The Soviet Tesla coil fires a long lightning bolt at a hapless Allied soldier while a Tesla trooper provides extra power. A conscript is on guard and an engineer sets off.
Now read this carefully.
Video (I have done an explanatory and running videos be added soon).
Background to the Game 2007
From left, Tesla Trooper, Engineer and Conscript.
The RA props under construction include, in the left photo, a different shape to the
normal top of the Tesla coil with a
sphere on top and two concentric rings (toroids) below
the sphere. For
convenience of connections I have used an old defunct Tesla coil (4 x 23
on top of the old one with the sphere on top of that. The center
photo shows 4 upright supports around the Tesla coil before painting in Soviet red.
photo shows the Red Alert version.
My latest addition to my base is the Soviet wheelie bin. First photo shows the best side. Second, the not so best side.
Above is the completed Tesla Trooper and during construction. Not that true to the original but I'm no expert and I can't spend too long on just one model. I hope to have sparks coming from him in the final shot.
This is a model of a Soviet conscript wearing my Driza-bone stockman's coat, army boots and carrying some optics from an 8 kW Xenon arc coagulator in lieu of a gun! Yes he is left-handed.
The Engineer was a bit more challenging than the others in that the body has to be more anatomical. I feel like Gepetto (Pinocchio's maker). The case is my school case from about 37 years ago. I knew it would be useful one day. Lesson: never throw anything out - ever.
The 3 units in the one shot.
And finally the target of the long sparks.
This is just a cardboard cutout on a wood frame covered with sheets of white A4 paper. Paper fluoresces under UV (remember the nitrogen laser) so it shows up as bluish color with the sparks plus fluorescence. I am not sure that it looks the best but is not too dissimilar to the Red Alert representation. Often a skeleton like look is used and maybe that is what was intended but in limited pixels wasn't able to be done in the game.
Special Effects 2007
To make long sparks I have trailed a wire out from the Tesla coil making strong 3 foot sparks. If this is done during the exposure time of the camera such as 17 seconds then all the sparks will be captured in the photo and this can then extend for 22 feet or more to give an appearance not unlike a continuous spark.
By spooling out the nylon line that has segments of wire attached the sparks appear to travel with the line. On a long exposure these seem continuous as in the last graphic. Thanks to the Chinese site Ixiqi (translated) for the animated gif's above and below. (Note to Joey at Ixiqi: Hope that's OK. Sorry, my email back to you is blocked in China)
This is what it looks like in practice. Impressive 19 foot sparks much longer than a single spark could strike from this coil.
The spark from the Tesla trooper also calls for similar special effects. We need the sparks to go only to the troopers outstretched right arm and this has to be some 6-8 feet from the coil. To achieve this a wire and nylon arrangement is pulled from the arm to the top of the coil and out the other side. Sort of a similar effect as the main long spark without the spool. There is an added benefit that sparks will also appear down the other side of the coil adding to the effect.
This series shows photos a second or so apart as the wire segment is pulled through. In the left photo, the wire is half way between trooper and coil and there are sparks to either end. As it is pulled towards the top of the coil it eventually breaks but there have been sparks along the whole length at different times.
The effect on a 5 second exposure pulling the wire through seems to work quite well in practice with just one errant spark to ground near the trooper.
This is as close as I have got yet on a daylight and testing shot. The sparks are faint in daylight but you can see the flashover. I now have 3 shorted windings and the Tesla coil needs major repair work. This puts my schedule back to possibly early November 2007.
The left photo shows the lower short has vaporized a short segment of wire. I removed 2 turns in 3 places and recoated with polyurethane. I needed a motor setup in the right photo to rotate the coil for about 24 h while it dried. It runs fine despite looking a bit scrappy.
Yellow sparks. I will use a yellow filter to make some of the sparks yellow.
The left photo above shows the camera with diffused flash and rotating yellow filter. When it is running, one in 4 sparks will be yellow. The flash shot and the Tesla trooper shots will not be colored so I should not need to alter the yellow balance.
"all your base are belong to us..." Game over.
This photo in the media
This page was last updated August 20, 2010