At times like this, I'm damn happy that my middle school tech ed (read: shop) class involved lessons on representing an object as dead-on views from various sides, as that's exactly what I need to do for my purposes. With a properly rotated reference pic to go by, I'm figuring out the proper dimensions of each piece relevant to my arm and carefully drawing them as views. I only have the top and side of the wrist piece done so far, but its shape looks damn accurate. Oh, and did I mention that I'm using a pad of graph paper salvaged from my old room at my mom's house? Being a pack rat does come in handy every now and then!
I'm stumped on the armor for the time being. It's basically a half-shirt-shaped thingy, but it doesn't have any visible closures and its neck opening is too small to fit over the wearer's head. Hooray for impossible clothing design, eh? Maybe they welded it onto Zhang He and he's stuck with it for life. I think I'll just give mine an adequately large neck opening, which will be easier to work into the design than trying to put shoulder closures on.
As far as Xiahou Dun progress is concerned: I've been trying to figure out the coat some more without much luck. zeriel thinks that the blue and white pieces above the belt are part of a long kimono, which is what appears to be the case in this picture. In another picture, the blue and white below the belt looks like part of the myriad of stuff that hangs from the belt itself. And, of course, there are no reference pics of the back of the costume, and like I said, the game's graphics blend all of that together into something that looks like a regular coat. Any opinions from the peanut gallery would be very much appreciated. I'll eventually get something at least reasonably accurate hammered out, though...hell, I clearly remember driving myself batshit over the shape of Rikku's shoulder armor, and the result was way better than I ever thought I could manage. So I'm optimistic. ^_^
We put Rando's toolkit on top of the convexity in the plywood thinking that a couple of days of weight would be enough to bend it, but it doesn't seem to be accomplishing anything. It looks like I have to deal with water after all. I've been told that said water evaporates just fine if you put some layers of newspaper or whatnot under the wood, but I'm still paranoid of creating a mildewy mess (and ruining a piece of wood that cost over $20), so I need to read more about this before I do anything.