SeaQuest Heads to Molding

I know that I did a terrible thing and piqued everyone's interest when I posted up the progress of my SeaQuest model. I then promptly followed up with, well... no follow up. For a long time.

What ended up happening was that I shipped the model off to a good friend of mine, Jim Key, in California. Jim is a superb modeler and consummate professional. He and I worked together for nearly a decade to offer his big 66.5" Disney Nautilus model. When it came to deciding who to pair up with for molding and casting this kit, Jim was the only answer for me.

The kit arrived to Jim's shop in due course, but it is here that our tale takes a tragic twist, for the entire head of our beloved boat had encountered FedEx's legendary handling, and broke at the neck. This is somewhat of a big deal, as the skin of the boat, as you well know, is covered in an organic web-like finish that we labored long and hard to reproduce on this kit.

Repair was not going to be easy. At all.

In the meantime, however, Jim began working to clean up what I'd sent him, ensuring perfect fit and optimizing for the molding process.

The small detail pieces were also gone through with a fine-toothed comb and set up for molding:

Now that those things were well underway, Jim moved on to repairing the neck of the boat.

The reason that the neck broke was that I printed the parts with a fairly thin shell. As a result, the neck split along the direction of the print striations where it was weakest (well, actually it broke because FedEx can't ship a parcel without first playing football with it, apparently, but I digress...).

Jim's process for repair was intricate and fiddly work. He used Nitro-Stand and alcohol to thin it down into the crack. The crack is filled with epoxy and then it was wiped clean. What we've ended up with is a very strong bond that hasn't done much to distort the intricate webbing details. As you can see from the following details, there is a minute blending of the sharp edges of the webbing, but from any distance over a foot or so, it is basically unnoticeable.

Which brings us to the current state.

Most of the small molds are now complete and the larger hull pieces are ready for molding. Jim is looking to have some pieces run through rotocast soon, so look for more updates in the coming weeks!

Thanks for staying tuned!


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