This gun has actually been on the shelf in the workshop for quite a while. I put it on hold while I finished up the last two pieces. I finally put the finishing touches on it while on Christmas vacation.
A big part of that was that I had designed myself into a corner; I wanted to included a power level setting dial, but didn't have much direction on how it should look. Soooo, it sat for a while until I came up with something that I liked.
The INENSITRON has a working dial and sits inside of the housing for a toy pirate compass.The housing is glued on to the wooden handle with the dial glued inside of that. The graphic looks much cooler at normal size and has a classic hand-drawn feel. The tubes (wiring) run from dial to the trigger, and one to the pressure gage.
The pressure gage is an old standby in the workshop. I designed this on the computer a few years ago and keep a printed sheet with a dozen or so for whenever needed. The housing is a small toy compass top on a gumball machine toy container base. The meter hand is glued in place (in the safe position).
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but scale is one of the biggest concerns when putting a piece together, and can really make or break a design. It is very easy to overwhelm a piece by adding something too thick or too wide for the rest of the gun. Also, if a piece is too small, then that can be just as distracting; leaving large boring spaces on the gun. So, I toy around with stuff all the time, trying to find the right scale parts for each piece. It probably is the most lengthly part of the entire process, for me.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
This is definitely one of my favorites, and is ironically, one of the simplest pieces I've done, so far. I toyed with the idea of adding bells and whistles, but I decided to keep it simple, and I'm glad I did. Using a new grip pattern for this gun; not as twisty and exotic as the previous handles I've cut, but it fits nicely.
The trick with any handle, is to make sure you leave enough room for screws to secure it to the base, while leaving room for a trigger.
Again, working with a lot of clear material as much as possible. I find painting transparent materials very rewarding for some reason; its like revealing the invisible man in the old black&white horror movies. Anyway, some metal paper fasteners, for rivets and electrical tape for bands.
The barrel is a wooden candle stick. I used an exacto-knife to cut a groove for the fin to fit into. The fin is plastic cut from a plastic container lid. Wood takes spray paint a lot differently than plastic, or metal, and the end result can sometimes be hard to predict. In this case, I skipped the black undercoat, and went with just primer and bronze spray paint. The wood gave the paint a rough finish which definitely gave it the look of a used and often-handled weapon.
I had toyed with a new power level setting dial on the back end, but I couldn't get the mechanics to work with unscrewing itself and leaving hardware in the body of the gun. So, I just added some flair to the end and called it good. I will likely try building the power selector again, once I spend some time in my local hardware store, looking for pieces to make it work.
Hope you like it.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
This is one of those projects that just comes out of nowhere. I knew that I wanted to eventually make some steampunk rocketships, but I hadn't given it too much thought; I usually just kind of tooled around with pieces to see what fit well together. I just decided to bite the bullet last weekend, and put this together in about two days.
I intentially didn't take any WIP pics, because I knew I would be tempted to post them. I felt like seeing the process might diminish the final result, so no WIP photos. It is mostly plastic, with some metal pieces for detail and flair. It is very light and I had to glue a giant steel washer to the bottom of the rocket, to keep it from teetering on the base.
The rocket detatches easily from the base, which is made of found plastic items, wood, and some metal.
You can't really see the wood from here, but I added a clear coat first so that it would mask the grain when I painted it. A very fun piece to make and a very rewarding finished sculpture.
This is probably my new favorite raygun. It is every bit of 14 inches from end to end, which makes it the longest pistol I've made, so far. Its the third with the new wooden handles, though the second to be finished; I tabled the previous project to finish this one. While I think a lot of the base items are very obvious, they just fit so well together it doesn't matter.
This piece came together when I suddenly became unable to find the small champaign glasses that I often use for gun barrels. A new, simpler model was now out, and the more ornate ones were nowhere to be found. Once I stopped cussing, I picked up a few of the newer glasses and started tooling around with ideas. Very pleased with the result.
There are very parts to this one in comparison to some of my other work. Instead of trying to add textures or lines to show metal bolted together I just added a few brads as bolts suggest joined metal.
The other interesting thing about this piece, is that it marks a lot firsts for me. This is the first time I worked with plexiglass as a medium. While plenty of the work I do starts out with transparent ingredients, I though plexiglass would be a perfect item to make fins with; its thin, its durable, it takes paint well...its perfect. Plus, I had a giant sheet of it, from the old house, so it was double perfect.
Well...not so much. It can be very fragile, and its hard to cut with a jigsaw. Actually, the jigsaw goes right through it, but the heat fuses the plastic back together instantly, so you still have to break along the cut line with pliers, or whatever. Now, this may seem obvious to some of you out there, but it wasn't to me, at the time. Oh well, live and learn.
Once I finally got the fin cut out, I sanded it and added electrical tape and bronze paper fasteners as bolts. Plexiglass pretty much show every mistake that you make, but it all disappears after its painted...thankfully. Dispite the grief that it gave me, it is still pretty rugged and makes for a more rugged piece, overall. I will definitely use it again.
Another new thing that I did with this model was to inset an item into the handle. In this case, its a locket, that I turned into the power setting dial for the gun.
I had to bore a hole into the grip, without punching through the other side and then file down the cavity so that the locket would fit properly. I am totally unhappy with the cardboard insert, and will likely pop it out and make something cooler to fit here. Overall, its pretty cool.
I did design a new insert for the locket; one that I am much happier with. I drew this by a hand at twice intended size, shrunk on the copier, and colored it by hand. It looks much cooler not zoomed in like this, but you get the genreal idea...
I poured through pages of victorian border design until I came up with this. This wasn't ispired by any one particular work, but is meant to imbody the classic ornamental asthetic of the time. Plus WAVE INTENSITY just sounds cool.
Here is a close up of the chamber. I love the mixture of opaque and transparent in my work and I think the repetition of elongated pieces just make this gun look very elegant. Also, I've added a pic of the front, since its very visible in the profile photo.
Hope you like it.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
My Jr. High School buddy, SA Barton has finally bitten the bullet and turned to writing full time-ish, while he goes back to school. He has always had a fantastic imagination and knack for putting words on paper; so I'm very glad to see him put it to good-ish use. He is almost a year on Smashword (an e-publishing site) and has already published over 30 short stories, including one magazine piece.
His work ranges from sci-fi to wierd, so check it out:
His work ranges from sci-fi to wierd, so check it out: