Pokemon(Owned by Nintendo, Game Freak and Monsters inc.) is commonly known as a consol game where you raise creatures called Pokemon, fight with them, and become the strongest trainer in the world. There is also a manga, anime and card game for it. This project focused on creating a life size version of one specific Pokemon: Koffing, see figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Image of Koffing and what final design should resemble.
Koffing has a diameter of 2ft (0.6m), weight of 1kg (2.2lbs), emits black smoke, can only say the word “Koffing”, and floats. Meeting all of these specifications would be exceptionally difficult and time consuming; thus only size/appearance was focused on for this project.
Need: To make a life size Koffing.
Problem: A full size version is exceptionally large (2ft dia) and it has semi complex shapes (the extrusions from its body).
Design iteration 1: Take old used paper and constantly wrap it up until it reaches a decent size. Then soak the next few layers in a flour/water mix, add them to the ball, let them dry. Use a knife to cut out a mouth hole and remove the old paper stuffing. Cut clear see-through plastic in shape of the eyes and mouth (cut out the eyes with a knife). Paint the eyes and mouth and tape them in. On the side use old paper to create a ring shape and apply more soaked paper to make extrusions similar to the ones on Koffing. One the extrusions have dried, tape them onto Koffing and apply another layer of soaked paper. Next cover the eyes and mouth, begin to paint the body and wait for it to dry. Remove the covers for they eyes and mouth.
Prototype 1: Quickly discovered that the paper could not reach a diameter of 2 ft without forcing me to tape the paper together, as seen in figure 2. This development would require lots of tape and would make extracting the excess paper stuffing difficult.
Figure 2: Prototype 1, it reached slightly less than 1ft before it became too large for more paper to completely envelope it.
Solutions to design 1: It was determined that an inner shell was needed to and several ideas were considered: Using aluminum foil to fill up the inside instead of paper, a 2ft balloon, or a beach ball. Aluminum foil proved to be too costly, a balloon would not provide the sphere needed and would quickly loose shape. A beach ball appeared to be the optimal solution.
Design iteration 2: Same design as design iteration 1, but a beach ball was to be used instead of paper to fill out the frame and soaked paper was to be immediately applied. Then add a few extra layers of paper since the volleyball must be popped before extraction.
Problem: Unfortunately, no beach ball could be found within the time limitations of this project.
Design iteration 3: A ball called a ‘Wubble Bubble Ball’, see figure 3, was discovered and was similar enough to a beach ball that it was used as a substitute. Design iteration 3 was almost the same as design iteration 2, except; it used a ‘Wubble bubble Ball’ instead of a beach ball. Unfortunately the new ball was far less rigid then a beach ball and would deform when any force was applied. This resulted in the creator to be gentler when applying layers in order to not deform the ball.
Figure 3: A Wubble Bubble Ball container.
Prototype 2: It was discovered that applying full sheets of paper to the ball caused large folds in the paper and made it more difficult to create the desired effect.
Design iteration 4: Design iteration 4 was the same as design iteration 3, except that the paper was cut into small strips, soaked, and then applied.
Prototype 3 (layers 1-2): 1 layer of paper was applied, the application of the paper was random and the ball tented to roll as paper was applied. This process took approximately 3 hr. See figure 4 for visual. A large hold was left at the bottom of the ball since it could not be reached until the first few layers hardened. 1 more layer was applied after the first dried (12hr) and it was discovered that when the layers are randomly applied, it is difficult to differentiate layers and spots could have easily been missed.
Figure 4: Ball after the 1st layer was applied.
Manufacturing edits: A small pot was placed under the ball to prevent it from rolling. Also the next layer of paper was applied in an organized manner so it could be distinguished from the last layer. The next layer would only go halfway down the ball before flipping the ball over and doing the bottom. This would reduce the hole size to the minimum requirement.
Prototype 3 (layers 3-4): Layer 3, see figure 5, was applied with a style that had each paper strip extrude from a center point. This resulted in a focal point where copious amounts of paper was stacked on top of each other and took over 24 hr to dry. Layer 4, see figures 6 and 7, was applied perpendicular and did not create a area where paper was stacked and dried within the normal 12 hr span.
Figure 5: Layer 3, all strips of paper extrude from the focal point.
Figure 6: Layer 4, all strips are perpendicular to layer 3 and part of the ‘Wubble Bubble Ball’ can be seen.
Figure 7: Layer 4, all strips are perpendicular to layer 3 and the pot that prevents the ball from rotating can be seen underneath the ball.
Prototype 3 (extrusions): Small pieces of paper were rolled up, taped onto the ball in a circular pattern, see figure 8. Extra tape was applied to avoid any gaps forming before the soaked paper was applied. Then a rough sketch of the face was drawn onto the ball, see figure 9, to ensure that there was enough space for the face. A new layer of soaked paper was applied to the extrusion, see figure 10.
Figure 8: Shows the extrusion on the ball with excess amounts of duck tape used to keep in place and prevent holes.
Figure 9: All extrusions were added to the ball, and a rough face drawn to ensure space.
Figure 10: All soaked paper was applied to the ball, dried and a new face was drawn.
Prototype 3 (Coloring): Once the extrusions dried, the ball was taken outside, placed on newspaper, and the upper have was spray-painted. Once the spray paint had dried, 1hr, the ball was flipped upside down and the bottom was spray-painted. Once the spray paint dried, a rough sketch of the face was drawn on the ball again, see figure 11. Next a layer of white paint was applied to the face, see figure 12. Unfortunately the paint was too see through and would several more layers to achieve the desired result.
Figure 11: A rough sketch of Koffing’s face is drawn on the ball in marker after the spray paint dried.
Figure 12: A layer of white paint has bee applied to Koffing’s eyes. Some purple can be seen through the paint.
Prototype 3 (Re-Coloring the face): Due to the time limit of this project, paint was discarded and old paper was embraced. Paper was torn, soaked and applied to the eyes, mouth, and skull bones. Once the paper dried, a layer of paint was applied to make it appear smoother and whiter. Next, highlighters and black markers were used to apply the appropriate colors to the face, and finally a life size Koffing was created, see figure 13.
Figure 13: The final product, a life size version of koffing.
I am very satisfied with this project. It took far more energy, effort and work, then expected, but it was worth it. The aesthetic come out fantastic, and is fairly stable. If I hade more time, I would have added a few more layers for stability, used a beach ball, added a layer of cloth on top of the paper layers to make it smoother, made smaller extrusions and used paint for the skull and crossbones. I would have also cut out eyes and replaced them with plastic ones that I had painted. I would have also cut out the mouth, and added a 3D mouth behind it. I would have also created 3D teeth.
My future goals for this prop would be to include a function that lets the Koffing say its name and spew black smoke.