Friday, October 9, 2015

Hello, America! The 2015 Cross-Country Road Trip

A wise man once told me that the main difference between an ordeal and an adventure is your attitude.

When the Lady Shawnon told me she would be doing her clinical year at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Cornell University, I was really proud of her.  When she said she'd need help moving all of her stuff there, that's when I got even more excited.

As it turns out, for me, this is what an adventure looks like:
Road Trip Map

That's the route we took to get her, her car, and most of her stuff installed in upstate New York.

If you'd like to see photos from the trip and all of the fun along the way, read on...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Old Republic Sith Acolyte Costumes

A while back I had the pleasure of attending Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim, the 7th such  convention in the history of the Star Wars franchise.

The Lady Shawnon had bought our tickets fully nineteen months before the actual event with the statement that "that should be more than enough time for you to come up with costumes for us to wear."  She was right...   ...kinda.

Among the many outfits I ended up putting together, were these four:
Old Republic Hitting the Lobby

The girl with the blaster rifle was the Lady Shawnon in her Shae Vizla bounty hunter costume based on the trailers for the Star Wars: the Old Republic MMORPG.  I'll get around to writing that one up.  The important thing to know is that she looks even cooler when she's not all by herself.  You can read about that build here: LINK.

The three lightsaber-wielding gentlemen were Sith Acolytes from the same game.  You can see one of the videos that inspired the build here:

Here's a great photo showcasing one of the finished costumes:
Sith Acolyte at Celebration Anaheim

For more photos and details showing how it was made, read on...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

August UFO Sightings in the Workshop

A couple of weeks ago I finished up a major, super-secret project.  Here's the crew with some of the finished pieces:

As I mentioned, it's super-secret.  Hence the pixelating.

Anyhow, after the dust had settled, it was time to clean up the workshop:

It was a daunting task, but it worked out okay in the end:

As often happens over the course of such cleanings, I managed to find all sorts of cool stuff I'd almost forgotten about.  So I managed to snap a few pics of this month's UnFinished Objects.

First off, there was the prototype flametrooper helmet replica I'm making based on the upcoming Episode 7 of Star Wars.  I molded it:
Mothermold 2nd Half

Then I cast and painted a copy. Here's the Lady Shawnon trying it on:
Flametrooper Test Fitting

It looks good, but then again she makes anything look good:
Flametrooper Shawnon

On the subject of prototypes, I've also been tinkering with a Judge Dredd (2012) helmet:
DREDD helmet smooth

There's a lot of helmets kicking around the shop. Here's the "mostly clone trooper" shelf:

There's a War Machine helmet there.  Clearly it's an escapee from the "mostly Marvel helmets" shelf:

There's also a few things I've finally gotten off of the back burner now that I've got a minute.  These are projects that will be used to illustrate a how-to book I'm writing.  Such as this helmet:

I'm also going to be disassembling this heater in order to build a compact vacforming machine:

There's a whole host of other things tucked away in the various corners as usual.  Each more fascinating than the last.

Stay tuned.  I'll get to them sooner or later...

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Giant Outlet in Downtown Petaluma

A while back I was busy doing something, close to nothing, but different than the day before when I received an email from the wife of a local artist which asked the seemingly simple question, "can you build a large, fiberglass outdoor sculpture?"

I replied that I could, but I'd need a lot more information.  How large is large?  Where is it going outdoors?  What kind of budget do I have to work with?  That sort of thing.

We ended up having a brief phone conversation before I was introduced to Joel Jones of Basal Ganglia Studios, who presented me with this concept sketch:


That's a Photoshopped image of an historical building downtown next to an electrical power substation.  Basal Ganglia had been funded to add a sculptural installation to the side of the building.  My role: fabricate a giant rendition of a household electrical outlet with a cord plugged into it and leading into the ground.

No problem.

I had a few other projects in my queue ahead of this one, but once I'd started, it took a few weeks, a whole lot of fiberglass, and a few hundred pounds of steel to end up with this:

For more details and photos of how it was made, read on...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Building the Trophy for the 2015 EVOLVE Proving Grounds Tournament

Back in late May I got an email from my friends at 2K Games asking me if I'd had any time or interest to work on a trophy for their upcoming Proving Grounds tournament.  Within a few minutes we were on the phone discussing it.

The total timeline from green light to completion?  Two weeks!  Here's the end result:


To see how it all came together, read on...