Huxter Labs Mobile Motion Detector

My most recent new invention for Cotswold Collectibles is something a long time coming. First suggested almost two years ago as a small radar or sensor that fits into the cloth backpack, I began sketching way back then. But no great inspiration came until I found these wind-up motors at Dollar Tree.

Then I got inspired, and began sketching. One feature had to be folding legs of some kind so the unit could sit on the ground, but still fit into the backpack nicely.

A challenge! I’m always up to a challenge!

Here is an early sketch.

You can see that my Mobile Motion Detector really didn’t stray too far from the concept.

Here, you can see it in early stages of development:

Here, you can see I had not yet thought of the idea of making the radar dish snug against the body to fit better into the backpack. Other than that, it is fairly unchanged. The legs, however, are an early prototype too. These had tabs for thumbnails to grab the legs which were recessed flush against the body and hard to pull out otherwise.

Later versions remove the obtrusive tabs and in a stunningly simple update, I simply made them longer so they reach a little above the top deck, which makes pulling them out easier, it makes the legs a bit longer, and it removes any foot that would imply it should be flat on the ground.

Prototype

Unseen here is a telephone handset that originally was planned to snap onto the back, but was later scrapped for impracticality.

And here you can see the early legs also allowed various angles:


(Note the blurred items in back are prototypes I’m not yet ready to reveal, printed in prototype form.)

Final Form

So here is the final backpack Mobile Motion Detector.

In backpack:

Part-way removed, showing the dish snug against the body side:

Fully out, two pieces:

Antenna attached:

Angles:

Q*Bert!

I have long been a fan of the arcade game Q*Bert.

Heck, I even created a kind of clone of it in BASIC for my Commodore 64, called “BOXXY” which even had a level editor.

I also found out Funko made a deformed version which I saw on shelves but was not happy with. Their tendency to square off round heads would just not work with Q*Bert.

But then I saw they also made an Arcade series which were far more accurate, and before I actually found one, I had already made mine. But here’s theirs for comparison:

So in August I took it upon myself to create a 3D printed Q*Bert figure. It would not be difficult. A simple sphere with a piece of macaroni coming from it, with two spindly legs and nubby feet.

And the finished prototype with eyes:

So how do you go about making a 3D model of a pixel figure you only really ever get to see like this:

Easier than I thought. It seems there are many renditions of what Q*Bert may look like, including the one at the top of this article (seen on the side of the cabinet) and then there’s this one:

So I opted to do something resembling this, and my result was quite satisfactory.

Alas, 3D printing is great, but not perfect. Here, you see the weak spot. Since I wanted the face to print best, I printed it nose-up, meaning the rounded back had to sit on rafting, which so far, never prints very smoothly:

Nonetheless, I love the little guy.

I wanted a display base, and of course the thing that sprang to mind is the teleport pad in-game.

I made several since several friends wanted one.

Then last night, since I had just finished some other PEZ dispensers (another article) I decided to take this model, scale it down a bit and make a PEZ Dispenser head of Q*Bert.

 

 

 

 

 

Selling My 3D Prints – The Downside

I sell my 3D prints in various ways.

I have an ETSY shop called MoonbaseBeta to sell my Space 1999 Dinky Eagle pods, which are pods that never existed on the market, but many collectors want because they did appear on the show. These, I 3D print at home, assemble, and ship. Start to finish, it’s all me.

I have a Shapeways shop called FourthD in which I sell things for various collectors. Models for Space 1999 Dinky Eagles, for example, to replace parts or augment their collection with new parts that never existed on the market, like new pods, moon buggies to scale, etc. Plus some GI Joe scaled ray guns and pistols, etc. Shapeways does all the work. They print, they ship, all I do is upload my models and make them available to people.

On Shapeways, they print the model for their cost and profit. Then I get to add a bit for myself as markup which is how I make money. I usually charge anywhere between a few dimes to a few bucks, depending on how much of a percentage that is of the total price.

Yesterday I noticed one model up there I had left up for people to see and buy inadvertently during a mass editing session. But hey, fair game, the model was there, and someone ordered it. I got 0% markup. No harm no foul. I really didn’t care about that sale. So I edited the file to add a $1.28 markup fee.

Then this morning I saw this Correspondence on my Shapeways shop site, and here was my response.

I ask you: am I being unreasonable???

 

GI Joe Fan Pic with My Gear

As you should know by now if you follow this blog, I create GI Joe toys with my 3D printers, and Cotswold Collectibles sells them through its catalog. People generally find them quite enjoyable. Every now and then someone posts a photo.

This one was featured in Cotswold Collectibles’ E-News letter this week.

Phil Gilbert posts this photo of my Helijet with the wonderful uniform Cotswold put together for it, as well as the RACCS Platform which fits on the rear of the vintage Adventure Team Vehicle. On the RACCS is the RACCS Power Winch and the RACCS Spy Probe – Dual Carrier System. The driver is wearing two Drone Control Cuffs.

New Shapeways Dinky Eagle Restoration Project!

Announcing the first wave of my new Dinky Space 1999 Eagle Restoration/Repair Project!

I restored a Dinky a few months ago. I ordered some side attitude jets on eBay and they were very nice. But I was thinking I could make my own, and make them available on Shapeways. And for that matter, any part I wanted to restore, I could make myself and print it at Shapeways.

As of today, since my package of test prints has returned, and I have pushed all of the parts onto a Dinky Eagle I’m about to restore, I thought it would be a good time to announce to the collecting community that these are now purchasable on My Shapeways Store.

 

ATTITUDE JETS

(Click to be taken directly to the Shapeways item)

I started with the Attitude jets. Mine are modeled in the same way as the originals, except the rocket bells are not half-cylinders, they are fully round.

They come on a tree as a four-pack. You need only buy one item to get all four.

They are availble in white, red, yellow, silver, frosted, and raw aluminum.

 

RETRO JETS

(Click to be taken directly to the Shapeways item)

The original Dinky Retro Jets are paired with a connecting object that has no basis in reality. I decided to make these retro jets individual, which is far more accurate.

They are available in white, red, yellow, silver, frosted, polished nickel steel, and raw aluminum. (I LOVE the polished nickel steel!)

 

ENHANCED LANDING LEGS

(Click to be taken directly to the Shapeways item)

Also, I was thinking about how short and stubby the Dinky Eagle’s legs were, and how they were lacking fundamental detail. I opted to lengthen the legs to a more correct height, and add detail to the foot, and the hinged “heel” at the back.

They are available in white, metallic silver plastic, frosted plastic, stainless steel and polished nickel steel. Stainless Steel is my favorite of these. Frosted Ultra Detail seems a bit brittle and might break easier in play. The Strong & Flexible might take some doing to break.

 

REPLACEMENT LANDING LEGS

(Click to be taken directly to the Shapeways item)

Since this all really started with this Eagle I’m restoring having only 3 legs, I first modeled a leg after the original. These are also available. I have no pics but the connecting points are identical, so I am confident they will work fine.

No pics, since I have not yet printed one for myself.

 

VARIOUS PARTS, VARIOUS MATERIALS

Here are the prototypes I received today. There are other variations of each. See details on the individual items’ pages.

 

Future items I hope to include

  • Replacement spine in Strong & Flexible White Polished (other colors and materials may not work.)
  • Enhanced Spine that replaces the existing trough on the Dinky, and adds greebling underneath where it will screw onto the Eagle. Probably only in metals, which will be prohibitively expensive for most, but nice to have anyway.
  • Replacement Engine Tanks, more accurately modeled
  • Replacement Main Engine Bells with Baffles.
  • Landing Legs for Passenger Pod
  • Replacement Nuclear Canister

Space 1999 Konami Scale Landing Pad Display Base

I recently added a new item to my Moonbase Beta ETSY Store: A Konami Scaled Landing Pad Display Base. The display base is rather large in comparison to the Eagle, but it is only a bit undersized, and looks really awesome when done.

I liked it enough to make a kit out of it that was nice enough that I would be willing to sell it as a kit so people could make their own very affordable Konami display. It would take some work on their end, but not anything really difficult. This was a very fast project.

As I had the 3D parts already designed for a smaller base I had made for Konamis (which I sell on Shapeways as a series of separate parts) scaling them up, adapting them to work at this scale, was not that hard.

(NOTE: This kit does not include the Long Building. I figured no one would be able to display it anywhere, and if you want to add that, it shouldn’t be very hard with some foam-core or matte board and a sharp X-Acto knife.)

I separated out the parts so the rim is made up of 9 – 10 (depending on the diameter you use) separate pieces which have a slot for the foam-core base, and the House could fit on my printer in two parts, and the docking tube could extend/retract. I also made lights for the landing pad.

 

The Kit Includes

The kit features all of the 3D printed parts needed:

  • 10 Rim Pieces – (two variants so you can break up the design)
  • House Rear Section
  • House Front Section (with slot for docking tube)
  • Docking Tube (extendable)
  • Window Inserts
  • Landing Lights – You get way more than enough

 

The Kit Does NOT Include

This is what the user has to provide:

  • Black (or painted) foam core board – one circle measuring 28cm or 11″ in diameter
  • Red paper (or white paper) printed with the cross design – one cross with each segment measuring 2 3/4″ or 7.5cm. (I searched the internet and found a few interesting landing pad designs which I printed on red paper which worked beautifully!)
  • Crazy Glue to glue the two house halves together. Also to glue the windows in. You can also glue the rim edges together if you like, though they stay fairly nicely in place by friction, which allows you the bonus of breaking the display down and storing it easily. Crazy Glue can also be used for the lights, but I recommend White Glue for that job.
  • Konami Eagles!!! I presume you have at least one of these if you’re buying this kit.

 

Instructions

1) Cut a 28cm (or 11″) diameter circle from black foam core (or any other color painted black). I used Dollar Tree black foam core.

You will note it doesn’t have to be a perfect for the final result to look great!

2) Red Landing Cross. I took red paper and overprinted a gray pattern on it that I found on the internet. Without getting specific, search here and you will find some.

Print it as large on an 8.5 x 11″ sheet as you can. The Cross width (per section) is 7cm (2 3/4″). The whole cross can fit on one sheet.

3) Glue the two halves of the House together:

4) Slot in the Rim Edges. (Depending on your exact diameter, there may be a gap, but that goes under the house out of sight.) I include enough pieces to fit a base somewhat larger than I suggest. 9 pieces will fit mine, with a gap. I provide 10 pieces just in case.

5) Add Lights – This is the tricky part. Don’t worry, I include way more lights than you need. I start at one inner corner and put down the first light. Then I  add a light on one outer corner so the distance is the same from the corner to the light. Do this all around the landing cross.

  • Add Lights To All Corners, so they are the same distance from each corner, outer and inner:

  • Add a light to each mid-length between each corner light:


(Repeat all around the cross.)

  • Add a light in between each middle light and its corner:


(Repeat all around the cross)

This is a great method because it’s far easier to find a mid-point between two things than try to line up 5 of something with perfect spacing. DIVIDE AND CONQUER!

6) Glue in the windows (or if you like, use black cardboard. Whatever works for you.)

That’s really it. You’re done. And when you’re done it should look something like this:

(Forgive my rough quick placement of the rim pieces… I really banged this project out in an hour once the parts were printed.)

Variants:

  • Cut the cross out of the foam-core for a sunken landing cross

More Toys For Cotswold Collectables

Since December, I have been working nearly constantly at home printing new and re-order stuff for Cotswold Collectables.

Here is a portion (heavily edited) of the Feb 1 E-Newsletter they sent out:

cots-e-newsletter-feb-1-2017

While there were more items shown, and I did a cut in the center there, this shows how much of the space was devoted to my products. Not bad.

Most exciting, at the top, the new RACCS ATV Winch, which was revealed in images not long before. Those, as of this writing (Feb 9, 2017) are completed, waiting to be shipped to Cotswold for their pre-order fulfillment. Meanwhile just below is a very nice camo outfit featuring my new military colored Tranquilizing Bazooka for hunting the Invaders. These are currently printing and being assembled.

Below that, re-orders for RACCS MCU (Mobile Charging Unit), RACCS Spy Probe Dual Carrier System, a new Yellow/Black/Red Drone and Control Cuff, the Folding Tri-Copter blade, and the RACCS platform with hinges.

Big month here at Huxter Industries.

Huxter-Industries

Flash Gordon ship

Flash_Gordon_Ship_2017-01-17 06.51.36

Some years back, I captured several dozen really good close-up images of the actual aluminum (appears to be) studio model of Flash Gordon’s famous and iconic Art Deco/Atomic Age designed space ship. Whether or not it was the original studio model is up for debate, but I found it beautiful.

Here are some of those images

Flash_Gordon_Ship_03 Flash_Gordon_Ship_02 Flash_Gordon_Ship_01 Flash_Gordon_Ship_10 Flash_Gordon_Ship_09 Flash_Gordon_Ship_06 Flash_Gordon_Ship_04

I had always intended on modeling and 3D printing a replica for myself, and just recently I finally got around to it. Here are the results.

Flash_Gordon_Ship_2017-01-17 06.51.44 Flash_Gordon_Ship_2017-01-17 06.51.41 Flash_Gordon_Ship_2017-01-17 06.51.17 Flash_Gordon_Ship_2017-01-17 06.53.31 Flash_Gordon_Ship_2017-01-17 06.53.23 Flash_Gordon_Ship_2017-01-17 06.52.02 Flash_Gordon_Ship_2017-01-17 06.51.55

One thing I found is that my rivets printed with a bit too much support, so they get messy, a bit. I think I can adjust some printer settings and fix that.

This is also about 10 inches long, and printed at .2mm per layer. My printers can do a .15mm layer, so I will reprint this using that resolution later.

This version has doors that can open but only because they fit into the doorway by friction. This was a test print only to see what it would look like so I didn’t go to the trouble of adding a hinge to the door, yet.

I have since created a new version with a hinged door which I sent to a friend. (The hinges were not perfect, since the tolerances of my printer at this size were untested, the hinge covering areas were somewhat exposed. You could see the paper-clip hinge pin inside. But it did work.

So I moved the hinge pin a bit and have yet to reprint. My next print will be max resolution, with hopefully perfected hinges, and I will post those here when done.