Sunday, December 7, 2014

DIY Alien in a Jar

The project is to put this alien into a jar

As we moved our SETI equipment to a new laboratory location, for our own Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in the Milky Way galaxy, we were appropriately gifted with the presence of a tiny alien!

This interior scape was color printed to serve as a method to modify the look of the jar

Completed alien imp in a jar seen in lid filtered room lighting

Predator, as seen in the two movies, came with it's own electronic whip from the future and multi-functional spear. The predator also has a mask, part of its protective warrior suit.

To put a cap on its impish behavior, we decided to locate a home jar and encapsulate the little critter therein.

Impish little Predator is jar imprisoned for naughty behavior

Jars abound in the Humanoido Lab - for electronic projects housed in jars, electronic brains in jars, robots in jars, and now an alien in a jar. Plastic jars are free or low cost, easy to find, convenient to work, and can be recycled to help save the Earth's environment.

Attaching material
To showcase the imprisoned little beast, we obtained two micro-miniature LED flashlights, model number ZY-M020, one with white and one with red LEDs for NT$120.

These are tiny tri-multifunction lights with steady on, blinking, and strobing selections. The body is made from a type of neoprene flexible rubber with a looping flexible lanyard, a rigid plastic angle mount, and the embedded four function switch (including off). 

Each flashlight has two LEDs positioned 1/2-inch on center. A black battery compartment lid is the entry for 2xCR2032 battery cells.
See translation

The plastic home jar came from the pet isle at the Welcome grocery store and contained pet food which was given away, and the label was removed.

Remove the label by applying heat to first soften the adhesive backing then slowly pullup a corner of the label and evenly pull it off. Do not pull too quickly or the label will tear and leave a sticky glue mess.

The reason for using a pet food jar is two fold, one, it has a carrying handle on the threaded lid top, and two, it has four nearly square sides for less image distortion when viewing the jar's interior.

This facilitates photography of the interior contents, in this case, a little alien beast, with almost no distortion.

Paste As You Wish Taiwan product

The trick was mounting the Predator in the jar. Normally a putty type material adhesive is used, such as trade name Blu-Tack. However, in Taiwan, only a chinese product is available with a literally translated name of "Paste As You Wish."

The low cost "Paste As You Wish" attaching material is described as high tech, safe, nontoxic, pastes standing/flat surfaces, repeat use, environment friendly, and the method requires no glue, nails, or double sided stick tape.

(Information translated in Singapore) 

The printed star ship also did not fit the ambiance decor of the jar

It took a few moments of study to realize the material was not actually a goop of real tar, because some of the material was residual and stuck to hands and fingers.

Two 20g packages were obtained from the dollar store for NT$20 each. Five stores were visited to find the material. The product appears like a black sticky tar.

For use, stretch it and pull off a piece and then shape it like clay. Note: some black sticky tar-like pieces of the material may cling to hands or clothing, therefore be sure to knead the material for even consistency.

The project included the color printing of various scapes such as the large star ship, the jungle, the future interior, and the collection of alien and human skulls and bones.

These collections of prints change the jar ambiance, style, location, and time era.

However, to avoid clutter, and for the best lighting and use of the strobing colored spotlights, the best impact is with the alien and it's three accessories only, showcased inside the jar.

The Predator figure is a cute CosBaby AVPR Wolf Predator action figure in baby form (Catalog Number 1686203) from Hot Toys, with articulated joints, highly detailed accessories and removable weapons. Made from vinyl, it stands 3-inchs tall.

HOT TOYS LTD is a Hong Kong based production house, established in 2000. They design, develop, and manufacture highly detailed with actual likeness toy merchandise to worldwide markets.

How confusing can it get? Is predator an alien? Yes. But is Predator "Alien?" No. To see the difference between Predator and Alien, watch the 2004 movie Alien vs Predator.
For the poster download (seen below)