|Time Taken :||2 Months|
|This one is another commission i did for a friend|
Being a fan of big props when i first seen Allen Walker i knew it was a costume i wanted to do...
When my friend said he would be cosplaying as Allen Walker i jumped at the chance to build this arm!!!
There are full instructions on how to build the arm can be found below:
The Sleeve (Posted 21st November 2008)
I had Alex wear the Allen arm strapped and holding on to the dowel, I then wrapped a single sheet of Lycra fabric around both Alex's and the Allen arm
Once I had a working sleeve I added the armour stripes, I made these by cutting strips 2 inches wide fun foam going down the longest side of the sheet. I then painted the fun foam with PVA and left it to dry. Once dry its out with the Plasticote paint again to paint one side and the edges of the foam strips.
When the paint was dry I pinned the strips to the arm and when I was happy with the positioning I glued them in Place using Laytex. Once all the strips are added you just need to add the stick on velcro in place on the Allen arm and the big sleeve end to hold the sleeve on to the arm.
Painting (Posted 21st November 2008)
I find its best to use Plasticote spray paint without a primer and then glossing for a top coat. Allow enough time between coats of paint for the paint to dry, also change the spray direction between each coat to ensure an even coat.
Fixtures (Posted 21st November 2008)
The first fixture was the handle handle
The handle is needed within the arm so that the Fibreglass isn't taking all of the strain. I cut to cut away a section where Alex will insert his arm, I used a saw for this. I cut a channel just over half way in to arm and then removed the polystyrene.
I also Scooped out some polystyrene from the sides of the channel for the dowel to slot in and be the handle, I then just screwed it in place fixing it to the fiberglass.
The second fixture was straps.
For the straps i used webbing which i fed through an plastic buckle(like on adjustable back packs) and hemmed it to the webbing at one end.
I then cut two holes parallel in the Arm either side of where the fore arm sits i.e. along the sides of the channel. Then I just fed the webbing through leaving the buckle on the inside of the arm. You'll need to repeat this further down the arm as well...
To make the whole thing more comfortable I cut some Fun Foam to size and lay it along the sides of the channel and around the top and the edges of the channel I then fixed them using double sided carpet tape.
That's The Fixtures done so Alex should now able to comfortably wear the Arm as an extension his fore arm
Fiberglassing (Posted 21st November 2008)
For the next part i hired me a gopher umm a helper (also in safety gear), I also wearing old clothes.
Firstly i cut the fibreglass cloth to fit the section was about to cover (I always cut a little bigger in case). Starting with the claws and surround, paint the target area with the resin mix then lay the fibreglass cloth on top.
I then paint more mixed resin on to the cloth ensuring there are no bubbles and no dry areas of cloth. Allow to dry (10-15 mins if mixed correctly), and once dry trim off the excess cloth. I repeated this process on each claw until every claw was covered.
Next I painted the Whole of the back hand area of the arm and covered it in a single sheet of fibreglass cloth which is definitely a two-man job using the same techniques as above.
Once the fibreglass had dried i trimmed off the excess using scisors and a stanley knife and repeted the process for the palm section, only this time ensureing that the two peices over lap slightly leaving almost everything covered.
Fiberglassing Done XD
Mixing The Resin (Posted 21st November 2008)
Once you have your safety equipment II Mixed the resin.
If you are using the Plastic Padding hardener (as pictured) you need to mix 8cm of hardner With 50ml of resin, I would use a weaker mix to begin with - maybe 6cm hardener to 50ml resin this will allow more time for the hardener to set.
The hardner ammount will need adjusting according to the temperature of your work space, if it's cold increase hardener, if it's hot decrease it.
The hardener and resin need to be mixed thouroughly till its a clowdy colour, it will let off heat from the mixing pot that's just the reaction happening from this point there is very little working time with the Resin Mix.
PSA (Posted 21st November 2008)
Please before fibreglassing call your local boat builders/repairers, yacht chandlers or autoparts store and ask what safety equipment they use.
I highly recommend you do this and get the right safety equipment for good practice.
Please seek your own advice as I am not a professional and have no qualifications so cannot recommend anything
Fibreglass Prep (Posted 21st November 2008)
Next I needed to cut slots for the claws
I had other people hold the claws in place while I had a look to see if I was happy with the positioning. With the claws still held in place I then drew round them on the the arm and cut out the sections for them to sit in to with a Stanley Knife.
I then coated the whole arm, including claws in position, with PVA and covered it with newspaper as pictured. This must be done as fibreglass resin corrodes polystyrene. Layer up adding more coats of PVA and News paper and ensure there are no gaps.
Once this is dry youre ready to fibreglass.
Shaping Part 2 (Posted 21st November 2008)
Once I was happy with the shape I glued all the sheets together using PVA (you MUST use PVA, its NON-CORROSIVE to polystyrene unlike other glues), obviously leaving the sheet with markings on top XD
Once the PVA had dried ish(it never really did) I began cutting some of the excess polystyrene away with a saw. Using a saw will save you lots of time just dont cut close to the line - probably just cut 2/3 of the excess polystyrene away.
I then used a Rasp for the rest of the shaping, this took away loads of polystyrene in a short time, was easy to use and got a great result (thanks Dad for suggesting it!). After using the rasp I used the electric sander to finish off the look and smooth down the edges.
The pictures show the arm at different points in the shaping, it doesnt really matter too much if the original shape is rough as you can sand it into shape.
The claws were separately in the same way as above, I drew templates on paper then drew round them on the polystyrene.
Shaping Part 1 (Posted 21st November 2008)
I went to my local hardware store and had a look at the polystyrene sheets in person to determine their size and to decide how many I needed.
I bought 2 Sheets of 2400 x 600 x 50mm which is usually sold as insulation, I decided that the sheets were twice the length I needed (plus they wouldnt fit in my car!) so I cut them in half and got them home.
Once at home I layered up the pieces to the thickness I wanted, and then placed my forearm in the middle and drew around it. Then I drew an outline of the shape I wanted for the Allen arm.
Preparation (Posted 21st November 2008)
I always begin by taking as many screen shots of the character as possible so I know the prop inside out then making sketches of ideas I have on how to build it.
If you look at the pic you can see they dont have to be detailed to gather an idea of how it will work - the red is my friend Alex, the blue is the sleeve which will go over the arm and up to Alex's shoulder allowing him to bend his arm, and the black will be the forearm and claw.vThis will be made out of polystyrene covered with fibreglass.
Tools (Posted 21st November 2008)
A list of the tools used again Courtsy of www.animetion.co.uk
Material List (Posted 21st November 2008)
Here is the list of materials needed Courtsy of www.animetion.co.uk