Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Walking Vehicles, part 2.

This four-legged walking vehicle or “strutter” was a main character in Dinotopia: The World Beneath. It's based on the design of a ceratopsian, with the passenger seat built into the pelvis area, and the driver's seat between the scapulas. This is how it appeared after the head/windshield was bitten off by a T.rex.

I built the original reference maquette (below) by “kitbashing,” or combining parts from about four different Japanese robot plastic model kits and filling in extra shapes with two-part sculptor’s putty. The reference maquette was just a start in conceptualizing the design, but it gave me a lot of information, especially for unusual angles.

You can often find unbuilt plastic models at yard sales, and they make good raw material for kitbashing. The front section of the vehicle above was originally the torso of a humanoid Japanese robot.

Denison’s strutter was one of the toy prototypes made by the concept development team at Hasbro based on the illustrations in The World Beneath. This model shows the full strutter, complete with its head, and the windshield built into the frill. The prototype can walk...sort of—you can see the linkage bars behind the front legs—though the challenge with a real toy is to make it strong enough to be manhandled by toddlers.

Model builder Glenn Ludgate of Australia has built several scratch-built one-of-a-kind Dinotopia vehicles as hobby projects. Here's one of Arthur Denison's strutter in progress.
More about the Hasbro Dinotopia prototypes, link.


Super Villain said...

i wonder if you would find 3d modeling with computers helpful for making models to work from?

i've tried using a few in my paintings, and i've had great results. its also very helpful for lighting and seeing poses in 2d.

hers a wonderful FREE 3d progam:


Andrew said...

I think I spy where a couple of the parts came from for your kitbashed strutter!

Just taking a guess, it looks like at least a robotech or gundam model was used in it.

I haven't really tried out kitbashing to make up new mechanical objects, but I love the idea of it and I'm always floored by the uses and interpretation one part can yield to people.

Unknown said...

I found the Strutters such a thrill in The World Beneath. Totally unexpected and amazing.

Matt said...

Jim these last two posts have been great!! This is part of your process that I am totally glad to see. Please keep up the awesome posts!


Unknown said...

I love to see your maquettes, Mr. Gurney. Especially your scratch-built strutters. I would have figured for sure that you'd used some Zoids ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technozoids ) parts in them (especially for feet or claws), but I don't recognize any. I thought about trying to make one myself a few times :) Thanks for sharing.

K_tigress said...

Oh I love these. I’d love to do some of these my self as well based on some of stuff from my cartoon ideas. I’d love to show off my cartoon est but first have to get a proper copyright other then just putting my mark on things. ;)

Anthony VanArsdale said...

Thank you so much for sharing these... your models and illustrations are inspiring.