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18 May 2005 @ 01:08 am
All blather and no photos make baby Jesus cry  
I got back to the gym tonight. I didn't even equal my last heavy deadlift workout, but at least I got 190 once before quitting because my tricep felt weird. It didn't hurt, but I felt it would be prudent to stop just in case I was about to pull something.

That damn armor prototype is taking for freaking ever. I finally got it (mostly) bent the way I wanted it by hot gluing styrene strips to the back to force it to stay put. Of course, I discovered that it needed a lot of bending AFTER I glued slick posterboard over it for a smooth surface, so now the board is crinkled in some places. D'oh. It might be best for me to get some thin styrene and just slap a layer over the paper when I'm done making this thing super rigid with plaster bandages. (The styrene I have is too thick for me to cut precisely.) There is a school of propmaking that uses this technique to create costume armor, and I've seen some spiffy stuff made with it. I wholeheartedly recommend it to people who can't fiberglass or don't want to. With that said, it's just not for me. I love the durability, room for error correction, and anal-retentively precise finishing potential of fiberglass...and I hate hot glue. I make a mess of it and I usually manage to BURNINATE myself no matter how careful I am. As far as error correction goes, styrene over foam really has to be done right the first time, and some common mishaps force you to chuck the entire piece. For instance, if you don't let the glue cool down enough before adding the plastic, the plastic will ripple, and you can't cover that up. Ew. With fiberglass, you can sand down wrinkles, patch fuckups with more fiberglass or body filler, and get a fantastic smooth finish with automotive primer and some patience. The Kirin Sword looked positively fugly when we finished laminating it (now I'm wishing I would have taken a picture... *sigh*). The edges weren't sealed. There were some wrinkles in the fiberglass. For extra fun, random doots of rubber mat were stuck to the surface. I dissolved the rubber with acetone, sanded the wrinkles, really took my time sealing the edges nicely with Evercoat Easy Sand (spread a bit on, wait till it dries, sand, spread a bit on the low spots, repeat until you achieve the desired results or go batshit), and eventually figured out how to use sandable primer properly, and the result is a smooth, solid prop (that I need to fix the paint job of because I forgot how dark the reference pictures were when I went to get the blade detail paint...way to go, Donny Don't...bleh, at least I only did one side and I got practice simulating a ground metal finish, so it's really not too much of a loss).

At any rate...as the title promises...this should hold you over until I get the rest of the pieces sewn and the entire shebang assembled in a wearable state (which will involve learning to set a hidden zipper...yay fun).

A finished sash top
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: Crossfade stuck in my head
sima_zhongda on May 18th, 2005 04:50 pm (UTC)
That is really coming together beautifully *_* The applique work, in particular, mesmirizes me.

Can't wait to see it when it's done :D Are you two going to Otakon by any chance?
The Heavy Metal Matador: southparkrydain on May 18th, 2005 05:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! ^_^ It was actually pretty simple to applique the blue painted piece and bias tape to the backing. I set the presser foot tension very low to minimize puckering (especially important when dealing with satin) and ironed the living crap out of the piece at each step of construction. Also, I had to use a fuckload of pins on the bias tape so it wouldn't bend to the side when sewn. (I learned this while sewing the back layers, which have at least one doofy spot apiece, but the doofiness is minor and will be basically unseen when I wear the costume. Whew.)

Yes, we are going to Otakon! We have our hotel booked and our registration purchased. We plan to wear the costumes on Friday because the DW gathering is at 1 p.m. that day. I'm not sure if we'll have them any of the other days. It depends on how difficult/uncomfortable they are to wear and how much stuff we want to run around and see. If you'd like to meet up with us at some point, that would be great. Some other friends will be going, too, and we'll definitely stop by Onezumi's booth as well. (I wanted to see it - and her - last year, but I got sick and we didn't make the con. ;_;)
sima_zhongda on May 18th, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC)
One day I'd like to learn how to sew...The respect I have for people who can is infinite. I have, however, heard horror stories about satin and its love of fucking up at the worst possible moments.

Awesome! My husband and I are going as well and, if everything goes as planned, I will have my costume as well (and go to the DW meetup) Another friend of mine is going as Cao Pi...Good to see that Wei will be well-represented.

Not that I'm biased or anything like that.

In any case, it will be great to see everyone there :3