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Nov
07
2011

Life-size Portal Turret replica guards ThinkGeek

Willy and his little project

Willy Yonkers has a secret. It's 4 feet tall, 3-legged, and took 8 months to complete.

He's been toiling away in the GeekLabs workroom most of this year on a personal project. At first we thought it was the usual--casting Han Solo in carbonite, modelling an Enterprise Pizza Cutter, or painting a miniature HAL in fine detail.

But no, it was even more awesome, and we've been sworn to secrecy this whole time.

So it is with great pride we present ThinkGeek's very own life-size Portal turret, complete with guns and a laser eye, fabricated with love at ThinkGeek HQ by GeekLabs' own Willy Yonkers.

Witness the behind-the-scenes birth of a turret:

It begins! All the major parts fully carved in foam LOTS of bondo Looks like acne, tastes like spot filler Starting to actually look like something! First time standing on its own! All the parts

See its full evolution in our turret Flickr album.

Willy writes,

Last year I spent a lot of time studying the proportions & geometry of the Portal turret for several projects we're working on with Valve. It can be a big challenge to convert objects from videogames into reality as they're designed to exist only in a digital world where objects can overlap, disappear, and don't need to be structurally sound or contain real internal components. I built a CAD model which demonstrated a mechanism to make the turret's wings extend and pivot but actually building them robustly enough to work in the real world would have been too expensive and painstaking for any product we would sell.

I really underestimated the scope of such a project, but a lot of the delay came from making some poor decisions early in the build. I created the model by layering fiberglass over a sculpted foam core, just like a surfboard, but to make efficient use of materials, I laid up miss-matched scraps of fiberglass cloth instead of whole sheets. This lead to a very lengthy smoothing out phase and lots of weak bubble areas. I also held myself to some unreasonably high standards after looking at the process photos of other amazing prop builders online like Voplin and Kronos props.

Willy working

So by now you might be wondering how you can get your hands on this puppy. The answer is an unequivocal OMG did you eat conversion gel 'cause you must be CRAZY! The turret is not for sale; it will stay here at our Fairfax, Virginia HQ to guard us--or kill us, whichever comes first.

And we might be in danger sooner than later; Willy plans to implant this turret with the guts from one of our Plush Turrets. The upgrade would make this life-size turret very chatty, though it would haven't real guns. After seeing Willy's handiwork on this model we're afraid to push our luck, though.

We love you, Willy! Don't go GLaDOS on us!

Willy and his little project
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Comments

meaningless icon! Awesome Job!
GeocacheGeek said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! Wow! Willy's got some mad modeling skills! I think I may have to share this on the forums at Starshipmodeler.com!
Zakuformer said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! You could at least modify the guns to fire Nerf darts. You don't want a depressed turret, do you?
Merennulli said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! This is awesome. Are you sure I can't buy one? For Science?
lieutfaber said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! I love this. So much. I want one with every part of myself.
asciidan said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! THAT is a triumph! Please let it be a prototype for a soon-to-be mass produced sale item! DO WANT! With sound and motion. "I'm different..."
dalehoppert said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! I do believe this would be a prime subject for an Instructable.
AlphaC said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! It's... It's beautiful!
10kiki24 said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! it's.... it's gorgeous.. I wish I could own one.... though I probably couldn't afford it anyway..
eTERNAL aNDVREOS said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! This is just awesome. Would love to see some pics of the CAD model you made in the early stages. What software did you use for the model?
Oreo45 said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! Hmmm with the right materials and electronics, I bet we could get it to unfold, swivel, track a target, and fire lasers, at least.
ivjames said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! That looks very cool, and when I say "very", I really mean awesome, you'd need at least two of them.
LcarsXP said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! This was truly a triumph.
Kung Fu Ganda said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! Holy Craps that is awesome. Excellent job!!
mlerley said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! Totally awesome!!!
SunSparc said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! I want this - for my geek son, of course!
GeekWifeandMom said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! Awesome sauce :D
Eneicia said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! great job! I want one, what was the approx cost for materials?
broken_thought said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! "I'm different."
Aimeeroo said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! marry me
BZBet said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! So you're saying I can't get one? Even if I say, wanted to do a research project on it? Come on, for the sake of science pleeasssee?? I want one soo badd! I need something to protect my house from the impending zombie apocalypse! Or.. kill me before/during said apocalypse! Haha.. Totally awesome :D Great job!
MrShyRockstar said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! ok, how long before its stripped and scanned for mass production? i want one!
Victor_4k said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! You tease us with this, and it's not for sale?! "You monster."
SupraMan said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! We're all proud of you Yonkers, and not just for the turret!
Chris M (ThinkGeek Staff) said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! Awesome! Now turn it into a marketable product and I'll buy one to guard my room!
TheHawkeyeGuy said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! 1. I'm JEALOUS. 2. Are you going to build 3 more to have a Quartet? 3. Very Jealous! 4. Are you going to sell them sooon? 5. Extremely Jealous 6. If you're not going to sell them, can I get a copy of the Plans? 7. did I mention something about being JEALOUS?
Mailstrom said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! You sir are my hero, and i tip my over sized hat...
Osokoolaid said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! "Omigod omigod omigod omigod omigod...." Is exactly what I was thinking when reading this and then a shattering "AWWWW" at the end.
Wolfton said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! wow impressive sculpting ability, not to mention good taste in inspiration.
Aperture female said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! This would be awesome to have a 3D model of.. Something workable to have 3D printed =D Ofcourse not full scale, that would be waayy too expensive, but a smaller miniature of it would be awesome too!
Spongeinside said this 1081 days ago.
meaningless icon! NEED IT. O___O
CaffeineCowgirl said this 1080 days ago.
meaningless icon! Awww I want one in my room >.<
AmuChan said this 1079 days ago.
meaningless icon! Holly FRACK! Have you consider to add some marshmallows shooting guns? And... do you know why VALVe haven't consider on merchandising this kind of turret (besides the plushy one)? Of course not in real size, but a smaller one you can put on your desk or in the entrance to your home and shoot intruders, unwanted neighbors, or simply somebody you hate. Awesome work Mr. Willy. Thank you all for making my life so delightfully geeky!
Necrida said this 1079 days ago.
meaningless icon! You guys have all seen the Aperture Investment Opportunity videos, right? All that thing needs in it is bullets and a mechanism to fire the whole bullet (ya know, because that's 65% more bullet per bullet).
bookmunkie said this 1044 days ago.
meaningless icon! omygodomygodomygod I am making a companion cube and hopefully a turret for my bedroom. how can i make one on the cheap? cuz i'm what you'd call ''underage'' :( for science...
NerdyBoy123 said this 1016 days ago.
meaningless icon! It'd be awesome if you installed a motion sensor and a few motors to make the arms come out and the laser turn on when it detects motion. You could even add a speaker to play turret quotes.
Enatbyte said this 825 days ago.
meaningless icon! I am so jelly. How did he get his hands on 40mm sheets of *redacted for the contest* I am genuinely curious, as the only dealers I can find on the 'net are in Australia.
ArjayC said this 701 days ago.
meaningless icon! Waaaant
Spotted3star said this 665 days ago.
meaningless icon! For Science!
Explosiveapple said this 389 days ago.
meaningless icon! o man if you could make them actually work and give me atlease 5 of them than I could complete my real life portal 2 room. it is basically a real life portal puzzle. except the portals wont actually work. but its like a real portal puzzle it took me years to finish and lots of money. it uses actual weighed storage cubes that I made and you put some of the cubes on some red buttons and it works. idk how to explain it. but ive been using inflatable turrents right now so its not that good. but If I hade a life size portal turrent that shoots atlease nerf gun bullets than it would complete it. kinda. the portals don't work though. mabe some day they will. o well.
BlueNinja64 said this 265 days ago.

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