Last year I took a course in oil painting. As someone new to painting I found oil challenging but acrylics more forgiving. Painting on a canvas was not exciting to me then I remembered loving paper mache as a kid. When I searched the web I found two websites that inspired me.
- Gourmet Paper Mache One of my favourite sites
- Ultimate Paper Mache Great ideas on unconventional paper mache
What surprised me was the variety of materials and glues available as well a paper mache clay.
My first idea was to use an old plastic fish I bought at the Outer Banks in North Carolina as a mould. I tried various glues and recipes but the one I enjoyed the most was white resin glue diluted with 10% water. Then for paper I tried several newsprints, tissue and paper towels to name a few but got interesting results with kraft folding paper towels. These are the basic brown towels you would find in a gas station.
While some of the glue recipes would release from the plastic, white resin glue bonded well. I decided to just cover the model with paper and paint.
While reading the Gourmet Paper Mache site I learned about cloth mache and using materials other than paper. I decided to glue lace trim onto the body to create a scale like effect.
Next came the fins. Why not create a rib structure with twine and yarn?
Here is the model with all of the paper, string, yarn, lace and gesso done.
My original idea was to mount the fish on a canvas like a trophy mount.
Next came painting the fish. As mahi mahi are colourful I had freedom to go a bit wild. Then I decided to use a 18x36 inch canvas and have the fish swimming into the scene. I painted the canvas as underwater with the light shinning in. I mounted wood reinforcing to the back to support the weight of the model then glued and screwed the model on.
Here is the final result as it hangs in my living room.
And so started my love of paper mache.
Robert Ortiz riding his Skate Wheel Cykle in a parking structure.
Joel Leek of Australia has a Twisties promotion edition 1983 Minson Skate Bike. You had to collect 10 Twisties packets and then mail in with the money to get one. Joel has never found another Twisties edition with the rear sticker – life is pretty straight without Twisties and also the red frame with yellow wheels and tyre (red and yellow Twisties packet colors).
Anyone else know about the Twisties Minson Skate Bike?
I found the original owner’s manual for my Minson Skate Bike. I usually save owner’s manuals and while cleaning found it.
It is interesting that the manual refers to a 16″ wheel version (which is what I have) and a 12″ wheel version. I have never heard of the small wheel Minson. The LeRun used a 12″ wheel.
Here is the manual.
Thanks to Jon Chan we have a copy of the original MTV LeRun skatebike.
I found a better version of the original MTV LeRun commercial.
I recently found the original patent for the LeRun skatebike. I wrote about the patent for the Minson skatebike. The Minson patent was filed on Mar 14, 1983. The LeRun patent was filed on June 18, 1981. The LeRun focus is on the front truck including an adjustable angle.
I don’t believe this was ever implemented on a production skatebike.
It is interesting that both the LeRun and Minson patents offer a front bar to make steering easier.
John Cummings III of Honolulu is restoring this vintage LeRun he found on his walk to work. Someone had thrown in out. One man’s trash…
I am looking forward to seeing John’s restoration.
While exploring the history of the Minson skate bike I found the original US patent for a “Roller bicycle“.
View patent US4523770 Google patent site of US4523770
Filed: Mar 14, 1983 Granted: Jun 18, 1985 Status: Lapsed
Some interesting quotes from the patent.
This invention relates to a roller bicycle having rollers rotably mounted on the front wheel shaft and a single rear wheel for a common use as a sporting and playing apparatus on which one can ride forward and backward by keeping his balance, thereby improving his agility and developing his physical strength.
Translation: The wheel is a fixed crank like a unicycle so that you can ride forward and backward.
“Unlike the usual bicycles, one must keep his balance continuously while riding on the roller bicycle of the present invention so as not to fall. Furthermore, one must step on the ground with both feet at the moment of falling to prevent himself from falling, and when stop ping said roller bicycle, one should also brake it by stepping on the ground. In other words, said roller bicycle doesn’t need any additional brake means.”
Translation, the original design didn’t have brakes, coaster or the under seat hand unit.
As illustrated by dot-dash-lines in FIGS. 1 & 2, said front roller base 4 may be extended forwardly to form a projecting support plate 5′ on which a front support tube 5 will be vertically mounted, whereby a grip bar 18 can be inserted into said front support tube 5 and the height of said grip bar 18 can be adjusted by means of a adjusting clamp lever 6′ so that unskilled beginners can use said grip bar 18 for mounting and riding on said saddle 17.
While unskilled beginners may require said grip bar 18 and said adjusting clamp lever 6′, skilled people will not need them. Therefore, in view of the production cost and the manufacturing process, it may be also recommendable to omit said projecting support plate 5′.
Translation: An optional support tube was in the original design. This would help beginners to steer. The SQRL Skatebike has such a tube. You can see it in action in this video.Notice the original drawings even had the round plate over the wheel for the logo.
Someone asked me the question where my Minson skatebike was made. Answer: it was made in Taiwan.
I have been experimenting with mounting a GoPro on my Skate Bike. Originally I had the camera on my helmet but this resulted in a floating camera shot with no reference points to set the shot in context. The skatebike is not exactly loaded with spots to mount a camera. I finally found this position. Note: when the bike falls over the camera has a tendency to change angle. Check after a fall.