Dragonbone Armour Prop- Skyrim - Build Log WIP

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by elektrowlad, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. elektrowlad

    elektrowlad New Member

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    As of today I will start work on a full size replica dragonbone armour from the videogame Skyrim. Why am I already posting ? Well, they say that if you want to do something challenging, like quitting smoking (no chance of that there) announce it to all your friends. That way you will be more embarrassed if you don't succeed....that's what they say anyway.
    Here's a pic of what I want to make:
    [​IMG]

    I'll hold off on the helmet for now, as I've made a dragonborn helmet in the past and you wouldn't wear a helmet on for very long anyway.
    So far I have sourced out some materials.


    A pair of chocolate brown suede leather gloves, curtoasy of ebay. The postage was more than the gloves themselves and they are a bit too tight for my hands. But hot water + wearing them until they dry off is a good way to stretch them out.

    An old leather luggage suitcase, from PDSA charity shops. Animal charities are the only charities I actually support so that store is my favourite place to go for random stuff. Only a fiver in UK sterling (like a gazillion dollars in US:lol)and it has a pretty worn out look, which is great. It also has buckles and stuff, which will be perfect for the middle section of the Armour. Large sides will be good for that skirt thingy on the Armour.

    A faux fur gillet, ebay as well. Pretty good quality and a decent off white/brown colour. Perfect for the fur underneath the armour. Not sure if one will be enough and I really don't want to cut it up to be honest, as I've been wearing it shirtless around the house for a Tyler Durden look. now get that mental image out of your head... :facepalm

    Large sheets of cardboard, the kind you use for expos and stuff, not the bendy type from boxes. That will be my frame more or less, combined with wooden rods and stuff. plenty of that (my gf is a graphic designer, I can get as much of that as I want)

    All of the junk mail I could find. I took down my "no junk mail please" sign on my front door and since then I've been flooded with pizza menus and the words of Jesus. Took all of that, shredded it, boiled it and now I have a lovely paper pulp mixture, which, once mixed with PVA glue and dried will make the perfect filling material for larger, thicker sections of the armour. It's also very strong in that combination...hehe, i'm going green :lol

    Other than that, well, not much else at the moment but I'll probably end up hoarding stuff as I go along.
    For those of you familiar with FREECYCLE, well, I've made some request for leather armchairs and stuff that I could strip of the leather and then help people get rid of the frame, but oddly enough, nobody is willing to let me do that :behave

    I will try to update this at least every couple of days but the problem is, as this is quite a messy job and my phone camera stopped working a month after buying it brand new, it's hard to take many pictures. MY gf has a DSLR but modelling plaster on my hands always makes her cringe when I ask for it so...yeah...you get the point.
    I'll probably take some pics later tonight of the materials I have

    Now, I'm off to sketch the shapes and cut them out of cardboard. I hope by tonight to at least have the basic shapes for the gauntlets done.

    See ya soon,
    Vlad
     
  2. xdmray

    xdmray Well-Known Member

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    looking forward to your build. SUBSCRIBED!
     
  3. xaoslord

    xaoslord Well-Known Member

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    My hat's off to you. Looks like this will be a challenging build, which are always more rewarding when you pull it off.
     
  4. elektrowlad

    elektrowlad New Member

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    Day 1 progress :

    Well, let me start off by showing what I've gathered so far :

    The fur and the leather suitcase. Together they kinda look like from a 50's scene of a wife leaving her husband....kinda..

    [​IMG]

    There's the pair of gloves there...

    I realized that I have to completely finish the glove armour pieces because otherwise, with the glove attached to the forearm plates, it would be a nightmare to attach those pieces, especially since i'm doing it right, as in the game, with some small strips of leather through the plates.

    I pretty much eyeballed the plates because let's face it, it's dragon bone, they don't have to be perfectly identical to each other...it's how the process would go in real life. Nevertheless, I tried to stay as true as possible to the original game model.
    I cut those out of cardboard, but of course, I "saved" my work on another piece of cardboard...

    The larger pieces are not attached like that in the game, instead they seem to be bolted on, you can see some studs in the picture. So for extra strenght, I actually put 3 ropes through each, so they would be connected underneath the plate, with the glove. Those would be covered in plaster anyway...here's the pieces, ready to have plaster attached to them :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Well, now it was time to cover them in plaster. Again, this should be bone, so no worries there, no perfect lines, I want to keep everything organic. notice the ropes underneath, that are going to connect with the glove.

    [​IMG]

    I then set off to make to forearm pieces. Same thing..i drew about three models until I was happy with the shape, which is going to be of course, shaped around my forearms.
    After cutting one, I made both of the pieces out of two layers, but about two tubes of superglue in between each one so they will end up being really hard. Of course I didn't think to turn the cardboard around, but this way I know which is which...one black one white...
    [​IMG]
    As I'm writing, they are sandwiched under a couple of boxes of bathroom tiles i found when I moved into the flat. That's got to get them nice and well pressed together.

    Unfortunately, my lovely mother asked me to translate about 10 pages worth of text for her into English so I have to do that now...This day was productive enough that I thought I might actually have the forearm pieces covered in plaster as well by the end of the night. I'm not so sure about that now, but if I'll finish translating soon enough, I might get back to work...who knows...
    I plan on finishing the gauntlets by Tuesday evening at the latest...
    Meanwhile, I'm off to work...
     
  5. TAZNITBR

    TAZNITBR Active Member

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    Good luck bro and keep up the good job!
     
  6. elektrowlad

    elektrowlad New Member

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    Aaaah I went to bet at 5 pm translating stuff...
    So, I started the forearm pieces and as we speak, one of them is drying in the oven...
    I started by...well, bending the gauntlets into shape a bit, then I applied a generous amount of pva glue to the cardboard. Mixed the paper pulp with pva glue as well, which I will use as a filler. I know for a fact that it will be very hard when dried, so no problems there :)

    well, it's simple, filling pulp on the cardboard then clay on top of that. It currently looks like a sea slug washed up on the beach but meh....
    here's some pics..
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    note the hangover inducing wine bottle that's there to let it hold it's shape...it's currently like that in the oven. The shape is quite different to that but i'll let that one dry like that before adding more details...
    Note, I poked loads of holes in the clay before putting in the oven, to let the expanding air escape, otherwise it would swell up a lot....
    I'll add the details to this one, hopefully by tonight and then I'll start work on the second one....
    Right now, I have some cleaning up to do
     
  7. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is looking great!

    Would you mind sharing your recipe and method for making that paper pulp? I'm trying to use the same method in a silicone mold, but my early tests have been complete failures. Do you need the oven to make it dry?
     
  8. elektrowlad

    elektrowlad New Member

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    Collect all of the junk mail you can find and for better results shred it, or at least rip everything by hand a few times. then add a lot of water to the pot and put it on the stove on the highest setting, the boiling water will break down the paper. Also, if you are not using it the same day, but even if, add a lot of salt to the mixture. The first time I made it I didn't add salt, and even if it was sterilized to hell and back with all that boiling water, after a couple of days it began to smell unpleasant. After all, it's a wet environment that bacteria love.

    This batch, I added a lot of salt and it's the third day now since it was made and nothing, not a hint of anything.

    Boil it until it's pretty much a paste with water. After it's done boiling (you might have to add more water at least a couple of times) let it cool off so splashes won't scold you and get a electric kitchen mixer in it, to mash it up even more. then strain it of the excess water and use it at whatever you want.

    For extra strength, like I need it to be, mix it with pva glue before using it.


    And no, you don't need an oven to dry it up, but it cuts the waiting times a lot. Especially in my case, where the clay would soak up the moisture from the paper and it would take forever to dry...

    Hope this helps
     
  9. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Cool, thanks! My attempts have been with torn up toilet paper, but I guess I didn't let it boil long enough because it never broke down into a paste. The parts I'm trying to pour are less than 1/8" thick and will be backed with heavy cardboard, so dry time shouldn't be too bad. And thanks for the salt tip.
     
  10. elektrowlad

    elektrowlad New Member

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    You are most welcome. Also, if you have time to experiment, try 1 part salt to 2 parts flour and 1 part water. it yields a good clay that you could pour then oven bake
     
  11. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Unfortunately, I don't think my silicone mold could stand up to the 30+ bakings (if any at all) required for my run. I'd use resin, but I have to glue leather to it with Elmer's, and that'll only stick to paper and other leather.
     
  12. elektrowlad

    elektrowlad New Member

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    Now you made me curious...what are you making ? :lol

    build update : I'll start adding some details on the armpiece, maybe now it won't look like a comatose sea slug anymore:unsure
     
  13. Risu

    Risu Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's a book from Doctor Who, the cover has a raised pattern that would normally be cut out of leather, but it takes forever.
     
  14. elektrowlad

    elektrowlad New Member

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    Aah, i see now...well, good luck with that and please post some pictures when you are done!
     
  15. elektrowlad

    elektrowlad New Member

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    It's been quite some time since I last updated this, but with some good reason, I was falling really behind on my uni work.
    Well, since the last time, I studied the proportions a bit more and added more details (at least on one of them anyway, but I'll be on the second one as soon as I finish writing this)
    I can just about see a glimpse of the finished gauntlets now, If I put it together with fur and the leather gloves.

    Here's how those slugs look now :

    [​IMG]
     
    Risu likes this.
  16. elektrowlad

    elektrowlad New Member

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    It's been some time since I updated you on my progress. I got into another one of my working sessions, where everything else except for what's in front of my eyes blurs out...so I skipped a few pictures.

    Here's the "slugs"; sanded, painted, details added and lacquered. I've used glossy lacquer for lack of a better one, but I added many layers so a bit of very fine wet sandpaper should dull it out a bit. The second pic is without flash. The colors are more close to rweality in the first one, except for the metal parts. those are lighter and the details are better visible in reality:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now, for the small bone pieces on the gloves. Same procedure, sanded, drilled the holes for the leather strips,painted, lacquered and so on.

    The leather is actually more like vinyl imitation, but it looks ok. I took that from my 80's briefcase thingy. It's going to be a pain to attach them all to the gloves, tie knots on the inside and so on, but I'll manage.

    [​IMG]


    Now, all I pretty much have to do is assemble the lot. I've left out the brackets that sit over the fur, on the inside, as those are impractical and can't really be adjusted, it's a matter of reality vs. fantasy. They wouldn't really work in real life. I'll either use some heavy duty brackets, from the luggage as well, or just leave them out, I'll think of something.

    I just realised I haven't posted the in-game picture of the gauntlets in high res, :behave so here's the gauntlets :
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'll tie the pieces to the gloves tonight probably. Got LOST on Dvd playing in the background, the misses is working on her projects as well, there's wine...quite a creative atmosphere we have here :lol Until next time...
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Member

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    Thats looking amazing! Can't wait to see more
     
  18. xdmray

    xdmray Well-Known Member

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    wow! that looks fan-freakin-tastic!!!!
    you are doing a really great job on these.
     
  19. lukel4

    lukel4 Active Member

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    wow! that is absolutely amazing i cant wait to see how the whole costume turns out.
     
  20. Teese

    Teese Member

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    Any more progress!?!
     
  21. Werstrooper

    Werstrooper Well-Known Member

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    wow thats impressive!

    well done so far!
     
  22. Nomolos95

    Nomolos95 New Member

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    Holy Hell that is freaking awesome! looking forward to the rest of it! good luck!
     

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