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Questions about ironing technique and irregular beads

 
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crazyotto



Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:15 am    Post subject: Questions about ironing technique and irregular beads Reply with quote

Hi. I’m new to Perler bead crafts. After working with the beads and making a handful of sprites, I have several questions for the experienced crafters.

I’ve noticed that some beads have inconsistent color penetration. This is easier to spot on lighter color beads as I can see clear spots in the plastic when looking at the ends. I think this may be due to an inferior batch of plastic because these beads melt differently than other beads, having a shriveled and shinier appearance that contrasts starkly with the more uniform melt of other beads (photo below).



I’ve also noticed that the beads are not consistently the same length, causing variations in the degree to which the beads melt (taller ones melting more than shorter ones).

After seeing several 12+ pegboard designs on this site, I was wondering: how do you deal with these inconsistencies? Do you meticulously sift through thousands of beads to eliminate the irregulars? Is there a technique to melting the beads that minimizes flaws such as shriveled beads and uneven melts? I know that if I spent countless hours crafting one of those huge images, seeing even a single shriveled bead would irritate me to no end.

Also, I bought and sorted a bucket of beads and have several small samples ( approx. 3-30 beads) of colors that are slightly different than other colors (see photo). Are these beads discontinued colors or perhaps from different dye lots? Have you noticed these variations and do you keep these beads separate or throw them in with the other beads? Is there a noticeable difference between these beads and their counterparts after they are melted?


The left-hand purple and green beads are the small samples. The right-hand orange bead is the small sample. Can someone tell me if the right-hand orange bead is representative of Perler’s current orange beads? The left-hand orange bead looks too bright, almost day-glo bright, to me. I saw the sprite of the Advance Wars recon unit and I wanted to make it but I think the bright orange beads would not look good in that sprite.
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Oobgarm
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Joined: 19 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: Questions about ironing technique and irregular beads Reply with quote

crazyotto wrote:
Hi. I’m new to Perler bead crafts. After working with the beads and making a handful of sprites, I have several questions for the experienced crafters.


And a hello to you as well. It's always nice to see more folks making bead sprites.

Quote:
I’ve noticed that some beads have inconsistent color penetration. This is easier to spot on lighter color beads as I can see clear spots in the plastic when looking at the ends. I think this may be due to an inferior batch of plastic because these beads melt differently than other beads, having a shriveled and shinier appearance that contrasts starkly with the more uniform melt of other beads (photo below).

I’ve also noticed that the beads are not consistently the same length, causing variations in the degree to which the beads melt (taller ones melting more than shorter ones).

After seeing several 12+ pegboard designs on this site, I was wondering: how do you deal with these inconsistencies? Do you meticulously sift through thousands of beads to eliminate the irregulars? Is there a technique to melting the beads that minimizes flaws such as shriveled beads and uneven melts? I know that if I spent countless hours crafting one of those huge images, seeing even a single shriveled bead would irritate me to no end.


I've noticed that as well, but not to the extent that you have. It does look like you got a batch that could be considered 'bad'. I've sporadically run across those myself, but I just let them go, since it would be completely and utterly pointless(in my eyes) to sift through all of these beads to pick them out. I just roll with it and consider it part of the piece's uniqueness.

Quote:
Also, I bought and sorted a bucket of beads and have several small samples ( approx. 3-30 beads) of colors that are slightly different than other colors (see photo). Are these beads discontinued colors or perhaps from different dye lots? Have you noticed these variations and do you keep these beads separate or throw them in with the other beads? Is there a noticeable difference between these beads and their counterparts after they are melted?


The left-hand purple and green beads are the small samples. The right-hand orange bead is the small sample. Can someone tell me if the right-hand orange bead is representative of Perler’s current orange beads? The left-hand orange bead looks too bright, almost day-glo bright, to me. I saw the sprite of the Advance Wars recon unit and I wanted to make it but I think the bright orange beads would not look good in that sprite.


The size variance is just a result of simple inconsistency in manufacturing the beads. I've noticed larger ones myself, but I've not had any difficulty working with them. If you've not done it yet, wait until you mix Perler and Hama brand beads. Hama beads are usually a considerable amount shorter and have a smaller diameter than Perler, which CAN make for difficult times when ironing the two together.

That color difference you show looks like two different dye lots. The left 'orange' one looks more like 'hot coral', while the right orange one is representative of the typical orange. The purple and green ones look like they're from the same dye lot-there's not a wide palette of colors to begin with-so I'd figure they're just anomalies that arose during the manufacturing process. I did notice this when I bought my first batch of Perler beads, so I have sorted them out as different, but there aren't many of them in the couple of mixed buckets I've gone through.

It's a general rule that Hama beads are a bit darker than Perler beads. It's most noticeable in the red beads. I'm sure the others are also a slightest bit different, but I've honestly not looked close enough.

As the maker of the Advance Wars sprite, I'm honored to hear that my piece has inspired you to make one as well. My sprite was a mix of both brands, particularly Hama beads for flesh tones and the peach-colored beads throughout the piece. Hama makes a darker flesh tone, which worked surprisingly well with the other colors.
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pinkdramon
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Joined: 20 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I notice the problems in the first picture a lot. They seem to happen to me, more often when I buy the 6,000 count bags of white, black & red. I tend to actively look out for more "See through" solid colors now when I'm making a sprite. If I find the "See through" ones that I know are gona come out looking bad, I set them in a seperate container. I'll use them later when I make a small sprite that uses only a few white, black or red beads.
To look out for them, if I know I'm using colors that tend to get f'ed up, I might line a few up & pull out the "Bad" ones before I put them into a sprite.

There's not really a lot more I can do about that. Six Sigma and all. There's gona be variations in between batches & probably within batches. If it's within reason the manufacturer won't stop production.

SOMETIMES you can try to iron those problem beads down a little more to get the colors to mash together more, or to flatten them out, BUT, if you do that you risk getting the dreaded "Shiny finish," and it just comes out looking worse. You'll be able to see where some areas were ironed more than others & it looks weird :/

I can't quite tell from the photo, but, it looks like the two orange beads are not the same color at all. One looks more like hot coral. The other is probably either true orange or Butterscotch. Butterscotch is a newer color & quite useful as an intermediate between Cheddar & Orange.

It's possible that with the green ones, one of those green ones might be the "Off" green I come across in certain 5,500 and 6,000 count buckets of perler beads. It's not really bright green, it's some intermediate shade between bright green & dark green. And it's not pastel green.
Try to collect as many of those as you can, you may find they come in quite useful when you're making a sprite that has several variations of green in it! (Ex. I used "Off green" in Yoshi, Tove the Terrennial from Lunar Knights, & the Summoner classes from FFV. I can't seem to place an order for it individually...)

Sometimes you'll get little Mutant perler beads too that are clearly 1/2 the height of normal ones. Or you'll get mutant beads that are supposed to be a certain color, yellow, for example, and they're all messed up. It will be yellow but for some reason it will be slightly darker or more transparent than the rest of your yellow ones. I have that going on right now; the mutant ones are in a seperate area in my container.
I used the mutant yellow ones in the eyes of the DualHead Hydra.
That looks to be the case with the purple beads. The one on the left is the Mutant one.
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crazyotto



Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oobgarm, I already bought some burgundy and army green Hama beads in anticipation of making Advance Wars sprites but, after sorting through the Perler beads, I see that I will have to start ordering single color bags if I want to make anything more ambitious than 8-bit Mario. I liked your recon unit so much, that skill, enthusiasm, color palette, money, and time permitting, I’d like to create every unit from Advance Wars. I foresee problems with Yellow Comet, though; there are many shades of yellow/brown in those sprites. Am I correct in guessing that you used clear beads in the tires of the recon unit?


pinkdramon, the other orange bead must be hot coral. I have a small batch of butterscotch and they are noticeably different than the two oranges in the photo.

Thanks to both of you for the information.
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Oobgarm
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Joined: 19 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crazyotto wrote:
Oobgarm, I already bought some burgundy and army green Hama beads in anticipation of making Advance Wars sprites but, after sorting through the Perler beads, I see that I will have to start ordering single color bags if I want to make anything more ambitious than 8-bit Mario. I liked your recon unit so much, that skill, enthusiasm, color palette, money, and time permitting, I’d like to create every unit from Advance Wars. I foresee problems with Yellow Comet, though; there are many shades of yellow/brown in those sprites. Am I correct in guessing that you used clear beads in the tires of the recon unit?


I too was concerned with making Yellow Comet sprites. They do have the coolest-looking helicopter of the bunch, but the color is subdued, and I don't think the vibrant beads(or brown) will look good with it.

I used 'smoke' color beads for the tires on the recon unit.
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