Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 11, Belt and Laser Pistol

The model needed more trim. I added a chrome Monokote trim belt.
The wrap took a few tries, it was hard to get it under the hands.
The belt looked plain so a buckle was added.
The base was a scissor cut piece of 100 lb. white card stock.
The center of the buckle was another piece of chrome Monokote.
EDIT: In the kit, the buckle is an oval shape.

The back of the model didn't have enough detail.
What good is a spaceman without a laser gun?

This gun was drawn up from images found online.
The lower image shows how it will "tuck" under the belt.
It won't really go under the belt. The center strip is cut out and the image is glued on the top and bottom of the chrome strip.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 10, Big Mouth and Eyes

The mouth decal is tall. Before soaking, it's best to pre-cut in two at the small tic marks printed to the side of the decal. The decal separates at the nose cone and body tube joint.

When designing a possible kit, many changes are made in the prototype before the kit design is finalized.
The decal cut joint ended up about 1/8" lower than I had first drawn up.

EDIT: On this first prototype build, I set the lower half of the mouth first. It is actually easier to align both pieces setting down the upper, smaller half of the mouth first.
The lower half of the mouth is positioned first, centered below the eyes and up against the end of the body tube.
I'm tempted to say: "Bwa-ha-ha-ha!
The big mouth is a focal point of the whole design.

The eye covers were cut out of 110 lb. printed card stock and set in place with a glue stick.
Even the glue stick gives a strong hold one the eyes, even over the green paint.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 9, Paint and Fingernails

White undercoats were sprayed.
Two separate coats, light sanding between coats to remove any glue boogers and rough areas.

The Key Lime Green Rustoleum paint followed.
No masking, just a light green overall. The decals and decor pieces will make the model.

I should have made the fingernails on water slide decal paper.
For the prototype they were cut out of blue trim Monokote.
It was hard to get them to the right oval shape, some were very small.
(In the kit these will be water slide decals) 

Three nails were cut for two hands, six in total.
(In the kit the hands will have just two fingernails) 
12 more were cut for the four nails on the three feet.

They were places on the tip of my hobby knife. Nothing was burnished down until the spacing was right. It took a few tries to get everything in place.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 8, Ears and Antennas

The small ears are glued 3/4" up from the bottom of the nose cone shoulder on either side of the eyes.
Some primer was removed down the root edge glue line.

"Test" eye covers were set in place with a glue stick.
These will be printed on 110 lb. card stock on the finished model.

Antenna holes were drilled by spinning a small diamond file.

The antennas have to be soft and flexible, you wouldn't want a hard spike on the nose of a model.

Pipe cleaners could work great for this. We called them pipe cleaners when I was a kid, now they are called "Chenille Wires".
For the "ball ends" of the antennas, turn the pipe cleaner around the top of some needle nosed pliers.

The inside wire of the pipe cleaner inserts and stays in the small hole drilled earlier. They'll be glued in place after the model gets it's final green color coat.
One antenna is curved and bent to the side. The antenna on the right is straighter. Why? It's just more cartoon-ey.

The antennas were pulled out and the eye covers removed.
White undercoats were applied.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 7, Nose Weight and Nose Plug Assembly

The screw eye is turned into the nose plug circle until the thread line is almost gone.
A glue fillet is added to both sides.
The clay is pressed into the drilled center of the nose cone.
Look inside the nose cone and you can see the glue line around the edge for the plug and screw eye.

Press the plug into the hole and into the glue line.
Recess the plug inside the hole to allow for an additional fillet around the edge.

Looking ahead - 

I found an old can of Key Lime Rustoleum Painter's Touch. This is an old label before the 2X was added. This same can has got a lot of use over the past few years. It was used on the Franken Goblin and Elevate 11 models.
There is plenty of paint in the can, a perfect color for the project.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 6, Arm and Eye Gluing

The small arms were glued on just above the two front fin legs.
These were set back to the halfway point around the tube, at 180 degrees.

The eyes were a different story.
The larger eye goes to the left of center. The top of the oval is almost even with the top of the nose cone.

Set each eye on the nose cone and lightly trace around with a pencil.

For a flatter gluing surface, the gluing area is sanded flat with 220 grit on a sanding block. Don't sand all the way to the sides of the drawn oval, keep the flat sanded area inside the line by about 1/16".

This flattened oval makes a larger gluing area and allows the flat eyes to better sit into the nose cone curve.

The eyes are glued on.

Note the top of both eyes are turned out. The right eye is set slightly higher than the base of the left eye.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 5, Fin and Feet Gluing

The three fin lines were drawn and the primer sanded down for better adhesion.
The fins are even with the rear of the tube.
To make positioning easier, the pencil line was extended around the end of the tube. A line was also drawn down the middle of the leading and trailing ledges.
The middle fin lines were simply matched up to the line on the body tube.

To be sure the fin height was the same, a wrap of masking tape was rolled around the tube after the first fin was glued on.

The feet were glued onto the outside edge of the main fin leg.

The "toes" were turned out from the heel end.
The inset picture shows the angle of the glue line.

The launch lug is glued to the root edge of the back third leg.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More Little Green Man Test Flights

The Odd'l Rockets Little Green Man had it's sixth successful test flight on July 12 with an Estes B6-4 engine.

All is good, still no damage except for some expected small smoke discoloration.

At the July 14 STEM launch the L.G.M. had it's second C6-5 flight. That's seven stable flights!
The overhead recovery picture is a screen capture of that flight from Roger Smith's Quad Copter video camera. That's an Odd'l Rockets parachute with a spill hole. Roger's video is HERE

New designs go through quite a few flights before being released as a kit. The OOP Odd'l Rockets Wedgie was flown a few dozen times.
The stranger the design, the more test flights are required.

The second prototype flew naked (no paint) on July 20.
The hand shape is more defined and the feet angle is set closer to vertical. The new foot position is less draggy and adds some altitude. Flight eight - stable!

The Estes B6-4 engine popped the parachute at around 350 feet.
The antennas were just stuck in the head holes, not glued in until after painting.
It doesn't look very interesting without the eyes and big mouth.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Little Green Man Promo Film Short

Roger Smith put together a great L.G.M. promotional video.
You can see a C6-5 flight from a quad copter video perspective.

This was filmed at the July 14, S.T.E.M. launch.
The music and Theremin sounds make the perfect soundtrack.
Thanks Roger! Great work as always . . .

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 4, Fin Revision and Balsa Laser Layout

The larger lower fins needed some subtle shape change.
For two reasons - 
1. More strength after seeing the balsa grain ended up and
2. A better angle for less drag with the "T" foot piece glued to the outside edge.

The original fin is on top, the revised fin is under it.

Here's the revised upper and lower fins.
The fins were photographed with the 1" length for reference.
I can drop the jpeg picture into Corel Draw, size it to the 1" reference line and trace the new shapes.

Looking ahead, I wanted to see how all the balsa would fit on a 3" or 4" widths of balsa sheet for laser cutting.
The top picture shows the pieces set on a 4" width. The length was 7 1/4".
It's like a puzzle. Laying out the pieces takes many tries.
Using cut balsa you can see the correct grain direction.
The pieces have to be spaced so the laser cuts can't overlap.
I ended up fitting them all onto a 3" X 9" area.
On a 36" long balsa sheet I can cut four sets of fins.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 3, Still More Fins

The main leg fins were also pinned and gang sanded.
Grain direction breaks are possible but sanding the fins together helped keep it from happening.

Forward strake ears were fitted to the nose cone using the rounded side of the sanding block.
A good fit here saves filling the joint later on. A fillet of Titebond M&TG should be enough.

Two more forward arms are cut, pinned and gang sanded.
I know, what does this shape represent?
The first fin template shapes are being changed for better fin strength and easier grain filling.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Orders! July 18, 2014

I'm sending off a pre-NARAM order to Apogee today.
Apogee will be at NARAM with a small litter of PIGASUS kits for sale.
They will also have other Odd'l products available.

As soon as I get another order of laser cut fins - 
Another batch of Pigs and kits will go to Uncle Mike's Rocket Shack.

The first batch of laser cut fins have been ordered for the Little Green Man.
The first run of kits will be limited to 10. If those sell, more will be produced.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 2, More Fins

Here's an old school idea - 
Pin the fins together when gang sanding. This is helpful when the fins are hard to hold together when sanding and trimming.

You can see I pinned the pattern right on top of the stacked fin pieces.
Go easy when pressing the fins through the wood. It's easy to split the balsa down the grain.

The concave side curve was sandedusing the side of my old Warner sanding block.

The sharp inside corner was shaped with the angled side of a diamond file.

The pins were pulled and the pieces separated.
The pin holes will be easily filled with CWF.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Little Green Man Prototype Build, Part 1, Fins

This build will show the steps (and changes) made in a kit prototype build -  of the new Little Green Man.

The fins have a complex shape, both inside and outside curves.
This is old school, no laser cutting until it becomes a kit.
All the sides were cut square and rounded edges will be shaped using dowels and files.
This isn't even all the balsa, I realized I forgot to cut two pieces after the picture was taken.

The patterns were printed on 110 lb. card stock and cut out on the outside lines.
The like, rough cut balsa pieces were stacked and sanded using the pattern piece as an edge guide.
These two pieces are the easiest to gang sand.

Here's the first two pieces ready for filling.
No, they are not the same size.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Odd'l Design - LITTLE GREEN MAN - First Drawing to Prototype

The New Odd'l Rockets Little Green Man design came from an email suggestion. I was asked to come up with an original design. I never knew a few sketches could end up being a new kit.

Here's the first drawing of the Little Green Man.
Some of the design elements were inspired by online cartoon images.
But I had to make it my own.
Besides, this drawing looked like a Little Green Baby.
Four re-draws later and I had enough to start the prototype. 

The eyes are now closer to the old Warner Bros. cartoon eyes.
The mouth got even longer and a lower lip was added.
During the build the small hands were changed for more balsa grain strength.
The fin-leg outside edge angles were changed. The feet were at too low an angle.
The left and right antennas were flipped, the bent, short antenna is now over the taller eye.
The hands were glued on a little lower on the body to make the torso smaller.
The belt and ray gun were added.
Fingernails, toenails and a bigger tooth were needed.

The finished prototype - The Odd'l Rockets

It's always interesting to see your finished designs in 3D.
This one still keeps the looks of the final drawing.
Now I've just got to build a few and test fly a dozen times!

For the next build - 
It might need four legs to set the flat feet forward.
The hands will probably end up like the second drawing with just two fingers. The nails would be water slide decals in a darker green, not blue.
Talk about child bearing hips! I'll fix that.
The belt buckle still needs some tweaking. Maybe some belt loops?
The ears will be glued higher on the head, one higher than the other.
Oh, on the back side, add a ray gun under the belt!

You should see how many changes the Pigasus design went through before being kitted.
Most changes were subtle but needed for strength and easier assembly.
The prototype build will follow!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Little Green Man Fin Changes, Part 2

When building the newest prototype more minor changes were made on the L.G.M. feet and hands.

On the left is the shape I had originally planned. On the right the final shape for laser cutting.

The subtle change is the rounded corner crux  between the big toe and toes.
On the hand it's between the two fingers.

This was done for balsa strength and ease of filling. It would be harder to fill and sand a tight inside corner.

Little Green Man Fin Changes Part 1

On the left is the first prototype hands for the upcoming Little Green Man kit.
They looked too thick. I had originally drawn them as shown in the inset picture but was concerned about the balsa grain direction.

After the model was built and flown I realized the "thumb" is pretty well protected and the chance of the balsa grain cracking there is small.

On the prototype, the blue fingernails were cut from trim Monokote.
In the kit these will be water slide decals, two dark green fingernails.
The Little Green man is painted a Rustoleum Key Lime Green overall.

On the prototype, the three turned up feet were probably set out at too much of an angle.
In the next build and kit the angle will be closer to vertical. The black tape shows the area that will be removed.

The angled feet create some base drag and actually help stabilize the rocket.
The new foot angle will get some better altitude.