Sunday, July 26, 2015

And soon back to props

Have a few more days of painting (they offered me a full week but I'm not sure how much more I can take right now). We think the majority of the wagons are done now, so the bulk is the remaining drops and the floor.

Floors can take a big chunk of time. Because of course they are a big chunk of material. And few things in theater just get one overall color; it is usually as long (if not significantly longer) coming back over the base coat with various detail/texturing/glazing techniques.

We pretty much finished backdrop and proscenium. Made good progress on the first of three full-stage drops. The first one is a semi-realistic alpine scene and may take a while in detail painting. We'll see how good the lead scenic is at the Bob Ross routine.

Second drop is a roofline which may take a little time to layout. Third is signage -- which means more hand lettering.

I love doing lettering. It is a pain to cut in letters with a brush, and with a lot of paints you have to do multiple coats, but I like working out approximations of various fonts and the typographical details thereof. Thursday was very Zen that way; we free-handed a bunch of signs, lettering without even making guides first.

I also like the mechanical/mathematical aspect of laying out; of figuring out how to map what is on the drawings or the painter's elevations to the real material. Up there on the ladder with lining stick and plumb bob and measuring tape makes me feel a little like Archimedes and his circles (only without the latter's fatal interruption).

What makes this one more challenging than many is that the designer has given us watercolor renderings. Which in itself is not a critical problem (especially if samples or chits are included) but this is also very loose. The Painter's Elevations are not accurately scaled. They aren't even square.

So it took me a while at the first layout. The second one, I'd figured out what to do; create arbitrary reference points on the elevation, drop points to within the nearest three inches -- by counting panels or going from known landmarks so I didn't have to run a tape measure out 20' every time I took a measurement -- and then adjust by eye to correct his perspective and plumb his lines whilst maintaining the overall massing and flow of the rendering.

So, drat... with that many drops to go, plus there's a lot of exposed material which is going to need to go black, I think there might be a full week still to go. Not that the money is a bad thing, mind you!

On the props side, though, I'm waiting on deliveries. Between Grainger and UPS they messed up and I won't get the end mill I ordered until tuesday. If I'm lucky. Shapeways hopes to have the majority of the raygun parts in my hands some time monday. I left the trigger and guard, decorative swooshes, the plate holding the potentiometer and the sounding board/diaphragm for the speaker to be done in metal, but it makes more sense to fit them to the actual print dimensions anyhow.

Was reminded of a delayed CAD project -- the Commando Cody flash suppressor (not to be confused with Commander Cody). Need to borrow a Luger and CAD up the front end before that part will be ready for printing, and I still don't know how to properly lathe it. I need to put that pot back on the stove.

Holocron is basically waiting on me to finish lasing the new panels, assemble and paint, and go into Eagle again to create a new PCB. I've been sort of holding off on assembling the parts I have already because I want to record the entire process to make instructions.

Priority projects after the Raygun are another raygun (rather, the Morrow Project Laser) and a few sections of Imperial Road (Dragon Age). And I have a rather strong desire to knock off an Acme Disintegrating Pistol for the same deadline as the Raygun. I do wish I could put several copies of the raygun into production, but the best viable option at this point is to take a cast or a couple of pulls off the one that's getting printed for me, and quickly make up some (probably non-firing) resin or vacuum-formed ones.

Much as I hate to turn down paying work, some of those deadlines are tight enough I am really hoping we can blow through the rest of the painting and free me up again to work on props. Oh; and I wore my Tomb Raider pendant to a party and got a couple nice comments....including one person who wanted to order one for herself! (and she doesn't even know Tomb Raider...)

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