Work on the unfinished Troll Screamers shown above as well as several NEW Troll Screamers will resume soon. I have several body parts ready to go for the new creations.

Thursday, 11 February 2010


Whilst making a batch of dolphines for a paper mache water feature project (one of several i have planned) my youngest daughter on seeing the dolphins i had already made then asked me if i would make her a dolphin money bank with some dolphins featured in it. I told her if i had the time i would make a few spare dolphins & make the money bank as an extra little present for her 16th birthday which is coming up soon. Whilst thinking this over i figured this might make a great little feature for my blog here too. So here it is, part one of the project.

To see HOW i made the dolphins i am using for this project you will need to hunt through the archives here. The dolphins HOW TO are in the 'dolphin & mermaid' water project posting. This is one of those dolphins pre-dragon skinned.

ALL the dolphines in both my dolphin water feature project & this money bank project will be attached to 'both' projects in the 'same' manor. How ever since 'this' project is to be a working money bank i figured why not make it an attractive dolphin money bank that doubles up as an attractive dolphin orniment too?

Of course i can't then simply attach ALL the dolphins in a perminant manor as i would have to make a coin slot that spoilt the look of it being an orniment too. So without a coin slot HOW would my daughter then insert her cash. To get around this problem i decided to make the coin slot invisible when not being used to insert money so i then attached a small rectangular piece of card under one of the dolphins which i then reinforced with some paper strrips before i dragon skinned over the whole thing. This exctra piece will act as the 'coin slot' hide & the means of holding the dolphin in place at the same time. Clever huh lol.

Now i can't simply cut a coin slot in the top of the money bank as i would any other then insert the dolpin & expect it to simply stay in the right position, it simply wouldn't work that way. I need to add another dimension to the coin slot to hold the dolphin in the right position too. I want the dolphin to sit right down 'on' the top of the money bank just as if it were fixed like the others are going to be.

To create this illusion i then can't make a holder for this dolphin that sticks up above the top of the money bank. I have to make it 'inside' the top of the money bank. Now there IS an ewasy way to do this 'without' using ANY kind of special measuring or any other kind of techincal skills. I simply need to make a small card 'tube' the 'same' shape as the coin slot/dolphin holder.

So to begin the process i first covered the card under the dolphin in foil (a modyfication of my skull foil copying technique). I then wrapped this 'tightly' in 1 layer of masking tape to make sure the foil was the exact shape of the card. This has the added bonus feature of making the coin slot/dolphin holder slightly bigger than the fixed card under the dolphin once the foil & tape are removed. So the dolphin will slot into the coin slot easily but be snug enough to hold the dolphin in place too.

I want to be able to remove the coin slot card section from the dolphin easily when it is finished so i covered the 'entire' area in foil in case any glue leeked under the card when adding the strips later.

Here you can see the 'thin' card stock is wrapped around the foil 'tightly' twice.

I then 'smoothed' out the edge of the card stock with masking tape. More to simply fix it in place tightly than make a smooth finish. Th final finish of this the outward facing side of the card WILL be lost inside the money bank & never seen unless you look up inside the money bank. Even then it is not so important to finish this outter side off so perfectly.

The 'base' of the coin slot how ever i left 'open' as you can see here. WHY? Well how would the coins drop through the slot silly if i blocked this bottom off lol.

Then i covered the coin slot card section in a few layers of paper strips to fix the shape & add to the final strength of the section. Okay i will come back to the dolphins later when i have the actual 'box/coin' section of the money bank completed. So lets take a look at the construction of that now shall we?

Using a suitably sized cardboard box of any thickness will work here. Since what i am about to show you if you ONLY can get your hands on a structuraly rather weak box such as this one then do not worry. This IS fine trust me here.

As you can see here the box i am using is as about as structuraly strong as wet toilet tissue. NOT what you would expect ANYONE to be using in a strong money bank project... Or so you think. I only require the physical 'shape' of the box NOT the actual box itself. Also since i need to alter the 'shape' of this box this felxable card stock is simply perfect for my current needs. As with around 90% of my armatures i use in my projects i remove them after the initial build has begun & is self supporting. The same rule applies to this project. Confused? Trust me it WILL become clear as we move on through the project lol.

Now to begin to alter the shape of this box to make it 'more' cresting wave like in shape. To begin with i need to cut down one of the narrow sides which NOW will become the 'front' of the cresting wave. I am only going to cut down to around 1/2 inches short of the bottom of the box for the front of the wave.

As you can see (after tacking in place) i have kept the front of the wave very acute. By doing it this way i can greatly increase the curve of the back of the wave making the wave seem bigger than it actually is. A simply optical illusion.

It may not look it bt the back of the box IS slightly more curved than the front. Once i add some wave shaped fins to the 'sides' & the 'front' of the box it WILL increase the appreance of the size of the wave.

For the first two wave shaped pieces of card i made them slightly bigger than the box to add to the final illiusion of making the cresting wave appear bigger than it realy is.

To attach these to the edges I am ONLY going to 'tack' them in place using hot glue. I will explain WHY i am only tacking these in place later.

I also attached a few more smaller wave shaped pieces of card stock to the 'front' of the cresting wave, inbetween the two large outter edge ones.

I want the top of the cresting wave to 'peek' slightly so to do this i have cut a few 'slits' in the front & back of the wave a few inches deep.

I then 'squeezed' the top of the wave together slightly then tacked in all in place with a little masking tape. As you can see i also added a couple of small wave shapes to the back of the wave too.

I have some news paper strips prepared. I have torn these to around a quarter of a page size from an average sized daily news paper.

Now when gluing in place i am going to lay ALL of the strips in a 'vertical' position ONLY on this project. Normally i might criss-cross them, or go with a complete random style. Not this time. I want to let the strips 'flow' naturally 'into' the spaces 'between' the wave shaped card pieces i fitted through out the project as you saw above. This way the wave 'should' have a more 'natural flow' to it. adding to the illusion of it being a cresting wave frozen in time as it were.

I gave this project 4 layers of news print & 1 layer of 80gsm white printer paper & left it to totally dry out for a couple of days.

I also gave the front 'base' a fanlike foot to add to the illusion of the depth of the wave by making it look like it was dragging water from in front of itself as a real wave would as it rose up.

You may not be able to see the illusion here as my camera & lighting is not very good, but the wave has the illusion of being deeper & a feel of movement to it. I will try to grab some better pictures as i work on the next stages of the project. For now how ever i have one last thing to show you for this stage of the project build.

I 'completely' removed ALL the inside of the wave right up to the very first layer of news paper strips & the wave shaped card pieces i applied. By ONLY 'tacking' the wave shaped card pieces with hot glue I could then easily rip ALL the box out with little to no effort. I then added one final layer of white paper just to clean up the inside a little. Now of course the money bank appears to be useless as it has NO bottom to it, or is it? WHY i have chosen to make it this way WILL be revealed in the next stage of the project build i promise you lol.

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