If you haven’t followed a project through the RPF community before, here’s a great chance to watch a project while it is still actively unfolding. Sometime back in July, Todd Blatt (zenix on The RPF) decided to take on the Mutant Detector from the “Xmen Days of Future Past” — so he threw dropped a post on the RPF in the “Marvel Costumes and Props” forum along with a few modeling shots — and the modeling time-lapse above — and he was off and running!
As he continues to work, he shares updates here — including the photos of the revisions he continues to edit as he works to get things right… And Todd shared another detail that I appreciated: “I’ll be making the internals for this using Adafruit parts!”
The RPF shares projects with the community for a variety of reasons ranging from calling out for advice and ideas about an obscure feature, material, or component as with this Dune Harkonnen Helmet, or maybe just to share that moment of glory where your pieces is finally ready to face the camera (again).
Here are some thoughts he shared with us about why he loves participating in the RPF community:
I learn techniques from others and others learn from you. Also, it’s the same as why you share an update on Facebook. The feeling of comments/views is similar to receiving likes/shares/comments on just any ol’ Facebook post. I like the timelapse videos. I love Ryan Kittleson’s sculpting videos, which look really cool but are of a totally different style. People can learn these techniques. Many of the modeling concepts are ‘cross-platform’ and can be applied in both AutoCAD, Tinkercad, Solidworks, etc. I recently gave a lecture which focused on this while at the Tinkerine HQ in Vancouver. Thinking in 3D is a big focus of the upcoming TinkerineU Educational Platform. Learning these concepts can help you model. Modeling away from a computer and having a plan on how to break shapes down before you start modeling them is the key.
I used to use the Printscreen button a lot but now I have the Microsoft Snip Tool saved as a button on my taskbar, and it’s a little more convenient. I’m using Camtasia to record. I share some projects but not always the files. Only sometimes. I post on the rpf, on facebook, on therpf on facebook, on the united prop builders group on facebook, and my blog ttbcad.com. And there’s also the open source prop builders alliance group on facebook.
It’s neat to watch the unfolding development of the new Star Wars props. The Stormtrooper helmet in particular. So much has been done already from just the single photo that’s been released. Lineage of cast/vacformed props are so important in the community. Sometimes they come from particular auctions. Back in ’82, people buried a set of armor in the forest after Endor shooting, and dug it up later. It’s where one of the lineages of armor came from. You always want the screen used one. That’s the best. If you get a cast made from silicone which touched the screenused one, that’s a first gen casting and is amazing and rare. Usually you get one 3 or four steps down the line, or just a copy of a fan sculpted piece. One of the more popular ‘brands’ of armor is called FX, which is purely fan sculpt but it’s relatively accurate. It’s neat to watch what’s been happening now that people are sculpting digitally. I’m sure there’ll be one released that’s printable. We’ve seen pepakura ones out there already too.
You can see quite a few of Todd’s past projects up there and elsewhere online — we’ve shared a few of them as well such as his Scout Trooper Blaster project.
Modeled this guy up just now. It’s one I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I’m not 100% happy with it yet but it’s pretty close. The plan is to 3d print it, wire up a circuit with LEDs and a microcontroller to get the blink pattern right, and if I feel ambitious, wire a compass to the circuit so that it’ll detect north, and blink when it’s facing north. This will let you stand south of a person and pretend it’s detecting that person as you turn towards them.