Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A Cool Thing I Made Once

I don't really know what brought this to mind recently, but I think one of the cooler things I've ever made was a present for my Dad.
I can't even remember if it was a Christmas, Birthday, or even Father's Day present, but that doesn't matter a whole lot.

At any rate, Dad collects buffaloes of all descriptions. (I may explain why in another post, but the reason isn't all that important right now.)
If you want to be zoologically precise, they're really American Bison, but no one outside the zoological community ever really calls them bison, and a buffalo by any other name would still make chips ... but I digress.
He has stuffed buffaloes, stone buffaloes, a specially-commissioned bronze buffalo (which is quite spectacular), terracotta buffaloes, plastic, ... well, you get the idea, I hope.
Whenever this was, I decided that he needed a more formal herd of buffaloes to roam the open range. Of course, then he'd also need an open range, wouldn't he? Naturally.

Enter memories of childhood and those spectacular Electric Football sets. You may remember them - the little men sat on metal brush kinds of things, and you set them in formation on a metal football field. When the switch was thrown (assuming it was plugged in), the field would vibrate - with a very satisfyingly electric hum - and the men would move. They would move mostly in the direction they faced when you set them in formation, but as they bumped and jostled one another, the whole thing looked more like a rugby scrum than a proper football play. [I wonder if they ever sold these as Electric Rugby sets anywhere ....]

So - a little copy/paste action on the computer and I could print out a sheet of properly-sized buffaloes for the little football players. A bit of scissoring and gluing turned those teams of footballers into a herd of buffaloes, and now the milling, jostling action was actually appropriate.

[I'll see if I can find a photo to upload, but that's semi-doubtful.]

What's the coolest present you ever made for someone?