Tuesday 10 October 2017

Jabberwock Pt.30: The Devil in the Details...

With the main parts of the sculpture built, it was time to go a bit mad at the last minute with the small details which would 'make' the final piece, most of which were added after it was built on location.  These would be sourced from all over the place, starting with the unusual source of a dead, very dead, laminator from work.

Having melted a sheet of plastic around its innards in a bizarre mechanical suicide, I took it apart forensically with screwdrivers to try and mend it, realised it was beyond saving, then took it apart (rather less forensically) with a mallet.

The result being lots of lovely lovely cogs, gears, rollers, and other gubbins.

I wanted a Rocking Horse Fly as if it was a pet attached to the machine, so laser-cut on from a piece of scrap perhaps the smallest one I have ever made...

Mounted in a plastic jar with a new, custom-made lid.

And attached to the machine.

With the plan to have the 'eyes' from lamps, and with railway lamps being prohibitively expensive, I turned to the scrap bin at work, and some wooden boxes made by, and abandoned by, some of our year 9's.  Some bodging later, and the addition of some plastic funnels for lenses (with old car headlamp bulbs inset, and they made a passable lamp.

Painted white and mounted on the head, they had the right effect.

Name plates were knocked up from more scrap on the laser cutter at work late one night- the thing had to look like a 'real' road locomotive originally, so works plates, name plates, and number plates were quickly designed and cut out.

"Fyrdraca" was chosen as the name, as it cropped up in an old book of the Anglo-Saxon languages and roughly translates as Fire Dragon, which seemed appropriate.  The graffiti on the hull is assumed to have been painted on by the creatures who have found, and are controlling the machine; I liked the idea of the cards, representing the Queens Guards who have been killed by the machine, the symbols on the hull akin to the kill marks pilots used to paint on the sides of their warplanes.

Plate showing the 'owner' of the machine (in a nod to the Century Survey steampunk project I did), and the vehicle number; 42 of course, because I am a massive Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy fan.

The builders plate, a nod to where the sculpture was built in real life...

One of the 'claws' made from mechanical odds and ends found in the workshop.  The original plan to have these as tree branches didn't quite work out, as the groundskeepers at Rydal Hall had done a very efficient job on the formal gardens of keeping it all tidy, and I didn't have time to go hunting around in the woods for a suitable bit when I was there on the day...

The chain had two purposes; it both looked like an authentic part of the crane, and also helped as an extra layer of security for the head and neck, in addition to the various bolts, nuts, hinges and so on.  My main regret is that the original chain, carefully left outside to rust and weather naturally over the winter, got nicked.  So the replacement from B&Q was far too shiny...

The chimney was made from two lengths of guttering, and a lot of ply and scraps.

The controls were very much a freelance interpretation, mainly made from paint/playdoh pots and odd lengths of dowel, but then they wouldn't really be seen so just needed to hint at their presence.

I liked the idea of the vehicle 'crew' having kept trophies from the people who had come up against it, and these were mostly sourced from poundshops or the scrap-tool bin at work.

The sword stuck in it is a nod to the poem which inspired it all.

The notorious cowcatcher, buried (not very subtly, I admit) to hide the supporting plate a bit.

The monster in place.  Seen from a distance, its slightly-underscale appearance wasn't too obvious.

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