D0G – Final Project Summary


I think it’s time to show you my Final Project for college, which has been keeping me so busy over the past few months. For the Final Project I decided to make a 24″ prototype collectors statue of D0G from Half Life 2. The entire model needed to be reproduceable so the master pieces were molded using Rebound 25, with certain detail bits being molded in OOMOO 30 much like the PotatOS Project. This time there were over 20 molds and even one of the legs contained 13 individual pieces! This model was also cast using Smooth-On’s Smooth Cast 325 which was dyed black to help with the metallic paint job.

DOG is a scrap robot that has constantly been added to for years. Built for the protection of the character Alyx by her father when she was little. Originally about 2ft high because she has been adding to him over the years he’s now a towering 8ft in game.  Made from recognizable scrap from around the game, the challenge was be to interpret and convert the low poly model  and textures from the game into a collectors model that brings DOG to life without making him so hyper realistic that he’s drawn away from the game altogether. There were a few mishaps and disasters along the way over the few months but he’s finally finished and ready to go on display in my college.

Most of the master pieces were made from a light grey poly board that someone our class knew in a prototyping company gave to us, chunks of block left over from their 3D
CNC machine which were perfect for sanding down and shaping quickly. I used a 3D model of DOG ripped from the game and AutoCAD to figure out dimensions and get templates to each piece from different angles before carving them out of foam. Pieces were reinforced with Isopon with scratches filled it with poly filler and red acrylic putty. Details and sometimes even whole pieces were made using Milliput, and most pistons or pipes were made using a combo of styrene tubes and tubes from Vit C tablets. In fact the cap from a Vit C tube, along with Milliput was used to make his face! I also discovered that Isopon could be diluted using acetone, this liquidy paste was used for all the individual rivets on his leg, the weld lines and when stippled on and sanded back it made a lovely cast iron effect which you can see in the closeup of his eye below.

For this project I also invested in a compressor and spray gun for doing even finishes over the pieces. This was the first time I used Allcad II metal paints which is usually used for small model kits which Wonderland Models in Edinburgh were happy to send me and I’m so glad I got to try them, they’re awesome. I think next time I make him (because there are a few changes that need to be made) I will solid cast most pieces for stability, and only slush cast the main body, rather than slush casting everything! Next time I’d like to spend more time on his paint job too, because some things didn’t work out as I’d planned, and I’d like some time to fiddle with techniques and finishes.

For now here are some shots of him from different angles. I may do a write up on the build over the summer, but it’s 6 months worth of building…. maybe if I do it limb by limb I’ll get through it quickly enough, hard to squish everything into a blog post or two! If anyone has any questions feel free to ask, I’ll be happy to answer to the best of my ability, and he’ll be on display in the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laogahire, Dublin from the 8th to the 14th of June  of this year.

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