Archive for the ‘Developments’ Category

Expo’s a week away!

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

If you follow my personal twitter you’ll know the last few weeks have been hectic. Family crisis, deadlines, financial issues and a whole bunch more. The final deadline is now MCM Expo in a weeks time, where I’ll be manning a dealers table for Fatkraken while she costumes. In repayment, I get to sell some of my own items on the table.

It’s Halloween, so I’m selling horns.

Presuming the roto-caster I’ve built in the last week starts working again, I should have a number of each. Some of the first final tests came out today.

Yes, there’s a lot of black there. I was testing some calculations for bulk-casting. Meant mixing up a lot of resin in one colour and black shows any defects better. The two “beige” unicorns horns though actually contain UV and GlowInTheDark powder.

The unicorn horns are cast from a hand-made master. These long ones are 8.5″ long and the shorter ones are 3.5″ long. I’ll be making them up in a host of *co-pony-ough* colours, with the fleece at the bottom either black, white or grey as it’s all I have to hand. They’re a shell casting that’s infilled with rigid PU foam. Will likely be putting them on simple elasticated headbands.

These horns are made in the same way but the moulds are taken from real animal horns. These ones are some breed of goat I believe (of the 8 I got, only 6 had a specific species noted). There’s more coming from Jacob, Heriden and Dalesbred breeds of sheep, but the fibreglass mould-jackets are being tricky. This variety will mostly be mounted on headbands and barrettes, though I may also make a few up in foam rubber.

Once Expo’s over I’ll be selling them directly as loose castings for people to use as they will.

Well after after-Expo, when I wake up from the coma.

Gallery down

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Fixing the internal gallery is going to take a bit longer than anticipated. I’m already reorganising the layout, but there’s quite a few items I never got around to putting on it and a few hundred master images to sift through. And once the new and better quality images are up I’ll have to go back through all the previous blog entries and correct image links.

Might be a day or two.

Eye-blank developements

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

I’m glad to say there’s finally some good news on the eye-blank front. A few recent castings have been coming out crystal clear! The new epoxy resin is starting to work out.

It’s crystal clear, without the yellowy tone of the eurethane clear-cast and without the blue hint of the noxious styrene resin.

The only issue is that it’s rather harsh on the silicone moulds, clinging to them very tightly. Mould-release has helped a bit but has also left the blanks with a slightly “frosted” surface.

I have some test blanks currently curing in hardier urethane-rubber based moulds, which hopefully will not require mould release. If they come out as well as I hope, I should be able to start production proper within the next fortnight.

A urethane mould curing

The experiments continue. More updates should soon follow. For science!

PS: Site gallery and previous post images may not respond correctly for a while as I shall be making alterations to the gallery plugin the site uses.

Starborne Works Facebook page

Friday, October 8th, 2010

I’ve created a fan-page for Starborne Works on Facebook. Any website updates or news should be automatically cross-posted to it, so please declare yourself a fan if you want instant updates!

Development news

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Things have been a little all over the place lately, but I have a number of new products in the pipeline. I also finally have a nice photographic lightbox, so I’ll be re-photographing my demo products. I’ve also had some wonderful help from some volunteer models in getting very impressive “action shots” of some of the T-shirts in use.

This is all part of a big push to finally get the webshop populated and operating, as I acknowledge I’ve let that slip while working on custom orders instead. It’ll be nice to have enough standard items available that I might be able to relax a little more around here!

At request I’ve been working on getting blank resin eyes manufactured. After a couple of non-starters I think I’ve finally found a nice water-clear epoxy. There’s still some residue issues to work out, but I think it’s a minor contamination thing. I hope to have it resolved in the next few days.

It’s also been suggested that I work on some steampunk-styled filigree, to provide a more repeatable and lighter option than sewing bits of scrap metal to your clothes. These are fairly simple, but I’m experimenting with metallic pigments and filler powders to give the best realistic appearance I can. I’m fussy like that.

I’m also trying to find a good balance between personal and professional blogging. I now have my personal blogs running through a core website (www.sci-fi-fox.com) with automatic crossposting thanks to WordPress plugins.
What I will be attempting is to have this website crosspost into my personal one, but not visa-versa. A one-way flow. My business is part of my life, but my life should not be part of my business (unless I break my neck or something. That might delay orders a bit.). Hopefully this will enable me to blog about all my creative works, but for those interested to filter with ease.

And speaking of creative works, tomorrow I will be taking delivery of a milling machine. This will be my first, as I do not count the vertical slide I purchased for the lathe an adequate substitute. While a rather homebrew unit, it has ample machining room, so will be of great use. It should allow me to develop the Bonsai Repstrap concept further as well as make the aluminium moulds required for the small injection moulding machine I already own.
These have both been previously mentioned in personal blogs, and in retrospect are probably things more suited to blogging on this site instead. I’ll try and get the crossposting fixed up once I’ve spent a few more hours in the workshop today.

Ta-ta!

Ladies shirts, incoming!

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

The largest order I’ve yet made, at £490, will shortly see me re-stocked in all the unisex UKFur shirts, as well as a few ladies shirts in black, pink and the blue-backed “Union” design!

This means the prices are now set!

Both the white UKFur logo on black shirt or baby-pink shirt are £12, no matter the size.
The Union (white and red UKFur logo on a royal blue shirt) are £14 each, again no matter the size.

The ladies sizes are: XS=8, S=10, M=12, L=14, XL=16

I should be able to get custom colour combinations on request now the screens for the printing have been cut. So let me know if you want the design on a different colour to be included in the next order!

And now back to finishing the castings and commissions. Not a lot left to do!

With luck the shirts should arrive just before the next LondonFur meet on the 26th.

Three things

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Once again, things have been busy here! I’m currently processing orders, albeit with a small delay (manifold broke off the degassing chamber and I’m waiting for the glue to set).

There have been two major developments however.

UKFur
I’ve now purchased the UKFur merchandise shop from previous owner Tigerfire, who’s no longer as involved in the Furry scene as he once was.
In the next couple of days I should receive the first batch of new stock, to get a small number of the most in-demand shirts and sizes.

The three designs of shirt

It’s out of stock of the lanyards, but I’m looking around for a supplier that will provide them in minimum orders of less than £200.

However still have large numbers of vinyl stickers and silicone wristbands.

Confuzzled is just a month away now, so have no fear, you will be able to get your UKFur merch!

In the meantime though, wristbands are £1.50, stickers are 50p each.
B&W shirts are £10 in Small to XL sizes, and £11 in XXL and XXXL.
Blue shirts are £12 in Small to XL sizes, and £13 in XXL and XXXL.
£2 for postage, and I still take paypal.

If I’m out of stock, let me know the size you’re after so I can get more in and I’ll let you know when I do.

Chest sizes: S – 35/37″ M – 38/40″ L – 41/43″ XL – 44/46″ XXL – 47/49″ 3XL – 50/52″

Reprap
Shortly after buying the UKFur shop I also acquired a lot of 2000 surplus stepper motors.

All boxes full of motors (ignore the SEM bits)

I strongly believe the future is in 3D printers, but there’s a big supply issue. Even the home-made machines tend to require you to already have a 3D printer to make parts for it.
The way around this is to make a bootstrapping machine to make the initial parts. A rep-strap.

The motors I have are smaller than those advised in the Reprap project, but I have my own take on it. I’m developing a small, semi-portable 3D printer, that should be fairly cheap and easy to modify. I’m looking at a sale price in the £200 range, and a quantity of around 500 machines.
Because of the small size of these printers, I’m dubbing it the Bonsai Repstrap.

It’s an ambitious project I know! But if you want to follow how things are going with it, take a look at..

The Creative Blog
I’ve set up a journal over at Dreamwidth as a stand-alone creative blog. While this won’t be strictly business related, it will include and business creations and day-to-day activities as well as my personal works.
Dreamwidth incorporates RSS feeds into the blogs, so you don’t have to sign up to follow it. It also accepts OpenID logins, so you can comment if you like.

RBW Redux

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

So yes, I got back from RBW fine. I thought I’d dodged the bullet that is con-crud, but no! A week later it kicks in and my voice vanishes into husky croaks.

That said, RBW was a great time. Last year it all came apart at the seams, so people were hesitant to come back this year. But the new staff and change of venue have pulled it all back together into a very professional con, which I (and I’m sure MANY more) will be attending again next year.

Sales went pretty well, and had a few orders for the new rubber paw-pads. Glowsticks before the boat party sold very well, though some people waited until we were actually ON the boat to ask about buying some. Unfortunately I left my dealers table in the Dealers Den, so I guess I missed an opportunity there.

The robot also got a warm reception, being dubbed alternately Heineken, Keg-9, and K9’s alcoholic cousin. There was even an offer to buy him, but I want the satisfaction of having him work first. Well technically he does work, it just turned out his remote control didn’t.
It was also great to meet so many new people as well as see and hear of the wonderful works other people are working on.

Anyway, new casting supplies were ordered and have now arrived, as well as a preserved coyote skull with some excellent teeth. I’ll be making replicas of it’s teeth for sale soon.

Oh, I’ve added a fixed status page to the site so people who’ve ordered at cons or who have other commissions with me, can keep track of them. It’s very rough at the moment, but I’ll be tidying it up shortly.

I’ll be at the upcoming LondonFurs Xmas party on the 5th, selling some of my remaining glowsticks. I’m also trying to revive an old idea I had called the Fandom Trade Association, which is much more informal than it sounds. News on that as it develops.

Back in the saddle

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

It’s been a little while since the last site update. My bad! I really need to config a desktop client just for updating here!

I’ve been a busy boy though. The new workbench got done and is just perfect for what I needed. I’ve been abusing it’s poor new surfaces quite heavily, pushing a lot of smaller projects out of the way quickly.

The New Workbench

Also the new vacuum degassing chamber is complete and running! I had my phone on me when I first ran it up, so got a little bit of footage.
Excuse the stilted tone of voice, I’d been up for a little while!

And what am I currently making in that chamber? Claws!

The Regular Claws Colour Selection

Special Order Claws

Pricing is as follows:

  • Small has a base price of £1, Medium is £1.10 and Long is £1.20.
  • For stripes add 50p per claw per extra colour.
  • For glow in the dark add 75p per claw (this premium quality glow powder is expensive. Supply of Green is in stock, other colours will need time to order in, may require minimum order and may not glow as brightly as the green).
  • To have an LED mounted add 50p per claw. Can be clear or translucent. Add 10p extra per for translucent colour (advised, diffuses colour better).
  • To have the claws made in rubber (good for footpaws) add 50p per claw.
  • Clear or translucent claws with other fillings are negotiable.

I’ve also got some lucky person getting a set of the pre-production sets of rubber paw pads. Muahaha. ;)

Other things acheived have included some forrays into robotics, but for the most part the rest of the time has been some minor commission work, knocking down walls and fixing coffee machines.

Oh, if you’ve bought items from me before, I’d love to see some pictures of them in action! Just email them to me at sci@starborneworks.com

Also, RBW is less than 2 weeks away now! Time to get busy!

Minor site changes

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

For your viewing convenience, please find that the website sidebar now has a tag cloud, and link to the sites syndication on LiveJournal.