Sunday, July 13, 2014

July UFO Sightings in the Shop

It's been too damned long since my last post.  I've got a lot of nearly finished things to brag about, but since it'll be a while before I get a chance to actually write about them, let me take you on a roundup of the latest UnFinished Objects on the bench...

First off, here's the beginning of parts I'm making for a desktop statuette version of the Funbot, the mascot for Fundemonium, a local toy and hobby store:
Funbot Pars in Standard Prototype Color
The statuette will be one of the perks offered as part of their crowdfunding campaign to help pay for their move and expansion in a bigger better location.  Details can be found HERE.

A while back I made a Space Wolf version of my Warhammer 40K space marines.  Since then the going has been slow, but I'm making a thunder hammer to go along with him.  This is the forming buck for part of the hammer head:
Sculpting Forming Bucks Continues

Speaking of 40K, I'm off to a good start on my Grey Knight Terminators.  Here's a few helmets out of the molds (the one on the left is the original prototype):
Helmet Casts Lined Up

Since I can't seem to get Ironman out of my system, I've also started work on a War Machine helmet.  I'm also nearing completion for the Mk39 "Gemini" helmet on the right:
Size Comparison

I've always said that I never make just one of anything I make.  True to form, here's the parts of my 2nd ED-209 coming together:
2nd ED Parts
For details about building the first one, including the series of videos that MAKE Magazine published showing how it was done, click HERE.

Since my girlfriend bought tickets to Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim, it falls to me to make sure we'll have suitably impressive costumes to wear to the event.  The first one I've gotten started for her is the bounty hunter Shae Vizla from the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic.  This project is being done in collaboration with DW Design Studios (who makes some phenomenal Star Wars stuff).  I've made a few small parts here and there.  Here's the jetpack prototype coming together:
Almost Done


Since we'll be there for more than one day, I have to make sure we've got different outfits to wear each day.  In order to show off my insanely hot girlfriend, I couldn't think of anything better than to dress her up as Darth Talon, a Sith Twilek who appears in the expanded universe.  As it stands right now, here's the armor parts taped onto a duct tape double:

Untitled

Finally, after watching this project come together at Tested.com, I bit the bullet and picked up a Needler kit from Volpin Props.  This beauty will be a prized addition to my arsenal of HALO props:
Needler Parts

So that's what's in the lineup right now.  Stay tuned.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Custom Female Commissar Costume Inspired by Warhammer 40,000

So far I've made quite a few Warhammer 40K costumes.  The Space Marines were pretty big and the Imperial Guard were more comfortable, but none of them have been especially sexy.  I've been overwhelmed by the urge to remedy that lately.

While I'd really like to put together some of the Adepta Sororitas outfits, it'll be a while before I've got the time and resources to do it right.  In the meantime I've decided that I should make a female Commissar to keep the Guardsmen in line.

Here's the finished costume:

Commissar Eyebrow
For details on how it was made, read on...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June UFO Sightings in the Workshop

I have a tremendous amount of inertia.  Once the ED-209 project was finished and the Maker Faire was over, it took me quite a while to grind to a halt and get some proper rest.  When I did manage to finally slow down, it took me just as long to finally rally some motivation and sally forth.

Yesterday found me back in the workshop for my first typical 12-hour day since the Maker Faire.  Much of it was spent reorganizing the workshop, shifting back into Combat Garden Gnome production mode, and taking stock of my various projects.  There was no shortage of stuff that had been relegated to the backburner over the past couple or three months and I'm glad to finally get the chance to dust off a few old projects, get the ball rolling on a couple of new projects, and generally get back to my own amped-up version of scattered tinkering.

So once again there's a lot of irons in the fire.  Here's just a few of the UnFinished Objects that were spotted in the shop lately...


First off, another Ironman helmet variant.  I've been making a few different helmets and trading other makers for variants that I don't already have.  Since I haven't found anyone else making castings of the Mk39 "Gemini" variant, I had to go ahead and make my own.  Here you can see it in my standard lightish red prototype color:

Mk39 Ready to Mold

It will be molded and cast in four separate pieces.  The main dome is ready for rubber.  The two eye pieces will be ready to mold soon after.  The "backdoor" insert still needs a bit more fine tuning:
Mk39 Backdoor

Still, I should have a wearable casting of this helmet within a week.

Since I can't get enough HALO to keep me satisfied, I'm still making slow progress on my M729 Squad Automatic Weapon from HALO 4:
SAW Progress Finally

I'd say the main body is about 90% done.  I'm just focusing on all of the small details that are going to drive me insane by the time it's all said and done:
Detail Closeup

While I was going through the pile of stuff I wanted to work on, more stuff arrived.  It included a box from DW Design Studios.  The box was full of awesome:
Chest of Awesome
In case you're not a huge geek, that's the chest piece for a clonetrooper.  The box of awesome contained and entire suit of raw untrimmed parts to build myself a complete set of armor.  Now I just have to make up my mind as to whether I want to do a plain white Episode II clonetrooper, or one of the countless color variants that show up in Episode III.  Decisions...

Since I've just finished my Commissar costume and a set of Space Wolf armor, you'd think that I'd've had my fill of Warhammer stuff for a while.  You'd be wrong.  Instead, I've just begun prototyping a new helmet:
Test Fit Front

This is a Grey Knight Terminator helmet.  It looks a bit funny on my because I'm not eight feet tall (yet)  I'm also not wearing the huge chest armor with the collar that will make this helmet look smaller.
Simulated Collar

There's a lot of tweaking yet to be done before this helmet is ready to mold, but I'm off to a good start.

So that's just a few of the things I've got going right now.  Be sure to check back often for updates.  Better yet, subscribe so you don't miss anything.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Time to Sculpt a New Combat Garden Gnome

It's been a while since I added a new pose to my series of Combat Garden Gnomes. I've carved out a bit of time in this month's schedule and I'd like to know what version you'd like to see next.

Here are your options:


I'm partial to the "bayonet charge" guy myself, but I'd like to hear your feedback. Be sure to add your vote and, if you've got a better pose in mind, add your suggestions in the comments. 

If you'd like to see the rest of the troops and pick up a squad of gnomes to defend your own garden, you can see them in my Etsy shop at http://thorssoli.etsy.com.

Thanks for looking and stay tuned for updates...

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Building a Custom Armored Breastplate Prop in Vacformed Styrene

I've been working on a custom Commissar build to add a bit more sexy to my collection of Warhammer 40,000 costumes.  While a lesser builder might have been satisfied to go with a drum major's tunic or some other militaristic garb for the torso, I decided that mine needed to have a polished steel breastplate.  

Here's a shot of the finished result: 
Commissar Eyebrow
For more photos and how it was made, read on...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lifesize ED-209 Build Part 7: IT IS DONE

There are only a few projects that have made it onto my bucket list and I'm glad to say that this one is finished.  It's been three very demanding months, but the final product makes up for it:
Untitled

Hotel Security 1

Hotel Security 2

Here's the video showing this guy on display at the Maker Faire:


As with all of the videos, there's an accompanying article at MAKE:  http://makezine.com/2014/05/23/building-up-to-maker-faire-shawn-thorsson-brings-ed-209-to-life-the-grand-reveal/

If you're just now tuning in, you can see the whole series of articles here: http://makezine.com/building-up-to-maker-faire/

I was also interviewed by Norm from Tested.com:


Here's a couple more photos of him at the Maker Faire:


ED209 wins all of the things.

He made a few friends there:
Maker Faire 04

ED209 vs R2D2

Now he's got a gig doing hotel security:
Hotel Security 4

The whole build was a resounding success and it couldn't have happened without my amazing crew:
Saturday Evening Crew Portrait

I couldn't be more proud:
Me and My Murderbot

More insane projects coming up.  Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss any updates.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Scratchbuilding a Warhammer 40,000 Plasma Pistol Prop

I still haven't been able to get it out of my system, so I find myself building more prop replicas from Warhammer 40,000.  While I've made a chainsword and the various versions of boltguns, I wanted something a bit more challenging.  For my next build, I decided to make a plasma pistol.
Plasma Pistol Completed
In the game mythology, plasma pistols fire energy 'bolts' of bright glowing plasma.  Each one is like a miniature little sun launched out of the barrel.  Among the forces of the Imperium, these weapons are highly coveted and usually end up in the hands of very high ranking officers and heroes of the Imperial Guard.

That sounds cool and all, but I was really just excited to make a pistol filled with blinky lights that chase around inside of it when I pull the trigger and say "pew pew pew."
Gaaaaaaaaaaaar!

To see how I went about making it, read on...