Sunday, January 8, 2017

D-Walker Africa gallery and improvements to be made

Before I box up DW and either sell him or ship him, I had to take some actual pictures.  Until this shoot I had only worn it on one day of Honolulu Comic Con.  It's cumbersome in all directions, and feels heavier after suspending it for only a few minutes - pretty much the worst class of costume there is.  There are some things I would change about it, which I have written about below.

First, here are some quick cellphone shots at a land development in west Oahu.

I thought this future condo site looked pretty close to the savanna parts of the Africa theater. 

Modeling is not really my thing.  I could have at least borrowed some binoculars for this, but I didn't think of it until the moment you see here.

 Most of these shots are chosen to show off D-Walker's legs while trying to minimize how awkward the dangling hobbit legs look.

I wore a Snake arm kit because I may as well right?  I only have enough costume for OG Venom Snake though, not that old one-eyed demon.

Speaking of the rider costume, as is tradition, I threw together the balaclava the day before this outing.  I thought I had misplaced the balaclava from my Warlock costume, but I had recently found it in a logical place while packing for my upcoming move.  I cut some simple shapes out of a reusable bag and hot-glued them to the balaclava.  It was the only suitable material I could find around the house, and it's flimsy enough that sewing would not be worth the effort.  You can even see that I used the bag handles as the side straps, which - to my surprise - keeps all slack out of the top of the balaclava.  It's not a superbly made or long lasting costume piece, but it was free and got the job done.  My favorite.

 The rider has zero buttocks volume, but believe me, all the implants I made looked much worse.

The armor panel hides the transition in the rider's body, but it still looks hilariously disproportionate.  If I rebuilt the legs I would use a more sculpted material like gardening foam instead of the felt sheets I had.  There is a fine line between the legs looking flat and looking too fat or oddly shaped.  They also needed to be as flat as possible to not interfere with the armor panels.  

The leg armor area is a little narrow compared to the width of the body.  I think I could have just stood with a wider stance to make it look better.  Also the boots are large, and too securely attached to the foot pegs - a little slack would have let them rotate with the calf more naturally. 

I replaced the main shoulder bracket with a shorter version, bringing the arm closer to the body by 1".   The new shoulder is better balanced and better looking.

I should have taken some more video of the head moving, and doing idle animations and stuff.  Oh well, the photo shoot was meant more for archiving than showing off.

Falling forward is the worst thing you could do here.  

A simple stand can be made to display this costume.  The footpeg pipe that connects the belt to the bottom of the frame could be replaced with a skeletal pair of legs made of PVC or ABS.  They would have to be very rigid and have extended feet to balance the 26-pound body.  You would then help the skeletal legs into the pants and shoes I wore... or you could remove the armor panels from the pants and dress the stand up to be proper D-Walker legs.  If no one wants to buy it, I'll definitely make the stand and post him up in the foyer.

D-Walker will be up on the Starside Armory Etsy store for a couple months - as soon as I figure out the shipping costs, which will have an influence on the base price.  If I weren't moving across the ocean I probably wouldn't sell it, but I like to pack light.  It was a challenging and rewarding project that I am quite proud of, and that has sparked an interest in robotic art.

Here is the Etsy link.

Thank you for reading, bye!  


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