Thursday, 11 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 13

Here are a couple of photos of something that seemed important, but I can't remember what I was actually supposed to be showing with them -

I also took this, which appears to be a start on an end section...but I didn't take any other photos. Did I finish it today, or was this as far as I got? No idea!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 12

And so we continue my attempt to convince people that I've actually written this in May and definitely not mid-August. Today work began on the undercarriage, utilising a bunch of paper boxes. It wasn't a particularly complicated job - cut a few circles, stick into the boxes and then cover in a long length of cardboard - and it was quite satisfying to have a large object completed quickly.

And that's about it. I built it in two sections as I figured a single one would be a little unwieldy, and it attaches to the main board with strips of velcro.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 11

After a cold, damp day yesterday, it was a surprise to wake up to find that today was actually Nice. Finally, the AT-AT could be moved outside and life was made an infinite amount easier. Although putting it together is taking a lot longer than ideal, which is going to complicate things when it comes to setting it up at school for the convention.

Anyway, first here are some Start of Day photos, showing some of the additions I haven't been able to take proper photos of while the build was inside.

First job was attached the previously-made side-flaps. This was done by adding a scrap of wood and some velcro. I'll add more detail later.


Next was the bigger job - sorting out the side panels for the body. After much hunting through bits of cardboard and wood, I found an old fence-thing, that my dad made years ago to stop my children falling down the step by our patio doors. I only had enough to cover either the front and back, going for the back since it's larger. No idea what I'm going to do about the front.

The ridges will be filled in before painting and I might add a panel on top to add some detail.

After the walls, the roof needed adjusting. Fairly simple, in theory, however since the left and right sides weren't symmetrical, there was a bit of fudging involved. I doubt anyone will notice, however. A couple of extra hinges will be added as soon as I have them, just to make sure everything is secure.

Finally I added a couple of flaps to the main side panels. This literally was a 2 minute job.

So that's another job ticked off and leaves only a couple of main areas to do:

  1. The front side panels & roof.
  2. The undercarriage.
  3. A little work to complete the feet.

2 & 3 are fairly straightforward, or at least I have a plan in my head for. The first one, well, that depends on finding the right materials. After doing the back, I know how to do the front, I'm just not certain what to use. I may have no choice but to give in and buy something.

After those 3 it's a matter of deciding how much detail to add to the build. I could go crazy and add tonnes, but I have to allow a decent amount of time to start painting in case the weather turns terrible. But then if the weather stays fine it'll be much harder to add detail in after it's been painted.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 10

I was in Asda this morning and came across a big pile of buckets. This are probably exactly the same buckets as they have in Homebase, however since they were reduced from £1.50 to £1, whereas the Homebase ones' standard price is £1, I convinced myself they were somehow better.

And bought 4.

Then I chopped them and added a cardboard ring.

Ta da!

I put my hand in the air and own up to messing up two of the cardboard rings. Somehow I didn't cut them large enough so, running out of cardboard, I just added a load of hot glue to fill in the gap.

Digging around in the shed, I found a plank of slightly-mouldy wood.  After a bit of a sanding and a chopping, I had a pile of toes.

...and absolutely no idea how to attach them. I cut a wedge out on a whim, as I knew it'd somehow need to go around the lip of the bucket.

Thankfully there was just enough space to run a screw through.

On the fourth side, there's the lip of the bucket. It'd be a bit of a pain trying to cut this and replace it with a toe so I'm just going to leave it as 3 toes per bucket and have the lip pointing into the centre.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 9

With the basics of the legs done, today was Foot Day. Annoyingly, the feet are round. I hate making round things. Round does not come easily to cardboard or wood, so I was thinking of using something pre-made.

Something like buckets.

After spending a long time wandering round Poundland and Homebase I bought these:

My thinking is: make hole in bucket, slide onto leg. I know that there's a second, larger, bucket-shape on the lower portion of the foot but I couldn't find anything in a) large enough quantity and b) cheap enough to make this part. I'll worry about that tomorrow.

My family has a history with cutting holes in buckets. Once upon a time, my dad decided to cut the bottom off some buckets with a large knife to use as planters. Once thing led to another and soon my dad was on his way to hospital with blood pouring from his leg.

Thankfully, my bucket experience was a little less exciting and soon I had these:

And thus:

Which is how it'll stay until I figure out the next bit.

A slight worry is that, after having had stacks of the stuff for months, I'm now starting to run out of cardboard and wood. I've got plenty of little bits for adding detail, but not enough, for example, for constructing the rest of the feet. There's not really much I can do about it either, other than constant trips to Homebase/supermarkets and hoping they get some decent bits in that I can have.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 8

The weather was slightly annoying today.

Set up and pack up time has been taking big chunks out of building time, so anything that can be done to reduce that is welcomed. Plus there's a slight worry that if I'm taking screws in and out repeatedly, it's only a matter of time before things start to become a bit loose and eventually no longer hold together.

To save taking the legs on and off all the time, I decided to...well, leave them on. This creates a bit of a problem (beyond the assault course that now exists to use the washing machine) in that getting it outside to work on requires two people. It's also not a particularly quick thing to do. Faster than taking all the bits out individually and assembling each time, but still not exactly speedy.

So when the weather spends all day alternating between brilliant sunshine and downpours, decisions have to be made about where exactly is the best place to work on it: outside with the constant threat of having to move it in quickly, or inside which requires climbing over, under and around.

What I'm saying is: the photos aren't brilliant.

First quick job for the day: the sort-of undercarriage bit aka 'where the legs are supposed to attach'. It Two circles, joined together. Make two. Ta da!

Screw onto side of AT-AT...

Next was starting work on the leg coverings, to fatten them up a little and make them look a bit more 'AT-AT leg' like.

Not having any cardboard long enough to do the entire leg, I had to do it in two sections and then glue them together.


Bottom (including circular 'knee' and flaps to wrap around the sides of the leg):


Since they have to slot around the existing legs, I used the undercarriage bits as a guide - drawing on them where the woods comes, removing them from the AT-AT and copying it onto cardboard. You can see the resulting slot on the picture above.

Next was lots of climbing over and under attaching velcro to the fence post legs and the cardboard coverings to make one stick to the other. I'll get some photos of how exactly I've done this once I can get the thing outside.