THE WORKSHOP: Casting Wooden Bats in Resin by Michael ‘Bubo’ Reilly and Simon ‘Goatballs’ Be

A while ago we posted a step-by-step workshop provided by the ever talented, Simon ‘Goatballs’ Be! To this day, it’s one of the most popular we’ve ever featured. It seems folks can’t get enough of his 1/6 scale wooden bats! Well, today we’re excited to post a follow up, this time by our friend Michael ‘Bubo’ Reilly who worked to cast and produce copies of Goat’s original bat sculpts in resin. 

I’m personally very excited for this little walk-through as it talks about a process that I’ve been interested in for a long while. With a little hand-holding.. I might be brave enough to finally try it myself.

Welcome back to RtR’s  Workshop, and enjoy!

– Knives

Alright, here’s a list of some of the materials you’ll probably want to track down before you get started.

Materials:
  • Foam Core, for building mold walls. You can also use legos, acrylic plastic, or any other non-porous material of your choosing that’s stiff enough to form a wall.
  • 1/8″ thick or thicker wooden (or plastic) boards, to evenly distribute tension on mold when bound.
  • Super Glue (CA Glue), for gluing gates/vents onto model (bat) & onto mold floor.
  • Hot Melt Glue (& gun), for gluing walls of mold together.
  • Toothpicks (or long sharp pokey thing), for getting air bubbles out of silicone mold
  • Electrical tape
  • Disposable cups
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Rubber gloves
  • Monojet Oral 10ml syringes

.. and here’s some of the tools I use, also worth looking into.

Tools:

  • Razor/Ruler, for measuring & cutting mold box
  • Hot Glue Gun, to glue mold together
  • Scale, a gram scale to weigh out materials
  • Air Compressor
  • Vacuum Chamber & Vacuum pump, to de-gas silicone
  • Pressure Pot, a chamber that eliminates any remaining bubbles
  • Old sander or piece of vibrating equipment (to vibrate pressure pot)
  • Flat Chisel & Scalpel (x-acto knife), for cutting mold open

Before we begin, let me say that this is but one of many ways to build a mold. The construction of your mold will depend on the piece you are making a mold of, what kind of process you’ll use to cast it, and what material you will be casting with. For the sake of this project, the item being molded is a toy, it is small and the mold form is very simple. Continue reading

THE WORKSHOP – Le’ skateboard – by Goatbot/Simon

Once again, Simon/Goatbot/Goatballs/Goaty is back with another not-for-the-weak-knee’d tutorial. This time he’s going to walk us through his process of making his own custom skateboards for 1\6 figs. 

Enjoy!

– Knives

Le’ Skateboard tutorial:
Alright then… first off, I just have to say that I’m doing this because those slack bastards at threeA have refused to heed my repeated demands for some street transport for their figs. I couldn’t be arsed to wait for the Adventure Kartel Zomb zimmer frame and decided to make a skateboard or three in the meantime. Also, big props to much missed threeA forum boardie Dante for the OG suggestion.
Down to business…
The materials you’ll need..
  • super glue (or crazy glue to the colonials )
  • stock card (old cereal packets, birthday cards are ideal )
  • exacto knife and sharp scissors
  • steel rule 
  • cutting mat
Skateboards are a very personal affair and first ye’ ve got to decide what style ride ye want… old school, street or a long board.
Once ye’ve picked yer poison ye’ll have to create a template. I do all mine by eye alone… ye computer whizzes should be able to knock something out in no time though!
Ideally it should be a rectangle roughly 14 cm x 3cms. Once you’ve that measured out, take a pencil and draw a line bisecting the rectangle. Then draw or trace yer shape out. Once yer happy cut it out, rounding out any imperfections. Then simply use the template you’ve just created to draw out 4 – 6 more “boards” depending on how thick the card is and how thick ye want yer deck.
 
I find 4 layers of average greeting card stock will do the job nicely .
O.K… taking care not to glue yourself together, carefully glue the layers of card together one at a time. Ye can add kicks at this stage by simply bending the card where ye want em..
I find drawing around the edge of the board then a few lines in the middle will do. After each layer take care to trim any excess off and round out any imperfections. Rinse and repeat until ye are satisfied with the shape and thickness.
 
Apply more glue (ye may need to open a window unless ye dig cheap highs..) around the edge of the board to make sure the layers are firmly in place. This will also create a hardened edge that ye can lightly sand to add shaping.
After that its time for the grip tape. I use any old sheets of sandpaper or aluminium oxide cloth paper about 80 – 120 grit. Take what you have,  glue it to the board and trim to fit !
Apply glue once more around the edge of the board… once again, sand and clean up any last irregularities.
Now its simply a matter of adding any designs ye want. You can print off graphics and decals from yer computer or just doodle with a brush or pen. This is for me the most fun part of it all… I’ve gone for a homage or two  to the first board I ever rode.. my big bro’s dog town board. No doubt a few of ye will have similar nostalgia in mind .
Once yer happy with the graphics its time for some wheels. Silly enough, there’s not many decently sized trucks and wheels about. I find Tech Deck (TM) ones too small but you can lengthend them a bit with appropriately sized plastic tubing and the wheels glued in place on the end.
The trucks I have are old ones from a Dragon “In Dreams” skate fig, which are ideal at 3cm wide.. ye can either glue them straight on or mark  the bolt holes and drill them out with a pin drill or dremel to retain the spin.
Hopefully this will inspire a few of ye out there. I’d love to see some pics of a few finished decks at some point.
If any one out there happens upon a company thats producing some decent  1/6 sized trucks hit us up, my zombs would appreciate it!
Many thanks!

We hope you enjoyed the Workshop. Big thanks to Simon for taking time away from making amazing customs to write/photograph this up for us!

We’d love to hear from you and check out what kind of customs your working on! Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter pages to stay updated and please let us know what kind of workshops you’d like to see.

Until next time!


THE WORKSHOP – Wee Zombie Bashing Bat – by Goatbot/Simon

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! If you’re lonely and sad today.. take heart! A new Workshop awaits!

What a treat today is… A little back history first. When I first got into collecting 3A, I remember seeing all these pictures of Tommy Mission figures holding these awesome little baseball bats. They all had different decals, witty scribe.. some had blood splatters, nicks/scratches etc. I ordered my first Tommy fully expecting to have some variant packed in with him. To my surprise, no bat.. just a dumb glowing hand (kidding?). After a smidge of digging I came to learn that these amazing little things were handmade by a fellah who, going completely off his various forum names, seems to have an intense, yet healthy fascination with goats.

Huge thank you to Simon/Goatbot/Goatballs/Goaty for this fantastic workshop! He was kind enough to create not just one, but TWO different tutorials for us! The second we plan to post later in the week. This one is the most complex yet and you get play to play with power tools. Please be safe and don’t poke your eye out kid!

– Knives

Howdy folks, must be a slow news week as Knives has very kindly asked me to provide him with a tutorial or two… you lucky people .. its a big honor to have been asked  so thanks mush.
To the bat tutorial then..
For those of you who feel the need for some blunt force trauma in your lives, nothing says emo better than 3 foot of hickory planted firmly in the jacobs…  hopefully this tutorial will make enough sense so ye can make your very own baseball bat…
This is a wee bit more demanding and requires you have a few tools laying about but if you can do it, anything goes.
Materials :
  • power drill, cordless preferred unless ye have a bench vice or indeed a wood lathe (I use an 18v hitachi cordless impact driver drill)
  • fine toothed saw ( gents,  mitre etc )
  • wood rasp
  • small hobby files or a dremel
  • sandpaper or better still aluminium oxide cloth 80 , 120, 240 grit should do it
  •  12 mm HARDWOOD doweling , available in most hardware stores and model hobby shops. Ye can use lengths of twig, sticks etc but this will make th job way harder..
  • electrical tape, medical tape etc ( for the grip )
  • paint, pens, decals
  • bees wax or spray varnish
  • COMMON SENSE
  • dust mask
  • Well ventilated work space
Okay this my method only ! Those of ye with better tools and workspaces will no doubt adapt accordingly, I apologize for the picture quality as it was cold and no one was willing to take pics of me making toy bats… bastards..
Also a shout out to dedguy for inspiration and for making bats look so frick’n cool
To start off with I find it best to sit on a wee box or something low to the floor with materials and tools close to hand. Then I measure and cut how many bats I want to make..the bat should be around 13.5 – 14 cms but the over all length ye want to work with should be about 17 cm.. The  remainder should be enough to fit snugly into the chuck  of the drill . Bats come in all shapes and sizes so decide on the look ye want before hand. I make bats of differing styles and also of differing handle widths to accommodate various hand sculpts. Note its better to go too thin as ye can always  bulk out the handle with “grip tape”.  After inserting the wood into the chuck, engage the power to see how well the woods been seated… if its off it will wobble alarmingly.. just re-house it until it spins  ” true” .
I then put the drill on the floor and brace it with a well planted foot across the battery housing ( as per the picture above) when its stable, select th speed ye require ( higher speeds work best) and away ye go .
With one hand operating th drill trigger I use the wood rasp to waste away the rough shape of the bat. I work on the opposite side of the wood to where I’m positioned taking care not to impose too much pressure on the wood..
Working your way from the chuck to the end of teh bat will have the best results but be wary of lingering too long in one spot lest ye thin it out too much.
I work my way up from the chuck end along th  barrel of the  bat a couple of times then stop to see how I’m doing… if I’m satisfied I’ll take a sheet of abrasive paper 80 – 120 grit, fire up the drill again and use th paper to smooth and shape teh bat to the required shape and finish.
BE CAREFUL HERE .. you can grip th bat with the paper but be aware that it can snap if your grips too tight, also the transferred heat  can cause nasty friction burns to you if yer not careful… try explaining that to your girl friend or nearest medical professional.
I usually leave the grip end until last as this reduces th likelihood of it snapping at the weakest point. I use a wee elliptical metal file to flare out the bottom of the handle and to create the hand stop at the end taking care to thin out the wood below the knob so as to make cutting off the wood sprue neater and easier.
 
Once yer satisfied ye can take the bat out, cut it off at the base and sand the base and top of the bat by hand .. If I’ve done this properly ye should now  be teh proud owner of a 1/6 scale  baseball bat !
or have a fine  toothpick…
or maybe  a burnt hand full of splinters.
Once yer done with this part its then up to you on finishing touches. I usually polish the wood with beeswax, paint it if required, then add weathering and teh odd nick or scratch before a final coat of varnish .
Your AK crew is now tooled up and ready to roam the streets..or your shelves, doling out righteous woody justice !
Thats it …done and dusted.
Many thanks for your time and patience and a huge props to Rad Toy Review.
cheers !

We hope you enjoyed this Workshop. Check back later in the week as we bring you another from the mighty Goat!

We’d love to hear from you here, on our Facebook or Twitter page. We’d love for you to share with us your own customs. Let us know how we’re doing and what kind of workshops you’d like to see.