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29 June 2004 @ 12:26 am
Getting back into cosplay gear  
Realizing that it's almost July and I therefore don't have a ton of time left to be fiberglassing outdoors, I made myself start a task I'd been dreading: making patterns for the Styrofoam molds for Zhang He's arm guards. (Incidentally, I managed to reenable the music detection button in LogJam, but that was trivial. =P) I will be making said molds by gluing dense insulation-grade Styrofoam sheets together and then carving and sanding the resulting block to produce a curve that will be coated with mold release (probably plain ol' Vaseline) followed by some fiberglass cloth. That reminds me that I have to order my cloth and resin, too. Aerospace Composite Products sells various weights of cloth and mat and an EZ epoxy resin (and even a nifty pump for automagically mixing resin and hardener in the correct proportions weeeee) that is supposed to be good for n00b13 projects, and their prices seem reasonable, so I think I'll go with them. (Yes, you can buy these sorts of supplies locally - Pep Boys sells Bondo brand cloth and resin - but when you order them, you have a much better selection of materials, and I really want that pump thingy because I know it will make my life easier.)

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.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Terence Trent D' Arby - Wishing Well
the Anything Muppetxerne on June 29th, 2004 05:57 am (UTC)
Looks to me like something hanging from the belt.
aitai on June 29th, 2004 06:15 pm (UTC)
after looking at the pictures, i'm inclined to think that the pieces "hanging under the belt" and the blue/silver piece above the belt are one article of clothing. i've seen some short underkimono that have similar edging (ie. the edging on the top vertically and the edging on the bottom horizontally). what's more important though, is comfort rather than accuracy. if it can look accurate to the picture but not involve a million layers, randy will be much more comfy at the con. i ran into that problem with my hokuto outfit. i made it accurate with lining for each kimono and i thought i was going to die of heat exhaustion. so, if you can get it to look that way and not make a full kimono out of it, that's what i'd suggest. it looks like you'll be able to attach a lot of things to the belt in order to accomplish that!! ^_^
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on June 29th, 2004 07:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks...that's quite helpful. One reason I was so confused is that I thought the edging would match if it were all one piece - I'd never seen or heard of kimono like the one you just described.

How many full layers did your Hokuto costume have, anyway? Wasn't it, like, 4? o_O Don't worry...I'll do my best to avoid roasting the oaf. I'll eliminate redundant hidden layers as much as I can. For example, that underkimono is going to be sleeveless, as will be the black shirt that he'll wear underneath. The belt is going to have to have all its layers, but at least I can make the pants out of a light, breathable cotton. The pennant on the front of the belt looks like it's just a single layer of fabric, as does the bottom of the back of the coat. I don't think I can cut it down any more than that without sacrificing accuracy, but at least the outfit has a rather open design, which should help. We'll definitely have to keep a water bottle around, though. =P