I have always wanted to turn my bike into some sort of vehicle; the Battleship Halberd, X-Wing starfighter, and just about anything else. The game.life challenge gave me the persuasion to do it. And so, with much thought and work, I present...
The Arwing Bike!
This project took me about two weeks to build; most of it was built it the space of approximately 5-6 days (as in, a good 6 hours a day). Encountering minor problems with support and structure, it was a relatively easy build; it just took a while.
This Arwing is the one from Star Fox Assault (elaborated in the History and Design step), and I chose it because it looked much nicer than the other Arwing designs; I also believed that it would be easy to build because of lack of details. Now I look back and say, "WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING?!?!?!" Anyway, it turned out great in the end, so I don't regret my choice. :)
NOTE: As far as I can tell, this is the first and only how-to for anything Star Fox related; it's also the second project Star Fox related that has been released on the Internet (Here's the other one- http://arwinglanding.net/forum/index.php?topic=8128.0). GOT HERE FIRST! w00t!
A video of a test run on the Arwing:
Please vote for this Instructable in the MakerBot Challenge and the game.life Challenge! Thanks, and don't forget to rate this Instructable! Check out some of my other projects too!
Step 1: History and Design
The Arwing has gone over many major changes throughout the Star Fox series. This step is dedicated to explaining a bit of it.
List of Star Fox Games (in order of release):
1. Star Fox (SNES)
2. Star Fox 64 (Nintendo 64)
3. Star Fox Adventures (GameCube)
4. Star Fox Assault (GameCube)
5. Star Fox Command (Nintendo DS)
A few things to note about the Arwings in the games:
The Arwing in the SNES Star Fox is the simplest, as it was basically a triangular shape with more triangles for wings and G-Diffusers, the blue engine pods that allow the Arwings to fly. It is not the Arwing many people recognize easily.
The Arwing in Star Fox 64 is the original that many know, and is also the one used in the Super Smash Bros. series. Also, Star Fox 64 is essentially the same as the SNES one, but it has better graphics n' stuff.
The Arwing design I am using is the one from Star Fox Assault, as it has the easiest design (not including details) to replicate freehand.
Canonical Arwing History
In the events of Star Fox 64 (or the SNES one) the Arwing was the craft that the Star Fox team used against Andross, the main antagonist, in the Lylat Wars (because, well, Star Fox exists in the Lylat System). After they defeated Andross in the Lylat Wars they pretty much ran out of a job, and they had a 80-year mortgage to pay off for their mothership, the Great Fox. Slippy, the mechanic of the team, cannibalized parts from the Arwings and added landing gears and a larger nose to hold more cargo. This happened in Star Fox Adventures, where the Arwing was used the least in all of the Star Fox games and the game took more of an action-RPG style game (and because of this design, I decided to avoid this when making my Arwing). As a side note Star Fox Adventures was actually a different game called Dinosaur Planet before they changed it into a Star Fox game. Star Fox Adventures had the Star Fox team rescue and restore order to Sauria, the dinosaur planet which is being controlled by a tyrant dinosuar who was being manipulated by a revived Andross. They defeated Andross and restored order to the dinosaur planet, and they were awarded a great deal of money for their duties. Then came Star Fox Assault. Using the money the Star Fox team upgraded their Arwings and the Great Fox, giving the Arwing a much sleeker design. They used these in the Aparoid Invasion, where mechanical beings called Aparoids were attacking and assimilating machines and people across the system. They defeated this new threat and in Star Fox Command it is revealed that after the Aparoid Invasion the team disbanded, each pilot taking a new craft for their own. Fox, the main character, was the only one to retain an Arwing craft; the only thing is it's a different design than the one in Star Fox Assault and is actually the Arwing II. Star Fox Command is very non-canonical so the Arwing II design and the other ships may not be what actually happened.
Also to note; the Great Fox in all the games up to Star Fox Command are the same; then Peppy crashed it into a shield and they had to buy a cheap replacement in Command.
As a side note Nintendo is releasing a remake of Star Fox 64 on the new 3DS. YAY! :D
Step 2: Materials N' Stuff
For this project you will need:
-Duct Tape and/or Clear Packaging Tape
-Hot Glue Sticks
-Acrylic Paint (I used the glossy kind, to give it a shiny-ish look)
-Black (not glossy because I couldn't find a glossy one)
-Bladed Tool (I used a box cutter)
-Hot Glue Gun
For reference I took snapshots and watched a "Let's Play Star Fox Assault' to see certain details.
The first one is here- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xreugNx7MME
NOTE: Since your bike is most likely not the same as mine you may need to change the design a bit to accommodate the different bicycle frame. Also my bike did not have a kick stand, so I had to have the bike on a bike rack most of the time.
Step 3: Rings!
To make the Arwing removable from the bike you are going to need rings. These rings are simple to make; you take a strip of cardboard, wrap it around the bar of the bike to see the length, trim it, and create sticky tabs. Sticky tabs are basically pieces of duct tape that have a folded down edge that acts as a tab; this allows you to open and close a ring with a cut in it. Think velcro, but MacGyvered.
You will need three at the least, four for super support. The photos will show their locations, as well as additional details.
The pictures will clarify, and so will the Dismount step.
Step 4: Create a Base
Take a flat piece of cardboard and hot glue it onto the top of the horizontal rings. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ROTATE THE RINGS BEFOREHAND SO THAT YOU CAN STILL REMOVE THEM. Then cut out ovals for you legs to still be able to push the pedals on the bike.
Make a cross brace from the angled ring to the base. Looking at the pictures you can see that I folded down an edge on the flat base and tucked and hot glued a piece of cardboard there. The other end goes to the angled ring. This prevents the base from rotating annoyingly. The weight will also be VERY unbalanced, so do it.
Take another two pieces of cardboard and hot glue them to the front of the base. Angle them so they meet in a point. Then, if necessary, cut out a U-shaped hole so that when you turn the wheel the cables that change gear/supply the brakes enter these U-shaped holes, giving a good range of mobility. Trim the two pieces of cardboard into a point. (Also, it's probably a good idea to make another ring for the wires so they stay together as close as possible. You still want the wires to move a bit though<in the ring>)
UPDATE:I realized I needed more stability, so I added another piece of cardboard across the back, turning the U-shaped openings into U-shaped holes. I added extra cardboard to strengthen it.
The photos will clarify just about everything.
NOTE: When you have cardboard try not to cut out pieces with folds in them from the tabs. The fold gives it less stability, so avoid when you can and use larger boxes. Also it's a good idea to take the bike out on a test run every so often to see that it's still easy to ride and nothing is obstructing it. I tested it once and found out that I would have to elevate the front more because it was hitting the front wheel; I added more cardboard as a cushion between the base and the bar.
Step 5: G-Diffusers!
Studying photos of the G-Diffuser design in Star Fox Assault from photo albums online I determined that the G-Diffusers were made of three basic shapes; a right triangle, a parallelogram, and a looooooooonnng triangle. There were also a few other shapes added on that I guesstimated because certain parts curved in. I cut out templates for all these shapes (check the photos; one of them is for the top halves and the other is for the bottom <SEE NOTE>). I found out that the right triangle didn't actually make a flat bottom like the pictures online because of the angle of the shape. So you know what I did?
It was a minor detail anyway, and didn't affect the look of the G-Diffuser. It's not like anyone memorized the exact dimensions of the real Arwing.
I used the templates and copied it eight times, except for the front triangle and the tiny triangle under it because of the different design of the top and bottom halves; I only made 4 of these. There were different pieces for the bottom halves (check template pictures). Once I cut them out I applied tape to the parts adjoining each other, them used hot glue on the inside of these edges to keep it's angle rigid. I did this with all the G-diffusers.
Another thing: I found out that I needed to cut out pieces where the glowing part (or exhaust, though not technically true) of the G-Diffuser is so that it's closed off and doesn't expose the inside. I cut out a narrow kite shape for this, bent it at the middle, and hot glued it into place on all four quarters. Also, there are small pieces that fold inward a bit, so I cut out rectangles and triangles and glued them where needed.
The G-Diffusers will also need circles to connect to the body later. Take two circles, add a filling edge, and glue it into a short cylinder. Repeat four times. Two of these cylinder-circles will be cut off to flatten an edge. These are for the bottom G-Diffusers.
The bottom is a little different; do everything the top did except for the right triangle. I cut off a section because of a different design on the bottom halves of the right triangle piece and used that instead. Then I took another few copied right triangles and made pieces that acted as this hinge thingy...yeah, I don't get it either. The photos will clear it up.
Photos will clarify. Alot.
NOTE: The bottom halves of the G-Diffusers are a bit different from the top two. You could get away with all the pieces being top halves, but I wanted a little more detail.
Here are photos of the Arwing in Assault for reference: http://media.photobucket.com/image/arwing%20assault/archus7/star%20fox/Arwing06.jpg?o=1
These photos are not game accurate; I believe them to be artist renditions.
Step 6: Armoring the Base
Now that we have a base and have G-Diffusers prepared it's time to armor the base! (By armor I mean create the actual shape.)
Cut out a triangle of cardboard, testing it to see what it looks like at an angle on the front triangle. There will be a flat piece between two triangles, so leave a space. Once it fits, duplicate it and hot glue both of them into place (at an angle for the nose of the Arwing). Cut out a U-shape hole for the wires. Then cut a sliver of a triangle piece of cardboard and tape it to one side of the two triangles. Create a tab for it so it connects to the other side. This way the slim triangle can open like a hinge and allow the entire Arwing to pull out. (See Removal/Dismount step for details)
Create an incision that allows the triangle to fold down. Hot glue the angle into place.
Create the two shapes shown in the photos. Hot glue them on the bottom edge. The first piece is at a 90 degree angle; the one that connects to it's bottom edge angles inward. Make sure it does not interfere with the front wheel.
Create two pieces of cardboard that extend outward from the nose triangles. Make supports from the base to the new part and strengthen where needed. Add two rectangle pieces at a 90 degree angle on the sides. Don't forget to cut out holes for the legs!
Photos will, again, clarify.
Step 7: Behind and Around the Cockpit
OK, so I'm not actually going to add a cockpit. The problem is that the cockpit would be cut off in places to fit my legs and that it would be very obstructive and create a whole bunch of problems. I'll see if I can add it later, but for now I skipped it.
Create four 3-D C-shaped arcs. These are to be connected to the G-Diffusers and the wing. Glue them to the sides of the elevated base as shown in the photos. Afterward make four 3-D Star Trek symbol-like shapes that fit on the C-shaped arcs. Glue these on as shown in the photos. Don't forget to fill in the gap between each piece!
Make sure that these pieces DO NOT cover the leg holes. Keep them to the side.
Once again, the photos will be a lifesaver.
Step 8: Glue on the G-Diffusers!
Now it's time to glue on the G-Diffusers!
Take a top G-Diffuser and glue the rounded edge of cylinder-ring to the fron of the Star Trek symbol thingy. Do the same with the bottom connector thingy, and then glue the bottom G-Diffuser to the connector thingy. Repeat on the other side.
Of course if things don't make sense, photos always help. :P
Step 9: Wingin' It!
Let make some wings and fly! (along the ground)
Approximate the length of your wing and the angle and shape. Cut it out, then reverse it and copy it again. You should now have two wings. Don't forget to add support pieces where there are folds!
Glue the wings to the protruding Star Trek symbol thingies. I added a support piece from the back of the base to the underside of the wing because the weight was making the wing sag.
The cardboard chassis is done!
Step 10: Paint
...self-explanatory title, isn't it?
I had four basic colors; dark blue, white, black, and grey/gray (for details).
I printed out a sheet with the Arwing on it to see the color details. I did a base layer, then did details.
Obviously, I'm a painting n00b, so paint how you want.
And you should be done! Now go show off your sweet ride. :D
Step 11: Removal/Dismount
Using words to describe it here would befuddle you completely, so I made a video for you to see. The Arwing is not complete in the video so that it's easier for you to see the process, and so I won't have to be restricted to complicated maneuvers just to get to the rings.
Step 12: Mission Accomplished!
In all, I think this project was really fun. I'll post a video of me riding it when I get the chance. Until then, TTFN! And don't forget to vote in the game.life challenge and the MakerBot contest!
If you have any thing you want to say the comments below are open! See you soon! :D
"Do a barrel roll!"
Photos (Artist Rendition)- http://media.photobucket.com/image/arwing%20assault/archus7/star%20fox/Arwing06.jpg?o=1
Arwing Model- http://arwinglanding.net/forum/index.php?topic=8128.0
Let's Play Star Fox Assault- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xreugNx7MME
UPDATE- I embedded the video on the first page! :D