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 Post subject: Intro to Part-Fusing
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:21 pm 
Forge Master
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As you can guess, being a purveyor of custom parts can cut into personal customizing time. Most of my creative effort goes into designing and promoting new parts. Also, the minniquins you see all over the store site provide an outlet - putting a lot of my skills to the test. Lately I've been challenging myself using advanced techniques - one of which I plan to introduce in the article below.

Much like the rest of you I tend to run into creative roadblocks when dreaming up a new custom minifig. "If only this piece existed' is often uttered in my lair. Granted, RedBean and I have the advantage of conjuring up our own pieces, but our magic has limitations leaving it up to adventurous individuals to hack, color and reanimate existing pieces into something new. One of these techniques is called the Part-Fusing method. It generally involves taking two separate and distinct pieces and cutting them up to fit together, thus creating an entirely new part.

CONCEPT & RESEARCH
Image
To celebrate the new season of the Clone Wars my son and I wanted to take a crack at coming up with a Cad Bane minifig (which ended up being a minniquin). As many of you know a wide-brimmed western-style hat currently does not exist leaving it up to us to find a way to manufacture our own. After investigating several official & non-official parts we decided the LEGO Wizard hat had the widest diameter at the brim. of course the pointy top portion of the hat simply does not fit with the hat Cad Bane wears so we had to locate another adequate substitute. The top of the Indy Fedora appears to be the closest shape to the top of the Cad Bane hat.
ImageImage

CUTTING
If you don't already have a Rotary (Dremel) tool set - consider your talents supressed. Save up for one and/or ask for one for your Birthday or Christmas. Use the Rotary device with a cutting wheel to take the bottom off of the Fedora and the top off of the Wizard hat. You might find that a pair of low-profile mechanics gloves provide a bit of confidence. Steady hands are a must.
ImageImage

SMOOTHING
They key to getting two pieces to fit together seamlessly is to ensure exact lines on the opposite pieces. While a cutting tool and steady hand can do most of the work it will take a finer approach to complete the masterpiece. I used a cardboard emery board (file) along with assorted fine-grit sandpapers. It probably goes without saying to use the file and/or heavy-grit paper first to even out the lines, then use the fine-grit paper to smooth things out. I managed to get perfect lines on the first try diffusing any potential frustration during this project. Sand paper is your friend.
ImageImage

FUSING
Once you have the pieces cut to your specifications it's now simply a matter of permanently connecting them together. I use various types of Super Glue. Do not use Model Glue as you need an instant bond to prevent any slipping. I personally do not apply the superglue directly. I prefer to leak a few drops onto a disposable surface and then use a (long) sewing pin to dip and apply the glue in smaller amounts. Place small dots around the perimeter then use the pin to spread the glue around - covering the entire gluable surface. This method keeps your fingers way from the glue which can inadvertently end up on the surface of your part/s. If your finger touches the glue at any point, drop what you are doing and wash up. Resume when your hands are clean and carefully place the top portion onto the bottom portion and insure proper placement. After 20 seconds apply a bit of pressure to help eliminate any gaps. Let sit for at least 2 hrs.
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TOUCH-UP
If you did it right all that's left is a nice coat of paint. Krylon Fusion is highly recommended due to its fast-dry, quick-bond nature. A few coats and you are good to go. Let dry overnight to avoid any accidental fingerprints and you should be okay. Feel free to clear coat with semi-gloss if you are paranoid about excessive contact with the piece.
Image

Next I will report on the Duster jacket Cad Bane is wearing.

-A

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 Post subject: Re: Intro to Part-Fusing
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:29 pm 
Apprentice
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Thank you, Armothe, for your very helpful tutorial; this will assist me in my future customizing efforts. I shall be looking most eagerly for your next. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Intro to Part-Fusing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:08 am 
Grind Guru
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Very cool. I would love to try this.

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 Post subject: Re: Intro to Part-Fusing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:16 am 
Crucible King
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Awesome! I can't wait for more :)

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 Post subject: Re: Intro to Part-Fusing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:21 am 
Mould Mason
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DUDE! this is really helpful! now all i need is a dremel tool!

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 Post subject: Re: Intro to Part-Fusing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:04 pm 
Hammer Ace
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Location: California
Thanks so much for posting this. I've been trying to create more custom headgear and your tutorial is most excellent lol. I'll have to buy some more stuff now to get to work :).

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 Post subject: Re: Intro to Part-Fusing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:07 pm 
Beheaded
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Nice work.

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 Post subject: Re: Intro to Part-Fusing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:22 pm 
Hammer Ace
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This is great. Like most people here I am now considering getting a dremel kit.

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 Post subject: Re: Intro to Part-Fusing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:41 pm 
Weld Wizard
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Wow, VERY nice work.
And this is RIDICULOUSLY helpful. Thankyou very much. Great work on the guide.

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 Post subject: Re: Intro to Part-Fusing
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:07 am 
Smelt Sire
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[quote="Armothe"] [i]"If only this piece existed' [/i][/quote]
I been saying that forever. :P

Very nice tutorial, and loving the before and after pics. Fig came out great.

And is the duster MMCB? Or your own concoction?

-Omi

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