Thursday, 25 April 2013

Hellboy Corpse Locator Tutorial - Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

The following steps are lacking pictures, hopefully I'll be getting on with my personal build-up soon and can finally fill in these last few pictures. But in the mean time I'll describe the process as well as I can with what images I have.


Now that everything's painted you can start to put it all together. The first step is to distress your hinges a bit. bend them around with some pliers, give them some good dents with an awl and finally, hit them with a blowtorch to ruin that overly shiny finish.

Image: distressed hinges

Now that they're good and wrecked you can screw them back into place. I like to add a bit of epoxy glue as well, just to make sure it stays in place. Also it fills in the hinge slot a bit.

The bearing plate gets glued into the bottom of the main body. Nothing too tricky here, just make sure not to use too much glue, you want the plate the be flat against the body, if its on a layer of glue, it may end up too high, or at an angle. And just try to centre it within the space, (there's not actually much wiggle room, probably only 1mm each side)

These hinges didn't get pre weathered, so they stick out.

Depending on how tight of a fit your bearing is, you may not need to glue it in, however I have found that the added weight of the centre dial assembly can cause the bearing to rack within it's housing, so just use a dab of glue around the edge to seat it in it's housing.
Make sure the bearing is seated properly, nice and level, and be careful not to gum up the bearing with the glue!

The Centre Dial Assembly

This is where we assemble the centre dial, dome and bearing disc into one piece.

If you're building a kit with light, scroll down to the light module section and have a read through. In the past I have put the lights on before glueing this all up, but have now decided it makes more sense to add the lights last, but you may as well have a read and decide for yourself which way round to do it.

The difficult part of this step is glueing the pieces together so that the pin of the bearing disc is perpendicular to the rest of the assembly, otherwise your dial won't stay level as it spins (there are lots of factors that could contribute to this, but screwing up this step is the most likely cause).

When I say 'glue' in the following steps I'm referring to clear 5 minute epoxy. Strong, sets up fast, and not as noticeable if some leaks onto your dome.

You have to do this all in one go, so read through this all before starting, get everything ready and make sure to mix up enough epoxy.

Firstly, put a few blobs of glue on the back of the dome and firmly press it onto the face of the bearing disc.

Next apply glue to the edge of the bearing disc, don't put it on the inside of the centre dial and be careful not to get any on the dome.
Carefully lower the centre dial over the bearing disc and dome (I do it this way so the dome doesn't fall off). and push the bearing disc into place.

Just going by eye try to push the bearing disc in so that it is flush with the back of the centre dial.

I then clamp the whole assembly to something flat, to keep the bearing disc and centre dial flat, flush and aligned. A board with a small hole in it would be ideal, but I just clamp two metal rulers to the assembly, (separated by a piece of paper so the rulers aren't glued to the piece)

Once the glue has dried, you can remove all the clamps, tear off any paper that got stuck and simply push the post into the bearing you previously glued into the main body.

If you want to leave your mark, this is the perfect place, accessible, yet hidden


Your compass should now be fully assembled, all that's left to do is weather it. Obviously there's lots of room for interpretation here, so I'll just detail the basic techniques I use.

My main method of weathering involves mixing up a turquoise paint with plaster in it, then stippling this onto the compass.

The first pass is a watered down, almost black tone, with very little plaster in it, I use a big stiff brush and stipple pretty hard, trying to get into the deep recesses . About 90% of the exterior gets this treatment. Then using a damp sponge I wipe down the surface detail of the compass, leaving it just in the low spots.

On the next pass I'll lighten the tone of my paint and and thicken it up a little with plaster (note: the more plaster you add to paint the more is will lighten as it dries, so be careful)

This is where I begin to try and tell a story, the mould and oxidation will have started in one deep area, and slowly crept to another, The hinge will have trapped water and gotten really gunged up. The inside will have less of the light coloured fresh, mould and retain a bit more of it's golden sheen.
As I work I constantly wipe the surface of the vines with a damp sponge, so that you keep some shine to the piece.

There tends to be a bit of a gap between the dome and the centre dial, I like to get lots of mould in there, even letting a bit of it creep up onto the dome.

After a few layers (if you do this slowly you will get some really nice plaster 'mould' deposits building up) I'll have worked my way from almost black, covering all the deepest recesses, up to almost white, just barely touching the tips of some mould that's crept onto the surface.

These pictures are by no means a step by step guide of what your trying to achieve in each pass. They're just a reference of how I start building up the layers (there's lots of tweaking after most of the paint is laid down that I didn't document).

Light Module

If you've bought a light kit, one of the last things you need to do is fix it in place. I personally like weathering to be the final step, but installing the lights shouldn't do any damage if you want to do that last.
First you'll need to drill a few holes. Download this template and print it out at 100% . Make sure you've sized it correctly by measuring it against your light module. (note: the template will only work for the newer milled light modules, if you have an old perf board one, you'll have to use the board itself to help you get the holes in the right place, they're all a bit different).
Once you're sure that the template is okay then use it to mark up the reverse of your bearing disc. Make sure to line the switch up with one of the notches in the dial. 
If you get the orientation wrong, then you'll have to remove the centre piece if you want to turn the lights on, where as if you line it up with one of the notches you can turn the lights on with a toothpick or pencil etc.

When drilling be careful how you hold the dial assembly, I place a rag underneath so I don't scratch the dome.
The large holes should be 3mm and the smaller holes should be slightly smaller than the supplied screws (that's the silver ones not the brass ones). I've found 1.6mm to be about right.
Neither of the holes should be drilled all the way through, the 3mm holes only need to go deep enough to punch through the white plastic layer and into the clear (for older kits only drill as deeps as is needed for the LEDs)
And the smaller holes only need to be about 4mm deep.

Once all your holes are drilled you can drop your light board in and tighten the screws, don't overdo it, so long as the board doesn't wobble, you're fine.

*Due to some tooling errors you may need to widen the 3 small screw holes in your light board. The screws should turn continuously in the board, and bite into the bearing disc. If the screws are biting into the light board too much, then widen the holes.

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