Automata Rodent Army Amasses!
The rodent army grows. Today has been largely about making helmets and weapons. The days progress is not pictured here. This was this morning as the day began. You can see five potential mice in the cat's body in various states of completion. Some still appear quite ghostly. Each helmet is custom fit to one particular head as they are made. The mouse on the second from the right is sporting a helmet that has yet to have the headdress added.
Tomorrow should be completing bodies and adding arms and weapons and setting up the mechanism to move the bits around. Hopefully I'll post another photo tomorrow.
The Eye's Have It!
With a little help from friends, also thanks to William for his post, I have opted for eyes. I took a more modest design, not choosing to colour the iris of the eyes, but leaving them natural wood. It seemed to be more in keeping with the rest of the cat. I thought a blast of colour might be a little distracting. So no golden irises for the Trojan Cat, just slitted pupils. Now onto making mice!
Here's how he/she looks now.
Assessing Cat's Eyes!
I am nearing completion of the skin for the Trojan Cat. There are only a few more pieces of planking to add along the joint line, and it will be on to varnish, miniature nail heads, and more varnish. Originally I was not going to put any eyes on the cat, choosing to leave the areas where the eyes would go as large blank planks. Questions started to arise as I worked on it and some thought the cat should have eyeballs, so I am evaluating options.
This photo shows eyeballs that are temporarily in place that would be golden yellow with a black vertical pupils in them, a close simulation of a real cat. I haven't painted them yet as I wanted to get used to the idea before I went any further. I just penciled in pupils for now! I have another set that are just two half spheres, stained to match the planks. I have to think like a mouse now and think what he might have chosen to do!
In the photo the top half has yet to be varnished and painted, while the bottom has been done. I think it is time to clear the kitchen counter.
Spent some time this afternoon with a group of clients of the Fenelon Falls Community Care. I had a great time sharing with them some of my automata creations that I took to the session and showing them others from on my website. We talked about what inspires the ideas and how the pieces are designed and built. There was lots of smiles, lots of good questions and a few good giggles. A big hello and thank you to a group of new friends and thanks for the opportunity to meet with you.
Things are starting to get back to normal again. Healthy again. We,ve got lots of freezing rain and ice again in a mild winter that was supposed to be abnormally cold. I guess El Nino had a change of heart.
Anyway back at the Trojan Cat. I have enlisted some assistance on the Arduino programming. I have yet to see how that turns out. but i've been busy "skinning" the cat. The bottom portion is now basically done. Lots of little planks attached in the style that a desperate mouse might do it. Tedious to be sure I think I was only accomplishing about 4 Sq. inches per hour! And then there was nail heads to be painted on. I must admit a few look a little frantic. I like to call these ones whimsical, since that is allowed and evened encouraged in automata!
Anyway here's a peek. I'll be staying at my shop most of this week so I hope to push the top half along next.
Twisting an Automata Chicken
I had a request on my youtube channel for more detail on how the mechanics of the first chicken in "Poultry in Motion" works, Since I cannot replay in Youtube with a picture posting I have described it here and put a link in the youtube comment section.
Here are a couple of photos taken from the rear to show how it works.
The 1/4" dowel that drops down from the chicken above has a 1-1/2" disc fastened to the end. The two cams on the shaft are the same size and positioned directly opposed (180 degrees) from each other, As each comes in contact with the disk it imparts a spinning motion to it. Since they are on opposite sides they cause the disc to move in the opposing directions. The pin protruding out of the back moves back and forth but the rotation is limited by the two pins sticking down from above. Without these pins the chicken would tend to drift in either direction to far.
There you go!
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.