Level 4-2: Tool One Completion

11 Feb

Some people embrace chaos, shaping something artful from the midst of scraps, saw dust and plastic shavings. Other people need organization, a step-by-step plan or a list so that they can track their progress. Isn’t it surprising that it’s taken eight months of work for us to make a list? And, wouldn’t you know it, we’re actually better off that we thought! It turns out that we’re running out of things to do before painting, which feels pretty amazing! So, let’s pick up where we left off and hit the ground running.

We’d just about done as much work on Eleanor Lamb‘s syringe as we could before painting but we were still missing the panel that runs along the side. This is an Eleanor Lamb action figure and it’s one of the best views that we can get of the side of her syringe. Eleanor Lamb Syringe Reference

Just as Daniel spent hours obsessing over the details of Subject Delta’s drill, I spent hours obsessing over this single piece of the syringe. It would be easy to just slap a thin piece of cardboard on there, or maybe a piece of foam, but I hated how flimsy it looked. As you can see, it’s a very prominent piece of the syringe so it had to look just right. To start, I made a sketch using the measured dimensions from the syringe that we’d built.

Eleanor Lamb's Syringe Sketch

We found a couple of outdoor faucet handles that we planned to use, those are the circles on my little sketch. I also planned to use some rubber weather seal to suggest a tube running beneath the metal sheets which you can see as the shaded lines. I liked the look of this, so I proceeded to cut the shape out in cardboard first and then in foam. I wanted to cover the cardboard in the foam to give the structure more substance.

Syringe Panel Shapes Syringe Panel Glued

I then added a thin foam lining to the plate. I wanted it to look like two flat sheets of metal had been pressed and sealed together. But it still looked and felt too flimsy to me. I spent a good long time staring at it, but no ideas came to me. I thought, maybe if I can determine what it’s function is, I’ll find a solution to my “builder’s block.” Regardless of what it’s actual intended use, we determined that our panel, on our syringe, was housing and protection for the series of tubes that extend  and retracted the syringe needle. Now I knew for sure that what I had built was too thin; that there was no way it could house what I imagined but I went ahead and laid out the handles and tubing before I put everything together.

Eleanor Lamb's Syringe LayoutThose two black, grate-like things are from the boots that Daniel bought for Subject Delta. He was working on his boots at the same time I was working on this darn panel and thought these would make the panel a bit more visual interest. The imaginary tubes would need some sort of ventilation with all the extending and retracting going on; so I added  the grates to my little lay out. But even with all the cool looking details, I still hated it. It was too thin; too flimsy. It looked like an after thought or a sloppy detail that was tacked on because it was in the original character design and I was struggling to justify it. There it was; yellow, ugly and mocking me while Daniel reminded me for the tenth time that I needed to finish this and that there was so much more to do.

I tried to cut a back piece out of foam that I could wrap over the cardboard. This would give me a rounded edge that might satisfy my image of pressed and sealed metal. This didn’t work because the shape was too wacky, also the width of the cardboard was too thin for me to manipulate the foam in the way I wanted.

Next, I tried to sandwich the cardboard between two sheets of foam and then glue the foam together. Then, I thought, I could cut out the desired shape from the glued together foam and curve the edges with the metal tip of the hot glue gun. Did it work? No.

Again, Daniel asked how much longer I was going to stare at the panel and I didn’t have an answer for him. It was taunting me, begging me to just cut my losses, grit my teeth and go with the sub-par panel. Like the stubborn, Crazy Gilbert that I am, I kept staring at it and finally I landed on a solution.

I used two sheets 5 mm craft foam. For the top sheet, I cut out a little hole which I lined in 2 mm craft foam. This is where the little metal grate-like pieces would go. I glued the two sheets together using Elmer’s glue and then went to work on the trim.

Eleanor Lamb's Syringe Plate CutoutI nixed my idea of having a raised trim and instead opted for some rubber weather seal along the outside edge. Since my panel itself was thicker, I didn’t feel the need to imply that two sheets had been pressed and sealed together.

Eleanor Lamb's Syringe Panel with Edge

I already felt better about the state of this panel and we hadn’t even added the bells and whistles yet! Next I added the rubber weather seal. Since the panel was thicker, the seal didn’t look too out-of-place. I wanted it to look like the tubes ran down into the handles so I cut the edges of the seal at an angle that I could then hot glue into the surface.

Eleanor Lamb's Syringe Panel with TubeThen, Daniel drilled the handles through the foam into the body of the syringe which gave us our finished syringe!

Eleanor Lamb's Syringe Assembled Even though it’s not entirely accurate to say that it’s finished, we’ve done as much as we can do until we Shellac and paint. After painting we’ll be adding a strap to the back side to help anchor the beast to my arm. So there are more details to come as soon as this Polar Vortex decides to move on along!

Until next time; here’s an action shot to tide you over! — TCG

Eleanor Lamb's Syringe Pre-Painting

3 Responses to “Level 4-2: Tool One Completion”


  1. Level 4-3: Assemble Ranged Weapon | Co-Op Campaign - February 18, 2014

    […] Eleanor Lamb’s syringe built, it was time to take a crack at her secondary weapon – the harpoon. There are actually very […]

  2. Level 4-3: Assemble Ranged Weapon | Co-Op Campaign - February 18, 2014

    […] Eleanor Lamb’s syringe built, it was time to take a crack at her secondary weapon – the harpoon. There are actually very […]

  3. Level 4-2: Checkpoint Reached – Replay? | Co-Op Campaign - May 13, 2014

    […] last we spoke about Eleanor Lamb’s syringe panel, I was obsessing over what some might call a minute […]

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