Friday, July 04, 2008

Jetpack Project, Part 1

Hey folks, this is an in-progress post about my current project: a Neo-Victorian jetpack! This is something I'm making as part of the outfit I'm wearing to this year's Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball in Hollywood (in exactly one week).

Anyway, here's a piece of concept art to give you the general idea of what it's going to look like.

The back piece is a big huge sheet of 3/16" High-Impact Styrene. It took many hours of patterning, cutting, sanding, dremeling, and hand-molding with a heat gun in order to get the nice elegant Manta Ray shape. Definitely worth it though to have a nice solid foundation.

The engines are two 18" lengths of 4" ABS piping, bolted to the back piece.

The bottom thrusters on the engines are collapsible vegetable steamers! Since I was a young lad, I've always enjoyed playing with these and they've always made me think of some sort of science fiction device, so I'm finally using some in this project.

The control box is made of wood, and will provide the housing for all of the fully-functional switch- and knob-controlled battery-powered functions, including lights in the thrusters, spinning intake fans on top of the engines, lights above the fans, and indicator lights on the control box.

I'm very proud that I've self-taught myself some fundamental skills of electronics and circuitry, as this is going to be my first attempt at a costume/prop that includes lights and motor functions that I've made by myself. In the past I've adapted other devices (LED tap lights, etc.) to suit my needs, but now that I'm doing it myself, I can achieve results that are much more specific to my needs and are truly custom-made for the project itself!

Anywho, as you can tell I've still got a ton of work to do this week (wiring, assembling, painting, sewing of the leather harness, etc) but I'm really pleased with the results thus far, and I'm feeling very motivated and I anticipate that it's going to look great when finished!

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