any of that stuff here in Denmark is just further making this whole project damn near impossible to finish. And having found that the work I did on the casts altered their shape compared to the prints has just set me back roughly two years, seeing as I'll now have to do those fixes on the prints themselves - sharpening and filling uneven surfaces due to the crappy scan slice assembly I did. I'm thinking I'll do the sharpening and then do the filling with a removable material and just have it be perfect for molding and then take that material off again. However... since I can't get any company here in Europe to write back or sell me any silicone or resin... well... it seems it's going to be a long time before I can make any updates of any kind.

This project, I'm afraid to say, is beginning to piss me off.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:29 pm 
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Well, having had to go back to basics I have been working a little on the prints. I did a little filing of the excess on the shins a while back, but didn't do anything on the surface of those, and took a long break due to not feeling well at all. It's a little better now, but still a long road ahead. However, yesterday I decided to start working on the chest armor - this time on the surface - and started sharpening the edges. Basically the exact same thing I previously did on the work masters, but since this is a much harder material the work progresses much better and I don't have to worry about holding the pieces and getting the surface gonked up with resin dust and pressing it into the surface with my clumsy hands - the material just do not allow it, which is perfect. I wasn't entirely happy last night when I stopped, so today I worked some more on it with a different file and the finishing sharpness is so much better. I'm pretty pleased. There's just one tiny place where I need to go over with a file again tomorrow and then the surface is done. Then I'm going to file the edges, so everything gets nice and clean for molding, eradicating all those scanning and assembly flaws of the digital model.

The reason I had to go back to the prints, even though it's setting me back to about three years ago, is because the work masters turned out to be slightly smaller than the prints and not as sharp, and my work on them had warped them, so I had to start over anyway and might as well do the work on the prints instead. I had previously been hesitant to work on the prints, but having worked on the master casts I know what I'm doing and what works best to achieve what I want to do, experience I wouldn't have had if I hadn't worked on those. Once all the filing is done, the parts will get a layer of putty primer to smooth out the surface and get rid of the ridges and scan errors.

I've been really stressed over this project lately, but it's actually nice being back to work on them. Silicone and resin is insane expensive and being a noob with molding and casting doesn't make it easier. Painting is out and I have sorta come to terms with that, even though I really wanted to do it and present a fully finished piece... though, seeing as my painting skills aren't good enough and the fact I get sick from painting... well... there's no real reason to get obsessed about it.

I'm actually really pleased by how the sharpening turned out on the chest armor.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:16 pm 
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Filing down the edges of the dome rim. Damn this material is tough. Took two days to file down what was roughly a 2mm's worth of excess material around the rim. At one place though it opened up a hole and some liquid came out. I wonder if it is uncured printing resin or maybe filler? Well, I squeezed some of it out and once I've cleaned the inner surface I'll seal it with apoxie sculpt. Just kinda weird. So basically now I just need to sharpen the center ridge and the dividing line between the top and bottom of the dome and it should be ready for putty primer in few select areas to remove that scan assembly flaw and then it's ready for molding.

Gonna work some more on filing away the excess material on the chest armor and then it's off to the other parts. Though... the excess on the armor is gonna be a PITA, as it's already taken 3 days or work without much to show for it.

Though... a days work amounts to a few quarters of an hour with long breaks in between, as I lose my strength fairly quickly doing that kind of work.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:30 am 
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While working on the prints I'm also using some of the previously cast not so perfectly cast parts to create a bust. I have all the parts, but just need to do some modding as I'm thinking I'll make it a one-piece kinda deal, so armor, shoulder and helmet with perhaps the cape holding the rest up from the ground. Some busts I saw online also had the chest box... but I'm thinking it just gets too big if I add that piece as well.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:01 pm 
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Man this printing material is tough as nails. Took two quarter of an hour spurts yesterday to get some of the excess off the shins... barely got halfway through it, so more work is needed. And since I can't use power tools as they are too heavy I need to use regular files... and boy, that takes a looooooong time. Pretty insane.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 5:49 am
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Location: Plano, TX
wow this is awesome! I wish something like this would fit on my hot toys vader.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:51 pm 
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I have no idea whether it will. While I'm working on perfecting the prints I may hone my casting skills with the old molds and create some b-grade kits. I've been molding and casting before and things mostly worked out fine, but this is a whole other level of complexity with hollow casts - at least for the face mask and dome. But I tried casting in sections when doing the shells castings for the TMNT sculptures I'm working on, so I know I can cast thin by only mixing a little resin and then moving the mold around before it hardens - though there is a lot of waste associated with that kind of casting, so I don't know if I can afford doing that. We'll see.

The grills have always been an issue, since they are two separate pieces and not easily inserted into the face mask, since it has to be cast fairly thin in the area where the grills need to sit, and I never worked out a way to insert them easily prior to printing. There are ways to do it, but the new prints will have the grills be part of the face mask print... but I'm just worried it'll make them more difficult to paint... which is why I made them separate piece in the first place.

Anyway... since these b-grade casts will be from the old molds that were created from my master casts, they will not be perfect and will be smaller than the ones I'll cast from the new molds made from my fixed up prints. Hence they'll also be cheaper than the A-grade casts - or the v2 versions, I could probably call them. I'll see how I fare and will think of a reasonable price for these, basically 'training my skills* casts. So don't expect perfection right out the bat. I'll label the casts b or c or f grade and set the price accordingly. Some like a challenge and may be able to work with the f- or c-grade casts, while others prefer less work and want to go with b-grade. Anyone who knows me and my being a stickler for perfection and being honest will know I will not try to cheat people with the quality. The majority of casts will probably be c- or f-grade.

Mind you, you will need to trim the excess material yourself. But I'll try and make it as minimal as possible.

Selling these v1 kits will help fund the v2 and future prints and scans. :)

I'll keep you all posted on the progress.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:40 pm 
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First casts have been attempted. First batch I used too little resin so didn't fill out the mold, but it took out most of the gonk that was in the molds. Nice. It's surprisingly little resin you need to make the helmet casts. I had to make pour sprouts as the molds didn't have them. Those will have to be trimmed away by whoever buys one of these, and since the pieces are really thin, it has to be done carefully.

Seeing how the casts turned out I'm thinking they'll work best as RotJ versions due to their overall sanitized look. Mainly due to my repair work on the master casts that left them a little too cleaned up, I'm afraid. But it works well for the RotJ look. One minor issue though is that the eye socket depths are ESB style, whereas the lenses sat further forward in RotJ (more similar to ANH), and I don't really know how to fix that in the casts, since they were built for ESB style. Though... it can be a hybrid! :)

The casts will require some sanding and trimming in some areas and around the edges.

I'll do a test with the other resin I bought as well to see if that works better on these types of casts. The one I've been testing with so far really sets rather quickly, even though I think I ordered the slow setting version. Though thin, the casts feel sturdy. I'll test their durability to see how they hold up to being dropped and such.

I'll keep you all posted.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:43 pm 
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I can somewhat conclude that my first casting session was a complete failure. Sure, I managed to create a few casts, but they are so sub-par that it's almost embarrassing. Though, what I have learned is that I need to buy new resin, because the two types I bought has too short pot life and isn't thin enough when pouring into the molds, meaning that they do not pick up the tiny details such as the tusks in the face mask. It's way too thick and I can barely get to pour it into one of the molds before it starts thickening and becoming like a gel that absolutely will not run smoothly. I'm gonna try a mix that isn't 1-1, but rather 1-0.9 mix ratio to see if it cures a little slower. It's a little disheartening considering how expensive that shit is to get to Denmark, since we don't really have 1A-2B type silicones and resins here. GRR.

Anyway... I need to find a new hosting service to host pictures so I can show off my miserable results.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:59 pm 
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Panicking way too soon. The last pour was a 1A-0.9B mix and I just demolded the piece now and the dome is pretty much perfect. My main concern will be the face mask as well as the grills, maybe even chest and belt boxes, as they have super fine detail I'm not sure the resin is thin enough to pick up, but dome, chest armor, shins and bells will be easy with this resin. I'll do some more testing with both of the resins, but have not have much luck with the smooth-cast 325. Seems the 326 has a longer pot life and curing time, so maybe I should check that one out instead - and hope it mixes thinner than the 325.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:22 pm 
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I'll add the symmetrical helmet to my scaled line once it's done.

Regarding casting from the current molds. So far the easiest and most consistent good result is the dome. The face mask is giving me some trouble because of the tusk tips not being picked up by the resin - I'm assuming it's because it isn't thin and free-flowing enough and cures too quickly, so never manages to seep out into that tiny space. Chest armor seems to be the second easiest piece to cast, whereas the shins are difficult because they are open molds and not closed 2-part molds like the rest. I could make the enclosing piece of the molds, sure, and it will be good practice for when the prints are ready to be molded, and then I'll keep people posted on how that goes, so I can cast the shins the same way as I'm casting the rest.

So far I have 2 perfect domes done, with no face masks being just as cleanly cast - either always missing part of the teeth or having air pockets in the resin. I'll keep working on it.

Both resins are durable and can be dropped, even thrown, without chipping or breaking, but one of the resins is clear and always comes out with tons of air bubbles visible on the inside, but it's hard to see if there are air bubbles in the surface.

So basically... domes will be the easiest to cast and with minimal cleanup.


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:56 pm 
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These past few weeks has been hell. I have come to realize that I won't be able to produce this project, as I got sick from the casting resin. Yeah, I know, bummer. But fret not, the project will be released, just not by me. There will be an update on that later.

Going all-out with this latest and final batch of 3D models for the v2 line, I've had the face mask re-scanned and below you can see a comparison between the new scan on the left and my old scan on the right. Though being fantastic for what I had available and with the skill level I had when scanning the face mask, there were a lot of flaws in both the scan as well as the assembly. Even though I got better at scanning, I never really wanted to revisit scanning the face mask due to how complicated it is to scan something like that with a device where the laser line and camera were at a 30 degree angle from each other. I can tell you, those undercuts and structural overhangs were a major pain in the rear - whenever I was finally able to see a specific area in the view-finder, the laser line was unable to reach it due to something blocking. For the face mask alone it was 2x15 hours just the scanning and double or triple that time to assemble it afterwards, and what you saw in the v1 print was the best I could make it. These new scans - I'll also get an ESB specific version done - are in a whole other ballpark and barely any work is required on the prints when they are made. And unlike the first batch, where most of the armor pieces were printed in regular HD due to all the flaws, this current batch will be all Ultra HD.
Anyway... here's the face mask scans.
Image, on Flickr

While working on this new scan, fitting it with tusks and grills, I first noticed that I had initially made the tusks too small for the v1 print batch. So those were re-scaled and fitted to the mask. Secondly, when adding the grills I noticed that even though they looked right, there was something off. Counting the gaps in the grills visible in the middle teeth gap, I realized that the grill model was too narrow top-down, so I had to rescale things, and even though it looked weird at first, it was infinitely more accurate to the reference.
Image, on Flickr

And here is the new grill in close-up.
Image, on Flickr

Never being too fond of the printed ANH dome, due to a misaligned scan slice covering the most important part of the dome - the Y-crease widows peak area - I went back to an older scan that was actually sharper, but incomplete. Doing a little Frankensteining on the two scans, basically cutting up the new scan, removing the surface layer, so only the inside layer was left, I started patching up the old scan and closing the holes. The only place the new dome scan outer surface is seen is at a hole at the top of the old dome scan, and the inside rim down at the brow at the widows peak area. Everything else is the old dome scan. I had to get my old computer out of storage, so I could use the scanning software to align and merge the models into the final piece. There are a few small holes left in the geometry, but those will be closed manually.
Here it is with the new ANH face mask scan:
Image, on Flickr

Lastly, since I knew this was gonna be the last batch for this project I decided to redo the lightsabers as I mistakenly had them printed in the wrong measurements previously - yup, my stupid beginners mistake - making one longer than the other. Activating a trial in my 3D viewing software I was able to scale the models, enlarge the D-rings a little and eventually export as .stl files ready for printing. I'll print separate D-rings just in case the attached ones makes it a molding and casting nightmare. Wasn't able to make a hole in the area where they attach, otherwise I would have removed the D-ring from the models, so molding and casting would be easier.
Furthermore, since some of the rods on one of the ESB belt boxes snapped during the many shippings back and forth I decided to have those re-printed as well. And never really liking the way the red light turned out, I decided to redo those and make them more accurate. I got a little friendly advice on how they should really look and I think I managed to get it looking pretty decently accurate with my meager skills.
After fitting the upper and lower ANH grills to the face mask, I removed the mask model and fused the two grill models into a single model that will be printed separately.
This is the prepared models so far. What is missing is a complete ESB specific face mask where I will add grills and tusks, similar to the ANH one.
Image, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:39 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX, USA
Impeccable results on the V2 mask and dome. That's digital gold! And a lot of heart and soul embedded within those ones and zeros. Gratifying to know the culmination of your hard work will be the most detailed and accurate scaled Vader yet.

I knew it was just a matter of time before someone came up with an ultra-accurate digital 3d Vader model. I'm glad it is you who be recognized as the one to do it. Keep your 3D model under lock and key. Otherwise they'll be a clone army of Vaders on eBay!


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 Post subject: Re: 1:6 Darth Vader 3D Laser Scan & Print Project
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:18 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:38 pm
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Location: Dracula's Castle
Next project idea: a 1:3 Vader helmet. :toothy That would be so awesome to have on display next to a 1:1 :thumbsup


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