Cotswold Catalog – Spacey!

This catalog features three of my latest designs, mostly space-themed.

On the left is a metal box I found at Lowe’s, to which I added a harness and antennae, as well as other details. This is my Mobile Communications Pack.

On the right is the Extravehicular Mobility Unit 10. This is a full outfit, and my part is the space helmet and chest mount, belt and belt-mounted oxygen scrubber which eliminates the need for bulky oxygen packs. And a wrist controller.

In back is my new Wing Pack, known as SWIFT (Swing Wing Individual Flying Transport), which features a swing-wing action and stowable joystick controller.

GI Joe Hi-Tech Communications Pack – Adapting a Found Object

The Find

This year at Lowe’s hardware, the diamond plate cargo gift card box is no longer available. It was replaced with a metal box made to look a bit like their miniature tool chests.

Of course my brain went immediately to “Astronaut’s Oxygen Pack”. And that it certainly can be. But I went in a way that really could be used for various purposes, so I will call it my Hi-Tech Communications Pack.

Luckily I had a reel of ABS plastic filament for my 3D printers that closely matched the cobalt blue of the Lowe’s box. I started immediately to think of how to adapt it. First, I needed to cover the bottom, which is recessed, and contains the UPC code and other information.

Then I had to cover the Lowe’s logo on front. No problem.

Then I knew I would need antennae. So I modeled and printed a mount on top for two antennae.

And of course it needed a harness. I had produced a harness for my Action Pack Heli-Jet, which works nicely for most cases, but the front chest clasp was too complicated.

While designing a new flight pack for Joe (A Wing Pack coming soon!) I adapted the chest clasp to be far simpler to construct, and much less bulky, while still allowing a cover plate for a logo of some kind.

Using a single length of .9mm elastic I created a front piece that allowed me to thread it through in two directions, then into an upper frame piece, down the backpack, and into a lower frame piece, then on to the body where there are standard strap adjusters and two clasps which fit nicely into the front piece by friction and holds very strongly.

I am comfortable saying that this is my new harness design and most of my future backpacks, be they flight packs or simple backpacks, will use this new clasp, and not the bulky old one which had to be screwed together to work. (This cap snaps on nicely, and can even be removed, as the simple clasp frame is not too ugly by itself.)

The Final Product

Here it is, my Hi-Tech Communications Pack posed on my Club Exclusive Super-Articulated 12″ Super Joe that they produced last year.

GI Joe Atomic Man Cargo Box – Adapting a Found Object

The Find

Last year at Lowe’s hardware store I found a metal box sold as a gift card holder. It was in the form of a miniature diamond-plate pickup truck cargo box.

Needless to say I find it hard to shop anywhere without seeing every object that comes into my sight in a 1:6 scale filter, to see what I could make of it. This was a no-brainer.

I bought a few, took them home and began to think how I could best use them.

Since the new GI Joe Club Exclusive Mike Power Atomic Man had just recently arrived at my door, I figured how better to use this than to make it Mike Power’s personal equipment box.

It is a great fit for the GI Joe Adventure Team Vehicle or Trouble Shooter, too.

And around that time the Mattell Halo Warthog was making its rounds on Amazon at sell-out prices and a bunch of us collectors were getting them, and I’m no exception. I bought two green, and painted them (one in AT Yellow and the other in a bright AT Red) and then they came out later with a red version, so I have one of those too.

The cargo box fits nicely into the cargo bay of the Warthog.

The Final Product

Of course I wanted to cover up the LOWES logo, and make it Mike’s, so here is the final product:

What’s Next?

This, I should say, is almost finished. I have one other thing I want to do, and that is to put a tool-box-like handle on the top lid.

More on that later…

 

Space: 1889-inspired Ship

This is not a 3D model (not yet). It’s a ship I created in 1997 based on a ship from the Steampunk RGP game: Space: 1889.

At one point, Fine Scale Modeler featured a beautifully constructed model from the game, similar to the one shown below (not my model!)

But at the time I was envisioning my own world where air whales floated around like dirigibles, and I thought this was a nice base for an air whaler ship, which I then modeled in 3D in Lightwave, and rendered out as a fairly poor GIF file which I still have.

Keep in mind, this was 1997.

The wires spanning the two boom arms were to carry the weight of the slaughtered air whale, which would of course no longer be able to support its own weight in atmosphere.

A Christmas Home Invasion – Doctor Who Photostory 2005

Since my adventureteam.com page has finally gone down forever, I am reviving some of my web content and putting it elsewhere. That may take some time. In the mean time, let me re-post “A Christmas Home Invasion”, a short story I published on my page the Christmas after I finished my 8-part epic Doctor Who Photostory, The Second Key (which is still safely viewable).

Star Trek Discovery Phaser

The night I went to Rhode Island to visit the Regular Joes to watch them do their podcast, I was not really expecting Jason Isaacs (Captain Lorca) to pop by and sit with us for a half-hour or so going into great detail about his new show “Star Trek: Discovery”, but it was amazing.

You really need to hear this interview, and you can do so by catching The Regular Joes Podcast, Episode 214 – Rhode Island Comic Con 2017.

During that evening, Tod Pleasant talked about how he was currently printing the new Discovery Phaser, after having downloaded it from Thingiverse.

When I went home, I downloaded it and printed it.

Not satisfied with the solid black model, I immediately began cutting it up into pieces for full-color printing, and without going into detail, here are some pics of my final product:

The original model was in four pieces, which I originally printed in black, with a silver nozzle. The new version prints in five colors, and 31 pieces.

I use magnets to attach the nozzle and the Phaser I hand unit to the main unit. This way the nozzle can spin.

I use translucent blue for the setting indicator ring, which I can also print in translucent red if I want to set it to KILL!

A slot in front for the emitter, and a magnet at the back, allow the Phaser I hand unit to come out and snap back in easily.

As you can see, the middle one is set to Kill.

I also made an appropriate display base, with the new Insignia with pips.

The Phaser I hand unit has a translucent emitter the same color as the setting. Eventually I want to add more functionality here, to allow the targeting sight screen to flip up.

I made five, one for me, and one for each of the Regular Joes.

2017 Christmas Tree Ornament – Stonehenge Me Crows!

Since 2013, when I bought my first 3D printer, I have designed and printed at least one Christmas Tree ornament.

2013’s was a 3D printed version of the 3D printer I bought: An Afinia H479:

2014 we had just purchased our lovely brand new house, so naturally:

2015 saw two different sets of decorations. One was a Santa Werblz, based on the wobbly WERBLZ toys I had created that year.

Also in 2015 I couldn’t resist doing these profile ornaments of me, Carol and Charlotte:

2016 I shrank down a version of my recently-designed ray gun:

And in 2017, I opted to commemorate a rather cool moment from this year – our trip to Europe, and the wonderful hour we spent in and around Stonehenge. While we were there a crow perched atop the lintel stones at the back:

A closer view:

So I downloaded a previously made model of Stonehenge from Thingiverse. I found it was rather inaccurate in placement of the inner stones, so I fixed that. Then I cut the thing into a sphere to fit these 8cm plastic sphere ornaments I had purchased. You can get these at most big craft stores. Two halves snap together to put anything you’d like inside. I filled the sphere with a spherical cut of Stonehenge, concentrating on the rear stones, and put a crow on the lintel.

And if you can cross-eye 3D freeview:

Spirited Away – No Face Pez Dispenser

Let me start by saying that I love the visual style and look of the Studio Ghibli Miazaki movies. I’m not the biggest fan of them for content reasons. To me they lack something. What they do not lack is visual gorgeousness. Even though most of them use repeated themes and character imagery, they are fascinating.

Spirited Away gave me an idea – to create some small statues of a fairly simple-to-create No Face spirit.

I started with something very simple. The mask is all inlays printed in white, with purple, black and grey inlays.

The body is meant to be that simple, amorphous shape.

Later I added arms and scaled him up a tad:

Then Carol said: “That looks like a PEZ Dispenser.” !!! Ok! That was an inspiration!

So with just a bit of extra work slicing the head and using Booleans to create a smooth curving circular structure, and a PEZ head mechanism I downloaded from Thingiverse and altered to work better (the original tapered the hinge holes making them not fit), I was able to quickly put together a working prototype.

The two on either end, with visible seam line at the “neck” (mouth in fact) are the PEZ dispensers.

The hinge is rounded at the back for a smooth opening without a huge gap in the body from behind.

The truly hard part is finding PEZ dispensers with a black body so I can make it all black.

In a future version, I may add red mouth and teeth inside, meaning I will likely use red PEZ bodies. But that’s for later.

Inspired by this wonderful mechanical bank Studio Ghibli put out:

Huxter Labs Mobile Motion Detector

My most recent new invention for Cotswold Collectibles is something a long time coming. First suggested almost two years ago as a small radar or sensor that fits into the cloth backpack, I began sketching way back then. But no great inspiration came until I found these wind-up motors at Dollar Tree.

Then I got inspired, and began sketching. One feature had to be folding legs of some kind so the unit could sit on the ground, but still fit into the backpack nicely.

A challenge! I’m always up to a challenge!

Here is an early sketch.

You can see that my Mobile Motion Detector really didn’t stray too far from the concept.

Here, you can see it in early stages of development:

Here, you can see I had not yet thought of the idea of making the radar dish snug against the body to fit better into the backpack. Other than that, it is fairly unchanged. The legs, however, are an early prototype too. These had tabs for thumbnails to grab the legs which were recessed flush against the body and hard to pull out otherwise.

Later versions remove the obtrusive tabs and in a stunningly simple update, I simply made them longer so they reach a little above the top deck, which makes pulling them out easier, it makes the legs a bit longer, and it removes any foot that would imply it should be flat on the ground.

Prototype

Unseen here is a telephone handset that originally was planned to snap onto the back, but was later scrapped for impracticality.

And here you can see the early legs also allowed various angles:


(Note the blurred items in back are prototypes I’m not yet ready to reveal, printed in prototype form.)

Final Form

So here is the final backpack Mobile Motion Detector.

In backpack:

Part-way removed, showing the dish snug against the body side:

Fully out, two pieces:

Antenna attached:

Angles: