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Dear Beer, Thanks. :D
1,061 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
This was a really fun build; this project was basically assembled from parts I've been squirreling away in an old coffee can over the years. You never know when you'll need a drive gear from a busted can opener, the dial from a 30 year old microwave or that rusty drill bit you found in the wall when you remodeled the bathroom… until the Mad Science Fair Prop Challenge that is…

The Lobotrica

Top view

Neck drill and Aether canister

I've never made anything steam punk before this and have always enjoyed that style of design. I first started building sub-assemblies using a couple of small plastic safe boxes my kids got in a happy meal and some random containers I've been saving, they made a great base for adding gears and mechanical parts to and once completed, really set the tone for the rest of the project. The vacuum tube and neck drill assembly are scratch-built from small parts, containers and bits of wire. I hand-made all the gauges from color printouts, container lids and clear plastic. The box itself is a foam cooler that I painted with acrylics and used as a base for the subassemblies.
The head is an old practice hair head (one of 8) that was given to me by a friend, I think her blank stare, real hair and retro look go well with my theme.

Each gear/mechanical/exhaust part was hand-painted with metal enamel paints and attached with either CA or hot glue and screws or foam nails. The logo was made from a pair of wings from an airline flight my family went on.
I wanted to convey a feeling of electro-mechanical function without any actual moving parts, as well as a sort of Victorian logic in the design. Some of the small gears and lettering I purchased from Michael's, they really helped tie the whole thing together.

There are many small details and references that need to be seen up close to appreciate but I hope you enjoy seeing The Lobotrica as much as I enjoyed building it!

Foam packaging -free
Clear plastic packaging -free
2 plastic Spykids safe boxes -$2
Assorted plastic container lids -free
Assorted bits of copper wire -free
Old Hair Practice head -$4
Misc. Screws, nuts, springs and bolts from old coffee can -$3
Misc. Knobs from old coffee can -$3
Misc. Gears and small metal parts from old coffee can -$3
One rusty drill bit -$2
Wire from old cell phone charger -$2
One package Idea-ology gears -$5
One package Idea-ology stick on letters: $5
One can black spray paint -$2
One bottle black acrylic craft paint -$2
One bottle green acrylic craft paint -$2
One bottle brown acrylic craft paint -$2
Gold, copper, brass, bronze and silver enamel paints-$5
One can black spray paint-$2
30" of flex tubing -$2
1 package of #6 ¾" brass wood screws -$4
30 "of 4 strand 24AWG electric wire -$2
10 foam nails-$1
4 sticks of hot glue -$1
1 4" round drain grate -$2
2 hot glue sticks and CA glue -1

Total: $56.00

Vote for me and all your wildest dreams will come true.

Super Moderator
64,107 Posts
I see you're a Napoleon Dynamite fan, too:D

I think the first two things that popped into my head were "wow!" and "holy crap!". This is steampunk eye candy at its best. The retro vibe is very appealing.

Well done and worth the wait!

Clean "cut"
27,005 Posts
Love Steampunk and you nailed it!!!

386 Posts
I will admit, the word steampunk makes me cringe ever since I did a fashion editorial on it some 10 years ago. It quickly fell into any creation that had gears glued uselessly to it or other quickly identified parts slapped on.

You, surpass that. I love this. I've always felt steampunk should be more encompassing of various different designs from a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to pulpy adventure comics. This has that pop retro feel with the perfect mad lab slant, well done!

Stays Zesty in milk
4,472 Posts
Wonderful entry! Love all the little retro details, like the vacuum tube & gearing. Great job!

IN MEMORIAM - A Wee Bit Wicked....
8,670 Posts
:jol: Kevin, this is so great, I just love the look of it. I am definitely a Steampumpkin fan, and you nailed it! Just awesome work....:D
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