New project time!
I figure John and I are far enough along now to - knock on wood - avoid the Epbot curse. (That's the one where I doom a project by mentioning it here before it's finished. :))
This will be more of a build walk-through than a tutorial, though I'm happy to answer any questions I can. It's one of the most complex things John and I have ever tackled, which is funny, considering it looks pretty simple:
Oh, did I mention?
We're building Claptrap.
Of course by "we" I mostly mean "John," though I'm helping where I can. Plus it'll be my turn to take over soon, since I get to handle all the painting and finishing. o.0
John got the lion's share of the body done in just three days, after which I think he realized just how complex this build is. So many details and funky angles! We're around the 2 week mark now, with John working at least a couple of hours a day.
First steps: scale drawings (using measurements taken from in-game screen shots) and a quick arm mock-up.
Transferring templates to wood.
Attaching inner frame.
John used an old sample board of wood stains for the inner frame, which is why it looks so pretty. :)
Block supports & thin wood laminate to make the inner curve on the front:
The laminate was actually my idea. See? HELPING.
Sliding in the bottom panel.
We decided on a hinged top panel, so we can access the insides later:
(You can also see the inner side panels coming along; those will be filled with wires & tubing later.)
John did a great job recessing the hinges, so you shouldn't see them at all once it's painted.
The eye flap is reinforced underneath with a wedge of wood cut to the same angle.
A quick mock-up of the eye, which is made from a stryofoam ball & PVC pipe:
The front wheel surround was a pain; John re-did it three times to appease a particularly demanding supervisor [smirk]:
In the supervisor's defense, now it's practically perfect.
The wheel is a used go-kart tire John ordered online - our most expensive piece so far, since we had to buy two for $45, including shipping. It's the perfect size, though, and the tread is close to Claptrap's.
The hubcaps are screwed into four wood supporting blocks inside the wheel, and the inset is a PVC threaded reducer. There's also an inflated bicycle tire in there, for padding.
I had John add an inner wooden ring to the hubcap, both to hide the joint & to better match Claptrap.
The wheel shaft and assembly is made from more PVC pipe, plus cast iron flanges John had left over from an old project:
Taking the new wheel assembly for a test spin!
Here I am starting my first attempt at cell-shading for the paint job:
Adding thick, sloppy borders on purpose is really hard for a perfectionist. Had to keep going back to mess it up a bit.
(If you're not familiar with the cell-shading look for Borderlands cosplay, here's an example:
The game has a graphic, comic book sketchy feel, with lots of heavy outlines & almost cartoony shading.)
So, after shading, highlighting, and adding some grunge:
Eh. Satisfied enough to keep going!
The struts were harder; I initially made them way too clean & realistic. I kept going back, adding more and more "sketchy" lines to really drive home the graphic cartoony feel.
For the finishing touch I made two faux screw heads from "Bead in a Bottle" paint:
(Pipe the paint onto a smooth piece of plastic or glass, let it dry completely, pop it off, and use a craft blade to make the screw-head indentation. Easy-peasy!)
Screws in place, and outlined with more black paint:
We have a wheel!!
Think I'll end there for now. Next time I'll show you guys some of the fun stuff we're doing with the front panels, which light up and are looking pretty cool, if I do say so myself. :)