Sydney's The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword Cake (10th 2013)
I got Syd started on her first Zelda game, The Skyward Sword for the Wii. She of course claims it to be the best Zelda ever made....
We really had a hard time coming up with the cake this time. There is so much in the game, it's actually quite hard to decide what goes into the cake. Needless to say I had to cut 90% of the stuff I wanted on there. The original plan included a portion of every map and 4 times more characters :/. Here are a few of the sketches that weren't tossed, sketch 1, sketch 2, sketch 3, sketch 4, sketch 5. In my final design I had Groose riding back and forth on the completed railway on the catapult cart but after I started building, the scale wasn't going to work out so I had to cut the railway to a small section on either side and put Groose on the bottom as if building it. Covering the front of the cake with a railway would have looked terrible (I thank Lili for that observation early, I don't know how much I'd have built before realizing it). The rail itself is made of foamcore painted like wood.
The video starts out at Skyloft (the main town of the game) with the shop keeper pedaling around and around waiting for the bell to ring and two other riders flying under the city then it expands outward to Link flying, Scrapper hoisting the pinwheel away from its landing place and Ghirahim hovering up and down over the tornado. Technically Ghirahim never hovers over a tornado but since it was he that produced the wind storm that pulled Zelda below the clouds, I decided to take some creative license there (otherwise I didn't know where to put him). It then pans down to The Sealed Grounds just outside of the Faron Woods. This is another area you spend a fair amount of time in during the game. I was able to put two other baddies in this area, the Deku-Baba and the Octorok. Groose is working on his railway that wraps around the grounds later in the game and his catapult cart is half finished on the ground. Zelda is playing her harp and (young) Impa is standing in front of the temple while the Gate of Time ticks away inside. I know Impa should be old but I like the younger version more.
The Gate of Time in the temple is an Archos 404 that I've had lying around for years unused. I made an enclosure with foam core and put a hole in the base so I could put the player in from the bottom after everything was ready. Playing the game, I centered the Gate of Time on the TV and recorded it with my phone for a while then transferred the video to the Archos. I set it up to loop the video and away it went. Sadly a very low tech way of getting it done but I wasn't about the cart the Wii to the computer to and record video directly, ugh, that sounds like work. I'm so old.
Skyloft was my favorite part. I glued sections of foam together and cut it out with a hot knife. I was able to get numerous shots from internet for reference and had Sydney run and fly all around while taking pictures. I printed an overhead view of the islands in the scale I wanted and traced that onto the foam. After a lot of cutting/melting and gluing parts back on I got the basic town layout. I had a good time carving the goddess statue. I admit the model is still missing a ton of details but overall the basics are here. I even found some miniature trees that scaled perfectly. This year I found some new motors, Christmas ornament motors. Very very small so I was able to hide them in Skyloft. I epoxied on the thin wire for the birds and shop. The only issue is the motors run from 2.5-4.5 volts AC. I honestly couldn't find an easy way to get that little AC to the motors so I used a string of lights. I just cut and spliced into the light string in two places and ran the thinner wires up to Skyloft. So under the cake was a bunched up string of Christmas lights. I was planning to add blue cellophane to the water features of Skyloft to make it appear watery but that small detail fell to the side the last few days in a rush to finish. In the end I was the only one tall enough to see Skyloft so no one noticed the omission. I also wanted to add some poles for flags as there are a lot in the town.
The tornado was made from the same glued foam. I cut the basic shape and trimmed away with a hot knife to give it some texture. I hollowed out the top to allow Girahim to lower his feet into (I thought this would be a neat effect). A little gray paint and stuffing glued to the outside and it looked very tornadoish. I also placed a small fan with a 9V battery in the tornado to blow air up. The air was supposed to make Girahim's cape flutter. Eh, it did somewhat, I think you can see the cape move in the video :P.
The Octorok moved up and looked left/right using a Prop1 board and 2 servos. Its a great little board! I've had great success with it, one day I should probably try an Arduino but I haven't needed one yet.
I literally have no photos of the motors under the cake. That is strange, I usually remember to take a few, I guess we were running too much in the end. All of the other movements were the same basic types I've been able to use on other cakes. The only one that was somewhat odd was Girahim because of how high he was. His motor is very similar to others but I had to keep him from rocking on the ball joint. I bent the wire and squeezed it between some wood just above the motor, this only let him rock slightly on the ball, which was great because he would come down, slide over go up, slide over, come down.....The upper portion he was held by another looped rod behind the tornado.
Lili did all of the characters from Sculpey clay except for Link (I was able to use my Figma Link), that seems to be our favorite molding medium here at home. Sculpey is cheap and easy. I laid out the scale, wireframes and photos and let her go. She was a good sport about it even though there were a bunch to make. She had them all done the first week and then went to work on the 2 dozen hats for party favors. We did get Syd a blue Link hat for the party from Etsy as we liked the design even though it is more of a LOZTP style. After cutting and sewing for days she finished just in time to be stressed out to get everything else done around the house for the party. I'm useless the 2nd week as I do cake and only cake so its all on her to prepare everything else.
I put my mom to work on the clouds. She covered the 1/4" MDF cloud base with white paint mixed with glue and stuck on white stuffing. Looked awesome in the end. Cotton candy would have been preferred but we don't have a CC machine and I don't realistically know how we would have stuck it on the underside of the board.
The Temple entrance is 6 batches of Rice Krispies and the backside of the temple is 9 cakes stacked as high as we could make it. The dome was a nightmare. Having done some rice krispees before I thought it would harden very easily and be done. Luckily my parent came to visit for the party because they saved me. My dad and I ran all over to find a bowl large enough to form the dome, it took several stores to find something and even then it was too small. We started cooking and packing the dome which all looked great. The next day we thought it would be good to go for cake and fondant. Not at all, once we removed the bowl it was slowly sagging down in the center. We added sticks which did nothing. We pongeed the edges so they couldn't slide out but that didn't help. We added foam around the outside to make it taller so the characters would fit, it was still sinking. Finally I had to add a strip of fondant wrapped Sintra under the front edge, it went completely from one side to the other, that finally stopped it. Once that was done, everything was somewhat smooth after that. Again my dad saved me, I am not a good fondant worker and he'd never done it before. But he was in great spirits so that got us through. After hours and hours of smooshing and squeezing we got the cake and fondant on there. I decided that we had way too much food on there already so we made the small towers on either side behind the dome out of styrofoam wrapped with fondant. I knew we'd never eat that much so no harm in cheating a bit, and that way we didn't have to worry about them sinking or tipping during the party. The large towers behind those are 4x4s that hold the clouds up, they are also wrapped in fondant to keep a uniform look. The base is also covered in fondant to keep the same look. It just so happed to be a cool morning the next day so we moved the cake outside for spraying (spraying will wreck your house as we've experienced, dust EVERYWHERE FOR MONTHS). The cake itself looks fairly small on the 4' wide base but really it was huge, we never did finish it despite the 50 people at the party and we munched on it for days. Still had to throw a few cakes worth away.
We added some paper grass around. I got 2 rupees on there (green and blue). There is a bomb on the left side which would have been used for the catapult by Groose. There is a bird and an insect on the railway. We were hoping to add more details around the temple using frosting and/or fondant but that mostly went unfinished too. Some obvious omissions that were meant to be added were drool on the Deku-Baba and the propeller on Scrapper :/. I really have no idea how I ran out of time for those two details but I did. The blue sky all the way to the ground wasn't the original intent either, my plan was to print some forest background from the game but after working on it I decided that you couldn't see the forest from here. I changed to adding a brick wall on either side from the tall towers to match but once we got going that didn't seem important enough so we worked on other details....
HOWEVER, it turned out super cute and really just what I was going for.
Syd has since started The Twilight Princess and has
exclaimed that it is better than the Skyward Sword (she loves animals so riding
a horse and turning into a wolf is apparently awesome).