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Modding World of Warcraft lantern or Chronology of a gift

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Govedo, 2 Sep 2008.

  1. Govedo

    Govedo Techpriest Enginseer

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    So this is how it begun.

    My ideas come suddenly. Like flying bricks from a dark alley. That one hit me so hard I made a 360 with the chair.
    But let me give you more details anyways...
    One sunny day I was riding my kodo through Ashenvale listening to the song of the woods, when I thought “I must find this music, I WANT to listen to it day and night". So I did, along with many more, and I listened, for quite a while. Many days later, riding on a wolf through Winterspring, somewhere behind Everlook I saw a lantern. It just hung there, just like countless others, shining. And it was then that somewhere in my head something went click… I can make a lantern and integrate in it an MP3 player, so it will sing!

    Awesome, right? Almost. The idea received its catalogue number, short description and was stuffed in the closet of my sub consciousness along with the others. Sure I could start working right away, but there was no pressing matter and I knew I could stand few months before the deliberate avoiding of the idea starts driving me mad. So I thought, but alas it was not meant to be.
    A couple of days later my closest friends said to me “You’re going to be an uncle, we’re expecting a baby”. I don’t remember what I’ve said, I remember though there was a lot of arm waving. There and then the idea came out of the closet by kicking the door open. I thought “Once I create this lantern it’s only going to gather dust at my place, so why not make it to shine and sing for the baby”? And I found no reason why NOT.

    So I journeyed through Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms and Outland in search of lanterns. Torches, Wisps, Masterfully crafted jewels, simple lanterns... anything that shines. I end up a tad disappointed, though variety is great the lantern looking lanterns aren’t that many. Thus I narrowed my choice to two – the one I saw in Winterspring and the Undercity lanterns. After giving it a bit more thought, I gave up on the first for two simple reasons: First of all it’s three-sided (odd numbers doesn’t agree with me) and second, it has only one drawing on each of its sides.
    [​IMG]

    While the Undercity lanterns are four-sided (if nothing else a suitable lantern to be remodeled is easier to find ;)) and have unique drawing on each of their sides.
    [​IMG]

    Yet I was still a tad uncertain about my choice, after all a lantern from such a dark and discontent place to shine and sing? Something clicked again. Undercity wasn’t always like this. Once it was the magnificent Lordaeron, bastion of human might, a place of meeting for Humans, Dwarves and Elves. Yes, a lantern from the glorious days before the fall of Lordaeron, something bearing the blessings of the Elves, craftsmanship of the Dwarves and the spirit of the Humans. A predecessor of the grim Undercity lanterns.

    And then another announcement from my dear friends came – a wedding. At which for me was designated (should I choose to accept it) the honour of being the best man. That was an easy choice. It might seem unrelated to you, but it isn’t. Now I knew not only what one of my gifts would be, but also how much time I had to create it.

    The build.

    I had a clear view of the task ahead of me, so I began. I had eight weeks ahead of me.

    Tic-toc

    First thing I did was to obtain an MP3 player. I wasn’t even a bit surprised when I didn’t any players depending solely on an SD card for their music. But then again you can order about anything from China nowadays – both player and miniature speakers in this case. All I had to do was wait for the two weeks for delivery. Sometimes more if you’re lucky. Like me.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Next step was to find a lantern. Here I ran in the totally opposite problem – way too much to choose from. Thinking of every aspect of the build though, I managed to make my choice.
    I had five weeks left.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Tic-toc

    Relaxed, by the availability of the most important items I allowed myself a week’s vacation. To climb mountains, wouldn’t you know it…

    Upon returning I continued my work by copying the unique drawings from the lanterns and recreate them as foil templates.
    [​IMG]

    Why templates? I wanted to engrave the drawings before I paint them and the original glass panes of the lantern were made from… well… glass. And for a man with no working experience with glass, that was a major setback. So I had a new set of acrylic ones cut and with the aid of the templates I engraved and painted them.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    They turned out very nice, yet were still completely transparent. That’s why I matted them from the side that was to be internal.
    [​IMG]

    Of course sometimes I figure out simple things a bit late. Like for example that after applying the yellow glass paint, the matting, result of lots of scrubbing would disappear. Well never mind, I still had three weeks to figure it out.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Tic-toc

    After prolonged brainstorming about the matting I ended up in a "Мad as a hatter" state. That did help solving the problem though – I simply slapped a paper tissue to each pane. The paint you see is very sticky. Very. Indeed once dried you can’t get it off without excessive scrubbing and since it’s on the inside… well, you get the point. As a matter of fact it turned out better then the initial matting.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The next thing I focused my attention to was the creation of some openings on both the top and bottom parts of the lantern. I started with the top one. There I had to make two for the speakers. Which I mounted with liberal amounts of hot glue.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Then I concentrated on the lower part, which too needed only two openings. One for the SD card that is the only source of storing and transferring music for the player (All right, so I’m lying, there is an USB connectivity too, but for a wall mounted lantern a few meters of cable to the computer isn’t an option. Right?) and second one for the cable bundle on which the control buttons are attached (I’ll get to that).
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Then I painted the speakers. Satisfied with the result I decided to write something like an Elven blessing. In a language I don’t know. Two week should be enough.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Tic-toc

    Sometimes I’m an incorrigible optimist, sometimes. Elven language and writing is serious stuff. But I managed to come across enough guides on how to use Elven letters to write in English. True, that’s compromising, but the clock was ticking. "And may the light erernal bless this home protecting it forever more" it sounds good and it’s so beautiful.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    So I get to mount the MP3 player. It seamed easy enough... Not! The difficulty was in the fact that the player was facing with its buttons to the bottom, so I had to make a bypass lines for them, with which to extend in a separate body the buttons by the above mentioned cable bundle. But first I had to choose what exactly would that body be. After some poking through Google (mostly with the words "Elvish" and "Elven") I found something that caught my eye. Of course it was redrawn in CorelDRAW and sent to the laser.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    My, my! Where did the bloody week fly of to? I have only 5 days now.

    Tic-toc
     
    Last edited: 2 Sep 2008
  2. Govedo

    Govedo Techpriest Enginseer

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    World of Warcraft lantern or Chronology of a gift

    Oh, fiddlesticks! The wedding is in Saturday and I’m still nowhere with this.

    Powering the player was the task at hand. But how? Originally that was done by a battery (3.8V when I checked it), but the lantern is to be wall mounted and the battery recharges only through USB. Click! АHА! I can use a cell phone, most of them supply around 5V, and I can drop them with appropriate resistors. But, hmm, this means that there must be a constant currency flow to the lantern, otherwise it will sing only when it shines too and that’s no good. Click again! I can put a circuit breaker on the lines for the light bulb, there will be currency flowing to the lantern but the light will be controlled separately. I have to be careful about the space though, it isn’t much (you don’t want to know what kind of looks you get in the stores when you ask for the smallest cell phone charger they got, especially when adding that you don’t care for what type of phone it is).
    [​IMG]

    I also got buttons for the bypass lines, ugh, they look like tiny spiders, those creeps. At least until you chop their legs off...
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Monday was gone. Tic-toc

    I removed most of the charger’s body, kept the most important, added the resistors, and laid the 220V cables along side the ones for the light bulb.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    So much for Tuesday I thought. Tic-toc

    And here is where it gets very interesting. Not that it wasn’t so far, but considering in the best days I can only spare for modding an hour or two after work, the Wednesday and Thursday were completely ruined.

    Tic-toc

    Оk, so tomorrow is the big day, if I screw this up, I’ll never forgive myself.

    I painted half of the leaf, while the sun was still shining bright.

    19:00 Tic-toc

    Time to attend to the speakers. Since the lantern is going to have to be able to be disassembled I cannot afford to leave any non-detachable wires. I shortened the cables and attached jacks. Mounted the whole thing.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    21:00 Tic-toc

    Now for the bypass. Recipe for disaster – small buttons and big untrained hands. Some I soldered twice, some three times. Burned myself couple of times. Cursed.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    02:00 My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim. I had to stop for the night. Tic-toc

    It’s D-Day! At 16:00 the bridegroom would come to pick me up and I still had work to do. Bummer...

    I assembled the bottom part of the lantern and covered the cables. Then I assembled the whole thing.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    10:30 Tic-toc

    Arranged and glued the buttons in their new body. I also used some magic glue to attach the five small leaves that hide the buttons.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    11:30 Tic-toc

    Last spray painting, two coats 20 minutes apart from each other. Dry faster damn you!
    [​IMG]

    12:30 Tic-toc

    Mounted the light bulb switch, naturally the initial spot I picked was inappropriate. I found a new one.
    [​IMG]

    13:00 Tic-toc

    Last check. Is everything working?
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    13:15 YES! Tic-toc

    Just one thing left, it is amazing how busy can be the gift wrappers around munch time in Saturday. Still, they assured me it’s going to be ready for 15:00 h.

    13:30 Tic-toc

    I took the box in my hands with relief. I made it!
    [​IMG]

    15:15 Tic...

    The echoing watch inside my scull that bugged me for so long was finally silenced...

    The end of it all.

    Bottom line is that maybe I could have made it faster without all this rushing and worrying. Or maybe not. Who’s to say with absolute certainty?
    It matters not. I made it in time, that’s what counts. Never again shall I allow myself to finish in the last possible moment though, of that I’m absolutely certain.

    The lantern itself, though not an exact copy is still a Bute. Its creation alone, despite the tensity was enjoyable and the fact they loved it too made me truly happy. And honestly, what more could a man ask for?



    Originaly written at ModReactor.com
     
    Last edited: 4 Sep 2008
  3. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Another cool and off-the-wall mod from you.:thumb:
     
  4. Spaceraver

    Spaceraver Ultralurker

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    Very creative.
    But my screen does like small pictures. :)
    800x600 would be better..
     
  5. tranc3

    tranc3 ADHD Modder

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    Thats awesome, im not the biggest fan of World of warcraft, but that's still neat.
     
  6. Salgat

    Salgat What's a Dremel?

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    That is really sweet.
     
  7. DuVeL

    DuVeL What's a Dremel?

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    *Checks around what can be modded aswell...
    *Ooohhh. Good thought...

    Nicely done there. I think I'll post this on our forum with a link to BitTech (some WoWguys and girls upon our forum aswell).
     
  8. Thacrudd

    Thacrudd Where's the any key?!?

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    Wow, very cool! Nicely written I might add :thumb:
     

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