I got my foam. It's basically a thin camping mat. It's...OK, I guess...but it's finicky to heat shape (it tends to warp) and it gives off plastic fumes. Bleh. I've put it in the "archives" and continued to look for more foam. A helpful guy on cosplay.com actually went to a workshop with one of the Japanese gundam makers two years ago, and he bought some of the good foam, and he still has it. I've been chatting with him about foam research. Thus far, it appears that Volara type A foam is virtually identical to what we need, but we won't know until we get samples. I've emailed some suppliers, and he has as well.
GAH. Gotta finish the cosplay site theme. Gotta relaunch rydain.org. I've run out of steam. I need to get my ass back into it. I've also run out of NaNo revision steam. I've been starting to research small Pennsylvania towns sprung up around highways so I can get a good mental map of Resonance and give the character some exploration to do instead of "video game-like beeline to the next point of interest". (At least my points of interest generally avoided the Silent Hill cliches...though I couldn't really get around including a hospital...) Luckily I have friends who are quite familiar with this sort of town (y helo thar Zeriel).
I decided that my Zhang He shoulder pauldron pattern is going to be the bastard spawn of a 4-sided pyramid and a cone. It was a hell of a lot easier to develop than the proper version of the pith helmet (there goes that word again! pith pith pith w00t), and it's simpler to assemble, too, because you're only gluing together straight edges. I got the idea from this random cosplayer, who has pauldrons of that shape. My final mockup is actually pretty close.
I have to prewash my quilt fabric. I'm dreading this because there's just so much of it and I don't feel like handwashing 30+ pieces of stuff. I may simply trust the Hand Wash cycle on the washing machine.
Gym stuff is going well. I'm able to row 4000 m in 20 minutes. If you have no idea what those numbers mean in terms of difficulty, let's just say that it's a good moderate-high intensity workout, and when I started rowing, I would go maybe 3000 m at a 3:00/500 m pace. What I'm doing now is a 2:30 pace. And I don't have butt chafe problems any more like I did way back when I started using the rowing machine. Woo-hoo. Also, I benched 100 pounds four times, which is a new all-time record for that lift...and a major improvement for someone who was dealing with rotator cuff grumpiness at this time last year. Oh yeah, and I've dropped some bodyfat, too. So yay and stuff.