For John Henry I knew I had to create something iconic, a piece of equipment that would define his character. Thinking about the Folk song his name comes from the obvious choice was his Hammer.
Since he is an engineer, it is fitting that its a tool as well as a weapon.
For it’s function and design I was inspired by Ido’s “Rocket Hammer” in Battle Angel;
The idea being that the hammer is powered by an internal jet engine, pulling air through the head and driving the hammer forward with it’s thrust.
This was a quick sketch I did for Dave Correia and Alex Pardee, who suggested it looked a bit like a hair dryer.
I began construction from a Nerf N-strike “Deploy”, a crutch, a hair dryer (thanks for the idea, guys!) and a foam cast of an air compressor.
The base parts laid out for the engine hammer.
I added parts from model airplanes, ducting, more Nerf guns, plumbing and general hardware and painted/weathered it up.
This seal is from a Machinist and Aerospace worker’s union seal which I made a mold off of and cast in resin.