Next to building things, my next favourite thing to do is thinking up what to build and how to build it. This week all I’ve been thinking about is how to mod my new Dragonball Scouters from the San Diego Comic Con.
Modding is slang for ‘modifying’, which refers to the act of modifying something so that it performs a function(s) that wasn’t originally built into it by the designer. ‘Something’ may pertain to a computer game, a car, a Lego set, a skateboard–practically anything!
I’m getting a set of three toy scouters this September, and while they are cool enough as they are–there are ways to mod them so they become even cooler.
A scouter is a type of headgear used by the bad guys in the Dragonball Z, with a monocle that serves as a readout that displays all sorts of data–just like Google Glass. One of its top functions is detecting and measuring an opponents energy–that way, the wearer can make an estimate of how he will do in an upcoming battle. If you have for example, a power level of 3 and you read a power level of 20 on your opponent, the wise thing to do is either run or even up the odds with the use of force multipliers or a strategy to weaken your opponent/prevent him from utilising the full extent of his abilities.
Apart from this, scouters also have various functions, such as the instant transmission of data across light years and possibly a lot of unmentioned capabilities as befits a gadget used by technologically advanced otherworlders.
What I have right now are these plastic toy scouters as pictured above. Notice that the toy has a button on the side; when pressed the toy then emits a beeping sound similar to how a scouter sounds in the anime when activated.
I see a lot of possibilities to level up the functions of the scouter, some ridiculous, though most seem possible:
Turning the monocle into an actual readout. There are things called electronic paper that are actually out in the market, but these are relatively new in the market and thus expensive. It is one way to get the toy scouter actually displaying the symbols on the readout. Still, with the costs of the project I’d rather get myself a Google glass.
Another (cheaper) option is to embed a transparent digital clock into the monocle so it would at least be able to tell time. I’ve been doing research on products out there, and it seems feasible!
Turning it into a WiFi detector. I’ve already seen it done on another project; the guy integrated a cheap WiFi detector on the light-up function of his plastic Sting sword, making it switch on whenever it detected a WiFi signal. Just the way the actual Sting shines blue whenever Orcs are around. Clever isn’t it? It would be terrific to have the scouter emit a beeping sound and light up whenever it picks up a WiFi signal.
Making it light up. Actually, the monocle itself doesn’t light up; the data readout itself does the lighting up. Some LED and a type of resin should make it possible, but it will be tricky making ONLY the symbols light up. Below is an attempt to replicate the light-up symbols on the monocle:
Yes, the outcome may have lacked polish, but imagine it if these guys had a toy scouter to start with and knew how to cast resin! I have the highest respect for creators–even more for people who share how they do things because it gives others a chance to make similar projects even better. Here they used actual glass and sandblasted the symbols into the monocle–I think they have the right idea on how how they wanted to go about the light up effect.
Turn it into a bluetooth headset. I’ve actually seen scouter replicas with Bluetooth headsets built into them and sold in eBay from before. It does after all, connect with your left ear.
I still have a lot of ideas as to what I’d do with the scouter and am currently gathering materials to do so. Hopefully this’ll get you started on your own modding project as well–what are you planning to mod?