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Students ‘soldier’ on to complete project by ceremonial deadline

The toy soldier takes shape in College Avenue Labs ...
The toy soldier takes shape in College Avenue Labs …
... where a focused group of students worked against the clock to fabricate and assemble a splendid keepsake.
… where a focused group of students worked against the clock to fabricate and assemble a splendid keepsake.
Students and Klinger (standing at front left) proudly display their handiwork.
Students and Klinger (standing at front left) proudly display their handiwork.
Standing at attention outside the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center, the majestic creation would be equally at home in the finest Manhattan storefront.
Standing at attention outside the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center, the majestic creation would be equally at home in the finest Manhattan storefront.

Penn College’s decades-old tradition of large-scale holiday cards on the campus mall got an impressive add-on for the 2018 season: a massive toy soldier jointly fashioned by automotive restoration majors and manufacturing students in instructor Roy Klinger’s metal-shaping classes. “We were trying to think of something we could build to go with the holiday cards, and we came across an image of a 12-foot-tall toy soldier,” said Arthur M. Wright IV, an automotive restoration technology major from Woodbridge, New Jersey. “We figured we would give it a try because it could end up looking really cool!” A group of students from the manufacturing program assisted restoration majors with drawing and designing the toy soldier. The inner structure is mostly plywood arranged to help support the weight of the towering statue, Wright said, while the outer shell is completely made of aluminum. “The restoration students made paper patterns of the shapes provided by the drawing that the manufacturing students prepared for us,” he explained. “We then shaped all the pieces using the skills and techniques that we were learning in our metal-shaping class. The project really helped us display the skills that we had been working so hard to develop.” It was a total team effort to complete the project, he said, estimating that it took all of four three-hour classes to fully realize their shared vision. “When we came in the Wednesday morning of the card-lighting ceremony (Nov. 28), we didn’t think we were going to be able to get it done,” said Wright, who also shared some of the students’ photos. “Most of the soldier was still in pieces, with no paint. But thanks to the guidance and leadership of our teacher, we were able to get everything finished before the ceremony started!”

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