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Thread: Mouse Guard - or I Build Mice

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    Senior Member Inmate TacomaDiver's Avatar
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    Mouse Guard - or I Build Mice

    I mentioned Mouse Guard to Brian861 one day . . . apologies for the length of this.

    I still don't remember the first time I ever heard about Mouse Guard. I can only assume it was a blog, but something caught my eye about a world filled with mice. With swords. Plus there was something striking about the artwork.



    The first book - Fall: 1152 - made its way to my Amazon wish list, where it stayed for quite some time before it was purchased. And even after it was purchased, it promptly sat on my book shelf, unread. That is, until this year, when I joined Book Riot's Read Harder challenge, and I selected Mouse Guard for my all ages book.

    From the first page, I was hooked. The artwork was mesmerizing, the characters were interesting, and the world was deep. I wanted more. So I promptly bought every book available and basically obsessed over these little mice who fight for good in a world full of danger, and betrayal, and adventure, and friendship.


    David Petersen - the creator, writer and artist - even opened up his Mouse Guard world to other creators. One of the stories was done by Ryan Lang who is more an animation artist. He's worked on Moana, Big Hero 6, and Wreck it Ralph for example. His story - The Watcher's Stone - was amazing. I recommend watching the video where David Petersen reads it aloud.

    Possibly one of my most favorite images from all of the stories.

    In the back of the second book - Winter: 1152 - there were descriptions of some of the mice who live in other towns and I immediately focused in on one in particular - Lonepine. I hadn't noticed the town on the maps that appear in each book, but I definitely noticed him here.


    The reason I noticed him was because he's from Lonepine, which when you add a space - Lone Pine - becomes my home town in California. A town that maybe has 2000 people. You can probably see why I noticed him.

    This mouse has become special to me because of where he's from. So special in fact, that via Twitter and e-mail, I purchased an original drawing from David.

    (I can't link to it, but David actually livestreamed on Facebook and Twitch the actual session where he drew my Lonepine mouse for me.)
    Last edited by TacomaDiver; 09-13-2017 at 02:51 PM.

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    Senior Member Inmate TacomaDiver's Avatar
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    One day, I discovered on the Mouse Guard site, that David had created these little paper models of ten of the mice from the world of Mouse Guard. I downloaded them thinking that it would be a quick weekend project building some fun mice, and then maybe decorating my desk at work with them.



    In hindsight, that time estimate was a little ambitious. It took me almost two hours to build the first one, and at my best, it was closer to around ninety minutes.


    Just to give you an idea of what the models look like before cutting and putting them together. Here's Piper and all of her pieces.


    Here's Lieam's head, specifically his wounded ear.


    Can you tell that these are his feet and arms?


    Piper is observing the construction. The tape was because I accidentally wounded Piper's ear trying to put her hood on.
    Last edited by TacomaDiver; 09-13-2017 at 02:52 PM.

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    Senior Member Inmate TacomaDiver's Avatar
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    Feets.


    Lieam's pokey (sword.)


    The body before being glued together.


    Before the arms go on.


    Make the tail might be my favorite part.


    And Lieam is finished.


    Together with Piper.

    Piper and Lieam were the third and fourth mice I built, and they joined Sadie (in purple) and Kenzie (in blue) at my desk at work.

    Note how Sadie and Kenzie aren't holding their weapons the same way Piper and Lieam are - that's because I didn't realize in the beginning that the weapons should be inserted in-between the hands.

    Eventually, I finished building all ten mice, and even painted some white boxes to look more like rocks, because mice wouldn't be standing around white boxes . . .

    Seven of the eight completed mice (Piper was off an adventure - she still is in fact.)


    The whole gang together for a photo shoot.

    At first, building these mice was just a fun little thing to do, but eventually it became more than that to me. I've been dealing with a lot of personal stuff lately, and these mice became a therapeutic way for me to work through some of what I've been dealing with. They didn't solve anything, but they gave me an immense sense of joy and I just felt good making them.

    I'm sure people at work think I'm weird - I'm now the guy who has all these little paper mice on my desk but I like seeing them there. And they give me joy.

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    Senior Member Inmate TacomaDiver's Avatar
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    Before I built my first mouse, I watched a video that David made showing how he makes the mice, plus gave a few tips and tricks that help you out. Since the video was originally part of a livestream, someone asked about using thicker paper, but you would have to scale the model up, otherwise the paper would just be too think.

    In other words - make bigger mice.

    I never forgot that, so a couple of weeks ago, I made it a new mission to find a place that would be able to print these models at 200% (and not charge me a small fortune to do so.) I was just about ready to give up (because of cost and not being able to find someone who understood my requirements) when I gave it one last shot. And it paid off. I found a printing company close to work that charged a very reasonable amount of money, and was able to print the models at 200% on thicker paper. It was perfect.

    So began my next challenge - make bigger mice.

    I started with Kenzie.

    Here is the original Kenzie next to the larger version's cloak to give you an idea of just how big these new ones will be.


    And the completed Kenzie next to the smaller version.


    When I successfully completed Kenzie, I tweeted out my appreciation to the printing company, and tagged David Petersen (@MouseGuard) who in turn retweeted it. A little bit of a humblebrag here, but Adam Savage (from MythBusters) also retweeted it to his followers so that was pretty cool. (I'm also pretty certain that this was the most social media attention that this printing company has ever had, so you're welcome.)


    Everything about the new mice is exactly the same as the old mice - just bigger. These pieces will eventually become Saxon.


    And here is Lieam and Kenzie (Saxon was completed the next day and isn't pictured.)

    One of my favorite models is Gwendolynn. There's just something magnificent about her and the papercraft version looks a lot like her artwork.


    I of course have brought the bigger mice to work.

    At this rate, I'm going to need a bigger desk.

    I still have two more sets of the larger mice to build (I didn't get all ten printed) but I'm already trying to figure out just how big I can get these.

    As more people at work see the new and improved versions, I'm sure they're going to continue thinking I'm weird, but I'm okay with that. These little mice make me feel good, and while I still haven't figured out answers to a lot of my questions lately, having something to feel good about is a good start.

    It matters not what you fight, but what you fight for.
    Last edited by TacomaDiver; 09-13-2017 at 06:59 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication
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    Those are some cool mice! Nice job with the models, and the upsizing is a great idea.

    Speaking of Lone Pine, remember when the mall changed from Twin Pines Mall to Lone Pine Mall in Back to the Future?

    LONE-PINE-MALL-BACK-TO-THE-FUTURE-INSPIRED-REGULAR-FIT-TSHIRT-BY-LAST-EXIT-TO-NOWHERE-NEWS__.jpg

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    Senior Member Hearing Voices mhatchett's Avatar
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    Very neat. Thanks for sharing man.

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    Senior Member Inmate TacomaDiver's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Oh I definitely remember the mall's name changing after one of the trees is ran over.

    Based on one of the tweets that David replied to me with, his scaled up version is just a tad bigger - probably 250% instead of 200%. He also made one at 50% which is my next one to make. (Although I have a feeling that the smaller size will be a bit trickier.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1442397 View Post
    Those are some cool mice! Nice job with the models, and the upsizing is a great idea.

    Speaking of Lone Pine, remember when the mall changed from Twin Pines Mall to Lone Pine Mall in Back to the Future?

    LONE-PINE-MALL-BACK-TO-THE-FUTURE-INSPIRED-REGULAR-FIT-TSHIRT-BY-LAST-EXIT-TO-NOWHERE-NEWS__.jpg

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    Senior Member Inmate TacomaDiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhatchett View Post
    Very neat. Thanks for sharing man.
    Thank you!

  9. #9
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Very cool.
    CD Email: danhocker@cemeterydance.com
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    Senior Member 2nd Electroshock Session Martin's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post, cool information. I knew nothing about the mouse guard world but as a follower of Skelton Crew Studios I see a lot of trinkets.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Inmate TacomaDiver's Avatar
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    I didn't even mention Skelton Crew's Mouse Guard weapons.

    I own the three weapons but don't have the two shields. Looks like those were made to order so I check eBay everyday hoping to stumble upon someone selling theirs. Fingers crossed.

    The weapons are really cool though - very detailed and well made.

    I elected to pass on the stuffed animals - they didn't do anything for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    Thanks for the post, cool information. I knew nothing about the mouse guard world but as a follower of Skelton Crew Studios I see a lot of trinkets.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Inmate c marvel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacomaDiver View Post

    Feets.


    Lieam's pokey (sword.)


    The body before being glued together.


    Before the arms go on.


    Make the tail might be my favorite part.


    And Lieam is finished.


    Together with Piper.

    Piper and Lieam were the third and fourth mice I built, and they joined Sadie (in purple) and Kenzie (in blue) at my desk at work.

    Note how Sadie and Kenzie aren't holding their weapons the same way Piper and Lieam are - that's because I didn't realize in the beginning that the weapons should be inserted in-between the hands.

    Eventually, I finished building all ten mice, and even painted some white boxes to look more like rocks, because mice wouldn't be standing around white boxes . . .

    Seven of the eight completed mice (Piper was off an adventure - she still is in fact.)


    The whole gang together for a photo shoot.

    At first, building these mice was just a fun little thing to do, but eventually it became more than that to me. I've been dealing with a lot of personal stuff lately, and these mice became a therapeutic way for me to work through some of what I've been dealing with. They didn't solve anything, but they gave me an immense sense of joy and I just felt good making them.

    I'm sure people at work think I'm weird - I'm now the guy who has all these little paper mice on my desk but I like seeing them there. And they give me joy.
    I've seen the Mouse Guard books at the local comic shop in Merced. I've never read any of them. I'm sorry to hear you've been having some issues. What has affected me is first the transition from the old company to the new company now here in the park. Last summer, everyone seemed to be super stressed out. It does not make for a good work environment. What bothered me this summer for a month was construction on the street very near the building where I have a private room. I have explained or stated=Working at night is easy, sleeping in the daytime in Yosemite is not easy. Before the construction was completed a new neighbor moved in on the other side of the shared bathroom. I quickly learned this guy loves his music-I mean he really loves his music and I could hear it playing when I was trying to sleep. I confronted and talked to him about the music and he was not rude, just completely clueless so I was forced to send a lengthy missive to our Employee Services (Housing) dept. about this bozo's attitude (Mr. I'm going to move into this quiet building, be noisy and get away with it). Guess what? He didn't. Things are now quiet again. Thanks for listening folks! ~Cap
    Books are weapons in the war of ideas.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Inmate TacomaDiver's Avatar
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    I'd recommend Mouse Guard if you like comics and LOTR type stories. The first book felt a little lacking because I wanted to more about the world, but the second book was great, and was barely topped by the third (The Black Axe.) I'm super excited for the next series - The Weasel War - I just don't know when it'll get here.

    Quote Originally Posted by c marvel View Post
    I've seen the Mouse Guard books at the local comic shop in Merced. I've never read any of them. I'm sorry to hear you've been having some issues. What has affected me is first the transition from the old company to the new company now here in the park. Last summer, everyone seemed to be super stressed out. It does not make for a good work environment. What bothered me this summer for a month was construction on the street very near the building where I have a private room. I have explained or stated=Working at night is easy, sleeping in the daytime in Yosemite is not easy. Before the construction was completed a new neighbor moved in on the other side of the shared bathroom. I quickly learned this guy loves his music-I mean he really loves his music and I could hear it playing when I was trying to sleep. I confronted and talked to him about the music and he was not rude, just completely clueless so I was forced to send a lengthy missive to our Employee Services (Housing) dept. about this bozo's attitude (Mr. I'm going to move into this quiet building, be noisy and get away with it). Guess what? He didn't. Things are now quiet again. Thanks for listening folks! ~Cap

  14. #14
    Senior Member Inmate c marvel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacomaDiver View Post
    I'd recommend Mouse Guard if you like comics and LOTR type stories. The first book felt a little lacking because I wanted to more about the world, but the second book was great, and was barely topped by the third (The Black Axe.) I'm super excited for the next series - The Weasel War - I just don't know when it'll get here.
    I'm no longer into LOTR type stories. ~Cap
    Books are weapons in the war of ideas.

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