steam punk wheel chair automata mechanism

After a week of battling with various types of mechanism I've finally got it all working and I'm feeling rather good about the end product.
The big challenge was making a movement for the back of the wheelchair, and it was clear that I'd have to use cogs. So far I've had little success with these but as they are an essential part of most automata I realised I'd have to figure out how to make them.

Using wheels with pins seemed the best way as I knew I could make these fairly precise.
As you can see I made a simple jig (just the toothless cog set into a block of wood on its axle) to ensure each pin hole was the correct distance from the centre.


The cog on the main axle turns the cog at right angles to it for the back mechanism. I spent about 8 hours getting this to actually work. It kept jamming, after various changes I realised the gears were not close enough: you can see a bit of wood slotted behind the cog to push it gently against the other one. Success!!!!!

This allowed me to add another movement in the wheel chairs back, it doesn't have a function other than to look nice. I did want a flywheel in the back but it was too complex and would have involved major changes to the chassis, which already needed a hole added for the up and down piston. I will eventually add something to the other end.
Once the movements were sorted some cosmetic work was needed on the figures arm and the back area.

The back had a selection of fake cogs and bits added, inspired by some clock insides, I would have loved to make this all move, maybe next time.

I had a basic arm movement and was happy that it worked well but it looked wrong. I could have gone for a very stylised figure and made use of the joints as part of the look but it didn't feel it would go with the rest of the figure. I hit upon the idea of a robot arm, after all he is built into a steam powered wheel chair!

The arm still need a bit of work cosmetically but it works fine.
Now I have all the movement sorted I can work on sculpting the figure. It will be inspired by the last figure, my steampunk technomancer but not a copy. The challenge will be to allow some bits to be removable in case I need access to the movement inside. I also want to try using real leather but we shall see.
I've learnt a lot from making this, not least the importance of careful planning, and perseverance has payed off as you can see from the video which shows some of the main movements.


video

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