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16 August 2004 @ 09:28 pm
Fun with foam  
Although I've only used it for, at most, a total of a half hour of cutting so far, I can safely say that that hot wire scroll table thing was worth every cent.

Tonight's work: beginning the styrofoam positive mold for Zhang He's claws. I had already drafted a scaled-down front and side pattern on graph paper, blown them up into a full-size master pattern (via the old-school method of drawing a 1-inch grid on butcher paper with the help of my gridded cutting mat and using that as a guide to redraw the outlines by hand - go me), and then produced front and side posterboard patterns from that. Whew. Posterboard is great for this purpose because it doesn't burn when it comes in contact with the hot wire, so you can just pin it to the foam and guide the wire along it to make a precise cut. Its other important characteristic is its stiffness. This comes into play when you've already cut out the piece along one axis and want to move on to another. When you make the first cut, the pattern goes flat against the surface of the foam. In my case, said cut always produces a curved surface, and I don't have access to fancy toys like AutoCAD that would project a dead-on front or side view onto such a surface for me, so I have to pin the second side's pattern so it pretty much floats where it would have gone if I'd been working with a flat surface. This takes some fussing, and you have to be careful with the piece as you guide it around, but it does work. Quite well, indeed.

So after all that, I have...a blocky version of the very end piece that covers most of the hand (which I did in halves that are being glued together as we speak and will then be cut along the third axis and sanded into their final contour) and three layers of foam that are also being glued so I can use them to cut out half of the mold of the main part of the claw. At least I worked out my technique pretty early in the process (I only made one messed-up, unusable piece - yay), so the rest should go by more quickly.

In other news, I had a pretty cool weekend. A bunch of my relatives from my dad's side of the family came into Pittsburgh, and we joined them all for a Pirates game at PNC Park. It had been about a bazillion years since I'd last seen a ball game at the stadium, and I really enjoyed it (and not just because we won 6-1). It's interesting to look around the field and watch how the players are preparing for the next pitch. The infielders might sneak close to the bases in anticipation of a possible double play. A man on base might slowly creep away and see if he might be able to make a steal. And the pitcher might notice said man's creepage and ponder whether to try to fake him out and then get him trapped. Several exciting plays occurred in this game, but unfortunately, I missed a couple of Pirates home runs because I was in line for garlic fries. D'oh. T'was a good time, though. ^_^
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: The Buddy Holly Weezer song stuck in my head
Lady Sith: Happyladysith13 on August 16th, 2004 08:43 pm (UTC)
the zhang he costume sounds really awsome. i cant wait to see pics of some of it! If you want to see my hubby being a dork playing with my Rikku stuff..check out my LJ...at the very least...it is a funny pic.

Speaking of which...is the Berserker costume still in the works or did you finsih it. If you have worn it i would LOVE to see some pics! And BTW...the Zhang He..is this for a specifc con, for fun or to have ready when you should need it :)

Lady Sith
The Heavy Metal Matador: feliciarydain on August 16th, 2004 09:03 pm (UTC)
A whole bunch of answers all mashed together
Thanks! ^_^ I'll start posting pics once I have the styrofoam mold in a nearly-finished state. A not-yet-rounded model of the hand piece and a stack of blue bricks underneath an ancient hardcover copy of Stephen King's IT don't exactly inspire me to unearth the digicam from behind the monster pile of Diet Cherry Coke cans on my desk.

D'oh...I forgot to get back to you re: Berserker pics. Because the vast majority of it was done and I was still recognizable (I even got quite a lot of compliments on the outfit), I did wear what I had of the costume to Anime Central back in May. Here's a pic, and here are some more. Feel free to look through the rest of the album - there are others in there, but I didn't directly link to them because my collar was twisted, making me look doofy. D'oh. Then again, I am a big doof, so it's not really unexpected.

Hooray for dorky hubbies! ^_^ I have one too, but I don't think I could ever coax him into a Rikku costume. (He'll be wearing the Xiahou Dun outfit that I'm also working on. Frankly, that one is much more flattering to his ogre body than a fake fur bikini ever would be, so it's all good. =P) I saw the pic you mentioned...and I think you did a kickass job on the costume so far, especially considering the limited timeframe you're dealing with. I love the necklace! ^_^ I didn't have time to actually put my beads on a string (I was counting on locating glue-on findings for that, and I couldn't find any on short notice), so I glued pin backings on and stuck them to my collar. I'm jealous of the people with actual jewelry. That's yet another thing I'm going to eventually fix.

Zhang He (and Xiahou Dun) are for Anime Central 2005, though I am hoping to get them done early. We'd like to wear them to Otakon as well. And being the crazed multitasking costume dumbo that I am, I'm already itching to redo Felicia yet again and make Rikku's thief outfit (I don't care if there are about fifty gazillion of them...it's just so CUTE, and I could even do the bikini part as a functional bathing suit, so it would sort of be practical). Maybe I should clone myself so I could keep a copy at home to work on costumes all day. =P
Lady Sithladysith13 on August 16th, 2004 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: A whole bunch of answers all mashed together
AWWW! You look so CUTE! I am jealous of your shoulder things..boo! But no horn? I just finished the head band and am working out how the HELL i'm going to attach the semi heavy horn to it...it i probably going to need and over-the-head support band so it doesn't pull down and we should be good. Lucky we'll have a head full of braids to cover that :)

My friend is working on the Bikini and paws...which jay (my husband) WOULDN'T put on...he just likes to play with the armor. I am going to put the head band on him when it is done :) Yours looks great (bikini) as well.

I hope our efforts turn out as good as yours or at least CLOSE to it, thanks so much for the compliment..it means a bunch coming from you. It isn't so much the time frame...its my SKILL LEVEL!

Lady Sith
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on August 16th, 2004 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: A whole bunch of answers all mashed together
Thanks for the compliments! ^_^ I do have a horn, but I'm not wearing it in the pictures because it was an engineering failure. I made it out of floral foam blocks that I carved, Frankensteined together with a bit of wire and glue, papier mached, and then covered in paper clay. The resulting horn looked pretty good, but it weighed 2 1/2 pounds and just would. Not. Stay. Up. I had E-6000'ed it to my perty quilted headband and hoped that it would all work if I Velcroed the back tightly, but it didn't, so now I have a useless horn and headband sitting at my friend's house near Pittsburgh. (Said friend was kind enough to drive the costume to Chicago and back. I didn't want it banging around in an airplane's cargo hold.) I plan to fix it by carefully cutting around the glued horn, sawing off its end, securely attaching the horn to a RIGID headband of some sort, and then fitting the cloth headband over it and covering up the gap around the horn with gold braided trim or something similar. And then I can wear it. w00t.

Random tip I forgot to mention: I colored the bikini fur gradient and the leg warmer bottoms with Sharpies. (Yes, it does have to be that specific brand - I learned this from people who permanently dye wigs with them.) I got one of those rainbow packs, and the golden brown and brown wound up being the perfect colors for my purposes. It worked quite well (though it is good to rinse said fur in cold water to get rid of the Sharpie smell), and I'd recommend this trick if you want to do something similar.

I can't wait to see the piccies when you guys are all done. I'm sure it's going to be adorable. And you seem to have the magical ability to put together a good-looking costume in a short span of time, which says a lot about your skill level as well. I draft patterns, sew, and craft at glacial speed, which is why I've started next year's costumes already. =P
Lady Sithladysith13 on August 16th, 2004 10:15 pm (UTC)
Re: A whole bunch of answers all mashed together
i'll make sure you have access to them :)

I made the horn out of Model Magic! This stuff is great cause it is light, but i am amazed i got a good shape out of it molding free hand. I also hand the headband out of Modle Magic (rolled flat) and painteded it...i'm not thrilled with my paint job but what the hey at this point ;)

If you want to have a look into what i've been up to and see some pics of my Kitten (who will be wearing this, and will be too cute for words) just head over to http://ladysith13.deviantart.com/

i keep it updated with all my cosplay stuff...i orginally got it to coment on my friends stuff, so i decided to put it to use :)

BTW i looked at the album...and it was GREAT!!!! I was laughing my ass off at some of that stuff...now i cant WAIT for Dragon*con

Lady Sith