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#3151112 - 12/06/10 08:47 PM Mechwarrior Cockpit *****  
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choowy Offline
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Hi All,

I used to have a thread over at Frugals about a cockpit project until it went offline. Since then I have finished building it and this looked like the ideal place to re post the whole project.



Last edited by choowy; 12/06/10 08:48 PM.
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#3151120 - 12/06/10 08:53 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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PropNut Offline
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Hey Choowy!! I watched your original build thread with avarice in my heart. Thanks for posting here! Can you give more closeups etc.? I would love to see the interior, how it is assembled again, etc. PLease please please! smile


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3151126 - 12/06/10 08:56 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
Woo Hoo!!! I watched the progress of your build at Frugals with interest and now to get a chance to see the completed project...Thanks!
Will you be able to post some more pics, especially of the interior! Your solutions to making plywood or mdf construction look like heavy steel was certainly inspiring.

Welcome,
Derek

#3151145 - 12/06/10 09:09 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Sure, if nobody minds I'll post the whole thing from start to finish but it will take me a little while to write up all the descriptions to go with the pics.

#3151160 - 12/06/10 09:24 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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PropNut Offline
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Please do, I remembered the posts that you made on MechWarrior Living Legends Forums and looked them up....everyone here will love to drool over the detail that you put into your pit. Personally, I like the seat the best, very authentic. Truth be told, you have re-inspired my desire for a mechpit. Do you have any CAD files that you would share?


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3151504 - 12/07/10 10:45 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: PropNut]  
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choowy Offline
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I have an overall plan I can send to you PropNut with dimensions etc. Its in Google sketch up file format.




So from this I drew the lines onto 12mm mdf sheet.



Then cut close to the line and clamped the sheet to the bench and used a router with trimming bit to run along the edge of the bench to leave a clean edge.




This is a great method for getting accurate straight lines on large pieces.







Continue around all sides with the same method.



Lay it on the second cut sheet and trim around to get two identical pieces.




Next up adding the corner rails

#3151535 - 12/07/10 12:33 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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I was following this over at Frugal's too! Great to see you got it finished. Can't wait to see how it looks inside - as I recall it was coming together really nicely.

Thanks for posting Choowy!


FS~Valisk 'Val'
www.skiesoffire.org

"I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive." - Randall Munroe
#3151563 - 12/07/10 02:02 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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f15sim Offline
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This is awesome! Can't wait for more pics! biggrin

g.


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#3151565 - 12/07/10 02:03 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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WOW I had forgotten about this thread from over at Frugals! I would like to see the interior and like Propnut I remember the seat being pretty slick.


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#3151567 - 12/07/10 02:05 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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PropNut Offline
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Thanks Choowy, mostly I am interested in your interior panels, fixtures, etc. I would need to redesign the exterior box as I plan on using three monitors in eyefinity. I played several rounds last night of MWLL and it is freaking awesome in 5040x1050.

I have a CNC router table that I plan on using to cut out parts (50"x100" cutting table) that is why I asked about CAD files. If you do not mind I will make some up from the pictures that you post, or my own interpretations that would work for my custom size box. I remember the cockpit controls that you made, I still drool.

Thanks for posting and keep it up.


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3152888 - 12/08/10 09:36 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Let me just echo the chorus....I loved watching this build, too!
With all the helos, fast movers, big tins, and racers, it was nice to see something fresh.
(Especially one so well done!)

We (I) would love to see the progress you've made! wave2


Grizzly's Comanche Simulator
"Fear is the mind killer. - Frank Herbert"
#3152890 - 12/08/10 09:41 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Hi PropNut, I don't have any CAD drawings but you are welcome to anything I can send your way that may be useful. I can give you measurements etc of anything you see that you like. I have scale images of the switch panels which may be handy, I'll post them later on.

Attached timber pieces on the edges using biscuit jointer.









Once the two sides are finished they can be attached together using the separate top panels.

#3152891 - 12/08/10 09:46 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Side laying flat then glue each panel into position.




With all the panels in place glue the other side on and check all joints.

#3152893 - 12/08/10 09:59 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Support piece for the end.



Cut out sections close to line and using a trimming router bit and a timber guide (temporary nail onto piece) its easy to get accurate cuts (or use a CNC router if you're really lucky)




This gives the effect of a casting with web cut-outs.


Fitted into position to strengthen the rear

#3152939 - 12/08/10 01:41 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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PropNut Offline
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Nice shop you have there Choowy.


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3152941 - 12/08/10 01:49 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Choowy...nice build pictures there and thanks for sharing those.

Any specific reason you went with MDF instead of plywood? Around my location there is only about a $5 difference in 8x4 MDF 1/2" thick and plywood in similar size thickness and personally I could get away with less glue and router use but that is just my thought.

I guess I am asking if using the MDF was easier to work with compared to the standard plywood for this build?


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#3152949 - 12/08/10 02:01 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Reschke, I cannot answer for Choowy but I can say that MDF is very easy to router and shape. Much easier than standard CDX plywood. We often use it for custom (paintable) base, chair rail, door, and crown molding. Yet it is still very strong and long lasting.

Last edited by PropNut; 12/08/10 02:02 PM.

F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3153281 - 12/08/10 08:59 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: PropNut]  
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choowy Offline
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Hi Reschke, yes as PropNut says it is easy to shape and machine. It also has a better surface finish and there's no end grain either to fill unless you use the more expensive ply.

Mine didn't need to be overly strong structurally and 12mm wasn't as expensive as ply.

I did use ply on the seat which you'll see later on.

Thanks Propnut, the workshop has undergone some more improvements lately and is getting close to a real man-cave.

#3153335 - 12/08/10 10:07 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: PropNut]  
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Originally Posted By: PropNut
Reschke, I cannot answer for Choowy but I can say that MDF is very easy to router and shape. Much easier than standard CDX plywood. We often use it for custom (paintable) base, chair rail, door, and crown molding. Yet it is still very strong and long lasting.


Yes, it is relatively strong. As long as the loads run parallel to the boards. (If that makes sense.)
Also, it is vulnerable to moisture until sealed.

And most importantly, when working with MDF wear mask, or even better, a respirator. MDF dust is not good for your lungs - you don't just breathe in wood dust, but also chemicals, i.e. glue, formaldhyde, among other things. If your router sander accommodates a vacuum hose, use it. You will have a lot less to clean in your shop.

#3153371 - 12/08/10 11:24 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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PropNut Offline
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Ahhh come on Monster, I have been working with MDF for years with no side...(COUGH COUGH) ugh..sorry...with no (COUGH COUGH GLARG!)...sorry again, with no side effects at all. biggrin

As to moisture, this is true if it gets soaked. But you would always want to paint/seal it in some way regardless....raw MDF is ugly wink

I have several fixtures in the shop, a production cabinet shop, that are made of raw MDF that have been working fine for years, even here in humid mid-Michigan. Course, if you live in jungle humidity, I would seal it as soon as possible.

Last edited by PropNut; 12/08/10 11:24 PM.

F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3153430 - 12/09/10 12:48 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Holy Crap! Am I glad you reposted your build here! I was following it on Frugals and was super bummed when that site went down! Superb planning, design and execution. Really looking forward to seeing how you finished it up!

POST EVERYTHING!

#3153475 - 12/09/10 01:40 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Thanks Redhornet, you are too kind!

I'll try to get it all up as fast as I can. There are some really nice projects going on over here, The Apache project looks very nice.

I used a larger sized timber edge to allow for a bigger radius similar to something that may have bee a steel construction in real life.

This was easily shaped with a hand plane and sander.






The edges where the mdf joined along the tops were also rounded a little but you have less material here to work with so cant go too shallow on the radius.



Be very careful planing mdf surface (edges are ok) as you destroy the smooth finish and it needs a lot of sanding and possible filling.

In my case I was going to add a little wear and tear later so any defects could be disguised as dents etc.

#3153600 - 12/09/10 08:11 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Ok onto the ejection seat. This was modelled on the ACES seat and a little of the F14 and some of a British design I think.

I wanted it to be adjustable for my kids to get in so it moves forward and back and up and down. I found a great seat mechanism for $20 at a wreckers. The base design is built around the mechanism.




I made up a balsa model to check for look and size when I originally scale built it.




The original design was to have the missile pods on either side with the left side opening as a door. I simplified as the build time was getting too long.

I'd highly recommend using balsa to scale build anything that might be large and complex to give you an idea of what will work and its quick to assemble.




The design is based on this model from the Mechwarrior series, Vulture or Maddog




Marked up the sides with a pretty good guess on the shape using a flexible edge.





The side needs to be shaped to the finished product so you can then attach it to the other side and use the trimmer bit to create an identical side.





Using the straight edge to finish the edges for the base side..



The finished side for the base based on the balsa model.


I wanted to give the base a cast aluminium look so I added another identical side and marked up a web pattern before drilling holes at the radius of each shape.




Roughly cut to a few mm of the line.


#3153604 - 12/09/10 08:49 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Again using a temporary straight edge nailed to the piece to get a clean finish.






Finished side piece.



Clamped to base to check fit and angle.


Sides of the seat back with the centre supports. These are also curved inward to give a contoured back.



Seat base of solid timber to be lined with a ply sheet.


I used a better looking screw head on the base even though it will have a cushion sometime.



Seat back clamped to check fit and look.



The top head rest piece is just a simple box.


Mini oxygen cylinder from a mouse bottle and other bling.





The hydraulic lines are inserted into a standard hex bolt with the end filed smooth and the correct hole drilled in the centre.
Its just pushed into the correct sized hole in the block. Sorry about the poor focus.

Using the right type of screw helps to make it look more real.




Finished product after undercoat and satin black spray. The far side has no detail as it cant be seen once installed in the sim.

I made up stickers to give it a more authentic look. Military stuff has labels all over everything.


#3153631 - 12/09/10 11:15 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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My god, that is a masterpiece. Seriously. That is effing awesome. And this is just the chair!

#3153664 - 12/09/10 01:08 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Choowy, that is stunning! The creative use of commonly available materials to simulate other things just makes it all that more impressive. I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of the project!

I may just have to revisit MechWarrior: Living Legends ...

#3153723 - 12/09/10 02:44 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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f15sim Offline
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That seat is a work of art! I'd love to get drawings of it. CNC! *laughs*

g.


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#3153907 - 12/09/10 06:22 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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kneeldown

Wow! The seat itself is a masterpiece!

#3153921 - 12/09/10 06:39 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Damn man that's impressive stuff! Reminds me of Wasp's life size mech pit! Keep it up totally a work of art!


I've got a bad feeling about this.....
#3153930 - 12/09/10 06:47 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Not worthy...so not worthy...

thanks for the replies. I know about working with it but didn't realize you were using it as that for the finish. I assumed....yeah I know with the way the finished product looked that you have worked out some type of epoxy or veneer type material on it.


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#3154017 - 12/09/10 08:53 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Thanks for the support guys, WinkNGrin I'm sorry I don't have detailed drawings but I'm happy to provide measurements if you need anything.

I decided to make my own throttle which in hindsight may have been a little weird as they make some very nice ones but I was firmly in DIY mode at that stage.


I made up a prototype first just to see how things felt. I had looked a a few in stores to get the sizing.



From that I used pine (easy to work and shape) to rough out a shape. I added an extra piece on the top to allow room to fit the switches.



Using a wood rasp shape the corners and get the size right. Finish wasn't important here yet as it was going to have automotive filler applied .





I added ice cream sticks as an easy way of layering up areas that were too low. It was still a in two halves as this stage as I needed to be able to cut access holes internally to run the cables through. It was later glued together.



Filler applied to any areas that need it.



Primer applied ready for finishing coat.


Switch plate to house two momentary and one rocker. Aluminium plate used.


Final finish and assembled.




#3154036 - 12/09/10 09:36 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Nice job on the grip. thumbsup

#3154084 - 12/09/10 10:59 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Watched your build at Frugals too.

jawdrop


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#3154138 - 12/10/10 12:58 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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OMG... It was brilliant and original and now the GRIP???? OMG the best idea to make a home made grip ever. I was toying in my head about casting aluminum, or use epoxy putty! I couldn't see the WOOD for the trees! Pun intended! biggrin

S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G!!! AWESOME!!!

Do you know what you just did????? You just helped me realize how to build my own dual throttles. It was there all the time, and I couldn't see it! So easy! So graaaand!!

CPR! CPR!!! biggrin

#3154142 - 12/10/10 01:07 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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DEFIBRILATING!!!

I was thinking - not trying to tell you how to run things, you do just great - you obviously won't be able to do an eyefinity setup.

What would really take the cake, would be if you could have one central screen, and 2 screens on either side acting as windows, with their view locked at 3 and 9o'clock. And use TrackIR or any other panning utility. I reckon it would be great to have even more screens to cover as much of the front as possible. The bezels of the monitors would actually be no issue; they would look like the frame of the canopy.

I don't think there is an app like that though, that allows the user to select which views to be displayed for each screen.

#3154249 - 12/10/10 04:50 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Hi JAMF, thanks, nice to hear from you again. Cheers Ghost, its a great site to post here.

aRKOM glad I can provide an alternative for you. One thing on my throttle that is poor is I didn't use a great brand of spray and it needs a little makeover. Otherwise it seems a pretty nice alternative to metal. It does have a steel shaft which you will see later.

Yes your right about the displays, that would be very nice. Back at the old thread people were talking about curved screens, fresnel lenses and projector screens. Again for me it was about getting something that I would actually finish and i chose the more basic approach with the display. Its still effective though but there are other options now. The game is a little restrictive also in supported resolutions. MWLL is another story, lots of potential there.

#3154261 - 12/10/10 06:10 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Originally Posted By: choowy
One thing on my throttle that is poor is I didn't use a great brand of spray and it needs a little makeover.


Have you tried Plasti Dip pray?

#3154284 - 12/10/10 08:20 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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No I haven't ever heard of it. Looks like a great product, interesting.

My next door neighbour (who built a scale 767 cockpit in his house with all the controls functional)




suggested using Araldite ( 2 part epoxy glue) and heat it up so its quite liquid then paint it on and it sets like a plastic coating.

I'll respray with a better quality paint.

#3154299 - 12/10/10 09:39 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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The top of the throttle case has a slot cut into the end of two pieces to allow a sliding plastic tongue. Glue the two pieces together before drilling a hole at each end and then cut out the slot.







The throttle has a 19mm steel tube attached at the base to an angled bracket with a nyloc nut to stop it coming loose. The cabling also passes through the tube and out an access hole in the side.





I used an old Gravis Eliminator game pad for the controller after having issues with a cheaper 2 axis joystick. The main control switches on the joystick connect directly to where the original gamepad switches were on the circuit board.




Finished product.


#3154300 - 12/10/10 09:58 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Hole for the door marked out.



Door cut out roughly, using the same method to trim, fix a temporary guide around the outside of the opening. I think I may have laid the unit over to do this.




Making sure the seat sits in the right spot.




I added a door surround to give the look of a steel reinforced fitting.




Bolts cut down and added.



Fitted internally and painted.


#3154638 - 12/10/10 09:11 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Wow amazing stuff! Simply Amazing!


I've got a bad feeling about this.....
#3154661 - 12/10/10 09:46 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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More projects than sense!
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jawdrop


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http://www.f15sim.com - The only one of its kind.
http://geneb.simpits.org - the Me-109F/X Project
#3154893 - 12/11/10 07:12 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Thanks guys cheers




The foot pedal unit is just left left and right switched straight into the interface box as keyboard "left and right" I didnt need them to be analogue for this and it kept it simple.

I used a diamond plate pattern rubber sheet over a ply foot pedal.



Drilled some holes in it so it looked a little more military like.




The housing and base are MDF and I attached a door hinge to allow the pedal to pivot.



I stole an idea from another flight forum by adding a rubber ball behind the pedal so it will return back when you push it. Works great and has a nice feel to it.



The micro switch is mounted on each side with some adjustment room.



Add a bit of paint and the obligatory stickers and you're good to go.

#3155270 - 12/12/10 01:49 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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TN
jawdrop jawdrop




thumbsup


Ahh CLOD never in the history of Simming has so much been promised and so little given.

However I want to thank Team Fusion for keeping the Dream Alive.
#3155383 - 12/12/10 01:12 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Absolutely fantastic workmanshop there!

Can't wait for the next set of pics....

BTW how did you manage to drill the rubber sheets so neatly ? Any time I've tried it the rubber gets all torn up. I've tried HSS bits, spade bits and fostner bits - all the same.

Cheers,

Andy


Andy's simpit: http://www.simpit.me.uk
#3155428 - 12/12/10 02:57 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: AndyB]  
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Originally Posted By: AndyB
BTW how did you manage to drill the rubber sheets so neatly ? Any time I've tried it the rubber gets all torn up. I've tried HSS bits, spade bits and fostner bits - all the same.
I'd guess a hole saw?

#3155509 - 12/12/10 05:31 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
Choowy....more great work, and some inspiration for me since I've kind of stalled a bit on my build.

On the neat round holes in the rubber mat; I assumed you used a good forstner bit after clamping some scrap wood on top of the rubber mat for a clean cut. Was there another way to get such a neat cut?

Regards,
Derek

#3155619 - 12/12/10 08:45 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Thanks Guys.

Yes exactly as Derek says, after gluing it on to the base use a Forstner bit clamped to a board to prevent beakout.



I think as long as the rubber is glued down well it should cut OK.

AndyB the rubber I used was reasonably thick also which helps prevent tearing. The bit style I used doesn't have serrated teeth like some which also helps.

#3155625 - 12/12/10 08:56 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Interior fit out was next. I used a cardboard cut out of the front display panel which you will see in some of the images. I designed all the panels on graph paper first so I knew roughly what I needed and how big it would be.






The left side armrest was made up of 18mm chipboard (because I already had some) with a cable access hole through each. It is glued and screwed through from the outside and the holes filled later.


Scanned sketches of panels used for planning.





#3155911 - 12/13/10 11:32 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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MDF side panels fitted.







Cardboard template to work out what's going on next. This part had no plan and it was designed on the fly.



Peg board used for left and right pedal area. There is a fan in the floor of the left housing that supplies air in through the holes in the peg board for ventilation. It is switched from the environment control panel.





Both sides fitted, the rectangular hole on the right side is in case I needed to add a switch panel or wiring access.




Front panel and monitor piece. This is designed to be removable. Behind it and sitting across the two left and right peg board pieces is a support piece that covers in the area above the pedals. This is where the PC sits.


#3156563 - 12/14/10 04:53 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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its worth watching you building it.. Really good craftsmanship.... even though mech warriors are not my thing, but it's really good work done.... would also like to see other projects that you might have done....

#3156582 - 12/14/10 05:29 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Wow, very impressive.

I'm just curious though - you've got torso twist on your throttle, wouldn't it be more intuitive to have it as rudder pedals? That's assuming you've got turning on your main joystick.

Just another curiosity - how are you going to get airflow through there? With the monitors and intense combat, it's surely gonna get hot. Or you can keep it that way in the spirit of the Mechwarrior universe - that mech cockpits are hot and sweaty.

And it's really, really, impressive that you can build something from scratch - particularly brushing wood to look like metal and in such detail. I wish I had your creative ability.. even a fraction of it. If I had your ability, I'd figure out some way of hooking that up to some sort of swivel base so that when you turn left the whole thing swivels left as well. Maybe not by electrical means (that'd get expensive) but as in by mechanical force eg. when you push the left pedal for torso twist it swivels left etc... I mean during games I push my rudder pedals pretty hard.

Kudos to you though.

#3156693 - 12/14/10 10:50 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Hi Toka, thanks.

I haven't done any other sim projects, just random stuff, furniture, trebuchet you know.

Hey Wynn cheers. Yes the great torso twist debate, there was a lengthy discussion on Frugals. As I'm not using a joystick (trackball for aiming) I felt the pedals were best for turning and I don't twist too much so it got to go on the throttle. Another option that was discussed was twisting the throttle but it may have led to confusion throttling, twisting and firing.

The fan (high flow) blows air from outside the sim and up into the rear of the monitor and PC through the open top of the left side module. As the front end is fairly well sealed a fair bit of air blows through the holes in the peg board and into the seat area.

It does warm up inside (temp panel indicates this) I still have to connect up the rear exhaust fan to assist the flow but its still comfortable.

Yes a moving sim would be great but I had to draw the line somewhere.

#3156700 - 12/14/10 11:14 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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How to finish off all the fittings inside was a long process of trial and error. I used cardboard and all sorts of things to see what would work the best and look OK.




I ended up using pvc pipe cut into lengths to cover up the timber joins with the effect to look like a roll cage inside.






I made up some block assemblies to make it easier to mount the pipe at the different points and angles.

I then detailed these to look metallic and added some non functional bolts and machine screws.





#3157848 - 12/15/10 08:41 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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WOW!~

The whole build is stunning but your work on the chair and throttle are truly amazing!


looks very modernishy-phoney-windows eighty-tabletty like

Asus P8P67 Pro Rev. 3.0 // i5 2500k @4.3 GHz with Noctua NH-D14 // nvidia gtx 780 // 8 GB DDR3 1600 //Win7 home 64 bit //450 GB VelociRaptor //Recon3D Champion
#3157903 - 12/15/10 09:43 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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But 10.9? Such overkill for MDF and plastic. 4.6 should do fine. WinkNGrin thumbsup

#3157919 - 12/15/10 10:00 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: JAMF]  
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Originally Posted By: JAMF
But 10.9? Such overkill for MDF and plastic. 4.6 should do fine. WinkNGrin thumbsup



neaner


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3158196 - 12/16/10 06:14 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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I had no idea what the joke was...........then I noticed the bolt. biggrin

Hey what can I say, it was lying around.

#3158649 - 12/16/10 09:03 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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The front panel with a rebate in the back to house the monitor.(19")




This was the first surround I used but wasn't happy with the look.




Testing the new solid surround.




Painted and fitted.




The speakers were mounted either side of the monitor so I wanted to fit a panel that didn't look like a speaker grille.


#3158661 - 12/16/10 09:10 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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This is something random to fit inside to break up the plain interior.






Painting started, used a flat paint to reduce reflected light from the monitor as it is fully enclosed.



Some other panels to fill in the interior space.3mm MDF panel used. A little weathering (dry brush technique) adds a little realism.








#3159034 - 12/17/10 10:56 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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To break up the sides I used a V bit in the router and cut a pattern into the outside.






White undercoat applied with a roller to seal. I filled the holes with automotive filler and sanded the whole unit first.



I also cut an access hole in the top to put the pc and wiring in.



Final colour applied, 2 coats regular interior semi gloss acrylic rolled on.




You'll notice there is no floor, I had the unit on blocks for some stages to make it easier to work on the inside.

#3159038 - 12/17/10 11:09 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Something for the outside on the front.

MDF discs and 19mm galvanised pipe. The insides of the pipe were cleaned up on a lathe to simulate a barrel.





Mounted through the front using the single longest pipe to attached inside.
Its offset from centre just to be different.




A little weathering added for effect.


#3159270 - 12/17/10 05:33 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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f15sim Offline
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Mad skillz, he haz 'em. biggrin

g.


Proud owner of 80-0007
http://www.f15sim.com - The only one of its kind.
http://geneb.simpits.org - the Me-109F/X Project
#3159279 - 12/17/10 05:40 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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He sure does!
Looks awesome... love the gatling!


looks very modernishy-phoney-windows eighty-tabletty like

Asus P8P67 Pro Rev. 3.0 // i5 2500k @4.3 GHz with Noctua NH-D14 // nvidia gtx 780 // 8 GB DDR3 1600 //Win7 home 64 bit //450 GB VelociRaptor //Recon3D Champion
#3159366 - 12/17/10 07:40 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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MAD MAD SKILLZ! Simply amazing attention to detail


I've got a bad feeling about this.....
#3159392 - 12/17/10 08:08 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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PropNut Offline
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notworthy

Sorry Gene, you have been replaced as my Simpit God. Not to worry, you are still in the pantheon of the most holy wink


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3159490 - 12/17/10 09:50 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
Great update, Choowy! I think I've said it before, but your use of day to day items in creative configurations so that a few coats of paint and a sticker or twelve turns them into something other-worldly....Inspiring!

I'll look back through for any mention of it, but are you making your own stickers/labels? I found a site, www.online-sign.com, where you can make a variety of industrial, OSHA, traffic, etc signs. But yours look more detailed and I wondered if you may be using a image program (GIMP, Photoshop, or such) to make these small gems.

Again, thanks for the updated pics and have a great weekend!
Derek

#3159964 - 12/18/10 05:22 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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f15sim Offline
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@PropNut: It had to happen some time. The old gods get fat and complacent and then some sneaky little kid comes along and pulls the ejection handles while we're not looking. biggrin

@MudPuppy: Choowy has the skills of a great prop builder.

I really, really like that mini-gun. I may have to build one. I dunno what I'd mount it on though... smile

g.


Proud owner of 80-0007
http://www.f15sim.com - The only one of its kind.
http://geneb.simpits.org - the Me-109F/X Project
#3160079 - 12/18/10 09:07 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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C'mon guys you're embarrassing me! No competitions here it's all a sharing experience! beercheers

Thanks for the positive feedback though.

Mudpuppy the stickers were made just on "Paint" but I printed them out on a Kodak sticker printing machine. The stickers come out on a sheet with 2 large and about 12 smaller ones. Pretty durable. You can probably do them in most photo outlets.





I guess due to costs and the fact that none of this had to look authentic (cause it is fictional) you can get away with using ordinary items to good effect. I think the key is to add plenty of small detail, take the lead from Hollywood if you look at anything they do its all detail. Break things up and don't be afraid to not go symmetrical occasionally.

You want to see the God of Sim go to here>>>>>> F16 pit and bring your translation book. Insane.

#3160087 - 12/18/10 09:16 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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I added some different colour schemes to break up the outside pattern a little. I also weathered it using charcoal dust (photocopier toner may be ok) or chalk.





You can also dry brush (small brush dipped in silver and cleaned on paper until almost no paint is left) any edge to simulate steel. You can go pretty heavy on the weathering as its a large unit. Once you start you have to keep going.

#3160092 - 12/18/10 09:23 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Another method it to actually paint the first coat with a silver finish, then overcoat with the final colour and when dry just rub area away.

The hole was just shaped out with a Dremel.





A little more weathering.



#3160096 - 12/18/10 09:26 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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This is an old film tray cut to shape and sprayed. It mounts on the rear.



#3160132 - 12/18/10 10:14 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Caput Mundi (well, it used to ...
Reminds me of when I used to detail 1/72 scale plastic kits... but in big! Impressive work, if you are not already a professional movie industry prop maker you should consider it as a career move.
(PS: I bet it's easier to paint the eyebrows on the pilot at this scale, though smile )

#3160328 - 12/19/10 05:01 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Well thanks Brandano, you're right about the model technique that's where I learnt it too. As far as the prop maker profession I think I'd be sacked as it takes me far too long to get things built!

#3160334 - 12/19/10 05:21 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Superb! And the reference to kit building is spot on!

And that seat... man, that seat! Fantastic.

#3160379 - 12/19/10 09:17 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Thanks aRKOM.

The base is pretty basic, pine supports and mdf sides and top. Sides angle in to break up the shape. I almost went with a ply top but the distributed weight wasn't really that heavy and I had some mdf sheet left over.

The seat bolts directly though the the supports.





The most essential twin colour in any sci-fi model. The black and yellow warning stripe. Priceless!
Apply the yellow first then mask and spray the black on.



All together, top screwed down through four support blocks.

#3160380 - 12/19/10 09:30 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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I made up a template for the door so I could see if I could cut it from two pieces of mdf joined.



Remember to add an overlap so it fits over the hole.




Just as I took this photo the door fell over and broke in half along the glue join (it was biscuit jointed as well with a panel strip along the inside riveted to the door.






Hardwood hinge assembly and 12mm pin. Door re-glued at this point but it wasn't that flat. Modification to come.





I added some extra support panels to the join which worked ok.


#3160519 - 12/19/10 03:19 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: Brandano]  
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Originally Posted By: Brandano
(PS: I bet it's easier to paint the eyebrows on the pilot at this scale, though smile )
I bet Choowy would get funny looks, if he would go to the mirror to apply some liner over his brows. WinkNGrin

#3160724 - 12/19/10 09:00 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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I wonder; are you married?

I ask because, if you are, you're either strong willed, or she does approve.
The former would be worthy of praise, the latter would make you the luckiest fella on the block... until she'd want you to build her one with her own theme! biggrin

#3160737 - 12/19/10 09:20 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Thought you may have been propositioning me..confused

Yes I am, and yes I have had partial interest but as I worked on it in my man-cave and mainly whenever I had spare time I managed to sneak it though unchallenged.

Yes there were times when I was given that look of ".....what is the point of this?" but I usually used the line "well I could be at the pub instead" Seemed to work most times. Just don't neglect any other jobs around the house and you'll usually be fine.

#3160748 - 12/19/10 09:43 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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I am not sure any of us would spend the time that we do on such a hobby if it were not for the strong support of our spouses. I know mine is very supportive and usually says; "Can we afford it? Then go ahead." wink


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3161468 - 12/20/10 08:04 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Right side arm rest, trackball towards the end. Using a template to check for sizing. Additional sheet inside to strengthen door join. The rivets are really just for effect but they do actually hold ok in MDF.

The down angle is so its more comfortable on the wrist.

The green metal plate is actually for the door latch. I fitted the magnet from inside an old hard drive (very strong and worth keeping if you find one)to the door frame to keep the door closed but allow easy exit.



Trackball unit in position.




Aluminium sheet folded and holes cut.



The trackball is held in place with a block glued underneath that sort of pushes up on it to keep it in place.



Flexible cable conduit to run cables back past door into main body.



Painted and ready to fit.

There are 3 push-buttons to fit at the end and the "left mouse" button for the mouse is activated by your thumb (works really well)




Panel label fitted and switches wired up.


#3161545 - 12/20/10 09:15 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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You are not from this world!

Freakin awesome!


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#3161968 - 12/21/10 09:24 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Nope....Planet Earth alien Thanks!!

Picked up 2 Aura units (Bass shaker tactile transducers and amplifiers) for about $5 each in mint condish. The whole thing shakes and rumbles beautifully.

Fitted the amps under the left arm console and fitted one transducer to the inside of the outer wall and the other under the seat.





#3161977 - 12/21/10 09:57 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Added a number to the side. Masked off then white spray can, a little weathering.


#3162277 - 12/21/10 05:46 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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#3162697 - 12/22/10 01:30 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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That's some amazing attention to detail. Couldn't even notice it was made out of wood at first glance, after you finished painting those parts.

#3162963 - 12/22/10 11:17 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Thanks Nameless.

This is the simple interface box made up of a keyboard chip connected to terminal strips in an alphanumeric matrix.



Pretty simple, cheap and effective for my use. Rough diagram below.



For the panels it was a lot easier than I first thought. I used a method Goupil used on his F16 pit at "check 6".

I drew up the panel art using Visio and sizing from the graph drawings from the beginning.

Make up the artwork, print it using a colour laser on thick sheet.

Then I cut 3mm MDF panels using a paper copy of the panel glued on and cut to shape. Pulled off the template, glued on the finished print and trimmed where necessary. Sprayed it with clear satin spray lacquer (Tamiya) and fitted the switches.








Its not perfect, probably needs a little more spray and more care on the corners.

You can back light these if you wanted to cut a small area out behind each text area on the MDF then fit a diffused light source behind. I wasn't prepared to do the extra work at that stage. Would look better though.

I have to use a light source inside to illuminate them.

#3163391 - 12/22/10 08:02 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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MDF box to mount the PC start/stop switch (wired over from the motherboard) and HDD activity light. Flashes through diffused plastic for effect.



#3163580 - 12/22/10 11:24 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Caput Mundi (well, it used to ...
The resident expert in backlit panels is Gene Buckle. I am not sure working with mdf would work that well for backlit panels, machined acrylic seems to be the optimal material, and the heat generated by the light source must be accounted for. But perhaps Gene has more dimension constraints to deal with. Oh, talking about the heat, any plan in adding some form of ventilation?

#3164234 - 12/23/10 09:14 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Yep I agree for back-lighting use clear and mask off the bits that dont need lighting. I'll check out Gene's project a little more to see how it's done.

Rear of main panel with the switches wired up.




Module for the clock, just a bit of added bling. Shown upside down in this pic, mounts on the top of the interior.



Finished product.



Powered from the clock supply (hacked from an old clock radio)


#3164529 - 12/24/10 04:31 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Edge lit panels are difficult to do unless you've got ready access to a CNC machine or a laser. With the CNC machine, you can do reverse lettering on black painted clear acrylic that looks very nice. If you've got laser, you can create a "real" front-engraved edge-lit panel that looks identical to the screen printed type done commercially.

g.


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#3166015 - 12/26/10 08:59 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Temperature module and fan control.




Some of the wing before I cleaned it up.





Internal with the monitor and other modules fitted fitted.



In game vision.


#3166431 - 12/27/10 03:25 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Man, if you could add some motion hydraulics! Then you would also have to add a slot in the side for food delivery, possible a rest room too. Which reminds me, where is the beverage holder?

Awesome work!


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#3167153 - 12/28/10 05:23 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Jaw dropping work Choowy, thank you for taking the time to post your work. If you have any detailed questions regarding edge lit panels feel free to message me, I worked in Aerospace building thousands of panels filtered for NVG use (or anyone else for that matter).


JG1 Lipfert - Jagdgeschwader 1 "Fritz Schmenkel" "Oesau" "Richthofen"
#3167173 - 12/28/10 05:57 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Yeah where is the beer/liquor/mixed drink holder/refrigerator in that bad boy?


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#3167520 - 12/29/10 05:52 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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*jaw drops*

I didn't quite catch the finished project on Frugal's, surprising as it may sound. That pit looks even more impressive with all the switches in place.

...I figured this was a MechWarrior 3 pit, but I don't see anything resembling a hat switch or numpad for changing your view from side to side and such-assuming you use the floating reticle, that is. (That's how I prefer to aim with a mouse.)

#3167933 - 12/29/10 09:22 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: Slammin]  
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Originally Posted By: Slammin
Man, if you could add some motion hydraulics! Then you would also have to add a slot in the side for food delivery, possible a rest room too. Which reminds me, where is the beverage holder?

Awesome work!


Thanks Slammin, a beverage holder, I missed that one. Don't give up hope completely on the motion, it could be added later.

#3167936 - 12/29/10 09:26 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: Lipfert]  
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Originally Posted By: Lipfert
Jaw dropping work Choowy, thank you for taking the time to post your work. If you have any detailed questions regarding edge lit panels feel free to message me, I worked in Aerospace building thousands of panels filtered for NVG use (or anyone else for that matter).


Thanks Lipfert, you should post a thread on building the panels, it would be great to see how that could be achieved in a diy forum. I think Gene Buckle also has experience.

#3167941 - 12/29/10 09:34 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Yes Nameless its MW3, I havent got the hat switch as I never used the look left and right too much. I do use the trackball for the targeting reticule however.

I picked up a really nice Thrustmaster Top Gun joystick (mint condition $5) that would look cool in it but I just think its easier to use a mouse/trackball.


Started work on the last switch panel, its not essential for playing but it does help. Its the targeting panel (numpad in game) that lets you target certain places on the target mech.


#3168219 - 12/30/10 10:30 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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This is just incredible! thumbsup


...do you make movie props for a living? If not...you should.



Heh, and on a light-hearted note - I'm betting the below link, will be one of the most used features of your awesome simpit.

http://simhq.com/forum/files/usergals/2010/12/full-22745-4258-237.jpg


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#3168694 - 12/31/10 01:58 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Hay choowy , your pit looks sweeter every time i find it again !

#3168699 - 12/31/10 02:09 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Very nice work! I'm a huge fan of Mechwarrior/Battletech and this looks amazing.

#3169206 - 12/31/10 10:17 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Thanks WWBrian, no unfortunately I'm not a prop builder, as mentioned earlier I'm too slow at it to make a living.


How ya doing Wasp, yeah its a bit like that, I think this is the last resting place for the project since the demise of Frugals. Still working on your masterpiece?


#3169207 - 12/31/10 10:19 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Thanks Rabid, beercheers

#3169932 - 01/02/11 06:32 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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happy new year choowy, glad you found a new home for the build . im almost done lol not, im working on the outside more added a loading gantry.. realy like he way your overhead ,came out super sweet .

Last edited by wasp1; 01/02/11 07:06 AM.
#3170393 - 01/03/11 01:41 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Just WOW jawdrop

It's been a long time since I played MW. i was wondering if all the swithces you're making have a function in the game? or it's just for look?


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#3170449 - 01/03/11 03:29 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Hi Genbrien, thanks.

Yep all the switches are functional (except the breaker panel in the middle) they are cut-down golf tees painted black)




I could use probably 10 more functions from the game but they are ones that are hardly used (jettison ammo, constant speed, etc) Once the targeting comp is finished that's probably all I'll use.

#3170584 - 01/03/11 11:08 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Caput Mundi (well, it used to ...
Heh, the whole thing reminds me of all the time wasted in the Virtual World cockpits in London's Piccadilly Circus underground levels. Great fun, though the framerate really struggled when playing in more than 4 at a time

#3170585 - 01/03/11 11:11 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Awesome work! I use to build models as well, wish I had the time & resources for a project like this!

A red light w/switch for "Auxiliary Lighting" could give the interior a cool look.

#3170992 - 01/03/11 09:53 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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I saw one of those units Brandano a few years before I started this, pretty nice. I think you can buy them second hand but they run on a Mac platform I think.


You read my mind Icepick, I bought a couple of LED headlamps that I will fit inside to illuminate the panel area as its pretty hard to see the switches at the moment. I also have a couple of red filters from a military torch which give an even red light. Might also try a blue one.


#3171022 - 01/03/11 10:37 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Originally Posted By: choowy
Originally Posted By: Lipfert
Jaw dropping work Choowy, thank you for taking the time to post your work. If you have any detailed questions regarding edge lit panels feel free to message me, I worked in Aerospace building thousands of panels filtered for NVG use (or anyone else for that matter).


Thanks Lipfert, you should post a thread on building the panels, it would be great to see how that could be achieved in a diy forum. I think Gene Buckle also has experience.



As Gene posted above, unless you have access to a CNC machine it would be very difficult to machine the wire routes and bore the lamp cavities. Also, you really need to develop technique to deal with internal stress in the plexiglass sheet. For a 1/4" panel we'd start at 3/8" and using "good" quality double sided tape keep machining small cuts and flip the panels alot (important to release internal stress and give you a flat panel before you router out the wire paths). Water based coolant flow will keep the heat down.

Light silica blasting can prepare for painting, but you need to mask the wire routes and protect the lamp cavities.


JG1 Lipfert - Jagdgeschwader 1 "Fritz Schmenkel" "Oesau" "Richthofen"
#3172849 - 01/06/11 09:37 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Hey Choowy,

I've been drooling over your threat for some time now (sorry, i'll clean it up), that's some amazing and very creative craftmanship you display. If anything, your build got me curious about the whole battletech thing and I have been digging through the wiki for days now, wich is equally impressive. Keep up the good work!

P.S. when will the torso be added? biggrin


Derk
I'm still an airman. I just happen to change diapers for a living!

crap...
#3172875 - 01/06/11 12:13 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: Lipfert]  
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Originally Posted By: Lipfert
Also, you really need to develop technique to deal with internal stress in the plexiglass sheet. For a 1/4" panel we'd start at 3/8" and using "good" quality double sided tape keep machining small cuts and flip the panels alot (important to release internal stress and give you a flat panel before you router out the wire paths). Water based coolant flow will keep the heat down.


If you use cast acrylic instead of plexi, there's less need to worry about stress buildup, it machines really nicely. No need for flood cooling either if you keep the cuts nice and light.

Choowy, if you ever decide to go down the backlit/edgelit route - it'd be worth getting a quote from one of the many CNC shops offering their services online. I've found the prices to be far more accessible than I thought they would be.

Hey Wasp! That thing looks awesome - I bet there's a real sense of occasion when you climb into the pilots seat!




EDIT: Formatting

Last edited by Valisk_61; 01/06/11 12:40 PM.

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#3172941 - 01/06/11 02:29 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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@Lipfert: I don't create individual lamp cavities or wire channels. I machine the whole interior out down to a depth of .2" (given a .25" thick panel). A typical Type 5 panel consists of a fully machined panel with a very thin PCB lamp board that screws to it. The first panel I built along the Type 5 lines did use lamp pockets - you can see what I did here:
http://www.f15sim.com/pre_blog_news-1.html

@Choowy: Is there a way you could post a pic of the Mech cockpit with you or someone else standing next to it? It would help in getting idea of how large it is beyond a simple measurement. smile

g.


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#3173133 - 01/06/11 05:51 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Simply TOO COOL!

Stunning work.


looks very modernishy-phoney-windows eighty-tabletty like

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#3181094 - 01/16/11 09:10 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Thanks Cold Gambler!!

Quote:
@Choowy: Is there a way you could post a pic of the Mech cockpit with you or someone else standing next to it? It would help in getting idea of how large it is beyond a simple measurement. smile


Sorry for the delay Gene, been away.

The below pic gives an idea of the size, I'm a little over 6 feet tall, so its not a huge sim but big enough.

#3181218 - 01/17/11 02:16 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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LOL @ choowy !!!!!

#3181445 - 01/17/11 02:22 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Heheh. Thanks. I think. smile

g.


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#3189550 - 01/26/11 05:22 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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To say I was now racked with pit envy with this thing would be a bit of an understatment. Very nice job.

I do have a question tho if you don't mind. I have been thinking/planning on my own mechpit, but am stumped by the controls a bit. I want to go the simple route and hack a keyboard, which is what I think you did. But you show your radar range selecter as a multi-position switch. The ingame option is a keypress, if I remember correctly, a momentary contact on the keyboard. But the multi-position switch would be a maintained contact. Wouldn't that just send an "r" repeatedly to the computer?

I want to do the same thing, use a selector switch for range select, but haven't been able to get my mind around making the maintained contact type switch work for a keyboard input. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, and again very impressive work. My hat's off to you.
George.

*edit* My mistake, I went back through the pictures and you use a selector switch for terrain or vector and active/passive. Still the question about maintained contact vs momentary contact remains.

Last edited by GryphonTA; 01/26/11 05:25 PM.
#3189559 - 01/26/11 05:33 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Hi Gryphon, can, at least for my situation, answer that question. I use toggle switches in my pit which would normally send a repeated character. I use a program that interprets the button as pushed once and then sends the signal again when the switch is flipped back to its original place (to turn it off). I forget the name of the program off the top of my head but when I get home I can grab it and post it if you like. It is a freeware program.


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3189568 - 01/26/11 05:40 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: PropNut]  
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Would really appreciate that... I wanted to use toggles as well... same problem. Good to know there is a software solution out there so that I don't have to try to wire up relays and such to do it in hardware.

Thanks,
George

#3189572 - 01/26/11 05:47 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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I am going to feel silly later for not remembering the name.... Londo


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3189690 - 01/26/11 07:56 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Is the name of the program SVMapper?

#3189702 - 01/26/11 08:11 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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(in a small voice) yes...SVMapper is indeed the program....sheesh, I get older and more forgetful every day. nope


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3189759 - 01/26/11 09:01 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Hi Gryphon, thanks.

Yes you are correct, although I cheated on those couple of controls. Its a 3 position rotary with the centre position (not marked) as the switched contact so as you go from "terrain" to "vector" you only momentarily make the contact.

There are as Propnut pointed out some programs that let you set up toggles as momentary which makes it very easy. As I only had a couple I found this way easy.

Here's a link on another way to do it using small relays. Toggle A little more complicated.

#3189808 - 01/26/11 09:43 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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#3192645 - 01/29/11 09:35 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Thanks Sokol1, good resources. Certainly a better result than using relays.

#3225886 - 03/06/11 03:11 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: Valisk_61]  
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Originally Posted By: Valisk_61
Originally Posted By: Lipfert
Also, you really need to develop technique to deal with internal stress in the plexiglass sheet. For a 1/4" panel we'd start at 3/8" and using "good" quality double sided tape keep machining small cuts and flip the panels alot (important to release internal stress and give you a flat panel before you router out the wire paths). Water based coolant flow will keep the heat down.


If you use cast acrylic instead of plexi, there's less need to worry about stress buildup, it machines really nicely. No need for flood cooling either if you keep the cuts nice and light.

Choowy, if you ever decide to go down the backlit/edgelit route - it'd be worth getting a quote from one of the many CNC shops offering their services online. I've found the prices to be far more accessible than I thought they would be.

Hey Wasp! That thing looks awesome - I bet there's a real sense of occasion when you climb into the pilots seat!

EDIT: Formatting


Valisk,

We didn't have the option to substitute material, it was as per specification supplied by the customer. Also we were working to tight tolerances, since it was to be mounted in aircraft.

I know I've used cast aluminum, although I can't for the life of me remember what the parts were headed. Didn't like it much though.


JG1 Lipfert - Jagdgeschwader 1 "Fritz Schmenkel" "Oesau" "Richthofen"
#3225891 - 03/06/11 03:19 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: f15sim]  
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Lipfert Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gene Buckle
@Lipfert: I don't create individual lamp cavities or wire channels. I machine the whole interior out down to a depth of .2" (given a .25" thick panel). A typical Type 5 panel consists of a fully machined panel with a very thin PCB lamp board that screws to it. The first panel I built along the Type 5 lines did use lamp pockets - you can see what I did here:
http://www.f15sim.com/pre_blog_news-1.html

@Choowy: Is there a way you could post a pic of the Mech cockpit with you or someone else standing next to it? It would help in getting idea of how large it is beyond a simple measurement. smile

g.


Gene,

Fine looking panel, some of the ones we used to build were a real pain to assemble. Our main goal was to filter the visible light into a spectrum that would not blind the NVG user. We could have 0% leakage and each lamp bore had a light filter glued into the bottom, with various masking & painting taking place during the process. Finally we would lay epoxy into the back of the panel, then do a final machining to specified tolerance.

We had many steps that if we messed up we had a paper weight on our hands.


JG1 Lipfert - Jagdgeschwader 1 "Fritz Schmenkel" "Oesau" "Richthofen"
#3624165 - 08/10/12 11:28 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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PropNut Offline
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About time this topic was resurrected. Hey Choowy, how did it turn out?

Just want to let you know that I am stealing...er....borrowing heavily from your build for my new Mechpit (Mechwarrior Online should be in open BETA sometime this fall and I want to be ready).

Mine in a framework covered in panels and has more facets...and has a rear clamshell door, and is larger..but it is absolutely inspired by your build.


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3624177 - 08/10/12 11:56 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Hey Propnut, cheers. Its pretty much as it was last year, I didn't complete the targeting comp but may add it in now if there's interest.

I added a couple of interior lights also. There's one or two other non functional things I was going to throw in for effect. I also added some radio chatter that comes on as it boots up and runs for a while i the background as the game plays.

Feel free to borrow any ideas you want, I'm glad somebody else can get some benefit. Will you post your build? It would be great to see what others may come up with for this game.

MWO is gaining a lot of interest and may spawn a new generation of Sim builders.

I'll try to get some more updates posted.

#3624192 - 08/11/12 12:18 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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PropNut Offline
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Yes, I plan on posting my build. As a matter of fact the framework is cut (CNC) and assembled and I CNC cut the chair as well. I am borrowing the rough design from your seat as a matter of fact but since the seat rolls out the back of the mechpit it has to be slightly different. I CNC cut those parts out today and assembled the seat as well.

I would love to see any work you have done on your mechpit.


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3635834 - 08/31/12 05:38 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Glad to see this thread got resurrected as I've got a few questions for you Choowy.

Like Prop above I'm currently building a simpit but mine will be quite different from either of yours. My inspiration came from the pods of old, specifically the Virtual World 2.5/3.0 pods that FASA allowed people to play in during the 90's. See picture below:




I've got a bunch of the panels from these pods and I'll be building some of the likeness in them but I'll also be using a bunch of your designs for immersion as you've got serious skills when it comes to design/innovation and creativity for pod immersion. One of the main differences with my pod versus the standard VR2.5/3.0 pods will be I'll be using three monitors on a mechanized platform that moves towards the pilot once the door is closed. Kind of unfolds if you will (built several arcade machines with rotating monitors so I'll use the same mechanical principles here)

So onto my questions if you get a moment:
1). You talked earlier in your thread about paint but I was hoping you could go into greater detail about how you were able to achieve the plastic type look/feel with paint? I chose plywood over MDF for a few different reasons but my plywood is sanded, which works very well at hiding the grain (done it before with arcade machines, no visible diff versus MDF). So I was hoping you could indulge me in your process, the parts used and how many passes it took you.
2). Where did you get the stencils for your interior lettering? I don't remember seeing it posted in the thread but maybe I missed it.
3). When posted my build on the arcade forums I frequent, I would post links to this thread and to you for certain ideas and I wanted to be sure you were all cool with that.

Thanks,
Ulric

#3636118 - 09/01/12 06:30 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Hi Ulric, happy to answer your questions and good luck with your build, sounds promising.

The painting wasn't anything too complicated, for the exterior it was just an undercoat of water based paint then several coats of a satin finish water based paint. I would recommend using a roller to get an even finish, is used a small 4" foam roller.

I would generally aim for 3 coats with maybe a light sand between.

For the weathering it was as described, just a dry brush technique with some silver.

The individual items if made from timber were undercoated with a Matt paint to fill the grain and any defects then sanded down. I did spray some of the components depending on the finish I was looking for.

The seat was mainly sprayed with cheap ($3) cans in satin black. The speed controller was sprayed also.

The stickers on the various panels were printed on a di sub thermal printer and I made them on MS Paint.

The panels were drawn up on Visio and then printed on a laser printer on thick paper. Once applied over the panel it was sprayed with a Tamiya Matt clear lacquer for protection.

No probs with the link, happy to pass on any info where I can help. Good luck, 2 new MW pits on the go at the same time!!

#3636577 - 09/02/12 06:53 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Just working on a couple of things that I didn't get finished off last year, nothing functional just more things I had lying around to fill up blank areas.

How to turn this:



Into a Halon Fire unit.



Car phone kit speaker, add a threaded fitting and 2 90 degree pvc conduit bends.



Add a manifold block.



2 aluminium water flasks



Mounting screw holes are counter bored to accept a non functional allen head bolt. This will cover the actual timber screw, just looks better.





A coat of grey spray paint.



Some paint effects and stickers.............


and there you go, another space filled up.





Last edited by choowy; 09/02/12 07:38 AM.
#3641050 - 09/09/12 06:51 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Choowy, your work is just amazing... notworthy You inspire me to add a bunch of new details to my pit. When will I find time to actually play if you keep giving me ideas? It's your fault... all your fault! Evil... just evil. cheers


Keep up the great work!
Dud


They say "If you didn't fail, how would you learn?"... I learn a LOT!
http://cnadeau.webs.com/index.htm
#3641075 - 09/09/12 08:59 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Hey Dud, long time no see! I'd forgotten about the Dudley Simpit, quite amazing in its design and functionality . I just dropped over to your site to see where you are at with it, I have to say that is a very nice project, well done. The backlighting looks great and the panels turned out brilliantly.

Sorry to distract you with my extras, it just sits in the workshop now but Propnut resurrected the thread so I felt obliged to add the last couple of things I had planned. I have an MFD style panel to complete and that's it for me.

There's some nice work going on with more Mech pits too.

#3641232 - 09/09/12 04:00 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Very nice, choowy! Your creativity always impresses.

#3645253 - 09/16/12 04:25 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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MrLe Offline
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choowy thanks for not hiding this build from the world cause you've motivated me to build one. I'll fit it into my one bedroom apartment who needs furniture anyway lol. your paint job is excellent how did you paint it? I'm guessing you have a spray booth of some sort. Also where did you get the paint is it wall paint from home depot or something?

#3645405 - 09/17/12 12:16 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Thanks Guys,

MrLe the painting is pretty much covered in the thread and recently here PAINTING

Yes the interior and exterior paint is just water based. I used cheap enamel spray paint for the small components, nothing too complicated, very achievable in a DIY set-up.

#3645419 - 09/17/12 12:55 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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MrLe Offline
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Lol can't believe I missed that I guess after reading 13 pages of your build I left out the last page! Thanks again choowy

#3645487 - 09/17/12 04:10 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Hey no probs MrLe, are you going to post your build in the forums as you go?

One thing I did find useful was using a flat paint (kind of thickish) to seal the cut ends of MDF. It soaks up spray paint too quickly, but if you undercoat and seal it with the other first, you can get a really smooth finish ready for spraying.

Don't forget, its pretty hard to expect paint to cover up all imperfections. If you use that philosophy you will usually end up with a good finish.

Last edited by choowy; 09/17/12 04:12 AM.
#3645772 - 09/17/12 05:56 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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I finished painting the back part of my pod and I used a Bondo to fill in hole's and cracks and then two coats of Oil based primer and 1 coat of a latex finish. Worked pretty well but I didn't Bondo enough places in the end. I'll probably bondo a little more to make sure I fill in all the cracks and then one more coat of Latex Finisher.

#3645915 - 09/17/12 10:33 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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MrLe Offline
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Thanks for the advice choowy, I will post my build on here I'm just collecting inventory right now, want to do it right like yours.

#3646123 - 09/18/12 10:30 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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The last thing I had to finish from the original build was an "MFD" style unit that replicates the num pad functions in the game or the 'targeting" option in the game.

From the original MDF pieces, holes are cut for the push button switches. Its painted white inside to help create an even lighting.




The unit mounts to the front main panel with 2 screws, the holes in the center are for the LEDs



The laser printed overlay. Same as the other panels



Glued and trimmed around the cut outs. This step is tricky and prone to failure as misalignment shows up pretty badly.
I used a fine file and fine sand paper to finish the corners. You can see white areas where it didn't quite line up.



Use some of the matching black to cover up the areas that showed the white, turns out OK now.


Switches fitted.


The insert is another of the printed sheets I drew and the back is masked with another sheet but with areas cut out around the wording.
There is a piece of thin clear plastic film (copy shop type) sandwiched on top. When you light it from behind only the words glow......poor mans MFD.


LEDS, pretty basic but does the job.


Just needs wiring and fitting and that's it.

#3646175 - 09/18/12 12:47 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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453Raafspitty Offline
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Heard giving a mix of PVA Glue and water and spraying it on the MDF is good for sealing...

#3646188 - 09/18/12 01:07 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Stahl Offline
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Stahl  Offline
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Originally Posted By: choowy
Hey no probs MrLe, are you going to post your build in the forums as you go?

One thing I did find useful was using a flat paint (kind of thickish) to seal the cut ends of MDF. It soaks up spray paint too quickly, but if you undercoat and seal it with the other first, you can get a really smooth finish ready for spraying.

Don't forget, its pretty hard to expect paint to cover up all imperfections. If you use that philosophy you will usually end up with a good finish.

A tip for MDF, hit the ends with a few coats of Nitro Cellulose lacquer a brush (you can get a can at Home Depot) commercial shops use a high build activated primer to finish MDF components (these dry very fast and require a good level of PPE for use) you can also hit the finished panels with the NCL and knock them down after they dry with some sandpaper. You will still need a fill material to deal with the porous end pieces to get a smooth finish. As one of the other posters mentioned PVA and water also seals, it takes longer and water is never a friend of MDF.

Last edited by Stahl; 09/18/12 01:12 PM.
#3646274 - 09/18/12 03:26 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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MrLe Offline
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thanks Stahl, do you think using bondo will seal the porous ends?

#3646290 - 09/18/12 03:44 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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MrLe Offline
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Choowy what power source are you using to light the led on that and how did you print out the panels to the dimensions you wanted? Ink is expensive dont want to mess around lol

#3646297 - 09/18/12 03:53 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: MrLe]  
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Stahl Offline
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Stahl  Offline
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Originally Posted By: MrLe
thanks Stahl, do you think using bondo will seal the porous ends?

Bondo will work, it won't wick in much and you'll most likely have to do some sanding.
Ideally in production you want a product that wicks, seals, fills, and doesn't require anything else after this.
NCL with a bondo fill would work, or you could just do NCL with red putty fill (really just a heavy NCL with fill material) used in body shops.
The NCL will build structure of some degree due to the wicking, if the fill is just on the surface it will be prone to falling out at some point (years).

#3646451 - 09/18/12 07:49 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: Stahl]  
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MrLe Offline
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MrLe  Offline
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Thanks Stahl ill give the ncl a try.

#3646628 - 09/19/12 02:03 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Sabre Offline
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USA, Michigan
Has anyone tried Durhams watter putty for filling in imperfections?

Durhams water putty at Home depot

#3646778 - 09/19/12 12:02 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: Sabre]  
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Stahl Offline
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Stahl  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Sabre
Has anyone tried Durhams watter putty for filling in imperfections?

Durhams water putty at Home depot


I have a big can of it in the shop (lasts forever as it's a powder, wont dry out like a solvent based mix), works good for things you are going to sand and paint.

Last edited by Stahl; 09/19/12 12:02 PM.
#3647127 - 09/19/12 09:47 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: MrLe]  
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choowy Offline
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Originally Posted By: MrLe
Choowy what power source are you using to light the led on that and how did you print out the panels to the dimensions you wanted? Ink is expensive dont want to mess around lol


I'll use 5 volts from the PC for the MFD lights.

Most graphics programs will let you accurately use standard measurements straight into them so once you know what size you want to make it just use those measurements. I also made sure the print wasn't using any scaling so it was 100%.

I printed them out first then made the panels.

#3647210 - 09/19/12 11:54 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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MrLe Offline
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print them out first....lol "hand to face"

#3647415 - 09/20/12 08:44 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Here's the MFD mounted.



Lights on.





The interior RED lighting (from the LED head torch with a RED filter added)
The monitor is off in this shot.

#3647582 - 09/20/12 03:15 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Stahl Offline
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Stahl  Offline
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Very cool choowy, I love the level of detail on your fill stuff. Also the kit bash modeling approach of building the items.
thumbsup

#3648748 - 09/22/12 01:57 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Thanks Stahl, keeps the costs down and I can now justify why I kept all those odd pieces.

#3667125 - 10/21/12 11:20 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Goupil Offline
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Goupil  Offline
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Hi,

Good news Choowy : Frugal Forum is back ... and your post and pict too !!! cheers


Frugals-World of Simulations


Goupil

Last edited by Goupil; 11/18/12 12:32 AM.
#3667308 - 10/22/12 08:03 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Thanks Goupil, gee it's been 4 years, thought it was gone forever. Looks like some of the image links aren't working. Never mind it's all on SimHQ now. Your F16 turned out fantastic!

#3696286 - 12/10/12 05:05 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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hotwire Offline
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Choowy I actualy got my project started, take a look the thread "Hotwires pit" ...Thanks for the inspriation on designing the cabnet!!!! hope you approve. there is still a bunch of work to be done but im getting there

Last edited by hotwire; 12/10/12 05:07 PM.
#3699903 - 12/16/12 06:19 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Hey Hotwire, no problems. I'll check it out!!

#3807387 - 07/10/13 12:47 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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Maximus Offline
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I registered Here just so I could say thank you for Posting this thread. Im building a custom star wars arcade cockpit and was recommended to review this build as im doing similar techniques. This is a great inspiration and reference project i am sure i will come back to a lot.

Joel

Last edited by Maximus; 07/10/13 12:53 PM.
#3807786 - 07/10/13 11:02 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Thanks Joel, hopefully you got something useful out of the posts, let me know if I can help with any questions.

Will you be posting the build of your cockpit here? I'm sure there would be a lot of interest in your project.

I'm considering putting the Mech Cockpit up for sale as I don't use it. I think I'll have trouble as I live in Australia, not sure what the demand is here and its a local pick up only, freight would add some cost to the price.

#3864356 - 11/18/13 09:06 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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As with Maximus I just signed up here to say congrats on this build !

I was following his build on Arcade controls, as I was searching to see if anyone had had the idea of building a space cockpit.

Anyway, he linked this thread, and I'm now set on building my own.

The main urge will be for playing Starblade via the 3DO, and starwars via MAME and game cube.

#3864910 - 11/19/13 08:55 PM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Thanks BMT, good luck with your new project, would be great to see the progress if you post it.

#4085671 - 03/01/15 02:22 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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choowy Offline
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Hi Guys,

just as a footnote, after completing the build I put it up for sale late last year and its gone to a good home.

Hopefully its given people some ideas and inspiration to go ahead and build something for themselves. No immediate plans for anything new, but could be tempted to go the path of a race simulator with motion.





#4085675 - 03/01/15 02:44 AM Re: Mechwarrior Cockpit [Re: choowy]  
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PropNut Offline
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Hey Choowey, thanks for posting your build here. It was very inspirational. I enjoyed it.

As to driving simulator with motion, here is mine:


Last edited by PropNut; 03/01/15 02:44 AM.

F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
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