Fish story

When I was in Bridgeton, Indiana last week I was visiting with my good friends Doug Haffner and Jamie Oxenham. Jamie had done a nice sign featuring a mechanical fish a while back that Doug and I commented on favorably. We tried not to give too many complements as we didn't want to give Jamie a fat head. In the course of our discussion a challenge was thrown out for each of us to design and build a new version of the sign that would push the bar upwards from this fine example. I love a challenge (probably more than almost anyone) and couldn't resist.

Jamie insisted that the first piece was merely for practice and tht he could do much better. Doug boasted he had a better design already in mind. I of course knew I could beat both of these guys by a Yarrow mile without hardly trying. The contest was instantly on with a vengeance. The rules were simple... anything goes with a deadline of the end of summer. Then began the bravado and the trash talk of course.
Doug is claiming that he always operates in stealth mode and won't reveal his plans until he is done. I doubt he will reveal much on his blog until the project is well underway.  Jamie will undoubtably build his design in his favorite 3D software. He may post a few pictures on his blog.... time will tell. I of course fear nothing (especially from my esteemed competition) and will be documenting the design and build process here in great detail. My 'competition' can look all they want. :)
After the 3D Sign Camp I had a long plane ride home. The first leg was a short one hour flight from Indianapolis to Chicago. By the time we landed I had filled fifteen pages in my sketchbook with ideas and sketches of the many details I would build into my design. Before summer is done I'll be building the 3D files in EnRoute before routing the pieces and then sculpting, assembling and painting the final version. Here's a copy of the design done on the plane ride.
Today in my spare minutes I whipped up the concept art for the sign...
Just in case my fellow sign makers don't yet have their designs nailed I've saved lots of planned details to be revealed as I build. 
Bring it on Doug and Jamie. The challenge has begun!