Monday, May 20, 2013

Steampunk Airship- The Cumulus Rex

"Rex" is the person aero-pod for my steampunk character Professor Perilus. This is a model made of polymer clay and measures about three inches long. I made this as a guide for future drawings, to help keep details and proportions straight.
This model is a bit of a sketch itself, and took about 15 minutes to make and a little longer to cook. The painting took about 30 minutes; so about an hour, all together. Here is Rex with the sketch that inspired the model.

I made a few changes, mostly in the color department. Not sure if I prefer the bronze coast vs. gold, but it still has a metallic sheen and shows the highlights properly, so it will do. I opted not to add the bands to the gas envelope on the top of the ship, because it made it look too much like a cockpit, and threw off the design a bit. This also give me a better spot for the Prof's emblem, so its all for the best. There is a light sketch of the Prof next to Rex for proportions, it is actually just a bit bigger than the sketch may suggest, though still pretty closed quarters.

Here are a few pages from the sketchbook to show Rex's evolution:

Above & below: Started off stuck on the idea of Rex being a hanging gondola and looking rather nautical. I had that "seen it all before" feeling, plus I wanted the Prof to have something a little more unique and sci-fi looking.

I eventually got into "pod" territory, but everything kept coming out Nemo.

Eventually, squished it all up and internalized most of the air bag. In all, I thought it was rather sexy and dashing, so this design in the winner. Not sure what I'll do with all of this, but all least its done.

Hope you like it. Keep zap'n!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Steampunk Wand

Here is a new wand, with a design much closer to what I originally had in mind. It is a great deal smaller than the last wand, which I think may have been just a bit too long. Still using the art foil and brads, which add an industrial look to the wand. The base for this piece is a dowel, or something, so not as organic and the previous wand (fashioned from a tree branch).

This model has a tube at the end with a crystal suspended from a cool little antennae-thingy. I had used this idea for a ray gun recently, and really liked the way it turned out. I added a cool cylindrical bead to the mix for good measure. (I had bought a bag of these some time ago and this is the first project that they really fit well in!)

I had toyed with removable tubes, and may build one in time, but not today. This model does have a removable tip, however. I like the idea of a wand base coming with a selection of different tips for different situations. This idea really cracked me up, for some reason; and I think adds a bit of modern sensibility and utilitarianism to an ancient magical tool.  For now, this wand just has the one tip, but it does come with a cool box for safe keeping.

In all, I really like the final outcome of this project and will work on some more.

Keep zap'n!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Steampunk Magic Wand

Interest in the occult was very much alive and well in Victorian England, so it only seems fitting that magical devices would get the steampunk upgrade, as well. I had wanted to work on these for a while now, but just recently got to it. I made a wand last year to see how it would go; it was cool, but my oldest is into Harry Potter, and so absconded with it.

I kept the over all design pretty light (I think) and tried to minimize visual distractions from the exquisite curve of the wand body.

This is actually my first time using heavy-duty art foil. I thought I would give the electrical tape a rest, and try something with a genuine metallic sheen. I thought it might be a hassle to cut, but that was absolutely not the case. I used a bit of glue, and a brad to keep the foil closed and in place.

The crystal chamber and tubing port worked pretty well, though it a appears I have a little surplus glue to cut off once everything is totally dry. I had a lot of fun putting this together and will likely do another soon.

Hope you like it. Keep zap'n!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

More Light-up Ray Gun Action

While I have been tooling around with adding lights for a little while, this is the first trigger-activated light from the workshop.

I went back to the beginning on this one, and you'll notice a lot of the same parts here from my first pieces. I haven't done straight toy mods for a while, but needed the hollow trigger and body for the light. This particular gun has an inner walled chamber that the light fits in pretty well and minimized light bleed around through the gun.

There is literally, a key chain light fixed into place and a small screw on the piece of the trigger inside the gun to press the button. Its pretty low-tech, but it works and the affect is pretty cool. The crystal  really conducts the light well and looks awesome. Don't believe me? Check out the video below:

Other than that, I didn't add too many bells & whistles. I am very fond of the piece on the back, which had been sitting in a bin for a few years now; it ties in really well with the ornate-ness of the barrel, and really ties it together.

Not sure where I'm going with the light thing now, but it is nice to know that I can pull it off with my meager understanding of electronics.

Keep zap'n!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rough Sketch Ray Gun

So, I've been to adding lights to my current projects (I have an in-progress piece that should be posting soon), and my oldest wanted a light-up gun as well.  This started off as a father/son project, but soon became all dad. I've drawn lots of stuff over the years for him, and one thing I've learned about art projects for kids, is do it quick. Having said that, I would qualify this piece as more of a rough sketch; I skipped a lot of finishing touches on this one, opting for a quick turn-around. Still, it came out pretty cool, and gives me some ideas for future pieces. Hope you like it.

I had my son choose some materials from the parts bins in the shop, but we had some trouble putting them together. I had a number of pieces from unfinished projects handy, so we made some quick replacements. Its hard to see, but there is a blue crystal suspended in the center of the gun.

Here it is lit up. The light is hidden in the barrel piece and is stays on until turned off. There is an opening cut into the bottom of the barrel to access the switch.

Here is a view of the gun on a less busy surface, before staining the handle. I had been toying with a petite handle that had a door in it, to house a setting switch, or dial or something, but it didn't happen, so it was sitting on the work table. It was just the right size for littler hands.

If I wasn't in a hurry, I would have sanded the handle and do some masked painting on the body to limit the light bleed; but all-in-all, it came out pretty cool, and my son was happy, which is really the whole point.

Keep zap'n!!!