Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bag Monster

I was contact by a local recycling center to make a wearable illustration of the amount of plastic bags a person goes through in 1 year.  I was told the number was around 300 bags per person per year.  Ok.

So I started gluing. Basically this is XL sweatshirt with hood,  and some sweatpants.  I used gorilla glue to attach 300 grocery bags to the entire thing. It is august and this thing is super hot.  I was unable to wear the pants and the sweatshirt at the same time, because it was so hot.

Lots of gluing.  And clamping down, and more gluing.  

They let me use their store.  It was really nice to have space to work.  And if I needed anything, IT WAS FREE.  So yes.  I made a suit. 

My helper.

We had some volunteers do some counting, to make sure we were on track for 300 bags.

I started with a lot of bags.  Here is the last load. 

And here is the jacket of the suit.  It is ....HOT.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Professor Farnsworth's Glasses

I do a Professor Farnsworth, from Futurama, cosplay.  It is a fun cosplay.  It is THE MOST COMFORTABLE COSPLAY EVER. I have a box for a prop.  The box is great for shopping. It can hold a average size print, without folding or rolling it up or anything. 

First I wear prescription glasses.  So I purchased some glasses online to use for the structure of the glasses.  If you don't need glasses you can get non-prescription glasses.

Online they list the width of the lens as 43 mm.  The lens are circles so the diameter of the lens is 43 mm.  That is 1.6 inchs. I purchased some 1.5 inch diameter mailing tubes.  
I had some trouble cutting them. I recommend rolling up some cardboard and putting it inside to make it a little stronger and easier to cut. 

Once I cut the tube to the right length (about 1 inch). I spray painted the tube with glass frosting spray paint.

Then I cut some 1/8 inch clear acrylic from Lowes into circles.  And glued them onto the front of the tube.  I then glued the tubes to the glasses. And DONE

Thursday, August 13, 2015

 Ozpin's Cane

I like RWBY. I like alot of what Rooster Teeth does.  I wanted to cosplay Ozpin from RWBY.  It took me 6 months to make the cane.  Why, because it has gears in it. In my head if a costume has gears,  they should move. It you make a costume,  you can do what you want.  That is fine.  But for me,  gears move.

|So above is my Opzin.  The weapons check zip tie obscures 2 of the details.  But I think it is pretty good.

When I start a prop I do 2 things.  I get as many screen shots as I can.  And I get pics of other peoples props.  Ozpin doesn't have a lot of screen time in RWBY, and not too many people have done Ozpin.  But I found a few.

From those screen shots I draw the staff life size in my computer. This helps me to get all my dimensions right.  It helps me to figure out what I need and then budget.

So basically my version of Ozpin's cane is wooden dowels, wooden wheels, a threaded rod, an Easter egg, and a ping pong ball.

I am going to break down all the parts.

A.  This is the main part of the cane.  I made this from a 1 inch dowel.  I drilled a 1/2 in hole in one side.  As far as I could.  I then took my threaded rod and put a whole bunch of nuts and couplers on the end.  I then really really carefully epoxied then in place.  My current version has 2 1/2 inches of nuts to keep everything secure.  From my current experience with this system,  the nuts are the weak point of the entire cane. My first version had 1/2 of nuts epoxied in place.  My 2nd version has 2 1/2 inches of nuts epoxied in place.
Ozpin's cane reaches up pretty high.  I stood up and held my arm like his is held. I measured the height from the floor to my hand.  I subtracted the rest of the cane,  and that is the length of Part A.

B.  This is really 2 things.  On the bottom is a small washer.  I had to file the hole bigger to it would fit over my threaded rod.  In between the washer and the dial is a wooden wheel .75 inches in diameter.

C. This is the dial.  I have all the electronics and gears in here. I used 2 1/2 inch PVC conduit connector. I think that is the dimension.  It has an inner diameter of 2.3 inches.   I cut it 1.13 inch thick.  I glued a piece of arcylic to the front. And dremeled it to be close. Then sanded it to be nice and flush.

I also mocked up this small piece life size in my computer to make sure my motors and batteries would fit.  The box labelled 1/3 N is the size of a 1/3 N cell battery.

For the paint on the front part of the dial.  I printed out my sketch.  And used that to cut the lines in some blue tape,  to make a mask for the paint.
Above is what the inside of the dial looks like.  The wiring isn't the prettiest but it works.  Basically I have a flat piece of craft plywood as the back plate for the gears. I painted that black.  I printed the pattern from the gears to make sure the holes lined up as perfectly as I could.  Then on the back of the plate if a housing for the motor. I used a motor from ebay (link)
And for all the fiddley bits,  I used legos.  A lego worm drive epoxied to the motor shaft.  And a small lego gear on a lego axle connect the small gear. And the big gear is also on a lego axle but it only connected to the smaller gear.
on the bottom right of the dial you will see a little piece of wood. That is glue to the exterior of the dial to keep the gear assembly from rotating inside the dial.  You could think of it like an alignment thing.

The gears actually work.  HELL YEAH

Also on the dial I glued  the heads of 4 Phillips heads screws.  The smallest ones Lowes had.  I cut the screw part off. Filed the back of the head flat. And glued them on.  

To close the back of the dial I needed something both secure and easy to remove.  The battery lasts about 4 hours,  so yeah....
Since the dial itself is a PVC connector I purchased the correct PVC tube to work with that connector.  Then I cut of a 1 inch or so piece.  It seems the PVC pieces were built to be put together and never come apart, a slight panic moment.  Anyway I sanded this part till I reduced the outer diameter by just enough.  Then I added some masking tape so the fit would be secure.  I also cut out lots of notchs so it would fit tight with everything in the dial.

D. Is a small piece of a dowel .75 inches in diameter.  Next up is a small wooden wheel 1.15 inches in outer diameter.

E. The handle part is 1 inch in diameter.

F. More dowel that is .75 inches in diameter.

G.  Finally on the top is an Easter egg,  with a ping pong ball on top. For the Easter egg I cut a ring of styrene and placed that one top.  Then some small buttresses for looks (not sure what to call them). I also fiberglassed the inside of the egg.  That made it super strong.  Also I drilled a hole in egg for the threaded rod. I also epoxied a nut in the egg to cap of the cane.

The Cane has a little lever thing that sticks out of the dial.  I am not sure if this is a hilt, for a sword.  Or if this is a trigger for a gun.  I hope to see in Season 3,  with some GIANT GROUP FIGHT with EVERYONE.  Anyway.  I took a stick of basla,  1/4 in 1/2.I carved then out,  so there was a nice groove then entire length.  I think started at the far end from the dial.  I an epoxied a coat hanger into the wood.  I added the next pieces, more epoxy. Then the last piece.  So the wood is used for shape.  And the epoxy is to hold it together.  And the coat hanger is for structure.  The coat hanger goes in a small hole in the side of the dial.  I am not sure how strong PVC is.  So I added a chicago screw, or a screw rivet for strength.  I then stuck the coat hanger through the hole in the dial, and epoxied the heck out of it. Epoxy on the inside, and epoxy on the outside.
I made this one several times.  The first one was balsa only,  just glued through the dial.  It broke. it broke getting out of my car, it broke walking around.  It was very week.  So I added the coat hanger,  and I had to use a thin-ish coat hanger. Something I could bend inside the dial.  But it has cracked in several places,  but it hasn't broke.  Yeah.
Also the lever is 2 inches by 5 inches by 2 inches.

For the paint I used gray metallic spray paint over everything.  Some of the gold elements I used metallic gold paint.  And for the gears I used metallic bronze spray paint.

On the handle is some scroll work. I have seen some people carve theirs into the wood.  That is great. I cannot do that.  I do vectors.

So I took the above screen shoot from the show. Rotated it to help me. And began to trace all the lines.

Some cut-n-paste and rotating later.  And I have the design to wrap around the handle. I guess you could have printed this onto gray paper.  Which I wish I would have thought of when I made it.  Nope,  not me, I laid the design over a grey block and printed that. I then glued that to my wooden handle.  And mod podged over it to really make it secure.  I had issues with the ends looking ... rough.  So I eventually made a dowel too long. And applied the paper.  Then once everything was nice and solid and dry, I cut off a 1/2 inch of the ends.

For the gear. I took the screen shot above in Part C to get the outer diameter and number of teeth.  I then plugged those numbers in to a gear generator.  It gave me the graphic below.  I printed it out.  And glued it onto a sheet of stryene.  I sued stryene because I have a big sheet of it, and I am trying to use it for everything.
The lego axles go straight through the.  So you can see the axles. To cover this up I wanted to perfect circles.  I use googly eyes.  Cut everything away.  Painted the circle.  I also cut 1/8 inch strips of paper. Then glue stuck the paper to the circles.  And glued that to the end of the gears.

Here is where I generated the gears. (link)

I basically drilled a hole through every single part big enough for my threaded rod to fit through.

Test fit without the gear sub assembly



Monday, August 10, 2015

Adding effects to someone else's prop:

So I was at a build party. I was introduced to

Britfang Cosplay.  He makes AMAZING outfits. They all look incredible. He can take $10 of stuff and make it look like millions. It boggles my mind.  Anyway he made a Rocket Raccoon outfit. And he was making ALL the guns. I saw one.  I think he mentioned it would be cool if it could look like it was shooting plasma.  Ok.  I can do that.  I thought about it for a few days.  I messaged his wife to see if it would be ok to ask him.  I wasn't sure how someone else would take it.  His wife, who is also awesome, said YES.  So I asked him,  he said YES.  So more messenging, links, planning.  I have what you see below.

The gun is MASSIVE.  The green thing is a 1 foot ruler for scale.  This is the biggest prop I have ever worked with.  And I get to do stuff to it.  So before I started anything I actually had the owner (Britfang) pose with it. I wanted to see how would he use it.  What areas will be totally exposed, and what area will be totally invisible.  Basically where can I hide stuff.  Also He wears gloves with this outfit. Really nice gloves.  I was allowed to borrow one.  So  I can make sure I can manipulate it, or basically turn the lights and fans on and off. 


I started by carving out the area I thought I would need.

I then painted that area black with some poster paint.  The foam is green,  and I din't want any green showing.  So lots of poster paint. 

I painted the switch I had to get up with Hugo to get the color exact.  The below switch is a DPST switch. Basically with 1 flick of the switch it can run 2 separate circuits.  Which is good because the fan wants 6 volts. And I am afraid that many volts will burn out the LED's. 

I painted the wires.

Below is my test of the wire routing. The way this person poses with the gun you don't see the right side of the gun.  So I cluttered that side up with wires.

I made a little mount for the lights.  Basically 2 led assemblies from flashlights.  I wired them up in parallel.  They were built to run of 3 AAA's. I ran them off 2 AA's.

I then carved out even more of the gun to make the fan fit.  This is a fan from a r400 ibm laptop (fru # 45N6140) . It is fairly quiet.  I think in the noisiness of a convention,  it will be fine.  It puts out a lot of air.

Here is how everything looks jammed in 

I don't know if the photoexplains it well.  But I hid 6 AA's in the 'hand shroud' of the gun.  The batteries are right where the hand hold the gun,  so it balances well.  

I strung some blue tinsel on a kabob.  Super glued the middle.

The lights work,  the fan pushes the tinsel out the front.

I painted some craft foam to hid the fan,  and the giant hole I made.

The fan is strong enough to push the tinsel straight up.  

A close up of all the wires.  

Hugo with his gun.  It is a really big gun.