I was contacted by the Arizona Cardinals earlier this year about commissioning a couple pieces for LEGO KidsFest. They wanted a mosaic, a life-size football helmet and some take-home instructions for small models for kids to build out of their own collections.
...so naturally, I said yes!
I've been building mosaics for a while now, but still enjoy the challenge and the experience of every new project. Although this mosaic was pretty simple, it was still a lot of fun!
One of the things that the Cardinals asked for was a time-lapse video of the construction. In the past, I've just placed a tripod on the table in my studio, angled the camera down and built underneath it. Even when the positions of the feet are marked and/or taped in place, this is still an unpleasant process. So I actually built a rigging in the studio to hold a camera and light sources approximately three feet over the workspace. I encountered great success with this rigging and look forward to using it on future projects.
It seems most people think of me as a mosaic builder these days. And that's fine. But mind you, I still have chops! Ironically, one of the more challenging aspects of the helmet was the mosaic of the Cardinal. I built a flat prototype of the Cardinal, a 13-stud, studs-up mosaic, and then built it into the helmet, layer by layer as it wrapped around the spherical form.
You'll see in some of the photographs that I added red and green plates to the top and bottom of the helmet. I used these to indicate the left and right sides of the helmet as I built it because I kept "getting lost" and reversing things. I spend way too much time correcting errors I made because I mistook the front for the back.
I refer to the early version of the face mask as "The Train Wreck". I wanted to use all standard bricks and plates to create the entire helmet. After I got a nice bit of it worked mocked up, I decided that I needed to find another approach. Once I started playing with the click hinge plates and the elbow hinge plates, the face mask came together relatively quickly. The face mask presented its own challenges, but I think it is my favorite part of the helmet. I'm very happy with it!
When all is said and done, I had a realistic looking helmet sitting on the table of my studio. The Cardinals were as excited to get these pieces as I was creating them.
Did I mention that the helmet can be worn? It's not lined, so it is excruciatingly painful. ...but SO worth it!
Some photos from LEGO KidsFest.
Big Red and I posing. He doesn't talk much, but he seems to have found a way to effectively communicate with "high fives".
Some projects have added bonuses like ...Cheerleaders!
Thanks for taking the time to check out my stuff, if you live in AZ and saw this at LEGO KidsFest, I hope you got some good pictures in real life! The helmet and football will be on display at the Arrowhead LEGO Store from July 20, 2013 until August 17, 2013 and then the Cardinals will take it back.
Please feel free to leave any questions or comments!