In one of my bored moments, which I had a few hours to spare, I decided to make a comlink like the one Luke talks to C3P0 on while they are in the trash compacter in A New Hope. Its probably one of the easiest things to make. It’s basically a rod of resin turned down to the correct shape.
This is really just a rod of resin, a bit of turning and a few rubber ‘O’ rings. I started with a rod of resin in the chuck of the lathe, and a picture from the visual dictionary book. While I didn’t have my camera with me at the time, so I only took pictures when its was done, but you will see from those I had to add a bit to the bottom as I made it to short to start with.
Once the two ends were done it was a case of turning down the centre section so three different size ‘O’ rings could be fitted on to give that stepped look. This probably took the longest part as it was trial and error as they needed to go on easy enough but not so tight they would break after a while. A happy medium was reached and they went on and looked ok.
With the basic shape done it was time to pay attention to the finer details. As I turned this from scratch, I didn’t have the little grippy type bits round the mic end. To solve this I cut the grip bits off a glue dispenser I had on the bench and they worked a treat.
The mesh needed a bit more thought than that, as I tried just poking a bit in, but it never looked nice and crisp. I ended up making a die, and stamp so I could cut out circles of mesh, then force it into the die which turned up the edge and finished it off perfectly, to give it that mic look. I then stamped out rings of black foam and stuck them in place behind the mesh.
Once finished it was just a case of making a mould so I could cast it in one go. I tried white resin, but it didn’t look to good, so I ended up using a fast cast resin and put the mould in my home made centrifugally casting gadget. This is a single phase motor with a tin bolted to the top. You simply pour the resin in and turn it on. The centrifugal force draws all the air to the middle giving a nice clean air bubble free cast. It was then sprayed bright white, and the rubber ‘O’ rings added.