Project Chiro: Posey Gets a New Spine

Time for another update on the Posey Project.  If you recall form the last post on version 3.0 (link here), the big change was to introduce the new joint made out of chain link fence caps.  That was definitely a break through moment in the project and my gratitude still goes to the individual that was referenced in that post as the spark.  To be honest, the modification that became version 3.1 was really a result of designing and building this latest version which I refer to as V4.0.  Here is the latest version all dressed to kill!

Posey V4.0

Of course you can’t tell the details with the costume on, so let’s take that off and see what tweaks we have to show in this version.  First off you will see that I stuck with the same chain link fence cap joint model detailed in V3.0.  That is the go to joint for now due to being sturdy and easy to position – thanks again to the individual that sparked the concept.  I do keep my eyes open every time I’m in a hardware store just in case something else will catch my eye – if I could shrink the overall length of the joint down it would be beneficial for a number of reasons.  One area that is completely different is the backbone design.

Posey V4.0

Hit the jump to see the design details and a few more shots

Posey V3.1 was a modification to help reduce the extra bulk at the shoulders and the hips.  It occurred to me while designing V4.0 that I could better represent the human form by moving the spine out of the middle of those areas and shifting it to the back.  I’d lose the butt structure but gain a more natural front.  Along with that I cut the extra bulk out but the shoulder and hip extension still give overall thickness to Posey.  Here is a closer view of the transition of the spine.

Posey V4.0

Note also I added back in the back and neck joint from Posey V2.0.  I quickly realized that was a key design element to maintain going forward.  I also kept the couplers at the appendage midpoints so I could twist them to get the joint to articulate any desired location.  The shoulders and hips were still relying on the friction of the connectors which is holding surprisingly well.    They are staying at any angle I twist the T connectors in.

Posey V4.0

There is also another key design element that was brought back from V2.0 – the ankle joint.  I needed a way to realign the feet depending on what position the legs were put in and the direct connection in V3 didn’t give me that.  The same foot design was used – simple yet provided the required stability.

Posey V4.0

Shifting to the back view you can see the spine is now in the same plane as the back of the hips and shoulders.  Basically just use the T connector that was holding the center structure in place for V3.0 and tie directly to it for the backbone – pretty easy and takes some materials out of the build – translated .. cheaper.  The head is also slightly different because the costume I had for it had a different mask structure that didn’t need the detail in the previous versions.

Posey V4.0

Here is V3.0 and V4.0 together so you can see the difference in outward appearance.  Sorry for the crappy picture – it was my old camera phone which has been replace now.  The new head frame just needed to provide the width and hold up the back of the hood.

Posey V4.0

Granted the robes don’t do the structure justice, but I picked those up cheap at Walmart after Halloween.  They eyes glow on the black one (see first picture).

As with the previous posts, here is the material list for V4.0

  • Drill Press (technically optional, but highly recommended) if not, can uses a standard drill)
  • 1/8″ Drill Bit or whatever size fits the screws you are going to use to affix the chain link cap to the PVC
  • Pilot hole drill bit – smaller the better
  • Screwdriver – manual or electric to put the caps in
  • (24) Chain link fence cross bar caps w/ 3/8″ hole ($0.88)
  • (12) 3/8″ Large Washers ($3.78 – 100)
  • (12) 3/8″ x 1″ Bolts ($4.21)
  • (12) 3/8″ Nuts ($2.28)
  • (12) 3/8″ Split Washers ($2.00)
  • (48) 1″ cabinet, drywall or round head screws (use whatever you laying around that is in the 1″ long range)
  • Two Socket Sets
  • PVC Cement (optional)
  • Duct tape – preferably white
  • Hand PVC Cutter (optional, but highly recommended)

Next the materials list:

  • (4) 1″ PVC Cross ($2.15)
  • (4) 1″ PVC Caps  ($0.45)
  • (5) 1″ PVC T’s ($0.59)
  • (4) 1″ PVC Couplers ($0.41)
  • (5) 1″ PVC Elbows ($0.50)
  • (1) 10′ x 1″ PVC Pipe (depends on size but by two, if you are like me you’ll be making a lot of them) ($2.48)

Total Cost Estimate at: $50.58 (and that includes left over hardware) $45.00 with Menards 11% sale and you could probably get other sales to bring that down to around $40.00

Total Time Estimate at: 2.5 hrs

Pros:

  • Still has the more solid joints
  • Met the articulation requirements since any angle can be created buy simply locking the joint to any position or rotating the couplers to reorient the position
  • Joints are really easy to stay aligned due to the perfect 3/8″ holes in the fence caps
  • You can rock the T on the hips to give a side bend without tools
  • Both the head and back have joints now
  • Removed the unneeded bulk at hips and shoulders
  • Added back in the ankle joint
  • Cheaper than V3

Cons:

  • The joints take a bit of work to prep and get snug on the 1″ PVC
  • $7 ore than V2.0 but in my opinion worth it!
  • Depending on the season could be difficult to get the fence caps
  • Main appendage joints (shoulder and hips) are further away from the main structure so the bend could look slightly unnatural depending on what position you put them in – most of the time this shouldn’t be a problem unless you extend them straight out 90 degrees to the joint

All things considered pretty pleased with this model…. but a number of trips to Menards produced some new ideas which I’ll highlight in upcoming posts.  We’ll get this design nice and crisp before the mass production starts for next year’s Haunted Trail hehehe.

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