The last update I did on the blog for my Sledge Hammer model project was way back in March. I stopped them because I knew I’d get side-tracked by the new Wonderland season. And I did. There wasn’t a whole lot going on with the project once we were into May.
The main purpose of the Sledge Hammer model was to keep me preoccupied during a long off-season. It really did that well as I was excited to get back to working on it each weekend, even with the frustrations with it along the way. I kept most updates going on Twitter so whatever was posted here on the blog is rather outdated with the gigantic gap from the last post until this final one. In hindsight, I should have used a hashtag so I could pull up every tweet that was relevant to the project but it never crossed my mind at the time. One of the many lessons learned on this project!
Weekly Sledge model update. Mostly just some programming fun… pic.twitter.com/3qsZsqV6CA
— Matt (@CoasterCircuits) April 14, 2019
The main objective of the model was to build something that would resemble the real ride and to have it actually function. I built one artsy model of the ride before but it was not designed to move in any way. This time around, I made it so that it would resemble the beefiness of the real ride that would also have some structural integrity for movement.
I actually got much farther than I had honestly expected, especially thinking back to what I originally had in mind to get certain movements to work. Each part of the project evolved along the way with new ideas and experiments. I learned a lot about hardware components that I had never used before, though there’s still some more learning to do.
I decided to finally give up on getting the model to function because it got to the point where I was wasting money by throwing parts at it with no real sustainable progress. I’d rather take the loss here, but take all of my wins with me to my next project, whenever I finally decide on what I want to try building next.
So while most of the electronics on the project have been stripped out which leaves zero hope here for a functioning model, I am left with something I am still happy with.
This was actually the goal of the first model – To have something I could move manually to pose in different ways. The tower is free to spin and the lifting crown can be moved up and down with a stick that’s reachable from underneath the tower’s body. I made a little block thing with different heights that the lifting cylinder (the stick) can rest on which would position the model at pre-determined heights. Without the stick sitting on the block, the lifting crown rests on three sticks which are supposed to resemble the shocks on the real ride.
Again, I have absolutely no regrets taking on this project. I had a lot of fun building it and I am super appreciative of all of the support I got along the way whenever I posted updates on Twitter. Thank you to everyone who followed this project!