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Thread: Project: Tachikoma

  1. #1

    Project: Tachikoma

    Hi people!
    I have been posting my worklog in other webasites, but I think is tyme more peolple know my Tachi.
    My project is called “Tachikoma” For those who are not familiar with the Anime “Ghost in the Shell” you could read:
    I have never made a theme mod. I was looking for something original, using fibreglass. First I thought of a Battlemech, but a walking mecha is very difficult and expensive to build. So I decided for the Tachi. I have been always a mecha fan since Robotech times.
    My plan is to use fiberglass for the case, and aluminum tube for the chassis.
    It would be radio controlled, with two electrical motors and car batteries to power them.
    First of all, I would need a 3D model of a Tachi. I thought of drawing it using some photos, but I realized that it would take too much. After a little Internet searching, I found a 4D Cinema model for 20 $
    I imported into my CAD software and spited into several parts

    I had to rebuild the geometry with my CAD to have some functional and moldable parts. Draft angles are needed to assure that the part would pop out of the mold.

    My plan is to install the batteries in the head, and the hardware in the back cockpit

    To build the fiberglass parts, I have to build some plugs, which would be an exact copy of the final part.
    I made some 2D drawings with crossed sections for every part.
    I finished with about 200 sections.

    I plotted the sections and glued to cardboard.

    I build a skeleton for every part, with glue and nails.

    To fill the volume, I used 2 part polyurethane foam. It expands 30 times its volume. Little mess I made.
    After a lot of sanding and sanding, and filler and bondo (I think I am in the 7th layer)

    Connector between the head and the cockpit

    The two parts for the cockpit

    To realize the dimension of the model -50 cm ruler




    Front Cannion

    Upper head

    Lower head
    One or two layers more are need to finish.

    Although the date in the photos, they are from 2006.
    More to come.

  2. #2
    Wet Sanded XcaliburFX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Ga ... U.S.A.

    Project: Tachikoma

    Welcome to Modders Inc Very interesting project you have going there.

  3. #3
    Master Modder
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Project: Tachikoma

    what is it? na im kidding! thats look well cool, could i possibly get a link to some of your other work?

  4. #4

    Project: Tachikoma

    Welcome Dimetec. Wow, that takes things to a whole new level.
    I'd have to have a lot of time off to be able to do something like that and unfortunately I'd probably wind up losing interest about halfway through it.
    I very much appreciate your dedication and I can't wait to see the final results .

  5. #5

    Project: Tachikoma

    Thats awesome. Love it.

  6. #6

    Project: Tachikoma

    Razer, you mean links to other websites where I am posting the worklog?

    Currently I am still working on it after 2 years, but the main work is done, and Tachi is now living at home...

    I had been working on the plugs, sanding and repairing the surfaces.

    I have glued the plugs to a MDF table as a flange.

    I have done my first mold. This is a trial to see if it works. I have used plaster, and apart of some minor Faults, it’s okay.
    I decided to use plaster because there are some bumps in the plugs, and I would fix then in the plaster molds

    This is what I use for mold reinforcement. They are cotton yarn.
    I have covered the entire plug, after waxing it, with a 2 cm layer of plaster. When it started to cure, I cover with another layer of plaster with the cotton.

    This is a special wax for molds I have used. It works really great, the mold popped out of the plug very easily.

    I have found an assistant to help me with the details!! Courtesy of EBay
    It helped me a lot with the dimensions.

    This is what happened to my test mold. I didn’t reinforce it properly on the back with cotton and it brooked a little. No problem since it was a test, but this shows the importance of a proper reinforcement of the mold.

    Working on the molds. Six done, two on process. 5 more to go.

    At this point, I holt a little the work. When I restarted to work on the molds, I found the plaster molds with a lot of cracks an pits, nearly useless. I was told that I should have sealed them with primer before storage them. So they have a sand end, at least I use them for let my frustations out...

    I decided to go for fiberglass molds. I decided to have better finish of the surface of the plugs to have better molds finishing to have minimun sanding of fiberglass. (At the end I have to sand anyway, I am really tired of sanding. If you ever decide to build something on fiberglass, be ready to do lot of sanding)

    I cover the plugs with layer sof gel-coat. Is similar to polyester resin, with the same calayst. After cure, I sanded all the plugs, what took ages.

    c/tachi_4/100_3303.jpg" alt="" />

    Another recomendation: My first plan was to build the plugs as two parts, one for every part of the mold, and join it after. But after some trials it is likey I would have some bumps on the joint, so I joint the plugs halves together to have better finishing on the joint, like a replica of the final part.
    After that, when I was more or less happy with the plugs, I cover with an epoxy primer.

    To build the molds like this way, you need to divide the plugs in two halves. Fist cover the half not to be molded.

    The half is marked by hand.

    To build the flange, I used a flexible joint, like the ones used to seal the windows.

    To finish the flange, I covered it with plastic tape.

    Once you have the flange, comes the fun part with fiberglass.

    First waxed the plug, by hand, 3 times.

    Two layers of PVA, blushed.

    Two layers of gel coat, brushed.

    Two layesr of fiberglass mat, 300 gr m2.

    And 24 h later can be pulled out of the mold.

    Most of my plugs were destroyed with the process of pulling out the mold. Basically the foam, cardboard structure didnt have the strength to resit the stress of demolding. If some one have the idea of building something similar, I strongly recomend him to build the plug with some fiberglass to have the strength to resit the demolding process.

    More to come later.

  7. #7
    Master Modder
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Project: Tachikoma

    sweet, but erm no i ment in genrale other work you have done, this is looking well cool, the idea is great! ive always been intrested in robots...

  8. #8

    Project: Tachikoma

    This is a part after pulling it off the mold

    It has some extra fiberglass I cut with the dremel.

    The two parts of a leg, prepraring to be joined.

    I used fiberglass tape to join the two halves. After it cured, I cut the extra fiber and fixed imperfections with bondo.

    The same with the arms.

    The cannon

    And the connector between the head and the backpack

    For the head, I molded three eyes, and cut a hole in the head and inserted them.
    I reinforce the inside with fiberglass and filled outside imperfections with bondo.

    Some preasembly without the frame.

    More later.

  9. #9

    Project: Tachikoma

    Wow! This is really an out-of-the-box mod, which is refreshing.

  10. #10

    Project: Tachikoma

    WOW Looks great and a lot of work on the molds but the out come is much better.

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