oh yes indeed So I'd started this project about six months before BrickFair NE, then it kind of stagnated over winter, then when the weather finally got nice again I rushed to finish it. It is my green Hau. If anyone actually reads my blog, you might remember me posting this picture a long while ago. That was the very beginning of it. Well, not the very beginning of it, but certainly the beginning of the project side of it. Basically, this is how it went. Step 1: Papercraft I got a Hau Pepakura file from CrunchbiteNuva, and then printed it out (well, my friend did since he had Pepakura and I didn't). Then I did the usual papercraft thing, cutting out the pieces and gluing them together. That's what you see in the initial picture. Step 2: Resin and other hardening Taking the paper (cardstock, actually) Hau, I painted the outside with fiberglass resin, which hardened it into a more rigid form. From there, we mixed fiberglass resin with Bondo glass (Bondo is a filler putty used in automotive stuff; Bondo glass is that, but with fiberglass shards mixed in) so it was a thick soupy mixture, then rotocasted it. Essentially putting a big glob of it in the back of the mask and swirling the whole thing around until the entire thing was covered. This was the result of that. At that point, the paper was irrelevant; it was essentially a fiberglass/Bondo mask. Step 3: Procrastinate As I mentioned, there were a couple of months of downtime while everything was covered with snow and getting into the campus resin lab place was a roll of the dice. Step 4: Sanding LOTS OF SANDING Starting with really rough 40-grit sandpaper, I took off the edges and corners, making the general shape smoother. Then I moved to 100-grit, then 300-something-grit, to take off all the scrapes left by the sandpaper itself. I think that's as far as I sanded it before… Step 5: Priming I applied many, many coats of some Rustoleum automotive primer. I sanded petween those coats, too, to make sure the end result looked good. Then, and this is the fun part, I used 1000-grit wet-sanding paper to make it shiny. After priming it, the sanding process would literally leave it so that there'd be glare reflecting off it from the sun. (This was the point in the project, which always happens, when you finally realize that holy cow, this thing is coming together.) It was ridiculously smooth. Unfortunately, this didn't really carry over to the… Step 6: Painting Of course, what's the point in priming if you're not going to paint it? First I tried using green Krylon Fusion paint, but I kind of ran out way too soon. Plus, I'd had trouble with Krylon in the past, so I went for some more Rustoleum, since it seemed to be of good quality (though it was a bit darker and took an entire day to dry). What with the drying time and the approaching deadline, this is where things got a bit rushed. Each coat needed 24 hours before I could sand it, so I went with a more abridged version of the process. Then, with the clear coat, I found a can of GitD Krylon clear coat, so of course I had to use it. I added another layer of normal clear coat over it, too. The issue was I didn't sand it that well, because I couldn't really see if I was sanding off too much. And I didn't want to tack many more days onto the project, because there was still something else that had to be done. Step 7: The Grand Finale Okay, so I had this pretty cool green Hau. But what made it special? What made it anything other than a model I just printed out and prettied up? I'll tell you what. ELECTRONICS! That's an Arduino UNO microcontroller board. And a bunch of wires and LEDs. Hopefully you can see where I'm going with this. spoiler: this is where I'm going with it With judicious help from my friend who is excellent at using a soldering iron (actually he kind of did pretty much all the work on the wiring itself) I set up a wiring system that led from the output pins of the board to the LEDs, which were positioned around the mask. Cool, yes, but not necessarily impressive. So I can make the mask light up, what's so mind-blowing about that? Well, when I put it like that, nothing really. Buuuut, fortunately, that's not all there is to it. See, the Arduino board has 14 output pins, numbered 0-13, which can be given separate outputs. This means that I could potentially have up to 14 LEDs attached, and each one could be controlled independently. But due to the configuration, I didn't want to use pins 0, 1 and 13. So that leaves 11 pins to use. Now, with that in mind, count how many parts of the mask you see lit up. another spoiler: there are nine spoiler #3: each one of those is run off its own pin, with the remaining two going toward making the mask look downright evil So, basically I have a mask that I can run light patterns on. Oh, and control from my iPod. See, the Arduino board can store programs on it, so that it can either loop through a process infinitely or react to certain inputs. If you have it plugged into a computer via the USB port, it can also receive serial messages. So basically what I did was set up a little control surface using the TouchOSC app on my iPod (costs $5, I think) that will send OSC messages to my computer over WiFi. They get read by a Processing sketch (Processing lets you write little Java applets, called sketches), which then sends serial messages through the USB to the Arduino board, which then interpret the messages in terms of what LEDs to turn on or off. This was all code that I had to figure out, and while I take little to no credit for it, I am so very happy that I managed to make it work. So, the result of all this is a green Hau with lights that I can remotely control with my iPod. I am very happy with the way it turned out, though it has quite a few problems. First off, I already removed the bike helmet straps I had used to wear it, because they did not work well, tending to squish my nose and not keep the mask up enough. Then, one of the cheek LEDs stopped working, which is likely because of either a disconnected wire or a short-circuit somewhere. Finally, the texture of the mask is just kind of blah. There are many pitted areas that I didn't properly sand down, and as a result the whole look of it is diminished. However, these should be relatively straightforward, if tedious, to fix. I think the entire wiring setup could use some cleaning up, really, but that's something to look forward to. Until then, remember: Kumo Rocks.
Posted Jul 02 2013 - 10:35 PM
but suddenly, I feel the shining sun
before I knew it, this dream was all gone
Posted Jul 02 2013 - 10:51 PM
aaaaah love this thing
Thought you'd made a topic already, but here it is now, woooo.
All the work that went into this was well worth it.
I could've sworn I had some pictures of this from Brickfair, but can't find 'em, sadly.
Oh, and of course, Kumo Rocks!
Posted Jul 03 2013 - 05:02 AM
Nice. I always wished there was more Bionicle cosplay. And all the lighting and electronics work looks particularly impressive.
Had to be me. Someone else could've gotten it wrong.
Posted Jul 03 2013 - 09:07 AM
Posted Jul 03 2013 - 11:56 AM
Oh man that is awesome. Nice to see a finished version
I spotted a Lewa around the interwebs sporting a guitar axe, you guys should meet up and start a live concert somewhere XD
Hey, don't forget the upcoming Galis, Nokamas and Hahlis!
(hint: two of them are me)
I no longer need Taipu as I have achieved the impossible.
I have girlfriend.
the atlantic was born today
and i'll tell you how
the clouds above opened up
and let it out
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