That’s right! Monoeye! (day 29)

With the basic shape for the head interior done I’ve started work on the monoeye. I do something like this for virtually every Zaku I ever build, though this time is a little different since I’m also thinking about how to make it in a way that I can cast copies in resin. I also did a bit of refinement work on the cockpit hatch, as it appeared to be off-center.

The structure of the monoeye is pretty simple – a cylinder that can rotate around its center axis, and on the surface of the cylinder there will be some mechanical details and a lens on one side. There will be a LED involved as well, at some point. For now I’m doing the basic, the cylinder and axis. It starts with choosing the appropriate size for the styrene tube that will form the monoeye track. Too small and it’ll look insubstantial, too large and it won’t have space to move. I wound up going with an 8mm tube, and a 3mm rod to act as the center axis. When the model is complete I’ll be able to adjust the eye position by popping off the helmet and accessing the rod to turn the eye.
I started by drilling the hole through the head interior for the axis rod. I began with a 1mm drill bit and after drilling, used the drill bit as a file to straighten out and re-align the hole. I repeated the process with increasingly larger drill bits until I got to 3mm.

Apart from the eye work, I also took a second look at the cockpit hatch that I sculpted a few days back: at some point it began to seem it was off-center. It’s a little hard to center things properly on the chest block as it doesn’t have a well-marked centerline, but I did my best to check it against the available guides and it appears I was right, the top of the hatch skews to the viewer’s left. To correct the issue, I trimmed down that side of the hatch, adjusted the position of the canopy, and added a new layer of epoxy putty to rebuild the surface of the hatch in the new position.

There are times with this project where it feels like I work a lot and get very little done. This is kind of one of those times. But I feel it’s going to pay off when the head can be properly mounted to the body and there’s a fully-detailed head interior to look at…

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