The HELLRAISER Part III

The Tale of the Terrifying Truncated Torso

In our local folklore, we have a creature of the night called the "Manananggal." It is a vampyre/bat hybrid, usually female, and the reason it's called as such is because it can separate itself at the waist, with the upper torso transforming itself into a ghoulish form and grows wings. The mananangal often comes out during the full moon and hunts for human flesh, preferring the unborn. Of course, it rips the womb of the unlucky pregnant woman as well as it sucks the unborn fetus. As as kid, I was terrified of the manananggal more than anything else, and I often spread salt over our window sill and hang garlic cloves as well. I outgrew the fear eventually as I entered high school.

I was reminded of the creature while working on the Hellraiser mainly because I had to work on it in sections, but the Truncated Torso bit came mostly from how the PG WZC was built. It's mid torso "armor" was made of red rubber, so there's no other way around it but for me to build that entire section from scratch. That, too became part of the challenge.

The rubber torso attaches to four pegs on the chest frame, and is secured at the bottom by the lower abdominal armor. I will have to sacrifice full mobility of the torso, especially since it will have to support heavier wings. I initially planned to make a single, wrap-around piece (like the rubber piece), but I realized that won't be possible since the pegs are positioned at the front and the back of the chest. The rubber part was used because it can be flexed into position, something that can't be achieved with a solid piece. The pegs also connects the chest armor parts, so trimming them was out of the question.

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While I was trying to figure out how to solve the Torso predicament, I proceeded building the hatch. Like I mentioned on Part I, the goshdarned torso frame is made of metal, so there was no way for me to do any other modifications, except to build around it. I had to disassemble the metal frame quite a few times, which got annoying since the screws and nuts always manage to fall. I used the original cockpit seat, trimmed and modified it, and retrofitted it at the front of the frame using the same fitting for the chest. I then added a 5-layer sandwich underneath the cockpit seat and shaped it as such to serve as both support for the seat and as mid brace for the peg attachment of the swivel mechanism for the hatch. The hatch covering itself is made of inter-spaced pieces of 1.0 WHIPS with 2mm beam braces, arranged in such a way to create a rectangular slot for the hatch peg.

This was a welcome accident, since it allowed the hatch covering to be inserted with ease, and the action doubles as a locking mechanism for the hatch when it is closed. I had to remove material from the lower abdominal armor to give enough space for the hatch.

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Going back to the mid torso, There was no other recourse but build a three-piece section. I decided to work around the pegs and use them as mount points for the mid torso. These parts will now be locked onto position when the chest armor has been mounted.

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Next: Shoulders to cry on...

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