Okay, back into it! Last thing that happened was I shamefully confessed my incompetence about using green wood for the trophy bases and having them split. But, no real harm done – I got some other wood and repeated the same procedure, and it went better.
More importantly, I was about to experiment with colouring these white plastic prints. I’ve heard a few people recommend using textas (like a sharpie, I believe, for those who don’t know what textas are), which seems like a dubious option. However, I made a mistake on one of the models – the suspension line on the car which is supposed to be at right angles to the car body was actually rotated a bit. Various people have told me that I am being obsessive throwing this one out, and they might be right, but if anyone is going to notice besides me it’ll be the people who played the game enough to win the trophies, right? Right. So I’m going to practice colouring this thing green.
By the way, see how the suspension lines in this model aren’t parallel to each other like they should be? Poor form on my part, but at least it meant I have a print to experiment with.
As you can see, textas are pretty good for this purpose – I would wholeheartedly recommend them sometimes. But for this, ultimately, I couldn’t colour the whole thing – there’s no good way to get the texta down behind the wheels, and in practice, it’s pretty noticeable. Dang. Well, that brings me to attempt number two – I’ve got to dye these things. I found a helpful youtube video that told me how to dye shapeways plastic – so, let’s go with that. I’m going to make the gold medal car red, the co-op cars blue and green, and the secret trophy car blue (I asked Asier which he preferred). The goal triangle model won’t be dyed – it has to be different colours so that will take a different approach. I got some blue and red Rit dye, but they didn’t have any in a good green colour so I got a different brand called Dylon (the lady at the shop told me it was the same kind of thing). Naturally, step one is to clean the models with a toothbrush.
Then came the mixing part. You see here half water, half vinegar, with a probably excessive amount of blue dye mixed in.
Look at the car in the background there. It looks so clean! But, not for long. In we go.
This next part of the process took a while, featuring me initially freaking out that it’s not blue enough. In fact, I think I did that with all the dye jobs (although in some cases I was freaking out that it wasn’t red/green enough instead). But, so far, so good! I particularly enjoyed the car shapes on the paper where I dried it off while re-microwaving the mixture.
After that, I had a minor hiccup with the creation of the green dye. I may have done some bad chemistry here, but in the end it worked fine.
With the red car, I had a bigger problem. Let’s just say, any of you out there planning to dye shapeways white plastic red, don’t use Rit scarlet dye. I’m sure it works great on fabric, but…
Okay, so, that colour is kinda terrible. I can’t go around calling that a red Colour Bind car – it would make a mockery of everything I stand for. I fixed it by painting over it with some red paint. This actually worked much better than I was expecting – I was worried it would ruin the texture of the model, but figured if it didn’t work I’d just have to re-print the model but at this point that would be necessary anyway. But instead, it worked perfectly! Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of this at this stage – but this car will reappear later so you can check out its proper colour then.
Okay so there’s one other thing I’m going to talk about. If you go back to the first blog post and look at the initial 3D models, you can see that the car in the Secret Levels trophy is sitting on a sort of curvy platform, not dissimilar to the shapes in the game. Likewise, the goal triangle in the 15 Platinums trophy is supported by a similar curvy shape. Since I’m no longer planning to 3D print these bits, I needed an alternative plan.
I tried a few things. Initially I thought the best would be to get a bit of thick grey plastic and cut it into shape, but obtaining plastic of that nature turned out to be harder than I was expecting. I tried out a similar plan with one of those plastic chopping boards from the supermarket, but it didn’t receive dye or cut very well, so I gave up on that and got some extremely fine chip board. It’s strange stuff – kind of more like very thick/dense cardboard than wood. But, hopefully, this would do the trick.
My initial plans to cut the shape out roughly with a bandsaw failed due to inferior cornering ability, but a quick wikipedia search revealed that what I really wanted was a coping saw. Predictably, a quick search of dad’s workshop revealed that we had one already. I cut the very rough shape with a bandsaw and then drew a guide line with a biro and got to it.
I have a few more cuts to make, obviously. Incidentally, in the above photo it’s actually screwed to the base (that is, screws going up through the base and into the underneath of the shaped bit) – I figured I was less likely to split the wood/cardboard/whatever if I drilled holes in it now rather than after it was cut into shape. Spoiler warning: It kind of split anyway, but it wasn’t too bad. Anyway, I also drilled the little hole for the car’s peg thingy to fit in, to make sure the whole thing was going to work, and it seemed pretty good. So, I disassembled everything and got back into it with the coping saw.
And after part two:
So clearly that ‘curve’ I’ve created is less curvy than is ideal, and I can’t easily sand it down like I can the other curves because there’s no room. A while ago, I tried my hand at whittling, and I have a nice sharp knife around, so I decided to try whittling the corner away to a slightly nicer curve. Here was the result:
Now, clearly this is not finished yet. However, once again, this is one of those times I foolishly failed to take more photographs, so you’ll have to wait and see how the other cuts went. Long story short, though, I cut the other bits out and then sanded the whole thing a whole bunch. I also made the shape for the other curvy bit, using basically the same method – more on that later.
Next up, I’m going to be painting some stuff. The wooden curvy stand things need to be a nice shade of grey, and I’ve got to figure out some kind of plan for the coloured goal triangle too. That’s it for now though – I’ll be covering that stuff in the next post.