Damaged in Transport


I get these requests.

This time I was asked to blow up a tiny toy helicopter.  My buddy Gary makes these Commando Cody fanfilms, styled in the manner of the old Republic Pictures serials, and he needed a henchman in a helicopter equipped with an “ion cannon” to get asploded.

The problem was finding a helicopter that A) had 1950s styling and B) was cheap enough to blow to bits on a fanfilm budget.  About all that turned up was a small Bell 47G kit.

Fortunately, Gary built it before he sent it down. I don’t do kits.  If I had put this thing together you would not have been able to see through the bubble cockpit because of all the glue-smeared fingerprints on the plastic. Gary, however, is a kit master, and the tiny little helicopter — I swear, this thing was only about eight inches long — showed up impeccably packed and perfectly constructed, complete with a miniature henchman at the yoke and not a drop of glue out of place anywhere.

So naturally, the very first thing I did when lifting it out of the box was break it. The rotor had these tiny little cross-spars? Yep, snapped those right off.

In dismay, I set it carefully down on my workbench and held it in place with one finger while I tried to glue the spars back on. The pressure of my finger holding the chopper down caused the tiny little wheels on the landing skids to break off.

And everything cascaded from there.  This teensy model was so fragile that I broke it at least twelve times just trying to get it rigged. To make matters worse I had to add a motor so the rotor would turn during the shot (broke that twice in itself) and of course the skeletal framework (which kept snapping) meant there was barely any room to hide the teensy-tiny charge.  But ultimately I think it turned out pretty well.


So there ya go, Gary.  Happy filmmaking.  I’ll be expecting the usual box of home-made peanut brittle at Christmas.

Hey, every artist has his price, and homemade peanut brittle is mine.

— Bob (the peanut brittle whore) out


Artist’s Notes

“Giving a fig about Newton.” Best one yet.

So, I’m looking at the drawings I did for this page, trying to think of something interesting to write, and I’m noticing all the angles I’ve chosen for this sequence.  One thing that’s cool about being artist is that your “camera”, your angle of mental projection, can be positioned anywhere you want- and so in frames 3-5, the camera is wedged into some deep cravasse of the “Babbage” machinery, and is facing toward the back of the room.  It’s a total cheat but a necessary one- I’ve got to find new angles, so I’m not drawing the same scenes over and over again.  Next time I’ll probably draw from the circuitry on the other side of the Strike Gate and explore those angles.  And then when I’ve picked all the low hanging fruit, you’ll find me reaching for those obnoxious high angles or stuff like this:

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 8.27.39 PM