Monday, September 25, 2006

Children's Books Display - Part 12

The robot was a pleasure to make, maybe because there was no paper mache involved. It was also really simple. Here are the basic raw materials that went into its creation. As you can see, it was simply two small plastic flower pots, plastic funnels for feet, lengths of garden hose for the arms and legs, and cut coat hanger inserted into the lengths of hose to lend it support and posability. This hose/coathanger wire combination was a staple for many of the characters made for this display.

Here's the plastic flower pot that was used as the robot's lower torso. I traced the circumference of the hose onto the pot where the leg holes and arm holes needed to be, then cut them out with a utility knife. After that, the lengths of wire -stiffened hose were threaded through the holes. Now that the arms and legs were in place, I punched holes into the lips of the two pots and screwed them together, which was actually a bit more difficult than you'd think, simply because there wasn't a lot of room to work with. The funnel feet were then glued into the ends of the leg hose, though they were such a snug fit that I could have done without the glue. Four plastic spoons made of the robot's clamp-grip hands and were also glued into the arm hose ends.

The entire robot was then painted with black acrylic paint as a base coat.

I then dry brushed layers of copper, brown, yellow, and umber acrylic paint to give it that rusty look. The details were simply various pieces of round plastic, cardboard and foam that were glued on and painted. The rivets were also tiny foam circles. The antennae came from a broken plastic suction-cup tipped arrow that went to an archery toy my son had picked up a dollar store.

The oxidized rust was simply a mixture of bluish-green paint painted on. It's amazing how the paint is able to do a fair job of disguising the obvious, and basic materials that served as ingredients for this robot's body.

I also really appreciate how the natural contours of the flower pot give the illusion of the robot having a smile. I had hoped this would happen, and it was part of my original sketch, but I wasn't sure it would actually translate to 3 dimensions until I saw the robot assembled.

The antennae was painted to match the body, and a silver star was added to the chest. A fake copy of "B-9 The Hungry Metal Eater" was glued into his hand. I inserted lengths of dowel into the inside of the funnels, which I used as an anchor to screw the robot to a length of board which was screwed down to the display area. This board was masked with a synthetic green fur that I picked up at a fabric store. It made great grass.

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