Ten blogs old today. Dont worry, the end is in sight......its just really far away. This week I finally get a chance to show you some progression!
After already making a set of chest armour that was too small &, for me, visually unsatisfying I was now to re-sculpt a new improved version that would not only look better but also might actually fit someone bigger than a gnome. By now I'd had several weeks to rethink my approach to the design & was ready to go. As our lifecasting sessions had ended in disaster I was to use the Frankenquin as a base to model the armour on to. Frankenquin is strange to behold - at first he seems like a normal mannequin but upon closer inspection......he's all over the shop. Jobin had decided that they wanted their armour to be 6 ft 2 tall. Dunno why the extra 2 inches are there but they are. We'd had the discussion countless times of how if I sculpt it to a specific scale then they would have to find people of the same size to go in it. I say people & not person as SIX suits were now on order. One was giving us enough of a kicking! So 6ft 2 then. The photo of the maquette I had done was projected onto the wall at the correct size. I then drew round this (with more success than Robin) & I now had a reference image at the correct scale providing me with all my measurements....well most of them. I had the maquette with me too & a clear image in my head of what I was doing. I set to work. And then stopped to take Frankenquins torso off his legs as it turned out that not only was he anatomicly bizarre but he was incapable of not swinging around like a Weeble. Obviously under normal conditions this problem would have been rectified with some form of bracing. However I was hidden away in a room I wasn't supposed to be in so my only option was to place a microwave on a table & set Frankenquins torso down on top of the microwave. This put his body at the right height for me to work on. And he didnt rock around as much.
I can't really be arsed to go off into tangent details today but basically the workshop was like Clapham Junction. Jobin was using it as a mini production office so was constantly jabbering on the phone & bringing people in to organise help with set building & stuff. It was distracting to say the least. I just stuck my headphones on & got on with it. Though had to stop every 20 minutes or so to be introduced to another sci-fi buff who was here to help with the film. Although it was a bit of a pain for me it actually helped Jobin out in a way as basically as soon as you walked into the room it was dominated by the sculpture. It got people excited in the way that geeks & nerds like me do when they see something errrmmmmm.......cool Basically. Therefore they were more inclined to work for free.
So without further delay. Ladies & Gentlemen (is anyone even reading this?) I give you the second sculpture of the PROPER armour. Well the chest & backpack at least. And the helmets on it too. Ooohhh yeah!! Its got a shoulder light too. 'Cos their state of the art vision helmets dont work in the dark remember? Behold!
He's starting to look pretty cool even if I do say so myself. As you can see he's been beefed up somewhat. Its interesting to note (to me anyway) how small the mannequins torso is underneath. Having the helmet as a reference was a massive help as although I had all the measurements I needed scaled up on the wall, this helped me get a feel for where everything should be & informed certain choices with regards to form & mass etc (pass the wine). I placed clips into the sculpt on the shoulders & on both sides. This meant that once the moulding & casting was done I could simply fit them back in enabling the front & the back to lock together. A recessed area was cut out to place the light in. Its just a wind up torch that we found in the shop that looked kind of sci-fi-ish. Downside is they now need to buy 5 more & they cost £25 each. Quite a sting when youv'e got no money! Anyway. All in all a successful sculpture. Im happy with it & it does the job. Again I wish I'd had more time to do it in, this took 3 days or so but once more we found ourselves only being able to mould it at a certain time as we were using the college's facilities. Without getting noticed! That never happened. Jobin got his dates mixed up & it turned out that the college workshop was shut. We would have to mould him in the studio. The fumes would have the students of Leeds dropping like flies. Oh well.
Paul & I moulded the sculpture with little fuss. We'd decided that although we could probably get away with making the mould in the studio there was no way we'd be able to cast out 6 suits without someone noticing. Fibreglass is horrible smelly itchy stuff that can kill you very slowly. There was no extraction in the room - you can't even open the windows! Paul took the mould home to cast out a chest in his mums garage. He'd rather get bollocked by his mum than risk a serious telling off from some health & safety dude possibly leading to legal action & all manner of needless shit. It would be too crowded with both of us so I went home & awaited the photos of Paul in armour. I started to think about the rest of the suit & how it was going to be done. The next thing to do would be the arms & quite importantly the shoulder pads.
The next day after a mild panick regarding thinking he's got the cast stuck in the mould, Paul emailed me his pictures. It was looking cool. We've put alluminium filler powder into the fibreglass so that when you buff it with some wire wool it starts to look metallic. Its not fully done here but he only did it a bit as we knew that works anyway. What we wanted to know was: Does the fucking thing clip back together properly? Yes! Good. Not only that but, as I had planned, the shape & size of the armour gave Paul no choice but to stand up straight with his arms slightly out & back giving him a kind of wrestler stance (for want of a better term). Even a skinny bloke looked quite hard. We were quite excited & were eager to get on with the next phase. I, the arms & shoulders. Paul, THE PLASMA CANNON!!
Later that day we were both to recieve an email from Jobin that made us go "Eh??". We were all going for a trip to Bolton to buy some motorcycle armour. Oh yeah, we also had about a month to finish everything. Jobin had a schedule!!! Much coffee was sprayed in shock.
- The emergency plan I came up with in January is instigated
- We spend ages in some womans house trying on motorcycle body armour
- Paul makes a really heavy gun
- Only skinny people will fit in the armour but they're not strong enough to lift the gun
Till the next time,