Sunday, September 6, 2009

Buckle Up, Buttercup

"Tuff-Girl Buckle Replica, activity sheet"
Digital art.
20.32 x 25.40 cm (8.00 in. x 10.00 in.)

Wanting to include some sort of bonus activity sheet as part of the 48 pages of the sketchbook, I decided upon this paper replica of Tuff-Girl's belt buckle, which you may download here (hopefully) after clicking the image to view the full 2400 x 3000 pixel image. 110 lbs card stock should work nicely. Photo stock probably not so much with the gluing involved.

As my years of a mechanical engineering student stirred from dormancy, the whole design project from cut-out to page was quite its own beyond the sketchbook.

First, as I've said previously, the creation of vector art is in plain words, "a pain."

Second, I elected to refine the design of the buckle face for a third time.

The orthographic (blueprint) plans were completed rather quickly, the top, bottom and side views being simple trapezoids all with the sides angled the same.

However, the paper plans had the added work of calculating and designing the partial cone shapes at the corners.

After successfully assembling a prototype (all this with only a galley of preliminary layouts for the book), I thought to take it a step further by incorporating flaps on the back creating a cover you could wear to cover your belt buckle.

No, I couldn't let it be.

All the pieces including an interior stiffening brace laid out with directions on a 8.50 in. x 11.00 in. letter sheet meant the completed buckle had to be about 20% smaller than the one above. Of course, you can print it out at whatever scale that pleases you, like say 4-ft tall with head, arm and leg holes.

It did probably require 40-plus additional man-hours on top of, I guess, the 40-plus I had spent to get to the prototype stage, and to all the uncounted hours working (and still am working) on the sketchbook.

I like to complain.

It will be worth it, though.

... until I decide to design a "deluxe version!"

If you need to know, the buckle is supposed to be red and black, but I opted for a dark gray because the ink-jet sheets were coming out a bit damp with full, mixed black. As it is, the print out should appear to have the blackness of newspapers or construction paper.

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