31st October 2019: Fullmetal Failure Unfortunately, I ended up hating the automail I made and felt I'd really rushed it, so I put Ed aside and wore a different costume for the con. One day, when I've built my skills up and have the finances, I absolutely hope to do this. For me, working on this constantly and my gf demanding we rewatch the anime, I just lost all interest in the character and series and my enthusiasm dropped into the negative zone. They do, however, say absence makes the heart grow fonder - hopefully soon I'll do Ed <3
21st October 2019: Automail Progress: Halfway There Finally, three days before the convention, I have all of the base pieces constructed and ready for priming and painting. The shoulder piece gave me the most hassle as shaping and patterning it to fit my body shape was a pain. As I want to wear the coat and show the symbol on the back, I have attached the edge of the coat to the back of the shoulder armour and I really like the look of it, even if this is absolutely not how a prosthetic limb would work lol
18th October 2019: Arm Progress: Elbow/Upper Arm So this looks a bit like Frankenstein's monster since I ran out of white craft foam, but here is the upper arm/elbow piece. This is one single piece, glued in a cylinder shape, that just slips on and off. I had to alter the pattern as the original didn't fit over my forearm to slide up to the top of my arm. I then stuck layers of craft foam to make an elbow guard, as well as the two metal straps he has. Next stage is to do the shoulder and body parts.
18th October 2019: Arm Progress: Forearm Here I have the base of the forearm completed, ready for priming and painting - both the upper and lower sections are made from craft foam, velcroed together for ease (although once stuck together, I can easily just slide it on snuggly). Under the grill section I stuck some thick white card just large enough to go under the gaps.
16th October 2019: Hand Base Complete! Third attempt and finally have the hand fully structured and ready for painting. The finger pieces are actually glued to the actual glove so that they remain in place for the convention. I need to buy a few buttons to act as fake screws but, other than that, the hand is complete and ready to paint. Tomorrow I'll be working on the forearm and upper arm.
10th October 2019: Coat Complete! After patching up some minor problems (a few holes had occurred when cutting off the straps and buttons), and giving the symbol another coat of fabric paint, the coat is complete! It's a Zara nylon trench coat that I found for £15 on Depop, and it works perfectly for Ed. I just need to make the arm and the belt and this costume will be ready to try on <3
4th October 2019: Coat Progress: Part 1 Today I took a break from the automail madness, and decided to work on the coat. Ed's Flamel symbol on the back is above his waist, with the crown at the top hidden by his hood. I think I got the placement pretty accurate but, sadly, there's no way for me to add a hood to this so it's not going to be 100% accurate. I first of all found a template for the symbol online and printed it out - it fit on one sheet of A4 which was the perfect size. I then cut round most of it and drew a rough outline in biro to mark where each section would be placed. Then, I cut the crown, wings and staff sections out individually and used my previous outlines to line them up and trace them onto the coat. I went over this biro outline with a black sharpie, and have now done one coat of black fabric paint. I'm going to leave it to dry completely overnight before going over it again.
3rd October 2019: Automail Progress Part 2: Brotherhood I've caught up to where I left off when constructing this originally, finally <3. I covered all of the pieces with silver adhesive vinyl, which was a pain to use - it wrinkles very easily and bubbles when it gets even slightly warm, so it's not as neat as I would have liked. I then hot glued thin black elastic down the centre of all the pieces, which I will use to attach the fingers to the main hand when constructed. I wanted the palm piece to be more flexible than the others, so I made that out of thin craft foam which I have gem tacked onto silver vinyl fabric - all the pieces are drying overnight. I made a small start to the list of things I have to do for the coat. I painted small patches from 3 different black paints - leather, fabric and acrylic - to see which will be best to paint his symbol on the back. I usually use acrylic for all my fabric painting but, as this is nylon, I wanted to check which would be most affective.
2nd October 2019: Automail Progress: New Beginnings So, as was pretty foreseeable, I encountered issues with my automail. I originally was using craft foam with a layer of leatherette fabric glued on top, but this unfortunately meant the pieces were too bulky to fit over the black gloves I planned to wear underneath, and the glue takes 24 hours to dry and I can't afford to be waiting days to be able to use each piece to construct. So! Here are the new fingers, made from styrene plastic and a hell of a struggle to hot glue in shape lol. I'm actually going to reuse the finger tips from my original one, because the finger styrene pieces just would not glue without burning myself a lot. My sticky back metallic vinyl came today, so lots of progress will be made tomorrow <3
1st October 2019: Coat Progress Other than the automail, the coat is the only other part of this costume I have left to work on <3 I found a red trench coat on Depop for £15, that looked pretty good for Ed's. I've cut all the straps and buttons off, and will get painting the Alchemist symbol on the back later this week. The coat is made of nylon, and looks almost like leather from a distance - a nice nod to the live action movie where Ed's coat was insanely badass!
24th September 2019: Automail Progress: Part 2 - The Fingers Are Complete! A few ups and downs already with this automail. I originally planned to cover the pieces in leatherette, leaving a few inches around the pieces to then fold over to create a nice edge. Good in theory, terrible in actuality - it made the pieces look great but also meant they lost all their flexibility... luckily, I had only done the two thumb pieces so, after redoing those, I decided to just cut the pieces out on the leatherette and paint the edges silver later. I really like how they turned out! Next, I hot-glued the finger pieces into shape, trimmed off the excess as the knuckle pieces were much too big, and then hot glued some black elastic down the centre of the fingers, leaving some at the end which I'll glue to the main hand piece later. Thank God I started with the fingers. I need new ones after burning mine off with hot glue >.< They look rough right now, but I'm very proud of them and they have my girlfriend's approval! I have cut out the top and palm hand pieces, stuck them on the leatherette to dry overnight, and will be all set to construct the hand completely tomorrow - so excited to see this coming together!
21st September 2019: Automail Progress: Part 1 I finally got started on the automail! I've decided to use craft foam covered in a vinyl/leatherette silver fabric for my automail, as I haven't made a piece this big before and I'm not too familiar with using Worbla/thermoplastics/fibreglass just yet!
I cut out the finger and thumb pattern pieces from Amethyst Angel's website, then traced them onto craft foam and cut them out again - the pieces all look very similar, so it's important that you keep a note of what pieces go where! Once they were cut out, I placed them individually onto the back of my fabric and sketched out a rough 1/2" larger outline that, when cut out, will fold over the pieces nicely. I think I drew it took big, but it's easier to trim down than face the prospect of making them too short and leaving areas uncovered! I applied Gem-Tac glue to the pieces which worked pretty much instantly, but the instructions advise to leave it overnight so that's what I'm now doing.
Next step is to fold the fabric over the pieces to cover them completely, and then shape the pieces to form the fingers. Hopefully this all works out okay, I keep remembering just how much of this arm I need to do....
20th September 2019: Trousers No picture just yet - going to wait until I have most of the outfit - but I unearthed a pair of leather leggings that I bought last year from Sainsburys, that will work perfectly for Edward. Good news, since I have an automail arm to make and literally 30 days until the convention... oops.
7th June 2019: I Put on the Boots and Kicked Some Monster Ass I actually planned to do Ed a couple of years ago, so unearthed the boots from then. They are miraculously still in great shape and I don't have to do anything other than re-glue the trim. I bought a pair of motorcycle boots off of Ebay, specifically because they were the right shape and had the buckle and straps already. They also feel heavy to wear, like automail would, so I think Ed would approve. Once they'd arrived, I cut down the centre to make the slits of Ed's shoes, then lined the whole top part with black fabric, which I painted with acrylic black paint to look darker and blend with the shoe better. I then spent many days painting and repainting the red soles using at least 10 layers of red leather shoe paint. I'm really happy with them, and can't wait to see how they'll look once the rest of the costume comes together!
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