OC Adult Togrutan: Osoto Talas WIP

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by srsmith332, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. srsmith332

    srsmith332 New Member

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    Greetings and Saluations divine craftsmen.

    I have officially decided that I wanted to make my WIP, which will become an interactive log for my progress. All suggestions and forms of advice are welcome. For starters, lets begin with a description of the character:

    I planned on making a Male-Oriented Ahsoka Tano, but I realized that as I was making alterations to the suit, the character started to look a bit different. I thought this would be a cross-play piece, it has evolved into something else entirely now. I want it to be as if the universe was flipped on it's head, and Ahsoka were really a man instead of woman in the Star Wars universe (I easily could swap the two gender's generic personalities, their practically identical).

    I have been having many dreams about Ahsoka, as if she was an adult, as a consultant on my issues. Siting in a park or walking down a street in an abandoned shore town. We all enjoy the presense of our most beloved characters either in games, films, or TV, she just happens to be one of the most influential to me. She, like myself, was a loner in a crowd of people. She had this halo-like glow about her, as if she was always the protagonist even in the darkest of nightmares. This relationship, along with 3 other characters I like, developed over a decade in my mind. I feel like I owe it to them to represent them, in the way I see them, to the world.

    The Reality:
    I didn't know what I was getting myself into. This is going to be my first costume since the dawn of time. The announcement of the movie springed me into action, where as my relationship with my characters has lasted alot longer. They cannot wait any longer, now is the time to act. I started my tale about a year ago with intense research into finding out what I was getting it. I've lost alot of weight before the announcement of the Star Wars movie, my life changed as I found a stable job in the midwest. After things have gone out of control for so long, I feel the need to improve myself while I have a chance before things go back out of control again. As Shia says, "Don't let your dreams be dreams!" Haha!

    I plotted the whole outfit out in about a month's worth of time. The materials I would use and how I'd perform the said tasks to accomplish those steps in the master plan were still a mystery. I knew that as a newcomer, it's not in a newb's nature to re-invent the wheel, as the saying would go. Find someone who has done this already, remain in contact with them to enhance your wisdom on this project. Out of everyone on the internet, I only found 2 people who explained an Ahsoka build, in tremendous detail, enough to not make me so confused, were Michaela De Bruce (Her website) and Taria Damsin (Her website). They both helped me out a bit, though as many would know about these types of builds (at least for the headpiece bit), building Ahsoka's Montrals can be quite the challenge! Understand I need a pair of Adult Montrals, not the Teenager/Young Adult kind.

    These are the desired kind I wish to build.
    Wow does he have some talent. Someday when I'm not so busy.. haha!

    From the headpiece to the rest of the outfit:

    The uniform, boots, gauntlets, undersleeves (both appendage pairs), the belt are all a project by themselves. The headpiece is another project all together. That is the dominating prop of the outfit. Many talented people who have done Ahsoka have targeted Moleskin to be the fabric for the armbands and tonic. The gauntlets are going to be made out of brown leather. So will the boot armor plates. I've been debating if I'm going out have Moleskin underneath my boots or I might use a different type of material. I intend to wear this outfit in the winter so perhaps some Fleece might be in order. If it slips in and off easy, I could make it a slipper, made to be flush with a nice hump underneath the boots 'V' cut in the front and back. The same can be said with the skin cover underneath the gauntlets. The belt is going to be a tricky piece to make. I planned on having it hang off of the torso instead of supporting it. All designs can change though. My concept art of what I want the outfit to look like can be found in this google document here: Google Bible of the Outfit - Don't know why I keep making threads when I got this thing :p

    I'll edit my main post to have everything in it, and have my original post of the update remain the way it is. This way, the nexus of info can all be found in one place.

    Here is my progress on the headpiece:
  2. srsmith332

    srsmith332 New Member

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    The Headpiece: (WIP)

    I learned from others that if you intend to make something out of clay, it's going to be heavy. It'll slink, it'll want to go against it's own weight enough to not make it easy work with. Don't have this happen to you. The idea of my armature was born. I didn't know what to make it out of though. I've read somewhere that you could use Worbla to make a form and than make a mold over it. I didn't think you could do that! I was thinking about how light it would be and I envisioned it collapsing as I would put liquid latex brushings over it to form a mold for the piece! That and I've never made a latex brush on mold before ever in my life. I've seen a few videos but never attempted it myself. The clay form of the headpiece seemed like the most secure route to achieve that organic, fleshy, appearance that the Montrals have. That along with it being self supporting. Were talking about getting a shape here so we can make the form into a much lighter-self sustaining piece here. I believe liquid latex can do just this. I'll have to see.

    Day 1:
    Here is my first attempted armature piece. It is made out of 1" PVC Sch.40 pipe. Heat treated to this shape.
    1) 20150827_055629.jpg
    2) 20150827_055614.jpg
    3) 20150826_045136.jpg

    Day 2:
    I do not have a lifecast of myself so I was forced to improvise. For a couple of days, I forgot to bring my improvised head cap to my workshop area. I did many other things though to make up for it. I knew that the headpiece was not a single, wavy line at a specific angle. The tails are equally dynamic. I started trouble shooting. Alot of burns later I started to understand that I needed a head to rest this on! Haha. I'm by no means a professional here. This is my first time doing something like this.

    Day 4:
    I forgot the headcap again, but I made great strides in talking to people who knew things about special efffects. I need to know more about this sort of thing from professionals. In my local area, only 1 studio exists that does this sort of thing. I know their is one near Madison but my attempts to hail him have fallen on deaf ears. So sad. I still need to do this. I was trying to rationalize finding local businesses, seeing how scarse they are, I need to develop a package on the internet to convey my problems. Something like this thread I could show the man. I'll be making videos once I train up a bit on some video editing software. You guys don't need to hear me sing in the workshop :D.

    Day 5:
    Got the headcap! My head is huge for some reason (maybe too much thinking). I thought I could put some water-based clay on top of the mannequin foam head. I've worked extensively with oil-based clay but never water-based. I had both on hand. I worked with what was actually workable (the water-based clay was rock hard, even while being submerged in water for 2 1/2 hrs.)
    1) 20150829_020548.jpg 2) 20150829_020540.jpg 3) 20150829_014428.jpg 4) 20150829_014421.jpg 5) 20150829_014413.jpg 6) 20150829_014407.jpg 7) 20150829_020556.jpg

    I put the cap and montril base on next. I applied packaging tape around the ends. The supports were flush with the duct taped muslin cap I made of my own head. I got so excited! Than I had to leave for other business after this.
    1) 20150829_021118.jpg 2) 20150829_020903.jpg 3) 20150829_021129.jpg

    Update: 8/30/15
    Day 6
    Well, this was a bit annoying but I managed to pull through.

    I scrapped that last idea I had to hold the horns together. The duct tape was losing it's durability as I heat treated the horns. Plus the bulkiness of the tape was getting in the way as well. I needed something to give me a more 'controlled' way of holding these horns in place as I heat treated them into their central shapes, ready for filler + clay later on. Just before I made my duct tape attachments, I thought about using L Brackets to hold the pieces. I didn't know how it would work with PVC but I do remember using those extensively on the workbench me and my father built about a year ago. Those things can be flexible if you want them too, or be as strong depending on how tight you push in the screws. I gave it a try. What a world of difference that made! Here's today's progress shots:

    That's me! No scary makeup needed for halloween. :)
    1) 20150830_041945.jpg
    Angle shots of the new and improved headpiece.
    2) 20150830_050632.jpg 3) 20150830_050639.jpg 4) 20150830_050652.jpg

    As you can see, the pipes look more straight, but are actually in a new formal 's' shape. Using Raikoh's Adult Ahsoka as a reference, you can see that her jaw line is partically covered. Where the bend from her ear to her mouth happens, it's mostly covered. The sense of depth exists just as the line from her jaw-to-mouth begins. This suggests that the side lekkus lean more down than forward in front of the shoulders. The shoulders, in fact, give the lekkus their curve. They are meant to rest on them. With this in mind, when a cast is made of the finished piece, the prop will naturally lean weight off of my shoulders without making any kind of ugly crease like you'd see on a thin sheet on a bed or a pillow! The horns tips are symmetrically straight from the very top to the bottom on both sides. They lean a bit more back on purpose than the bottom lekku holders (the lower side of the pipe underneath the brackets). I'm still debating if they need to be lowered or not, to give off a good flush structure for the horns to be constructed from. This is an armature after all, it doesn't need to be perfect. I think it looks mighty close to it though. It needs a lifecasting to rest on for further calibrations.

    The planned filler for this piece, once the extra screws are applied to the brackets (they each contain 2 at this time, giving them mobility in motion. Another 2, filling the rest of their holes, will give them a much more sturdier structure but will eliminate the mobility), I either planned on using Expanded Foam to lather onto this thing or use Bubble Wrap with a thin layer of Cling Wrap to create a nice, curved finish for the clay to rest upon. Expanded Foam to me right now is a mystery. I know it likes to drop off of vertical surfaces. I saw some videos of people drawing a pattern on a piece of cardboard, than lace that pattern with the insulation foam, let it and fluff up, do this repeatedly until you get enough structure to carve the filler in. I plan on using an Electric Kitchen Knife to carve the foam, or a possible Hot Foam Wire to do the work. I'm not afraid to use utility knifes or even a dremel, whatever I must do, I'll do it. Their is always more than 1 way to do something after all. I'll explore my options.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  3. srsmith332

    srsmith332 New Member

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    Updated 8/30/15
    Day 5

    The brackets will receive their 2 remaining screws. Tests will be done with Expanding Foam and Cling Wrap on Bubble Wrap. Things like this need to be discovered:

    -What will clay hold onto better?
    -What's easier to work?
    -Would my 3M 77 Contact Cement work at all with these items?
    -How does these things react to Foam Rubber glued on them?
    -What would the thinnest layer of clay look like on these items?

    Worbla seems to not exist in any store near me, so I'll have to get some online. I was looking at this as a surface for my headpiece. Alot of research has yielded no results on how well this stuff can handle being molded. A brush-on mold for this piece is the mold of choice. Even with this method, wouldn't the brush strokes of the molding material imprint themselves on the Worbla? Giving a very rigid structure to the finished mold when it should be nice, straight, and flush with the material? I'll need to test this theory. I'll investigate online as well, the more I know, the better.

    Overall, with the armature, I cannot do much until I have a lifecast of my head to rest this thing on. The quagmires of this armature is that it's formed to the center of my head. The armature will not rest on top of my head when I apply filler to it. It will be elevated above my head by a very small margin (I'm going to assume at least 1/4th" or 3/8th" of an in.), enough to make a difference. If all else fails, I can either cut the armature with an Angle Grinder + a thin disk to carve enough extra room for the filler to take. I got a feeling I'll be using more Cling Wrap than Bubble Wrap, I'm now worried if 100 sq. feet will be enough for this job lol! I'll reach the end of the work involving this armature when I feel content with the side view of the headpiece. It must cover the ears at least. I can always add less filler in areas where I think places are too far off from the design of the lekkus. I'm really starting to think Expanding Foam, might be a good alternative, as you can carve away foam than glue it back on if you make a mistake. You can't do that accurately with Cling Wrap + Bubble Wrap.

    Update 8/31/15
    Day 6

    Things that were done:
    -3M 77 Adhesive does indeed hold onto many unusual surfaces (I've made a rendition of an armature for this headpiece BEFORE the PVC build, all out of foam and a bike helmet.). If you spray 1 continuous coat on each surface of the material you'll be sticking together. 5 mins later, it's good to stick to the other surface. 25 mins later, it's stronger than a brick out-house. I have found out that if you leave it in a heated room (70+ degrees), the bond will begin to weaken. The adhesive is still strong around than that time, meaning the foam can be reattached easily.
    -Foam Rubber's reaction to the 3M spray was exemplary, it needs tape though to assist with the bond (or clamps) curing.

    Things that were NOT done:
    -The tests with clay and bubble wrap. I didn't have time to get some great stuff.
    -Clay on the Foam Rubber, PVC, Cling Wrap, or Bubble Wrap

    When it comes to the end of the month, I start to plan for the next month ahead. If things need to be purchased online, I'd love for it to be on my doorstep at the beginning of the month. Not only that. Every month brings it's own set of challenges, with one large goal as the prize. I've failed this month's objective, which was to make significant progress on this headpiece. I was distracted heavily by the idea I could make this thing out of Foam Rubber. I probably can still, though Foam Rubber is quite resilient when it comes to carving it. It gives a degree of torgue when you cut it. Even in the smallest thicknesses. Perhaps I was using the wrong blade. I should be using a Hot Wire Cutter. Also I have no idea on how to bend this foam and make it form fitting! Alot of foam will be sacrificed to figure this pattern out. The PVC build holds alot of promise still. Clay is probably the best form fitting stuff out there since it's infinitely pliable.

    This new month will be dedicated towards the understands of sewing. I have no idea how to sew clothing! Haha. Thank goodness for youtube. I have an old sewing machine from my grandma that's still working. I wonder what I'll do once it breaks down... I take it the internet could help out with that too. Alot of things to do and plan. The patterns for the armor, clothing, and boot covers should be done first. I need an assistant though to cut me out of a duct tape mannequin of myself. That copy of my body will let me make the most out of the patterns I'll make. How to make the sewing look good (and professional), will take a bit of time I'm sure. I have several Goodwill stores in a 25 mile radius of me + Joanns is right down the street for more Muslin (got a bolt to play with right now, just need to start breaking myself into the machine).

    Tonights Goals:
    -What does a professionally done Ahsoka look like (thinking of a Disney stage costume or of 1 particular Rebel Legion member I forgot the name of)? What makes them so different.
    -Tackle Great Stuff Foam! Want to know it's expansion ratios with water and a damp surface lathering over/under it. Want to know how carvable it is once it's cured. Spacing out the foam; does it help?
    -Fabric Hunt, online only sadly.

    Found some Burgundy colored Moleskin, but it only stretches 2 ways instead of 4. It was on sale, bought enough to practice on, for effect. Since I don't have * or wide hips but have unidirectional muscles to present, 4 way stretch is the way to go. That and the leather pads on the boots + hands. Was told that you could bring in what you have to a place like Tandy Leather w/ your character references, they can help you find what you need. The buckles remain a mystery. Also does the belt. The patterns for those two items will have to be a trial by fire approach. The belt I have planned will need to be form fitting AND be capabile of carrying my shorts up (leggings maybe? If I plan for approval), 2 fully equipped EFX Sabers, phone, 3 snacks, flask of water, and an emergency makeup kit. The sabers will be the heaviest things no doubt. This outfit going to go through many iterations, we'll see what I come up with.

    Update: 8/30/15
    Day 7

    Details on computer - internet down. Will update when I can.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
  4. srsmith332

    srsmith332 New Member

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    Update added for 8/31. Goals, Challenges, and personal inquiry.

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