Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 11: Eleven Hako, Hacking

Short Post

There is far more to paper modeling than just Hako clones, however they do make a rather good introduction to Treknology in paper! Before Christmas, on the First Trek Day of Christmas, we introduced you to them when we released Ron Caudillo's modular Enterprise Bridge set, scaled specifically for Hako Clones and provided you with the original Hako crew from back in 2004. They were fun, and some of them have stood the test of time - Butch Price's Redshirt always cracks me up! Both of these are now lodged on Jon Leslie's Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center Paper Model Egiftshop.

However time does not stand still - not even for paper people! - and the hako clones available today are as diverse and innovative as the designers who have made them. On this, the second last Trek day of Christmas, not only will you get links to a whole new set of downloadable Star Trek Hako clones, but I will try give you an insight into the world of paper model design. Who knows? Perhaps it will spark an interest in the hobby for you?

You might be forgiven for assuming that, because they are simple to make, they are simple to design. Well ... they are and they aren't! There's no denying that the hardest part of creating a new model is turning the idea in your head into a three-dimensional object, the actual designing of the construction, sometimes called 'paper engineering'. Creating a new Hako clone can be broken down into a number of different levels of difficulty from the ridiculously simple (which can shortcut the construction process) to the insanely skilled!

At it's simplest level you could do what is called a 'repaint'. As the name suggests you simply put new graphics on an existing model. A point to note here is that the paper model community, in common with most online communities in my experience, is generally supportive and polite, with it's own etiquette. One of the major points is a respect for other people's work: if you want to repaint someone else's model you should make every effort to contact them to ask permission. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone refusing permission but the act of seeking permission shows that you appreciate the work that they have put into creating the model in the first place.

Likewise on the next step up, you can start from a blank or partially completed template and make major changes to create anything from a different character with the same uniform perhaps, to a totally unique person. My first Hako, Scotty from the Original Series, which is in the Original Hako crew book released on day one, was modeled on the 'Mad Modeller Massamune's' Superman! Using a template is really simple, the equivalent of painting by numbers! All that you need to do is sketch in the clothing and face, then colour it in (either by hand or on your computer), print it out, cut it out and glue it together.

Once you've mastered the basics of creating a new Hako, you'll want to start 'tweaking' the basic template to add individuality – skirts and various hairdos for females. Ah! I well remember the Mad Modeller Massamune's “Whipping Wendy”, a Hako legend! The very simplicity of Hakos is a challenge to achieve though. I mean, how can one improve on the basic idea of a simple caricature without making it overly complex? The Hako Tribble and Butch Price's redshirt with optional degrees of battle damage – alive, in agony or dead - were simple ideas, elegantly executed!

Because they are caricatures, creatures of your imagination, the scope for subject matter is only limited by your creativity. Everybody has characteristics that can be lampooned, whether they are a movie star, a sportsman or your boss!

At the moment you have the option of using one of three styles of template, most of which are lodged in the files section of the Star Trek Paper Models Yahoo Group (STPMYG) ...
  • The Original Hako Clone. Created by Massamune Washington: stocky, blocky and inflexible, it is nevertheless elegant in it's simplicity and the perfect choice for an off-the-cuff caricature of ... a news reader, a sportsman, the boss ... whatever takes your fancy! Available on the STPMYG as a pdf, png & vsd (Visio CAD file) blank as well as a generic Next Generation / First Contact uniform.
  • The Marshall SD Hako. The work of Steve Marshall, a prolific paper modeller, whose gallery, Homespun Magixx, shows his versatility (checkout his Klingon disruptor!). The SD Hako is articulated in that it can move about seven joints, the ankles, hips, arms & head. Steve's Hako template has different proportions as well, giving it a more human shape. Steve has templates on his site for you to create Original Series crew in the Command, Science, Medical and Engineering/Security sections.
  • The Professor's Go-Hako. Developed by Professor Plastik, a paper modelmaker who has turned his hand to creations of his own , this too is articulated at the same seven points but in a different way, particularly the ankle which twists. The Professor has two blank templates, a male and female, which are lodged in the Files section of the STPMYG as bmp, gif, jpg, pdf, png, tif.
The eleven Hakos offered for your enjoyment today are ...
  1. Lt M'Ress by Lord GrayTiger. [Graphic for this above here]One of the most memorable characters from The Animated Series, a Caitian engineering officer who sometimes stood watch as relief Communications Officer. This is the first of a complete series of the Animated Series crew done by Lord GrayTiger, hopefully to be released in the near future.
    Click here to download Lt M'Ress[Link inactive]

  2. Lt Cmdr Scott by Kirok of L'Stok. [Graphic for this above here]I broke my own rule about making the Hakos from The Original Series, but since I had already done an Original Series Scotty, as well as Scotty in fatigues from "The Journey Home", I wanted to continue the theme with one of Scotty in a radiation suit from "The Wrath of Khan".
    Click here to download Cmdr Scott in Radiation Suit[Link inactive]

  3. William Shatner as Cpt Kirk by Steve Marshall. [Graphic for these above here]When people think of Cpt Kirk they think of William Shatner's iconic performance from the Original series and the later movies. Steve's poseable Hako is the only style that can actually sit in the captain's chair. (^V^)

  4. Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock by Steve Marshall. Again, when you think of Mr Spock, you think of Leonard Nimoy and probably always will, no matter who plays the role in the future!
    Click here to go to the downloads for Kirk & Spock on Homespun Magixx

  5. Lt Uhura & the Original Series Crew by Professor Plastik. [Graphic for these above here]The professor's articulated Hako design stays closer to the original Hako proportions, whilst giving them great flexibility. The twisting ankle is a clever touch, since this makes it possible to get a lot of variations in the stance of the model as can be seen from the photos of some of his previous models. The professor's Hako crew consists of Kirk from Season 1 with gold tunic & Season 2 with green wraparound, McCoy in S1 uniform & S2 surgical suit, Chekov, Spock, Sulu, Uhura, Chapel, Scotty and Rand. As an extra, lookout for the Equipment Sheet with Phaser, Tricorder, Communicator, Pad & Stylus, MedKit and Laser Wrench
    Click here to download the Professor's TOS crew on The Professor's paper Empire
    Click here to download the Professor's TOS crew on Homespun Magixx

  6. Balok by Professor Plastik. [Graphic for these villains above here]The first of the professor's villains ... or was he? Only someone who has watched the episode, The Corbomite Maneuver, can tell! This is actually a Hako computer screen diorama, why? Well, er, you'd have to have seen the episode to know!

  7. Lokai & Bele of Cheron by Professor Plastik. One of the classic morality tales of Star Trek , Let This Be their Last Battleground, brought to life by matching Go-Hakos.

  8. Klingon Commander, Kor by Professor Plastik. What would Star Trek be without Klingons? Aggressive, ruthless and cunning but bound by a rigorous code of honour that transcends all other considerations, they are a perfect counterpoint to the United Federation of Planets.

  9. Mugatu by Professor Plastik. A two metre tall, great white ape with a massive horn and spikes running down his back, serrated teeth and venom-filled fangs from the planet of Neural. He's soooo cute!

  10. The Gorn by Professor Plastik. You have a Gorn, your choice of three Kirks, all you need now is to make a replica of Vasquez Rocks in the kid's sandpit and you can replay one of the classics of the Original Series - "Arena"!

  11. The Salt Vampire by Professor Plastik. Another one of the classic Star trek monsters which, like Balok and the Gorn, was made by master prop-maker, Wah Ming Chang
    Click here to download the Professor's Villains on The Professor's Paper Empire
Want to go a step further? Make your own template! Or dispense with the idea of templates altogether and go freestyle! Perhaps a tad more complex than a standard Hako but beautiful examples of their type are the WebDude's Samurai Jack series, Paperpino (who even has a Hako of himself!) and Mike Hungerford's website.

Whilst copyright might seem like a corporate nuisance to some, in paper model circles it is taken very seriously since, as creative people themselves, paper model designers can see how unfair it would be for someone else to profit from their work. The community is a prime example of self-policing, in that any evidence of commercial use of copyright properties is reported very publicly and effectively. The usual battleground is eBay where we regularly come across people selling paper models for which they do not own the copyrights - eBay in their turn are always cooperative in closing such cases down.

However Designers have rights as well. Even though they make no claim to owning the subject matter on which their models are based, they have the moral right to be identified as the creator of the work. The skill and ingenuity with which they have translated an idea into what amounts to a three-dimensional paper sculpture is theirs. The main way that this affects anything is in their standing amongst their peers - they are respected and appreciated more.

For more information - news and help with problems - you can't go past the Papermodels II Google Group, the Zealot cardmodel forum and, in Europe, the massive forum. For information and discussion specifically about this subject, join the Star Trek Paper Models Yahoo Group.

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