Monday, July 23, 2012

How to Build a Dinosaur, part II

Links to the other posts in this series:
Part I
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI


Having done the top of the head, the bottom jaw came together much faster.  
Once I put 'em both together I had proof of concept and some reassurance that I at least had the skills to make something look the way I wanted it to.  What I didn't have was any assurance I'd have the ability to finish the whole thing.
That's better.
After a heck of a lot of carving and sanding, and a garage floor that looked like this:
Scraps.
I managed to assemble some of the torso.
Body starting to emerge.
At this point the body was still a little too large, the neck was mostly unfinished and I didn't have a clue how I was going to attach the legs and tail yet.  I was still entertaining the idea of allowing the legs, tail and possibly the arms to be detachable to make the whole thing a bit more portable.  That didn't eventually happen.  I should also mention by this point I had the aid of some hot-wire sculpting tools I had ordered to help shape the torso and neck.

Before I moved on to the legs, I needed to figure out how they would be affixed to the torso.  I settled on carving and sanding a flat space on each side of the Deinonychus body.

Using measurements from the sources I mentioned in the first post, I drew the legs on stacks of styrofoam and cut them out with a Hotwire Foam Factory hot knife.  
Time to make some legs.

Testing for fit.

Not too lifelike yet...
Since they were flat on the inside (well, on both sides at this point), there was plenty of surface area to attach them to the body.  I used Foam Fusion glue and wooden skewers to attach them and held them on with clamps.
Clamping the legs in place.
After some time carving them away, it became apparent to me that the legs were too long!


Due to me accounting for too much space above the femurs, the upper part of the legs was just way too long.  Because it was so obvious to me, I had no choice but to fix it, so I sawed them off at the seams, took about 4 inches off the top to the legs and reattached.  After a lot more carving and sanding, mostly with the sanding sponges, this is where I was:
1st leg almost done.

I should mention that by this point I was about two weeks into sculpting, having not worked on it every day. But now, things were going to get tricky, as it was getting too big to hold in one hand and carve with the other.  I needed to start thinking about a stand...

Check out Part III.

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