Monday, February 28, 2011

Roller Tank preview

  This is what I am cooking up now. Found a basic model and modified it to make it fit in the setting to go with the other tanks. Broke a mill bit so it is going to be a few days before I get to see this one in action. I am working on some sci-fi alternative history stuff, and I figure some guys think the best way to get across no-mans land is to go really fast. Hence this suicide machine.
      The trencher tank is still being stubborn. I gave it a go today and it is still not right. The good news is I am getting a bigger army of them, as all the ones not good enough to sell wind up in my armored units. I made some adjustments and plan to have one more go. Tuesday I am determined to do the 25mm round bases first thing, then see if I can get the pieces to fit together on the tank without too much filing.

   Thanks to all the people who picked up the building.  I do plan on making more bits for the buildings. The first 2 are pretty interchangeable, the windows on the second are a little more pronounced. Used a bigger bit because they break less that way.  I got to do a doorway and maybe a couple of extra bits too.   I will try and keep making more parts for it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Buildings available now.

  Went out and picked up some CRC brand mold release. It is a lot better than the Dupont stuff. Only have to spray about every 12 shots and it leaves almost no residue. Better yet, it says it is paintable so no need to wash off!  I made up some buildings last evening and added them to the store. Also modified the tank to try and get the parts to snap together better. I am going to fire some of them up on Monday. I still got to get those 25mm round bases done. I made the mold just have not run them yet.
   The old plastic machine may be haunted. It did OK, but got a little cranky at one point and started burning up again. You have to watch those readouts closely, cause turn your back and it starts cooking. Had to purge the overheated plastic out and resume running. Oddball intermittent issues like that are hard to correct. It works most of the time, but once in a while it likes to be difficult.
   Thinking about it being haunted might explain the bizarre hand pinching incident..................

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trencher tank part 2

  Ok, so here is a tank I made today. It is the same CAD drawing as my old one, just scaled down to 80%.  It turned out OK, the mold performed pretty well. It needs release agent more often than I would like, but I can not complain about that. Sort of the nature of plastic injection molding. The tanks I designed to be trench busters, hence the wide tracks and side mounted weapons to spray the hapless defenders.  Not sure about this one also, as the parts meant to be "snap together" turned out to be " smash together" or even worse " this stupid thing does not fit!". I am not understanding how parts fit OK in one mold and when resized they do not. It seems there is always something to learn and a new problem to overcome.
  I like the design and was hoping to sell a few at $4, but I do not want to be selling poorly fitted parts that need trimming. Then again, I have often purchased things that were poorly fitted and needed trimming. I painted it red like the building below. I sort of like the way it looks. The tank can be built with the parts simply glued together, it just makes it a bit wider. I might make a few up like that and see how it works.
   Oh well, back to the drawing board once again.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New building done ( almost)

  Well, back to work again. Made this building out of an aluminum mold. It works very well when sprayed with mold release, but sticks a bit if not. I am going to hand polish the edges a bit and see if I can get it popping out on full auto. When I do I will add to web store. If I have to spray that is fine, I will just have to wash the parts before they can be sold.  It is a nice piece with a bit of floor to place your troops on. I have been a bit inspired of late and have several more things planned or in the works. Looking into some real innovative production techniques that should increase my output. I really did not think it would take this long to be actually making production plastic parts, but it was a learning curve. So far I have all major base sizes done and a couple of buildings. Plus a small bucket full of molds to be sold off for scrap. Still beats paying student loans for the next 20 years and I probably learned better by trial and error.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New bases done

  I finally got around to adding the 20mm square bases to the web store. The new bulding is coming along fine and I have about half of the resized trencher tank done. Could be a good month if I can get these new molds done. I am inspired to push forward with more and more stuff, it just takes so long to do it. The weather was OK and forecast to get a lot better. I am going to paint a bit while I wait for the CNC's to do their stuff. I ordered some boxes today so I will be able to ship for quite a while with no stoppages.  Ran the plastic machine for about an hour with no problems. Now let's hope that keeps up!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Frustrating Tuesday

  Had a pretty difficult day on Tuesday. Trying out my new mold and again it had issues. Mainly the rear cutout for the injector nozzle was not correct and it caused some of the plastic to bleed out of the back of the mold and not go into the cavity. Also, my nozzle temperature digital readout started randomly flashing numbers. I had no idea how hot it was. I by-passed the thermostat and ran it straight, but I got to fix that. All in all a very down day that left me a bit deflated. I also am not happy with the size of the vehicle. I am only able to actually see the item when I create one. There is no prototype or anything. So something that looks about right on screen and judging from a measurement can be very different in reality.  Here is the new tank. It has built in sponsons with heavy automatic weapons and a main gun. The pieces fit together about right. I am going to try AGAIN, but scale it down to about 75% size.  This model has a very bad dry brush to show off some of the detail. The road wheels, rivets, and hatch all turned out really nice.

  I think I am going to do another building first. Some of the guys buying the one I made have requested more variety, so I am going to do 2 more sprues. A 3rd story section, floor section and damaged roof tiles.