Since the race I have run into a half a dozen or so strangers who remember me and Bessie. That is quite amazing to me. Only one of these people actually saw Bessie in the water. This tells me that the sculpture was the thing.
This made me decide to pursue Bessie II.
Bessie II will be a much larger and more refined version of the original. The key difference will be that Bessie II will be interactive. By that I mean Kids and people can explore the interior. Allowing people to get inside changes a lot of the design. It implies a level of permanence, it will have to be much larger, it will have to be as interesting inside as out.
Because of the increased size Bessie II cannot be operated by one person. As my design sits right now it requires a crew of 2-4 inside and rider outside. The rider/helmsman will sit just behind the neck, steer, raise and lower the head and signal submersion/rise with the cow bell. The fore crew of 1-2 will row the flippers and control the air pumps. The aft crew 1-2 will pedal the propellers or possibly the wheels on land.
The interior will be formed by a plastic erector set like grid and contain lots of unnecessarily large wheels, gears and cylinders in a plastic steampunky way.
As before the exterior sculpture will be clearly made from milk jugs. However the scales will be a touch more consistent and refined, as will the tail and spine.
This is going to be a long project. But most of it will be repetitive and mainly just time consuming. So expect long breaks between updates.
BTW I have already built my jug cutter and have started assembling scales.