And...according to the fine folks of the cosplay.com prop boards...Ultracal 30 will not melt craft foam. So no worries there. I can start making casts this week, then.
I ordered the last of the metal for Xiahou Dun's leg armor. Don't expect any real progress on that until I start casting and finishing the fiberglass stuff. I'm trying to prioritize work that needs time to dry, etc. (like the painting on the jacket, which I will be able to start very soon because my new dye and twill order shipped). However, right now I'm just taking care of outstanding business as well as possible, which is why all blue and white sash pieces are nearly complete.
I may wuss out on gradient dyeing Xiahou Dun's cape. It's just so much fabric to wrangle and I can't think of any good setup for it. Something small and rectangular like a sleeve or a scarf can be attached to a dowel and slowly pulled out of a little container as soon as you start mixing in the fixer (so that the very beginning of the "pull length" has no dye and more and more dye winds up in the fabric over time). But one yard of fabric in a conical shape? Ick ptooey. Well, here's a thought...I can dye enough fabric for it and the jacket in the same load (the jacket and top of the cape are supposed to be the same base shade of purple anyway) and then overdye the gradient on the bottom if I think of a good way to do it. The blue will be darker this way, but since it doesn't need to match anything else on the costume, as Simon Cowell says, so what? It may be best to use a tie-dye technique of soaking the fabric in soda ash solution and then dipping just the bottom into a dye mixture and letting it crawl up. It won't give as predictable a gradient length as slowly pulling out the fabric as the dye reacts, but it should be pretty even. All the "let the dye crawl" gradients I've seen look pretty good.