Aim ahead

Although I’d been working on things over the past few weeks, I had begun to feel a little aimless when it came to future projects. So, during the week, I began putting down some ideas in a new sketch book and watching some other makers on You Tube. This really helped and by Saturday, I had quite a few ideas planned and was raring to go.

First though, I would work towards finishing projects I had started.

I began by painting my spaceship made from scrap plastic. The original idea to colour it dark bronze went out of the window, when I found that somehow the spray can had rusted. Well not the whole can, just the seal.

Paint job 2 involved coating it with chrome followed by a wash of brown ink. When dry, I used my finger to rub the ink of any raised edges. The front window and engines were then picked out in black. While it didn’t turn out how I had it in my head, I was still happy with the result.

After coming to a dead-end on the second axe head, I spent some time researching and doodling some designs. The final one I chose was a simple L shaped knot and a Celtic knot. After transferring the design to the axe, I used my Dremel to remove some resin. I then went onto using needle files to tidy and crisp up the design. It is looking great, but is going to need a bit more work before it’s done.

The final thing I did was a test mould of one of the intricate panels from Mjolnir. This was a test to see how well silicone would pick up the details, and I was impressed how well it worked.

Next week I plan to:

  • continue work on the axe head and if it warms up, do the handle
  • if some resin arrives do a test cast on the mold
  • cast some cat masks.

Foam Clay test

Recently I purchased some foam clay to try out. This is air drying modeling clay that when dry, has similar properties and feel to EVA foam.

My first impression of the clay was that it felt like, mmm, a more plastic-like wall tack, but after some kneading, it becomes more like a normal clay. While I haven’t yet tried sculpting anything from it, I have experimented with pressing it into some of my mask moulds. The aim of which was to see if it could be used to create lightweight foam versions of masks or other props.

Below I suggest a few do’s and don’ts based on what I learned with my first test

  • Do begin with a thin layer of clay and take time to press it into the mould as much as possible. Then build up to the required thickness. Not doing this resulted in gaps and missed details.
  • Do be aware that the clay shrinks a small amount in the mould. On a thin area, this caused a tear to appear.
  • Do check a small corner to see if has dried.
  • Don’t leave it to dry in a cold place. It is recommended giving the clay 48 hours to dry depending on the thickness. However due to it being left in my cold workshop over two nights, it didn’t quite set and was still soft. When I came back and tried to remove it the mask became warped. At this point it may be possible to put it carefully back. However, because it was still soft it further damaged it. I suggest leaving it somewhere warm to dry out. A second attempt left in a warm spot had more success.

Two final things of note were that the clay in direct contact with the mould was still a little moist/soft and had left some residue on the silicone. It maybe possible that it was inhibiting the drying process and some mould release may prevent this. At this stage all but a thin layer was firm, and I was able to remove the mask and let it fully dry out.

The final product is really lightweight and feels very much like EVA foam. It is firm, but flexible and is not too soft as to bend out of shape when handled. It also picks up and holds detail really well.

I will be doing some more experiments with this in the future, including painting up the test masks and trying to sculpt with it.

Synthetic Arm

The past few weeks have been spent working on my synth arm and I have now almost completed it. There are still a few more details to add to the top of the upper arm, then I’ll sand and fill any parts that need it. I can then stick it all together and get it painted.

Next week I’m going to make sure my plague doctor costume is ready for a con the week after that, before continuing with the arm.

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October Mix

So far in October I have been working on a mix of different things. It began with a character sculpt.

With Dust and Elysian Tail recently coming out on the Switch I began playing the game again and realised I hadn’t done a Dust character sculpt for quite some time. Thinking on which character to do, I decided to do another Fidget – this time by herself. For the sculpt I choose my favorite pose from screenshots I had taken in game and planned out the model. This time I had a play with the proportions which are different from the art work, and I am happy with the way she turned out. Although I deviated from the art for the sculpting I tried to emulate it with the painting, brushing on shadows, highlights and black cartoon outlines.

New fidget sides

I have also been working on creating my own version of Mjolnir based on historical pendants. I have the shape but am having difficulty with the rest of the design. For the moment I have come to a bit of a block on this and have put it to one side.

drawing

 

Since I stopped working on the hammer design and couldn’t decide on what other prop weapon I might want to make, I chose to start on something a bit different: parts of a gen 1 Synth from Fallout 4. So far using many screen shots I am beginning to plan and put together an arm. This will mostly be made from styrene plastic, foam PVC and 3D printed parts. When this is done I aim to do the head and neck, then may be even the rest of the body.

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I need a doctor

While I haven’t posted for a while, I have been keeping busy working on a few different projects. These include making some variations on my old man Noh mask, drawing a few more plans for my store, a sculpture and trying to finish off some old prop weapons. The main thing I have been working on is getting a costume ready to wear for a con in November…..

Costume

I have, for the moment, put the Nox costume that I started earlier this year on hold in favor of finishing one that is a little easier. About two years ago I planned out a Plague Doctor character that took inspiration partly from medieval plague doctors and partly from Eileen the Crow from Bloodborne. I made a faux leather hat, trench coat and aluminium mask (though this proved to be uncomfortable to wear). This was forgotten about in favor of making prop weapons and then later, by my Solaire costume and then the Nox costume.

I choose this to come back to this one for two reasons:

  1. It only needed a few extra parts that could be fairly quickly put together
  2. Most of the costume could be worn on the train to the venue, while anything else could be put in pouches and bags that are part of the outfit

The extra parts included:

  • A new mask – one in faux leather would be more comfortable
  • Gloves – in faux leather – don’t want to touch nasty ill people
  • A doctors bag – to carry my mask, cowl and other items
  • Boots – I had some old battered ones that would work perfectly
  • Plague doctor staff or necklace with winged hourglass icon – or an excuse to try cold casting.
  • Cowl – made from faux brown leather to keep my head fully covered
  • Belt/s and pouches to hold things while I walk around, like my phone, money etc
  • Old black jeans – fit well with the overall outfit
  • Weathering for everything – to look dirty from walking in muddy streets and helping plague victims
  • There maybe some other things that I come up with that fit in with the design

As can be seen in the below images, the costume is coming together nicely and is now more or less done. When it is, I plan on doing a full write up of the whole thing giving information on how each part was made.

 

 

Noh more masks….

Since my last post, I have been busy working on more projects. I have added my Darth Nihilus mask to my Etsy store and completed 2 other projects from my previous list:

1. The Makonde dagger for the punished props 250k subscriber challenge. The build write up can be found here

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2. I finished sculpting my old man Noh mask, cast and painted it. As with my previous mask I have cast up a few extra, making each a variation on mine that I intend to put up on my Etsy store page. I have also added a tutorial to my website on how I made my masks which can be found here.

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Next I plan on doing some more work on a costume, doing another mask, and maybe a figure or character sculpture. It would also be nice to work on new weapon prop or my printed sword.

Masks complete

All four of my Darth Nihilus masks have now been completed. As I’m holiday in two weeks, so I will put them up on my store then. That way I can work out postage costs and packaging, then send them out as they are purchased. Please check my Etsy store page .

4 masks cropped

I have a few things I want to work on next:

  1.  Continuing to work on my costume: I really underestimated the time it would take to do this.
  2. Finish sculpting my Noh inspired mask and may be cast that.
  3. Finish my 3D printed sword.
  4. Start work on the Punished Props 250K subscriber community build – a dagger.