Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rockman, Shmockman: Part 2

Continuing where I left off, the Rockman project was on hold for about 3 & 1/2 years.

I realized around the end of my junior year that the deadline was coming up fast, in a little less than a year. I finally got off my ass & dragged the half-finished wireframe out of cargo container hell & back on the workbench. But after some observation, my father & I noticed that the wireframe was way off than we originally thought, so we basically started from scratch. Before we began on the construction of the legs, arms & torso, we felt that it would be easier to get the harder stuff out of the way first, so we started with the hands, the feet & the head.

In 2002, I got those foam toy Hulk hands as a birthday gift from my mom. Later I thought that they would make great templates for the Rockman's fists. With some careful measurement & close comparison, we made nearly identical metal fists. They were probably the hardest pieces to make out of the whole project because the fists had so many wrinkles, bends, ridges, gaps, nooks & crannies to plate over.

*Notice - although the date on the pictures say October 17th, 2006, the hands were actually fabricated in early July. These pictures were taken the day we finished the feet.

We actually made each hand a different way. For the left fist (right in the pictures) we used metal pipes cut to certain lengths & angles that were the same width as the fingers of the foam hands. This ended up being very difficult, so we decided to make the other hand a wireframe using thin rods. This was was not only a lot easier to make, but also a lot easier to plate over.

Unknowingly at the time, we stumbled across a huge problem. Before we began to plate the second hand, we noticed that the pipe hand was slightly but obviously bigger than the wireframe hand. But using our creative ingenuity, we fixed the problem by bending a few rods & bulging the plates out. With the plates, they ended up weighing around 25 pounds each.

Next up were the feet. Since the feet had to hold up all the weight of the sculpture, we built the feet around thick support rods & worked our way out. Compared to the hands, the feet were a cake walk. We got through the feet in a fraction of the time the hands took us. Plating was a cinch & everything seemingly worked out for the best. But confidence got the better of us, & we faced another problem:

One ankle was wider than the other.

I thought: "How could we miss something like this? We gotta fix it!"

Then my dad said: "Fuck it. We'll fix 'em when we get to the legs, that's all."

& we did.

The feet were finished. Due to the support rods, the feet ended up weighing about 45-50 pounds each. For size comparison, I placed one of my dad's size 11 boots in between the feet. Pretty large feet, huh?
-To finish today's post, here are some more pictures of the feet & hands:
& a post-it note drawing, too!
In the next chapter, I'll discuss the making of the Rockman's head & the problems we faced along the way. See you tomorrow!


OmegaEye said...

Dude you got to finish the RockMan. It's going to look so cool in front of the school. Oh...and when are you going to start the Popeye sculpture?

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Hey Jose,

I'll start it possibly during the summer. Since I'm starting college this fall I probably won't have as much time working on it as I had with the Rockman. I'll work on it in my free time on weekends & during breaks from school.

After the Rockman is complete & (hopefully) donated to the school, I'll start some preliminary work on Popeye & post my plans here.