Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fade to Black

Hey gang. It's been a while. We've been rockin' it pretty hardcore at the shop and it's time to share.
Begrudgingly, I allowed the team to machine a disc so we could attach a brake to our vehicle. They were insistent.

Here the brake mount is ready for welding. I'm still not sure why they bothered. I have no plans to use it.

To cheer me up over the idea of adding anything to our vehicle that might slow it down, the team let me play with some lasers.

Oh god oh god oh god!

Suddenly, the brakes seem a little more tolerable.

So the frame is pretty much done. More test footage is coming. For now, though, our racer is looking pretty naked, and while that's nice every now and then, we can't really show it off in public like that come race day, can we? Time to start CNC work on the body!

Lay it flat.

Cut it out.

Suck it up.

Glue it on.

Weigh it down.

Hold it together, now.

Practice makes perfect.

CNC milling just blew Christine's mind.

Straps keep the sides tight on our filler box.

We relocate to sand the transitions smooth... but wait.. what's that going on outside?

Oh.. this looks good.

Very good.


Wait for it...

Waaaaaaait for it....


Feeling pretty amped up, we get back to sanding...

Spackle smooths out the gaps between layers, but we can go even smoother..

It's prime time, baby. The resin that we plan to use for soaking the fiberglass does not screw around; it will eat right through our pink foam. Five to six layers of primer ought to keep those troublemakers separated.

Lay down coat number 3.

Andrew! you missed a spot!

Soon we'll show some of the more complex things the CNC mill can do... big-ass space-marine guns. Pyew pyew pyew!

Monday, August 24, 2009

We Are the Road Crew

So you want to meet team Ironheade, eh? Well you're in luck - here's a snapshot from our most recent Metal Tea Party.

(from left: Luke Nalker, Sean Feeley, Christine Phelan, Andrew Cook)

How do you guys know each other?
We all met in college at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). We all majored in Rock, with a minor in Awesome.

Man, that's pretty sweet. Why are you building this thing?
Because the Ironheade Tour Bus from Brütal Legend is ridiculously awesome. We wanted an opportunity to make something out of heavy metal.

But you're all computer art nerds! What would you know about building real stuff?
We built costumes and props from Team Fortress 2 for the the ILM Halloween Party in 2007. (But we lost to friggin’ Office Space? Really?) Sean won in the individual category of “Most Bizarre” at the Pixar Halloween Costume contest because no one knew who the man in the gas mask with a flame thrower was supposed to be. But everyone speaks awesome, so they had to give him something: $200 in steak.

Andrew has built a ton of things: giant articulated bird claws, motion control camera rigs, pressurized air cannons. Sean has also managed to use a deck of cards to build a double-decker castle once, but he had to use glue.

Well, fine. You can build stuff I guess. What do you think your biggest challenge will be?
Riding the lightning - it’s murder on the tailbone. Also, weight. Heavy metal is heavy.

Why the heck is Sean all blurry? You guys suck at taking pictures!
Sean is so fast even the most advanced cameras cannot capture him. That's why he's our driver.

Some Extra Credit:
- Andrew won a trip to the Superbowl this year for his work with The Dandy Dwarves. No foolin’.
- Christine is a girl who likes video games enough to work on them. Weird.
- Sean has been professionally trained for Rubik’s Cube speed-solving. He’s still not very good.
- The first word Luke ever spoke was “pie”. He liked it so much he’s chosen to use the word exclusively to this day. He’s in charge of all our diameter / circumference conversions.

Things are really starting to come together. Next post will feature some sweet body action!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rock on, McGuckin. Rock on.

I spotted this on Team Speed Racer's photostream. Nice sticker!
You can check out more of their work on their team's flickr page. Last year they won first place in Denver as Team Save Ferris. Good luck this year, guys!

Friday, August 14, 2009

So Far, So Good... So What!

Weekend #2 of the frame build. Next weekend is our last scheduled week of frame work.
Some new parts arrived. We're ready to work out our steering and braking systems. As if we need any brakes...

Here we are double-checking the angle on the steering mount. You can never be too careful; crotches depend on it!

it fits tall people...

and fits short, angry people.

Everything feels good, so we lock it down with welding.

Christine and Luke get in on the welding action. Here they are installing the seatbelt / brake mounting bar.

The steering column is all in place. Now we want to cut out the middle to we can using the tubing to make adjustable steering heights. What's that sound I hear? It sounds like an approaching...





The tubing fits around our steering assembly here. Now we just drill a series of holes in each tube. We'll be able to adjust the height by lining up the holes later.

Andrew is a man of intense concentration...

Sean is not. Here we see him practicing his golf putt.

Putting it all together... this is definitely going to be a speed demon. It seems to have possessed Andrew already.

Next week, we experiment with CNC sculpting while finishing the frame. Sweetness.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rock of Ages

Double Fine Productions has just dropped the official soundtrack of Brütal Legend! Watch Tim Schafer try to solve a Rubik's Cube in the time it takes Emily to list off the entire track list (over 100 songs!!):

As a little snack for those of you hungry for such a delicious selection of metal, an intrepid member of the internet has also assembled a YouTube playlist of the Brütal soundtrack. Now imagine us rocketing down the raceway in our awesome monster of a bus to those tunes, and it will almost be like you're there with us.

We've been making some pretty awesome progress on the bus just for you. Stick around for an update.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Take Hold of the Flame

WELDING! This. is. awesome. It feels like using a hot glue gun, but with more molten metal than glue. Oh, and you can't see a thing until you pull the trigger to arc electricity through, fusing your pieces together.

Did I mention that it looks badass? No? Well, it looks badass. Our team all learned to weld for this project at Tech Shop, which is where we are doing most of the building.

To start we do tack welds, which are just strong enough to hold our pieces in place and just weak enough that if we find we've made a mistake, it's nothing a hard swing of a hammer can't fix. See those little spots? That's all it takes.

Welding can fill small gaps between pieces. Because we want both sides to be identical and they've already been carefully measured, we don't want any gaps. Clamping everything together keeps it solid. Those arrow-shaped things are magnets to hold everything in place.

With the sides fully tacked together, we double check that everything is level and square. Here I am demonstrating a technique I picked up for creating right angles with your hands. I tried using it to confirm our measurements, but I must have done something wrong because it didn't agree with the level. More practice is needed.

A class was about to take over the room, so before we beefed up our welds, we moved all the equipment outside.

Welding gets hot. Wear your gloves and long sleeves! That spot of light is bright enough to give you a tan.

Grinder time.

What is it about sparks that is so awesome?

SEE? Pure awesome! To keep the inside of the frame flush, we grind out the bumps created by welding so the crossbeams will fit in place.

Lock it down. After putting in the bearings and placing the axle, everything gets clamped together for welding into one piece.

Let's compare. Which frame would you rather race in?

It's the end of the day and the shop is closing. Next week it's time to put on some brakes and get the steering set up. I suppose that will require front wheels, but those are just details. For now, we have the world's most monstrous handtruck.