Day 57. 200 pages, 95,163 words.
Yesterday, Wump discovered one of her dinosaur toys on the front lawn. This was one of the cheap, random plastic dinosaurs that had been sitting in her inflatable kiddy-pool since June, and when we emptied the pool out for winter this guy got left behind.
At some point, my uncle-in-law next door must have run over the dinosaur with his riding mower. He was cut in half and his head almost severed (the dinosaur, not my uncle-in-law).
I believe he was a pachycephalosaurus. The dinosaur, not my uncle-in-law. Although they do both have a high, proud skull-structure.
Of course, Wump was sad about this because “this was my favourite one”, as is often the case with that one toy you have completely forgotten about, never play with, and then find broken. She was working herself up to have a good cry about it, when I was struck by a hammer-blow of inspiration from the darkest reaches of the Dreamscape.
I told Wump my plan, and she was immediately cheered up. Morning saved.
That evening, after work, we got busy.
You probably see where I’m heading with this.
First step was making a new torso-half for our soldier, and then some legs for him to stand on. I asked Wump if we should give him two legs, or – because screw it, why play God if you’re not going to improve on His design? It’s not like the dinosaurs made it anyway – three legs, or four, or even six?
Wump was all like “one leg!”, because she will not be predicted.
So we went with one leg. SCREW YOU, NATURE.
The idea was, I would mould the severed plastic part to the Fimo and then remove it, because you can’t put plastic in the oven. This I learned from my own heartbreaking and/or nightmare-inducing childhood experiments, so I like to think that I imparted some good old Parental Wisdom of the Ancients to my offspring here.
Then the Fimo would go in the oven to harden, after which we would glue it to the plastic.
Simple matter of pressing them together, then taking the plastic off to leave a joining surface.
Meanwhile, Wump was making the decorations.
Orange worms. Why not?
The worms went around the torso, foot and tail. I was interested to note, in the process, that we had two different sorts of Fimo in our crafts-bag: Fimo Professional, and Fimo Soft. The Fimo Soft was basically like playdough, you could mould it and roll it right out of the packet without having to bruise your hands getting it malleable, like you did with the Fimo Professional.
The brown stuff I was working with was Fimo Professional. The orange stuff Wump was working with was Fimo Soft. When I was a kid, Fimo Professional was just called “Fimo”. Kids these days have no idea how lucky they are.
Torso, foot. The worms also added some structural reinforcement to the joins between foot, torso and tail.
Then I made some claws for the foot. At this point I remembered another useful-in-hindsight factoid about Fimo, which was that you should always make everything you need out of the white stuff before you make anything with any other colour. Or wash your hands in between, at least. Because white Fimo never stays white.
But ehh, it was white enough.
Our pachycephalosaurus has some serious foot-artillery. Which he’s going to need, because he sure as shit won’t be running away from any predators. Maybe he can bounce. Maybe his other leg was dragged away by scavengers so scientists mistakenly assumed he only had one leg when they dug up the fossils. That’s the sort of shit scientists do all the time.
Next, I added dorsal spikes. You can never have too many dorsal spikes.
“You can never have too many dorsal spikes” was another life-lesson I attempted to impart to Wump. I think she took it on board.
Wump had made way more orange worms than we really needed, so we decided that they needed to go on the spikes like this.
The blob on the end of each spike was important. It gave the overall monster a creepy clown / Sugar Rush vibe, in my opinion. Which was excellent.
The worm-decorations continued until we mutually agreed that, unlike dorsal spikes, there was such a thing as too many worms and that it was time to start getting Toop ready for bed and we didn’t want to be sitting here playing with worms at eleven o’clock.
That which hardens in the oven cannot be killed with fire.
Finally, into the oven it went and bedtime preparations were made by all.
The finished product, once I had applied a whole lot of hobby glue to attach the surviving upper body to the new lower body, and reattached the almost-severed head and arm, was – I feel – pretty special.
Yes, that’s an old-school desk he’s standing on. Literally: it’s an old school desk. Mrs. Hatboy dug it out of her grandma’s farm shed and now it is Wump’s and Toop’s drawing desk. It’s a double, so they can both use it. It’s adorable.
Wump was very pleased with our unholy creation, and I was pretty damn chuffed myself. Broken toy (or at least half of it) spared from the landfill, new pachycephalosaurus purchase avoided, Wump-sadness averted, fun and productive evening spent, and extremely rusty sculpting skills dusted off after far too long.
We’ll have to do this more often.