Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Risu, May 10, 2012.

  1. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    City of Death was the first episode of classic Who I watched, and I loved this coat right away. At the time I couldn't even sew and nobody was offering replicas, so I didn't give it too much thought. When the Doctor Who Experience opened in London, there were instantly tons of really high res photos of the coat on display, and that got me thinking about it again. Well, for the last view months, this coat has moved up on my to-do list, and I officially started back in March when I finally found a fabric I liked for the body. It has a different weave, but from all of the various pictures I've seen and screen grabs, it seems to me like it matches the color of the original tweed really well. The important thing is that in person it looks brown, but lights up in photos to sort of an oatmeal color, sometimes very desaturated. Then I picked up some brown velvet from Jo-Anne for the collar and tracked down some screen accurate bias trim. The weave is possibly a bit larger than the original and it might be a little darker than the real stuff, but that could just be because of fading over time. Just yesterday I completed my fabric collection by picking up some lining fabric, also from Jo-Anne. This stuff really takes the cake for color changing. I took a ton of pictures under different lighting and it turned gold, green, grey, pink. Basically every color. In person though, it's a slightly golden brown. It matches the shell fabric pretty well. I do worry though that it will appear too gold in pictures. Anyhow, here are some pics of my fabrics.

    Incandescent bulb:
    [​IMG]

    Incandescent with flash:
    [​IMG]

    Fluorescent:
    [​IMG]

    Fluorescent with flash:
    [​IMG]

    And the only picture I got where the lining looks remotely like it does in person:
    [​IMG]

    I'll try to get a daylight picture soon. Most of the time I spend awake when the sun's up I'm at my day job or trying to run errands when businesses are open. The buttons are proving difficult to find. They actually share some traits with the buttons from Sherlock's coat in the new BBC series. My current plan is to sculpt the correct shape on top of one of the close-enough Sherlock buttons I picked up and mold it.

    [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure the original buttons were real leather, but there's only so much that can be done.

    I've been sewing for a few years now, but over the last few months my skills have really started to ramp up dramatically thanks to some much appreciated lessons and advice from a very talented friend. I also just picked up this book that was recommended by Darth_Mule:
    [​IMG]

    I'm about 1/3 through it, and so far it hasn't taught me much that I hadn't already learned, but it's pretty informative. It's also kind of comically dated though, having been published in 1988. Apparently that was the year when all women dressed in men's jackets.

    Lastly, I'll be modifying the Laughing Moon #109 double breasted frock coat pattern, as it's pretty near perfect. Just needs some small modifications.

    This first post is pretty much just a teaser. I won't be working on my buttons for a little while still, and the actual coat build won't start until I finish another one I'm working on in my free time, which is quite limited right now. I've actually wanted to post about that coat, but since it isn't technically a costume I didn't have a forum, so to speak. I may hijack my own thread for that build until it's complete, then resume the frock build.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  2. CAndrewNelson

    CAndrewNelson Member

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    Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat

    Looking forward to seeing how this project goes!
     
  3. Mr.Spider

    Mr.Spider Well-Known Member

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    Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat

    very awesome so far, City of Death was also my first episode and have loved the S17 look ever since, I had my frock done by Magnoli, it truly is a fun coat to wear, looking forward to your progress
     
  4. SITHcamaro

    SITHcamaro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat

    Oh Tom Baker, there will never be a true Dr. Who as you again. :)
    Can't wait to see the finished coat.
     
  5. The Ronin

    The Ronin Well-Known Member

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    Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat

    Quoted for truth! On both counts.
     
  6. Bootlegger137

    Bootlegger137 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat

    Subscribed.
     
  7. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat

    OK, I said I might hijack my own thread, so here it is. This is the coat build that I'm working on currently. It's inspired in different ways by the coat Matt Smith wore during his touring during S5, Sherlock's coat, Jack Harkness' coat, Eccleston's coat, and a tiny bit by Tennant's coat. When I originally drew up the design I thought it looked really cool, but I had actually incorporated so many details into the design it looked ridiculous. When I finally started making it a year later I cleaned it up and made it more realistic. I've already learned quite a few lessons from the build. Some of these pictures date back to January.

    Here's the first mock up, made of cotton canvas.
    [​IMG]

    The second mockup, made of leftover space suit. This one had complete lapels and was made primarily to test collar roll.
    [​IMG]

    I used collar canvas attached to the under collar.
    [​IMG]

    With decorative stitching.
    [​IMG]

    One of the front pockets of the coat, still haven't attached them yet.
    [​IMG]

    And lastly a couple pad stitching photos. I did this a little wrong, but I don't think it'll have too much of an effect on the overall appearance.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. HaroldVonBraun

    HaroldVonBraun Well-Known Member

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    Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat

    I'd say you should, perhaps: Make the lapels bigger, try making the bottom of the "skirt" bigger, so it flows in a more "majestic manner". And maybe also add some vertical hand-warming pockets.
     
  9. Cyber

    Cyber Active Member

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    Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat

    For someone who only started sowing recently it looks like you have come a remarkably long way.
    I look forward to seeing how this progresses.
     
  10. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat

    Harold, the skirt of the orange coat was expanded out. It flares quite a bit, about as much as a frock coat. As for the lapels, I didn't want to make massive lapels and I wanted it to breach high, both personal choices. The collar could be a bit smaller, but I had already cut the pieces when I realized that and I don't have enough fabric to make new ones. I did just finish my tailoring book yesterday though, and I'm considering taking my collar apart and starting over by cutting it down. Probably the hardest mod to make to a coat.

    In light of your comments I have to say that I'm NOT trying to make Smith's green coat. The coat is my own design cobbled together from a few different sources that I like. I'm not a fan of the giant lapels on Smith's green coat and I'm undecided on hand warmers.
     
  11. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat

    Took me a while to get around to it, but here's that daylight picture.

    [​IMG]

    And a few yards of something I picked up for a friend yesterday.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    No progress on the coat as of yet, but I have been searching for buttons pretty actively. Nothing even close exists anywhere in the LA area. It looks like I might have to go back to my sculpting plan. Or maybe I'll 3D render them, print one, and cast them. I think that would be easier for me than clay.

    I also decided that since I'm going all out and making the rest of the costume as perfect as I can (within budgetary reason, I'm not spending 200 pounds per meter for perfect fabric, and the only other person that has sourced some won't share it) then I probably shouldn't use a season 12 scarf. I had wanted to learn how to knit anyway, so tonight I picked up some needles and using some leftover yarn from my Jack Sparrow build, I learned how to knit.

    [​IMG]

    The yarn for the season 17 scarf is going to cost me $54, but I really love the colors and I think I'll be very happy with it. I'm going to make a few more practice pieces to perfect my tension and learn how to change colors, and then I'll pick up my yarn and begin the probably 6 month journey to knit the 18 foot long scarf.
     
  13. The Ronin

    The Ronin Well-Known Member

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    $54 is a LOT less than $314 per meter.
     
  14. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Different articles actually. My coat fabric cost me $39 for 3 yards as opposed to that $314 per meter. The yarn for the scarf was $54, which compares to I think up to about $100 for the most expensive yarn option.
     
  15. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    As it turns out, the bulky acrylic yarn I was practicing with is a million times easier to knit with than the worsted wool. After repeated attempts to knit sample pieces with the stuff I just can't get decent tension, I drop at least one stitch per row, and I keep splitting the yarn, which totally messes everything up. I've decided that I'm not knitting the thing myself, but I haven't decided which way to go yet. Bonnie's scarves are nearly flawless, but the price might be a problem and her color transitions aren't as clean as I'd like. I'm seriously considering cuteorkill's scarf on Etsy, the price is a little better and his accuracy is right up there with Bonnie's, plus he does the "invisible" color transitions.

    In the meantime I've picked up some white linen for the shirt and I've also tracked down this excellent plaid wool blend for the trousers. At $20 per yard it's pricey for the fiber type, but it's so close to the original weave I don't think I'll find anything better for less money.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. TheSexyBlueBox

    TheSexyBlueBox Member

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    Order one from Tara, she does the best.
     
  17. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have a personal scarf from Tara and while I do like it I would argue your point. After I decided not to make it myself I was shopping around with a few of the more notable scarf makers and a couple other less well known options, but in the end I went with a coworker who agreed to knit it in trade for some very easy leather work.
     
  18. TheSexyBlueBox

    TheSexyBlueBox Member

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    Cool, but what about the badges on the coat? They'll be a time vampire.
     
  19. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    At the moment I don't have any specific badge plans.
     
  20. sonicprops

    sonicprops Active Member

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    cant wait to see it finished
     
  21. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've posted some of this elsewhere in the last few days, and just now remembered I have a build thread for this costume.

    I'm lucky to have a very good friend who hordes buttons, and it turns out she had this gem buried in her collection:
    [​IMG]

    I'll be molding it and experimenting with brown resin pigment over the next week to try to perfect that real aged leather look.

    I've also found a better linen/cotton blend trouser fabric and finished my belt. The picture makes it look black, but it's dark brown. The fabric is also a little dark and it has pairs of orange stripes instead of individual ones, but I think it's a worthwhile compromise considering the stripes go both ways and read so much more clearly than those on the wool blend fabric. In order to match the original buckle on Tom's belt, I had to remove the prong, flatten the center bar, drill a hole, and mount a brass collar stud through it. The thin metal of the buckle is bound to give sometime, so I expect it to break while I wear it. I plan to make the pants fit without a belt so I can just buckle it loose so there isn't any strain on it.

    [​IMG]

    My plan is to finish the costume (well, the coat, and get the scarf from my coworker) in time for an event on November 8th. I have close enough shirt, pants, and waistcoat on hand, but will attempt to make the accurate ones in time, although I don't think the waistcoat will quite fit in that window, I hope to at least make the pants. I also haven't cut my hair in a couple months, and if I continue to let it grow for another it will achieve Baker status. I'm unsure if I'll go through with that plan though, as I hate having my hair this long.
     
  22. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Button progress. The mold is made and I'm testing pigment ratios to get the color right. The original button is on the bottom.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Hazelrah

    Hazelrah Well-Known Member

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    What about painting the brown color into the mold and then casting in a lighter tanish color resin for a more aged and less uniform look without having to paint it after molding which could potentially rub off over time...
     
  24. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'd love to do that and I was actually planning to ask how to do it next time I go into Reynolds for resin. Is it just the pigment liquid that you paint into the mold, or is there a power like aluminum powder that has to be used?
     
  25. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So this month is going to be absolutely insane. Apart from continuous production of River diaries and a couple of ongoing runs, I have a ton of work to do in time for Gallifrey One here in LA. In the next 40 days I have to make:

    Tom Baker frock coat
    Tom Baker waistcoat (using Manofsteel25's screen printed velvet)
    Tom Baker shirt
    Tom Baker pants
    Matt Smith Donegal tweed jacket (S5)
    Matt Smith Topman jeans (S5)
    Cut an XL Paul Smith shirt (S5) down to my size
    Matt Smith S6/7 striped shirt
    Matt Smith blue bow tie (from my run)
    Matt Smith Shetland tweed jacket (S6/7)
    Oswin Oswald belt for my GF
    Mirror device from the Van Gogh episode

    I've decided to start this ridiculous challenge with Tom Baker's shirt. I picked up shirt interfacing and white weaver's cloth today, which I think is the fabric his shirt was made from. I'm currently cutting the pattern for the shirt, then I just have to make a couple of modifications and I can sew the shirt in a few hours. A couple more edits and I can finish the two Matt Smith shirts.

    My coworker who is knitting the scarf for me has fallen way behind schedule (it was supposed to be done for Halloween). She's now about 65% done with the it, and assures me it will be done by the end of this month. I'll try to stay on top of posting pictures of my progress, and I'll be starting a thread for my Smith costumes as well.
     
  26. Morrigoon

    Morrigoon Member

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    Great build! You've only been sewing for how long? Holy cow, you make me look like a freaking noob, and I've been doing it for 20 years! Looks like you're achieving a pretty good fit there, btw, judging from your mock up.
     
  27. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thank you!

    In regards to the blue wool coat, I decided there were too many noob mistakes in my pattern and stitching and really hated the fabric (too thick, WAY too dark) so I decided to scrap the project and come back to it in the future after I get a fabric I like better. It was a great learning experience, though. I have plenty of other stuff to focus on for now.

    Shirt pattern is almost finished, I just have to adjust the front piece to fit and then combine the collar and collar stand pattern pieces into one. Not sure how that will work out, but the two curves on this pattern match up pretty closely, so I don't foresee big problems.
     
  28. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That took longer than expected.

    [​IMG]

    Theoretically, this is the most perfectly fitting dress shirt I'll ever wear. All seam allowances reduced to 1/2", because 5/8" is ridiculous. I also had to tweak some oddities in the Burda shirt pattern, ranging from the cuff being one piece folded in half up to the pleats in the sleeve end being in the wrong place (at least according to every shirt in my closet). Combining the collar and collar stand was pretty easy, and I think I got the shape of the collar point spot on. Really looking forward to sewing this one up.
     
  29. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The pieces of the shirt are cut out. I'll probably sew them together this weekend. Still trying to track down the right buttons.
     
  30. bobbypropd

    bobbypropd New Member

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    This work is amazing ! the Tom coat button is absolutely spot on, Ive been producing resin ones for a tailor friend of mine, after searchind for days to find the accurate buttons, so that's a really lucky find. Good luck with the tailoring, your fabric choices look good to me.
     
  31. FordPrefect

    FordPrefect Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great Project. I really get so inspired checking over the work you have done. Man anything is possible.
     
  32. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The body of the shirt is put together, as are the two pieces of the collar. The cuff plackets were surprisingly easy. The first one took a little while to figure out, but the second one was done in 5 minutes.

    [​IMG]

    I spent about 20 minutes pinning the collar on, then realized I did it inside out. Had to call it for the night. Hoping to get everything but the cuffs done tomorrow. Might even finish it.
     
  33. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So because I still hate the pants fabric I found and ultimately regret buying it, I'm hunting for a better option. I literally spent 4 hours today searching the web for it, to no avail. I do have this swatch, though, and I remembered that I have an orange fabric pen. It comes out a little bold....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Which is disappointing, because the actual Glen plaid pattern is actually really close, and the scale is only a little too small. Mainly it just sucks that this stuff is $18 per yard. My sister is stopping by Denver fabrics tomorrow and if she doesn't find anything better/cheaper, it's back to LA.
     
  34. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You've got to love the LA garment district, where even the shop owners can't remember their own prices. I got 2 yards of the pants fabric for $14 a yard. I've decided to just use the fabric as is; the fabric pen made the stripes way too bold, and they actually show up very nicely from a distance because the eye blends the thin orange stripe with the surrounding white and makes a much wider faint orange stripe. It's also 100% wool and the perfect weight. I'm working on the pants pattern now, which started out as the pants from the Burda 7194 pattern, which also contains the basis for what will become my S5 Smith tweed jacket pattern. They're described as slim pants, but that's a gross mislabeling. These things are tighter in the legs than any of the skinny jeans I own. With some creative slashing and spreading, I'm widening them out to a normal fit, then I just have to lengthen the legs to make room for the cuffed hem and I'll be ready to cut the fabric.

    I've also got the collar and sleeves sewn into the shirt. Now I just have to hem the bottom, attach the cuffs, and add buttons and button holes. I'm really not liking the interfacing available from Jo-Ann's, so next week I'll be going up to LA and stopping into B Black and Sons again to get shirt interfacing. If anybody has the good stuff, it's them. I'm holding off on the cuffs until I can re-interface them with that.

    Oh, and I have the wig, although it needs a trim. I'll post a picture of that as well when I get around to posting other pictures.
     
  35. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The pants pattern is taking more effort than I thought to get right. I've got it mostly figured out, now I'm just trying to get the circumference at the leg opening the right size. One final trace of the pattern should do the trick. While ironing the fabric though, I realized that there are some holes near the end, makes about 1/2 yard of it useless. I'll probably have to go get more when I'm up in LA again.
     
  36. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Waistcoat fabric arrived. Pretty dang happy with it. Just need to pick up a fabric for the front facings and make a couple small edits to the pattern and I can sew it up.

    [​IMG]

    Also, here's the test pair of pants I made.

    [​IMG]

    Since this photo I've dropped the crotch 1.5", extended the fly to match, and taken in the outseams 2". I cut the pocketing last night, but wasn't feeling up to the real thing just yet. That will happen later today. On Friday I'll be going up to LA to get more fabric and interfacing for the shirt.
     
  37. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good thing I waited on the waistcoat pattern until I had the fabric in hand. The button placement matched up very well down the length of the front, but I did have to shorten the bottom by about half an inch, and the dart had to be moved in 1 cm and down 1 inch to match the plaid. Didn't end up having to add any material anywhere, so I don't even need to trace the pattern off, I just have to copy the changes over the the facing/liner.
     
  38. Maximushaydos

    Maximushaydos Member

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    Being a huge Tom baker fan I am really looking forward to seeing this build. I am thinking about doing a build myself but finding the material is killing me at the moment. I have the scarf but I will need to make the rest of the costume.

    Maximums
     
  39. manofsteel25

    manofsteel25 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Not sure what material you're having trouble finding but if it's the check waistcoat then PM me.
     
  40. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Could be the pants or the coat fabric. I found the pants fabric in a tiny shop in LA, and I never actually found screen accurate coat fabric, just a good lookalike that's a great fabric in its own right.
     
  41. Maximushaydos

    Maximushaydos Member

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    Finding the material for the waistcoat has been my biggest hurdle at the moment. I am pretty sure that material is Stewart Fawn trade tartan in a houndstooth pattern. I am building a season 15 costume at the moment but will be looking to do a few different types I think.

    Maximus
     
  42. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Then you'll want to talk to manofsteel25. I got my fabric from him, it was custom printed on velvet to match the original.

    Also, got the backs of the pants cut. Getting more fabric tomorrow, as well as shirt interfacing.
     
  43. manofsteel25

    manofsteel25 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Maximus- when you're ready, talk to me, I had a custom run of that Waistcoat fabric made because like everyone else that stuff was never going to found on the bolt - and none of the custom tartans made-to-order I saw online were close enough. I've seen the repro next to patches of the original and we got it VERY close.
     
  44. Morrigoon

    Morrigoon Member

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    Have you ever heard of Spoonflower.com? If someone hasn't already uploaded the correct print, you could always make a graphic of exactly what you're looking for and then just custom print it.
     
  45. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have my own shop on Spoonflower.

    risu's shop on Spoonflower: fabric, wallpaper and wall decals

    I believe it was discussed as an option, but the two big drawbacks are the lack of color saturation and velvet isn't a fabric option.

    Anyhow, today I picked up more pants fabric, shirt interfacing, and brown poly/acetate for the waistcoat liner. Tomorrow is going to be a big work day, I'll hopefully be able to get the shirt finished and make some progress on the pants.
     
  46. manofsteel25

    manofsteel25 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Spoonflower is what I used to test print swatches of the pattern to make sure color and read was where I wanted it. But to get better saturation and be able to print on velvet I had to go to a local printer. A Cotton print of this will do the job though though it loses a little something - plus the pattern was just a giant headache and a half to get right which was one of the main holdups even doing the run. Spoonflower is a great resource but for some fabrics it's not quite suitable since they're limited to a range of cottons.
     
  47. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    As I've suspected for a while now, my sleeves are too short. What I didn't expect is that they're also too small in diameter, at least if I want to wear a watch. Tomorrow I'm going to pick up more weaver's cloth and make new cuffs to compensate for both, and I've already added length to my pattern. I'm glad I'm making all these mistakes on $4 a yard fabric instead of the custom printed stuff or worse.
     
  48. Morrigoon

    Morrigoon Member

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    Yeah, I have noticed saturation issues. I posted a Hawaiian print up there and it's Tardis blue on dark blue, you can barely see the TARDIS hiding in it in real life, but it's perfectly clear in the graphic.

    Also forgot that the fabric was supposed to be velvet. Cool that you found a local printer who can do it!
     
  49. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Repatterned the cuffs and finally found the perfect interfacing (assuming it stays bonded through the wash). It's plain old medium weight heat n bond from Jo-Ann's. One cuff is on now, I'll probably do the second and maybe put some buttons on tonight. Pictures soon once the shirt is done, which will hopefully be tomorrow.
     
  50. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I spent a few hours casting buttons this morning. The mold is toast, I have to sit and hold the sides together while the resin cures, which takes about half an hour each. I'm probably going to try and cast one more to replace the lighter brown one, then paint the color variations on.

    [​IMG]

    And the waistcoat pattern is 100% complete.

    [​IMG]
     

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