WHALES - FULL SIZE GIANT ANIMATRONIC STUDIES
BLUE WHALE - A magnificent display in Paris on the banks of the River Seine for the climate talks in December 2015, this is the giant metal sculpture of 'Bluebelle,' a whale caught in the South Atlantic Ocean in 1912.
STUDY IN BLUE
Bluebird Marine Systems are looking at the possibility of creating one of the most exciting displays in the world as a natural showcase for exhibition on land and to give ocean rides to whale enthusiasts.
The idea is to create the largest interactive robot whale in the world. Not a killer whale, as appears to be very popular and perhaps the largest of the waterborne animatronic whale projects, but a humpback or sperm whale. A blue whale might be a bit too big. What do you think?
Our inspiration has come from the above display on the banks of the River Seine, though not a marine animatronic, it is crying out to be one. We also drew inspiration from the giant robot ant that is nearing completion in our workshops.
FREE WILLY - The GRP Orca made for the famous film by Warner Brothers
WALT CONTI - ANIMATRONIC WHALE
FOR FREE WILLY
MOULDS - The scale of the problem is enormous. The mould for a boat hull this size would cost a fortune.
The basic idea seemed simple. Just scale up the 4 ft.
Star Trek whales to 22 ft. Unfortunately, the underlying design parameters don’t scale linearly, but rather by the 3rd power, or in this case over 150 times. So instead of the 1 horsepower required by the
Star Trek whales, the Willy model would need almost 200 horsepower. And instead of a 35 lb. skin, the 22 ft. whale would have a 4,000 lb. skin. The questions then arose: How does a 4,000 lb. skin behave when it moves? How do you attach it to the mechanism? How do you balance the 6,800 lb. whale so that it behaves naturally in the water, actually swims, and doesn’t float belly up? The whale would be completely self-contained except for a small umbilical. There was no precedent for any of this. Undaunted, the Edge team broke down the multitude of challenges into separate tasks and prototyped each.
At the same time, the artists had to create a sculpture that matched Keiko’s form as accurately as possible. Initial attempts at measuring Keiko failed, until the trainers worked some new moves into his routine in which he would take the tape measure in his mouth and roll just the right way so that accurate measurements could be taken. Additionally, an orca skull of just the right size was obtained and castings from this skull were used to create the mouth interior and individual teeth of the whale.
ORCA: THE KILLER WHALE - 1977 MOVIE
CHINA - There are a number of Chinese companies who make some pretty large whale animatronics. If these paid a little more attention to details and anatomical accuracy, they would be even more amazing than they already are.
BRUCE - Not a whale, but the method of construction is interesting. Nature has already done most of the design work for you, but this needs to be studied and then converted into a practical replica. In the film world attention to detail is essential for audience viewing pleasure and profits. The shark in Jaws was not that brilliant today; it was pretty good at the time.
DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS - DARPA
DARPA is pushing the boundaries in promoting humanoid robotics. How long then before we see animatronic dignitaries at venues like Madame Tussauds.
HRH DUCHESS CAMBRIDGE - This is not a robot of Kate, but a photo of the much loved lady where you could be forgiven for thinking her a waxworks model, if not for the fact that her companion is conversing with her. Kate is her popular name, formerly Catherine Middleton, she is a patron of many worthwhile institutions.
HUMPBACK - This is a 1/20th scale model of Kulo Luna, a humpback whale for use in displays with the SeaVax and Elizabeth Swan tank test models. She is made of fibreglass, 760mm (30") long and will float in water at the correct displacement. Seen here in a basecoat for final grey and white primer coats before detailing. The skills needed to make such models quickly might be needed for larger exhibits in connection with the Cleaner Ocean Foundation's awareness campaigns. Imagine a full size humpback whale or even a megalodon. Most of our models are fitted to revolving displays where the stand is motorised. This humpback whale model is fixed to a modified camera tripod for static showing. The detailing of this artwork is to follow the Refill event in Eastbourne on January the 26th 2019. Copyright © Jameson Hunter December 24 2018.
ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT - Sea Life Sydney Aquarium (formerly Sydney Aquarium) is a public aquarium located in the city of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the eastern (city) side of Darling Harbour to the north of the Pyrmont Bridge. It is a full institutional member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). If you take the time to visit this display, we think you may agree that the artwork is first rate, in fact one of the best around.
CHINA - Our Chinese cousins love their Dragon culture - and why not
LINKS & REFERENCE
LEFT: A heartwarming adventure: pirate whalers V a wounded whale and three kind people out to save the cetacean, with a $Billion dollars riding on the conclusion. NEXT: One of the Free Willy movies. CENTRE: A big fish roams a shoreline ripe with tasty morsels until three men get in a boat to hunt it down. RIGHT: The Marvel version of the film.
- MEKONG - MISSISSIPPI - NIGER - NILE - PARANA - PASIG - SARNO - THAMES
- YANGTZE - YAMUNA - YELLOW
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