Introduction: Dead Computer Mouse = Farscape DRD

About: I'm an artist who using just about anything in my art projects, a type of recycling. I haven't posted in a while because my digital camera died and I'm looking for a replacement.

I had a dead mouse hanging around so I put it to practical use. Some thin sheets of plastic, cut in a few groves and added eye stalks and viola', a DRD (Diagnostic Repair Drone) from the sci fi TV show Farscape .

All you need is:
- a mouse (any one will do, different shapes could be from different ships)
- some thin wire
- some heavy wire
- sheet styrene (the plastic "garage sale" signs at any store should work)
- super glue (I prefer gel type)
- primer paint (spray)
- yellow paint, flat  (spray or bottle)
- black paint, flat  (bottle)
- gloss paint (spray or bottle)
- 2 dead LED's (unless you want to make them lit)
- 2 Christmas bulb holders
- modeling putty
- silver tape (or any tape painted silver)
- x-acto knife
- razor saw
- sandpaper (100 grit or so)
- drill the size of your heavy wire
- paper punch (or leather punch)
- a little imagination and time

Step 1: Prep & Build

The construction was pretty simple. Gut the mouse and screw the body back together. I removed the buttons and glued them in a new position so there was a small gap for looks.

I cut some groves to simulate recessed doors with the razor saw and fixed the over cuts with a bit of putty.
Next comes sanding, this it to get the surface ready for the panels that will be glued on. It doesn't have to be perfect just no huge gouges should be showing.

I cut some random styrene (plastic) shapes and started super-gluing them down. I have 2 size paper punches but a leather punch would give you many more choices. I used a few pictures for inspiration and cut a few of the rectangles diagonally. I layered a few of the sheets to give more depth to the design.

Step 2: Eyes and Stalks

Once the glue had dried clean up any that might have squished out. A light sanding to smooth out the design should get this ready for primer.

The eye stalks are easy to make. Take the heavy wire and cut to a length you feel looks right, remembering to leave enough to anchor them to the body and to attach the eyes.

Take the thin wire and just wraparound the heavy wire to create the ribbed effect. It should hold on fine by itself without gluing. Once that is done cut off the bottom end off the Christmas bulb holder and insert the dead LED (without the leads) where the bulb was.
Glue onto the wire end and then wrap thin strip of tape around where the holder and thin wire meet.  Bend to shape and hand paint the wires black.

Step 3: Paint and Paint and More Paint

Prime the body and let dry, this will help reveal any spots you need to re-sand and/or putty.
Once that is ready give it a few generous coats of yellow.
Several coats will make the added sheets seem more molded in then being glued on.
Once all the painting is dry add a nice clear gloss coat.

Step 4: Weathering

The reason for the gloss paint is apparent now. The gloss lets you wipe off any excess paint without damaging the yellow beneath.
Add a bit of black paint to the recessed groves you made before and wipe with a damp paper towel. It should leave the paint in the groves while clearing it from around it.
Brush some black paint into the gaps by the buttons.
Repeat for each grove and recessed place you want black.

Once dry (lots of waiting for things to dry in this) water down a bit of black paint and brush over the model so it settles around the edges of the panels. Don't let this dry all the way, wipe off the runs and any extra blotchy spots.
Now take your dirty and damp paper towel and add a bit more paint to it.  Dab this over the body to simulate a generl dirty and weathered look. If you get too much just wipe off and try again.

Step 5: A Sight to See!

Now that the body is done it's time for the last step.
A dab of super glue in the holes (remember them?) will hold the eyes in pretty well.
Double check for any spots that need touch up and there you go.
A nice paper weight or just for display.

Using the same techniques I made 2 others from some small plastic cases, another yellow DRD and the 1812 DRD.

I hope to see your versions posted here!

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