Hybrid Johnny Astro Replications - Customer Photo Gallery
The year 2008 marks yet another production manufacturing run of Johnny Astros in the AEP Workshop. These replications are "hybrid" in nature - that is, they consist of a combination of both original toy parts and replication toy parts manufactured by the AEP Workshop. The story of how this is done, complete with many additional pictures, is presented at the bottom of this web page. The top section of this web page will serve as a photo gallery of pictures submitted by the recipients of the new reproductions. I will amend this section of the page as more pictures are sent to the AEP Web site. The pictures are presented side by side, you can "mouse over" any picture on this web page and watch that picture change into another picture. So here goes, enjoy...
Johnny Astro Replication – made for Scott Goldbach, KY
Scott sent me an Email at the AEP Web site. and said he would forward on some pictures of his replication in action, and here they are! Check out Scott flying the spacecraft below:
I tried to set a sequence of pictures to capture Scott's initial flight of the spacecraft, mouse over from left to right on the pictures...see the takeoff, ascent, and flight of the balloon. Then go to the pictures below:
Now as you mouse over from left to right, you'll see the pictures change - sort of how the old cartoons used to be made with sequencing pictures...hopefully I've captured the descent and then the landing. It is great to see Scott's Hybrid Replication Johnny Astro working just fine. Thanks for the pictures Scott!
Johnny Astro Reproductions - Hybrid Replications Being Built in 2008
It is happening once again, the AEP Workshop is making more replication Johnny Astros! The 2008 replications are taking advantage of pressure casting capability and other techniques that have been deployed over the past few years. These new replications utilize homemade parts that are of a stunning level of quality - in many cases, virtually indistinguishable from the original parts of over 40 years ago. To get to this point in production capability, molds had to be created for every plastic part used in the toy, see some of the new molds below:
For the types of liquid rubber used in the AEP Workshop, it is necessary to make the molds under pressure, and then cast the parts under pressure as well. The resulting parts produced are of a very high quality, take a look below:
Hey, if anybody out there can tell me where I can get a pressure tank big enough to hold the Johnny Astro control center base, please let me know. Our Boy Scout project made a room pressure mold for that part of the toy, but I look forward to the day that I can make a pressurized mold and pressure cast the bases.
Of course we also need landing carriages to go with the hybrid replication Johnny Astro - so take a look at some pictures of the landing carriages, both in and out of their metallic molds:
The Johnny Astro web site has downloads available for the spacecraft (balloon) template and the launching station. Since the launching station is too big for a conventional printer, we sent the file to a local print shop and had the graphics printed out on a single sheet of glossy paper. The graphics in turn are glued onto a piece of foam board, and then the shape is cut out with a scroll saw - take a look below:
The templates made on the Boy Scout Project and shipped with earlier replication toys were constructed by downloading and printing a scan of original graphics from the Johnny Astro Web site, gluing this material to a piece of cardboard and then cutting out the resulting shape. The time was right to mold this piece and develop the capability to produce higher quantities of the part in less time. So we started out by machining a replication template in wood and making a mold for it. The pieces are cast with a general purpose white plastic and decals (printed from a scan of the original graphics) are applied to make it appear just like the original template. The new AEP Workshop Balloon Templates work great and look great. Take a look and see for yourself:
A similar approach was taken with the Control Center Base Protective Cover. This is a plastic replication of the piece of cardboard on the underside of the Johnny Astro control center base that served the dual purpose of protecting the wire routing used and providing the point of origin of the toy. We decided to mold this part and produce it in plastic, see below:
So once all of the toy parts were made, then it became a matter of putting everything together and completing the toys. Here are some pictures showing some of the assembly work while it was in progress, along with some completed 2008 hybrid replications:
I hope you have enjoyed checking out this summary of the replication work done in 2008. There are many new products and activities planned for 2009, stay tuned. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback. Please click here to Email AstroExpressParts.com to provide feedback, or to let me know if you wish to be added to our global distribution mailing list - so you can be notified of our new developments and products in a timely fashion.