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"seeking advice on sculpting scifi, straight lines and such" Topic

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663 hits since 10 Oct 2012
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Minionhunter Inactive Member10 Oct 2012 7:54 a.m. PST

I'm wondering how people go about sculpting scifi models like buildings and tile and computers and such when there are lots of smooth flat surfaces and straight lines involved in such work. How do you keep a box straight and true with 90 degree angles and a consistent thickness? How do you put straight lines on floor tiles and keep the tiles even and true, even if they are all connected.

I'm just curious because this seems very tough. I would appreciate any advice you might have.

Angel Barracks Inactive Member10 Oct 2012 8:03 a.m. PST

Plasticard would seem a possible solution.

45thdiv10 Oct 2012 9:27 a.m. PST

Foam core and bass wood are used a lot for buildings

CorSecEng Inactive Member10 Oct 2012 10:22 a.m. PST

Most people start with dollies when scultping figures. Maybe it's time someone releases a few generic building shells to use as frame works for others to sculpt buildings around.

MDF could work but Acrylic might be a better material for making masters on. Strong and can handle being wet.

Simple block buildings with windows and doors that are the correct size for the scale.

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member10 Oct 2012 5:42 p.m. PST

What a strange question. I wonder how some can sculpt people and things without straight lines. Please don't take this as hostility. It's more about puzzlement.
I don't do Sci-Fi stuff. But that's not because I couldn't. It's just that I'm a historical gamer.
I watch tons of Sci-Fi movies. And enjoy Sci-Fi stories in books. I just don't game it. I don't know why not.
But I scratch build buildings all the time. It's both fun and theraputic. Kind of calming. Plus the results are bunches of fun on the game table.
I'm sorry to type so much and offer no help. But if you can sculpt people and creatures and such you make me wonder.

Minionhunter Inactive Member10 Oct 2012 9:10 p.m. PST


with a person or something organic I'm not worried about something having exactly the same thickness from one leg to the other, its hidden. However if you are making a floor especially out of tiles, it needs to be level and every square needs to be identical to each other. If you were making tiles for casting like Hirst Arts blocks, they need to be square, right angles, and the same thickness at every point on the tile or block.

After thinking about the clay, I figured I could do a little better with the walls and floors with detail. Hence the question.

If you want, can you tell me how you would make these?

What I mean is how would you put the numbers and circle within a star into a styrene sheet. I was thinking clay might be a better medium to make the master.


I can work out the rest pretty easy, its just getting a perfect grid with also getting the numbers into the floor also.

Right now I'm trying to make a grid of tiles, I've gone back and forth with styrene vs. clay. It needs to have numbers embossed into it, so clay seems a little better to me, but they could be engraved into styrene.

The project is redoing the battlestations modules (from scratch) because they are no longer made and no one responds to emails who made them. So scratch building them it is.

CorSecEng Inactive Member10 Oct 2012 9:33 p.m. PST

Laser cutting is the fastest and easiest way. Etching the complex consoles and other details would be a lot of labor but blank wooden or plastic rooms with numbers and a grid etched into them is easy. We could probably do it for you.

Alternatively, I know someone with a mint copy of the game. I've looked at it several times and never had the time or patience to dig in deep. It looks like a cool game. Its a demo copy but it was never punched out.

Minionhunter Inactive Member11 Oct 2012 6:26 a.m. PST

If they have the 3D modules I would love to buy them, but I'm guessing you have the cardboard and not the plastic. I have the game already.

How much does laster work cost? Assuming I did the CAD for it myself. There are about 20 modules total for this to do. I've considered laser work, but it seems expensive, even for masters, but I've not gotten a quote.

CorSecEng Inactive Member11 Oct 2012 7:46 a.m. PST

I can't quote it without detailed files. I can tweak the machine to get some extra depth but usually laser cutting etching isn't deep enough to cast. We could tweak the settings and the files to exaggerate them a bit. Shrinkage becomes a factor but we can compensate for that was well.

For masters, It would have to be done in acrylic. wood would warp or worse in the casting process.

I can probably cut a tile with just letters/numbers and a grid for about $20 USD each. Maybe less if I do them all at once. Assuming they are 6" by 6" or so. You will need to provide the CAD work. I really can't tell you how much it will be till I put the file in my system and estimate the laser time.

We could cut production pieces for cheaper. Vector etching the grid will be fast but the line is to thin to cast. We could also use a cheaper material like MDF or Plywood.

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Oct 2012 6:22 a.m. PST

I'm affraid I'm no help when it comes to symbols or numbers on tiles and such. I tend to use decals for such things.
As for getting alot of nice, uniform squares. Remember to measure twice, cut once.
If you're having trouble getting things straight might I recommend some low power reading glasses?
I'm not trying to be a smart Alec. It's suprizing what a difference these can make.

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