The Tridge Monster
The town I live in, Midland Michigan, had a festival called Riverdays. This year there was a milk jug raft race. So… of course I am entered a raft. I made a giant angler fish monster raft. Here are some shots of the build process.
Rough fish head shape, made out of pool noodles, some scrap pvc pipe and scrap wood. It was then covered in chicken wire.
A shot with the angler lure, this is being constructed so it can come on and off.
From the front, with a few layers of newspaper taped into place, strip papier mache will be added next.
From the side.
This is a shot of the bottom of the raft platform, the fish head will be screwed onto the front/top of this. The vertical boards are to add a little strength, to help the raft track better, and to act as skids so the milk jugs don’t get damaged when launching/transporting.
The fish head shell is covered in six layers of mache, I created teeth out of cardboard and covered them in mache, and the angler support was covered. I also picked up two plastic bowls that were used as eyes.
Lots of people saved milk jugs for me so a BIG THANKS goes out to all who helped. The Midland Volunteers for Recycling was able to give me the rest that I needed.
I used a bit of wire to attach each tooth, pushing it through the tooth and into the pool noodle lips. The eyes were then attached and covered in mache. I had a bunch of cardboard circles left over from Bonewart so I used them as scales. I covered the circles with paper towels to help keep them attached since they weren’t sticking too well to the curved fish head. Paper towels were used to add some webbing texture to the dorsal fin. A 2-liter bottle was attached to the end of the angler to act as a lure.
Lots of painting. First, the entire piece was painted black with a paint sprayer. Once dry, everything was dry brushed with white. The teeth were painted solid white. To give it some color I covered it all in a purple acrylic wash. Highlights were added by dry brushing neon green on the teeth, eyes, scales, and dorsal fin. The lure was painted solid neon green.
Ahh, the raft, a giant flaoting brick! I sealed the caps with silicon caulk on 78 milk jugs. Then, using a gel based contact cement, attached them all to the bottom of the raft. I secured them even more with chicken wire.
It’s really starting to come together! My Dad came over and helped me finish attaching the remaining chicken wire. We also put in ropes on the left and right hand sides to make it easier to get in and out of the water. Two coats of polyurethane were applied to the head in hopes that the papier mache can hold together. On top of the deck we attached a sign stand that Dad made for me a few months ago. The sign stand will help support the tail fin and hold my registration number. The raft deck has been painted black and was dry brushed white and washed with purple.
That’s right, Tridge Monster hats were ready for race day!
The Raft Race was fantastic. There were 8 boats in all. I wasn’t the fastest raft, but at the Tridge Monster floated and I stayed dry. I did win the Most Creative Award for my raft design. All in all a great time and I will be doing it again next year. I want to send a big Thanks out to my friends and family that came and supported me in the race. It meant a lot to have so many people come out. Below are some videos/photos of the race.
Start of the Race
Part way through the race
Most Creative Award