Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Screaming Bullet

Stephen and I have been working on a little project. Here's the setup: the wobbly leg on our TV stand finally gave out, so the TV is now on the footlocker for a while and the old stand/table was in our bedroom until we could decide what to do with it. Around this time, Stephen was watching some TaleSpin episodes (which he likes as much as the Rescue Rangers). He would then go in to our room, sit at the old table, and pretend he was flying an airplane. Well, I wondered if there was a toy cockpit out there somewhere and then realized it would be much more fun to make our own.

So, at the craft store, we purchased:
  • A bag of thin wooden pieces in various shapes (squares, circles, etc.)
  • Some paint
  • Wooden toy wheels
  • The wooden face for a clock
  • Lots of stickers
Then, at Lowe's we bought:
  • A plastic playground steering wheel (the most expensive item of all this at around $8)
  • A long wood dowel
Over a few evenings we painted our control buttons, removed or nailed down the table legs, glued on the buttons, drilled a hole for the dowel, and glued on the clock face. Stephen and I both enjoyed the project and had some good father-son time.

I wanted this to be a general-purpose cockpit, so I avoided making permanent wings. That way, it could be a race car, boat, space ship, etc. at some point. But, Stephen was very interested in just having an airplane. So, we (meaning I) cut up a diaper box into wings and a propeller. A little duck tape, and they're attached.

Stephen and I then worked on a name for it. After going through various names, he combined a few things I suggested into the "Screaming Bullet" which I thought was a great idea. We made the logo together and Stephen glued it on the wings.

Here's Stephen playing with it:

Here you can see the shaft we made with the dowel that lets him turn the wheel and...

..."spin" the propeller, which is the clock face glued to the end of the dowel and the cardboard propeller attached to it.

Even if you can buy a kid-size cockpit, this was much more fun to make ourselves.

My one regret is not figuring out how to make a throttle of some sort. I couldn't think how to make a lever with some resistance so it would stay in position. Any thoughts on this would be welcome - preferably something for less than $8.


Christi said...

VERY cool!

steet said...

Talking about Talespin...
I happen to have a fansite dedicated to this TV series : take a look around!

My Talespin fansite.