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Fun with Plasticine

Plasticine is awesome fun! Last time I played with the stuff must have been about two decades ago but lately I’ve had an inkling to try make little models so I’ve been testing out ideas and trying to make humanoid figures.


The plan is to eventually use some of the models to make moulds in which I can cast concrete statues but the liquid polyurethane I intend to use is rather expensive (roughly £100 for 5KG) so I’m currently toying with different size models to see how difficult it is to get the level of detail I want for the final designs.

Casting Aluminium

During a late night session at the London Hackspace I had the opportunity to learn how to use kiln with the aid of Billy and Sam. We took dead hard drives, dismantled them, broke the cases into small pieces, and smelted them in order to extract the aluminium. Once we had a small stock of aluminium ingots we made a closed cast sand mould of a 3D printed model of a 3D scanned face

Sat 10 Mar 2012 09:39:46 UTCSat 10 Mar 2012 09:40:02 UTC

With mould ready, we melted down the ingots and poured the molten aluminium to make this small cast

Sat 10 Mar 2012 08:29:49 UTC

The Internet

The Internet

The Internet, as seen on 'The IT Crowd' S03E04.

As featured in ‘The IT Crowd’, the internet is surprisingly small, wireless, and, due to not weighing anything, really light. Unsurprising, it’s also really easy to get your hands on your very own Internet.


  • ABS Box H2852 = £4.89
  • 5mm Red Flashing LED = £0.38
  • 5mm LED chrome bezel = £0.92
  • CR2032 battery = £0.22
  • CR2032 battery holder = £0.90
  • 1.2K Resistor

Total = £7.31

Instructions (for Dummies)

  1. Drill 8.1mm hole in top of the ABS Box.
  2. Remove Orange 5mm LED from bezel with the aid of heat gun.
  3. Hot glue Red 5mm Flashing LED into bezel.
  4. Attach bezel to ABS box.
  5. Solder wires to contacts of CR2032 battery holder, may require scuffing the contacts of the holder and wiping with flux.
  6. Hot glue CR2032 battery holder into lid of ABS Box.
  7. Solder resistor to Red 5mm Flashing LED.
  8. Solder wires of CR2032 battery holder to Red 5mm Flashing LED and resistor, ensuring the middle pin of the CR2032 battery holder is soldered to the short leg of the Red 5mm Flashing LED.


The Internet InnardsThe Internet

Alternative Builds
While making this I found someone else had done something very similar but a tiny bit more complicated and expensive Instructables version.

Oyster Card Hacking

An Oyster card, as described by Wikipedia, is:

a form of electronic ticketing used on public transport services primarily within the Greater London region of England. It is promoted by Transport for London and is valid on a number of different travel systems across London including London Underground, buses, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, trams, some river boat services and most National Rail services within the London Fare Zones.

This describes how to extract the RFID chip from an Oyster card.


  • Oyster card
  • Acetone (commonly found in nail polish remover)


    • Submerge card in acetone until it softens.
    • Peel off layer of plastic and submerge again.
    • Repeat until chip is visible.

The wire for the antenna of the chip is very fine so it’s easier and quicker to extract the chip without it and opt to solder on your own antenna. The contacts on the chip are quite weak so care has to be taken not to break them off (They look like wings on either side of the chip. Should be easy to spot if you look at where the aerial connects to the chip). Encasing the chip in something like hot glue will help prevent the antenna detaching. For what it’s worth, the aerial in the card is about 13cm with 5 loops long but you may need to experiment a little to make a working replica.


Sun 20 Mar 2011 01:35:52 UTCSun 20 Mar 2011 01:40:50 UTCSun 20 Mar 2011 01:49:58 UTCSun 20 Mar 2011 04:43:48 UTCSun 20 Mar 2011 22:21:58 UTC

Light Ring

Decided to attempt to make a basic light ring that could mount onto a Nikon D80 equipped with a lens wearing a HB-32 hood.


36 white LEDs mounted on a ring of acrylic that would wedge onto the HB-32 hood (which has a mid-point diameter of ~80mm). The power source (4xAA batteries) would mount onto the Nikon D80’s hot shoe mount along with brightness and off/on controls.


  • A3 5mm acrylic = £5.40
  • 5mm white LED (30,000mcd) (£0.64) x 36 = £23.04
  • SPST rocker switch (£0.41) x 1 = £0.41
  • AA battery holder(£0.14) x 2 = £0.28
  • 10K potentiometer (£0.57) x 1 = £0.57

Total = £29.70

The acrylic was cut using a laser cutter with design that was created in Inkscape:

Light Ring Design


Sun 13 Mar 2011 21:47:44 UTCSun 13 Mar 2011 21:55:29 UTCMon 14 Mar 2011 21:26:56 UTCMon 14 Mar 2011 21:18:06 UTC

Defcon AI – Whiteboard Library

A whiteboard library for Introversion’s Defcon AI API. It provides functions for drawing various shapes and objects making it useful for debugging or sharing tactical information.

C++ – draw.h, draw.cpp
Lua – draw.lua

Released under the MIT license


Sample image:
sample image

C++ example usage:

Lua example usage:

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Shinkutanku; Japanese for “Think Tank”. A very infrequently updated blog by your average code-monkey cum photographer.

Twitter: @CiaranEaton