Okay, as anybody who has me on their Facebook friend list will know, I have thrown my hat into the ring for a rocket pack build. This will be my first Steampunk build of note and it's a long while since I've done anything of the like. However, one rule I have remains the same as previously, I don't post pictures until the item has been finished and viewed at a public event at least once. Why? Suspension of disbelief, in part and secondly because whenever I am unfortunate enough to see a making of clip, before the film itself, I always feel a little let down.
However what you will get are some verbal descriptions, hopefully they won't be too boring for you. Days are not consecutive, rather days on which notable progress was made.Day 1: Plundering the props room and storage boxes.
I have somewhere in the region of 1000 litres of space in Really Useful Boxes, this is mostly full of costume/airsoft magazines/camouflage/prosthetics and very little in the way of prop building pieces. They key, I have found, to good sourcing of brass parts, is to live in a mining area. Anyone who grew up in one, in the UK, will regale you with tales of houses stuffed to the brim with all the Brass one could ever desire. Sadly I no longer live in a mining area. Where I do live has no brass, none at all, what it does have in abundance is Burberry and Boy Racers. Sadly this means filling the bits box (the nickname for what was the conservatory) has been slower than I would have liked and I find myself, after three years of hunting in my new town, finally with enough to start considering a build. The other reason for finally considering the build is that I finally have the boots to go with the trousers that have been sat in various costume rooms of mine for, um, a few years, that I long ago decided would be good for a Rocket Man outfit.
The living room floor at this point has a fair bit of brass laid out on it, one donor fuel tank, a fuel mixing chamber, some lengths of brass pipe, some brass wheels, a 4" pressure gauge, a couple of small candlesticks and an assortment of "remove before flight" thingies that my landlady definitely doesn't plunder from missiles for me.
The sketchpad is out and the Swedish rucksack frame is on order from eBay (idea stolen from Herr Döktor) and a second fuel tank is also on the way. Three or four pages of designs, draughts, ideas and rather basic sketches of designs are completed by the time the night is out.Day Two: Supplies!
The frame arrives and Paint Shop Pro gets reinstalled on the computer. Today is mostly a day to hunt down engine plaques and look at the designs, lettering etc, prior to finalising the labels, plaques badges etc to be etched for the pack.Day Three: Supplies, Supplies! The unexpected hits you between the eyes.
The second fuel tank arrives, not only is it better looking than the first, it's about half the weight! Infamy! This now means a third fuel tank has to be sourced (as of writing this I am still waiting to buy something suitable). Work starts on rejuvenating the leather on the frame, it's rather tired, old and stiff ..., a bit like me. Fortunately being from an outdoorsy family, also from a running around in the woods hitting things with swords, axes, airsoft BB etc background, I have largest known leather care box of most of my friends. By the end the of this day, the leather is already looking a lot more like the colour it should be. Day Four: Redesign day.
Half way through the day, I change my mind, about quite a lot of things. Typical, fortunately nothing expensive has yet been bought. Brass elbow joints, fuel lines (and a new airsoft mesh mask) are sourced from a fantastic "all manner of junk" site. Change a few badge designs when I realise that I don't want to cover up the new design tanks as much as the old ones.
Exceedingly rough draught of engine plaque finished, rocket pack also named, The Chase M.E.
(insert hand enamel painted Union Flag on white flag space)Day Five: Redesign Redux
A couple of days after ordering the elbows for the fuel lines, I have yet another change of design. Different elbows are now needed (the others only cost £4 so no great loss), the pressure gauge is moving, being replaced by one half it's size, the long length of brass piping that was originally being used to link the fuel chamber and gauge has now been replaced by the very short offcut from it. A plan to create a new support bar to hold the fuel chamber in place, rather than using the pressure gauge, is devised. Thrusters sourced and design now incorporates them, however some scratch building (my weakest skill) may be required. All at the last minute before bed. Progress is pleasing, even if I'm getting further away from project completion. Day Six: Watching Paint Shop Pro dry
Almost complete badge redesign, though I'm even more pleased with the new ideas. The above badge still being used but in a slightly altered form. Hat for use with outfit has been finalised, plans drawn and suitable donor hats sourced. Temporary jacket for outfit sourced and arrived, it is a disappointing jacket, but will do at a push, should something better not present itself. Control unit donor found, bought and paid for the following day (by my delightful other half).
Unlike a certain other maker, as I can only put in a couple of hours a day, there won't be a rest on Day Seven.