Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Have Chunks of Hands of Emrakul Everywhere

 I'm finally at a stage where I can put a meaningful post on progress. Work has been started on the horse's head, since there's no point building something with the body of a horse and the head that resembles a pile of mutilated Centaur Veterans.After some load testing on a mock up neck mechanism, I decided that the best option is to reduce as much weight as possible and go for a hollow head. A solid one would be too massive to support using wire bundles. Since I plan on having the skin be the backing of Magic: the Gathering cards, I'll need to make it without carving out details. Papercraft to the rescue!

 I could be progressive and use modern methods like drawing a terrible rendition of a horse using Sketchup and importing it into Pepakura, then turning it into a paper model. That method's not very fun. I'll go at it the more archaic way that uses simultaneously less and more effort.We'll be making the head using a casting!

Starting off with a base of LEGO bricks, I form the rough shape of the head, so I don't have to expend extra resources shaping a mock up horse head.

 After some quick work piling on kneaded eraser, I end up with half a horse's head. Just a half, since it's symmetrical and I can mirror the pattern for the other half.

We bust out the stripchart thermal paper and form a mold. Why stripchart thermal paper? I have rolls of it from work and no stripchart to use them in. The step is just like making a papier-mâché mask: layer strips of paper and glue it together over the object in question with reckless abandon to actual sculpting skill. The shape still needs to be close to the original sculpt, otherwise the next step is worthless. The goal is to make a thin shell of the original. 

With the shell removed off the kneaded eraser sculpt, you'll have the negative to cut and flatten to form a template. The trick is to understand how paper behaves and where the folds would likely happen. It's like peeling an orange and keeping the peel in one part. Useless for the majority of you, since you won't be making castings with playing cards. This technique is going to be the core of all the horse's construction from here on out. The resulting template gets tested out on cardstock before the final build with actual cards.

Behold, a horse's head, made out of Hand of Emrakuls. There's still slivers of them near the base. Took me five of them and a Predator's Strike to form a head, or a converted mana cost of 47! They were quite playable in retrospect, but I hate Timmy creatures.

I'm mildly happy with the results. I achieved the goal of forming a hollow horse's head. Just need to form a mount for the rest of the structure. Total costs incurred so far: 122 (6 cards used on the head) Now for some fun with a hollow horse's head, non-Godfather style.

I am Heavy Weapons Horse!

Heavy Weapons Horse is hungry!

I'm almost finished with the neck mechanism. Hopefully, by the weekend, I'll have attached the head to the neck. Or I may end up stabbing horses in Mount and Blade.

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