Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mjolnir

A friend is going to the Boston Comic Con as Thor and wanted some help with his costume. Being that he is a bartender, it took him the span of an evening to convince me to build a Mjolnir.

Here is the result:

I started with some MDF from an old desk from Staples. I measured out the head to be quite big (20 cm x 15 cm x 15 cm). Eveything got epoxied into place and screwed. I realized that these materials would result in a fairly heavy hammer, but I wanted it to have some serious heft.

The end caps of the head were two layers of MDF. These were also epoxied and screwed. They were cut slightly smaller than the head and beveled. At this point, I want to mention that all of the cutting for this project was done with a coping saw. I don't exactly have a workshop, so the work was done on the balcony (we call it the SkyLounge).

The handle is a dowel from Lowe's. I cut a notch in the top and two in the head. I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to spin. I also pounded it into place and put a couple of nails through the handle inside the head. It would be embarrassing if the head flew off whilst defending Asgard from the Frost Giants.


The cap on top was a thinner sheet of MDF. The fancy scroll work on the end caps and the inscription were engraved with the dremel. I cut stencils and spray painted the designs on.

The whole head got a coat of Krylon aluminum. After some clear coat, I filled the engraved spots with black acrylic and dirtied up the rest of it.

I am not a fan of how the handle looks in the Thor movie. Instead, I wrapped the whole thing in vinyl and then added two more strips of vinyl in a weave-ish kind of pattern. The ends got another vinyl strip with staples covered in small leather "stitches."

The strap was a couple more layers of vinyl. Every bit of vinyl is epoxied and stapled. The handle got some acrylic paint to give it some depth. Then I harnessed the power of a dying sun...AND DONE!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Making Samus...again

Last year I made a Samus Aran costume for PAX East.  The results were pretty good for my second real costume, but I wanted to improve on the costume.  This meant using some sturdier materials for the armor bits.  Also, I wanted a sweet Samus helmet.

The armor was made from 1/8" sintra.  Rob and I had a some good times cutting it out and molding it.
We had the oven set to 250 to heat the sintra on a cookie sheet.

Here's Rob doing some sanding on the helmet.  He got a child's sized helmet from a student of his and sanded off the paint.

The chin portion of the helmet was also cut from sintra.
The visor was an extra visor that we had ordered. 
We also used sippy cups and whiffle balls for the jets.

The helmet got a couple of bowls cup and epoxied into place for the ear parts.  The hose came from Lowe's. 
Here's a shot of the shin pieces.  Epoxy/sand/bondo/sand/bondo/sand/sand/sand/etc.

Eventually, all of the pieces got similar paint treatment as Rob's armor.  I didn't do any weathering on mine because Samus is too bad ass to take any damage.

The should armor we reused from last year.  However, they were rebuilt and painted fresh. 
And here we have a completed helmet.  I want to point out that a lot of the armor had lines cut into it and lined in black.  The chin piece got some silver rub'n'buff to make it look more metallic.
 Here is most of the armor put together.  We had a few options for the abdominal section, but we decided to use the one from last year. It was still quite good and took a coat or two of paint to match the rest of the costume.  

We didn't get too many pics of the upgraded arm cannon, but this shows the new LED system.  We took a 3" PVC pipe and wrapped a sintra cone shaped piece around it to get a nice bevel.  The inner part of the cannon had the LEDs on it and the cone slipped over.  The end of the cannon had a 3" to 2" adapter and a strong LED flashlight in the end.  I am looking forward to improving this part even further.

Lens flare!!!
There is a Metroid just to the left of the screen that totally just got blasted.

Making Hawke

For PAX East this year, I decided to make a Rogue version of Hawke from Dragon Age 2.  Bill ( already had a mage version of Hawke and we thought that the twin thing would play well if we did different classes of the same character.  It was pretty easy to get references images for the costume.  Just took some screenies of Hawke in all his glory.

The camera was a little tricky.  I had to switch to Varric to see my character's feet.  #dwarvesareshort

Soooooooooooooo off to JoJoFab's we go.

I got vinyl in two different color for all of the leather bits of the costume.  I also found some nice thermal type shirts in the right color.  The red pants were a more difficult find.  Bon Ton had some in the ladies section.  This wasn't a problem, as I have no shame about buy lady pants in a size 14.  (what does 14 meeeeeeeean??)

After my mage costume from last year, you would have thought that Jaimi and I would have invested in a decent sewing machine.  Sooooo, between our lame machine, my mother's, and one I borrowed from our Home Ec. teacher at my school, I got the sewing done.  /queuerockymontage

I will add that A LOT of this was also done by hand.  (Anyone else every stab yourself with the backside of the needle?)

Jaimi had a jig for making all of the "buckles."
Tigger is our pincushion.  Somewhere out there, the real Tigger is in AGONY!!!

Mass Effect break!!  A large portion of this project was done while dogsitting (and catsitting) for Jaimi's ma. 

The bird skulls were made of skulpy by Jaimi and my mom the art teacher.

THE ARMOR BITS.  We took a trip out to Seattle to visit my brother.  I part of our week out there to learn about working with PVC Foam.  (also called Sintra)  The basic steps for building the pieces were:
1.  Measure and cut the pieces to fit
2.  Heat pieces with the heat gun (don't burn...toxic gas)
3.  Mold the pieces to fit
4. Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand  100 grit
5.  Bondo and saaaaaaaaaaaaaaand 100 grit
6.  Fill/sand/primer/sand/primer again/sand
7.  Aluminum paint
8.  Matte clear coat
9.  black acrylic and paper towels for weathering
10.  clearcoat between layers of weathering
11.  Burnt sienna acrylic for the rust

For all of my armor pieces I also added blood.  DA2 has it in excess.  I watered down some red paint, took the pieces out to the "sky lounge," and squirted them all to hell with "blood."  This was probably the most fun part of this entire project.
The results:

 The gloves/claws were also fun/tedious to make.  I cut a ton of quadrilaterals from sintra and epoxied them into 90° wedges.  Then I gave them the same treatment as the armor pieces and epoxied them to some cheap gloves.

The sash was sewn from a rough linen.  All of the vinyl was given some acrylic paint for weathering.  The cloth was dunked in dirty water (paint) to dull the bright colors.  The armor was put in place with a combination of epoxy and industrial strength velcro.  The boots came from wal mart.

The daggers were crafted from three  layers of sintra, sandwiched and epoxied.  Then I did the dremel thing and repeated the same process as with the armor.  Including the blood.

I used vinyl for the handles.  Here you can see Jaimi's war face.

All done.  Here I am at PAX East.  This project has taught me to get a better sewing machine.  (Just like last year's)