Thank goodness! I took the day to redo the montral and front lekku for a nice clean line. It’s worked which is nice ๐Ÿ™‚ I was thinking about taking a break from the costume because of them but I think it’s going to work out.

But yay. It’s also inspiring me to work on other scifi type gear ๐Ÿ™‚

Including Maleficent ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll need to work with her under better lighting to get a good scan- the ends keep being missed in the IR camera. I may be able to heat up some paler clay to see if that helps.Ditto putting lines on. I’ll see how I go today and tomorrow. But latexing is my main task for the next few days. I say days as the weather is not yet warm enough to cure quickly so I have to cure smart. So no putting the stand outside where it can blow over (had that) and where I can’t prod at it make the support collapse (done that!).

Hmm I may need to quickly put some extra support underneath. Fingers crossed.

Yes. I also need to get some pigment into a container to mix into her colour too. BTW her pantone swatches do not match the final result, so it’s going to be interesting!

I had left the hilts and greeblies looking good ๐Ÿ™‚ But then… today as I was arranging all the parts on a stand in plate… well I found that I needed to cut one hilt section in half, and also find an emitter end cap.

But this is how it all looks now so it should be good ๐Ÿ™‚ Okay I know it’s good as I error checked and used Cura ๐Ÿ™‚


If you look closely I’m printing at draft quality because I don’t really want to have my printer going for a week. I just don’t trust power/machine combos atmย ever ๐Ÿ™‚

But it’s really not that bad as I can just sand and acetone wash as planned. So it shouldn’t be extra effort to save a little filament and a lot of time ๐Ÿ™‚


It looks like I only have photos of the previous sets of hilts over here. Yes. I had to rebuild my hilts from scratch as bending the hilts slightly early lead to something being off by about 1mm over the whole length. I managed to do so in a much shorter time frame but… it was still a lot of work. So to find the hilts still needed work today… ugh.

But, yes, all in parts.

I believe this is actually of my final set ๐Ÿ™‚ The emitter got lost so I have put it back in the file here (with all the pieces nested) and in the file at the top (all parts in areas about the size of the plate of my printer) and are in the three files for each print job.

I used LIPID object exporter plugin for Sketchup and opened them in Cura to make sure they were all aligned correctly.

I do really enjoy this. Well most of it. Once the order is sorted and I don’t have to work in the air as such.


My Ahsoka lekku did not cure as well as needed. So I’m going to see if I can tidy the belt template and start tooling leather.

But I am nearly back to where I was. I decided that I was too annoyed by the short back lekku to be happy. Side track to making a new stand for sculpting and I now have wiggly lekku- one attached two on the floor.


And so much mess.


So much.


But the back lekku has a layer of latex, there is latex grouting on the new montral seams (actually an older cast that was still in pieces) and I also templated a headband for her.

Well I have divided the hilts into reasonable lengths and created supports so now… now I hope I can just make a curve and use the plugin. Hopefully. I am exhausted.

The site will default to your WP login but if you aren’t logged in you can use FB, or Twitter at the very least. ย Woo!

After using the shape bender I used hidden geometry to work out why the end looked blunt and then added lines.

And then used Solid Inspector2 to check for errors. It actually fixed some things that were meant to repair, but not my edges which I did expect.

And then I found trying to slice through horizontally just did not work. The model is perfectly horizontal but as soon as I intersect faces it doesn’t. So lots of short pieces like for Ventress ๐Ÿ™‚ I know that worked so this should work too ๐Ÿ™‚

I started making fairly the overlaps to help join those pieces once printed but I’m not so I like them, so I’ll spend a little more time today on making ring supports instead.

Each hilt is more than 10 pieces. This is to better reflect the different materials (copper, silver, black) Also to allow the same print to be used as non functional and functional by having some separate blade holders able to be used simply as support, the end cap being functional with the D ring holder and screw. I kept getting errors using the bolt making plugin so I’d rather just not use that atm. It should work at a larger scale but I did find scaling could be unpredictable with curves,

These also have to be arranged in correct alignment for printing. which I will do once the connecting sections are added.


I find this quite painful and painfully slow work. A lot has had to be drawn by hand even after using tools and plugins. For example the supports I’m making can’t be just extruded as they connect into pieces on a different angle. So I have to copy from one piece and add to the first and then measure and draw to size. Luckily 5mm seems to work well so I can at least be fairly consistent with that ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s seriously fiddly work, lots of copy paste and drawing on the inside and outside

Ahsoka plans

Aug. 20th, 2017 07:42 am
glittersweet: (Default)

This is where I left her Montral. The lekku are the next on the agenda.


I have a cunning plan, but I have managed to move and misplace or actually corretly store so many costume elements this year that I am not sure where all my lekku making materials are.

Sadly probably no pictures while I actually do the work. Latex all over the place and latex cures super fast when in thin layers so it’s easy to lift finger prints or grab fibres from anything if I am not careful ๐Ÿ™‚ But it’ll be much the same way I worked on all my lekku.

So that is the plan for tomorrow- work out the lekku proportions and start marking the montral for seamlines with the lekku- I hope to hide the seam in the paint.

It takes 10,000 hours to master something? Maybe an exaggeration but it is many many hours of making good progress and then bad and then good, and then even worse…

But I have hilts actually curved and tidied fairly reasonably.

I have so many in progress images but none of this particular set. Anyway. Tadah!

There’s an extension for that.ย A reminder of all the pieces I had made.

And now totally new model with 16 pieces (well will be when I make the blace support for the smaller hilt.

So pretty. And to show they are indeed separate pieces!

Next I am going to use the Bender extenion as that’s what I used for vetress. I’ll have to make sure the ends are definitely straight so they do not affect the greeblies.


I am so happy with these I can’t say how much ๐Ÿ™‚ I wish I’d rememered all the extensions I’d used as there are a few very handy one. I hope the threading ext. works. It is going to help me hold the saber in place.

See those long pieces at the end? They are l shaped braces to hold the end cap in place. The screw has been made to go all the way through the model into the corresponding button and counter sunk button respectively in the long and shot sabers.

I think i have a light source sorted. It’s a but spendy but actually within budget so I may hit the “buy now” button on the torch and batteries and charger.


I just need to figure out how to rewire a torch intended to be used with an aluminium body that acts as part of the circuit. I think.

But I wired up my mini hilt last time so…. Also- I can print a battery holder- I have seen some on thingy verse so I think I can use then to help make one that will fit in this. I’ve also figures a way to help strenthen a few weak points in my hilt ๐Ÿ™‚


Very next things to do:

Add a tiny stop to the screws. mothers to the button and counter sunk piece.

Get my curves! Get them to full length including straight ends. These are done as lines outside of a group- so I will need to group my components, then make a curve then fingers crossed!

then slice (and I have a tool for that now ๐Ÿ™‚


Ahsoka hilts

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:27 am
glittersweet: (Default)

I have actually had to redo alllllllllllll of this. Luckily it’s going much faster now. Note: use right click to reverse faces. Trust me you’ll need it a lot.

But this is why I have been so quiet online lately. Relearning the skills I used for Ventress after not using this for a year or so? Tough! Especially when some of the guides are a bit incomplete.

For example for cale? you click the tool click the diagonal and start typing. No right click, no typing into a text. It’s a bit counter intuitive but I think it’s a bit more accessible this way too? Anyway. Saved me at least a little work- by allowing me to copy components from this file into my at true scale new hilts. And then using them as a guide because I change so much!


#ahsokalives hilts are looking lovely. But there is an entity that skews when I try to slice through to make the hilts in short sections. I have a feeling it actually is SKU trying to tidy. So I’ll have to move the body of the hilts, erase one entity look inside and then close it all up before putting the cutting entity through.

So I am preparing for a day of swears. Yes. I do. I try to turn them into not obvious swears but sometimes it sort of slips through.

Right. Prep.

Also i’m allowed the glass topped TV table to use for my 3D printer! Woo. That means I can print with ABS as you need a well ventilated area. My workroom is, but I do not have any stable surface. Aside from my overlocker. I coooouuld use that. Actually. we’ll see. I want to replace the current heavy frame tv table out there with shelve for my molds anyway. The Togruta molds will be difficult but I also have a cunning plan (Trademark Baldrick) to help. Also the new position would be ideal.


Now to prep for the day as this is all very exciting.

As in the so called definition of madness. Yes I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to do something expecting it to work. In part because the tutortial I used did not really make full use of SKUs component and group features.

I want to make my hilt fool proof for printing and so I’m dividing them up into shorter sections to print only so high- they are hollow so too tall and there is the risk they will skew. This has to do with Z axis (though my machine has a steel frame- less of an issue unless there is a flaw) and cooling/heating issues. I have a heated plate so that is good.

Anyway. to make a slice. Make a square on the green axis make it a component. And then you can merrily place it through your model and it won’t move anything. Then select everything, explode curves, and intersect selection. Then you have the slices in place.

But keep them all as separate pieces before then.

On the right is me using the guide and this shape stretched some interior planes. No idea why. But I didn’t notice until I have all my hilts divided and ready for adding internal support for snapping the pieces together.

So….. I know now. I have had practice now and it means I should., should, be able to do the last tidying of proportions today.

I have been working to the limits of the resolution my printer can manage (apparently 100microns, 0.1mm) but I need to test my machine. PLA at 0.2mm is a bit chunky. I have seen how fine 0.1mm looks on the standard owl model but I don’t know it if was PLA or ABS.

I now have 1.75mm ABS so can test the machine again. And at 0.1mm

I want to make it easier so I’m trying to round all my measurements to full mm so that’s what I’m doing today. Except for anything to do with the emitter. Though I guess I do now know how to cut through a little more easily…

Oh man. What took a couple of days to get “mostly done” for a solid print is taking ages because I want a fancy one that can hold a blade.

I sometimes think I should try and capture the fun times of working with SKU on screen record. And with mic on so you can hear the sears. They get a creative. Though the f’bomb is usually muttered. and the s’bomb gets stretched out to sheee-er-gerrr.

I saw my PC space with other so it means trying for levity in the stress.

So lots of what the foo, whyyyyyyy? *push keyboard away* ย but whhh-hy-hhy-hy-hy-hy???

Never the less she persisted! Yes I went there. It’s basically the mantra of my life. And there will be a post!

I started with the original images, Note, this is a screenshot, it really is that blurry to work with. I wanted to do a line art originally but used a photocopy in hand and on screen just scaled to hight.

I actually then started a new model with the hilts cropped to height to make it muuuuch easier. And yes, when you import images you need to scale them once in as well. Unless there is a keyboard trick… there probably is.


then I made a series of guides and then drew curves and loved it. Until I realised yes, the sides are totally rounded, I did say the images are fuzzy!

So, Viola! (that was a pun.) New guides new scaled image and new face made the same way. From here I extruded a series of tubes leaving the inside empty. It worked really well for Asajj. But I am making mie a touch simple in the joins this time.

Guides guides everywhere!!!!! This was to create the inset grip of the longer hilt. Basically pecil and extrude and some maths!

And yep the decorations are in place. But I wound up having to move them on my longer hilt. That was just a bit frustrating.

Then came the other pieces; inset switches, what i think are peg/screws to hold the end caps in place, the long end cap holder, and the large button. Finally the emitter caps!

The large button. I goofed and wound up with the circle not centred so yesterday was a day of fixing issues like this. I placed everything together (they are all separate components so they will print separately and in whatever orientation works best. I also adjusted length and made the end cap holders fit smoothly to let them pass so we can gain acccess to the insides to put electronics inside.

Here you can see I had yet to place the end caps. But the are there not. I also got the emitters to their final shapes and sizes. One emitter needs some smoothing but aside from that I think I’m happy.

So today with the emitters lined up correctly it’s time to get the pencil out and start cutting.! Had a few practices but it’s not really been perfectly even as I didn’t have then perfectly on my guides.

#ahsokalives hilts with nearly all the little buttons. I also cleaned out the inside of each piece, tidying up guidelines or removing interior lines and planes.

So to make the D ring holder actually fit I have to be very careful about the curves. I see they sort of curve there in the line art but it is a bit much to try to do right now. Also I need to make the emmitter and make sure that fits in the end of the sabers. They are different to each other too.

I need to rest my ribs again. It’s also quite cold so a bit of warmth from the blanket will be good too ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been using the @starwarsrebelsย supplied concept images of Ahsoka and found I’m only a tiny bit shorter than her, which sort of balances out if I wear orthotics in the boots, which is sensible, and can potentially just pad a little more between me and the headpiece.

(edit, this was supposed to be posted before my last post but well.. I mistake the “add tags” and “publish” buttons!)

So I decided I will scale to the appropriate height of her vs me as it won’t be so far off as to look like I’m carrying oversized versions.

But I want to eventually put a blade in. But even with a little rounding up to account for the blurring of the lines when scaled I wind up with a 20mm thickness. My Shaak Ti and Talon blades are 20mm. I find it mimics the OT and SWR style well while the 25mm (1″) blades often used really mimic the prequels and TCW.

What this means is I would want at least 24mm thickness. This is because there is an inset piece that should be at least 1mm. That gives me 1mm thickness around the blade- a bit close but my ventress hilts are that thin in places. And I could also cut a piece of the same acrylic tubing to support vertically on the belts. Or I could just accept that I can’t have both? Though I did just scale the fronts to match as if I was going for 22mm thickness and that is not so bad. So maybe I could do that.

This has a 3mm thickness and is at the to scale size. Now to see what I can do with a 2mm thickness.

I totally forgot how to do all of this so what should have taken a half hour took a few. But I did finally settle on scale. I enlarged 10% on the face and 20% on the side. It really was the only way to keep length and minimise thickness disruption. Now I need to remeasure and work on the weird grip.

Okay I forgot to publish so here is where I am now!

Next is to figure out the size of the diamonds to add them in and also make the emitter. But I forgot to have lunch and also my ribs are so sore I have to have a lie down.

I was very worried as my latex thickener took a while to arrive and my molds wound up soaking too long. But it’s all good ๐Ÿ™‚ But the latex I had was certainly bad. Not so bad that it couldn’t be rescued but rescuing requires a lot of work ๐Ÿ™‚

Thickener and coloidal silica ๐Ÿ™‚ I probably should have grabbed microballoons, explained later ๐Ÿ™‚

I used up as much of my latex as I could- two bottles of thickener will turn 2.5L of latex into a very thick consistancy, but it does still run, not immediately but over a few hours.

What have I done here you may ask. Well here is the answer ๐Ÿ™‚

Self supporting latex

In order to have self supporting horns but an adjustable thickness tentacle latex layer I first lay up a thick layer of the thickened latex (for this also with some added silica to limit warping) then ย a layer of peeled foam in 5mm or 10mm thicknesses soaked in a latex and water mix. I push the foam into the latex just enough to adhere but leave a layer of just latex to create a skin to the foam.

This is tricky! If the environment is too warm the latex well turn tacky while working with it causing deformities. This has been my fifth run and it’s the first time this hasn’t happened because it was much cooler yesterday than any other day this summer.

The peeled foam is very soft, very soft and not at all self supporting alone. In fact its use is to pad and create a soft layer.

But once soaked in latex and left to cure it becomes fairly rigid. The cells become rigid but the air pockets remain.

The foam also tends to not pull away from the walls of the mold while the latex is curing. This makes it much easier to be able to control warping of large pieces like this. It also reduces weight and can be stitched then glued/latexed to hide the join. It is also possible to pare back the foam with a knife to thin it out for the tentacles.

This is sort of a reverse industry standard method of skinning foam for creature effects. Having a mold means I control the skin texture a lot more but means working a bit blind in terms of being able to know exactly how thick that skin is.

This standard method is how I make my lekku in general. And as I work to finish this piece I’ll be able to share tips on how to do that- it still requires skill to avoid limiting stretch of the foam and adding ย weight! I also want to update my Rachi Lekku and Talon lekku ๐Ÿ™‚

Whoops, I miscalculated yesterday. The figure is actually 135mm from heel to crown. And the saber definitely is shorter than inside elbow to knuckles.



x= 28.622

30492887806_b8d8f53d6d_oย ahsokascalere2 ahsokascalere

So that actually works. I know this is shorter than in the show, and is shorter if I go by the same calculation of the concept art. That is by all the means possible- comparing the length of forearm or hip to knee or straight up measurement from crown to heel.

So I think if I go for 12″ or 30cm (probably 30cm as I can more easily work out wall thickness based on current 3D printer specs) I’ll have something that is as close to perfect as possible.

I’ve taken the concept art of Ahsoka and scaled her to my height- so 168cm from heel to top of head- so I cropped the montral off and the heels of the boots.

And I have checked head height is accurate, height from waist to should is right..

Her “big” lightsaber hilt winds upย 34cm long! And yeah in the concept you can see it goes from about hip crease to above the knee.

It just feels very weird!

I’m going to check the scale on the figure because I don’t think they follow that proportion. The figure is about 125mm from heel to crown.

X/168= 21/125

X= 28.224

Hmmm. I wonder if I should just say 30cm/12″? I know one person has gone for 12″ and it does seem to be the middle ground.

I grabbed these images as screencaps, her arm and saber are approximately on the same angle, mirrored, and then in line:

ahsokascalereย ahsokascalere2

I used a line tool for the length of the light saber then copied to a new layer and altered the angle to follow the arm.

In both cases they line up.

And that is as close to 30cm on me as can be fairly judged.

To note, the saber is curved, quite definitely so, but I have printed out and used my ruler to compare length from top to bottom along the surface and at right angle to the top. It’s very similar.

So, now that I have a dimension I am happy with I can actually start work in Sketchup!

Question time

Oct. 20th, 2016 10:47 pm
glittersweet: (Default)

So while my online demonstration of mold making is not really optimised as it’s slow going butย here is a question:

Can anyone guess at why I have been trimming the edges of my molds? I just cut back not only the excess drip marks but also the thin edge left behind.

sm_dsc_0785ย sm_dsc_0787

I am curious as to what might be presumed about this “extra step” ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll be posting a separate post once I have finished. But ย few clues:

~ biggest clue- this mold is 50lbs (22.9kg)

~ I have seen professional mold-makers in action ย so I picked up some habits used on large scale projects.

~ I have been making molds since.. well the late 90s (shhh) so I have a lot of experience in making and maintaining them (lots of experience at doing things in a rush as well as well planned)

~ think of these as objects in and of themselves as well as an intermediary object to make other things ๐Ÿ™‚ And how you make the things from this.

~The mold is currently on the ground.


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