Tuesday, December 11, 2012

O Positive Daddy

As a boy, I once asked my father what the "O positive" stood for on his dog tags.  He answered, "O positive is the blood type of real men!".  I thoroughly enjoyed this revelation.  It was pretty cool, but more importantly, I'm O positive.  However, some revelations did not flatter.

For example, my late great old man would accuse me and I quote, " You treat your friends better than your family!".  I recall scoffing at his observation because somehow my omnipresent mind trumped his empirical assets.  First, it's nearly impossible to quantify "better" but I respect my father's keen senses. Therefore I trust his measure. Admittedly, assessing the treatment of my immediate family relative to my friends was not a priority, at least not to my adolescent self.

So why the disparity between valuing the respect of friends and that of family? Actually, the explanations are apparent and forgivable.  However, perpetuating this behavior well into adulthood is unforgivable.  Well, that's not entirely true, is it? Forgiveness appears abundant in dealings with family. Well behaved friends rarely breach their relationships' tolerances in lieu of the promised forgiveness that blood regularly affords.

So if forgiveness is not readily promised amongst friends, the better behavior is more a symptom of preservation than a sign of greater respect.

Perhaps my father witnessed this phenomena and not a warped sense of priorities. However the fact remains that my father spotlighted an issue that should not be acceptable. Blood demands more respect and consideration because of its capacity for forgiveness, not the inverse.

Dad, I miss you & all the insights that we will never get to share.  But I promise to share them with others. So my friends, kiss my arse. Will you forgive me?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waxy is the new Sexy.

Infinity Sea Turtle Lockets

Perfume or Photo Carrier?
 Wax has been fantastic in executing these whimsical pieces.  So I'm excited about this mediums potential in future products. 

So my beetle (old pipe reference) has indeed turned into a herculean task, so I'm taking a break by revisiting earlier projects. I'm still not satisfied with the Trojan Turtle's design in terms of sturdiness, however it has provided exciting design tangents. A turtle dragon has been a fun experiment that may lead to a larger version. Ultimately these experiments are revealing the resin's potentials and limitations. However, I still feel as if I'm observing fragments of deliberate design amongst a hot mess, glimpses here and there, as if I'm clumsily combining components because they are shiny. It's still quite early, so I am just naive enough to believe these concerted efforts will reveal all of the "fill-in-the-gaps to keep it moving" - motivated design decisions.

Shine on your crazy diamonds.  Shine on.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Resin Is King Series 2

What's this?  For me it's the chance to mingle with prime talent & skill, osmosis some of that magic, moonwalk as a resin devouring caterpillar, & blossom into a resin crapping butterfly. 

Alas Benny Kline of the illustrious Tenacious Toys explains it like no other.  Thank you Benny Kline, Dead Hand Toys, & Golden Ticket Eric Nocella Diaz.

Tenacious Toys in conjunction with Dead Hand Toys announces Resin is King
Series 2: a blind-boxed resin mini figure series featuring the sculptural
resin work of 16 artists! Each artist was asked to develop a new sub-3"
resin sculpt and submit 10 pieces to the series using that sculpt. With
160 pieces in Series 2, this promises to be a much bigger release than
Series 1.

We even worked with our good friend Lisa at Kidrobot: the KRNY store will
host the Resin is King Series 2 release party on October 4th from 6-8pm!
Many of the artists will be there in person to sign their pieces, and
there will be exclusive and highly-limited prints by some of the artists
available for purchase. Blind boxes and full, sealed 16-pieces cases/sets
of the RIKS2 BBs will also be available, and we'll be hiding a Golden
Ticket in one of those blind boxes that will get the lucky winner a sweet
prize from Argonaut Resins! On October 5th, any leftover Resin is King
Series 2 blind boxes will be put up for sale online at TenaciousToys.com.


The idea for the Resin is King blind box series was born out of an
interest in artisanal resin collectibles. Brian Ahlbeck (Dead Hand Toys)
and I decided last year that we wanted to shine a light on the top-level
craftsmanship and creativity of resin figures and the artists that make
them. We made a few phone calls and Resin is King Series 1 was born. Now
for Series 2, we've expanded to reflect the wide variety of resin figures
being produced day in and day out. We're always really excited as we
prepare for these releases because every single WIP shot that rolls in is
a brand-new sculpt! We hope you dig these resin figures as much as we do.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dragon Repeating Crossbow Ring's Summer Evolution

In my quest to bring fruition to a creation that arguably adds little to no value to the advancement of mankind, I'm pleased to share the stages & the results of my Dragon Repeating Crossbow.

In stage one, version one worked occasionally.  However, repeatedly tinkering to get the arrows aligned for ejection was not the intended meaning of "Repeated" in the crossbow's title.  So, the chamber was expanded & polished and the trigger mechanism was completely reworked.  Initially, the two edges of the hinge that connected the arrow chamber (dragon head & neck portion) to the ring base would lift & release the rubber band which in turn propelled the arrow.  However, precision in construction was sacrificed in consideration for ease of assembly.  This in turn created wiggle room which allowed the two edges to release the rubber band out of sync. This created misfires and inconsistent propulsion power.

Upon determining the culprit for the sub par performance, I gleaned what the Chinese had done so only 2500 years ago.   I adopted their original push peg trigger solution and thus added another element of ancient tech to my dragon repeating crossbow.  This solution eliminates misfires and inconsistent propulsion power.  The initial decision to deviate from this simple yet solid trigger system was based on my design's structure.  At the scale I wanted to execute & the current configuration, certain sections would become too fragile to accommodate the inclusion of a push peg.  That fragility was also at a particularly stress laden section of the crossbow near the rear axle of the chamber.

Version 1 (on lt.)  Version 2 (on rt.) with push peg

So an extensive redesign was required to utilize the push peg trigger & retain a solid robust structure.  These images show version one & the redesign (Version Two) side by side.  Version two fired with power and consistency if the firing rate was very slow & controlled.  However, upon the elimination of one culprit, a masked culprit revealed its true self.  Part of the redesign of version one involved the addition of a rear chamber lip to prevent arrows from getting lodged & thus blocking the rubber band from reaching the rear notch.  It also included the deeper setting of said notch toward the rear of the crossbow.

Version 1 (on lt.) reps original trigger design w/o push peg.  Version 2 (on rt.) with push peg.

  I imagined that these adjustments would resolve my issue with jumbled arrows within the chamber.  While the trigger fired fine, arrows were not settling into the firing groove at the base of the chamber.  I had hoped that gravity alone would align the arrows.  I also believed expanding the chamber would facilitate the settling of my arrows into the firing groove.  My thinking was not flawed, it just couldn't observe the second main culprit to disrupt my crossbow's function.

It turned out that this culprit was the additional vectors of energy from the rubber band.  As the rubber band traveled back into the notch before release and fire,  said rubber band was twirling.  As the rubber band has a squared cross section, these edges would collide & dislodge my arrows within its the firing groove.  This would sporadically impact my arrows during the cocking & firing motions.  On occasion the added vectors would flip or even expel my arrows out of the top of the chamber.  This would occur frequently during the firing motion disrupting the following shot.  In effect, one would experience a jam & have to remove & reload.

This was not acceptable, so plans to design a barrel clips & or banana clips to increase ammo capacity were painfully complicated by the solution.  Version three would in short require a tiny little finger within the chamber to hold the arrows in place & set them consistently within the firing groove.  This finger would in essence be a tiny pendulum approximately the size of my arrows but with twice to triple the mass.  It would sit on top my arrows and counter the rubber band's added vectors, & this pendulum would swing down on top of each arrow to settle it into the firing groove.

Version 2 (on lt.)  Version 3 (on rt.) with Pendulum atop of full chamber of arrows

Testing make shift pendulums with version two immediately eclipsed past performances & reintroduced long since abandoned lofty ambitions.  Consistency, speed & fun improved immensely & the journey to why seemed answered at least fleetingly so.  All these improvements, shifted the balance of functionality & aesthetics back toward function as I envisioned epic skirmishes of tiny arrowed finger warriors throwing down well just about anywhere.  I Increased the size of his horns to provide more finger traction during firing motion.  And to provide more finger traction during the cocking motion I modified the fluid symmetry of the spinal hair on the rear.

Enuff said time for video.

Get your Projectile Spitting Dragons here:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mix-tape Assassin & other Confiscated Goodies: Beginnings

I once had this cassette tape crossbow ( cassette - you know those rectangular modular music storage devices that proceeded the 8-track)  that launched tiny arrows made from q-tips wrapped in clear scotch tape for weighted heads and invisible tail fins.  Even when I was observed as the general source of the assaults, my inconspicuous cassette and invisible arrows left no compelling evidence of my truly sinister nature.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha, that's right Ms. Warner, you almost had me, & believe the statutes of limitation have run out.  Anyway, my repeating crossbow ring is similar in concept, however instead of hidden in plain sight, it will daze, confuse, & blind would-be party poopers with its sculpted facade.  The following are updated pics.  Absorb. (By the way that crossbow cassette played musical awesomeness of the Jackson 5)  Thanx Michael, R.I.P.

I desire a robust piece, so the rear axle diameter will double or triple, all elements that will be exposed to stress & fatigue will be re-enforced.  This ring now stands on its own, a feature that will be standardized on more future designs.

The spinal ridge hair not only facilitates standing, but ammo carriage as well.  I will consider added bolt carrying capacity.

Worked the texture & details.  Debating whether to add pupils or not.  I like the blind/all seeing look or non directional nature of the eyes though I'm not exactly sure as to why.  Much more surface attention is required & then after initial casting, the adjustments for live action mid class distraction satisfaction.

The two issues that irk me are the arrow flights & the arrow jostling in the chamber.  Both can attributed somehow to the elastic power source.  Squared rubber bands tend to twist during cocking and create added vectors in power which appear to alter arrow flight behavior & the occasional jumbling of how the arrows align within the chamber.  A rounded less powerful rubber band seems to have decreased such incidents, but the properties of the wax also impact behavior, so all of this mute until the results can be observed in the final medium of resin.

So now that I've weaved the illusion that I have sense & that this project will be available to the masses soon, may the teasing torture of want & unsolicited expectations reveal your heart's true desire.

UPDATE:2.14.2014.  This singular piece of functioning sculpture is available here:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Inga the Ironbelly Dragon Joins the Family

Dragon number two, is a very distinct departure from the first dragon.  All that I've gleaned from # Uno, has been applied to # Dos.  Detail, asymmetry, texture, etc, etc.  Inga is a cold cast though, I've sgnificantly decreased the amount to aluminum powder due to viscosity issues & to preserve strength.  Two-Claw was a metallic fill because I saw little solution toaddressing distinct flashing seams.  Clean up meant no visible evidence with Two-Claw.  Inga  seams can be seen however their placement limits they invasive nature & the polished metallic finish is worth the compromise.  I hope you enjoy Inga as much as I do.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hinged upon the Hinges! Knuckle Duster Ring Update.

  The hinge solution works so enuff said.  Insert eyeballz here;

I'm pleased with the progress, & desire a sort of a universal base ring that can utilize an slide-on locking palm pack slash cartouche thinger-me-bobber-esque component.  Tis only a matter of time.  Danka.

UPDATED:  2.14.2014.  The Hinge Solution requires reinforcement, however this adjustment creates warping.  Until that warpage can be contained, this concept remains in limbo.  Adapting this concept has lead to the full realization of the transforming Xenomorph Brass Knuckle Ring as you can see here:

Two-Finger White Dragon Ring

Some more detailing, more contrast, right wing design decisions, most likely no chain & either a semi translucent pearl-ish color but more likely an opaque silver to avoid the loss of details.  Shall we see.
UPDATE:  2.14.2014.  I love the body and wing details, so I'll build on this double ring with a new head to compliment!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Path of Orion; Folding Brass Knuckle Ring

The Blue Print

Folded Brass Knuckle Ring

Unfolded Once to a double finger ring/ two finger duster

Completely unfolded, Vampire Bat

Knuckle Up!

Worn Vertically here. 
Cleaned, crisper, & studded crystals on multiple surfaces, constellations & functional applications.  Not too gaudy.  But will my hinge solution work out?  I'll know in about 20 hours.  I'll address the final finishing as well & post images.

UPDATE: 2.14.2014.  A reinforced textile hinge evolved from this project to create my current Xenomorph Series.  Time will tell if that solution can be applied back here, but the meantime, grab the fruits of this adventure here:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dragon's Test Fire

Ok, so it's far from perfect, but it's getting there.  Footage is a week old so the following images reflect both functional and aesthetic adjustments.

As soon as I get her into resin, then I can be aggressive with functional adjustments.   Ha haaaa.  Peace.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dragon Crossbow Version 2.0

So I realize that I trapped myself with a design solution so early on that it stone walled me into some undesirable results.  I wanted a portion of the dragon body to be both a beautiful extension of the dragon and a lever mechanism to cock and fire the tiny bolts.

Version 1.0  with Rear body as a lever

Version 1.0, Big & Bulky on any Finger.
I failed to be convincing and felt cumbersome.  I tried twists and turns, texture and even ripped arms.  Wasn't happening, so, I got rid of the lever mech all together.  I figure at this scale, the need for leverage is mute and the new shotgun cocking action is almost as sweet as air drumming/ guitaring to one's favorite jamz.

Version 2.0, No Body lever, tighter, & meaner
Version 2.0 Extended Arms gone, replaced with asymmetric coiling.
Then there was my dilemma with ammo/ bolt capacity.  If a repeater couldn't hold more than three bolts, well that's pretty lame.  This meant a taller body and more bulk.  Not likey, so I went diagonal, maybe got more two or three more bolts in the chamber, adding more angles and interest and concealment with minimal bulk.  Who knows maybe add-on clips will dramatically increase that capacity to harness the repeating crossbow's full potential in the future.
Version 2.0, Diagonal Bolt Chamber.

Speaking of bolts, how will I come by them suckers.  During my Jr. highschool crossbow making dayz, I discovered q-tips made excellent arrows, especially those plastic hollow tube types.  Cut them to fit the chamber and weight the front tip with wax, dirt, boogers whateva, and viola, clouds of boltz blotting out the heavens.  Now I believe the distinction btwn arrows and bolts are length and tail feathers to stabilize flight.  Boltz are less accurate and meant for shorter range incursions.

When considering propulsion, resin may not have the properties to behave like laminated wood, but even wood at this scale is ineffective.  A vitruvian design some 3000 years old utilized twisted twine for slinging inflexible arms to propel arrows.  Been there, done that, but no real power at size twice as big. So I kaiboshed the extended arms for asymmetric coils to accommodate the simple tried and true rubber band.
Version 2.0 Coils left and right will track a rubber band to the dragon's hands (anchors)
So, not including rubber band and boltz, there will be four pieces to this design.  Dragon head Chamber, Ring bottom, and the two rear axle piece (chain link-esque).  Here's hoping that the test firing phase won't disappoint.  Of course that won't happen until they're cast in resin.  Peace.