Sunday, 5 April 2009

Robot Legs

I'm working on making the legs separately so that I can construct them in a way that enables them to move. Although the robot is in a wheelchair and given the design of the character his legs are not able to support his body weight, I would still like to give the hip and knee joints some moveability for the purpose of animating.

I laser cut the shape of the top half of the leg and using milliput and wire I sculpted a design on top. For the knee ball I sculpted this from milliput and for the lower leg I used wooden dowel and sculpted on the end to make feet. I then made silicone moulds of all these separate componants and cast them in metal powders.

Wheelchair Development

Previously I was going to use dark leather to make the seat of the wheelchair, however this is not in keeping with the illustration of the character, therefore I brought a leather bag from a charirty store which was the right colour and I am using this instead.

I started by padding the seat with some foam and using superglue to stick the leather to the chemiwood chair.

Once I had finished covering the chair in leather, I have used copper plated tacks to represent upholstery pins, running along the inner edge of the front face of the chair. In order to hide the seams of the leather and to make the wheelchair look more authentic I wanted to create a rim along all the outside edges using brazing rod. However it proved too difficult to bend the rod into the shape I needed for it to butt nicely without leaving gaps. Therefore I have instead used rolled out lengths of milliput to do this, which I will then sand back and paint to give a metal effect.

Casting the Robot

I have now cast the robot in a combination of aluminium and iron metal powders with fast cast resin. I used a 50:50 ratio of fast cast to metal powders. The metal powders were made up from equal amounts of iron and aluminium. This is so I can get a shine to the robot but also rust it.

In order to fit the ball and socket joint of the neck in to give the robot head movement, I had previously created a recess for it to sit in. After gluing the joint into place in the recess I covered it over with milliput and painted resin over the top for it to join seamlessly with the rest of the robot.

Below is the final cast, which I will then work on sanding down and rusting. My next step is to add the leg componants.