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High-School Student Creates Monstrous Action Figures Out of Cicada Shells

A Japanese high-school student recently got his five minutes of fame on Twitter after posting photos of an incredibly detailed action figure he made out of around 300 discarded cicada shells.

Twitter-user @ride_hero came up with the idea of using discarded cicada shells for artistic purposes after accidentally stepping on one at school. Looking at the shattered shell, he thought to himself “what a waste” and challenged himself to come up with a way of reusing all the discarded cicada shells at his high-school. Evening Cicadas, or Higurashi, are very common in Japan during the summertime, and they tend to shed their shells almost everywhere, so it wasn’t hard for @ride_hero to collect hundreds of them in his high-school yard alone. After finishing his AO exams, the high-school senior needed to kill some time over the summer vacation, so he started experimenting with the collected cicada shells.

Photo: @ride_hero/Twitter

Looking at the fruits of his labor, it’s hard to believe that @ride_hero only started making cicada shell models out of boredom. He didn’t even plan ahead or put a design on paper, he just dived right into the creative process. He carved all the shells by hand and carefully pieced them together using tweezers and wood glue. The young artist recently told Japanese magazine FNN Prime that because he loved working on his first model so much, he managed to complete it in just two weeks, which was much sooner than he had anticipated.

The first cicada shell model he created turned out a bit skinnier than he planned, so he started working on a beefier version, inspired by a character in the hit mobile game Fate/Grand Order, called Old Man of the Mountain. Since he never thought about the outcome of his work too much, he doesn’t even have a proper name for his creation. All he can say is that it is a dark hero of immense power with an obvious weakness to fire and a fragile waist.

Speaking about the creative process, @ride_hero said that working with dry cicada shells was frustrating at times, as they tend to break very easily, but the interesting nature of the project helped him push through. To make his creations a bit sturdier, the young artist sprayed them with a transparent coating.

The Old Man of the Mountain-inspired model recently went viral on Twitter, getting over 160,000 likes and 53,000 comments. Hopefully, this new-found success inspires @ride-hero to create even more impressive cicada shell models.

Interestingly, this young students isn’t the first person to come up with a creative use for discarded cicada shells. Two years ago, Twitter user Yochin created a miniature Godzilla out of the same material, and online geek celebrity Shoko Nakagawa made a wig out of them.

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