Mecha May and Maker Faire

Babe-A Fet11JPG Babe-A Fet12JPG Babe-A Fett10JPG BlubberHi Battroid Rifle1 bobagun2 ChugChug ChugChug6JPG ChugChug4 cannoneer1 cannoneer3 cannoneer4 ClassicIron2 ladyminako2 DonnaMafalda1 DonnaMafalda2 DonnaMafalda3 ElektrikalWork8JPG ElektrikalWork9JPG ElektrikalWork11 ElektrikalWork13 ElektrikalWork14 ferrofalco fanofjapan krasheroxTag ladyminako MechaPrototype6JPG minakofan MinakoSakurai1 MinakoYukata2 MinakoYukata4 MinakoYukata5 SlaveII2 SlaveII3 SlaveII4 SlaveII5 SlaveII7 VF SuperValkyrie20 VF SuperValkyrie18 wonwom 3

Hello! I’ve spent the better part of May trying to throw as many Tinkercad Designs out into the Tinkerverse as I possibly could.  When Andrew Taylor of Tinkercad told me about MechaMay, I went into Mech- Building mode, and so far have put four Mecha-related designs out into the stream and I have a fifth one I’m developing.  Along the way, I did a lot of experimentation and tried to create unique textures and cultural contexts for my designs.  I also finally finished some non-Mech related designs that were challenging, and helped me gain more insight into the tinkering process.

First off, I spent a long time working on the WackyRaces’ Arkansas Chuggabug.  If Tinkercad were to judge pieces and rate them according to what I call “moves”, and the number of moves in a piece, then they would have lots and lots of moves to analyze in any of the pieces I finished.  I call the creation of a customized shape, a “move.”  If an artist just uses the shapes that are provided in the Tinkercad toolbar  and groups them together without modifiying them, there is not too much hard work involved.  When every shape you use is a custom-formed, then you’ve had to do some thinking, and some experimentation, and have had to spend a lot of time on a project. The Arkansas Chuggabug had a ton of moves in it.  I was worried about Tinkercad being able to render all the details, and the last time I checked the preview windows, the Chuggabug preview can’t render.

My treatment of the famous comic-book character, Elektra was also something I was glad to finish.  I had hoped to be able to show that Tinkercad has the ability to render fairly realistic figurative art.  The jury is still out on that, I suppose.  When I put pictures of it out on Twitter, I got a couple of retweets, but in general I think people didn’t notice it or think it was that good.  The general population has no idea how much work it takes to present something at that seemingly simplistic level.

The Japanese Woman you see in the pictures is called Lady Minako. She is the culmination of my efforts so far to represent the kindness and grace of an acquaintance from work, who to me looks like she should be in Feudal Japan, not here and now.  One of the first works I ever did on Tinkercad was a piece called A Study of Lady Minako.  It was the first time I had tried to do a realistic  human face on Tinkercad.  It’s not an easy task.  The majority of real, tinkered faces on Tinkercad look like Mr. Bill or snowmen.  I’ve improved, but I have a long way to go.  I have deliberately made works to appeal to Female users, to inspire them to make female figurative art, and art that deals with culture, but I think that educators probably emphasize the technical/vocational aspects of Tinkercad, and have not conceived of its usefulness in teaching the Humanities.  Look for many period piece designs from me, depicting both men and women in historical/cultural settings, with an emphasis on fashion.

Those people who are familiar with my work, would probably know me best as the ‘Guy who makes SuperHeroes and Robots’. Well, I’m not going to disappoint those people-I made two original designs for MechaMay and one tribute to the Defining Mecha Show of Japan, Macross Saga.  I believe the term Mecha first came into the Japanese vocabulary with its association to that franchise.  All three of these works were very time consuming, requiring lots and lots of “moves.”  First came DonnaMafalda’s FerroFalco.  Then came Lady Minako’s Cannoneer.  I did re-poses of each, and then jumped hard into to doing the Macross Super Valkyrie Battroid.  I haven’t put every single detail on it yet, because I don’t how much more detail the design can handle.  I wanted to publish it in time for MakerFaire’15, so I dropped the work where it lay, and will try to sneak a few more key details into it later.  I then got to work on Babe-A Fett and her Slave II Mech, which was partially based on Boba Fett’s Slave I spaceship.  I tried to put tweets out on Twitter showing what Tinkercad could do, and hoped that I could interest more hardcore StarWars fans in using Tinkercad.  Well, it was worth a try…It was also worth a try to make a name badge with the Krasherox name on it….Too bad my 3D printer broke down, right before MakerFaire!  Murphy’s Law! I wound up sculpting my name badge out of polymer clay.

MakerFaire was a great inspiration to me.  I want to support the Megabot movement with a couple of Tinkercad pieces of their Megabot Mark II.  Also, seeing an organ that shot flames as it played inspired me to do another Mech piece which I call ‘Calliopus’.  Imagine a mech with a pipe organ that shoots fire built onto its back.  If only I could make one in real life!   Who knows?

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