Defcon Pony

What two things could possibly fit together more uncomfortably?

For a long time I had little comprehension of what Defcon was actually like. Anyone I met who had gone to the conference seemed bent on preserving this allure about it that only added to my aw and curiosity towards the hacker community.

It wasn’t until I met a true seasoned Defcon veteran, Jeff (Krux), that the veil started to lift. Though I have a better idea what Defcon itself is all about, my perception of its attendees is still unclear. Now that I am reading Daemon, the quintessential hacker novel, my imagination is struggling between accepting the somewhat raw and sexy “hacker” identity the book promotes which is cloaked in secrets and at it’s very core, an homage to intelligence…. and my previous impression of the few unapproachable neck-bearded douchebags I’ve met in the past :

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Regardless, the idea of making a Defcon flavored pony was irresistibly absurd. It was made with love… as it was inspired by Jeff, the coolest person I know in a utilikilt. <3

Now I show and tell :

Pony needed to not be bright vomit orange as he was when I bought him… And since I was having issues with the spray paint not drying on my previous projects, I used a more manual approach. Nail polish. Alas, I achieved this nice fleshy, semitransparent tone.

The first thing I tackled was the tiny utilikilt, which was crafted out of black gaff tape for its canvas-like texture…. complements of Mark (Maehem) :

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I wanted defcon pony’s little gams to be hairy, so I covered them with glue stick and then wrapped them in scraps of grey fleece. Once the glue was dry, I ripped the fleece off… like a reverse wax job. The fibers stayed imbedded in the glue, and pony acquired a more manly physique. The little boots were made with electrical tape… and the socks are wedges of more gaff tape :

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His first badge is a tiny tile of white sheet ABS pinned to a thin leather strip for a lanyard :

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The highly specialized accessory is the pair of glowing goggles, which were designed with help from Mark on ViaCad and 3D printed using black ABS. I then added a leather band and some small washers to make them look like the full-scale versions Jeff and I have made in the past :

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I wanted them to light up, just like ours do… so I used a couple of color change RGB LEDs that Jeff had lying around. He filed the lenses down with the belt sander so they would fit snugly into the goggle frames without protruding any :

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I worked the resistors into the design by adding them to a second piece of dark through hole board that acts as a black badge and hangs around the pony’s neck via its own wire :

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Before I crowned Defcon pony with his mini goggles, I repainted some less girly eyes back onto his face and sprayed it a few times with matte finish to keep it from smearing :

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I also colored his hair grey (like Jeff’s!) with a silver sharpie :

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With that complete, I strapped the little goggles onto his forehead and routed the wires towards the back where I tied them together in a pony-tail with the hair :

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The last step was making a small leather ‘laptop’ bag that the coin cell battery would be concealed in. I stitched this together and gave it a long strap so that it swings around the pony’s shoulder and plugs into the male headers I installed coming out the back of the hair :

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When you plug the wires in… they do!

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Oh, and one last thing………. Well, two last things… :

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It isn’t a kilt unless there are a pair of these underneath (that’s what I’m told) :

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I’m looking forward to attending my first Defcon next month and making the absolute most out of the experience! There is much more to be done until then in preparation. Enjoy this morsel, there will be more…  =]

Pony Modding

velI would like to say that the whole blasé brony podcast didn’t have a lasting effect on either myself or Mark, however it has. It’s an illness that we are both suffering through together now that we’ve both accepted that we have it. Though the symptoms are embarrassing and there is no prognosis, I have faith that in time we’ll make a full recovery with some shred of our dignity left in tact.

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It all began with Buttercup (or Butterscotch), the white plastic figure that I gifted Mark during the shoot of our first podcast. I little realized what I had set in motion, but once it was done the effects were swift and hugely contagious.

Mark started sending me horrible photos of his new plaything; the type of images that you’d unfriend someone on facebook for. Yeah, they were messed up in that way… but this is the langue people like us speak. Naturally I had to respond and thus the dialog of ‘Pony Modding’ began.

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(that’s mayo.)

I went to Target and bought an Applejack figure.

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This is the stupid cowgirl character from the show that Mark oogles over. I chose this one because she, unlike the others, was without a unicorn horn or wings… making for an ideal point of departure for the project I had in mind. Alas I came home and started shaving off her wavy plastic hair with a razor blade.

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I sent Mark my progress shots… partially because I knew taken out of context, he’d think I had lost my mind :

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Once he saw the mohawk mounted on top of where the hair once was he realized I was hacking the thing… and all acts of cruelty were forgiven :

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This pony, is based on the war-horse I am riding in the illustration I made to promote our first podcast. I want to rip off the toy’s head and mount LEDs inside where the eyes are… to get that clean ‘fuck you laser’ effect.

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Sadly, the silver spray paint STILL isn’t dry after nearly a month of sitting in the desert sun and curing… so I have moved on. There are a lot of little horses in the world.

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At some point while I was at Maker Faire last month I woke up to this text :

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…which inspired me to make ‘Velvetine’. Yes, I bought another white pony and took what we had been hinting at with Buttercup to another level. I gave her a proper leather thong, complete with a hole for her tail to fit through. No leather panties are complete without vinyl boots either! :

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Can you spot where the unicorn Horn went? I can… :

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And with the addition of a collar, I gave her some pretty eye-liner that she unfortunately messed up with her tears. :

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Ain’t she perdy? :

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I’m debating giving her some tattoos on her arms… and I’m trying to think of a good way to cover up the current tramp stamp on her hip so I can replace it with something clever… like a little dump truck or B-52 bomber.

Along side this project, Mark has been making a set of Blue Man ponies and a secret optic yellow one (that is suppose to be a surprise). He has also run into the same issue I am having with the paint taking forever to dry. That just means there will be more to show off in the future while we work this illness out of our systems.

I know none of this is electronic or has anything to do with robotics, but it’s fun and is a great distraction from all the other hectic stuff on the front burners of my life right now. I’ll post the epic progress I’ve made on the lower half of project L once I get the tip rotating. I’ll leave it at that. It’s going to be a great summer. =]