Sunday, May 01, 2011

This Month's Project: Horse Legs

 Been about a two months since I decided to build a horse. After much time of not trying, I made some progress. I've finished drafting up plans for the legs and am happy with the overall status. No point posting plans since you will never want to build these. I also still have no plans for the neck and head so far.

The leg system is largely unchanged from other endeavors: 16 card thick hinge pieces with screws.I should be using larger fasteners, but I still have a good stockpile of parts remaining. Only difference is the overall larger size of each component, and less modular nature. What you see here is a sense of how many cards were destroyed to build the horse's legs. Quite a bit this time. A set of forelegs and hind legs used 22 sheets of 4 card stacks, for a total of 88 cards. Already close to my original arbitrary goal of 300 cards. I ruined one part due to drawing errors, adding eight more cards to development costs. Sixteen cards were used to build the templates, with four being scrapped. That brings up the total expenditure (including the four used in development two months ago) to 116 cards used. In case there's any doubters that I am not using basic lands, and am, in fact, using crap commons, here's some of the templates used to build the legs:

 Good old crappy Ice Age. Seems that I accumulated a stack of oddly glossier Ice Age cards. I never liked them due to their odd finish that ruined and came off easier than the regular coat and used them for templates. Turns out that they were sort of uncommon in print run, but nothing worth celebrating about. A glossy Pyknite is still useless.

I spent some time figuring out the leg range of motion for each part using various photos and references. I'm probably off by a good margin, but I have the general movement mapped out. If you're interested, you're better off buying a book on horse anatomy (which I didn't), or studying one properly (which I didn't). My measurements aren't the most reliable. 

The most important parts of the project are the legs, neck, head and, for a lack of a better term, chassis. Everything else will be freehanded like the camel, and skinned with a coat of card, hopefully. Right now, it's going to be a horse made of scaffolding. 

This is where the horse currently stands. The joints can be tightened enough to allow me to do this, and hopefully retain this pose with additional weight from the rest of the horse's body. As a test of joint strength, I added some test mass to the neck region to give a good estimate on what to expect. What better to simulate the mass of 60 more magic cards than someone made of about 60 Magic cards?

Hotaru proved that the hinges need a lot of tightening. I could stack the Heavy on the front and provide a more rigorous test. I had some difficulty keeping the rear legs angled correctly with just Hotaru, and it will be trickier once there's more mass to work with. I'll have to readjust the center of mass once I develop the head, much like the camel. 

It'll probably be a while before I figure out the neck and head components. Until now, it's a glorified barricade horse. I now have a good idea of how crazy of a size this thing is going to be, fully built.

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