I just finished ordering Plasticolor from Dick Blick's Site - they sell a 1.2 pound pack of ten different color packets, I bought 10 packs total, giving me lots of clay (over a pound of each color) to work with.
I have a few fun projects I'm doing with cut outs (like South-park style) but an educational one that I want to do for the web site - I want to have worker parts assembling themselves into a bee that will then walk around "HOPEFULLY" realistic looking when complete.
I have the armature (wire structure which clay is built onto) already twisted and shaped, so it should be pretty easy to do.
I hope to have lots of details (as in wax flakes falling from the abdomen) highlighted in the animations. I have a fine mess wire filled with packing peanuts to shape the abdomen, head and thorax - and on the thorax I'll be able to connect the legs. I'm still not sure what I'll do with the wings, it may be wire mess with painted veins which I'll cover with clear tight plastic to give it shine.
The size of the worker (and other relative sized bees used) will be about 4 inches long so that I can get LOTS of details. I'll be finding some microscopic images to use to for designing close-ups of feet, etc..
A lot of these might be molded then I'll use a pointer to explain the parts and how they work. Doing the entrails should be fun when explaining the whole stinger experience.
I'm excited to get working on these, I have a little talent with water color painting and I have done some sculpturing, I have a good eye for relative size and I think these could be interesting how-tos for the site.
I saw some neat hexagonal 12 ounce cups 3 for a $1 at the dollar store, they would make GREAT comb and I could probably get away with about $8-$10 worth to simulate comb. The best part about this is it would be EASY to capture images of eggs and NOTHING is easier then making 1 inch tall bee eggs for a 12 ounce cup :)
I'm excited at the concept of having 5 GIGS of web space to work with and when the BIG MOVE comes, I hope to finally get these Beemaster Radio Programs (in high quality sound) and lots of video and image content online - I have lots of stuff already for upload, over 20 radio broadcasts (all around 4 to 5 minutes in MP3 HQ) and Now I'll have an excuse to either 1) use my old VCR camcorder and XP Media Center Edition to do videos or 2) go for the money and buy a digital camcorder and fire-wire the content to the site.
Of course, I'm without bees right now, but if you have missed it - within 2 weeks Pollinators will be filling the fields of my local cranberry bogs and they always spin out a lot of swarms during the 10-14 days they are here. I hope to get swarms to re-occupy my hives and if NOT, I have many members willing to assist me with both nucs and queens. So I surely hope to have bees by Summer, if not I'll still have my hands full moving Beemaster.com to its new location: at which time, I'll be asking for ALL MEMBERS to contribute material (videos, images, sound files, writings) all kinds of content to make this site MASSIVE in Multi-opinioned beekeeping reference.
Again, we are really doing well in all the search engines, number of visitors (well hits at least) are over 8 million a month and with lots of space and a reserve of great beekeeping content from the membership - we WILL be the HUB of beekeeping education on the net - something you should all be proud of!!!!!