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PROJECT LOG Thermaltake Invitational Competition (USA Build)

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Nov 6, 2011
Lets get this build log started off. My name is Jon Hansz.
Alot of people know me as PennyWise.

I am representing the USA in the 2016 Thermaltake Invitational mod contest.
It runs from now to December 15th.
There are 13 modders from around the world competing for $15,000 in prizes.
They are also doing various giveaways to the community for voting, so make sure to get on and vote.
There is a Pre Event Predictions vote as well.

First off, I'd like to give a huge thanks to all the sponsors.
Without you, none of this would be possible.

All the hardware has arrived and I've started working on the design.
There is so much awesome here.








I have been wanting to do a dragon build for the longest time.
So, I have decided to go with a blue and white Ice Dragon build.
I'm going to start by sculpting out the basic size and shape of the body, head, and tail of the dragon with clay.
After completeing that, I will be vacuum forming the clay shapes. This keeps the sculpture light and durable.
When the basic shapes are done, I can start adding other peices to them before I begin sculpting.
I am also tossing around some other designs for the rest of the case.

At this point, I am just sculpting the general base shape of the dragon.
These pieces will be vacuum formed tonight.
The clay needs to be made to were I can pull it out of the vacuum form.
This is why I keep it to a basic shape.
I do this to make the sculpture lighter and more durable.
It also uses less Magic Sculpt, which is a little spendy.
The next process is to get the outside of the case to a point that I can rivet the vacuum formed pieces to the outside.
There are alot of things that need to be done in order to work with the theme.
I will then build off of these pieces to create the dragon.
The face will have a few more layers of polystyrene on it to help build it out.
Then I can begin adding more body parts and sculpting in the details.



I built a DIY vacuum former to use for projects like this.
Basically its built out of plywood, 2x4s and construction caulking (to make it air tight).
First, I had to bake the clay in the oven. Other wise it would stick to the plastic when I vacuum form it.
I use my shop vac to suck all the air out.
The plastic is cut into squares the size of the wood frame that I made (The exact size of the oven in my kitchen.
I usually vacuum form 2 of each part, that way if somthing goes wrong, I have a backup.
After the pieces have cooled, I cut out the form that I am going to use and then stick it to the case with tape. This helps get the right orientation, and will give you a good idea where you want to go from there.
I got the pieces places were I want them, and I will start riveting the body onto the side panel.
I'm holding back on the front and top panel. I have decided to use a different design on these to more match the theme.
I will try to get some more work done and posted by friday. I will be at PDXLan all weekend, so there wont be much being accomplished.








After getting everything placed were I wanted, I finished riveting it to the case.
The face is going to have to have multiple layers, so I started sculpting the parts that will get covered up.
When this drys, I will be able to do some sanding then move to the next layer.
While everything sets up on the face, I began work on the body.
I started by sculpting some arms and legs with clay, then proceeded to vacuum for them.
After riveting the legs to the body, I started sculpting the connections between the body and the legs.
I sculpted out muscles and bones, then layed scaled skin over the top.
I am still working on where the wings are going and how I will durably attach them.














I cut out a basic wing pattern to get a good look at were I was going and how much skin I would have to put on before attaching the wings.
The skin was a little harder to get such a large area, so I had to break it up into pieces and put it together.
When I get to sanding, I should be able to blend it in nicely.
Finaly I can attach the wings to see were I want to go with the rest of it.
I decided to use a second piece of polystyrene under the wing pattern, so I glued it on.
This along with the Magic Sculpt will be plenty strong.
Goal for this weekend is to finish the body, tail, and most of the head.
I would love to be at the point I can start sanding and preping for paint next weekend.






Most of the skin on the body is complete, I still have alot of sanding to do.
Thought I would take a break and show you guys how things are coming along.
I got that feeling it's gonna be a late night.

Just a quick update, spines have been added to the back.
The hand will need a couple more layers and a bit of sanding.
Alot of sanding in store for me this week.



I sanded down the face and added some more spikes.
Now I just need to let this set up a little, then I can add the rest and begin sculpting the face.
Ohh, and here's a look at the panel on the case.


Oh these pictures make a LOT more sense on my computer than my phone! haha

Very amazing work so far, cant wait to see it finished!
The face is going slower than I thought. I have a bunch more detail to sculpt.
Then I got a ton more sanding to do.

Ok, so I made some head way on the face today, but the only thing I need to figure out is if i have time to put some glowing blue eyes in. I'm just not sure I will have time for it. What do you guys think?




Ok, from all my build logs, everyone wants glowing eyes.
I still have to wire them up with leds, but this is it.