Hell cat costume - kitty of doooooom!

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by fallimar, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So I've wanted to play with a premade resin base and accessories for a while now, and I ordered some pieces from Dreamvision Creations on etsy a while back. I bought a discounted hinged big cat resin base and accessories such as a nose, jawset, tongue, LED eye blanks and other bits and pieces. I'll be doing a lot of modification as well as doing all the fitting, finishing and the rest on my own, of course.

    I usually make these sorts of things from scratch, but I've wanted to try using resin pieces. It's different, more difficult to fit and a lot heavier, and getting the jawset to stay where I wanted it took three attempts and a LOT of carving off unnecessary bits! I also had to file channels to place the eye wires where I wanted them. It's weird not just using foam, but I'm enjoying the challenge!

    So, here's where I am right now:

    CatfaceWIP1.jpg CatfaceWIP2.jpg CatfaceWIP3.jpg

    Jaw moves well, profile is very tight and vision is... well, about the same as the space pope! I'll have a fan in the nose of this one though, so there'll at least be some air flow. The eyes also light up amber.
    Horns and spikes and a mohawk and all sorts are going on this. Here's a little shape sketch to give me some idea jumping off points:

    HellcatLolsketch.jpg

    As for the remainder of the costume, most of it will be fantasy medieval-esque but with cat arms, legs and tail. Big claws, lots of scars and hunting trophies. Hopefully I can re-jig my old hollow core EVA tail mechanism designs to work with a long feline tail to give it bounce and lateral movement.
    Fun side project, in any case :)
     
  2. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Progress!
    Back from OzCC Sydney now so I can finally work a little, though I'm also trying to put together a portfolio to apply for the WAAPA costuming course next year.

    I've added some facial detailing to make the kitty angrier, added in the horns and spikes and redid the ears so they'd flow better with the horns and be a little longer and more demon-like. Sculpted in some lip detailing with magic sculpt too, so they'll be painted black once the fur is on the face.

    HellkittyWIP1.jpg HellkittyWIP4.jpg HellkittyWIPmouth.jpg

    Now I'm working on eyelids and attaching the face fur, which is already sewn but needs tweaking to go over the new foam details. Should be easy enough and hopefully look badass!
     
  3. Egon Spengler

    Egon Spengler Sr Member

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    Looking awesome!
     
  4. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks :)
    It is rather nice to be winging it for once, designing as I go. The horns are pretty darn gorgeous, can't wait to paint them up!
     
  5. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    So...a bit like khajit?
     
  6. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Not really, more generic cat person with horns and scars and demon features. Almost... more like a charr from Guild wars 2 than khajiit, really. With fewer ears!
     
  7. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    Ah, I've never played guild wars 2. Sorry! But it sounds interesting.
     
  8. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    No worries :)
    It's a surprisingly fun F2P MMORPG, really well set up. Worth a look if you're bored!

    Also, a little more progress, I did up the eyelids. Mask bases always look so much better with eyelids!
    HellkittyEyelids1.jpg HellkittyEyelids2.jpg HellkittyEyelids3.jpg HellkittyEyelids4.jpg
     
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  9. gothic

    gothic Sr Member

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    have no idea where its from but it looks cool
     
  10. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Unsurprising seeing as it's from the weird insides of my brain :D
    Thanks :)
     
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  11. gothic

    gothic Sr Member

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    lol that's were the best ideas come from :D
     
  12. hannathing

    hannathing New Member

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    Wow! I love the articulation of the jaw. The amount of different emotions you get from the mask just by tilting your head different ways is amazing.
     
  13. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah! Deep-set eyes with the slight following effect let you do a lot like that; since the face itself doesn't move it's very useful. All the grumpy and condescending cat emotions! :p

    The resin base is heavier than I'm used to and doesn't sit as well on my head but it's a really nice short cut that doesn't involve cutting up huge quantities of foam. I'll be doing the rest in foam though, the hands, legs, tail and feet. I'm working on the armour design now, nice and chunky and a bit rusty with horns or teeth on. Maybe some bone. Some leather and all that too.
     
  14. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Working on the hands today whilst the face is getting a bit of a messy shave.

    First, made a pair of thin jersey elbow length gloves to glue the foam details on to:
    View attachment 539738 View attachment 539739 (paw pads go on later)

    Then started casting claws and carving foam fingers. The foam doesn't have to be particularly neat underneath fur but it's good to get the shapes as accurate as possible. I'm going for a beasty hand rather than a more human look, I want chunky claw hands!
    CatHandFoam3.jpg CatHandFoam4.jpg CatHandFoam2.jpg CatHandFoam1.jpg

    Fun stuff! I like how quickly these come together once you've figure out how to get one finger to the shape you want. Just repeat the process until sufficiently fingered. :D
    Next it's attachment time, gotta get them on to the gloves and then figure out how I want the fur on top to look. I'm considering having the forearm armour attached to the gloves, but it depends on the finished weight of the armour. Don't want it pulling on the arms and having them slump sideways or fall down. I'll integrate some upper arm strapping if I really need to.
     
  15. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Finished off the left glove foamwork. Yay!
    Moves pretty well for thick foam, cutting slits helps a huge amount. Without them there's almost no movement without straining the fabric, foam and fingers. Since you don't see them when everything's covered it all works out so long as the outer covering is a little loose. Fur hides a multitude of sins :p

    CatHandGloves1.jpg CatHandGloves2.jpg CatHandGloves3.jpg CatHandGloves5.jpg
     
  16. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Quick update - made the basic tail core. Turns out my old simple method works just fine - gives a nice shape with almost zero effort relying on gravity and the elasticity of foam. The top three rings are reinforced with a circle of upholstery foam just to keep their shape. The top edge has a line of elastic running down it to help stave off the effects of gravity once the covering is on, preventing sag.

    The static movement is mainly up and down bounce, but as you walk it follows your hip movement and sways, so you get a lovely natural look. It's a very simple method for a tail with movement without having to resort to anything more complicated than scissors, foam and glue!

    CatTailCore.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
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  17. gothic

    gothic Sr Member

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    the evil puddy cat now has claws :lol its coming along nicely
     
  18. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Love this build!
     
  19. WereDrelf

    WereDrelf New Member

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    That is one nicely expressive kitty! Love it!
     
  20. jsher1010

    jsher1010 Member

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    WOW! The horns look pretty cool on Kitty and the paws look great!
    Hellcat with a pink nose, love it!:thumbsup
     
  21. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks everyone! I'm having a really great time working on this one. It's so different from doing a costume where the design work is already done like the Space Pope - there's more freedom. Instead of "How can I fit this over my shapes?" it's "What do I want this part of me to look like?". New challenges and a heck of a good time :D

    Also pink paw pads. Pink is one of the best evil colours. :p
     
  22. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here we go, a little planning - basic (very!) rough ideas for the armour and body colouring. Armour's going to have real bone on it, mostly found pieces of vertebrae. Having a bit of fun with it, The larger pauldron and gauntlets will look like weathered metal and the rest will be leather. I'm going for a barbarian orc-like theme with bone and burns on.
    The body colouring is really simple, might add some detail in after the fact with an airbrush or something. Not sure yet, but this is a good start.

    CatArmour.jpg CatColourIdeas.jpg
     
  23. Drack

    Drack Well-Known Member

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    Looking great fallimar!!!
     
  24. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Right! Painting.
    So I've spent the last day or so casting all the necessary claws, filling in any flubs with epoxy putty and painting up all the claws and horns. I use citadel paints because I have them and they're easy to use - beige/bone base coat, brown wash, mix of bone/white drybrush and then highlight with more white. Finished with a coat of varnish for protection. The claws also have the side dents darkened a bit.
    I wanted them to look a bit weathered, kind of like nasty old bone. The effect is pretty decent, I think.

    HellKittyPawClaws.jpg HellKittyCheekSpikes.jpg HellKittyHornpaint.jpg HellKittyHorns.jpg

    I was also looking for something cool to use as whiskers, since nothing I've seen so far has looked right to me. I hit on using feather quills, they're perfect. Tapered, curved, just the right size and even the colour works. so happy!

    HellKittyWhiskers2.jpg

    This is the "skin" for the face - it looks so weird and creepy when it's not attached. Heh.

    HellKittyFaceSkin.jpg HellKittyFaceSplat.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  25. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sneaky Peek of the face right now, the lips are drying before I put on the gloss coat.

    Grumpy kitty!
    HellKittyFace1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  26. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Better picture of the progress.
    "If your selfies look like this..."

    KittyWIPSelfie.jpg
     
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  27. Twananas

    Twananas Active Member

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    That's so amazing, really cool!
     
  28. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ugh. I'm down to grunt work at the moment on this build and it's a lot of graft for very little visual reward! I've carved the foam for the feet, finished off the foamwork for the other hand, am planning the leg pattern and foamwork and have done all the claws except one that for some reason won't hold the paint. Going to cast a new one today and just cross fingers!

    I've also updated a sketch since I've decided on the basic armour and body shapes:
    CatSketchUpdated.jpg

    These are the feet and hands so far:
    HellkittyFeetHands.jpg

    and a pair of cute little white ears I made using the old pair of smaller upright kitty ears from before I added the horns!
    KittyEarsWhiteCollage.jpg

    Now: finishing off the face fur and figuring out if I want to airbrush or drybrush the facial detail. I'll probably airbrush it but I have to practice a bit first on some scrap fur to make sure the paint behaves.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  29. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Phew... so much foamwork and so much glue! Still, got my basic leg shapes done. I think they came out rather nice, still got to attach them to the leggings and get the tail baseplate on (just a piece of EVA foam to help with stability).

    Horrible photos in my housemate's messy room, but you get the idea!
    LegShapes1.jpg LegShapes2.jpg
     
  30. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Another few days of seemingly insignificant and non-photogenic work. Bleh.

    Leg foam is all glued up, claws are all on, tail needs a bit of tweaking (too long, drags on the floor) but after that I'm all ready for fur. Probably my least favourite part of building this kind of thing, but it certainly ends up looking good.

    I also had a bit of an adventure with my claws. It's always one, isn't it?
    This one claw decided to be different and the paint remained sticky no mater what I did to it. Sanded it back and tried again - no dice. Tested the paint, fine. I'm guessing the resin cured oddly and was leaching something, since it's still sticky even now. Nasty thing. So, as you do, I tried to cast another claw. The resin failed to cure properly - went all brittle and seeped liquid and wouldn't come out of the mould. Turns out I forgot to shake up the resin. I got as much out as I could only leaving in the very tip of the dead cast. I though I could get it out with another cast, so I mixed up another batch, properly shaken this time.

    WELL THEN.
    And this, children, is why we always follow the bloody instructions.
    DeadMould.jpg

    Turns out the first non-shaken cast had done something odd to the silicone causing it to very strongly adhere to the new cast, despite a good coating of release agent. I may have inadvertently stumbled on a way to glue resin to silicone, but I wasn't happy about it considering I was still down one claw!
    Thankfully I still had the original clay claw, though slightly misshapen by the first mould. I cleaned it up, moulded it again and finally got my one.last. stupid. claw.

    Now that's over, I got on with covering the ears. They're very fuzzy, but I wanted to take some of the weight out of the long fur so I lined the ear inners with some flesh coloured antron fleece and only used the white stuff as a border. Looks like the ear is full of hair but really it's just a line of the stuff. Works well!

    Also, at this stage the kitty is terrified by photos. Love how much expression you get out of this thing!
    KittyWATFace.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
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  31. Will Vale

    Will Vale Member

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    I'm pretty sure that cat is saying "Great Scott!"

    I really like how the shaping and placement of the foam legs gives you the effect of the high ankle cat leg (don't know the technical term) without stilts. At least I assume your feet are actually flat on the floor in that picture?

    Will
     
  32. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yep! Much easier to do, more comfortable and it works even when you're walking. Digitigrade legs, they're called (walking on the digits). Foam is wonderful :D
     
  33. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Phew. Lots of fur work lately, and I'm remembering exactly how much I used to hate it :p

    First up, finished the main fur on the head. Still needs tailoring on the back and a neck piece, but the face is now ready for airbrushing. and more whiskers. The back of the head is going to have black-to-white ombre braids covering it with a few vertebrae threaded on at differing heights so they don't clack together and break. Should look pretty badass whipping around in photos :D

    SideHeadLitup.jpg HeadSide.jpg HeadFront.jpg HeadBackWIP.jpg HEadBack34.jpg 34HeadLitup.jpg

    And patterned out the fur for the hands. HOO EEEE. Not a fun job, and a complete * of a pattern, as you can see:
    HandPatternARGH.jpg

    Comes out looking like this once it's hand sewn and turned out, then carefully pulled over the hand forms. This is still unglued, and you only glue the very fingertips. Best to keep the rest loose for mobility.
    HandPatternFront.jpg HandPatternBack.jpg HandClaws.jpg HandFrontUnglued.jpg HandBackUnglued.jpg

    The worst part is now I have to make another one! :wacko
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  34. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    Are you going to trim the fur a little? Or leaving it at this length?
     
  35. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh, definitely! The hands are just raw fur. The head's already trimmed up and just needs painting, but once I've done all the other bits they'll all need trimming. The hands just look like amorphous fuzzy blobs right now :p
     
  36. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Legs legs legs legs legs

    That's hard to type a few times in a row. LEGS LEGS LEGS

    *ahem*

    so yes, legs. Put on the padding, Covered one leg in bin bags and then had a friend help me duct tape it all over, mark the midpoints and major seam lines and then cut me out of it! Drew on the secondary seams after cutting it up, made darts and gores, finally cut and sewed up the whole darn kit and kaboodle - just finished and took photos and it's almost 1am!

    Yikes, time flies when you're inhaling vast amounts of faux fur fuzz. *cough*

    So - pants!
    BackLegs.jpg FrontLegs.jpg SidebackLegs.jpg SideLegs.jpg

    Don't mind the droopy butt and baggy upper part, there's nothing holding it up yet. Still needs wide elastic in the top and a baseplate for the tail, I'm thinking I might use some EVA covered in worbla as a butt plate now, might be able to get it to sit better.
     
  37. johntrek

    johntrek New Member

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    Great job! I'm still struggling through sewing "real" clothes and making pleather belt pouches. Foam is something still on the horizon.

    I had to chime in because I just went to Comikaze last weekend, and once again hit the reality of "costumes with no pockets". So I'm wondering, where do you store your wallet and keys, and with those clunky gloves how do you sign your name on the credit card receipt when you pay for that impulse buy in the dealers room? :)
     
  38. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Short answer? Flail impotently and gnash my teeth at my inability to use my own appendages.

    Slightly more practical answer - try to integrate pouches or pockets! This particular suit won't be particularly practical, the hands are bulky and will have big silicone pads on them - combined with the claws hand usage is going to be limited to waving and wiggling fingers. Maybe holding a weapon if I'm really lucky!
    So far I've had a shoulder bag with my stuff in and just hidden it in photos if I'm alone, or gotten a very patient friend to carry it around when I'm unable to use my fingers.

    In the past I've sewn hidden pockets into jacket lining or if the costume is medieval/fantasy-esque then you can use belt pouches or drawstring bags to hold stuff. Then again, I'm not used to costumes with functional hands. Slight drawback of the stuff I like to make :p
     
  39. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So I trimmed the hands:
    KittyPawTrimmed1.jpg KittyPawTrimmed2.jpg

    and airbrushed the face.
    Fwoor. Not used to usinga n airbrush at all, I think it was my second ever time turning on the compressor and having a go. Horrible cheap airbrush too, so my first layer with the white was awful. Turns out I had a lot to adjust in terms of the consistency. Finicky, isn't it? Yikes. Still, managed to bend it to my will eventually and get this happening:

    HellcatAirbrushed1.jpg HellcatAirbrushed2.jpg HellcatAirbrushed3.jpg HellcatAirbrushed4.jpg HellcatAirbrushed5.jpg

    ONWARD!
     
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  40. jsher1010

    jsher1010 Member

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    WOW! That is Fantastic!
     
  41. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks! Kinda surprised myself at how well it worked considering my lack of experience with airbrushing ((and total lack of coordination) :p
    Looks far better in person when it's moving too, really sells the creepy catbeast when you're stalking around wearing the big claws. Yes, I'm a total nerd and totally unapologetic :D
     
  42. jsher1010

    jsher1010 Member

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    Only your second time airbrushing, with excellent results. Little details like the black spots on the muzzle where the whiskers come out
    are a nice touch. It's little details like that help make creatures come to life.
    This world can always use more nerds:)
     
  43. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh yeah, I got too impatient and added some whiskers to see how I wanted to attach them before laying in the black marks. I was going to paint first, but hey, at least now it's an easy job putting in the rest! I think it's a nice effect, might add some whiskers to the brow area too, since most cats have a couple there.
     
  44. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Tiny update - whiskers!
    KittyWhiskers.jpg KittyWhiskers2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
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  45. jsher1010

    jsher1010 Member

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    Great job on Kitty's whiskers. Very lifelike, can almost hear it purring.
     
  46. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks again :)

    ~~~

    Another minor-ish update, I played with worbla for the first time today and made up the bracers. Still need to prime, sand, paint and all that but they're not too bad. Not sure if I'm in love with worbla yet but I'll know later once they're finished up properly. I do love the rigidity it gives to the foam and how forgiving it is.

    KittyBracersRough.jpg KittyBracersRough2.jpg
     
  47. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    I'm actually stepping away from Worbla...
     
  48. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've never really used it before this, so I want to give it a chance to impress me. I can definitely see how people rave about it, seeing as it's a great way to get your foam armour finished up in a way that's mostly rigid, durable and can take a lot of detail. The ability to piece bits together and smooth it over like weird clay is kinda cool too, and it's very forgiving.
    Cons - the rough surface, price, scorched fingers :p

    Right now I'm trying a simple gesso/sand/gesso/sand paint finish leaving it slightly rough to resemble rusty armour. Just hope it works really :p
     
  49. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    It probably will, though for real smooth surfaces, you're better off with wood glue, gesso and maybe filler. I've used worbla for Smaug and at the time I was happy with it. Now I'm a bit more feeling like going for other materials. Though I guess it has to do with the kind of cosplays I'm doing...
     
  50. fallimar

    fallimar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sure! yeah, I'll definitely try filler if I want a smooth finish on something. Definitely depends on what you're doing too, yeah - I've been doing soft costumes for a while and really had no need to use worbla, but seeing what people do with it I had to give it a try and this is a good simple starting point.
     

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