By my count, I am two blog posts behind for the month so I will be aiming to put up three today to catch up. Here is the first.
Once again this year I was given the opportunity to design the trophies that would be given away at AVCon. Since this year’s theme was Detective Agency I decided to use the magnifying glass motif in the design.
As usual, I first designed the model in Blender. I rendered a mockup of the design and sent it off for approval.
From Blender, I export the planes of the pieces that will need cutting. In the case of this year’s trophy, the most important part was to get the positioning and dimensions of the indent in the base that would accommodate the handle of the magnifying glass.
The heads of the magnifying glasses are made from rings cut off a length of PVC pipe. They were then spray painted black. The handles are made from sections of dowel, also spray painted black. My dad help me cut both the PVC and the dowel to length.
The faces of the Invaders were spray painted gold. When cutting the white acrylic, I left the paper on to protect the surface. I etched a light line around the areas that would be gold. I experimented with painting them in two ways – painting directly onto the plastic and painting onto paper that would be left on. The plastic finish was nicer but more prone to scratching. After spray painting the face of the invader, the paper on the white edge was lifted to reveal the white border. I had some issues with gold paint on the edges of the invaders so I lost a lot of time sanding/scraping that off.
I had to make 46 trophies in total! They took me a lot of time, and I ended up also recruiting people to help me do menial tasks at the end like peeling paper off acrylic. I learned that my design was perhaps a little too ambitious, as the suspended pieces required glue to hold them into place – glue that didn’t quite hold under duress for many of the trophies 🙁
Anyway, while I love the way that the trophies turned out this year if I were to do this again I think I would try and do a design that depends solely on acrylic, so that I can use Weld-On for all the gluing. Weld-On acts as a solvent so the pieces end up kind of melting and bonding together. It would reduce the likelihood of glued sections failing.