ARTICLE FOR PANDA THE GIANT MUSHROOM
By David Wilson
My name is David Wilson. At Johnnywood Studios I build many models like this from scratch to use in my 3-D books entitled- "Lucky and the Supernaturals 3-D" for the ultimate in realism. Since, I was unable to find anything that resembles this large spaceship I was forced to build it from scratch. So, I utilized a common material that is also free and it is "cardboard." People discard this strong, readily available material that is made from trees everyday. Cardboard is fairly easy to cut, bend and bond. I recommend using a metal straight edge or a metal "square" and a carpet knife. I also suggest using another piece of cardboard underneath the piece you are cutting and also wearing leather gloves. Using the right tools "Panda" is the very first model of this size that I ever attempted to create. The clear glass is from a popcorn maker top that I purchased at a thrift store. After some measuring and cutting I simply glued the glass into place and used automotive "pin stripes" around the edges for a more professional appearance. The curved edges for the "wings" were traced using a large clothes basket. The cardboard pieces were cut and bonded together using wood glue. I also used thin, one inch masking tape to cover up the "seams" on this spaceship. Many primer coats were sprayed on before the "white" enamel spray paint was applied. The three "landing pads" are plastic model display stands that I just happened to have three of but, other items can be used as well for these landing feet. There are several other parts for this spaceship that were hand crafted such as: the deep space sleeping pods, which were made from cutting a plastic potato chip container in half. I cut a square piece of cardboard and covered it with some vinyl for the interior bed. The two halves of this pod open and close because I glued on some paper strips to act as hinges. I made two sleeping pods and painted them silver without using any primer. The interior of this spaceship also contains other details such as: two captainís chairs covered in black vinyl with real working arm rests for enhanced realism. The dash is also covered in black vinyl for realism purposes. This ship also contains a working winch and detailed dashboard space flight controls as well. Making the spaceshipís "elevator" was a bit tricky and looking back I wish I had made it from a thicker and more, sturdy material. But, this passenger elevator that this ship sits upon contains an L.E.D. light which makes for great night photography. This custom elevator stand also contains a keyhole for my characterís key and custom ladder along with a handrail. Since, Panda transforms into "Pandaprize" in some of my epic comedy stories I decided to build some extra "jet engines" for the rear of this model. This piece is also constructed out of cardboard which took some measuring, cutting, gluing and painting. In the center of this model I also installed a bracket of sorts with a string. This allows Panda to be "hung" from above for photography purposes to simulate flight. Installing a few L.E.D. lights on the inside of this model also enhances night photography as well. The dimensions for this cool Panda spaceship are: LENGTH without engines- 22.5 inches, with engines- 27 inches. The HEIGHT of Panda is: 7.5 inches and sitting on the stand is- 13 inches. The WIDTH is 20 inches. Overall this "Panda" model turned out great and is an example of what can be done with cardboard, patience and some work. I think this model will do well in my stories wouldnít you agree?! Iíd like to manufacture this toy "Panda" model by an American toy company because Iím sure there are lots of kids that would enjoy playing with an awesome model like this! Of course I recommend that people wear the proper protective gear such as: respirators, gloves, goggles and other safety equipment when building any model. To view this wonderful spaceship visit my website. To find out more information concerning building a model like this, visit my website and purchase my e-report entitled "Johnnywood Studios 3-D Modeling Secrets." Itís only $1 and Iím sure youíll find lots of information to help you with your next modeling project.