Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Failure is always an option

Anyone who knows me knows that one of my favorite TV shows is Mythbusters.


One term that is often mentioned on the show is...


One should not be afraid of making mistakes and even failing.  Doing so helps you learn, and thus makes you smarter (hopefully).  I know I have had a lot of failed projects... and to that end, here are some projects of mine that never came to fruition.

The Astronaut Helmet


After making my Astronaut Assault Helmet (seen here), I thought I'd make a second one, more reminiscent of the image above.


I was in such a hurry with this project that I used some duct tape to help make the dome of the helmet.


When it came to apply plaster wrap I found that it didn't stick to the plastic from the tape.


When I tried removing the tape I just wound up ripping the whole thing apart!


Grrrrr!  Lesson learned:  Do not use duct tape.

Biker Scout Helmet


I tried making a pepakura Biker scout helmet once and it was coming along nicely...


...and then I made a vacuum former.  I decided to make my scout helmet something I could vacuform.  So I filled it with expanding foam...


...and cut it in half.


It did not work well.  So instead of starting anew, I simply put the helmet back together.


Although not shown in the films, the scout helmet's face plate is made to flip up.


I then decided I wanted mine to do the same.  So I cut it up once again.


After being assemble, filled with foam, cut in half, attempted vacuforming, foam ripped out, put back together and then cut up again the helmet had enough and gracefully fell apart.

Hellboy's Right Hand


A friend of mine showed me a site where someone made Hellboy's hand out of wood.  At the time I did not have knowledge or tools for wood working, so I opted to make one out of foam.


But a simple foam hand was not enough for me.  I wanted to make it animatronic.


And for a while it worked - but insulation foam is not meant to constantly be moving and soon after it was made, it fell apart.


I tried replacing the foam fingers with some thick EVA foam and plastic tubing - but since the fingers had no real substance to them, they did not last long.


This was a shame, because it really looked cool.


I will one day come back to this project.

Too Big to actually make: Lego Stormtrooper Costume



This is a project I started making and soon realized that I had absolutely no where to put it.  I did make some drawings to figure out the proportions...


...and made some of the armor and helmet templates.



After printing out silhouettes of the front and side profile of the helmet I realized just what a big project it would be.  You can even see that my shoe (size 11.5) takes up a small area on the silhouette.


This is way too big for me - especially in my small, cramp apartment.

Crushed Helmets

Several helmets I started to make actually came out nice....

...like this Death Star Gunner Helmet,

and these Halo helmets,


and this Killzone helmet,


and this knight helmet.


One thing I am still in the process of learning is that despite fiberglass and resin or wood filler and plaster, these helmets are fragile and have to be put somewhere safe.  I'll exclude the gory details, and simply say that these helmets got crushed or destroyed because of my lack of protection.  Of, course they weren't all totally my fault.  The walls in my apartment were apparently made with very cheap sheet rock.  My shelves have fallen off the wall more than once.  Here are a few more helmets that were killed.  May they rest in peace.

Cylon helmet


Y-Wing Helmet


Rebel Marine / Barberra Robot helmet


Cog Helmet


Jango Fett Helmet


And a very cool looking Neanderthal Stormtrooper helmet, complete with tusks.


Despite all these heartaches, it's important to remember failure is always an option.  And if I make a mistake I usually post it on my blog entries.  It's how I learn, and I feel it important to show that.  Don't be afraid to make mistakes.  Learn from them!