Introduction: Magical Moosicorns
These magical moosicorns were built for YuKonstruct's floats in the 2016 Pride and Canada Day parades. With the two parades less than a week apart, we wanted to build something that could be easily transformed from a symbol of love and rainbows to a patriotic emblem.
Rainbow unicorns one day and Canadian moose the next, these moosicorns fit the bill!
YuKonstruct is the first makerspace in Canada's north. Our mission is to provide access to shared space, quality tools, available expertise, and a collaborative environment to help makers build anything!
Step 1: Materials & Design
The moosicorns were constructed from the following materials:
- Insulation foam, generously donated by local hardware stores and construction companies
- Construction adhesive (No More Nails)
- Wood dowels
- Acrylic paint
- Poster board and sparkly wrapping paper (for the unicorn horn)
- Plastic tablecloth material (for the mane and tail)
- ¼" plywood (for the eyes)
- Red duct tape (for wrapping the antlers)
- Thin wire and screws for holding things in place
The concept was to have two moosicorns on either side of our float. One would be on the back of the truck pulling the trailer, and the other would be on the front of one of our makerspace members' ambulance (like a giant hood ornament).
To save time on the design, we based the moosicorns on a 3D model of a My Little Pony mare. After determining the size we needed with a SketchUp model of the float and vehicles, the pony was sliced with 123D Make into pieces that could be cut out of foam. 123D Make also lets you place dowels in the model to hold things together and properly line up the pieces.
We made a few adjustments to the sliced design in SkethUp before transferring the file to Aspire, the software we use with YuKonstruct's CNC machine.
3D Warehouse My Little Pony model:https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=381...
Step 2: Tracing and Cutting Foam
While you can carve and cut some insulation foam with a CNC router, the foam that was donated for this project was fairly thick and very crumbly.
Instead of cutting it with the CNC, we put a permanent marker on the machine and had it draw the cut lines onto the foam sheets.
The pieces were then cut out with a jigsaw.
Step 3: Assembly
The foam pieces were glued together with construction adhesive.
Dowels were used to line up the pieces and help hold it together.
Clamps and weights (heavy books) were used to keep the pieces together while the glue dried.
Step 4: Painting
The moosicorns were given a coat of white paint (leftover wall paint).
While the donated foam was already white, some of it was discoloured or marked, so the paint really helped brighten it up.
Step 5: Unicorn Horn
The unicorn horns were made by rolling a piece of poster board into a cone and taping it together. The cones were then covered with sparkly iridescent wrapping paper.
A dowel, taped to the inside of the cone and then inserted into the moosicorn's head, held each horn in place.
Step 6: Mane and Tail
The unicorn manes and tails were made from plastic table cloth (the kind that comes on a roll).
The mane was assembled from pompoms in each of the rainbow colours, held together by a strip of duct tape. It was attached to the moosicorn head with wire.
The tail was made from long strips, cut from each of the colours, and was also wired in place.
Step 7: Antlers
The moose antlers were cut from the foam sheets with a jigsaw.
The antlers were then wrapped in red duct tape, as it was faster than painting (and letting the paint dry).
Dowels and screws were used to hold the antlers in place on the moosicorn heads.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
We cut circles of thin plywood and painted them with craft paints for the moosicorns' eyes. The eyes were screwed in place and then the screw head was painted over.
The derpy quality of the big googly eyes really brought the characters to life!
We also cut hearts out of plywood and painted them pink, before fastening them to the unicorns' chests.
Step 9: Mounting on the Vehicles
The finished moosicorns were secured to the parade vehicles with ratchet straps.
The straps were wrapped around the hood of the ambulance, and to the anchor points on the truck bed.