Because of the MLK holiday, I had some extra time to work this weekend. I’ve not been looking forward to it, but it was finally time to add the electronics to the Robots! All the lights for the head had to run through a narrow channel in the neck so I had to cut the wires, feed them through and then solder them. Since I don’t know ANYTHING about electronics, I was extra careful to match the correct wires. Fortunately, everything still works! Woo hoo!
Once the head was seated and secured, I tucked in the wires and added some vecro to the bottom of the battery holder to keep it from ratting around in the chest. The back was then glued on.
If I can take a moment for a product endorsement, my new Radio Shack Cold Heat soldering iron ROCKS!!! It is powered by 4 AA batteries and has a small LED work light under the tip. Best of all, it only heats up once the tip comes in contact with the piece you’re soldering and then it’s INSTANTLY hot. As soon as you remove the tip, it’s instantly cool so no more burnt fingers for me! On sale for $24.95, it’s real bargain!
I secured the brain LEDs to the base of the head cavity and glued on the diffusers.
The brain halves were formed from .015 styrene and painted on the inside with white primer. Holes were cut for the eyes and the eye stalks inserted. I attached clear cast resin anchors to the base of the stalks and glued the anchor to the inside of the brain.
The eye/brain parts glued into place in the head. I did have some problem with the glue on the anchors removing the white paint from the inside of a few of the brains, so I’m going to try some thin white plastic to see if it will be translucent enough for the lights to show through. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just have to be more careful with the white paint on the clear…maybe Krylon Fusion will bond better.
After multiple attempts, I had to cut some shims to help release the master for the head dome form the formed plastic.
I also had to Bondo up the seam between dome and the MDF base so that the bottom edge will meet in a clean seam.
A quick test fit of the head dome. The eyes and brain still fit within the dome! Whew!’’
After a week in the tread mold, the silicone I mixed up STILL had not cured. In fact, it was still liquid. At this point, I pieced together that I did something wrong. It appears I was so concerned with mixing the right grey color that I forgot to add the catalyst. Oops! I removed the uncured grey resin – the red was OK – added some fresh silicone to make up for any loss and, this time, added the catalyst. The mixture went back in the mold and while the result was not great, it was a good “proof of concept” and will be good enough for my copy of the Robot if I don’t have enough silicone to make a new set.
A second attempt turned out perfect! Now to make three more sets!
I tried a .03 clear PETG plastic over the mouth forms and it worked great. A solid accurate pull that still leaves plenty of room inside the mouth for the round acrylic cabochons.Once trimmed out and in place, though, I discovered that my master wasn’t tall enough and you can see the presence of the MDF base. To fix this, I’ll have to Bondo up that seam and trim that upper edge once the piece is in place.
It’s hard to believe that I’m so close to being done. This next weekend will be making the rest of the treads, finishing the vacuum forming for the head and then attaching the arms!