Fangs' 2014 Costume Build Thread

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by FANGS, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hello RPF!

    Some of you may have seen the discussion we had about the RPF Pulse and what you'd like to see change. Taking that to heart one step at a time, I'm starting this thread/blog of sorts to chronicle my multiple builds for 2014. I'll go through what I'm using, what I'm learning and what I'm utterly * up hoping to that others can learn from my bumbles.

    I'm hopeful as well that others will start similar threads so we can follow each others progress through the year.

    As well, I'll be starting discussion threads from time to time that relate to something I'm currently working on so that we'll have that thread (and hopefully lots of discussion and information in it) to easily refer back to.

    I'm a fairly prolific costumer. I easily have 75 or more costumes here and have donated several others to a good friend's high school musical theatre department where he's a teacher as well as having made some from time to time for others. My absolutely biggest downfall is procrastination. I'm hoping with this thread and knowing all kinds of people are watching plus needing to up date it regularly will keep me on track.

    First up, digging out the costume room. Never fails that by the time DragonCon rolls around this room is a disaster. There's still a lot of work to do but at least I can now start to build again!

    993483_10152149372897990_1823971538_n.jpg

    Lots of crap in there, but it's my happy place. Unfortunately, I have so much crap that it's oozed out of the costume room into a little of the rest of the basement. I have several rolls of fabric, leather, vinyl, Wonderflex and Worbla that are standing in a corner but by the end of these builds, those should be drastically reduced!

    Feel free to ask me any questions about what you see. Not shown in the picture is one of my most important pieces of furniture - a waist high cutting table.

    Next up, I'll post a list of what I'm hoping to get done over the next year starting this weekend when I'm planning on doing some fabric cutting.

    Thanks for stopping by!
     
    Art Andrews likes this.
  2. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    First costume for this year is one left from last year that I just couldn't bring together. I fell in love with the last costume Queen Ravenna wears in Snow White and the Huntsman.

    imagesCAO8NENR.jpg

    I knew it would be a lot of work but WOW it was even more than I anticipated. I watched every video interview of Colleen Atwood (the designer) that I could find took screen caps from the blu-ray. I found the same source Atwood used for the scales (www.theringlord.com) and they were super helpful in terms of which ones were correct. And then I tired to the scale maile with the proper rings. I just couldn't get a feel for it. I tried and tried until my eyes wanted to cross. I even tried coloring the backs of some to keep the rows straight. I fully admit that scale maile has beaten me, at least for now.

    My next attempt was at sewing them on a sturdy backing. That was easier but way slower and difficult to keep the spacing just right. As time got more and more tight, I resorted to glue. While I got it done, it was completely unusable. The glueing makes it far too stiff.

    529367_10151895813332990_1702557419_n.jpg

    In the end it wouldn't have been up to my standards so I scrapped it in order to do a better job. I'm now trying the knitting version and that's going much better. It remains flexible and so long as I concentrate on my tension, everything stays evenly spaced. I'm happy so far.

    I commissioned Firefek to do the pep files for me for the crown. I ended up also purchasing this ready made crown.

    922475_10151632378082990_1876452924_o.jpg

    It is lovely, but it bothers me that the spires don't go all the way around. I understand why they do that as they aren't going to resize them for each order, however, I suspect that this will be the back up and I'll work on the pep file version instead.

    I spent many, many hours and lots of blisters working on the leather for the collar and hips. The hip pieces actually extend all the way around and down to the floor in the back. What I initially thought were porcupine quills are actually thin pieces of twisted tooling leather. Once again I panicked a little and when the glue route, but I'm not entirely happy with the overall look so I might be changing that. I made a backing out of sturdy fabric and sewed velcro to the back before adding on the leather. I'm thinking now I'd like the backing to be narrower but otherwise, the twists look great. I'll get a picture of that up this weekend.
     
  3. Darth Mule

    Darth Mule Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That's a pretty great studio space! And 75 costumes? Wow! Impressive.
     
  4. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks Chris! I LOVE my room. I just wish I didn't have so much crap in it. Never fails though, as soon as I get rid of anything I find a use for it.
     
  5. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here's the knitted version so far.

    1488225_10152156754177990_612384218_n.jpg

    The scales have movement which they didn't with the glue, but it is more than it would if I were using the rings. I'm not sure if I love that or not but I'm going to keep going and get a section of the front skirt panels done and see what it looks like. Tension is difficult for me. I'm not at all a knitter. I had a friend help me out with the spacing between rows and between scales which helped immensely, but I have to concentrate a lot to keep my tension from getting too tight. I failed this portion of junior high home ec. Oy.

    Despite how frustrating going out of my comfort zone can be with certain parts of a costume, it's my favorite part about costuming over all. I love that it's an avenue to push myself to learn new things.

    Speaking of new things, I plan on doing a few costumes heavily based on Worbla and/or Wonderflex. I've only started playing around with these materials to get a feel for it and I love it. But it isn't easy to make everything look nice and clean. So far I've managed to figure out the art of making rounded shapes and getting them smooth.

    I watched several of Kamui's videos on her chest plate construction so how to do this is from her. How I managed to screw it up - that's all me.

    First you start off with a plastic half sphere roughly the same size as you need for the bra cup portion of the chest plate. Picture shopping in the dollar store and discretely "trying on" plastic bowls. In the end, I ordered some Christmas ornaments from Amazon.com that have two halves so you could put stuff inside the ornament. They come in a lot of different sizes. The most important thing is that they are smooth (reason why I couldn't use any bowls at the dollar store as they all had a hard edge on the bottoms). I'm going to put this here in case anyone ever uses this description to actually follow step by step - use a mold release on the plastic sphere.

    Take your sheet of Wonderflex or Worbla cut slightly bigger than the size of the half sphere. Heat the Wonderflex/Worbla with your heat gun. Glue it to your work surfce. Swear. Detach it from your work surface. Swear again when you see part of it is still stuck and now the sheet is damaged and you can see the underlying mesh (particular to Wonderflex only as Worbla doesn't have a mesh). Scrape the bits off and then get smart enough to put something down on your work surface, like wax paper, or like I'm now using - silicon baking sheets. Try again. Keep smoothing out the Wonderflex/Worbla carefully so as not to pinch any of it to itself. It's difficult to get that un pinched when you do. Burn your fingers, lots. Read months later that Kamui suggests wetting your fingers.

    534996_10151616065167990_1458239862_n.jpg

    This piece ended up being too large, but it's better than too small. The Wonderflex and Worbla and be reheated and shaped over and over again so you can take your time getting it smoothed section by section. But keep in mind that you don't want to push too much material over as you smooth as eventually you're going to have to deal with that excess. It's best to try and deal with it in each section.

    Eventually you get it all smoothed out. It will seem like it's not going to happen, but it will.

    555843_10151616065352990_824732735_n.jpg

    Now you want to trim and smooth out the edge. More mistakes to be made. First time I didn't use the mold release and then realized too late that the Wonderflex had pretty firmly attached itself to the plastic sphere. It was a royal pain to get it off. The spray mold release works like a charm. The other mistake I made was not spraying the inside edge with the mold release. I folded the ends over the end to get the entire sphere nice and smooth and then had a devil of a time trying to get that part unlocked.

    528695_10151616065522990_1966117944_n.jpg

    I swear by these scissors for working with plastic:

    46978_10151616065977990_2014382172_n.jpg

    I've cut out whole kits of armor (my Bo Katan - Bounty Hunter from Star Wars - and my Halo ODST kit). They look terribly useless when you first get them because they are so small but they work fantastically well. The curved ones worked best on the inside of these spheres to trim the excess. Search for Lexan Scissors on Amazon.com. They are only about $15-ish.

    Once done you'll have this!

    10008_10151616065737990_931256909_n.jpg

    From there you can heat this up to shape it as need be as you likely won't want to it be perfectly round. You'll also likely cut away some. Kamui always covers the object in painters tape and then draws the pattern. If you're careful, you'll be able to use the pattern flipped over for the opposite side so that your cuts are even. In that case, it's handy to first cover the object in something like saran wrap so the tape has a single removeable surface to stick to.

    I'm hoping to do a Demon Hunter from Diablo, Injustice Regime Wonder Woman and a Warhammer Sister of Battle. Now that I've practiced and played around a little with Worbla and Wonderflex, I think I'm ready to start making patterns for these!
     
  6. mdb

    mdb Sr Member

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    Can't wait to see Ravenna :) That costume is glorious. And hmmmm.. knitting eh? How do you like knitting full stop and how does it compare to working in the scales? I have horrible tension myself (tends to wind up in a tiny tight rope if I try to make a scarf....
     
  7. Predatormv

    Predatormv Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I am glad your step by step is realistic and includes the steps that I would likely make if I attempted to do this.
     
  8. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I don't at all love knitting but I find that it's easier to work with scales. I think if I had a better handle on chain maille in general, I'd have better luck with the scale maille. Something to work towards though. I have to be sure to be relaxed and take my time. Two things that are not at all easy for me. I know it's time to stop when the tension gets too tight.

    Predatormv - I think it's the best way to learn. If there's a way to screw something up I'm likely to find it so why not share that so others can avoid that fun.

    Today is not a fun day, but completely important and necessary. I'm cutting out patterns. Making a mistake or cutting corners here can really make your project turn out badly, so while it's mind numbingly boring, it's highly important to take your time with this.

    First, take a look at the pattern you're using and figure out your size. Do not just got with the size you usually wear. This does not directly translate to a commercial pattern. As well, if you're using some of the more speciality/historical patterns made by smaller pattern companies, they are often based on how clothing was sized in that time period, which is not our modern body shape. So make sure to measure and write it down for reference.

    If you're using a historical pattern, I generally trace out my size. Frequently they have a lot of different sizes in one pattern so it's best to trace using pattern tracing paper. As well, some companies, like Truly Victorian, design their patterns so that you can completely customize your pattern within each piece to accommodate any less than standard body parts. With that type of pattern, you really want to make a mock up to ensure you have the fit correct.

    For the readily available commercial patterns that you'll find at most any fabric store, keep in mind that these are all based on a B-cup. If you're a little bigger than that cup size, start off with the size that goes with your bust measurement and then take in the waist to make it fit. Keep in mind though that's not always going to work so you'll want to do a mock up. If you're much larger than a B-cup I highly recommend the Palmer/Pletsch Interactive DVD called "Fully Busted? Sew Clothes That Fit!". It shows a very easy technique for altering your pattern pieces to accommodate for a larger bust. I ordered mine off of Amazon.com.

    There are a lot of other books on the market that show you how to adjust commercial patterns to compensate for your particular fit issue. It's important to know your own body so you can fit any issues you may have. Most general sewing books like the "Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing" (I've had this book FOREVER) will have a section on fit. I also really like the books called "Fast Fit" by Sandra Betzina and "Mother Pletsch's Painless Sewing with Pretty Patti's Perfect Pattern Primer" by Pati Palmer and Susan Pletch. I find both easy to follow.

    Once you figure out your size and what changes you might need, you're ready to cut out your pattern/traced pattern. If you're only making one item from a pattern for many items, I'd suggest highlighting the piece numbers that you need before you start on the list on the first page of the pattern instructions. You can check back at the end to make sure you've cut everything out. Almost 100% of the time I'll forget one piece and have to re-unfold everything to find it which is highly frustrating. So take your time and make sure you find each piece.

    I rough cut my pieces out first, and then got back and carefully cut out my size. You're still left with a pattern piece that has wrinkles and folds so until you take the time to iron each piece flat, you're not going to get the most accurate cuts.

    Since this is my least favorite part, I often do several patterns at once, just to get it over with. It's very important in this case to only cut one at a time and put them once cut out back in the envelope. I'd leave ironing until you're ready to actually cut the fabric.

    Today I'm cutting out patterns for Elizabethan underpinnings (basically historical undies - stays (corset), chemise and hoop skirt) and the actual Elizabethan dress (overdress and underskirt).

    Next up: Actually getting somewhere and cutting out fabric.
     
  9. tuskentrooper

    tuskentrooper Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Go Fangs!
     
  10. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

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    Bring it!!!
     
  11. StellaMaris

    StellaMaris New Member

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    Do you still need help with the scale armor? In my absence from cosplay, I have been doing ancient Roman re-enactment and my last piece of armor was a scale shirt (lorica squamata). I had to take it in quite a bit, which meant sewing the scales back together so I have a pretty good idea of how to put them together. I also have a lot of reference books with diagrams for various ways of making and using scale armor. I could write on and on about it. Let me know if you are interested.
     
  12. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    All advice and info is most welcome!!
     
  13. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've been keeping myself busy with a lot of REALLY boring cutting out of stuff but soon I'll be to the parts I like - actually sewing!

    Work has also begun on my Sister of Battle. I even managed to rope in another friend to tackle one as well! We had a planning "meeting" last Saturday evening that involved great food and perhaps wine.....and then Sunday we went greeblie shopping. Fortunately, or perhaps this says a lot about my hoard at home, we're able to do these costumes with very little to purchase.

    I'm taking care of the soft parts all from fabric in my stash. We've each chosen a different style of Sister to replicate. Denise's has more of the undersuit showing so we're going to use a really nice pleather with some stretch to it for the parts that show on her legs and arms and then cotton lycra under the armor and mesh under the corset. Mine has very little of the undersuit showing, depending on how you interpret her thighs, so I'll be using a heavy weight spandex called Ponte De Roma which stands up really well to the wear and tear of armor. More on that in a minute.The corsets for both of us will serve a couple of purposes but mainly structural. All of the armor can be suspended/supported from the corset as you would use a harness.

    This is the reference that I've chosen.

    6184aa4dd0404a51cc8be20f9ef7e5e4.jpg

    As you can see, her thighs could either be pleather with straps or they could be layered armor. At the moment, I'm leaning towards the layered armor since virtually everything else is encased - it doesn't make much sense for the legs not to be. But should I decide later to go the other route, I can add pleather to those areas on my undersuit.

    For the base corset, we're using this pattern:

    il_570xN_251558592.jpg

    As an aside - this pattern company is fantastic to deal with and they have many different designs for sale on Etsy.

    I've made my first pattern for the forearm armor. Sorry for the wonky picture....I had to push the button on my tablet with my nose....haha

    1545982_10152227296222990_1349963366_n.jpg

    It's still got some tweaking to do to it before I cut it out of paper for my pattern but it's basically there.

    Denise and I are approaching the armor differently. Denise will be using Sintra. I'm going with Worbla and Wonderflex. It's going to be very interesting to see how they both come together!

    More on this build shortly. We want to have these completed in time for a local con at the end of April so we're going to have to move fast! Wish us luck!
     
  14. Finnlock

    Finnlock Active Member

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    So cool to see another Battle Sister in the works :)

    can't wait to see the way you tackle this!
     
  15. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Does that mean Finnlock that you've already built one?? LEMME SEEEEEEE!!!

    BIG costume weekend....least that's what I'm hoping for. I plan to get as much done as I can on the SOB undersuits so that we can get going on the fun armor stuff!

    Handy tool for this weekend is going to be my Brother Coverstitch machine. If you do a lot of sewing with knits/stretch fabrics, this really does take things to the next level. I finish all of my cuffs at the wrist and ankle with this machine so they look neat and professionally finished. It does take a little foreplanning, however, as you need to have the arm or leg open so the hem can be flat out. The way I've come to work around this if what I'm making needs to be fitted is to leave just enough of the seam open so that the item can be test fitted but the hems can still be laid flat out. Of course, this only applies to narrow openings. If I was doing something with wider openings that I could more easily work with in the round, I wouldn't have to work around that foreplanning.

    The other useful tool of the weekend is going to be my setter.

    282593_10150315200932990_5669510_n.jpg

    This was one of the best investments I made for my costuming tools. It sets grommets, eyelets with washers, line 24 snaps, different sizes of spots (which will come in dang handy for the SOB build) and several other things depending on the dyes you own. I typically use 00 size eyelets with washers for all of my corsets. I purchased a leather punch in the same size and use it with a rubber mallet and a plastic cutting board to punch all of my eyelet holes and then the setter to firmly set the eyelets in the corset. Both steps on the average corset takes about 15 minutes.

    The SOB corsets will take a little longer simply because there are more holes, but the process is so quick this way I hardly even notice more holes. The only draw back is that mine, as you can see, is moveable (good thing) which means it's tipable (baaaaad thing). It really should be screwed down to prevent tipping and almost knocking out your front teeth. No need to ask about that little incident.....hahaha The issue with * it down would be that I need to be able to get my body weight above it to push down hard enough to properly set things and I can't do that if it's attached to a counter/table. So I have this little system of kneeling on the ground with it sort of between my knees which isn't at all comfy after a few minutes. So I need to a: suck it up b: work out so I'm stronger c: be less accident prone or d: rope my husband in to doing them for me.....hehehe I'm a big fan of d but I suspect it's really a combo of a through c.

    Perhaps I'll make a quick little video once I get to the eyelet stage to show how I do things. I'll definitely take some pictures of what the finished edge using the Coverstitch machine looks like.

    Have a great weekend everyone!
     
  16. Amish Trooper

    Amish Trooper Sr Member

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    Subscribed. I will be building a S.O.B for my GF and a Spacemarine for myself. I joined artificiumobscuras.com and obscuracrusade.com. Lots of knowledge to be had. I gathered a lot of templates for the S.O.B
     
  17. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very cool! Make sure to start a build thread here! Definitely looking forward to seeing how you tackle both. What's your time line like? I want mine for the end of April.
     
  18. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Woohoo!! It's going to be 9 degrees above freezing today. If you know what winter in Edmonton is like, you'd be as amazed as I am! I believe I'll be able to add another project to the list today - painting my ODST!! I managed to get it primed just prior to the start of winter, but if I can get the main colour down this weekend, all of the weathering etc can be done inside at anytime. I'll have to do things in small batches to keep the spray can from getting cold and I'll have to run pieces in to the house to properly cure, but its all worth it to make some forward movement on this!
     
  19. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    OMG....I don't think I'll be able to move tomorrow. I've been on my feet pretty much all weekend but dang....I got a crapton done!! Pictures tomorrow....sleepy time now!
     
  20. Finnlock

    Finnlock Active Member

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  21. Amish Trooper

    Amish Trooper Sr Member

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    Nice Finn. I've been on OC a lot and was checking a lot of your Sister build. I noticed a lot ofphotos didn't import. Today I just researched your sabbat helmet build. Good stuff.

    Fangs love the detail you bring to a build. I think the modding a kids helmet is a great start for a helm. I like how one girl used a kids riot helmet so the visor pivoted.
     
  22. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow Finnlock! Those are amazing!

    Amish - Thanks! I try to share what I learn!

    I am behind in my builds. Real life TOTALLY in the way over the last week or so but I'm ready to get back at it.

    A couple of weekends ago I had a lot of progress. I got my catsuit for the base of my Sister of Battle cut out. I'm using the basic catsuit pattern from Kwiksew. As I'm using a thicker lycra, as well as any time I'm using a fabric with less stretch, I cut out a size that is close to my natural size without the need for much stretch. This allows what stretch there is to be used for movement instead of wearing. It's much more comfortable this way. It does involve some fitting once the suit is sewn but I've found it the best way to wear less stretchy fabrics comfortably.

    My plan is to have the oversleeve for the SOB to be attached to the catsuit sleeve to save on bunching and having to have a whole coat/shirt under my armor. I came up with a plan that seemed brilliant, but I may have to change and I'll explain why.

    I took the sleeve pattern for the catsuit and traced it on to paper. This way I know the sleeve cap will fit in perfectly. I only shortened the pattern piece by folding prior to tracing. Once it was traced, I cut it out and then cut it in half. The SOB oversleeve is open in the front, so I basically moved the sleeve seam to the top of the cap as opposed to under the armpit where it was. I taped the pattern back together and then redrew the outer lines to bring them out wider instead of angled as they originally were and straightened out the bottom edge.

    1604546_10152239141257990_1755555618_n.jpg

    I then cut out the newly traced pattern and then cut it out of the fabric.

    All good...right? Ugh. It was then that I realized the sleeve opening really is more towards the front of the body as opposed to the top centre of the arm where I have it. I'm debating whether or not I need to change that but I'll test fit it once the catsuit is sewn together and see how it looks. If I need to change it, I'll use the same method to redraw the pattern piece but I'll move the seam more towards front of the body.

    For the oversleeve, I went with the same fabric that I used for the catsuit. This way both have the same amount of stretch and should work well together and I know the fabric won't fray so I can leave the edges on the oversleeve raw for weathering. In the version of SOB I'm trying to do, she has gold designs on her oversleeve and kama that looks very worn. I did a test run using a scrap of the fabric and some Lumiere paint. If you haven't tried this stuff do it now! It's wonderful! You can use it on a variety of surfaces and it won't crack or peel. You can also dilute it by up to 20% with just water so that it can be used in an airbrush.


    1525160_10152239141092990_988336027_n.jpg

    For this test, I just used a dry brush but I'll need to get less paint and make things even drier to get a good weathered look. Because this fabric is stretchy, when I pull it apart the paint will seperate with the fibers so if I was painting this on a surface that was going to be stretched, I'd stretch it as I was painting to ensure I had good coverage. As this will be on non-stretched parts, I don't need to worry about that.

    I also started painting my ODST kit. I ended up using acrylics and a paint brush as I had a heck of a time finding gunmetal spray paint. Plus, with it being cold again, this allows me to paint whenever I have the chance and not worry about curing issues. So far I'm super happy with how it's turned out.

    1511277_10152239140792990_27079310_n.jpg

    I managed to get about half of it painted with three coats.
     
  23. Finnlock

    Finnlock Active Member

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    Looks fantastic!
    I know what you mean about the under robes. the 1st robes were just a front and back loin cloth and the sleeves were a shrug like affair ( i don't know how to sew :( ) However when we did the 1st group of sisters at dragoncon they all got the same robe design. I'm not a huge fan of it and it will be one of the pieces that gets upgraded next. The group design was baised off the mini's not the art, the Mini's have much more of a fuller robe then the artwork does.
    But once you go with the bigger/fuller robe you lose a lot of the sleekness of the design that I love. Also one key bit of information, when you do the lower 1/2 of your robe, try walking up stairs in it...you might find you will need to shorten it a bit, or hold it up. my then GF almost tripped while wearing the 1st robe and trying to walk up a simple flight of stairs...

    Mini's robe
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    to me it looks like they could be buttoned up over the armor, which is the look we went for with the dragoncon group.

    I'll be very interested to see how your's comes out. I'm a little concerned that by attaching it permeantly to the under suit it's not going to lay right with the armor over it , but then again I don't know how to sew :p
     
  24. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    From all of the references I've looked at I was thinking that they were more metal studs (usually called spots at leather stores) and were decorative rather than functional. I was thinking this because they appear to be domed but also because they are usually on both sides.

    I see what you mean by the fullness in the minis. The version I'm following has very minimal soft parts, so I'm sticking with that route. With having the over sleeve attached it has no choice but to sit how I want it regardless of how the armor shifts. But I really do need to redraft where it opens, dang it! The plan at the moment is to add red to the armpit area/shoulder area as well just slightly wider than the arm hole opening of the armor. That will definitely be the deciding factor in how I proceed so I'll wait until I have that front armor done. The other option is to add a bolero style "jacket" to it with it being attached or not. It's going to be trial and error on that.
     
  25. Amish Trooper

    Amish Trooper Sr Member

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    Will you be doing a heeled or flat boot? I think my GF wants to do a heeled boot. That is if she still wants to do the SOB. She really wants me to scale down Spacemarine armor and mod a chest to represent a female version... Uuugggh lol
     
  26. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    My first thought is to use some duty boots that I bought for another costume because they are redonkulously comfy and they'll be mostly covered in boot armor. My next thought is to perhaps use a wedge heel for a little extra height but still somewhat comfortable. But at 5'1", a couple of inches gained from a wedge really doesn't make a huge difference so I'm leaning towards the duty boots. Nothing ruins a day in costume faster than uncomfortable shoes. And most of the reference looks like a chunky soled flat shoe/boot of some sort anyway.

    Scaled down Space Marine, huh......I thought about that too, but then realized if someone put a box around me others might mistake me for one of those 1/6th scale models and want to buy me and take me home. Some days I'm sure my husband might just be willing to take the money and run.....hahaha
     
  27. Finnlock

    Finnlock Active Member

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    Well if you want buttons, these are what I used in ver. 1 of the sister armor.
    Ancient Silver Fleur de Lis Large Button
    they are a nive size and have a great finish. in fact I stil have 12 of them left over...mabye I'll go scaving the others off the old build and reuse them :)
    I think they are a pertty much perfect fit for both the mini's and the art.
     
  28. mdb

    mdb Sr Member

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    I managed to get some gorgeous and comfy wedge sneakers for my Blood Dragon armour. Super easy to adapt- it takes leather dye very well to turn the heels from white to black as well :)
    neimhaille-female turian- mass effect | The Plain Jane Costume Chronicles
    Same sneakers here just for my Blood Dragon I used vinyl shelled and entirely covered them with leather.

    Sigh, they don't make them any more :/ Poot. I may have to pull apart my Turian feet. But they do make more sneaker type wedges, if they are the same company, and it looks like it is, then that heel is super light and super springy. Seriously springy. My wedges are 6" and I can run in them. It's a bit like running on a trampoline, but still!

    And go FANGS go! And Gorgeous SoB Finnlock! The fabric components especially :)
     
  29. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Geesh.....I haven't been keeping on this this thread so well. Bad Fangs, BAD!

    I've been working away on several projects, but mostly the Sister of Battle. It wasn't until this weekend though that things started looking like stuff. LOTS of mistakes....lots of lessons learned. I'll try to pass on as many as I can.

    First up, my Coverstitch machine. If you do a lot of sewing with stretch fabric, invest in one of these. I LOVE IT!! Of course, it can be used on other fabric as well if you need that type of hem and it does belt loops, binding and a zillion other things. So what the heck is it you ask?

    1620369_10152272400862990_40247562_n.jpg

    So that's what it looks like. Sort of like a serger really. But what it does is different.

    1601407_10152272400672990_406508097_n.jpg

    So there's the good side of the fabric. You can have two or three needles/rows of stitches.

    1610104_10152272400557990_13662883_n.jpg

    And there's the underside....all finished nicely just like if you had done it on a serger! Normally I would have folded the raw edge under before doing this, but the fabric I'm using (ponte di roma) is a heavier weight stretch fabric and I didn't want to have the hems too bulky so I serged the raw edge first and then used the coverstitch. I LOVE looking at those three lovely rows of stitches. It's like sewing porn! ;-)

    So, that item I was sewing is the undersuit to my Sister of Battle. I used the basic catsuit pattern from KwikSew. Keep in mind that the hem needs to be flat in order to use the coverstitch machine so you have to do the hem before you sew up the arm or leg seams. Also, if you haven't used the KwikSew catsuit pattern, be aware that the sleeves are ridiculous baggy but because of the differences in stretch between fabrics, I cut the pattern as is, sew up the arms and then take them in from there.

    The catsuit is basic black with the zipper up the front. It is covered front and back, but it's easier for me to get in to with the front zipper. Something else to consider. I use a regular zipper on these - long of course - instead of an invisible one. Sometimes invisible ones can be a little tempermental and not as strong because they have such tiny teeth so I prefer when it is possible to use a regular strength zipper.

    Next up - working on the details for the Sister of Battle. OMG....so much detaily bits. UGH!

    1622103_10152285185402990_559930866_n.jpg

    That's an example of all of the layers - this so happens to be for the top of my shin/knee area. First I drew half of the picture with the paper folded in half. Then I cut it out and had two even sides. I then traced it on to more sturdy card stock and cut that out. That was then my template. I then traced one exact copy of the design on to the Wonderflex and cut it out. Next I'd flip that over so I had wrong side to wrong side, and I traced out a second layer of plasitc but less accurate. This gives you some wiggle room and you don't need to worry so much about lining up the two layers. I'd heat up both sides, stick the sides together that you can see the mesh on, and smooth them out. Let them cool so they are hardened and then cut out the bottom layer so it matches with the top.

    Some of you right now are thinking...where's the craft foam?? Ahhhh....lesson learned there as well. Some parts just don't need that inner layer. Especially when it is layer upon layer of plastic. So unless you really want some definition in that detail layer, I'm finding that two layers of plastic alone for the layers works just fine for me. And the bigger the piece, the harder it is to get to shape well if you have that inner layer of craft foam. Expensive lesson learned there.

    1798620_10152272400252990_1462211081_n.jpg

    This is my first attempt at the chest plate. I used the two layers of Wonderflex with a sandwich layer of craft foam in the middle. I cut the craft foam to the exact size I needed the chest plate to be and then sandwiched it between the two layers of heated plastic. I was using some steel armor I own to help get the right shape. With that inner layer of craft foam it was FAR less moldable in more than one direction. So the waist area flaring out to the hips was a problem. I eventually gave up on it after hours of trying to get it right - but as luck would have it, it's going to work okay for the back plate so it's not a total loss at all.

    1743446_10152285185327990_1010696585_n.jpg

    Soooooo....second attempt. ARGH!!! Two pieces of Wonderflex with a layer of wax paper between it and the metal armor. Thus.....the wrinkles. ~sigh~ How utterly frustrating. But, it's got great shape and there is a whole bunch of detail layering that will cover all of that up. However, even with no craft foam, it wasn't as easy as I hoped to shape. My conclusion is this - it's the mesh embeded in Wonderflex. Lesson learned - if you want to do big pieces, use Worbla - no mesh to mess with.

    Remember those paper cut outs a few paragraphs back? This is what they turned in to....

    1779073_10152328872377990_1656307659_n.jpg

    As you can see, there is some trimming and such that needs to take place....and some shaping so that they are shins and not giant flat things, but that my friends is my knee armor on the top of my shins! In the example I'm basing mine off of, she has skulls in the middle of the knee. But if you look at the shapes....the fancy fleur de lis with a circle on top where the skull goes - you'll see what can't be unseen. A skull with ponytails. Once I saw it, there was no way I could take those knees seriously anymore so another fleur de lis (no the one shown in the picture) will be going in the centre instead. I'm supposed to look tough....not like I need to add a Hello Kitty bow to the top of each skull....hahahahaha

    Next up the forearms and biceps:

    1920511_10152328872912990_330111600_n.jpg 1962636_10152328872767990_1709407526_n.jpg

    I'm sure you can see that these still have some things to sort out. I needed the fronts to be slightly flat to attach the fleur de lis to but that made everything go all woobly. So lesson learned. Wait until the piece has completely cooled and THEN start spot heating for stuff like that. Both the forearms and the biceps are two layers of Wonderflex for the base and one layer for the detail bits except for the centre "I" on the forearms. Because this had strips going under it, I wanted it to be a little more beefy so it wouldn't look like it's melting over the strips, so I made it two layers, with the very centre strip being the third layer.

    This is the big "I" that goes just below waist height kind of like a giant belt buckle.

    1920173_10152328872712990_93087932_n.jpg

    This really has some substance to it. The main "I" is floor mat foam covered in one layer of Wonderflex. I did the bottom side up and then the top side down. It worked okay, but I think next time I'll do the top side down and wrapped around the back, and then a piece the extact size and shape as a back panel to cover all of the ends. It seems to work cleaner that way. The detail bits on top are all two layers each. The skull....(kinda, right? Don't laugh...it's my first try....it's a skull of something.....hahahaha) is sculpted out of Model Magic. Once I practice with Friendly Plastic (beads of plastic you heat in boiling water and then mold) or maybe even with scraps of Worbla, I'll redo it. He's cute, no? In a tough way. ;-)

    And lastly I built this belt thingy.

    1656333_10152328872522990_827546131_n.jpg 1969315_10152328872582990_1497362540_n.jpg

    I don't know what it is. All I know is a belt comes through it and it sits on your waist. Soooo....I built it. The gold bit is a spot from Tandy Leather. That's what they are called....spots. They have little prongs on the underside and when the plastic is soft, I just pushed it in. Should have been silver though. Oops.

    I'm doing the rest of the build with Worbla. The two plastics work together well so that's not a problem. I just wanted the chance to work with both while how each behaves is fresh in my mind. Some other things I've learned - Wonderflex is moldable, if you pull out the mesh. Had it happen by accident but it is doable. Wonderflex is much, MUCH stickier than Worbla. It sticks to anything and everything when hot. Worbla seems to need much more heat to have stuff stick to it, and even then, the non-shiny side seems not to really get sticky.

    Verdict so far? Both have things I like and don't like. But I have to admit, I'm leaning towards Worbla for not being as sticky. That may change once painting begins. The Wonderflex is much more smooth than Worbla and something cool I discovered - I work on silicon baking sheets to keep it from sticking to my work surface. Something about that makes the Wonderflex go even smoother when heated. I don't really understand why or why it does it some times and not others, but I like it! Worbla with the wood chips is always going to be rough. So plus one for the annoyingly sticky Wonderflex in that department.
     
  30. CLOTHAR

    CLOTHAR Active Member

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    Nice work on the SOB, and the ODST as well. Those are some of my favourite characters. Where do you plan on unveiling them?
     
  31. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good question. The goal is for the end of April at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, but if I work hard there is a small chance they could come with me to All-Con in Dallas next week. That's probably too much rushing for the SOB so I might just stop working on that for now and focus on what I can get done. I did assemble the base layers for the thigh armor (both legs) this morning but given that there is a lot of detail layering still to do plus the shoulders, neck and backpack and then paint - it's a lot. Sometimes things come together quickly, and other times they just don't. I think I'd be smarter to just go with some other smaller projects and have something to take next week rather than messing up the SOB.

    So I'm thinking that redoing the soft parts on my Zam and my Scout will be the focus for the rest of the time, plus perhaps sewing up a new Steampunk for a easier night time costume. The ODST probably could go together in that time as well but then packing space becomes an issue. Plus, I'd like to work on a proper undersuit for the ODST and there's quite a bit of detailing on that in the thigh area. Potentially time consumming to figure out and put together. Decisions, decisions.
     
  32. CLOTHAR

    CLOTHAR Active Member

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    I have the same predicament. I am working on an ODST as well, but I don't think I can pull it all together in time for Calgary. Best of luck getting all/any of your projects done in time!
     
  33. FANGS

    FANGS Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oooo! Have we met before? How far in to the ODST are you? Is that your Space Marine gear in your profile pic? If so, will you have it with you in Calgary? Sooooo many questions....hahaha
     
  34. mdb

    mdb Sr Member

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    You me, Ravenna-Maleficent selfie. Just saying. It needs to happen. So to that end.. How is Ravenna going???

    XD

    (One day we'll be at a con at the same place in the right group costume.)
     

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