Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Pair of Giant Scissors...

Just a quick progress photo on the OTHER pair of giant scissors: Casper's (mine!) for our Anime Boston Deathsmiles group. How did I end up doing two costumes in a row with giant scissor weapons? Who also wear blue? And have caplets? Who knows -_-

They're made out of foamcore, some expanding foam, and paper pulp mache. It needs a LOT of sanding, and probably a bit of reshaping. I had trouble even with the pattern getting these to look right, proportionately, so they will never be up to my usual prop perfectionist standards; however, I think the overall effect will be great. I'm going to try to get them to have a bit more of the skeletal feeling the scissors in the artwork do. The pattern was a bit of a compromise between the box art and a photo of a Casper figure I saw. They also won't open and close like my other scissors; the design is just too weird, and they'll be better served as a static prop, I think.

The scissors as they're pictured here aren't assembled at all. They're just pieces stacked on top of each other.

Please excuse the dirty floor >_> it needs a vacuum. Also, I have the worst vacuum ever. Can't wait to get a new one when I move!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How Embarassing D:

So! I was going through my blog comments, making sure I didn't miss any spam, and realized I missed a really important comment from OCTOBER (*falls over*) telling me that the link to my Izumi Goggle Tutorial (from this post) was broken. Oh, the horror!

It's fixed now! Head to the link above for some sweet tutorial action. And thanks for letting me know! I am thoroughly ashamed. -_-;

Quick Sword Update, and Construction Tips!

Hello hello, I did a bunch of work on the Windia sword handle today, so I thought I'd post it!

Some time ago, after much scrutinizing of images, I realized that the middle of the sword handle wasn't a solid cone as I had thought, but two 'pipes', as it were, twisting around each other! While that looks really awesome, I had a bit of a D: moment, as I wondered how the hell I was going to make that happen. This was also back when I thought the blade would be made of plastic.

Now that I'm doing the foam/fiberglass treatment, I wasn't scared of this at all. I bought some thin PVC pipe, which was really inexpensive; about $3-$4 for a very generous length of pipe. If you're having trouble finding such small diameters of pipe at the store, look for the copper pipe! I found this stuff by the copper. It's made to be the same sizes as standard copper piping (to use as an alternative to copper plumbing), so the sizes are much smaller for applications like this.

I cut some short lengths of the pipe, then used a heat gun to gently heat and curve them. I did this by applying pressure to the top of the pipe. I held it like that until it was cool enough to hold this shape. NOTE: Do this with an open window. PVC fumes are toxic, and while I didn't heat the pipe very much, it still gave off a slight odor, and my room is small. It was freezing and I opened my window, just in case. Better safe.

Anyway, I ended up just screwing the bottom of the pipes together with a regular screw, which isn't ideal, but it's what I had and it will work when I get the fiberglass covering it. I bolted the top sections of pipe to a piece of wood. The second image here is a close-up of the wood-PVC-foam assembly. Apologies for not taking a pic before I glued the foam on, and for it being a bit blurry, but hopefully you can see what I did. If there's a desire, I can make a diagram of this later.

I glued the top blade section to the wood, then glued two other pieces of foam on either side to build out the thickness of the top of the handle. I carved that down with utility blades and sanded it with regular sandpaper. I ruined my sanding block by mistake, and I missed it. If you're working with foam in this way, buy several sanding blocks at the hardware store, or at least sticky-backed sandpaper and some small wooden blocks. It's generally much easier to sand with blocks with this foam. The sheet form is only good for really tight areas.

This week I'll be, I think, covering this with a thin coat of Bondo (to keep the fiberglass from eating the foam), and then covering in fiberglass. Hopefully, this won't make the sword too thick. If it will, I'll sand it down some more. I think it will look pretty sweet, though. And it's still so freakin light! D: The goal is to have it paint-ready by week's end.

Last pic's of me, to give you a better idea of the scale, and how awesome Sarah will look when she's holding it. Please don't judge my raggedy appearance, as I've been working on a sword! Nor the clothes on the bed. I was wearing them and got warm >_> wut.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Anime Boston Update, etc!

Etc! Like the etc is the exciting part.

I figured I owed my small readership (who are you guys, anyway?) at least a brief update.

As I suspected, I wasn't able to complete the staff in time to make it into the Blizzard contest. This made me very sad. However, at least now I can make it perfect. It's about half way done. I don't have a progress shot on it just yet, because...

After the contest was done, I took a little costuming/prop break for a week or so. Then I got to work on my Anime Boston costume and associated props. I'm entering into the masquerade with two girls from my work, Sarah and Kayla, so look for us! We're going as Casper (the blue one), Windia (the white one), and Rosa (the pink one) from the video game Deathsmiles. The costumes are very cute, and I'm really looking forward to it! I'm a bit nervous about my first masquerade, though.

I'm responsible for making Windia's sword and Casper's giant scissors (so many giant scissors...). Originally, I was planning on making the sword blade out of translucent acrylic, which I bought and began slogging away at cutting with my lack of appropriate tools. I was really struggling with it, and also worried about the fragility of the material, as well as its weight.

Luckily, during this time, I happened to connect to a coworker who knows all kinds of stuff-making techniques, and offered to share his knowledge AND his workspace. SO, I'm instead making the sword out of... fiberglass! And foam. The latter comes first, then the former. I've always wanted to learn this skill, and now I'm able to learn it from someone who knows what they're doing, while simultaneously making a sweet sword that I had to make anyway. BONUS: it should be very lightweight for Sarah to hold! Horray! The photo is a progress shot of the blade shape out of foam. (Please excuse the surrounding mess. >_>) I'll be completing the handle this weekend, and next week, it's fiberglass time!

I'm full of !s today, I guess.

As a bonus, I've included a photo of a progress shot of the skull that goes in the middle of my (Casper's) scissors. It still needs to be sanded and everything, but I'm happy with its appearance. I made it from paper pulp mache, which you can buy in great sacks at the craft store for about $10 a bag. It was very easy to work with, and dries super hard and light! I'm very impressed by this material, and will be using it a lot in the future. I'm also using it on the WoW staff. Shots of that another time.

Other than that, much progress has been made, but not many photos have been taken. The sewing part of it doesn't look like much to photograph right now, and I just haven't gotten around to taking a shot of the scissors. I will be taking more photos this weekend, and give some kind of update next week. Things are rolling! :D