Hey All! Longtime forum lurker and first-time poster here; I wanted to share a project that I’ve been working on that might interest some of you.
I’m a massive WW1 aviation geek, and with the recent release of IL2 Flying Circus (if you haven’t tried it, it’s the most incredible VR experience I know of), I’ve been working on developing a variety of WW1 hardware, starting with a joystick grip modeled on the Sopwith Camel.
If you’re interested in the backstory behind this grip, or want to see development updates on my other projects as they happen, feel free to check out my build log on the IL2 forum linked below. The next projects coming up are a Tampier Throttle quadrant (such as used on Sopwiths and many other WW1 birds) and a Sopwith rudder bar. I’ve got plans for lots more down the road!
I’ve made a point of designing all of these items so that I can produce copies for others if desired. The feedback from folks in the IL2 community has actually been so enthusiastic that I’ve opened a website to sell them, which you can find at vrsimpits.com. (Moderators, if linking my website violates any kind of policy please let me know and I will remove it!).
Wonderful stuff, @vonrickenbecker!
I do agree about FC in VR! It’s a dream come true…
That stick looks great!
I’d love to learn more about that cold cast technique you’re using.
I’m making a Viggen stick grip and would love to cast it in alu, but that’s a lot of work.
I’m considering TC-814 aluminium plastic. Is that what you’re using?
I actually use a resin called Onyx Slow from a company called Smooth On. It’s black in color in its natural form, but before pouring the resin into the mold, I dust the mold with a fine powder of 6061 Aluminum. When the resin sets, this Aluminum powder is bonded to the surface and leaves a rough-cast finish, which can be brushed with fine steel wool to bring out a metallic shine. The video below from a prop maker is the closest to the process I use:
The TC-814 resin you mention is very interesting, I actually had not encountered it before! From looking at the description and material properties, I would be willing to bet that it is really just a clear or semi-opaque resin with a lot of powdered Aluminum mixed in. It would probably work for your application; my only concern is with the mix viscosity listed (2,900 cps). For reference, the resin I use has a mix viscosity of just 100 cps, and I still occasionally have issues with the resin not flowing into all the nooks and crannies of the mold before it begins to harden. If you don’t have any thin walls or small features it might be okay, but I would personally lean towards powdering the mold and using a normal resin.
I’d love to see pics of your Viggen grip when it’s done!
Hey all! It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update here, which is mainly due to how busy I’ve been building SopGrips and working on new products. Speaking of, here is a short video demonstrating my new Tampier Quadrant (Sopwith throttle/mixture) in action with IL2 Flying Circus!
For more info on features and pricing of the Tampier Quadrant, see the following entry on my development logbook:
Work on the Tampier Quadrant is progressing well, and the product should be available for purchase very soon! I’m just working out a couple of electrical bugs and finalizing some details of the production process.
Because this work is mainly background stuff and doesn’t make for entertaining reading, I thought I’d do something a bit different and take you on a tour of my little controls factory - aka my spare bedroom workshop!
That’s impressive use of space (and indeed amazing wife-approval ratings!) - well done with the shop-vac, that was going to be my next question when you said “apartment” and “drill press” in the same sentence
I am very happy to announce that the VRSimpits Tampier Quadrant is beginning production now, and will be available to order just after new years! I didn’t mean to time this announcement to coincide with the announcement of Flying Circus Vol. 2, but it’s a happy coincidence indeed!
For more information about the quadrant, head over to www.vrsimpits.com, and stay tuned to hear when the order button goes live!
The first production run of five Tampier units is in process now, and on track to be ready to ship towards the end of this month, with subsequent production runs hopefully occurring monthly thereafter!
I have received a very high level of interest and email inquiries about the Tampier Quadrant, which is awesome! Due to this high demand, I have decided to open a pre-order registration form which I will use to distribute the first units, rather than simply throwing them up on my website. I want to make sure that I give you guys – the people who have followed and encouraged my work – a good shot at obtaining one of the first units! If you want to grab a unit from this first production run, head over to the pre-order form linked below and submit an entry! No money is required up front, I won’t bill anything until I have your order ready to ship. For these first units, I will send all pre-order customers an invoice rather than ordering through my website directly.
And don’t forget that you can get all of the details and technical specs of the quadrant at my website:
I sent a pre-production Tampier Quadrant to my friend Chris (Chill31 on many flight sim forums), a real-life pilot and owner of a Fokker DR1 with original engine, and here is what he had to say about it:
“I just got my VRSimpit throttle to go with my Sopwith grip…WOW! It is just like the real thing. I’m floored at how nicely these are done. It beat my expectations by a mile. I can’t wait for the next WWI event so I can take my rig and let people try their hand at a WWI flying experience.”