Cortana Chips

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  1. #1

    Cortana Chips

    Something I have been wanting to do for the past few weeks was to make the Cortana data chip seen in the Halo 5 trailer. I based it off of the reference shots as best as I could.

    Here is the only decent reference shot out there.


    Here is my computer drawing.


    I did a test cut out to see if the size was good, and it seemed to be pretty dead on.


    Then I modified the files to work with my laser cutter. I cut out all of the parts using various thickness of plastic.


    Then all I had to do was glue the pieces together.



    Then I did some minor sanding and primed it.


    I also did a clear coat, but I will let it dry overnight before the molding begins.

    Thanks for looking.

  2. #2
    This is already looking awesome!

  3. #3
    Oh beautiful work! I wish I had access to a laser cutter lol. There seems to be some detail in the center but I don't know if thats MCs hand or what. Any idea how you're going to rig the ball chain up to it? IF it's even attached?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by DSJeffers View Post
    Oh beautiful work! I wish I had access to a laser cutter lol. There seems to be some detail in the center but I don't know if thats MCs hand or what. Any idea how you're going to rig the ball chain up to it? IF it's even attached?
    Thank you both. The detail in the center is his hand. I am pretty sure the chain is just wrapped through the center hole.

    So I started the mold this morning. I mounted the chip to a piece of plastic, and built a box to go around it.


    I started measure out my silicone.


    The silicone I use has excellent properties, but is very thick, and traps a lot of bubbles in it.


    So I put this thing together to help me out. It is a vacuum chamber. It is a pressure tank hooked up to a vacuum pump.


    When the pump is turned on, it creates negative pressure, causing the contents to expand. Since air expands faster, the bubbles float to the top, and work their way out of the silicone. It may be a little hard to tell, but I only filled my mixing cup up to 10 oz, which was about a third of the way to the top. Once I turned the pump on, it expanded all the way up to over 28 oz.


    Once it has been degassed, I can start to brush the silicone into all of the details of the chip.


    Then I put the mold back together and poured the rest of the silicone in.


    There were a few bubbles still in the silicone after pouring, so I put it back in the chamber to get them out.


    Now I just wait for the silicone to cure. Update coming later tonight....

  5. #5
    we have one of those vacuum chambers too, because we have a shop that makes silicone molds,
    you really are a pro bro

  6. #6
    Oh wow yeah quite a setup you have! Any clue if you will be letting a few of these go? Either way it's looking sweet. It'll complete any Halo fans collection if they get their hands on it! I've always wanted to try to use silicone for certain things like this but I never know where to start. It this process mainly used for small objects or can it be used for larger ones like full helmets/armor?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by spartanx360 View Post
    we have one of those vacuum chambers too, because we have a shop that makes silicone molds,
    you really are a pro bro
    Thank you very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by DSJeffers View Post
    Oh wow yeah quite a setup you have! Any clue if you will be letting a few of these go? Either way it's looking sweet. It'll complete any Halo fans collection if they get their hands on it! I've always wanted to try to use silicone for certain things like this but I never know where to start. It this process mainly used for small objects or can it be used for larger ones like full helmets/armor?
    Within the next week I will probably let a few of these go. This style block mold is usually used for smaller scale prop. Helmets are mostly done with brush on silicone, as it uses less material. But they both pretty much work the same way. I use this style for all of my weapons.

    The mold was a success!


    Here is the first casting. The mold was dusted with silver powder.



    And I also did a test to see how it would work with pewter. The one on the left is the original, and the one on the right is pewter.


    Overall I am very pleased. But I want to try to get the metal to fill out all of the details better. Hopefully by the end of the week I will have it figured out. Also, I will try to get picture that are in better focus. Thanks for looking.

  8. #8
    they look awesome. youve inspired me to give it a shot with molding!

  9. #9
    When are you putting these in the classified section?

  10. #10
    Vac chambers are usually pretty cost prohibitive for most people, at least from what I've seen at least.

    Did you make yours by yourself or was it purchased somewhere?

    I still have a long way to go before I'll ever be able to start molding and casting my own items, but I appreciate you sharing this stuff because I'll reference it later down the road!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by the mack View Post
    they look awesome. youve inspired me to give it a shot with molding!
    Go ahead! It's a very fun process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xtremenoob View Post
    When are you putting these in the classified section?
    Hopefully by mid week I will have them available. I am still doing some R&D to get these perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revenant1988 View Post
    Vac chambers are usually pretty cost prohibitive for most people, at least from what I've seen at least.

    Did you make yours by yourself or was it purchased somewhere?

    I still have a long way to go before I'll ever be able to start molding and casting my own items, but I appreciate you sharing this stuff because I'll reference it later down the road!
    I actually built mine. I got most of the parts from Harbor Freight, and did some modifications. It cost about $250.00 for the entire set up. If I get a chance, I may do a tutorial. But this was very cost effective, compared to the professional ones.
    Making molds is something you just need to dive right into. The best way to learn is to try it. The more prep work that you put into a mold, the better it will come out. But it is an expensive process, and you should be prepared to throw out a lot of failed attempts.


    Update time!

    So the pictures I have, don't show the details as well as I would like. The pewter cast ones do not pick up the detail as well as the resin ones. I have ordered another kind of silicone, and hopefully it will work better. I was using a very hard silicone, and softer silicones are supposed to help with casting better details with metals.

    I have also put together another model.


    Now I will be able to offer either version of Cortana. It is ready to be molded, I just have to wait for more silicone to get here.

    My materials will be here on Monday, so hopefully by Tuesday morning I will know if the metal will work or not. Either way I will also be offering them as cold cast resin. And I also have another surprise, but that will have to wait....

  12. #12
    Love these! They both look amazing, really like how accurate the h5 one looks from just reference!

  13. #13
    dont suppose these will be available for the 405th public...

  14. #14
    what should be done too with the helmet if you made one is make a spring loaded door on the back so you can reach up an insert the chip into the door like Master Chief. Im sure there is enough room in these helmets.

  15. #15

  16. #16
    Thank you guys.

    Got the new silicone in yesterday, and made a mold for the Halo 3 version. It came out great! I also learned how to use cold cast resin. It looks better than just dusting the mold with silver powder.


    I did a few tests with the pewter, and it has pretty much the same results as the old silicone. So I will just keep both molds. They both yield great results with resin, and good results with the pewter.


    I also used a acid to oxidize the surface of the metal ones. It turns them black and dirty.


    Then I use steel wool to buff them. It really highlights the details.


    I also got a handful of blank dog tags that I can engrave.



    And I couldn't resist taking this shot.


    Hopefully later tonight I will have these up in the classifieds.

  17. #17
    Yay cant wait to buy one!

  18. #18
    Sorry for noob question...how does one get to said classifieds lol

  19. #19
    Teach me your ways! Haha no really tho your molding skills are amazing.

  20. #20
    Looks exactly like the cgi version. Congrats. Moved to Elite!

  21. #21
    congrats looks amazing and congrats getting moved to elite

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryios90 View Post
    Teach me your ways! Haha no really tho your molding skills are amazing.
    Molding just takes practice. It's mostly planning and prep work.
    Quote Originally Posted by rundown View Post
    Looks exactly like the cgi version. Congrats. Moved to Elite!
    Quote Originally Posted by AugmentedHuman013 View Post
    congrats looks amazing and congrats getting moved to elite
    Thank you very much! I feel honored to have this moved here.

    In other news. It has been a very busy week.


    It almost feels like I should be working for Catherine Halsey.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by JUSTINIAN 117 View Post
    Molding just takes practice. It's mostly planning and prep work.


    Thank you very much! I feel honored to have this moved here.

    In other news. It has been a very busy week.

    It almost feels like I should be working for Catherine Halsey.
    WOW they look epic.... Mass casting for the win!!

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by JUSTINIAN 117 View Post
    It almost feels like I should be working for Catherine Halsey.
    yes you should congrats on the elite move, it was inevitable!

  25. #25
    Not much of an update, but a pretty cool story. Kill kill kill is a good friend of mine, and he was going to SDCC, the same day that I finished these. He had me overnight a few of the chips to him. One for him, one for one of my other buddies, and one for them to present to the people in charge of the Halo panel. It turns out that Frank O'Conner was there, so obviously they gave it to him. Needless to say, he was very impressed. He loved it and wore it for the rest of the day. Kiki Wolfkill was also with him, and was pretty jealous that his was metal. There was another fan there that gave her a 3D printed one. For the rest of the day Frank teased her that his was better. Here's a shot of Frank admiring one of my Assault rifles. You can see him wearing the Cortana chip.


    Kiki asked if it would be too much if she ask for a metal one for her. Of coarse I would make one for her as well. I sent this out to 343 Industries last week.


    Having a thread moved into the Elite section is a great honor. But having the people in charge of Halo saying they were very impressed with my work, and even asking for more of it, was the greatest compliment I could have ever received.

    I hope you enjoyed my little story. I have been on a mental high for the past few weeks.

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