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Posts Tagged ‘armature’

Facial detail on steampunk deer head

11 Apr

Starting to add facial details like building up the shape for eyes and nose is what I’ll talk about now. Before I added paper to “flesh out” the neck of the deer, I had put some recycled wood cross pieces in the head to widen the base. Part of the reason for this was to provide an anchor place for the eye(s). Now that I’m adding eyes, the base puts them in approximately the right place.

Cross piece for eye mounting

Cross piece for eye mounting

I had to cut a bit off the top to get the angle right, then I drilled a hole in the cross piece for a wooden dowel, glued that in, then did the same on a wooden half-sphere I had lying around. When I say “lying around”, I mean it. My wife kinda gets ticked off because I have so much “stuff” I collect for parts. The sphere piece was in a bag of random wooden shapes I bought quite awhile ago, on sale at a craft store for a couple bucks. You never know when stuff is going to come in handy! I base coated the sphere black and glued it in place.

Base coated "hemisphere" in place

Base coated “hemisphere” in place

Later, I can build the structure around the “eye” that will be the brow and cheek of the deer on this side. Right now, I want to add thickness and substance to the “real” antler. Once I do that, I’ll be able to finish smoothing out the “skin” on the rest of the head and neck.

Adding substance to the "real" antler

Adding substance to the “real” antler

More substance...

More substance…

And more substance...

And more substance…

Wrapping it up

Wrapping it up

Now, I just wrapped the antler with more masking tape to secure the paper and smooth it out a bit. I need to add shape and definition to the face and nose too, but I’ll save that for next time…

Keep your eyes peeled!

 

 

 

 

 

Adding “flesh” to the steampunk deer head

05 Apr

Now that provisions for the antlers are in place, I can start to “flesh out” the deer head. I began by filling the void areas in the wooden armature with wads of newspaper, then going over that with rolled newspaper, which I fl;attened out a bit and trimmed to fit. I taped those pieces in place with masking tape and kept building on that until the desired shape was reached, reffering often to several different photos I’d printed from the net.

Adding "flesh" to the deer head

Adding “flesh” to the deer head

More layering….

A more smoothed out look

A more smoothed out look

Once I had the basic shape I wanted, I decided to spray the “copper” antler so I didn’t have to be careful with where the paint went. I knew I’d be covering the newspaper later.

Copper sprayed antler

Copper sprayed antler

The “real” antler will wait until I start adding the actual mâché to the deer head. But for next time, I’ll add detail to the face and that will include providing a base for the eyes, both “real” and cyborg…

Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

Steampunk deer antlers

01 Apr

Now I’ll show how I constructed the antlers for the steampunk deer head. I originally wanted to make one antler look natural, while the other look like a steampunk cyborg replacement of copper pipe. The problem is, the price of copper is so high right now, that it would have cost $50 just in that small amount for the antler. I decided that I could do a good job of making PVC look like copper with only a fraction of the cost. With some research, I arrived at a design for my antlers and got to work.

The natural side would be made of papier-mâché, but would need an armature. Looking around my junk pile, I found an old rusty drill bit extender that I bent into the right shape and glued it into a drilled out hole in the deer head armature.

Bent drill bit extender as armature

Bent drill bit extender as armature

From here, I added another piece of metal rod I found, then bent into shape, and used the tightening nut on the drill bit extender to affix it.

More length added and bent into shape

More length added and bent into shape

Then, I found an old leaf rake head and removed a couple metal tines and bent them around the rods and Gorilla glued them in place as the armature for spikehorns on the antler. Great way to upcycle and repurpose some old junk!

Rake tines as spikehorns

Rake tines as spikehorns

For the pipe side, I began by drilling a hole in the wooden armature that was large enough to accomodate a threaded PVC coupler and glued and screwed in in place.

PVC coupler as anchor for pipe antler

Now the rest of the antler can be cut, shaped and glued into place.

The whole rack, ready for detailing

The whole rack, ready for detailing

Next time, I’ll show how I began adding the thickness of the flesh to the deer head and how I made provisions for the eyes. Stay tuned!

 

 

Steampunk Whitetail Deer Mount

22 Mar

If you’ve had any opportunity to attend a steampunk convention or gathering, you’ve undoubtedly seen at least a few ‘punks in their turn-of-the-century safari outfit, complete with modded weapon and pith helmet. Well, I live in Michigan, so the hunters here wear hunter orange and shoot slightly less exotic prey than lions and elephants. Here, they hunt wild turkeys, ducks, various other critters and… whitetail deer.

Some folks don’t like hunting, others don’t mind the idea but don’t have the time or experience. Whatever your position on wildlife conservation or protein food source, the image of a mounted animal head is iconic. But what if you like the look, but can’t get a mount or don’t hunt? And further, what if you’re a steampunk fan and the idea of applying that aesthetic to wildlife appeals to you?

Well, I have your answer. Steampunk Whitetail Deer!

I got the idea while talking to a lady who owns a store that sells products made in Michigan. I had showed her some things that I had done, but she thought I should do something that would appeal to someone from here. A deer came to mind as a piece of amazing paper mache art, then the idea of creating a steampunk cyborg deer popped into my head, and I was off and running…

I started by researching size and shape, since I had not actual mount to look at and measure. Based on my findings, I did a full sized sketch.

Original sketch to scale

Original sketch to scale

I knew I’d have to do a mount plaque and I’d also need a piece of sheeting for the “base” of the animal itself that would be a cross section shape of its neck. I also needed to create a way to temporarily mount that base to a stand to work from. Below is the shape and mechanism I came up with.

Base design

Base design

From here, I started cutting pieces of scrap pallet wood to rough out the shape of the neck and head of the deer. I love to use repurposed and recycled materials for my work as you know! I made sure to add a little action to the pose by putting a curve in the neck.

The assembly of the armature

The assembly of the armature

Next time, I’ll start to add dimension to the armature and figure out the antlers. Don’t go away!

 

 

 

The giraffe continues

29 Sep

Ok, since I completed the armature for the giraffe sculpture, I needed a stand of sorts to test my mounting system. I also needed something to hold it stationary while I worked on applying the mache. I build a simple x foot with a 2×4 upright. To this I bolted the hangers I made to slide the base onto. These same hangers will eventually get bolted to the wall when I’m finished with the giraffe. Obviously I had to weight the back side of the stand for balance. Here’s what the armature looks like hanging on it.

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What animals have you created art representing?