Monday, February 28, 2011

How to make an AT-AT Imperial Walker Snow Sculpture for Kids.

 These are the instructions for making an AT-AT Imperial Walker Snow Sculpture.

First, wait for the snow to be a little bit mushy and you can make a snow ball by just grabbing it with one hand.
Next start off with something completely unrelated like the Pi symbol.

Then come to the realization that you can make legs of snow and actually bridge snow over short distances. The way to bridge the snow is to start off with small chunks and have the snow grow ever so slightly off the legs.  Then slowly start piling more and more snow on top of the thing and it should hold.  Now find a picture of an AT-AT Imperial Walker at a Star Wars Wiki Site. You'll need this to try to get as close to the details as possible.

Pile on the snow and make a small column to support the head and shape away with some hand tools such as a trowel, a small saw and a butter knife(now with one million and one uses).  Stick a kids broom into the body and form snow around it for the head.  Note:  I don't recommend you put the broom on as you're building the body, you want to jam it in to the torso so the snow compacts around it and holds it tight).
Use a column that looks like smoke to support the head.  (You may consider adding a crashed snow speeder there but the column is temporary).
Continue adding small patches of snow, little bits at a time to build up the different parts of the legs, head and body.  The legs need to be rather fat because you'll be carving a lot out of them.

The best way to do this is to scrape the snow from the top surface of the ground as that usually is nice and sticky.  Notice the  trowel in the background.
Pack it down with the concrete forming tool, then use a knife or a saw to cut straight lines into the cylinders on the legs and the body.  Carve the details with a sharp knife and then use your fingers to patch it up.
Run your bare hand over parts that you want to turn to ice as the top layer will melt and then freeze again forming a nice hard shell.
When I'm forming these things I use wool gloves as they get bits of ice on them and it creates a sand paper like effect.
 Add details and smooth out with fingers.  Let sit overnight before adding children.

Let it sit overnight and then breakaway the support on the head by carefully cutting away at it little by little as close to the head as possible.
 The legs are about 15 centimeters (6 inches) wide and have managed to hold about 50 pounds worth of children.

Add children and lightsabers (a little Gimp action on the glows) and you're having a blast!

A pair of x-country skis works too.  Helmet provided for safety.

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