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18 January 2004 @ 12:49 am
Well, I tried to finish my collar  
I had this lofty goal for today. Well, it didn't seem so lofty at the time. All I wanted to do was make the collar part of my Berserker armor. Not the pauldrons - just the collar. It looked easy enough and I'd read Amethyst Angel's Craft Foam 'n Styrene armor tutorial about forty trillion times, so no problem, right?

Three hours later, I have one piece. And it isn't even sanded or painted. As an extra bonus, I managed to burn my fingers with hot glue while I was at it. At least it's not that owey, but I still feel dumb.

Here's the good part: most of this time was spent practicing working with materials and outright fucking up. The meaning of this is that it won't take me nearly that long to make each remaining piece of armor. The tutorial is quite good, but I still ran across a few problems that weren't mentioned.

1) If you have a dual-temperature heat gun, use the hot setting. Otherwise, the glue won't soften the plastic enough.

2) Make a test scrap to see how your plastic reacts to heat. The stuff that Amethyst Angel used must have been thinner or softer than mine. I tried bending the armor piece conservatively, and it barely went anywhere. Instead, I had to mash it like a mofo to get it to curve properly.

3) The styrene I bought can be readily scored and snapped. This made cutting it a hell of a lot easier and faster than I feared it would be. (Last year, I needed to use a Dremel to saw through the cheapo plastic visor I used as a base for Felicia ears. A utility knife would have taken forever.) However, you have to take care when cutting curves to make sure that the line is contiguous. I didn't have a line on the plastic to go by (this was when I was carving the extra plastic out from around the glued-on foam), so I got the best results when slowly scoring the entire thing at once. Now that I think about it, I can just get some heavy sandpaper and sand down the irregularities (which I'm going to need to do anyway - my trusty sanding block has too fine of a grit to even out the edges efficiently), so maybe it isn't all that important.
 
 
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