Projects > Perler beads > Alex in pharmacy from River City Ransom

Here's a larger project I made out of Perler beads. It's Alex, one of the protagonists from the video game River City Ransom, in a pharmacy, perhaps looking to buy some Vita-mints. The portion of the source image I used was 64 pixels wide and 48 pixels tall, so the completed project is 12 1/2" x 9 1/2" (32 x 24 cm).

I used:
3,072 Perler beads in 8 different colors
six interlocking 6" square pegboards
standard Perler gear – ironing paper, an iron, bead tweezers, sorting cups

I didn't time the construction or take in-progress photos of this project. I'd guess it took about 30 minutes to pick the image I wanted to use, count the colors and find the closest colors of beads. It then took about 7 hours to arrange the beads on the pegboards, and another 15 minutes to fuse them with the iron.

If you're not familiar with how to fuse Perler beads, you can read these instructions on the manufacturer's site.

One of the biggest problems with this project was that two of the three shades of green from the background were colors that I only had as part of a mix, jumbled in with several other colors. I probably spent 3-4 hours just sorting those colors. Worse, I ran out of the middle green halfway through, and had to order more from my supplier on eBay, who happened to be on vacation at the time... so I finished the project about three weeks after I started it.

This project also does not photograph well. Alex's shirt is supposed to be pure white, and the pharmacist's dress should be a nice flowery pink. The middle shade of green is actually translucent, which may be messing with the camera.


Here's the screenshot I cropped to make the image. I adore the graphics in this game.
There really are just eight colors in the image -- three for the background, three in the pharmacist's sprite and four in Alex's sprite, with the same skin-tone and black colors shared by both sprites. Quite astounding, really. The pharmacist's barrette and the stripe in her dress use the same color as her skin.

I ened up cropping off the top and bottom of the image to reduce the number of beads from 4,096 to 3,072. Still, about 75% of the beads are in the background; Alex's sprite only has 439 beads, and the pharmacist's sprite has even fewer.

There's also one pixel in the background that I used the wrong color bead for. Oops!

This actually has almost as many beads (3,072) as the much larger project I did of the female host of Nettou Quiz Champion (3,139), because it's a solid rectangle, while the other large figures I've done have lots of empty space along the edges.

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