Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Robot From The Workshop

Just finished finished this guy while enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday. He had been kicking around in a mostly complete state for a few weeks, but I just ironed out the last touches a few days ago...and  love it. I'm calling him Click-bot...

He stands about 5 inches tall and has a magnet on his back for guarding refridgerators, metal filing cabinets, etc. He is one of the more craft-y-ish things I've done, so far. His body is a clear plastic candy container with wooden dowels for the arms and legs. His head is a modified thread spool. There are few gears in his tummy, which can be seen through a framed window on his front.

Here is a picture of how he looked originally, before rummaging through my parts bins, and making a few modifications.

I cut off the bottom of the head, at my wife's suggestion, to make it less spool-like. Also, added a few square brads to creat some ear action and give the sides of his head some interest.

I had carved a line in for the mouth, but thought it needed more charcter. The chin piece is made of painted electrical tape and gives it more a functional feel. The head was originally a character-less transparent dome with an antennae inside (not pictured, and now disassembled). Fortunately, I decided to go for something more charming and anthropomorphic.

The clash of wood and metal(lic-painted plastic) was very striking, and I think is 100% of the charm of this piece. The other cool part is his tummy; it has a clear window so you can see the gears, and such...

There are a couple of metal clockwork gears that can be seen through the tummy window. The window was masked off when I painted the rest of the box, and then a scrapbooking frame was added to hide the mask lines and give the body some texture. Inside are a couple of clockwork gears layered over pieces cut from a gold doylie. The layers are seperated with thin sheets of tranparent plastic to provide a feeling of depth.

The other key element that I like here are the golden bands and bolts on the waist, arms, and feet (which have no bolts). The bands are painted electrical tape and adhesive gems. They are applied, painted black and then a quick go-over with gold paint and a dry brush. The main disadvantage here, like with most applied items, the gems pop off, and don't always take paint well. So, from now on I will move on to metal brads when ever possible, since they already look the part and have a pin that can be punched through the model and glued in place. Live & learn...

Anyway, that is the process, more or less. I definitely see an army of robots coming soon; very likely to storm a table at a local convention or craft show.

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Ray Gun

Hard to believe that more than a year has passed since my last entry. Work and a move into a new house has made it difficult to finish any projects, but I have a new work shop and the mad sciencery has resumed.

This is a slightly more ambitious project than the previous ray guns, as it is not a mod of an existing gun toy. Now that I can spread out and have a place for the power tools, I was able to cut a custom handle as the base for the gun. Two important things here, not using a toy gun means that this handle is cut for bigger adult hands, which means the ray gun itself is a great deal larger than the other projects. Also, it is a really comfortable grip.

It was more convenient to use my phone for these picks, but I'm not super happy with the way they came out. I may add some better quality shots later, but these will do for now.

Here are the basic parts laid out. Still using some of my favorite tricks and pieces, but a few new moves as well. I love the shape of these craft bottles and they come in a variety of sizes and are pretty cheap. I also love being able to toy with transparency, so I masked the spot between the muzzle and body to create a see-though cylinder. In the cylinder, I placed a bundle of tubing and wires to make it look kind of weird and high tech.

Now, I did experiment with a few different techniques. First was the hanlde, but I also covered the body of the bottle with strips of electrical tape to give the impression that it was made of metal plates. I punched holes through the tape and bottle to insert small metal brads. Once the spray paint was applied, it looked like metal plates and rivets.
One interesting thing about electrical tape is that the coating does not appear to like spray paint too much, and the paint never really dried. It was tacky for days, so I eventually opted to dry brush on some acryllic silver metallic paint. Problem solved.

I added some interesting flair pieces on the muzzle, and dry brushed gold paint on some of the accent pieces. So far, one of my favorite pieces. I'm working on a similar gun now, with a few variations in the details. I will definitely be cutting my own grips from now on, though I will still have to use up my rediculously large stock of toy guns at some time, or another.