a year from today, i hope i can enter my own contest images rather than looking at those nice pictures =p
Why would you wait that long ... So what if your pictures look like shit, if you post them, people can tell you what you did wrong and what you should do instead ... the best way of learning in my opinion
When building this I tried to think back to being a kid, and the weird kind of inventions/ sculptures I would make with what ever supplies were at hand. Most of the modeling, with a couple of minor cheats, was done by cutting and folding polygons just as I would a sheet of paper to make a real paper airplane. This was a very fun project especially since it didn't require much UV layout, only the wood texture on the Popsicle sticks. Other than that this is purely procedurals.
Modeled in Maya rendered in Mental ray with physical sky, and an ambient occlusion pass. Composited in Photo shop.