What follows is a status update of everything I've been working on over the last two weeks. Consider this an accountability thing for me, so I can make sure I am doing the things I say I'm going to do.
1. Mountain Town Toys
3. Bite Sized Bits
4. A Brief History of the Future
5. Expedition Sasquatch
7. Everything I'm currently forgetting
I'll be molding and casting more heads for my mountain town toys collection today.
I probably have enough rubber left to get two more molds curing, and then I'll have to order a batch of additional rubber.
I have one head in production, and before the end of the day I can have two more.
I'm picking up some more paint today, too. It'll be the cheapest stuff available, because I think that'll work with the addition of a clearcoat. If it doesn't, I'll figure out what to do next.
Since I'm planning on using enough to justify it, I'll get the larger container, and I should be able to pour enough molds for all the toys I'm planning on making this year out of that, for about 2x the price of what it took to do the five molds I have now.
I should have two complete figures today or tomorrow, and I'll share pictures when I do. I'm looking in to fancier ways to do clothes, but I don't have to worry about any of that for this first batch of figures.
I also have a small amount of new inventory coming in from local wholesalers. They're producing stuff here, like right up the road, so that's super neat.
I'll post some pictures soon.
As I finish making things, I'll start putting together Dioramas for the catalog.
I haven't talked much about my Tor BBS project (or, well, anything) for a few weeks.
Let me catch up there.
I have done some experimentation with other BBS software solutions, because I didn't like the way the BBS I was using stored passwords.
It's going well! My only concern is that I think I want to move it to a pi 3 or a pi4 instead of a pi 0. Or maybe even in to a VM or a container on a more powerful system. The 0 just struggles with multiple connections.
Anyway, I am making steady progress on the BBS project. It's a little slower than I'd like, but I am much more sure of the viability of the project, and of the need for something exactly like this.
I've been tinkering with some python code to get file transfer over z-modem working in a better/more consistent fashion (some of the older clients, while they fully support tor as the transport layer, panic at tor addresses, others refuse to compile on modern systems. IT's a mess.)
So the #BBS project is still at the top of my mind. I work on it a few hours each week, and I expect that it will be ready for someone other than me to use sometime in January.
(If I play my cards right, that includes an android app, internet, intranet and sneakernet federation, but we'll see. At least it'll include message posting and file sharing.)
I have the first Bite Sized Bits Box finished, and I figured out a better way to make boxes (posterboard, high gloss paper, and thin adhesive.)
I think I've decided that the bit sized bits boxes are just going to be a holiday thing unless/until I can get some help manufacturing.
As part of the #MountainTownToys project I'm teaching some folks to also manufacture toys and comics and books, so it's not impossible, but unlikely as of now.
But they're done!
Technically, I still need to decide on the Prize Inside. I have two options, both of which I can already make.
One is a papercraft model of Rocky Jones Space Ranger's ship, the other is a plastic toy representing Rocky Jones Space Ranger.
Which one include really depends on how well my drag knife cutter works when it gets here.
4. A Brief History of the Future
I have a few issues of my pulp fiction magazine finished, and I'll be shipping back issues out to everyone that I owe them too (There are like four of you on the fedi)
I'll be sharing them more generally over the next few months.
I finished these as part of the BSB project.
I haven't decided if I am going to continue the magazine going forward. IF I do, I'll likely be soliciting help.
5. Expedition Sasquatch!
The script for the Christmas Special is almost done, and when it's finished, I'll pass it to @Username_Here_ASAP to start recording.
It's ambitious, but I think it'll work well.
At the moment, the only other stuff I've remembered is stuff related to #MountainTownToys like the fact that I have been talking to some artists in Ashvile about doing custom head sculpts, and I've been kit-bashing some of the medium sized marx figures in to new characters so that I can have some original marx style playsets.
I'm struggling to figure out a way to do buildings and furniture for the Marx stuff in a way that looks good and is consistently repeatable.
I am also struggling to find some gender and racial diversity in the characters that I'm pulling from.
That's the biggest issue with working with public domain comic characters, everyone is a white male.
I have a couple of women and a couple of people of color that I'm planning figures for, but it seems like I'm probably going to need to remix some existing characters or create some new ones.
Suggestions on that front are welcome.
I feel like I want to talk about the catalog a little more, but I'm not ready to do that yet, and I need to go buy some more paint to finish up these batman kitbashes.
So, for now, I will bid you all adieu.
Can you make molds from things you can 3D print?
On one hand, there are 3D scanners which are affordable: https://www.3dnatives.com/en/top-10-low-cost-3d-scanners280320174/ -- You could potentially 3D scan and then adjust the model.
On the other hand, there's software like MakeHuman -- http://www.makehumancommunity.org/ -- that's designed for creating human models.
@yam655 I can. And I have access to a few 3D printers.
I haven't tried the resin printer yet, but I found the banding from the FDM printers to obscure too much detail for most toy applications.
It is on my list of stuff to explore, but under several other items (clothes mostly. That's where I'm focused for the next week or two.)
If it is problematic to scan and deform in a computer, there are other options, older options.
Once you're making molds from existing models, you can make a wax model. Wax sculpting from an existing model should be easier than starting from scratch. It's very old school, but it is something that may benefit from the colder weather.
Some things, like softening a chin line to get a more femme look, will be easier than others, like adding wax to widen nose or lips.
@yam655 we are using sculpy, but the upshot is the same.
Make a mold of an existing figure, duplicate it in sculpy, make changes, bake, mold and cast.
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