Monday, June 11, 2012

Flashy Build: Phase Six - Payoff

It's been an interesting few weeks around the DarthGM homestead when it comes to Flashy.

After three rounds of priming and sanding, Flashy was ready to mold.  You all saw what state he was in last week.  This week, the plan was to use some mold-release on the first half and pour the second half of the mold.  So Sunday night I sprayed it, mixed 3 starter kits of Moldstar 16, and let it "bake" for a half hour.

It seemed to be ready...

 The intention was to pull off the sides of the mold and be able to just pull the mold into it's two sections.  Instead, I got this.


...a nice brick of blue rubber, with my master encased within.  The coating of Mold Release failed.  Completely.  Maybe it was too warm, maybe I didn't use enough.  Who knows.  Who cares!  After going to town on it with my box-cutter, I was able to sever the mold in half and remove Flashy.

Sadly, all my guide keys were gone.  The mold was in rough shape.  The master broke off one of it's details.  I was disappointed, and thought that I'd just blown a couple hundred bucks worth of chemicals with nothing to show for it.

So tonight I invited over Erich, one of my colleagues in the 501st/Rebel Legion, and we tried to save the mold.  After three attempts, the cutting of a few more channels in the rubber to let air out, and the construction of a wooden shell to go around the gun to keep it from being squished in key points, we ended up with this.

She may not look like much, but after a few passes with an x-acto knife, we got something else.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you "Flashy-Version 1.0"

 I had to trim away a lot of flash (ba-dum dum), and sliced my pinky open pretty well while doing it, but I think it looks pretty good, and pretty workable.

This build has been a real learning experience, and I'm not just saying that to sound wise, or to sound like an after school special (do they even have those anymore?)

I got really discouraged yesterday after all the failures with the mold.  I want to be good at it, and I want to be good at it now.  I need to accept that things aren't always going to work out how I want them too, no matter how badly I want them to.  Some things takes time, and practice, and you're going to fail along the way, or stumble, and it's important to learn from failure and pick yourself up when you trip, because you may still make it to where you were going.

This is the first time I'd ever done something like this, and I can tell you it won't be the last.  I'll probably do a Flashy 2.0 at some point, incorporating the knowledge of what I've done on this build into the next, and improving it.

My second suit of armor was better than my first, and my third was better than my second.  Practice, experience, and patience are hallmarks of this hobby.  I need to remember that, and enjoy the process as much as the product.

But man, when the product works, even partially, it's really neat.

I likely need a night with her and a dremmel before working on her apperance, but all and all I'm happy with my first pull. Now it's on to cleaning up the pull, detailing, and painting.  And that's something I have experience with.

Big thanks to Erich Schafer for the hands on help, and Brian "stormtrooperguy" Anderson for the inspiration and words of advice.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Costume Updates, Cacophony Style

So it's been a while since I posted anything about any costume or prop, so I'll just post it all!


Casting Flashy got...interesting...

We started with a box and a lot of clay.  Next time I do this, I'm going to remember to fill in the clay more, and smooth it out better.

We thought that one container/package of mold mix would be enough per side, and we had a third kit in reserve.  I grossly underestimated the amount of volume this box could hold, and ended up using all three kits just to make one half of the mold.  Not just that, but I had to tilt the box and stick one of the empty bottles into the mixture to force the volume of the mix to shift so there would be enough over all of the gun.  

She hardened up nice, and left me with half a mold.  My buddy Erich is heading to Reynold's Advanced Materials later this week, and picking up another 3 mix-kits for me.  Hopefully late next Sunday I'll be able to pour the last half of the mold, and maybe pull a blaster the following Monday.

Darth Malgus

My work on Darth Malgus is interesting and entertaining.  I'm having fun experimenting with building his armored parts from Pepakura files and EVA Foam mats. 


The don't look too bad, if you ask me...

There are slightly thnner mats out there, so I may make yet another pair of gauntlets soon.  I guess I'll just have to use these for LARPing or something.

Jedi Consular

The Jedi Consular is coming along, dammit. I wish there was more to show, but Sarah has been working on a lot of aspects of it at once, and it's sometimes dizzying to try and keep track of it all.  We're actually pretty well along.  I'd say it's about 60% done.  All the pieces are cut out, and are starting to come together.  We're just finishing up on a lot of the detail work that needs to be done when it's in it's component pieces.  I can show what I'm going to be doing for the glowing runes that run up the seams of the leather over-robe.

I'm cutting them out of leather, so that we can place a material behind them to illuminate them.

EL Tape, my friends.  EL Tape. 

These runes are gonna glow.

For the large runes on the bottom of the Skirt, sarah's basically embroidering them with mylar "mint green" thread over a white shimmery gauze, and then running an iron over them to fuse them together. 

What she's done so far (not pictured here) LOOKS great, but it takes so damn long to do.  Sarah is giving herself a recurring back ache working on this part.  Each rune takes about an hour to do, because the machine needs to chug along at it's slowest possible speed or the mylar thread snaps.  And it snaps a lot.

501st Clone Trooper

My 501s Clone Trooper has actually been down for a while now.  To get into this helmet, I actually cut away the faceplate and have it secured with a series of Rare Earth Magnets and metal brackets.  Well, it wasn't really holding too well that way, so I replaced the Rare Earth Magnets with  Even Stronger Rare Earth Magnets.  This seems to work well.  I also trimmed out the visor a little more so it wasn't completely crushing my nose (which was contributing to the old magnets not being able to hold the face on properly).  The suit is wearable again, even if I do still need to upgrade my ab plate.

Going Forward

Got a bunch of projects to finish up, a few more I want to start, and eventually to start gathering pieces for the lightsaber I want to built. (Boy, is that going to be inexpensive...NOT...)  Most of it will need to wait, tho.  I really need to kick my packing into high gear and get my house packed up.