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I make toys for kids who don't want to grow up. I'm on the lookout for new projects. If you're interested in commissioning me to build something ridiculous, shoot me an email.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine Build Part 2: the Backpack

Continuing on with the saga of the Space Marine build, one of the more distinguishing parts of the character is the giant backpack.  Per the in-game mythology, the backpack contains the suit's main power source, some life support systems, and a series of thrusters for mobility in zero-gravity environments.

Here's a crappy, grainy picture of one of the backpacks for the miniatures:
SM Backpack

Here's the fully assembled, full-sized version:
SM Backpack Rear

For more pics and a detailed account of the construction, read on...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Project 7332: the 2012 Bay Area Maker Faire

The verdict is in and I will be returning to the Bay Area Maker Faire again this year. 

My display last year was well received.  I was awarded not one, but two Editor's Choice ribbons:
Maker Faire Editors Choice
Since I've still got more grenades that need ribbons, this year I feel compelled to make things bigger and better.  I don't want to become known as "the Halo guy," so I'll be deploying more assorted characters than just the Halo costumes I brought last year.  Some of them will be bigger.

Much bigger.

In addition to having my costume and prop display where I'll be on hand to answer questions and describe the build processes, I'm also going to have a couple of folks at a separate booth selling some of my Combat Garden Gnomes.  Gearing up for that is becoming quite the project:
Gnome Battalion in Progress

If you're looking to see an event that blends the best parts of a science fair, an art festival, and some serious show-and-tell, make sure you head out to the San Mateo Event Center on the weekend of May 19th and 20th.  You can get advance tickets here: http://makerfairebayarea.eventbrite.com/

Now I just have to dust off the display booth, make some much-needed upgrades, finish building a few more suits, paint up some more props, and figure out all the logistics involved in getting everything on station.

The countdown on the website tells me I've got only 25 more days to get ready, so expect updates to get more and more sporadic (and possibly a bit loopy) as my deadline approaches and I start running really low on sleep.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

More Gnomes in Progress

I've been scrambling on a lot of projects these past few weeks and I've neglected the Combat Garden Gnomes for a while. That said, here's a work-in-progress of the long-awaited flamethrower gnome:
Flamethrower Gnome WIP

I'm pretty happy with how he's coming together, but I seem to have stumbled into whatever the sculptor's equivalent of writer's block. Until I figure out what it is I don't like about that one, I've been working on the Minesweeper Gnome:
minesweeper gnome rough sculpt

Not pictured just to the left of that frame is the very rough early version of the Heavy Machine Gun Gnome.

If everything goes according to plan, I should have all three wrapped up and molded by the end of the weekend.

In order to pay for the molding and casting material for these guys, I've listed yet another pile of unpainted gnomes in my etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/thorssoli.  

Get them while they're hot!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Warhammer 40,000 Space Marines: Part 1

I've been a fan of Warhammer 40K since the original Rogue Trader version came out 25 years ago.  In middle school I even got a job at a local hobby store specifically so I could afford to buy more Space Marine miniatures from the game.  Now that I've got a few skills and a respectable workshop, I've been slowly bringing parts of the game to life in between paying projects.

Years ago I sculpted out a Space Marine helmet. It was the first time I'd sculpted a helmet by hand and I made a mold so I could make more than one.  I also modded one with a skull face to look the part of the Space Marine Chaplains.  Here's a shot showing the finished ones as of sometime in May of 2011:
WH40k Helmet Family Portrait

A while back I wrote an entry about building the bolter rifle I made to go with them:

That was years ago though.  Since then, the good people at Games Workshop have released several new video games based on the Warhammer 40k universe and each one has reminded me how much I love everything about it.  After making a handful of little parts, and some prompting from my friend Matt (a.k.a. my primary project addiction enabler), I decided to take another look at building the rest of the Space Marine armor.

Notionally, we were going to crank this out as a Halloween costume for 2011.  Sadly, this project fell victim to Squid's Law.  According to David Malki of Wondermark.com, Squid’s Law states: “Things take twice as long as you expect, three times as long as you have, and four times as long as you want.” So it didn't end up getting done in time for Halloween, but there's a Halloween every year, so we just soldiered on.

Since I'm in between major projects right now, I'm finally able to focus on this build.  The problem is, working on just this one thing means I don't have any other finished work to show off.  So I'm going to break this build down into parts to share progress as it's coming along.

Here's a photo of the costume as it looks right now:
 SM Matt Test Fit Chainsword 3

If you'd like to read through the gritty details and see tons of blurry progress pictures, read on.