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Anasazi37

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  1. Agreed. I look back on where this hobby was circa 2000 and we were lucky if someone was able to carefully handcraft parts and then successfully cast them in resin during limited production runs. If you missed out on those runs, you were out of luck. Some true artistic masters emerged during that time period, like John Moscato and Mike Salzo, whose craftsmanship continues to be exquisite. We're now living in a print-on-demand world, which brings with it new opportunities and new challenges for folks who want to build awesome-looking models in ridiculous sizes. The fact that I can print and assemble insanely detailed versions of the Aliens Drop Ship (with matching APC) and the Last Starfighter Gunstar, both at 1/35 scale, much less the SDF-2 at 1/4000 scale, boggles my mind. Struggling with how to print the clear sections on this beast is a problem I'm happy to have. I've found that Elegoo translucent never really comes out completely clear. They've prototyped a crystal clear resin, but haven't released it yet. So I'm using Anycubic Basic Clear for now. It can yellow a tiny bit during initial cure, but if you leave the parts alone for a few days afterwards, the yellowing goes away. To make the Anycubic resin work with my Elegoo Saturn, I switched over to NFEP film in my tank (made by Siraya Tech) to reduce stickiness during lift, lowered the lift speed to 20 mm/min, set the bottom exposure to 45.0 sec, and set the regular exposure time to 4.0 sec. My goal was to minimize the possibility of creating small cavitation bubbles during lift and so far it seems to be working. Does it require all of the changes I've made? I don't know, but I'm in "if it isn't broken, don't mess with it" mode right now. I'm happy to wait a few more hours for a print job to finish if it means I only have to run it once. Below is a screenshot of my settings in Chitubox. @Jasonc uses a different clear resin, Siraya Blu Clear V2, and he adds some blue dye to mitigate yellowing during initial cure. Blu Clear V2 is supposed to have pretty good anti-yellowing properties on its own, but I haven't been able to test that claim. I have some, but for me it's been more annoying to work with because it's a lot thicker. I'll get around to testing it at some point in the future, but for now the Anycubic resin seems to be working fine.
  2. Interesting idea and worth considering. For the 1/4000 version that would require a lot of clear resin, which is generally more expensive, but there are two bigger issues. First, the frame sections are quite long and actually exceed the range of most consumer grade resin printers, so you'd have to break the merged frame+glass parts into even more parts so they'd all fit. Second, the glass extends back into the main body of the ship and in two cases is floating on top of some additional city-like structures, almost like the three domes. You'd have to find a way to extract the glass and the surrounding frames from the main body so you could print them. Makes my head hurt thinking about how to pull that off. No free lunch with this printing project, I guess. Any method you choose has pros and cons.
  3. In some ways, yes. I looked into that for the parts that I've had to print and it's my current backup plan. Most consumer grade vacuformers are too small, though. I was starting to build a larger one when I got my printer dialed in. You'd basically have to print the parts, with supports, such that the acetate wraps around the edges well enough during the vacuform process that you can then cut away the excess and still have the ability to "push" the parts into the frame.
  4. I spent several weeks getting my consumer grade resin printer dialed in for handling clear parts, It was a big headache, but in the end worth the effort. My biggest issue was wavy lines of small "champagne bubbles" running vertically through printed parts. Took a lot of work to get that resolved. Result for a printed canopy after some progressive wet sanding and a quick dip in Future: I've since printed a lot of large clear parts of varying shapes and sizes and they came out well. All will need progressive wet sanding and dips in Future to make them look great, but that's to be expected. Just took a quick look at all the glass parts for the SDF-2. Most are pretty flat and those will be easier to print. I think the domes will be the most annoying because you'll have to use a bunch of supports and then do a lot of sanding to get rid of the small pock marks they leave behind after removal, but the sanding will work.
  5. That's exactly why I passed on the Angel Birds as well. I just couldn't get past the massively ugly emblem they invented and slapped all over the valk like a bad tattoo.
  6. If you read the Arcadia blog post carefully, you'll notice a comment about how one of the prototypes for the plush gunpod was able to collapse and expand, just like the "real" one. Having a removable strap would have been the perfect touch and would have made it easier to carry around at conventions, the office, you name it.
  7. The city section alone is about 9.5 in (239 mm), so yeah, likely no more than 18 in long in total.
  8. Just saw this in the blog post: "Also, the Gunpod stuffed toy is scheduled to be shipped in the week of August 22nd, so please wait a little longer." Holy crap, the gunpod is shipping MUCH faster than I thought. I figured it would be the six-month-wait-after-PO situation we've become accustomed to from Arcadia and Bandai. If it's shipping in two weeks, I need to set aside some money to pay for the shipping cost once it gets to Tenso. Yikes.
  9. I'd recommend using PLA (filament) for the large parts and resin for the smaller, more detailed parts. Otherwise it would cost a small fortune to print the entire set in resin at 1/4000 and it would be very heavy. It's difficult to print resin parts so they're hollow yet strong, but it's easy to do that with PLA.
  10. They're back in stock again at HLJ. Probably not for long.
  11. I'm currently printing the finalized set of parts. First will be the front and rear canopy sections in clear (multiple copies, in case I run into an issue with air bubbles), then the wings in standard grey, then everything else in standard grey. Will post pictures when done.
  12. Back in stock at HLJ: https://www.hlj.com/tiny-session-vf-25f-messiah-valkyrie-alto-machine-with-sheryl-bans63897 https://www.hlj.com/tiny-session-vf-25g-messiah-valkyrie-michael-machine-with-ranka-bans63896
  13. 100% agree with this. They could easily do larger initial production runs, second runs if the first sells out, and/or regular reissues without hurting their business, which we see all the time with Gundam and other lines, but they intentionally make a different decision that just makes all of this so much worse. Bandai also seems to make weird decisions on what to release and when. My love of collecting valks has balanced on the edge of a knife since Bandai announced the first DX VF-1 and I got screwed during PO Madness. Even since then it's been a cat-and-mouse game of figuring out how to get them at decent prices, and it's a game I rarely win. I'm getting tired, though. Over the past year I've passed on the YF-29 Full Set Pack, the VF-31J Movie Version, the VF-25 WWM, the VF-31AX Bogue, the YF-29 Max, the VF-31AX armored parts, and the Angel Birds. I'm being a lot more selective with my time and money now. Granted, I just bought one of those ridiculous plush gunpods from Arcadia, but I'd rather give Arcadia that money than reward Bandai for bad design and production decisions. It's hard-won information that builds on the experiences of many MW members, so credit should go to a lot of people here for figuring out ways to level the playing field for collectors--even just a little. It's by no means a complete list of suggestions, but I hope it helps people. I know a few members have run the numbers over the past year or so, whenever the question comes up, and this always turns out to be the answer. Supply, not price, seems to be the primary difference. There must be a happy medium between Yamato's devil-may-care approach that bankrupted the company and Bandai's we-barely-care approach that continually frustrates domestic and international collectors. More than a few members refer to that as the "old man tax." I'm more willing to pay it these days. I just don't have the time or energy to compete against scalpers.
  14. Out of curiosity I pulled the top half of the city into Cura and sliced it for my Creality CR-6 SE using best print quality and lots of tree supports to help with all of the floating sections. Looks decent, but there will definitely be some cleanup after support removal. A 24hr print job doesn't scare me. Multiple sections of the 1/35 Gunstar I printed earlier this year required two days each (worth the wait).
  15. Glad you were able to find that again. If the plan is for the line to solely consist of valk + idol pairs, a VF-1S (SDFM or DYRL) with Minmay would make sense. So would a VF-1D with Minmay, VF-1J Hikaru with Minmay, and a VT-1 with Minmay. A VF-1S with both a Minmay and a Misa, so Hikaru could have one in each hand, would be spot-on. To make this even more fun, there should be a VF-1S Roy with Claudia, VF-1J Max with Millia, VF-1J Millia with Max, and a TV Kakizaki with a steak.
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