Germy's Tripod Project part 1

There I was wandering around that hobby Aladins cave better known as the Pound store (or Dollar store if you're across the pond), and I came across some night time reading lights. The sort you clip onto your book to read by and thought to myself that they looked a bit sci-fi
I then made the connection of possibly mounting it onto the mini camera tripod I had to make a model tripod fighting machine. At this point I had no idea how simple yet effective a model it would become. So sit back and I'll talk you through the project I'm calling Codename 274 because that's how many up Pence it cost to make!


So lets forget the pound store for the moment, although it provided the inspiration I turned to Ebay in search of the requied parts. First up i purchased the clip on light for £1.25 (delivered). There are lots of different types the one I chose looked like it would sit on the tripod part the best. Next up I bought the mini camera tripod for £0.99 (delivered) I was surprised to find it that cheap, the original one I bought for my camera a few years back cost me £5.99. Lastly I wanted something to act as a weapon and had the idea of using computer cables. I found a simple SATA cable with its nice square ends would do the job. These I bought at two for £1.00 delivered (£0.50 per tripod). So £2.74 well spent.

Once I'd acquired the model parts I gathered up the required tools to build the tripod. Again keeping it simple all I was going to need was an old CD to base it on, glue, knife, scissors and pliers.

I started by cutting off the screw thread at the top of the tripod with the pliers and cutting of the final bits with the knife. This gave me a nice flat surface to stick the reading light to.

Then I took the hook part off the front of the camera tripod. I did this by simply bending the plastic flap until it snaped. I was still deciding what to do with it when I moved onto the next stage.

Turning to the rubber feet of the tripod I decided I'd prefer them to have a flat base. They would look more like feet that way. So I cut through the mould line on each foot to maintain an even approach. The flat parts with the hole would get glued back onto the legs. The remaining bumps went on the don't know pile for now.

Before I stuck the feet on I repositioned the tripod legs, bending them out with my hands until I was happy with how they looked. I then stuck the feet on and decided to stick the plastic flap on practically in the place that it was but against the tripod body not sticking out.

Turning to the reading light my original plan was to stick it on the tripod as it came. But it just looked like I had stuck a light on a stand. So I took the clip mechanism apart so that only one part remained attached to the light.

I then took the light mechanism apart and cut the neck wire a little shorter. This just made it look a little meaner and less like a giraffe. I also took the light apart because when it came to painting I would have to remove the glass so I didn't paint over it.

Very simple stage this. I just stuck the tripod to the CD to hold the legs in place while I built up the rest of the tripod.

Here I started constructing the main body of the tripod. I just stuck the clip onto the top of the tripod using the angle of the clip to dictate the anle it would sit on the tripod.

At this point I moved onto the weapons. I cut the SATA cable to lengths that I felt would work. Left a spare bit of cable but I'll use some of that later. While not connected to the tripod I took the opportunity to put a bend in the cable so that they would face forward on the model. The wire in the cable was a great help in keeping the shape.

I stuck the two cables to the back of the body and then used the other part of the reading light clip as a back plate. This also helped secure the cables in place.

Remember those spare nodules from the feet. Well at this point I discovered I could use them to add some bulk to the main body which was looking a bit see through. I stuck one to the front plate and the other two to hide the holes on the back plate.

As a finishing touch and because I thought the legs looked a bit bare i cut off some more cable and just added sort of shin pads. And there we have it, I've stuck the light part back together just to show that if you wanted you don't even have to paint it (well apart from the base). Very simple, I used every part except the spring in the actual clip and at a price that cannot be beaten.

The next challenge was to paint it, so you can find out how I did that clicking on the Related pages links or skip straight to the gallery page to see the tripod in action.

Thanks for reading, and no I have no idea how I'm going to top this project!