27th Jan2011

Zillabots v2.0

by HollowShells

I guess the Zillabots have been haunting me since the summer. I was always dissatisfied with the finish and they never looked quite like I imagined them at the start, so I returned to this project and now you can witness Zillabots version 2.0.

Issues I had included the fact that the ‘chomp’ design looked better than the original base design. The paint jobs across the board were bad, bad choice of paint types, bad choice of design, major mental block over that whole aspect. Some parts of the bots had a slightly odd texture that was very difficult to rectify when finishing the cast, due mainly to being moulded directly from the foam I guess? I had not realized I could coat the it in primer filler first, just assumed that the foam would absorb anything I put on it. Also in the process of reworking I realized problems with their construction that could have been overcome had I just sat and thought about it a bit longer.

Anyway, I documented the process, here it is >>>

I started out by lopping off his arms, a) because it is necessary to mould and cast these seperately to eliminate difficult undercuts in moulding and facilitate easier finishing and painting but b) it also occurred to me that it would be much better to remould the body with the shoulders still attached so the arms could just be slotted back in, the join would be much more secure and super discrete.
So I sawed them off and drilled/dremelled out the socket in the shoulder.
Next the eyes, to start out they were wonky, or at least they looked that way because the face is not exactly symmetrical. I tried a few times to fill them back in and drill them again straight but just couldn’t get it right so just opted to fill them in for good and sand the face really smooth, (this part had been moulded from a clay sculpt, so it’s nice to be able to get it that extra level of smoothness). Then it was just seeking out all the little imperfections in the surface, fill and sand and sort out that odd texture in parts, I paid particular attention to the horns which again were not originally part of the body form but it made sense that they would be on this run.

Once I was happy that the body was sorted, I sculpted a new rim the face/visor. I had always wanted it to be this chunky but the nature of the method used to sculpt it in the first place had made it really difficult. This completed the work on the body, I sprayed it with can of paint I had lying around to show up any missed imperfections and help even out the surface even more before moulding. In the meantime, I had done the same with the hands, here they are set up for moulding. I glued bits of spaghetti to the tips of the fingers because in the previous moulds I had had problems with air getting trapped there and this eliminated that issue.

Here’s the body bedded into clay all set for moulding, I’m making silicone box moulds as I did before. I realize it’s more economical to make a jacket mould but I would want to make the jacket in fibreglass which I can’t do here in my tiny flat and I don’t really trust plaster to provide the longevity I want for this mould.
Next is how the mould turned out…really good!

To attempt to save a little on resin, and keep the weight of the final product down, I shove a block of foam in, supported by a bit of wire, before pouring the resin.
Here’s the first cast, fresh from the mould, next to no flashing! you can also see the first casts of the hands, they came out great too bar an air bubble in the back of one which is easily fixed, the spaghetti fingers thing really worked!

For (pointless) comparison, the form and the first cast after I sanded it some. I spent time cleaning up the seams and filling teeny bubbles that had not made it to the surface while casting. The trickiest part was the seams inside the arm sockets and making sure the arms still fit. Finally I sprayed everything with a sliver base and then took some metallic blue acrylic paint and hand painted the design. This took a little while because I spent a little time trying to plan it, even drawing it out on an old zillabot only to find that planning a bit redundant and freehanding it just made for a better result in the end. (I guess it also helps that I watched Tron legacy recently) I realized after a while that I’d gotten a bit R2-D2 but put the little skull and stuff in there to try and help steer it back to my own stylings.

Ta da!

I’m putting this guy up for sale in my etsy store, if he sells, I may make more…we’ll see I guess :)

Off