Samstag, 6. September 2014

Forged Hope

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It feels like ages since I've written here the last time. Got me reasons and don't want to bore you, so I'll start right away with a step by step for the base of my Massive Voodoo Forged Hope contest.

I had an idea for the project shortly after they announced the contest. The first idea was a happy robot with a cylinder as a hat swinging around a street lantern. But then I stopped thinking about the project for some months. Just a week or two before the World Model Expo in Stresa, I was in the mood to go through with the project. So I ordered the kit and it arrived just before my weekend in Stresa.
On Monday after Stresa I had a look at the kit. I still had the idea with the happy robot and the lantern, but I thought about why he's happy. Probably he's happy because he's in love with a female robot, but when I turned one of the robot bodies around in my hands a new idea came to my mind. The happy robot with the lantern idea (ehem this sounds...this was NOT intended) was cast aside for the new one, a pregnant female robot and a male robot who's making some adjustments to the baby inside her. So I had the basic idea for the robots, but what about the scene?
There were two ideas in my head both in a post apocalyptic scenery due to the setting of the contest. The first idea was on the streets of a city in the rain, he's doing the adjustments of the baby while she stands under a canopy of a damaged house. Mud, bricks, waste and other stuff lying around. But as I figured with this kind of contest topic, most people will have this kind of base for their entries, so I went for the second idea. The second idea was a scene in a deserted and of cause damaged hospital. Still in the setting of the contest, but a bit more variety. I looked for some photos of deserted hospitals on the internet. The picture in my head for the setting became more clear. I was planning tiles on the wall, a pipe with a leak in the wall, some more holes in the wall and the floor and rubble lying around. Well all this details wouldn't make it clearly recognizable as a place in a hospital. So I was thinking about a hospital bed, a sink or some surgical instruments. Well as I had the wall in the back and the two robots, a sink or the bed would just have bloated the scene or would just make it looked tooo stuffed. So I went for the small surgical instruments. In my opinion (and I got this idea from a hobby friend) if you want to tell a story with your scene, make the scene as small as possible so that the details you need to tell the story still fit in, but haven't overloaded the base with details that are just there to be there. This way you will end up with a scene with a very dense and focused story. I hope you get what I mean...
Anyways, enough with the blabla, let's start with the building process! The story and finished piece will be shown at the end.

I started with the female robot. I drilled holes into its tummy, cutting away more and more to get a hole into it big enough for the baby robot. The baby robot consists of two cubes out of milliput, one for the head and one for the body. I drilled holes into the body for legs, arms and neck. I used thin wire for arms, legs and neck and drops of superglue gel as hands and feet. As umbilical cord I used wires with different diameters, twisted together into one string. Finally the first picture!

I had the feeling the tummy was opened too widely, so I had the idea that she has hatches and she is holding the upper one open and the male bot will hold the lower one open so that he's able to do his job. Here ye got the start of the hatches:

Uhh...then I documented the process a lot sloppier, meaning tadaaa here she is, the nearly finished build of the female robot:

But I try to remember what I did. In the tummy I just added details, plates of lead, wires, some of the fingers from the robot kit. The feets are lead plates and plasticard cut into shape. As she was kind of a heavy volume lady, I thought  two legs won't be enough for her. The housings of the legs are again made out of plasticard, pieces cut, glued and sanded. Hands are plasticard and wire. Drilled very thin holes into the hands for the fingers. I took easy bendable wire so that the positioning of the hands would be easier. For her position I decided her to stand and lean against the wall, it was supposed to resemble a position of a pregnant women needing a pause.

The male robot was a lot less converting, I just build him in a kneeling position so that his hands would be at the height of the tummy of the female, hands of plasticard and wire, a screwdriver out of wire and putty and a backpack made of putty:

For the colours, I went for a classical red for the female bot and also classical blue for male bot. The baby has been painted yellow, without a classical gender motive just not to become unvisible in the scene, as it's one of the important elements of the scene. Also some simple weathering, meaning scratches  and also for the male bot some slightly glossy oil sweat stains under the arms. Here the finished paintjobs of the two robots:

Well for the female I added some hand prints on the belly, supposed to be in human form for a remembrance to their humanity:

Now it's time for the base, well and I started building it already during the construction process of the robots, as I did some positioning testing to see if the position of the two robots match each other.
I thought about the directions and lines of the parts of the base and decided I wanted a wall in the back, not parallel to the front and not completely covering  the back. There needed to be a step on the floor for the female bot to stand on for matching positions with the male bot and also to make the floor not look completely flat. This way I also introduced another line, not parallel to the side but in right angle to the wall. With this step in right angle to the wall, the wall not parallel to the front and the wall not completely covering the back, I tried to make it easier for the viewer to assume that this is just a part of a room, so that the room continues behind the edges of the socket.
Made some holes into the floor, before gluing the layers of the floor together. I made the backwall out of plasticard, in the front I cut a hole and onto the back I glued a pipe out of copper foil, which would be visible through the hole in the front. Some tubes to the left of the pipe and a hole drilled into the pipe. I made the pipe by taking a piece of copper foil, wrapping it around a toothpick and then gluing the ends together.  For the tiles I took my ruler and drew markings on a sheet of plasticard so that the tiles would be 3x3 mm. Well during the cutting something went wrong and the tiles turned out to be in different sizes...naaah I can't do symmetrical...
Anyways, here's the start of the tiling process:

The finished tiling with plastic tiles and a positioning test:

Then I made a thin layer of milliput, let it dry and cut tiles out of that as well. But I broke them into pieces for damaged tiles on the wall and the floor.

After the tiling I added some rubble with milliput on the floor, so that the surface isn't just flat and becomes more plastic.

I smeared some layers of Mr Surface 500 over the tiles to fill the joints and sanded it afterwards. Added some skulls from origen art and a grill out of copper foil for the drain. Here's another positioning test:

I then added a scalpel out of wire and a thinned piece of lead foil, a forceps out of wire and a emesis bowl out of putty. The forceps is made of two pieces of wire, bend into shape with a tweezer and glued it together in the middle.
I cut some dents into the plastic tiles to get a more natural look. Here's the ready to be painted base:

I painted the base in greys, beiges, dark sea blue and desaturated brown to create a hopeless mood. I started the paintjob with airbrush for the base colours and did the rest with the brush, mostly washes. On the area where the female bot would be I sprayed a bit of blue and on the area where the male robot stands I sprayed a bit of red (I did this before the brushwork). Thanks for the idea to my president! Here's the nearly finished base:

I added a graffity to the wall, fitting to the story and supposed to be made by people before the extinction of biomatter. I also added a plant to show the return or bio matter to the planet due to the robots effort (it's explained in the story as well). Then I added the 2K water effect. Here's the finished base:

After placing the miniatures onto the base I added some grey pigments...which was kind of a let down, as after they were on the base and miniatures, I saw that these pigments shimmer like metal pigments...I hoped this wouldn't be visible on the photos so I didn't try to solve this problem before the contest and haven't solved it yet. But I will try something to solve it before the next contest...
I also added another little detail to the base. A small voltmeter, made of plasticard and wire. Two layers of plasticard, in one of them I drilled a hole and cut a window.

Then I glued them together. I took another piece of plasticard as switch for the voltmeter. For the wiring I took some wires...gnaah don't know the right expression for those thingies...anyways I took a wire from earphones and wrapped it around a thicker wire (which was still quiet thin), shoved the thin wire onto one end of the thicker wire and glued it. I then glued the other end of the thin wire to the voltmeter.

You can see the finished voltmeter on the pictures of the finished project.

Ah I also forgot to tell you another hobby horror story. I always take different brushes and water cups for metallic and non metallic paints. But somehow shimmering pigments got onto  the base...I checked the brushes, the water cups and colour pods, but couldn't find any metallic pigments...I got rid of the problem by thinning down matt varnish with tamiya thinner and sprayed it on the base with my airbrush, checking after each layer if the shimmer has gone....phewww....I had the varnish very diluted, as a thick layer would eat up the painted contrast...

As said I entered it in the Massive Voodoo Forged Hope contest, but I wrote the story before reading the rules. The story I wrote has the cheesy name "Forged Hope", but it just suited the story and the scene. You can read the second version of the story for the contest on:

 So without further diversions, here's the first version of the story and the finished piece:

" Forged Hope
They called it the devourer. Originally a bio weapon, a bacteria developed by the Dum-Bian army to get rid of their foes without wasting their own soldiers. The process of its binary fission was so rapid it was able to devour biomatter like a human in ten minutes and only leaves dead matter, methane and some acidic gases in lower concentrations. But to be safe a life span of only a few seconds had been encrypted into it's DNA. This way when used in a combat zone it effectively killed the enemy and after only 24 hours that zone was ready to be taken and to be recolonized.
But something went wrong. It somehow mutated and it's life span became much longer. It spread all over the world by devouring all the bio matter in its way. The people prepared areas where no other bio matter then themselfes within a 50 km radius was. But it didn't help as the wind and weather acted as an accomplice to the extinction of all live.
Some people hid in bunkers deep underneath the earth hoping for survival. But they couldn't get up to the surface again after the bio weapon had devoured everything and disappeared, as it left an toxic and acidic atmosphere. No one was prepared for this. As there wasn't enough resources and food to wait out till the atmosphere eventually became normal again, most of the people starved to death.
There was a group of people in one of these bunkers who consisted mostly of scientists and engineers. They found a way to build robots and transfer their minds into them. This was their only way to somehow survive. As robots they waited till the atmosphere was at least not acidic enough anymore to harm their robot bodies. They went up, back to the surface and what they found couldn't really be discribed in words. It was a world of waste and death. Nothing resembled their memories. All vivid colours gone, only grey. The buildings all collapsed due to the long exposure to the acidic atmosphere. Nothing was left but ruins.
Some of them tried to find a solution to restore the original atmosphere, so that one day it might be possible for organic life as they knew it to walk on earth again.
Others started wandering the world in hope to find at least something that survived. They wandered for centuries and somehow they started to forget things, their minds seemed to dissapear. Here and there a wanderer just stopped moving, his mind gone, his life finally gone.
They started to try to find a solution for this problem. Copying their mind to a new robot didn't help, as the lost parts of their minds were still lost for that copy as well. But one day a couple found a way to melt their copied minds into a new mind. The new mind, and in this way the first new citizen on earth since a thousand years, was transfered into a little robots body. They found a way to reproduce and this way maybe a way to survive till earth is able to be recolonized in human form.

It's the Forged Hope."

Hope you liked this little article!

Read you soonish!

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