608: (58/365) Master Yoda

Do or do not, there is no try:

This is Stéphane Gigandet’s “Yoda”, a lovely simple Star Wars character fold taken from a video I found on a Chinese version of a ebsite (the English version is here) – try it you should. Continue reading

607: (57/365) Storm Trooper

…now I am as much a fan of Star Wars as the next browncoat. I loved Orac, thought he was the best little droid sidekick since Starbuck and 7 of 9 was my favourite character in all of the series:

This is Tadashi Mori’s “Storm Trooper” – a lovely little clone of a guy from the SW universe. Continue reading

605: (55/365) Starship

Origami, the final frontier. These are the journeys of the paper folder “Wonko”, his ONE YEAR MISSION, to seek out new models and folding techniques, to boldly fold where he has not folded before:

This cutie little Trek-inspired ship was hidden away in a Tanteidan convention book I have and all the annotations are in Japanese so I have no idea who the designer is, sorry. Continue reading

541: Charizard – GO!

Now I am not of the generation that grew up with Pokemon, but seem surrounded by adults that were. Fandom/enthusiasm takes many forms and the latest augmented reality game “Pokemon GO!” is so hot right now I felt I had to fold a poke-thing because…reasons541CharizardCaught

I had seen a video tutorial from Tadashi Mori on a complex model called “Charizard” so thought I would give it a go. Squaring up a large sheet of crumpled VOG paper (I used red, the critter should be orange – not sure if it matters) and began folding.541Charizard

Turns out the tutorial was in 3 parts, and the model was really challenging, but I think I managed a reasonable rendition of the critter. Continue reading

525: Tadashi Mori’s Darth Vader

Needing to fold something and having a lovely sheet of Elephant Hide paper means something is going to get creased:525MoriVader

I saw this model in a video tutorial just published by Tadashi Mori and knew I had to try it. It reminds me of one of those cute little plastic dolly’s that are all the rage now – bobble-headed stylized versions of movie and telly characters.525MoriVaderScale

This lovely little Vader comes with helmet, breathing things, cape and the cutest little arms and legs, and is self-standing!

Such a fun fold, you should try it.

517: Darth Paper – The Fold Awakens

I will admit it, I have been a Star Wars fan since it was possible to be one. I saw the original movies many times in the cinema DECADES before my kids thought it would be cool to do the same with the new ones:517DarthPapers

The original 3 movies were special (well, they WERE before Lucas began messing with them again), the “Force” was this unexplained thing that made sense (subsequently RUINED by the introduction of “midiclorians” or some such shit), space ships where sterile white, blasters went “pew pew pew” but left no blood spatter and it was kind of ok to crush on your sister until you realised she was your sister. Continue reading

Live Long and Prosper

This morning I was greeted with the sad news that actor Leonard Nimoy had passed away. Our universe is a little dimmer, missing a bright and shining star. “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it”:


A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP

— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015

Leonard Nimoy did for television and movie what few others have achieved: he demonstrated through his “Spock” character portrayal that a loyal, honest, ethical, objective, calm, logical, thoughtful, respected male alien could be an invaluable colleague and life-long friend. We can all learn from this – he challenges all males to do better.

I have been, and always will be a fan of that “green-blooded devil” and all that he stood for.

You too can fold a tribute – go here

490: Shake, Rover, Shake

I have been a fan of Star Trek since it was possible to be so, love the franchise, movies, series, the lot. I saw a diagram that resulted in an ATAT (All-Terrain Armoured Transport) – one of many fairly silly designs from The Babylon 5 universe, and with some shaming from a friend (thanks Dodes) I decided to give it a whirl.490ATAT

If you were making a vehicle for battle, the last thing on the design bench (apart from a 2 legged chicken-like bipedal mobile gun turret) would be a quadruped.

Any Browncoat worth his part of the ‘verse would be able to ride their Viper Mark II with cables attached, tangle the legs and bring the thing down, like a heavy, falley-downey thing.490ATATScale

Continue reading

427: Geiger’s Xenomorph

Anyone who knows me realises I am a huge fan of the Alien movies, the first one is, for me, close to perfect science fiction horror:

I had been aware of Kade Chan’s Alien design for ages, had the crease pattern and wrestled many times trying to make it with no luck. I had relegated this to the “give up on it” pile – there are a few that have just beaten me for the moment.

Kade posted a near complete video tutorial, suddenly this model was back on the radar. The video is pretty clear – you should have a go – it is NOT a beginners model but the techniques for forming the main features are pretty clear.

So I set about a test fold, in Litho paper – the paper gave up half way through, splitting on most major creases, but I learned the basic collapse and some of the featuring before it gave up so resolved to fold it with something more durable.

I cut a 55cm square of Kraft paper off the roll and, very carefully, began folding. This, like most models, relies on accuracy for things to work out – a part of a mm out here and it compounds when you do accordion pleating, and this model has so many layers because of the amount of the sheet that is hidden.

I like that most surfaces provide layers that you can then texture in the modelling, sculpting them in graded steps to create carapace, armour and small beautiful details like the rib cage and prehensile tail.

The alien as envisaged by the movie franchise took on shape and general morphology from the host it bursts through the chest of – this one is fairly certainly humanoid and so posing it I found myself anthropomorphising its stance a little. I used a little MC to ensure the pose was rigid, clamped details in place until the paper was dry, then mounted him on a textured circular base and am quite chuffed with the result.

This was WTF (What’s That Fold) #2 – stay tuned for more paper bending

395: Showing Off

Our local council library has a large glass display case that usually has things on show for a month. I cautiously asked one of the librarians if she thought some origami would interest patrons and she was very enthusiastic:

There are around 200 models now on show at Holland Park Library for June and I am quite chuffed about that.

Dragging 3 large tidy-tubs of models, most of which I had left over from the 365 Origami Auction, they fill the case rather completely.

You can see models designed by me amongst designs by such luminaries as Kade Chan, Robert Lang, Eric Joisel and many others.

In addition, I was asked to run a workshop in the first week of my school holidays for interested folders (10 years old and up) – see the Holland Park Library website for details and bookings if you are interested.

The only question that begs answer is what the floop I do with these lovelies AFTER the month on show? Suggestions welcome … dear reader?

380: Project Davros

I had this idea in my head that is should be possible to fold a DALEK (you know, that improbable plunger-wielding arch nemesis of Dr Who) from a single sheet of paper:

I began over a two week period to explore the morphology of a Dalek, to come to the conclusion that it is most certainly possible, and that this attempt is very nearly it.

I decided to start with an A2 sheet, figuring that it would be bent in half eventually and curved to make the recognisable armature and leaving paper for eye, manipulators and a nice domed head. Numerous trial scraps of paper were mangled to test various collapse/crinkle ideas that in the end informed the final shaping. The odd shape, the necessary texturing (bumps are essential, apparently, to Daleks), the position of the eye stalk in relation to the plunger/laser hand thingies proved very troublesome with this shape paper and, in retrospect, it would have been better to start with a square – live and learn I guess.

I learnt a lot about myself in this fold – resisting the urge to set a crease is HARD, regretting a misplaced crease later is worse. I found I could, in my head, envisage something and then create it within the limitations of paper fairly faithfully. A LOT of maths-type thinking went in to the original sheet division and that both helped and hindered in the final model as I found taking the highly geometric shapes and making them more organically round was very challenging.

In the end this is NOT a great dalek, it is however a fantastic start. Should I attempt this again I now know more about the final shape to plan better for it – I assumed, you see, that it would sort of just “sort itself out” – this was far from true – much time was spent looking at the mess I had made and working out how to make it less messy (or just hide it and deny it was there).

The final model is not pure origami – given the time and paper torsion, I had to help some parts stay together with little buts of stickey tape on the inside – some of those fine pesky pleats splay over time I found. With different paper (tissue foil for instance) the folds would stay folded a lot better I would guess.

Given this is my FIRST FOLD of this design, and I was working to designs in my head, it was very satisfying. Should I attempt it again I would do it slightly differently, arrange things on the sheet with the final shaping in mind a little better. I think Davros would be proud of my efforts at resurrecting the master race however. Good work if you bothered to read this far, say HI to your mum for me.

295: WALL-E

I am an out and proud Pixar fan, they make movies where animation is almost amazing as the story telling and characterisation:

This is Brian Chan’s WALL-E – a lovely model that has taken me simply an age to complete for all sorts of reasons.

I started with a 52cm square (yep, over a half a meter) and a dodgy folding guide (as opposed to complete diagrams) in RUSSIAN and quite frankly I struggled with this one. I must find a way to buy a book that has this model in it, to see how Brian Chan suggests you fold it because I ended up improvising when there were no instructions that I could follow.

I walked away from this model 3 times, unfolded and re-folded the most complex parts a total of 4 times as I tried to make sense of the next stage. That said, I think the final model is quite remarkable. He is free standing (on stunning caterpillar tracks), has the most amazing head/eyes, is just under 10cm tall and I am totally chuffed with how he turned out.

That you can coax a square of paper into such an intricate and completely detailed model is nothing short of amazing – even if it did take me 5.5 HOURS – yes, that is actual folding elapsed time. Words fail me to express the delight when I finally realised he was going to work (having seriously contemplating abandoning the model twice).

This, for me, is a REAL achievement given how much I had to just work out for myself. Folded from my last piece of lithographic paper (thank you school art department). There was NO paper fatigue and that is astonishing given the lengths that the design requires you torture the paper. I must have some more.

263: Enterprise (Micro Machine)

Those who know me know that I am a bit of a trekker, always on the lookout for Star Trek related stuff:

When I saw this simple model I knew I would give it a go some day. Tonight my mate Mike and I watch some retro Trek (Original Series) and I thought it opportune to roll out the micromachine version – not sure if you remember the concept – there was a sort of “matchbox” to that was tiny versions of other things – this looks a lot like the micro machine version of the enterprise.

At this scale it was very fiddly indeed – tiny little folds in a very dense mid-section, but it figuratively represents the model so I am happy enough with it. If I were to fold it again I wold start with a much bigger sheet of paper.

Cute saucer-section, nacelles in more or less the right place, I even fashioned a deflector dish in the right place – cute if torturous.

Space, the final frontier, these are the voyages of the starship Enterprise …

232: Face-hugger

My second favorite sci-fi film of all time (Alien) brought new forms of terror to the screen:

In a well tried formula, a nasty makes itself on board a spaceship firmly clamped to the face of an inquisitive explorer (John Hurt), implanting an egg in the host’s tummy before scaring everyone and dropping dead. The newly hatched nasty then systematically, and with great suspense, eats everyone – you get that. This prototype xenomorph is all the more terifying because, based on Geiger illustrations, organically modelled after a sinister hand.

I like that there was always a life-cycle implicit in the Alien films, and that there was an innate social order amongst the xenmporphs also.

This model was a little trickey to fold – I had to nurse the copy paper as at many junctures it looked like it would disintegrate – I managed the fold without any paper fatigue I am proud to say and it is a worthy proto alien to compliment the adult I folded earlier in the year

Insectoid, reptilian, with gripsey fingers for walking, prehensile tail to wrap around the neck of the victim, off lung sacks for gas exchange, a well thought out model indeed (even if the instruction annotations were bewildering – thankfully I am confident enough to improvise when I cannot make head nor tail of what is supposed to go where)..

204: Android

Now I am no fanboi of ANY operating system (they are ALL buggy, quirky and make little sense from a design perspective), and recommend NO hardware (it is ALL junk with 100% failure rate) but I thought some of my geekier friends might like this tribute:

A fairly faithful (at least from the front side of the model, it is fairly ugly at the back but might make a good card-mounted model) rendering of the Google Android mascot.

Apparently it should be green which is a little tricksey in a white-only first fold scenario but you get that. It features box pleating in TENTHS which in itself is interesting, but the initial collapse and shaping were interesting and I am happy with this as my first fold.

make me an offer, I might be convinced to fold one for you – you can have a go yourself here (be warned, it is not an introductory fold)

136: Starship Enterprise

..Space, the final frontier. These are the journeys of the Starship Enterprise as she continues her 5 year mission …

Talk about “boldly going where no copy paper has been before”, this delightful little model is the result of wrestling an A3-cut square into something that is 17cm saucer to nacelle.

I really enjoyed torturing the paper to make this model, although paper fatigue and the sheer thicknesses in places caused it’s “structural integrity” to be compromised. I am pleased that it is relatively complete – it has a bridge rather vulnerably perched atop a nice saucer, 2 engineering marvels in nacelles attached rather nicely to the main hull, even a main deflector dish – so cool.

Why an “Enterprise”? Well, my mate and I finished BSG and will, tomorrow night, start the Original Star Trek episodes (Kirk, Spock etc) – both of us are healthily obsessed with all things Trek (we have seen it all, I used to even be able to speak Klingon!). I look forward to our time exploring sci fi so …. two to beam up Mr Scott…

132: Pyramid

In the late 70’s (1979 to be exact), my musical world changed forever. I bought a record (remember them kids – black plastic circular things you put on a turntable) by a then teenage Gary Numan – it was “The Pleasure Principle”:

The music was electronic and I knew I had found my passion, the cover was baffling – a dapper teen in a suit, glancing casually at a glowing pyramid:

A simple re-working of the Waterbomb, some nice symmetry, it is delightfully complete on all sides

Made to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of that album, and the fact that I am going to see him and his band in concert tonight (WOOO!) supported by Severed Heads. Very excited by both, just quietly, as I had long given up home of ever seeing either live and resigned myself to collecting all their recorded works.

130: Cylon Reading it’s Script

Tuesday evenings for over a year now a mate and I get together and watch 2 episodes of Battlestar Galactica, gradually wending our way through the seasons. Tonight is the final 2 eps:

I like the idea that the CG extras (robot Cylons or “toasters” as they are lovingly referred to) would have to check the script to determine their cues to enter, gesticulate mecahically and kill all humans, so I modded a fold of a german person wearing a hat reading a newspaper to suit:

…squint, look at it in poor light, chemically enhanced and … you got it, right? Well, it is sort of figurative, and sort of works – I really wanted to do the whole cylon centurion but could not find a fold that worked.

If you have not seen the more recent incarnation of BSG you really should – it is landmark Sci Fi, I like it that episodic drama can literally take your breath away, move you to care about the characters, make you question things and be so danged entertaining to discuss.

124: May the Fourth Be With You

Now the date is a word-play on a classic Star Wars line, and what better to celebrate Star Wars Day than with C3P0:

This is a mask – even from an A4 sheet it is quite large – I Hazard to suggest that an A3 sheet would make one that was wearable. Fairly happy with it – simple fold, busy day.

122: Geiger Xenomorph (alien)

I loved Ridley Scott’s “Alien” – so dark, terrifying and it introduced a much reprised xenomorph originally designed by H.R. Geiger.

When I first saw the instructions for a paper xenomorph (in Spanish) I filed them away in the “yeah, prolly not” folder.

Conventionally the diagram should have symbols to reinforce what is happening (sometimes with words also, except these were in Spanish). First exception to the rule was a TURN OVER with no corresponding flip symbol!!! Grrrr. Following my realisation that I was folding the wrong side, I tried again only to be baffled by “Quedan la dos solapas mirando hacia la derecha” describing a collapse, followed by “Introducir las solapas dentro de los bolsillos” to describe a pocket tuck … poor paper (and finger tips) by this stage. Thank you Google translate.
Now I admit I broke a rule here – I got part way towards collapsing the base and realised I missed an instruction to open some side flaps so did all the nasty folding over the top of some snarly pre-folding instead of on the yet-unfolded side. I discovered this when i opened up the model expecting to find pre-creases only to find none – oops. I was determined to complete this model, so I started again – so sue me.

This is AMAZING – appendages, tail (ouch, that was painful to fold at this scale) and I re-worked the head to be a little 3d and characteristically domed – very pleased with this model. For an A3-cut square to reduce to a model barely 7cm tall, there is a LOT of paper torture, thank goodness for fingernails – I am amazed the copy paper did not simply disintegrate (it would have had I used the model I folded in error first).

For all you Alien fans out there, this one is for you (in commemoration of the theft of a classic line in the movie “Paul” I saw last night – “get away from her you bitch!” – lol.