lish (lishd) wrote,

this was a triumph

so joe & i finally got into portal. yes, i know we're years late, & that's okay, i'm not even angry. being all into it, late or not, i went looking for swag. the clothing is silly, & i don't need a portal gun replica or life-size turret (i don't hate you), but i found myself inspired by these truly horrible etsy "portal gauged earrings" to create my own portal plugs.

before we start, however, keep in mind that although fun & learning are the primary goals of all of lish's activities, serious injuries may occur.

the idea would be to have one plug be the blue portal, the other the orange, & to have something travelling between them. i didn't want to have to make them ENTIRELY from scratch, so i went looking for tiny human forms or something that i could use to split between the two plugs. i found shapple on etsy selling a lot of cute post earrings, including weighted companion cubes about 1/2" tall. unbelievable; she, subject name here, must be the pride of subject hometown here. i contacted her to find out some technical details & see if i could get a set without the posts, & she was GLaD to be a part of the project.

i figured i could either murder cut the companion cubes myself or have my friend chris do so with his waterjet cutter, & that i'd paint a pair of eyelets to resemble the portals... but it didn't seem like enough. no one would blame me for giving up; in fact, quitting at this point would be a perfectly reasonable response. i got to thinking, & realized the final touch would require putting mirrors behind the cubes. it won't be easy, but we do what we must because we can.

due to mandatory scheduled maintenance, this paragraph is currently unavailable.

i previously owned mirror plugs, but re-buying a set of those wouldn't do quite what i want... there isn't enough flare to paint as the portal, & i also wanted to control the depth of the mirror setting. so i picked up some small mirrors to carve down. it's pretty difficult to dremel mirrors, but please note that any appearance of danger is merely a device to enhance your reading experience.

as part of an optional test protocol, i am pleased to present an amusing fact: since portals in the game aren't round, i briefly considered oval plugs, but we learned from the teardrops experiment that this would be awful. (no, you may not have the photo back; there's no sense crying over every mistake.) so, artistic license meant round would have to do. i ended up buying a pair of these cheapy eyelets for the large flare, & i went with clear to add a nice transparent element to the fiery paint job.

the screw-on eyelets had huge back flares too, & i loathe screw-ons in general, so i sanded down the removable ring until they fit my ears without needing to be unscrewed. in layman's terms: double-flared-thing goes in, double-flared-thing comes out.

i discovered that putting in the mirrors at an angle caused the portals to reflect something other than what's directly in front of them, further intensifying the illusion when viewed straight-on. PLUS, angled mirrors allow you to look at the plugs at an angle & see flat mirrors in oval portals. fantastic! sanding the mirrors into ellipses left them with some edge chips, as expected, but you can't tell from more than a few inches away. it was much easier to carve the companion cubes. with the dremelling done, i could rest assured that there was absolutely no chance of a dangerous equipment malfunction prior to my victory candescence.

i was going to use my resin skills to create a solid, angled backing for the mirrors, but the eyelets are so slim that i abandoned this idea in favor of silicone. i'm proud to report that i remained resolute & resourceful in an atmosphere of extreme pessimism.

i painted the flares with acrylic paint & some metallic nailpolish colors i mixed. the plugs are now more valuable than the organs & combined incomes of everyone in subject hometown here. i opted not to add enough clearcoat to smooth out the paint as i usually do, as the mild 3-D aspect of it could only add to the overall effect.

congratulations, the text is now over! as you understand the thought process, here's the physical process. thank you for helping us help you help us all.

the vital apparatus vent has delivered these supplies. i remind you that the weighted companion cubes will never threaten to stab you &, in fact, cannot speak.

sanding the screw-on flares, before & after. fortunately, i was successful with both; a failure here would result in an 'unsatisfactory' mark on my official testing record, followed by death.

companion cubes cut. rest assured that an independent panel of ethicists has absolved me of any moral responsibility for the companion cube euthanizing process.

mirrors sanded & cubes ready to attach. cake & grief counseling will be available at the conclusion of the post.

silicone work performed to adhere the mirrors & cubes to the eyelets. please move quickly to the next step, as the effects of prolonged exposure to silicone are not part of this test.

paint job complete. the colors are tough to photograph, but i did pretty well for mixing my own. now that i am in control of both portals, this next step could take a very, VERY long time.

layers of clearcoat finished. we're out of beta, we're releasing on time!

now i have a surprise for you. deploying surprise in five... four...

i had several ideas for the 4ga, including the portal stickman, a tiny warning sign, & a simple aperture logo, but i went with GLaDOS's anger core hand-painted onto a domed gray plug (white jade). that's certainly more appropriate for me to have plugged into my ear than a morality core, so get comfortable while i warm up the neurotoxin emitters.

here's the whole set together. the experiment is nearing its conclusion.

the back of the plug had to have the forward-most part of the angled mirror, or from the front you'd just see a lot of ear through tunnel being reflected. no further compliance information is required or will be provided.

& in-ears. if you become light-headed from my awesomeness, feel free to pass out.

if you do pass out, an intubation associate will be dispatched to revive you with peptic salve & adrenaline.

i'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS. it's hard to overstate my satisfaction.

thank you for participating in lish's dremel-aided enrichment activity. goodbye.

x-posted in full from because it was too awesome not to.

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