From February to September this year I made a replica of the sword Sting from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. I followed this guide on Instructables. I don’t have it anymore as I gave it to a friend. In this post I will not describe how to make one, as the Instructables guide is very good and detailed, but rather write a little about how I made mine in a different way, and how I would (or probably will) make another one for myself.
The guide I followed used hard wood which was then sanded down to the final shape. I had some 1 cm thich balsa wood available, so I decided to shape that into a rough sword shape and sand down that. The benefit of using balsa is that it is soft, so sanding goes very fast. But since it is light and soft, it’s also fragile. So I covered the whole sword in papier-mâché made with brown packing paper torn into small pieces, soaked in water and glued in place with wood glue thinned with water. When dry this has a very solid and hard surface. After everything was covered and sanded again to get a smooth sword I drew the letters and lines on it and used a wood burning tool to burn it into the sword. When painted this gives the feeling that the letters are engraved in the sword. Instead of buying spray paint and potentially make a mess painting with that I decided to use what I already had, which is Citadel paint (the kind used for models and minatures). I painted the whole sword with small brushes, and that went very well in my opinion.
If I make one more I will do as the guide and use a hard type of wood instead of balsa. For a show piece hanging on a wall balsa is fine, but when I picked it up and played a little with it it didn’t have the right feel and weight of a sword. Also, a sword made in hardwood would (I almost wrote wood again) not need to be covered in papier-mâché. Finally I would maybe also make a plate or stand for it to make it more of a nice show piece.
Since I just acquired a new shoulder bag that I will use for travelling I decided to see if it can actually fit all the things I usually bring in my hand luggage. So here is everything laid out on my living room table.
Click on read more to get a list of these things and see if all of this fits in my shoulder bag:
I see that I really don’t give this blog as much attention as I would like to, there’s always something else on my mind that keeps me busy. Since my last blog posts I have done six trips to five different countries (France, Poland, Netherlands Latvia and Serbia and France again). I don’t think I will write anything about those trips any time soon, so instead I thought it could be a good idea to share what I have learnt in all these travels, and what I try to remember before travelling, during the travel and when I have arrived to my destination.
This summer I worked a lot, but in between I did some small do-it-yourself projects. So here is the complete list of what I made. Click on any of the pictures to see them bigger.
1. New propeller hat. My propeller hat was stolen in June when I wore it at a club. So I bought a new one and made a new propeller. This time the fixing is made with a thin metal tube instead of wood, so it’s a lot lighter and stronger.
2. I tested my homebuilt sailboat I built last summer, and found out that the sails I had made fast didn’t work well. So I added a boom in the front of the boat and made bigger sails. Now it sails really well. I also worked with my cousin on a real sail boat that belongs to my and his family. The autumn came too fast, but now it’s ready for next year!
3. This summer I finally bought and played the games Portal and Portal 2. And since I really liked them I made a portal sentry turret egg cup. The instructions are on instructables.
4. Modular origami. I have become a fan of modular origami, which is geometric shapes made with for example 30 pieces interlocked in each other, as is the case with this one. To make them go to Tom Hulls webpage or his youtube channel (easier to learn).
5. A camera bag/pouch. I needed a camera bag for a travel, but the ones I looked at in the camera shop costed a lot. So I used the same tissue as for the model boat and sewed it together with some rope to make a simple bag. Inside it I have another thicker pouch to protect the camera.
This post is very long overdue since it should have been written right after my trip to St. Petersburg in April. But I always thought about writing it, and finally here it is.
To get into Russia is not to hard if you plan ahead and get your visa in good time before you travel. I did not. Since I travelled for a geography congress, the congress organisers had sent a invitation letter that I should use to get a visa. But it didn’t come in time, so I couldn’t wait any more and had to order a tourist visa. To get a visa you have to go to the embassy, and the nearest Russian embassy is in Oslo (I live in Trondheim). So to avoid a travel to Oslo I paid someone from a visa service office to go to the embassy for me. I paid them well, and I also paid a small fortune to get my passport back with overnight shipping. It came at 8.30 in the morning on the 18th of April, and I left with the night train the same day. Coincidently, my invitation letter also came on the day I left. With all the paperwork done I finished packing my huge suitcase and left for Russia.
If you want to read the rest of my Russian adventure, click on “read more”. Continue reading →
Two weeks ago, me and some friends visited Helsinki and the geography students there. Since I only was there for 4 days, I didn’t have time to see much, but I still got a good impression of the city and the Finnish people.
Click on the images to come to the image galleries. Gallery 2 is only from the botanical garden.
When we came the first day we was picked up at the airport by our hosts. After a really good lunch we visited the Department of Geosciences and Geography in Kumpala campus. In the evening the first day we had a fun bar game. Day 2: We had a city tour, later we tried some luging and we ended the day in a hot sauna. Day 3: We visited the botanical garden in Kaisaniemi, and then we had half a day of free time. I used my free time to visit the Design Museum because I was interested in seeing some Finnish design. When I was there the museum had an exposition about Korea and another about Marimekko. I also walked a lot in the streets of Helsinki and did some shopping. I the evening we did something called Sitsit (click the link to read more about it). Basically it’s a party where you sit around a table and eat, drink and sing a lot. Day 4: Since I had to leave one day earlier than the other ones this was my last day in Helsinki. we used the day to visit Saurasaari, a small half-island outside Helsinki. This place has a lot of old houses and was like a big museum. In the evening before I had to leave we visited Pihlajamäki, which was the suburb where I lived.
I really liked Helsinki. I hope to visit the city again soon and also see more of Finland. The people there are nice and helpful. The way of living is “Scandinavian”, so for a Norwegian like me it wasn’t a very big change to be in Helsinki. I also understand and can read Swedish, so it was easy for me to understand the road signs which was in both Finnish and Swedish. The hardest part of the trip must be the sauna, because it was a lot warmer than I’m used to.
I feel a bit guilty for not writing here as often as I want to, but now I have something to do almost every day, so I don’t get much time for blogging. I have school work to deliver each week, lectures every day (even lectures at the same time) and driving lessons once a week. On the evenings I have meetings with the photo club or the student association of geography and in April the sailing and orienteering season starts again. If that’s not enough, I’m also travelling again soon. I can’t complain since I love to travel, but it means I have less time for other things like writing here. Next week I will travel to Helsinki for 5 days. Two days after that trip I have an obligatory field trip with my class that will last three days. And in the eastern holiday (end of April) I will travel to St Petersburg in Russia for another geography congress. But it’s fun to live the life, explore the world and do things instead of doing nothing.
Now I have some big projects that I’m working on. The first ones are school projects which is a bit complicated to explain here. Another project is to backup all my pictures to my smugmug page. Now I’m soon finished with all my pictures from 2010, then I will upload all the pictures from 2004 – 2009, and at the end the pictures from 2011. I’m taking one month at the time, and since I have to look through all the pictures and delete the bad ones before uploading it takes a lot of time. Since the internet line at my home is really slow I also only do uploading at the campus. That means only some hours of uploading every week. But I plan to have all my pictures on the web in some months.
Here’s some pictures from a Datarock concert in September last year taken on black and white film. Click on “close” in the upper right coner to see the rest of the pictures.
Today I made this image in photoshop. Some of it is drawn with my wacom tablet. feel free to click on the image and download the full size image. It’s 1280 x 800 pixels in size and can therefore be used as a background image on a wide-screen computer screen. Or it can be used as a Christmas card, you decide.
I have made two short movies with my Gopro hd camera, and I’m editing a third one now that I will put here soon. The first movie is from Romania, and I made it to show to the other students here in Trondheim what happens at an EGEA congress. The parts in 4:3 format is filmed with my compact camera, but the parts in widescreen (the view of the valley and the poolparty) are filmed with the Gopro.
The second movie I have made is of me biking between two of the campuses in Trondheim in the rain. In real time it took around 15 minutes, but in the movie it’s sped up to 4 times the regular speed to be more fun to watch.
I wrote last blog post on the first of November, but I actually was in Romania at the end of September. So a lot of things has happened since that trip.
in October I went to a Halloween-party. The costume I made was of Bender from Futurama. To make it I used a lot of cardboard, duct tape and metallic plastic foil. Here are three pictures of it:
The first picture is a close up of the head. The head is the part I’m most happy with of the costume (and it also took the longest time to make). The second is of me wearing the costume and the third picture is of the “interior”. Since I had to fit into the costume body it’s only 10cm deep, but it was still enough for a lot of chocolate. In that picture you also can see the chocolate medal I got for the best outfit of the party. But it got even more fun later in the evening when we all went out to “Samfundet” (the student building). I couldn’t walk 10 meters without being stopped by someone who wanted to take a picture of me or telling me that the costume was great. But now it only stand in my living room and uses a lot of space.
In November I was some days in Amsterdam and had a lot of fun with other geography students from across Europe. I visited the Van Gogh museum, the Rijksmuseum (museum of art and history) and biked or walked a lot around in the city. I also learned a lot about the city. I really liked being there and will definitely go back sometime. Since that trip I’ve had some exams. But between the reading and the exams I have found some interesting things on the web. I’m a fan of Daft Punk, but I didn’t know there was a Daft Punk movie until I learned about Interstella 5555. The movie is based on the album Discovery and consists of animated music videos put together to a one-hour movie. It’s possible to see it here or below:
Then I found this video of a Daft Punk helmet: You can read more about this helmet on the website of the maker or at this forum. I really want to make a helmet like this even if it never would be this nice. Maybe I’ll do it for next Halloween. And soon I will see the new Tron movie with soundtrack made by Daft Punk.
Today I borrowed the radio dramatization of “The Hichhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” made by BBC at the library and listened to the first cd. And then as a coincidence I found out today that something like the guide in the book has been made and is possible to buy. It’s a device called the Openmoko wikireader which allows you to read a downloaded version of wikipedia, so it can be used in places without a network connection or paying for the cell phone network. Something I find nice is that it can run for a year on two aaa batteries. Now I only have one exam left before a long Christmas holiday. So then I will (hopefully) have some more time to write. And during the holiday I will put all my pictures on my online photo album. So then I will write about that process and put links to the best pictures here.