Mark’s AutoBot – Gobtimus Prime
Basil – June 6, 2008
I created Gobtimus Prime in an event to Celebrate East Granby’s 150th year Anniversary. Local sponsors bought 17 huge, white fiberglass turkeys. Mark’s Auto Recycling sponsored my turkey. I have painted car portraits at Mark’s Classic Cruise Night for almost 4 years, every Monday night during the summer months. Mark’s only desire was that I make it patriotic. Other than that, he left it up to me.
Mark started his business by pulling apart old cars and recycling any useful parts. In my design I wanted to incorporate a theme that was representative of his business, that was fun and creative, that would be different and imaginative, as well as patriotic. I have enjoyed the Transformers since I was very young, loved the recent movie, and I thought that Optimus Prime would be a perfect patriotic inspiration that would also incorporate an automotive theme. Optimus is patriot in color, and he is an iconic leader of strength, pride, honor, and courage. Optimus Prime is a truck that transforms into a robot. I was to create Gobtimus Prime; a truck that transformed into a turkey.
I began collecting images of Optimus Prime in order to gather ideas. I hung them up on the walls within the garage that I worked. I was not exactly sure how I was going to transform this fiberglass turkey into an Autobot, but like any of my work before, I had fun along the way in figuring it out. Little by little, Gobtimus Prime began his transformation, and after a few months, a lot of paint, a lot of late nights, a lot of coffee, a lot of music, and even more trial and error, my imagination became reality.
I frequently visited auto parts stores for ideas. I knew I would need wheels, head lights, door handles, tail lights, windshield wipers, and anything else I could find. Mark built his business by tearing apart and recycling old cars. So I thought it would be fun to do the same with my turkey, but instead of pulling apart real trucks, I pulled apart toy trucks for my parts. These were the details that made Gobtimus come alive.
I mostly used enamel spray paints, taping off areas and cutting out templates to mask off portions of the body that I did or did not want painted. This was tedious and time consuming, but the spray paints allowed for a realistic automotive paint job. For the detailed work, I used enamel paint pens of different colors, sizes, and widths. I had a lot of detailed line work to accomplish, and these paint pens offered a free flowing source of pigment. In order to affix the pipes, wheels, lights, door handles, and everything else, I drilled holes, used specially designed nuts and bolts, epoxy and silicone. A real treat was cutting off the turkey’s beak in order to apply the helmet, which I again sealed up with fiberglass and epoxy.
I am very happy with how this project came together, and I am proud to be a part of the painted turkeys for East Granby. I am especially grateful to Mark for allowing me to be so creative, and for sponsoring the turkey itself. Thanks also to my step father for helping me to engineer my ideas into functional applications, to my mother for finding toy trucks and encouraging any imagination I have every had. And thank you to everyone else who has already given so much positive feedback to my creation. I hope you have all enjoyed the experience of Gobtimus Prime as much as I have. Creativity is what makes life sparkle, and life continues to be like a fairy tale to me…….