Sunday, 5 March 2017

Making my own Jarvis

There's a software development concept known as rubber duck debugging and, having been reminded of it recently, I knew having a duck couldn't hurt during times when I feel stuck with my writing.

A duck could help me work through problems with plot, characters, setting - any number of things.

Looking around, I quickly found The Perfect Duck but he is Out Of Stock and ne'er to return, very sadly. (Yes, I did ask.)

Needing a replacement, I decided to make my own Perfect Duck, one that's more me than the original would have been and hopefully, therefore, a better solution for externalising my ramblings.

I bought three white "racing ducks" from the wonderful people here (Thank you, Lynn!) and the ducks certainly lived up to their name with their arrival speed. They're actually a hard plastic, rather than "rubber" or a soft plastic and I prefer it that way, it means that their surface is more easily customised by simply applying paint or glue, I feel.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie

Wanting to customise them quite substantially, I first had to remove their cute little faces...

Acetone-free nail polish remover to the rescue!

Looks like someone's been eating Cheetos/Wotsits 

Cotton buds/Q-Tips managed to get the rest of the bills off.

Now, time to get creative.

My favourite colour is Aurora Borealis (AKA: "AB" or"iridescent") and I'm a sucker for anything glitter so the idea was pretty easy and pretty obvious. These little beauties would be covered in AB glitter. Duh.

Apart from stripping off their bills and eyes, I didn't do anything to prep the ducks.

I did hot glue the ducks to the tops of soda bottles so that I could access all of the curves of the ducks without covering myself in paint/glue...

I call this "Naked Ducks on Soda"

I used a cheap, acrylic kid's craft paintbrush and applied Mod Podge Extreme Glitter by Plaid - one coat on each duck.

While I certainly got far better "glitter payout" than I expected (it's a great product), it wasn't glittery enough for me. I demand glitter. I used the Mod Podge for two more coats on one of the ducks but on two, I did a single coat more before coating them in loose AB glitter.  I did two ducks this way because I wanted to then compare a duck who had been clear-coated to adhere the glitter better to the duck versus one that hadn't been coated. I presumed the glitter would fall off of the uncoated duck but needed to see if the clear-coating would dull the sparkle of the glitter in any way before deciding which duck was perfect.

Clear-coated duck, natural sunlight, outdoors 

Clear-coated duck, natural sunlight, indoors

Clear-coated duck, "bright white" light, indoors

I've named him Jarvis and I think he's perfect. I see no loss of sparkle from under the clear coat, which is a relief!

He's much more me than the duck I had originally wanted and I still do want that duck, but not as my Rubber Duck Debugging Duck. Jarvis is the duck for me in that regard.

Do you use Rubber Duck Debugging?

How would you customise a rubber duck?

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