Sunday, July 7, 2019

"PROFESSOR HUYANG" created by Darth Daddy

Professor Huyang was an ancient droid who made his first appearance on screens in Season 5 of The Clone Wars television series. Huyang was a storied architect who oversaw the construction of Jedi lighstabers for many centuries. Based aboard the training vessel Crucible, Huyang guided countless younglings in the construction of their lightsabers after they had successfully completed their task of securing a kyber crystal from the icy caverns of Ilum. Huyang helped them visualize their lightsaber parts, and pulled the needed supplies from his vast trove of parts. His ancient memory systems contained records of every lightsaber ever constructed.

Professor Huyang was an action figure that was at the very top of Dad's wishlist, but due to the difficulty involved in producing this character in plastic, Dad never really considered trying to make him. That was until he saw that a customizer named Isotelus offered a 3-D print file for Huyang that he designed and made available for free to the public. 

Droids have a reputation for being extremely difficult to fabricate from scratch due to the need for precise symmetry. Dad said making a head or torso for Huyang would be an absolute nightmare. Therefore, the 3-D print file that Isotelus created was just the solution Dad was looking for. 

Even with a solution, the project still was immensely challenging for a number of reasons. The trouble with the design for the Professor Huyang was the figure only articulated at the head, shoulders and waist. The rest of the figure was completely stagnant everywhere else. We wanted a super-articulated version of Huyang, and this figure had less than five points of articulation. That said, Dad felt confident all the parts he needed to pull off this project were present in the 3-D print file and he was absolutely right.

The first step in getting the project started was getting the file printed. Because we don't have a 3-D printer, we had to get the file printed by a third-party. Dad did some research and found, a company online who was able to do an SLA print of the file that would severely reduce the lines that would occur if a plastic filament was utilized to produce the prototype. Huyang took a few weeks to come in the mail due to the Chinese holiday, but once he arrived, Dad got to work at cutting up the resin pieces to add in the articulation. 

Print from Isotelus' 3-D Design

Adding articulation to the 3-D print.

To do so, Dad used the shoulder and elbow joints of two Clone Wars Battle Droids to add ball jointed shoulders and articulation to the knees and elbows. What Dad didn't anticipate was that the arms would be so thin that they could not be drilled to accept pegs at the elbows or wrists. To get around it, Dad used  tiny magnets in the hands and wrist to make them swivel. This was the perfect solution for providing our Huyang with the two different sets of hands that were available. He used a Dremel to carve deep notches along the inside of the arms to accept the Battle Droid elbows. It worked aesthetically because it matched Huyang's design perfectly without compromising his appearance at all, Below the waist, Dad used the bottom half of a JN-66 Research Droid that he cut up and drilled to accept the hip joints from the Battle Droid to give Huyang ball-jointed hips. He attached the modified piece to the upper torso with powerful magnets, 

Once completely assembled, Dad got to sculpting. He had to re-sculpt the torso above the waist to thin him out and below the waist to improve screen accuracy. He also had to completely re-sculpt the arms to add in the detail that was lost in the printing process. He also widened the headsculpt a bit and sculpted in details into the backpack that were absent. Once the body sculpt was completed, Dad added a real leather apron and belt to the figure and added on sculpted pouches and a Comm Link. 

After that Dad made a plethora of accessories that didn't come with the original print. He added a battle damage feature by gluing wires to a spare set of shoulder ball joints that he could swap out for the arms. He drilled out the crystal chamber in Huyang's chest and added a removable one. I even got involved and made Huyang's torch that could be swapped out for the boxes on the forearms utilizing magnets there as well. 

The goal was to have Huyang done in time for the recording of our show "Customizing The Clone Wars". Because of the impending deadline, Dad was not able to add a movable monocle like he had hoped. He is hoping to add it at a later date utilizing some more magnets.

Once the build was complete, Dad just needed to paint the figure and all of the extra arms that were available in the more complete file Isotelus included.

created by Darth Daddy

  The crystal chamber in Huyang's chest is removable.

 Darth Daddy's modified Professor Huyang.

Isotelus' 3-D Print File