Saturday, December 5, 2015

Professor Stein's Screw headpiece from Soul Eater

Professor Stein's Screw headpiece from Soul Eater

I did a professor Stein Cosplay.  I really like this character. It is easy to wear.  And the screw spins. I will admit it is fun when people stop you at a con,  and ask if the screw spins.  I never verbally answer.  I just spin the screw. Mine is very loud.  

The screw is a big empty cardboard box with a party clacker in it.  I feel the emptiness of the cardboard acts as a resonance chamber and makes the clacker even louder. Because my screw is quite loud.

Basically I have a head band.  I took small pieces of PVC and hot glued them to the head band. I also drilled small hole through the pvc and zip tied them to the head band.

Below is a pic of the party clacker.  I ended up removing most of it so it could fit inside the screw head.  The small white piece on the left is the axle for the party clacker. When I finished it became the axle for the screw head.

Below you can see the axle slides inside the PVC .  The axle has a gear on it that engages the clacker.  This gear also works as a flange to hold the screw head together.  

Below is a view of the axle from the view of the headband.  I used some cardboard inside the PVC to fill the gap between the PVC and the axle. 

Below is a view of the inside of the screw.

Below is the top part of the screw. I took the top of a round box from Joanns.  I trimmed the box to make it much shorter.  I installed the balsa sides for the screw slot. Then I cut the box for the screw slot. I also added some masking tape around the inside of the box.  I was trying to achieve a tighter fit on the lid.

 So below you see the parts of the screw head.  From left to right.  The PVC, the axle,  the bottom of the screw head, and the top of the screw head.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pearls Spear from Steven Universe.

First let me ask you to please view the following tutorials/.  I found both of them incredibly helpful.
The above link made this spear very simple.  His approach to the corkscrew and the end are beautiful.
Her approach to a translucent spear is excellent.  I will say painting translucent colors is difficult and should not be rushed. Like I did.  Their is a fine line between translucent and opaque.  

Most of my design is based on the thinking that Pearl is wielding a Naganita.  That is debatable.  But I feel that is what she is using.  Just a very fancy one,  with a corkscrew.

But anyway.  I started with the below image.  I scaled Pearl up to 6 foot 4.  because that is how tall I am.  And yikes the spear is huge.

So below are my measurements.  Is it going to be one big prop.

I am not good at free handing,  so I designed the blade end on my computer.  Printed it out,  and used that as a pattern for the spear.

Below is a test spear I made.  I used file folder because I have TONS of those.  I think it looks ok. It is the wrong materials. But I was able to mock it up for free.  I learned alot about doing the corkscrew.  

For the main part of the tube I used an acrylic tube,  6 foot long,  1.5 inch outer diameter and .15 inches wall thickness.  It was very sturdy. And very light.  I really like this prop.  It is very different then anything I have made.  

So I am always nervous.  I try to break things down into tests, or experiments. How much can I do,  where if I fail,  it is flexible.  So  I made a really long spiral pattern.  I cut it out. 

That patern along with the spear head ended up with this.  I like it. 

I realized the spiral I printed out was WAY too long. So I ended up with this long.  I used PETG as the final material.  A clear thermoplastic.  Thermoplastic means you can heat it and shape it. AWESOME. Now this stuff isn't worbla,  you can't do crazy bending.  But you can do a corkscrew.  Now just a heads up.  The below pic.  The spiral is going the wrong direction.  I had to cut it off and flip it.  Argh.  I was hoping for no seams. But I had one. Drat. 
 The PETG is real easy to work with.  You heat it up (with a heat gun).  And shape it to what you want.  I will recommend holding it once you have the correct shape.  It will spring back to the wrong shape.  Also when you make the corkscrew,  I recommend adding a lip on the inside of the corkscrew to make for my gluing surface area.  

I also had problems getting the spear head to be smooth.  So I made a tool to go on the inside to smooth it out.  Yes,  behold,  a sock on a stick. 

Now on to the bottom of the spear. I built this very similar to Ozpin's cane.  Everything is on one big screw.  I am not good a freehanding things. So I took some foam. I cut the correct angle in the foam.  I spray glued some sandpaper on it,  60 grit.  And I spun a piece of foam around and around until,  BAM cone.  I am very happy with how the cone came out. I tried to hand carve a cone,  yeah nope.

I then covered the cone in 3 layers of worbla to make a nice strong cone.  

I then removed the foam.  I would love to say it just popped out,  but no. I used a fork and knife to get the foam out.  

Below is the fun part.  I wanted no visible fasteners. I took 2 coupler nut and put then on a long screw.  I placed a piece of blue tape over the end. The tape was to try to keep the screw threads clean.  I then made the little jig below to mount the couplers nuts inside the cone.  I used a bucket,  a bench clamp and some foam board. I spent a long time getting the nut as perpendicular to the cone as  I could.  I then filled the hollow cone with epoxy. And once that cured I filled the rest with fiberglass and more epoxy.  I like epoxy. 

The 'dish' was made the same way as the cone. I cut some foam, glued some sand paper.  And used that to cut a nice little dish.  I covered the entire thing with worbla.  And drilled a hole through the dish.  I took a piece of scrap dowel I drill a hole through the dowel.  And bam. The end is done.  A couple coats of wood glue. A little bit of sanding.  And I had a nice smooth end.  

 I painted the screw part.  I attempted for a translucent paint. I rushed it.  I used too much.  And BAM opaque.  

I used pink spray paint for the bottom half of the tube.   In the pic below you can see a few details I added.  They are made of a PVC tube.  I cut the appropriate shape. And using a rasp I smoothed it down.  

I then screwed the cone onto the thread. I slide the dish down.  I slide the dowel down.  And I screwed the bottom assembly tight.  I wrapper the dowel in a couple layers of duct tape. Well actually I put too many layers,  so I had to take a few layers off. Probably for the best. I ended up with a very tight fit.   And jammed it in the bottom of the tube. AND DONE.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pearl's Gem From Stephen Universe
Light Up Version

I recently did a Pearl from Steven Universe cosplay. I thought it was neat how the pearl on her forehead light up.  I scaled her up to my height,  her head gem ended up being 3.564 inches high.  I had trouble figuring out the width of the gem.  I did a little graphic design of various ovals,  I picked the one I liked.  I printed it out. I used a glue stick to adhere the pattern to foam.  I then carved it into a nice oval shape.   I then coated the foam with  3 layers of wood glue,  and one layer of epoxy. That might have been overkill be I didn't have any chemical reacting. I then coated it with a layer of Vaseline.

|Then the fun part came. I used some generic instamorph to cover the foam.  I tried to get it really smooth.

If you have never worked with instamorph.  It is basically the active ingredient in Worbla.  It is little white pellets that you heat up,  and you can mold into whatever you want.  I boiled some water,  dropped in the opaque white pellets.  When they turn clear,  you are ready for fun.  So  molded it around me foam oval.  I also got it stuck to my coffee table.  Drat. If you do this maybe use some wax paper or something.

Now to make it glow.

I wired 5 surface mount LED's on some strip board I had.  I origonally planned for 3,  but I added 5, that is why the wires are all crazy.  Anyway. I hot glued that into the instamorph pearl.  I made a back plae from some worbla that I shaped to my head. I painted the inside of the worbla metallic silver to help push more light out.  I used gorilla super glue to glue the back plate to the front assembly.  And finished it of with a 1 to 1 mixture of mod podge and pearlescent water color additive.

I then used liquid latex to attatch the entire thing to my head.

And it worked. I used a cr2054 battery.  A very big battery. But it ran the entire time I needed.  When I got home from the convention,  I took the head piece off. I forgot to take the battery out. The lights are still running,  1 week later. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to do simple Leg Wraps ( for Yokai, the bad guy from Big Hero 6).

How to make Leg Wraps.
I am working on a character from Big Hero 6.  The bad guy,  Yokai. I am sure I could just wrap my legs the day of the event.  But events are always so busy .  So I found a way to make them.

I covered my leg with plastic bags,  and then masking tape.  I cut it of and,  bam,  a nice pattern.

I cut the pattern out of some fabric,  I glued separating zippers on to each side.  

I then started gluing strips of the same fabric onto the main fabric.

I didn't take as many pics as I could have.  The brown ones are my first test ones.  Once I had the pattern figured out I remade them in grey fabric. 

Here is what they look like.

And here is them after 20 minutes on the treadmill. 

They work really well,  I just zip them on,  and zip them off.  I wore them to small convention for a couple hours and had no problems.

How to make a mask (Yokai from big Hero 6)

How to make a nice flush mask

I am wokring on Yokai (the bad guy from Big Hero 6).  It looks like in the movie that his mask fit really really close to his head.  So I wanted mine to be as flush as possible.

I spent 2 weeks on a pepekura mask that just got worse and worse. 

So I gave up on that and took a head mold I had made.  I covered the head mold in vaseline.  And put the worbla right on top.  I shaped it to my head. My head is very lumpy. 

Once I had the shape the way I wanted I covered it in 3 coats of wood glue. I smoothed out the last coat of wood glue with a wet finger while the glue was still wet.

I then cut out the eyes.  I kind of eye balled this.  Ohhh.

Once that was done I did some wet sanding with 800 grit to try to get it smooth,  super smooth.

I used an opaque projector to get the lines right on the mask.  I set it up in my bathroom. And traced away.  An opaque projector is a awesome little gizmo.

I painted 1 coat of cheap-o white paint.  3 coats of fancy satin white paint.  3 coats of the red and black in poster paint.  And then 3 coats of glossy enamel. 

Below is the inside of the mask.  I hot glued some gold reflective sunglasses lenses on the inside.  I also contact cemented some craft foam around the edge, so the mask can kind of breath, and doesn't get to sweaty.  I also used some terraflex scraps to add some D-ring on the inside to attatch the loop so I can wear it.  I think it worked ok.  I would give this make a high 'C'.  I have a group cosplay with this character in November,  so I will re do it.  

Below is how this masks looks at its first convention.