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We’re all about mad DIY projects here at The Modern Rogue. Whether it’s crafting terrifying homemade weapons or hacking boring toys into awesomeness, we’re always keen on discovering people who look at the world and think, “Yeah, I got this.” Sort of like these pop culture fans who used their precious time and energy to make some incredibly badass props and replicas.
The Jurassic Park Fan Who Built A Replica Of The Ford Explorer
The Jurassic Ford Explorer is probably the most iconic prop in the Jurassic Park franchise. I mean, sure, cars with CRT screens might not be considered fancy new technology today, but back when the movie came out, they were pretty damn cool. Plus, this was a vehicle that could outrun a T-Rex, and it didn’t even having racing stripes or a spoiler.
So when Christopher Orgeron from Houston found a first-generation Ford Explorer on Craigslist for a mere $500, he took it as a sign to go full fanboy and Jurassic Park the crap out of it. It took him two freaking years to track down all of the original parts he needed to create this masterpiece, and he even managed to find the exact brush guard.
Impressive paint job and vinyl work aside, Orgeron even replicated the interior cabin of the “Dinosaurs Don’t Scare Me” vehicle by adding two authentic CRT screens that were true to the time period.
All he needs now is a piece of land and some dinosaur animatronics, and I know where I’ll be spending my time every other weekend.
Freelance Engineer Builds Electromagnetic Thor Hammer Only He Can Lift
As it turns out, in order to be worthy of lifting the mighty Mjolnir, all you need to know is how basic engineering works. Allen Pan figured this out while watching Avengers: Age of Ultron, where he picked up on the fact that the hammer’s handle was “imprinted.” Having some knowledge of biometrics, he realized you could replicate the “worthiness” aspect of the hammer by using an electromagnet and a fingerprint scanner.
So that’s what he did, immediately followed by taking it out in public and asking random people to try their hand at picking it up. Spoiler: They could not.
What’s cool is that you can make one of these yourself – there are even instructions on how, exactly, to do so. Granted, it does require some investment in both time and money, but it’s totally doable if you know how to cut metal with a Dremel and solder some wires. And even if you don’t, this could be the one project that motivates you to learn, because nothing says “DIY fun” like casually picking up Mjolnir after watching other people give themselves hernias trying it themselves.
But what’s the point of being able and “worthy” to triumphantly loft Mjolnir over your head while shouting some prophetic catchphrase if the thing can’t fly? Presumably, that’s what Pan thought, too, so he rigged up a totally separate hammer with a quadcopter inside that he could control with an accelerometer attached to a gauntlet on his arm.
Sure, it’s a bit tricky to get the hammer to return every time you throw it, but the effect is still pretty amazing. The only thing I’d recommend is adding a thunderstorm, or maybe throwing in a Hemsworth brother for a cameo appearance. For effect, of course.
The Captain America Shield That’s Almost Unbreakable
It seems like you can make a lot of badass superhero props using electromagnetic technology. Who knew? One guy who calls himself “the Hacksmith” on YouTube did, and decided to craft a beautiful replica of Captain America’s shield that not only sticks to wherever he wants it to on his body, but also seems damn near indestructible.
Here’s a video of the Hacksmith explaining how to make an insanely powerful electromagnet that can produce up to 660 kilograms of lifting force. He uses two such magnets on his gauntlet, which means he can effectively lift a freaking Prius if he wants to.
You can totally use a cheap, store-bought shield to make this project a reality, but the Hacksmith had one custom designed out of metal, because where’s the fun in having your own Captain America shield if you’re not using it to smash things and thwart hostile fireworks on the Fourth of July?
The Fan Who Built The Perfect Daft Punk Helmet
Those who grew up in that turbulent era known as the ’90s will remember the glee we all experienced when electronic duo Daft Punk hit the scene with their catchy beats and futuristic costumes. Their robot helmets were a big fan favorite, and one fan was able to design a helmet so glorious that some have deemed it even better than the original.
It took the makers at LoveProps a full year to build the GM01 unit, fitted with motion sensors, WiFi, MIDI, and custom-designed PCB electronics. Calling it a tribute to Daft Punk, the entire tutorial has been shared online, from the molding and casting process to the software build.
It’s the coolest helmet since ... well, I guess since the original Daft Punk helmet.
LoveProps has also made it clear that they were 1) not affiliated with Daft Punk in any way, and 2) not super cool aliens who traveled to Earth to grace us with their genius. This was just the work of a bunch of superfans who like making props while bopping out to “One More Time.” Yes, they’re human after all. And no, I am not the least bit sorry for that gratuitous reference.
The Wall·E Robot Built From Scratch
WALL·E hit the screens and our hearts in 2008, and since then we’ve seen many attempted replicas and even more not-nearly-the-real-thing merchandise. Mike Senna, however, built his WALL·E replica from scratch, and damn if it isn’t the closest model to the animated version we’ve ever seen.
Remote-controlled and life-sized, this fantastic replica took Senna about two years to build, without the help of any pre-existing prototypes. That’s right, Senna had to figure out all the specs by himself, and the best way to do it was to watch the movie over and over again. That ... actually doesn’t sound like a job I would diss.
Everything about Senna’s model is impressive, from the drive tracks and electronics that he designed and built himself, to its remarkable and true to form movement capabilities. WALL·E can even say its own name, just like in the movie! Try not to fall in love with this little fellow – I dare you.
Oh, and did I mention Senna uses his WALL·E robots to visit and cheer up sick kids in the hospital? Because he totally does.
That’s ... OK, I’m going to go jam out to some Daft Punk while I deal with these emotions.
Like this article? Check out “Real Life Cyborg Body Hacks That People Are Doing Right Now” and “How To Turn Your Home Into A Badass Rogue Lair”.