After a weekend away from the studio I should have come back recharged, well I was and wasn’t, after burning the candle at both ends this past evening. I did come back eager to work and have still made some decent progress on a new set of pieces.
For at least one scene (with a little help from green screen too) I’ll be combining a number of elements to create an image of spaceships parked in a desert of buttes. Viewed from my John Ford point piece. It’s going to take some work to pull it off. I’m thinking that it maybe combination of two still images when you see the shot that I have in mind.
Before I even get there I need to make those buttes that the spaceships sit amongst. Originally I had the idea of having a banner on the base of these pieces. The first piece had striped back cardboard to reveal a layer of exposed ply, really flexible too. I wanted to create a mound and wrap to create a texture. It wasn’t sitting well for me. I removed it to add some strips of cardboard and wrap up again, banner going back on and seeing how it looks.
I asked another artist in the studio for their opinion, they confirmed my suspicion, the banner had to go, which honestly wasn’t a bad thing. It just shows that your first idea isn’t always the best one to go with. You have to keep going until you get something that works.
So far I have 2 and 1 more under construction, I’m hoping that ten will be enough. Using cut up tubes of varying heights to create the basic shape I build up and out slightly before wrapping it up. I’ll probably add another tone to balance them out. Looking at what I have they look good. Part of me thinks I’ll need more, only time will tell though.
My last update before a well deserved break from the studio. After working 3 days straight and a busy week away from the studio I need to stop and reflect, recharge before returning to work on something new from the list.
I did however leave after completing all 8 gun towers, the aim of the day was to just add all the remaining detail that I wanted to add to the pieces. This was/is to suggest that there’s some bulky internal workings that allow these gun towers to operate. I think I’ve achieved that around at the rear and sides of the set of 8 pieces. I stopped with the side plates which increased the overall widths of the pieces.
Looking at them set up with the slaughter-house where they will be used primarily, they suit the function they’re built for. I can see that more are required, sadly I don’t have enough cardboard tubes to add a further 2-4 pieces that I think would complete the scene. On my return to the studio I will look at the remaining 8 pieces that still need to be made up, some will be just extras of what I already have, whilst others will completely new pieces. The end of the making seems to be insight now. I need more cardboard for a few pieces. I may even do some more revisions to the plot, so a 5th draft maybe written. Otherwise I could be painting in a few months.
Time seems to be going rather fast at the moment. I don’t whether that’s due to my work rate in the studio or away from it, it just seems to be going faster right now. It shows in the studio at least with the rate that I am working on my latest pieces, the gun towers which are nearing completion already.
The day began by making up the actual gun that sits inside the casing, which took some time to measure correctly. Ultimately they are longer in length than the prototype. It’s not a bad thing really, if anything it adds to the imposing nature of the pieces. It did however have a knock-on effect to the front of the casing which had to be redesigned to consider the new length of the gun. The height has also changed, as much as I wanted them to be as close to the prototype they have become another set of their own. They have grown from the original design and have multiplied.
A positive of the change of design, my fault entirely, they are all uniform, ready for more detail to be added next time I’m in the studio, it won’t be much, just something to make them look more bulky and too suggest that theres some mechanics under the casing that generates the laser.
Today’s focus has been on the gun towers which I made a start on last time in the studio. At that point I had only made the basic tower where the gun would be sitting. Making sure that the top rotated as well before I left them for the day. I also made up the replacement false barricades for their respective entrances.
I came into the studio knowing that I was more than likely be going into mass-production of the gun towers. Starting with what’s become the prototype piece. It looks pretty vicious once I pieced the actual gun together. I then fixed the unit in place and began to build up around it. It looks pretty simple but should be lethal when I add a laser beam in post-production.
Happy with the prototype I then moved into production, making a start on 8 new pieces, using thinner cardboard tubes (I’ll have 9 & 10 when another tube comes my way). It’s a slow process cutting multiple circles out before building them up, which took very little time in comparison.
I’ve already decided that I’m going to expand on the design that surrounds the actual gun. It’s going to be a lot of flat-pack style pre-cutting before I make them all up. I’m excited how fast they’ve come along already. Even more I can’t wait to see how the test footage looks.
It’s been a short day in the studio, doing just what I needed before breaking for the rest of the day.
It’s still about the finishing touches, which began with the mountain top with a few strips of the darkest brown paper. Using it sparingly to emphasise the raised features. I feel that this piece is just about done now.
This has allowed me to focus on the gold mine entrances – the framework of the entrances has begun to take shape …again, getting out the balsa in what feels like a good few months really, having put it down last when the cross-section was completed.
Now that these pieces are all reaching a point where they are completed again I can begin work on a new piece. Originally I wanted to constructed a fence that was essentially a forcefield. The more I thought about this I new that my design, or my thoughts on the design were still beyond me. So during a rewrite of the plot I took that all out and have replaced them with gun towers that I hope will have the potential to animate. It will be a matter if translating the sketch to reality, a simple design that I can replicate and create a presence again. I know there will be some trial and error involved to get the design right before it’s going to be right. Part of me again is not looking forward to it all, yet I know it’s a challenge to make something more complicated again. During this time I will still have to make up a false barricade for both entrances
It’s been a day of purely painting with paper today, sometimes it just good fun to be playing with material to build up an object to bring it to life. Away from the fascinating work of actually constructing a piece, the finishing touches really make it come together.
I’ve been working on four pieces today and all of the are nearing completion. The gold mine entrances have had an extra toe added. Along with my John Ford Point, which is just about finished now, I daren’t do any more for fearing that I will spoil it.
What has taken up most of my time has been the rock formation, which has almost been completed now. With the base slightly altered before being covered in grey paper. I also softened the walkways, covering the rough edges which I had left last time, a little overlap has been required to make it look more visually pleasing.
All I have left to tackle with these pieces is the mountain top, which should be just a little bit of detailing. I then have to just get the balsa out for the entrances and begin work on them. Whilst they are underway I can make a start on another item on the list.
I’ve had a super productive day, painting with paper today, something I have really enjoyed, I only wish I could do more tomorrow.
I began the day by focusing on the rock formation, wrapping it up with the lighter brown paper. It was a little touch and go as I thought I would have run out of the paper, Thankfully I had just enough to do all of the walls and the raised sections. I then moved straight onto add some detail on the walk-way with the grey tone.
That was the start on the detailing that took up the rest of the day, moving between all 5 of the pieces that I have been working on. I really got into the process of tearing strips varying lengths. Knowing that as much as I try to control where the rips goes I had little control of the outcome.
So far I’ve probably added half of the detail to all the pieces. I know that the rock formation can be covered in grey paper and patches of brown in places. It’s just about finding that balance now, as I can see myself going overboard if I don’t watch myself.
Yesterday I simply forgot to document the days events in the studio. That wont happen today, I’ve finally made a start on the final rock piece that I had made previously.
I began the weekend by carrying on my work in the 1.72 scale piece, reducing the height of the mounds at the below the gold mine entrance. I didn’t want them to look out balance with the rest of the piece. I then carried onto wrap up the rest of the piece.
I then moved onto strip back and refit the 1.32 scale, making a slight modification at the bottom so it was more sturdy. It was then a matter of just wrapping it all up again. I’ve used a brighter brown paper with a hint of yellow, which I hope will be balanced out with more tones then I’ve stored up ready to add at the end to all three pieces.
Finally today was mostly spend on the rock formation which needed not so much work as it’s already quite a solid shape. Here I’ve made some drastic changes; the base has been trimmed. Whilst the extra pieces I added to cover up the print on the base were removed and either covered with a flatter piece or simply cut away. The ledge is the biggest change really, fleshing out the form. I also added whats become the standard layering of strips of cardboard to create more form around the formation. So far I’m much happier with the piece.
All I need to do now is add brown paper, I’m thinking of going with the lighter brown paper which I’ve used with the mountain top and John Ford point. Then I can start to added detail to all the pieces at the same time. Through this refit I’ve used a lot of cardboard up, really sturdy stuff too, so I know that it’s been used wisely too. I will have enough to make another line of pieces, which will be more complicated, using the same technique used for the bogies found on the trains – all will be revealed soon.
I’ve made some really good progress today in the studio, this new technique has me kicking myself, why hadn’t I used it before? I guess it’s a case of “you live and you learn”.
I began the day by making a slight change to the 1:72 scale piece, removing the mounds that I had built up and replaced with some flat pieces, based on the John Ford Point piece I made a few weeks ago now. I then moved onto focus on the mountain top piece, hoping that the gum-tape would hold up, which it thankfully has, allowing me to cover the piece up completely now. I’m pleased that I have a solid piece that can be used in the final outcome.
Moving back to the smaller piece for the rest of the day I added a little more detail to flesh it out before the wrapping began, using a different kind of brown paper, which is a shock to the eyes, something I’ve got to get used to.
I’ll be adding at least one more tone to balance both pieces out. I’m happier with how they are both looking now. I’ll be moving onto the larger 1:32 piece, stripping back and going through the process all over again. I’ll again be doing this to the rock formation, but not to such extremes with lengths of cardboard being added in a few places before I wrap up again. Then I shall be moving onto something completely different on the making list.
Another short day in the studio, with little time wasted as I’ve made progress on two pieces.
I began the day by making solid progress on the wrapping of the mountain top, which is about 40% covered now. I’ve even worked around some of the cracks that I thought would be difficult to work with. I then took a fellow model makers advice and used some gum-tape to work around the gaps that I had to make those areas easier to wrap around. With the help of the good weather I’ve now got a better framework to get me moving next time.
Whilst the gum-tape was drying I striped back the 1:72 scale gold mine entrance and began to fit it out with strips of cardboard, again at varying lengths to produce what looks more substantial, a lot heavier and resembling a bunch of leather sandals. I’m now at the stage where I can add a little detail before wrapping begins. I’m thinking of replacing the smaller pieces at the bottom to reflect those on my John Ford Point.
I’m much happier with how both are going and can’t wait to see the 1:32 scale piece get the same treatment. I’m even considering working on the rock-formation adding some layers and wrapping again. I really am learning through making with this piece. It’s a good thing to go back and bring other pieces up to standard. My hopes of beginning test animation are being pushed back but there’s no deadlines so it doesn’t matter. As long as I begin this year I’ll be happy.