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22 July 2004 @ 01:13 am
An epiphany  
I finished my top and side view patterns of my Zhang He claws today. Now I get to worry about accurately cutting them out and getting the resulting mold to be symmetrical. I plan to order this hot wire scroll table, which will make my life much easier in that regard. There's still that matter of sculpting the top of the project (which I'll have to cut/sand freehand to get the requisite slopes) and getting both of its sides to match.

Earlier, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out a reliable way to do both the top and side cuts. Assuming that you have a solid rectangular block of appropriate size, you can trace the outline of, say, the top pattern and then cut it with the scroll table. Once you've done that, though, the side pattern can't be traced quite that easily because it won't lay flat against the piece any more. There are tricks to this (example: tracing the pattern onto some sort of sturdy paper or similar material that can actually be pinned to the foam so it rests where the original block edge was), but it's still annoying when you're trying to cut an accurate line that slices perpendicularly through the piece. However, you can split your pattern into two or more parts, leaving nice flat "slice" surfaces that you can use to slide the piece around on the scroll table for that nifty perpendicular cut that you're after. In the case of these props, I could also cut the mold along the lines of its plates (here's the reference if you can't remember what I'm talking about) to make it easier to work on the slopes of each one. The entire shebang then gets glued back together when you're done.

zeriel is coming over on Sunday to help me with fiberglassing, but I'm afraid I won't have any of my work ready by then. The dratted plywood isn't flat after all (it improved, but it seemed to not want to go beyond a certain point - on the advice of someone from cosplay.com, I flipped it over and weighed down the ends instead of putting the weights on the convexity in the middle), so I might not be able to cut it out as soon as I want to. Feh. As far as foam is concerned, like I said, I want that scroll saw. I do have a cheapo hot wire cutter, though, so maybe I could make a magnet or something. I've wanted to cosplay Magnet Man for quite a while just so I'd have an excuse to wear a giant magnet on my head. =P
 
 
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