Saturday, December 22, 2012

Varain Wrynn Cosplay - Gems Update 3

The blue resin gems, removed from the paint tray mold. They will need a little sanding to smooth the out, but I am quite pleased with the results. The center of the tray produced the larger blue disk.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Varian Wrynn Cosplay - Gem Update 2

Here a paint tray serves as the mold for creating the gems for Varian Wrynn's shoulder armor. (4 on each) There was some resin left over, so I poured it into the center of the tray.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update 15

Side by side of the new armor (left) and the old version of the armor (right).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update 14

Spent about 10 hours painting the armor. Still a lot of work to be done, but it went over quite well at the party. Unfortunately  an overly enthusiastic admirer poked a nail through the paint and into the foam. Nothing to serious, I just need to do a little repair

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update 13

Upper arm armor primed and ready for sanding.

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update 12

It has been difficult to make the red color uniform.. I think I may have been better off with some sort of spray paint for the red, then add details with brush on yellow.

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update 11

Breastplate is primed. All ready to sand and paint.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update 8

This armor piece is primed and ready for sanding. I'll use some putty to conceal the last of the flaw where the two sides join at the bottom.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update 7

In the previous iteration of the armor, the upper arm plate was built into the shoulder pads. The new version will attach to the breastplate.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update 5

Wrapped up the detailing of the armor. I need to add one more strap then begin sealing the foam for painting.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update 4

Adding the armor detailing always takes longer than I anticipate, but it should be finished tonight.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update 2

The armor details are in place. I misjudged how the bottom pieces would come together, but that can be corrected as the foam is sealed and primed.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Armor Update

Bracers are coming along well. So I decided to see how hard it would be to build armor out of EVA foam. My original blood elf armor was rather flat, while the foam armor should prove much more dimensional.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Bracer Update 4

I began painting one of the bracers today. I'm using acrylic brush on paints rather than my usual spray paints. Going to try for a different looking effect. I'm curious to see how it turns out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Bracer Update 3

More work on the bracers; the left has been primed and now needs sanding. On the right, the foam is sealed and ready for priming.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Concept Art

I know I can't finish the Varian Wrynn costume in time for Halloween, or build out a completly new costume for that matter. So I want to add something new to the Blood Elf costume I wore at Blizzcon and use that.

I never got around to creating the bracers shown in the concept art. I'm going to try and build the bracers from EVA foam.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Blood Elf Cosplay - Bracer Update 1

Here I've glued the foam detail piece to the larger foam bracer I made Friday. While this looks okay at a distance, up close it looks to much like foam. Next step is to prepare the surface so it can be painted.

Blood Elf Cosplay - Bracers!

More on the foam armor bracer I talked about Friday. Over the weekend I cut the bracer details from some yellow foam.

(Pictured here with some red foam to show the eventual color scheme.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Armor/Props from EVA Foam

First experiment with EVA foam to make costume armor. Doesn't look like much now, should have more to show off after the weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shalamayne Update 9 - Main Blade Resin

My test of applying resin to the foam blade on Shalamayne was successful, so over the weekend I applied it to the main blade and hilt details. As plastic casting resin doesn't flow like paint, the coat is uneven, so it will require quite a bit of sanding to prep the surface.

The paint stand I made for the smaller blade piece worked well for the main blade as well. You can see the primed smaller blade on the bench behind the main sword. (As well as some other pieces)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Shalamayne Update 8 - Paint Stand

It took a while to sand down the resin coating on the floating part of Shalamayne's blade. I think I learned enough to apply it better on the main part of the sword.

Now I'm ready for the primer coat on the floating blade. So to help with that I created a stand from a dowel and a scrap of wood. There is going to quite a bit of filling I'll need to do on the blade surface due to the uneven nature of the resin coat, but the increased strength should make it worth while.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Shalamayne Update 7 - Plastic Test

I finally had time to test coating part of the foam blade with casting resin. The worry had been that the foam blade could be easily damaged by light impact, so I wanted to try adding some strength to the surface.

I mixed up a tiny amount of casting resin and painted it onto the "floating" part of Shalamayne's blade. This piece is small enough to work on, and small enough to be replaced if I messed it up. The plastic sets quickly, so the surface isn't perfect, but I think I got the hang of it.

The next step is to sand it smooth, prime and paint. I want to be sure it will look perfect before I apply the same to the main sword blade.

But even given that, the foam does feel much stronger.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shalamayne Update 6 - Hilt Closeup

Here is a closer look at the hilt of Shalamayne as I was assembling it. I used wood to build up the details, although I'd likely use sintra in the future. I'm using Wonderflex to reinforce the narrower parts of the foam blade by placing narrow strips within the curves.

This photo, taken shortly after cutting out the blade from the insulation foam, shows the pvc pipe handle, and the clear acrylic rods that support the floating blade and the red light orb.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shalamayne Update 5 - Orb Closeup

Here is a look inside the plastic ornament I'm using for the "ball of light" in Shalamayne. I'm using high intensity red LEDs pointed into a ping pong ball that acts as a diffuser. The ball is held in place by a clear acrylic rod, then I have the plastic ornament over that. The LEDs, wires, resistors and the ping pong ball itself are secured to the rod with hot glue.

This lets the orb light up very brightly, without betraying individual LED light sources. As I noted earlier, the wires will run down the sword's handle and I'll add a switch under the pommel that will also control the LEDs behind the red gems in the hilt.

The orb's light is visible, even in a well lit room, although a darker room certainly looks better. Unfortunately, taking a picture of a light source doesn't work all that well. Once the whole sword is assembled, I'll take a few more pictures that will hopefully show off the effect a bit better.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Forearm Forms - Bracers

I have been having trouble figuring out how to build the bracers for Varian, but now I've been inspired by a post I saw on Facebook. Fev! posted about building bracers using a form made in the general shape of her forearm. That gave me the idea to create a simple paper-mache cast of my forearms, then fill that with expanding foam to create forms that I can build my bracers against.

The right arm was easy, but the left was a pain. However now I have a nice pair of forms the general size of my arms that I can use to build the bracers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Varian Update - Leg Armor 3

Here is how the leg armor pieces look strapped to the brown boots I intend to use for Varian Wyrnn. I think I will need to add Velcro to the boots themselves to better hold the armor in place, otherwise it will slide down to rest upon the tops of my feet.

I just don't know if I made the armor to short. I originally designed it so that I could move my feet freely without hitting the armor, but now I don't know if they look right or not.

I can leave them as is, create them over again, or perform surgery and extend the length.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Varian Update - Shoulders 6

The shoulders for Varian are in the prime/putty/sand/repeat stage. All the work I did with the bondo has given me a much better base to work with than when I started. It is all a matter of filling all the little flaws the crop up in the process.

Once I am happy with the surface, I still need to decide how I want to do the final painting. I'm torn between spraypaint and brush on paint. Still researching that choice.

I suspect this costume is going to require this same level of attention to detail for every piece.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Varian - Leg Armor 2

More progress on the leg armor pieces for Varain Wrynn.

Adding the trim pieces along the edges added a lot of strength and solidity, although it also caused the armor to distort a bit. I still need to reheat the wonderflex to bend them back into shape.

I attached the knee plates to the shin guards. Each is supposed to have a lion head on it, which are still being finished. Once I'm happy with the way it looks, I plan to make a latex mold and slush cast two in resin. I was originally going to sculpt two out of Styrofoam, but the material is so soft I was worried it would become damaged easily while being worn. Hit something wrong once and the poor lion face would be crushed.

I'm debating dedicating the boots I have for this cosplay by attaching Velcro to the inside of the shin armor and the boots themselves in order to help hold the armor in place. Right now I use these boots for my Steampunk costume as well, but maybe I should get another pair? I'll try securing the armor with straps and see how well it holds in place.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Varian Update - Shoulders 5

Finished all the bondo and sanding work for the shoulders. So it was time to put on a primer coat. This time I chose red/brown primer and snapped this picture while the paint was still wet.

As the paint dried, all the remaining pits, cracks and other flaws became very visible. This will help in fixing all them. I expect to go through a few more cycles of patching, sanding, and painting before I move on to the final paint.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Varian Wrynn - Leg Armor

I have returned to working on the lower leg armor for Varian Wrynn. This piece is constructed with layers of craft foam and Wonderflex. I still need to add another layer of the outer trim, the bases of the lion face knee plates, and the straps to affix it to the boots.

Once everything is in place, I'll use the heat gun to do one final re-shaping before I begin painting.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Still Working on Varian Wrynn

It has been a while, but I have been continuing to work on the Varian Wrynn costume, in between various other projects.

It was while I was working on the piece when I realized I had missed something. There are supposed to be circular blue gems at several places on the outer border of each shoulder piece. But the papercraft base didn't allow for mounting them.

Several others who used Pepakura for props discussed how they would cover the outside with Bondo for a smooth finish. I decided to do the same, and also create flat areas (sockets?) for the gems.

Once the shoulders have been finished, I will be able to securely glue the gems into place.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Work Area Upgrade

This weekend I put up some shelves over my workbench in the garage. The shelves were salvaged from my Mom's house after she had some home improvement work done.

Didn't take long for me to start filling the new shelves with prop stuff.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cosplay Flashback - Kagato

My first foray into anime cosplay was a costume for Kagato from the original Tenchi Muyo OAV.

These are my favorite pics of that costume

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that one of the items I created for the costume was a small jewelry piece that fitted on his neck. I sculpted the original out of Sculpty clay, and it turned out pretty well. However, after more than seven years, it broke after I wore it at Blizcon 2011. (I added elf ears and pretended it was a high elf costume)

Instead of doing a resculpt, I decided to reassemble the piece as best I could and cast a replacement in plastic. Here are the results.

A little paint and the replacement will be ready to wear... perhaps for Anime Expo 2012?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Varian Update - Medallions

Another look at the plastic cast lion head medallions for Varian's shoulder mantel.

They don't look perfect, but I hope that with some sanding and paint, they should work.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Varian Update - First Casting

My first attempt with casting 1:1 plastic casting went pretty well. I created one of the lion medallions that I had shaped from sculpty. I noticed some imperfections that need to be fixed, but I think this shows that it will work quite well.

Friday, January 20, 2012

More Silicone Molds

I did some more work with silicone molds. About ten years ago I created a jewelry piece for a Kagato cosplay from sculpty. Unfortunately, it broke recently and while repairable I'm afraid it won't hold up much longer.

I decided to make a silicone mold of the piece so I can cast a new one in plastic.

I added left over silicone to the bottom of the other mold, it was a bit to thin.

I'll unwrap the molds tonight and post a few updated pics.