CHOP SHOP 3 - MORE LAB NOTES

Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM

08/07/99- Isn't this thing done yet??? (We of short attention spans are easily distracted by new toys...) Decorating the arm to look robotic is only difficult because you have so much freedom. The main parameter, besides appearance, is making sure you don't impede the articulation. But there are times when inspiration comes easy, and there are times like these... Finding decorative detail inspires some ideas, makes it go faster and it's easier than scratch building or sculpting.

I used some joining rings from model railroad refinery piping for the parts that jut out from the hinges-- it seems that robots should have this part exposed, just so you know it's there, because it makes them look more robotic. Even though the hinge pin is actually flush with the surface. The elbow "nipple" came from a model railroad street light. The upper arm piston came from a "Terminator" model, (although such a part would be easy to scratch build). The Dragon hand was probably the hardest to work with because the rubber didn't like to be engraved without forming ragged edges, and it doesn't sand down very well. I sunk some jewelry beads into the top of the hand to break up the "human" look. The other decorations are Evergreen styrene.

I sprayed the arm with primer just to see how it would look, because it's hard to get a sense of that when everything's different colored. It really needs to be puttied, cleaned up and polished before painting though. Dunno how the hand's going to take a paint job though.

08/08/99- I'm not too crazy about the square cut-out & adjoining curved design, but that's about all I could do without messing with the underlying structure which holds it together. The lower curved design is too shallow and probably needs some more work to make it look like it blends into the cut-out some more. The ribs came out okay, with the little jewelry beads at the end. I also like the way the lower cut-outs look, and the recessed detail was pure serendipity-- an artifact of the structural alterations I'd made earlier.

I haven't done anything to the boobs yet. I haven't found anything lying around which would let me experiment with the fluid-fill idea suggested by GIjOEdad, except blue and a red tinted dome-- it made her look like a police car! So I'm thinking of either letting 'em be, doing it with airbrush, or engraving/kitbashing some detailed structures to fill the clear shells up. They don't look bad as is, and I'm fighting the temptation to do something to 'em just because I can. That's the same concern that I had with the lower torso cut-out. Sometimes, simple is better, and I may go back and fill that cut-out up.


08/12/99- The devolution of the head behind the mask. I thought the original sculpt (left) looked too ghoulish, so I made it more human looking; I didn't like that either, since it looked too organic. The funky one on the right looks a lot like "The Iron Giant" or Dr. Who's "Cyberman". Obviously, it can't remain like a robotic "smiley face", but I haven't figured out where I'm gonna take it...

This is an update of the overall look. I've added a few things like the detail below the lower torso cut-out, the thigh pistons, the shoulderpads, and the boob cut-outs. The fluid-fill idea was too difficult to do, since I couldn't find appropriate parts to fit behind the shell to contain the fluid. I don't want any nasty liquid leaking!

Freehand grinding/routing deep patterns requires a fair amount of eye-hand coordination, and good control of the tool. While you can mark a template on the surface, you can't do that with the interior. Selecting the right bit is important too-- initially it doesn't matter much, since all you're trying to do is rough out the shape. If you want to get the interior surfaces fairly clean looking, you'll find yourself swapping bits frequently. Even then, the best you can hope to do is get it close, so you'll have less manual filing to do. In both cases, access and working room are often a problem. Tools always seem to be too big to get the angle you need, and the only thing you can do is try different bits or tools.

08/14/99- Good golly Miss Molly, that gal's got some balls! It gives a whole 'nother meaning to "double breasted"! Yuk, yuk. Truthfully, I'm not very fussy about the backside, but I suppose you have to put something there. I grabbed some parts from the Terminator robot, an unknown Japanese robot, and a Sherman tank. I found the automobile wiring conduit in a parking lot, and have used it a lot in this project.

Hiding the screw holes and keeping them functional is an issue. The upper torso is covered by opaque styrene, so that works out okay. The lower torso is covered by clear acetate though (to show the dorsal ribbing), and the holes are visible. I thought that by forming bumps at those spots, their function might be disguised, but I was wrong. I guess I have to do some artful blending...

 

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