Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pictorial update!

Happy May! First, let's start off with a little exciting news: AshuraShines are in and I'll be shipping soon!


But we must temper that excitement: I've got just over a dozen...and there are about 40 or so folks waiting patiently for these so far. My hero, Alec, is unleashing his unholy sorcery and cooking these guys up at full speed (which, as adult humans with real lives, may not be fast enough for some...but it is what it is). And incidentally, the next few designs we have planned are going to make people's brains explode! And, yes, that's "next few designs": AshuraShine's just the beginning!

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though...

Okay, for the first time publicly, let's take a look at AshuraShine's packaging!

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Simple but effective, I think. Feel free to comment...I always feel a little insecure about packaging art as folks often tend to have strong opinions about it. Can't please everyone! But I'm definitely open to suggestions and interested in seeing what really gets heads hot and bothered.

And just one last quick thing on AS before I switch gears: there was some question recently about how well effects powders work in Alec's rubber. In my last post, I showed some white prototype figures that were every bit as tough as the standard dudes...but actually changed color in the sun. Well, instead of just telling you that...I'ma show & prove. Peep this:


The dude in the middle uses a powder that's supposed to change from white to red...but there's just something about the rubber most casters are using that renders it completely inert. Bizarre. Someone should let Wolf know...but I ain't really sweatin' it. Anyway, whatever--check out those purple/indigo dudes on either side!! DAMN. That ish is fire!

Now, we don't have any test figures using any glow powders, but I know heads on LRG have some glow customs by Alec, and they say they glow crazy-bright. I have no doubt in my mind we'll be able to rock domes with glow soon enough...

Okay, I wanna switch gears real quick...back to my first love: Japanese robots. All the TBDX heads have been patiently waiting for any signs of life from the Foe Gokin project. Well, as y'all know from reading the blog, the fronts of the shields have been in this weird state of limbo for ages. Originally, we were planning on embossing all of the visual detail in order to facilitate hand-painting it. Then we tried to get cute and engrave those areas to serve as templates for applying stickers.

Not a bad idea, right? Stickers are damn cool. The problem, however, is that there have been non-stop issues with getting the stickers to lay flat and conform to the conic shape of the shields. It should be possible in theory...but *in practice*, it's apparently been a nightmare. At this point, we're honestly considering going back to the original idea of embossing the detail so we can hand-paint it.

So instead of just telling y'all about it, I'm posting some pics of the latest design, incorporating the embossed detail! Check this out...


What you see above is a print in Shapeways' "polished White Strong Flexible", their marketing gibberish for selective laser sintered (SLS) polyamide (polished). It's not bad at all. But those keeping up with Shapeways' shenanigans elsewhere have probably heard that their consistency has gone down the pooper. Folks dealing with them have been getting polyamide parts with horrible surface finishes, soft edges, and even sinkholes.

As an alternative, I'm looking into having the arms made by i.materialise, a company HIGHLY recommended by our buddy, Mike at FreeTime Toys. I'm actually having the same left fist/shield front you see above printed in their Prime Gray material. Dunno what "Prime Gray" means (and I'm wary of marketing nonsense), but it boasts high resolution, impeccable surface finish, and material strength that supposedly rivals polyamide. We'll soon see!

Anyway, back to the latest arm design. Did I mention the frickin blade spins!? Uncle Warren will be pleased. ;)


Oh hell, yeah!

I've also revised the thicknesses of the walls to make the profile a bit slimmer. Looks gooder that way. And going back to Jon's comment from November, I decided to add the concavity back to the reverse face of the shield. All in all, I think it looks pretty smokin'!

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Well, I think that's it for now, folks. Stay flossy!