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RSpanner
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I've been into costuming since I was 13, back in 2007. Back then it was fursuiting that interested me, but it wasn't until I was 15 that I got into cosplay and actually made a costume. My first cosplay was a Spirit Albarn cosplay, though it was horribly rushed just days before my first con, so I could get the shirt signed by Vic Mignogna. (luckily I have been able to remake this first attempt since).

Last online 1 year ago

Kent

Joined: 28th Nov 2011

Completed costumes: 11

Photos uploaded: 32

Progress journals: 162

Events attended: 8

http://r-spanner.deviantart.com/

I've never spent so long on a pair of eyebrows in my life.

*sobs* the hardest part so far, also the last. Why won't you be neat?!

I think I'm getting the hang of this spiking malarkey now...

It's starting to take shape, you can see the gunky spikes here too.

Then with lots of hair spray, I brought the hair into a rough point, then coated the underside with glue. Sometimes it took a few tries for more stubborn spikes.

Each of the spikes was cut to length, then the tips were thinned out to create a sharper point.

Running low on styling supplies, but I'm going to see how many spikes I can get done with what I have...

Here you can see me learning the best technique. Instead of coating the entire spike tip with fabric glue, I'm only coating the underside, and then blasting smooth the top with hair spray. At least then it means less of the gunky look that sadly two of my spikes now have. But I managed to save another two that I experimented on before hand.

I made a mess of the other shoulder piece so I'm going to remake some segments. You can see the pattern I made too.


One pair of shoulder croissants!

They're only taped and strapped together with rubber bands but it should be a little clearer to see how they will be going together in the end. I want to be sure about the rivets before I wrap them, but that's pretty much all I will have left to do apart from attaching them.

I'm pretty happy with how all the padding's come together so far, but I'm going to put it aside while I have a think about how to do these rivets as I get on with something else.

Back to worbla work. The shoulder croissants are taking shape but are causing problems, and I've only got one made up so far so it might be a few days until I can test fit them properly ughhhh

Matted bald patches appearing e'rrywhere! GRRRR

*furiously patches with more wefts*

Folding over a weft onto the patch pieces. These tuck in nicely into the base of the 'fly away' spike on the side, so it should look pretty seamless. Just need to finish heat taming them flat!

Pretty sure that fixed it. There's still an exposed weft but I can still fold another one over that before I sew it down. Ughhhh I'm glad I started this when I did.

I'm using the bottom tab of the leftover Jaguar to patch in the bald spot. I probably won't need both, but I'm sure I'll need the spare one somewhere else.

Don't do wigs kids. I've been staring at this thing for a week not knowing how to fix it until tonight.

I wasn't happy with the left side at all, so I've moved things around to fit the reference better. Sadly this means I get a huge bald spot in the parting. Thankfully I have a ton of spare fibre to create a faux part to sew/glue on. It's going to be tricky to decide which way the hair will sit, but I'll figure it out.

My sanity is going to go down the toilet soon!

It took some time but I slowly managed to get all the hair into hair bands as I got more and more confident with the placing.

Distributing the hair with bobby pins to start with.

Wig beast is sewn. Time for blocking out the spikes!

I cut the crown piece from the Jaguar, and I'm sewing it down to the back of the wig. Because of the placement and need for volume, I won't be cutting back the hair underneath it (I'll be able to use this later for added volume).

That stitch marks the new parting (three rows from the nape), and I'm slowly tacking down the rest. It's a slow process because I'm sewing a stiff piece to the stretchiest area of the wig, I have to make sure there's going to be enough give for me to put the bloomin' thing on when I'm done.


This is a really good shot for the colour too!

This weft is what was shown after bringing the hair forward. It's too high up to match the parting in the reference art, but it will later become one of the anchor points for the next piece.

The Jareth is the main base of this wig, I brushed forward the hair on the entire crown piece, to expose the weft at the back.

For Aerrow's wig I'm using a pair from Arda, a Jareth and a Jaguar in Maroon. I chose Arda because not only is the colour a perfect match, but the fibre quality and volume is exactly what I'm after to make this job go smoothly. I also bought a pack of spare wefts just in case I need them (I'd rather have too much than too little, it'd be more expensive to get it shipped over later if I needed it)

Whew! Got a lot sewn tonight, the creases are just from where the seam allowances aren't clipped, that will smooth out once that's been dealt with. Collar is next to go on, after that I just need to sort a few of the shirt patches, then I can sew the side seams, sleeves and the big red side patch last. These fabrics are wonderful to sew.

This project is going to be my first real crack at circuitry for costuming, and I'm playing about with different LEDs. These ones are 10mm, and are fairly bright. I might try getting my hands on some 5mm ones since they emit the same amount of light, but from what I remember they distribute the light better.

Each sword will have a total of 3 LEDs in them (I can't be bothered to faff around with resistors at the moment, and plus it means more light!). I have all of the materials I need now to start experimenting when I have the chance.

I haven't been able to make much progress this week because I didn't buy enough fabric for one of the shirt patches and had to wait for a replacement to arrive. Now that everything's here I've been getting the cutting done. Sloooowly...

The shirt patchwork is patterned now, the rest are duct taped and ready to cut on fabric. I don't want these to look too planned, they need to look like repair jobs, so I'm sewing as many as I can on in that way. The exception though is the largest one that takes up the armhole. That will be the first to be sewn in, and that has to be done before the red chest pieces. This has been directly applied to my shirt's pattern.

I've got to separate the red piece patterns now, I was meant to do that a while ago (oops). The trousers won't take long to do, they've already been marked out and just need duct taping. I have the sleeve patches to worry about after this is done, and they can be done as real repairs because they're just rectangles (and are mostly covered by the gloves).

My fool proof, ultra advanced technique to get patterns for Aerrow's patchwork... I've used so much duct tape for this costume it's kinda scary.

I nearly have all the fabrics for Aerrow now, I'm only waiting for my stretch vinyls from Korea now for the gloves and joint pads (the brown pleather here is for the cuffs of the gloves, it'll give them more support). Everything that needs prewashing has been done, so once I've finished the patchwork patterns I can finally crack on with sewing at last!

Here's roughly what I have planned for covering the padding. I love this stretch leather vinyl, and it shapes over armour really really well. Of course there won't be any creases or bubbled edges when it's glued, it's still making me pretty happy with my choice of avoiding real leather.


Yay 2/3 of the shoulder pad segments are shaped! The middle ones are left, and will be the trickiest to put together. Once they're done I can assemble them and test their movement, then start taking steps to attach them to the shirt. I think it's a good time to pattern the knees and elbows with the trusty old duct tape.

Also I'll sort that finger print on the top left piece when it's cooler, that's a pet hate for me ;_;

Taking the time to really neaten the edges is really paying off, it’s something I normally skip over for most of the times I’ve used it, but it looks so much better with the extra effort.

I decided leather would be too expensive and too difficult to pull off for this project, so I've switched to covering worbla with vinyl. I've got far more experience with worbla and I feel I can create a better effect this way.

I ran out of material for one of the undersides so I had to piece together scraps. Thankfully it's not going to be seen so I'm not too concerned with it being uneven. I made a little booboo by not adding darts in the top segment pattern, but I was able to add it after I shaped the formed pieces. Dilemma fixed!

Aerrow's clothes are going to be blind hemmed, something I've never done before. It's taken a few attempts to figure it out, but I think I'm getting the hang of it now...

Selfie to show the scale of Radarr's face! ;D

He has ears! Well, pinned and taped... I can't fix them until I fur him, I need to open them up to add wire supports and such... They may look a little big at the moment, but his neck will soon fix that...

Here are the eyebrows posed, they are quite flexible, it'll take some practice to achieve the expressions I want him to wear quickly.

Some little sky monkey has a pair of poseable eyebrows! :DDD This was quite an experiment, and it took me two attempts to get this. All it is is craft foam and wire, and I'll be using the same technique with his mouth after furring (his lip needs to be exposed, whereas his eyebrows aren't defined in the same way)

(here they are in a neutral state, this is how I will be working with them until I finish the project)

Radarr's head is pretty much fully sculpted! He needs a fuller brow yet, a little patching in areas, and I'm going to be changing his eyes soon, but he's coming together pretty well! I'm not too worried about getting him completely smooth, he's going to be covered in fabric anyway so it's be a waste of time going too far.

I have to admit seeing him slowly come to life is really exciting <3

I'm sloooowllyyy chipping away at it

I've trimmed away all the differences in the templates and started having a go at rounding areas off. It's very much a brick still, but as I chip off more and build up confidence to move away from the templates, it'll start to look more like the sky monkey I'm aiming for <3

Got the templates done, now to start hacking off foam (aka the hella messy bit)

I scanned, printed and cut my drawn reference to create a set of templates to mark up my foam.

Wooooo it's been a long time since I've done a head sculpt... Let's see how rusty I am haha

My trial eyes for Radarr, cast out of hot glue. I've never cast with hot glue before, but it's the /perfect/ shade of off-white for the job. This set is covered in ridges, so I'm using them just to help me with my foam build until I get the real ones done (also why this is such a crappy paint job haha).

I'm not sure when I'll start on the foam build yet, but I want to see if I can get more of Aerrow done first (I need to heat form some craft foam to cut the shoulder pad patterns).

Using this as reference for my sculpt, it's actually a little over a year old now, I originally drew it back when I first started planning on making Aerrow, until Smaug took priority.

You'll probably notice that I've made his eyes a little smaller than in the show. I think in real life it'd look a little too bug eyed, but they are still pretty big on the head. I've rounded a lot of things off style wise to make them translate to real life a little better.

It turns out I need a bag for when I have my Aerrow costume at cons (pockets can only do so much), and since I've found a way to incorporate him into my May MCM performance plans, I've decided I'm going to make Radarr. Besides, what kind of Aerrow would I be without a Radarr hanging off my back!? He's going to be quite an experiment that's for sure, but there's a lot of techniques involved that I have got experience with (by the looks of it, his clothes and bag are going to be the hardest). Fortunately I can make him mostly out of things I already own, or will do as I progress with the costume (which takes priority after all).

There are tests to be done!

Shoulder croissant-- I mean, shoulder pad patterns are done! I duct taped each segment individually so I can get the hidden areas in too. Foam tests next.

This delectable loaf of duct tape is my shoulder cast, now sporting the shapes I need to make the pattern for my leather pads.

Dark blue is the outline, red is the middle segment, the yellow marks the overlapped areas of the top and bottom segments. The mark in the corner of the middle segment marks the pivot point, there's one on the other side of the arm too. The bottom segment is fused to the middle piece, connecting it to the sleeve. Originally I was going to have the top be fused to the shoulder, but depending on how restricting this is for my movement, I might only fuse it to the sleeve seam.

I need to duct tape out each piece individually next, then I can trial it in craft foam. I'm surprised I've made it this far haha!

My dilemma at the moment with my shoulder padding pattern. I have to be careful how I alter it or it'll just fall flat against my shoulder and lose the shape I had padded out.

What started out as a joke to see how much I need to change Aerrow to make his outfit fit me went a little further than I thought, and became a potential reference. In some way this is a lot more tangible to make now, but it's really weird for me to see these two next to each other haha. (yay for about 45 minutes in photoshop with nothing but a mouse :P)

Huzzah, a pattern! (Modelled by my mock up of Haruhi's dress haha)

I've still got some altering to do to get it to match the shape of the reference, but it's coming close. This stage is to get the perfect resting shape, then I can use the pattern to draft the individual segments to increase my range of movement. Hopefully I won't have to go into such heavy drafting for the elbows and knees, they cover smaller areas...

Cheap duct tape is a fantastic thing.

This was so hard to do without help, but with patience, a lot of cling film and three small reels of duct tape, I finally have a base for my shoulder pads done. I do admit, I've been worried about the width of my shoulders for this costume, but if the pads look anything like this I should be perfectly fine. It even came out to a point like in the design! Haha

I'm going to make a pattern and trail it with foam on the mock up. I might need to do some tweaks to my plans for the movement, since I'm a little anxious about how it'll distort the jumper... I'll have to work on that.

Needless to say I'm pretty happy with this!

(a better view of the nail polish remover stains)

(a better view of the nail polish remover stains)

My boots arrived! The colours are spot on, and they fit amazingly (minimal breaking in, yay!). The seller put them up for auction because she'd spilt nail polish remover on them, but the don't look half as bad as I thought they'd be, I can play around with different weathering too if I want them to blend it in a little better. I also might make them shorter to match the proportions in the reference art, depending how hard it'll be to sew haha.

Whew! I got the red sections sewn in last night, I just need to tidy up the seam allowances so they lay flat. Like I said before, the method I used for the mock up meant I wouldn't get a perfectly symmetrical piece, however I do have a pattern now and will be able to make it even for the final attempt. Everything still needs hemming and the waistband of the trousers still needs to be sewn on. After that's sorted I can worry about the leather shoulder/elbow/knee pads.

Hissss this is trickyyy...and these bright contrasting fleeces are killing my eyes! ;-;

New collar trial! I'm much happier with the fit now, it's much snugger and much harder to pull over my head, but it leaves far more room for the shoulder pads and the holsters :DDD yay for stupid o clock progress!

Robin redbreast jokes incoming...

The red jumper patches are ready to have the collar sewn in. The neckline's about a centimetre snugger, but I can still get my head through (albeit with some force while the seam allowance is unclipped). I'm a little annoyed I could get the mock up completely symmetrical, but it means I can get the final thing to sit perfectly.

I'm fitting the sleeves tonight~ Pretty happy so far, I just need to sew in the left one now. I'm a little sceptical about the collar fitting, I've planned to take it in a little to fit a little more snug. Only a tad though. I still need to decide on how I'm going to hem it...

Sorry about the crappy binding effort here haha, it'll be a lot smoother for the real trial runs. I can work in my binder but not the vests as well (I like breathing).

Getting these bloody alterations done at last. It's probably going to need more than this, but we'll see how it looks.


I managed to transfer the alterations but I don't trust the pattern at the moment, so I'm going to do another attempt on cheap fabric to make sure it's going to work. It should do, but I'd really rather not risk it. I also need to put on the waistband, but I might not bother until the redraft to save my elastic.

Also, the second two pictures are why we have with-nap layouts ;) I only did it cut yardage costs for the mock ups, the final thing will be done correctly.

I'm currently working on his trousers, though with how tight they have to be, they're closer to being leggings haha. I still have a long way to go to get these to fit perfectly, I won't know 100% until I put in the waistband, and that can't happen until I finish the legs :')

I'm drafting my own patterns for Aerrow.

I've spend my day doing armour research, trying to find a way to get as much movement as I can Aerrow's the shoulder padding. I think I've finally found something that's going to work.

Looking at the way spaulders work - several overlapped bands (called lames) joined by straps of leather or rivets - it gave me an idea of how to engineer this. I was able to find a purpose for the little rivets in either side of his shoulders too. The way I have drafted it out so far is that there are three lames, the two lower ones overlapped normally and fused together (this doesn't need the movement, and will make attaching the piece to the jumper easier). The top piece covers the shoulder underneath the larger middle lame. There's a curve in the middle lame that will pass over the shape of the piece it covers, which will open up a huge amount of movement if it works.

This part has been incredibly hard to sort out, I don't want to sacrifice too much accuracy, but the design as it is wouldn't be able to work in real life without distorting. The plan I've drawn out could work, or not at all. I'm going to have to do a mock up out of foam first before going onto leather. All I really need to worry about now is how much movement the knees and elbows will have, and if there's anything I can do to make them have a little more range without any visible attachments.

Whew this is a tricky part ;____;

Oh boy has today been busy. With Coscraft opening up again, I've been making more definite plans for Aerrow's hair by comparing potential styles and colours I want to use.

Aerrow has a lot of spiking work to be done, a huge amount of ventilating/franken-wigging, and no visible parting in the back (how I'm going to get around that is going to be the most fun...). The wig is possibly the biggest thing that I want to get as accurate as possible, since it's one of the most defining part of his silhouette. I have a fair bit of experience with styling wigs, and a lot of the techniques I want to use, but I've never used them at this scale in the same project. It's going to be a lot of work, but I want to be certain that the materials I want to use will be right first, so it's going to take some time.

I'm almost tempted to call this build Project Hedgehog at this rate hehe

Ahaha my new samples arrived! I think I have most of the fabrics I need now (a mixture of cuff knits, fleeces and sweatshirt fabrics). It's very hard to photograph without proper daylight, but the colours match as much as I hoped (<3!!), and I should be able to order what I need once I have the mock up done (I need to get the correct amounts).

I've made up a colour palette for Aerrow to make my fabric matching a lot easier.

Second attempt at the sword template. This time I stayed true to the reference art, and only shortened the length of the hilt. Hopefully between the two drawings, you should be able to see just how different they are in shape, and I certainly prefer the new one. The blade looks a lot bigger with the guard being smaller, and I prefer the deeper 'cut out' sections. The overall size I'm going for with this is just under a full arm's length from tip to pommel, so these are going to be pretty big daggers.

Next I'm going to draw up the rough interior arrangement, though I won't be able to make anything final until I know the dimensions of the EL wire drivers. It's still going to make things a little easier to understand if it's drawn up, and I'm probably just going to have to change a little bit of the scaling that's all.

I hate doing make up tests without the wig to match, but I've made so little progress today I couldn't resist seeing what I could do. I'm definitely going to have another attempt another day, but it more than likely won't be until the wig is done. I generally know what I want now so it should quicker next time (ie the eyebrows, eyes, contouring).

Ugh make up I hate you so much ;-;

Here's my first attempt at my Aerrow sword template! Woah SAI is so much easier to outline with than illustrator. I might have to go over my Buccaneer arm again in there.

Quick history lesson: Storm Hawks was going to have an MMO called Storm Hawks Skyrace, and they hyped it up quite a bit. After the show was cancelled, the game quickly followed suit. However, a lot of the models and artwork were released by the artists for their portfolios. One of the things released was a full view turn around video clip of one of Aerrow's swords, and his is going to be incredibly useful for my own build.

I've had to alter the proportions for my version. In the show and artwork, the swords lights up and make a more impressive look. But because I'm having to use EL wire to create a live edge, I'm going to have to make the blade a little larger, and the handle smaller. The official merch does this as well, but I've not altered it that much, this is more of a balance between the two. This is still only the first attempt, I might still have to alter them a little more, but I'm pretty happy with the way it looks for now.

My fabric samples from Calico Laine arrived today! The top two are samples for Haruhi (the best colour matches I could find in 100% cotton), and the other eight are for Aerrow.

The fleeces have incredible amount of stretch (far more than the fabric I used on Smaug), which is going to be perfect for Aerrow's range of movement. So far I think the dark petrol fleece is the closest colour match with the jumper (second to the left bottom left) the rest are a little too purple.

I'm definitely going to be hunting for sweatshirt fabrics too, especially for the red portion on his front. The padded look will be really effective against the fleece, and maybe make it look a little less like a set of pyjamas haha. If I can't find the pale red I want, I'll have to experiment with acid dying. If that doesn't work, I'll have to find another way around it.

After years of putting off, I've finally gotten the guts to start this thing.

I still have a lot to sit down and plan out thoroughly, but things are slowly becoming more and more tangible. I'm very glad I've waited to start this project, I've picked up skills and experience that I will definitely need for it to run smoothly. Each part of the costume is going to need a substantial amount of attention to bring it up to a standard I want to compete in, some more than others. And by others I of course mean those swords. I've devoted the entire day planning how those things are going to be dealt with, and they are going to need plenty more in the weeks to come.

The goal is to get him finished in time for May MCM. Whether or not I can pull it off is another thing entirely.

Sweet Jesus I am wearing a dress. Still needs the collar piece, the cuffs and, after testing the fit, a petticoat, but I have a wearable thing now! It's a lot of fun to prat about in, and I can't wait to get the last pieces done so I can start the main version

Please excuse the not-so-Haruhi wig, my real hair's gross and this was the quickest one to put on (and I've yet to get my hands on one for her *grumble grumble*)

It looks so frumpy on this mannequin XD but hopefully you can see what I was trying I achieve with the skirt.

Time to sew it together and install the zip.

There is a big chance this isn't going to work, but hopefully the extra fabric added tot he bottom hem should create the pleated/gathered look the Ouran dresses have on the hips. The skirt is going to be sewn to the bodice as if nothing was added, this should create the look I want for the dress.


Aha I have a bodice done, complete with puff sleeves. The whole thing fits me a lot better than on this dress form, but it's taken me ten minutes and the unstitching of the centre back for me to climb out of it (you can see where I panicked and tore my head through the neckline trying to get out XD). I won't be wearing this part again until the zip is put in (once the skirt is done).

The sleeves were fun to do, not as daunting as I thought they'd be, though they did need a little experimentation. The final product will have tulle supports to keep them in the floofy bell shape that they need to be.

I've never attempted princess seams before, so I'll keep this pattern aside as my block for future projects. There're a few small alterations that need to be done but they're only minor and have just been put into the pattern for final thing. It doesn't affect the mock up greatly if I leave the small problems in there.

Skirt next, which needs the extra panels put in, once that's sewn in then it's the zip, then finally onto the collar and cuffs. This is such a pretty design, quite the change from the characters I tend to do, let's hope it goes well!

I'm slowly getting Buccaneer's crocodile automail blue print done. For a project like this, I'm going to need a blueprint to keep track of the all the finicky parts and know exactly how to fit them all together without resulting in a giant mess.

This is the bulk of the jaw section of the croc arm, without the inner mechanics that will make the top 'teeth' open and shut. Seeing the details like rivets, channels and edges will make the making process a hell of a lot simpler.

I still need to add the chain, but that doesn't need to be on until later. Next stage is the base and the motor section, and I have a feeling that is going to take a little while to do.

AHA! My first embossing adventure was a success! The pull went very well, and I'm stunned it even worked! I think the stamp needs some sanding or some sort of coating to make it smoother, there's a slight unevenness in it which may need sorting. I'll have to see once it dries.

Also, lesson learnt about being impatient. The lines across the top are caused by me checking it and the fibres getting caught on themselves, then getting pressed in a different direction. I guess they could be easily ironed flat with a bit of care, I dunno.

I still can't believe it worked! Now for the painfully nerve wracking part - doing the exact same on the cape... With the extra pieces too... Oh god....

For Ed's ice arm, I'm using upholstery foam to sculpt, and flexible filler for a sealant for paint. I would use latex, but I already own this filler, it's pretty easy to get a hold of, and honestly I don't want to use something so smelly lol

Also this stuff is incredibly tough and flexible. The sample piece pictured has withstood a huge amount of abuse to test it. Now I just need a flexible paint to match (I'll probably blend blue paint into it as I layer it)

Just a sneaky preview of the leather jeans I'm making for Ed. This was my first functional fly zip too, which I'm quite proud of! :D

This is quite old now, but I might as well upload it.

Coscraft have an awesome ivory colour in their Alex style, which is perfect for Elsa. Sadly, despite the ideal colour, the bangs are far too short for Edward's iconic style. I know I could cut the ends to the correct length and then make my own wefts, but I have found a solution I'm more comfortable with. I have found a supplement wig with a perfect centre part, and I'm going to franken-wig it to this one. The colour might be a little darker, but it'll look better than straight white, and it's still pretty light. The wig itself is fairly wavy, so it'll be straightened with hot water first before any sort of cutting.

The hair is one of the most recognisable features of Ed's design, so I want to put in as much work as possible to make it look like his hair. His arm will also be important but that's a whole other topic.

Heat embossing practice on minky fleece using my new iron, inspired by velvet embossing techniques. I plan to use this technique for the flamel detailing on the cloak.

It took a while of planning to get it the shape I wanted, but I got the largest amount of the work done on the cloak. I still need to work on the appliqué, the bottom hem, and the clasp. Weeeeee~

Main Fabric - Cuddlesoft velboa minky fleece
Lining - Polyester habotai lining

These are wooonderful fabrics. I can't bring myself to use velvet again so soon, it's such a nightmare and I only have spandex velour. This minky fleece is beautifully soft and has a lot of the same properties of velvet (thankfully not as many evil ones). I'm going to try embossing my sample it to see what it does, because that would create a perfect effect. I know you need to use rubber stamps, but I'm going experiment with other things too. If it doesn't work I'll try embroidery and/or appliqué.

I want to keep this costume's costs down where I can, so some things will have to be cheap (ie linings, odd pieces).

Boy this took some time. All they need now are insoles and weathering, but the latter can only be done once all the dragon parts are done, and that is mostly just the wings that need detailing. So that's my focus for tomorrow. And maybe getting that god damned belt on, I keep forgetting to sew it. I may try to do it tonight if I get cleaned up quick enough.

I'm well on track for a test run by Monday latest, and I can spend the rest of my time solely on the coat, and I'm gonna need as much time as I can get for that.

Hot gluing all the scales is certainly made them strong for the feet, I may swallow my pride and use glue on my tail (for the larger scales). I'll try to wait a bit longer for that.

Progress is being made on the scales, it's an almost sick sense of deja vu...

Same again, here's a movement test with all the claws on. Sorry if it's hard to see. I am debating whether I should put an insole in them because I keep treading on the hard glue and I can see that giving me blisters.

http://rspanner.tumblr.com/post/85725639595/smaug-feet-wip-2-movement-test-ive-been-fleecing

The claws are all done and can be attached at this stage. Each claw was moulded out of worbla over the old foil base I made for the horns, painted brown/black, then glossed. Since they're hollow, I had some trouble deciding how they're going to be attached, and I ended up choosing adding a sort of cuticle/rim of fleece that folded over the top and stuffed into the hollow claw. I'd then make a slit in the toe, and glue it to the foam directly. Most of them aren't going to budge, one or two may need a little extra glue but won't come off without a fight. I just want to make sure they're strong enough to last the day. Both feet have dew claws as the ankle, mostly to tell me which foot is which. Will do a movement test.

The paws are near enough fleeced.

Here the pads have been glued on and I'm starting on the fleecing. Time and money pressures have made me decide that I'm not going to do the duct tape pattern method, and I'm having to use the quicker, and albeit sloppier way of just draping it. More wrinkles appear but it does work in my favour, looking more like the grizzly old dragon's skin. This will be more prevalent when worn.

I'm using these gold hoops from my local fabric shop. I'm not too sure of their original purpose, but they work really well for these earrings, all they need is a snip.

Ahh the ears are all fleeced now. I experimented with the glue to see if there was anything new I could find, but it ended up soaking through the fleece. No matter, I can use my weathering paint to sort that. Now to find where the piercings are because I'm an idiot that didn't mark where they were.

After that, the next part is to get them fixed onto a head band.

The paw pads are carved out of a thick EVA floor mat, then shaped with a dremel tool. I wasn't too happy with how grey they were, so I used ink to dye them black. The ink does come off very easily, but it's been holding up quite well considering how long I've been wearing them in tests. Still, I'll do another coat before packing them, and take my ink with me on the day to fix any considerably large areas. I like the mix of the black and grey, especially where there would be natural wear, but if I want the effect to last, I need to keep applying it. It'd probably work if I had some more permanent ink ehehe;;

I had lots of excess worbla when I was making the claws and the ears, so I used them to make this cloak ring. I won't make any more until nearer the deadline, since it's easier to paint this in the hotel room than it is to sew and glue lololol. That, and it's not going to be as missed in the design.

Like a lot of the jewellery he wears in this design, it's stolen this from one of the people he's eaten. He doesn't wear it for his purpose, he has no care for craftsmanship, he just wants to display his wealth.

ehehe;; well it was a good test of the most evil combination of fabrics I can think of. Spandex velvet, foil bias tape and bent cording. The bent cording is what has made this fail, and besides it doesn't fall the way I wanted it too, so I'm scrapping it from the design.

At least I know what to expect for when working on the coat (which will work out better because it's more suited for that sort of thing), I'll have to make some alterations to the design replace the front panel with some scarves or some other drapey fabrics. As evil as it is, I really love the way the fabrics look together, just as I had imagined.

I haven't logged this part much at all because my sewing machine broke and I had to go buy a replacement, so I forgot to take photos of my progress. I will take a photo of it before I cut the back for the wings, the whole thing is lined with armhole facings (first time I've done this and I'm pretty chuffed with the turn out).

I will be cutting the back out when I do the main overcoat. I want to get the rest out of the way first. It needs buttons yet.

Sculpt all finished and tested. All that's needed now before fleecing are the claws and paw pads.

Here's a video of my left foot's movement test. This was recorded around 3am, hence the pink spotty pjs. By the way if it player stops working I'm sorry you know what tumblr's like for these things;;

http://rspanner.tumblr.com/post/84578701745/smaug-feet-wip-1-bulking-the-feet-bases-for-my

This is near enough the shape I wanted. I started building up one foot first to make sure it was the right shape, then began work on the other to match. They kept needing to be off the duct tape mannequin to make sure the glue hadn't trapped them. Of course I couldn't resist trying them on either.

Starting with the toes. They look very clunky here.

Here are the beginnings of the feet. I've created a custom lycra base for the upholstery foam to stick to, created a small pattern to follow and gathered all the other supplies I need. It's going to take a lot of additive and subtracts sculpting to make something I'm happy with.

The base of the ears is made just out of worbla. I've added a little more boning than is seen here to keep them strong, and be more defined under the fleece.

Here I'm just wearing them over my ears (no extra support, just hooked on), I'll be wearing a head band under my wig to keep them on, and they'll go in front of my real ears, covered by a thin black linen patch.

I can't fleece these until I have decided how his earrings will sit, because they have to be pierced.

I've finally caved and decided to glue all the scales down so they don't fold over any more. I've done 3 coats of fabric glue, and it isn't sticking down too well. However, it's stiffened the fabric enough to keep them flat, which worked just as well. I will try a stronger glue in the areas that need it most. After that, all that's left for the tail is attaching the belt, then once all the dragon parts are done, weathering/shading/highlighting. LOTS TO DO IN 34 DAYS I'D SAY;;

I've coloured the entire muslin base with a red sharpie. I really should have started with a red fabric base, then all that time wouldn't have been wasted.

Three main fabrics for Smaug's clothes. I've changed out the original golden faux silk dupion (will still be used on the weird obi thing, urgh) to something far more harsh on the wallet, but more in keeping with the fact that Smaug is a dragon, and needs more scale motifs. And what better way that to make his golden waistcoat out of /scales/.

His trousers (pfft if they can even be called that) are going to be made from that blue jersey. It's a different colour that my own alterations to the colours, but the same as Brilcrist's original palette. Still, nothing a little weathering can't handle.

This is an example of the best angle this velvet can be taken from, in other lights it can look very pink/purple, clashing with everything else.

This entire outfit is very harsh in colours and textures, but the goal is to show that he wears his stolen wealth, like a trophy. All the parts come from more than one place. His mismatched jewellery should also help define this more.

Wing membrane all sewn on with a blanket stitch! I still have to make and sew the detailed bones and horns on (no horns until I do the claws on the feet, they have to have the same paint job, and that needs to be done before being attached), but it's beginning to take more form. It's exciting enough to have them on the mannequin.

The point of this before and after is to show that I've bent an elbow into each wing, the extreme anatomical incorrectness was really starting to bug me. That little bend really helps a lot with the silhouette, and even if nobody notices it, it puts me at ease that they are more of a correct shape. It's more of what I envisioned.

I tried out my overlocking foot properly for the first time on my wing harness/straps. It's a god send for fraying fabrics like muslin, but it's going to take a bit more getting used to before I use it on easily seen edges (still better than unfinished ones I guess). Right now, it seems to me that it's very similar to a rolled hem foot, but it makes sure all the fabric make it under the stitch, keeping the edge very tidy. It also helps if you cut the fabric straight, and not let it get too messy before doing this. Overall, definitely a great addition to my sewing arsenal, especially for £3/5 on amazon!

My teeth are in the post office! I just have to pick them up tomorrow and I can test them. Excitiiiiing~

Since I've gone so far away from Brilcrist's artwork, I've decided to step completely away and design my own interpretation. This way I can incorporate all of the elements I want to (different cultures etc). I'll go into more detail once I have drawn his new design up digitally. A few of the fabrics will be different, so it may mean a trip to London to get some (ie, silks and other natural materials). It'll be the more expensive route but I'd rather make him look correct. Also lots of jewellery and trinkets, because it's Smaug after all.

I'm going to haaaate myself for this when I'm hurry up with the last details on the Thursday night before the con...

Today I had a friend help me tape up my legs so I could make these mannequins for my dragon feet.

This is my first time attempting something like this, needless to say it's quite unnerving to have a replica of my legs about;;

Starting to work on the wings now. I've had the basic wire structure made for a while, I've added an extra 'u' for support in the middle - it'll stop the wings from flopping around and it'll stay snug against my back. Next up is the harness, then I can think about covering these with either fleece, lycra or vinyl... decisions, decisions...

After much struggle, and a lot of cursing, the horns are sewn to the wig! This was much harder that I thought it'd be, neither of them wanted to stay in the right place, but I finally managed it.

For the head design, I only need to add the ears, jewellery, and facial hair. I'm waiting on the veneers I've ordered to arrive, which will looks really good for this. I'm still debating about contacts, you can see here that I've got blue eyes, which are pale in most light, so they wouldn't really suit him :S. I'll try to get an eye test soon, so I can make sure I'm safe to wear them.


My god I look like I should be a part of homestuck or something.

Kobra cast is surprisingly easy to sew...

I'm taking a break from the tail to finish up the head design. Originally I was going for the two pairs of horns, but they don't look right on the wig. So I'm opting for one set and large ears instead, then it's more like what Brilcrist originally drew.

Also, those who've seen Smaug's film design will know that his face is covered in spikes. To mix this in with the human element of this costume, I'm giving him facial hair (beard, sideburns, bushy eyebrows). I've never tried this before so it'll be an experience;;

so manry

ALL THE SCALES ARE SEWN. AT LONG LAST. <3

There's a few areas that need some modifying (my god, look at that clump at the base, it's almost hanging XD), other areas need patching, and every single one needs securing. If I pick it up in the wrong direction, they all flop awkwardly and show the sewing beneath, so I have to secure them. I'll be working my way back up for that, so I can just sew them down completely~

I'M ALMOOOST THERREEE~

'Peter kept talking about the eastern quality of the dragon, and he wanted to take it further east.' - Howard Shore (composer for The Hobbit trilogy), talking about Smaug's theme.

I'm so happy I found this, it means my personal add ins for this costume's design are justified. Now I can add a few extra little embellishments in to tie it all in a little more.

(this is mostly for the 'diamond waistcoat' design that I will be wearing under the main overcoat, as seen in the sketches)

For the last solid week or so, I've been doing major progress on Smaug's tail. That picture was taken on the 7th, so more has been done since since. It's the scales that have taken up most of the time, but at least I've got about 10 rows of them left (from time of writing this). I have to go all the way back up to fix them all down securely, so they don't flip up and show all the sewing.

The entire thing is made of fleece fabric, foam and stuffing. There's no glue at all.

One of my biggest goal in this costume is to create something that doesn't have to be adjusted every five minutes because it was knocked out of place/wasn't secure enough. I've been making sure all the scales are tightly on, and everything can withstand a little bit of rough treatment (being stepped on, tugging etc). It's working well, but it's taking a long, long time. I'll probably spend another week on it and all the sewing should be done. The feet will be made in the same way, scales all hand sewn to 'socks'. I will only add weathering and details once all the dragon parts of the costume are done, so it's consistent all over (tail, feet, horns, wings and ears).

Next thing to work on after this will likely be the horns and wig, since I really want a change from that scale of sewing. Urghhh...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=738732566159330&stream_ref=10
Here is the tail with all the spines attached, ready to have the top scales sewn.

Spines all sewn together, need to be sewn to the base. Each has a craft foam core, the larger ones have 2-3 layers for extra firmness. There are 11 of these.

Tail tip sewn and stuffed. It's extra firm and can hold a shape.

Underbelly plates sewn. Very untidy here, edges will be sewn down later under top scales.

Muslin tail base sewn, scale templates drawn.

Lots of little progress~ after some recent news, I have been moved around my May plans a lot. I won't be entering Eurocosplay this year, because I won't be available next October, but I shall be entering the Saturday masquerade with this costume. I'm not doing either Aerrow or Pit for this May, so I will just have this costume to focus on (I'll take two of my older costumes with me too for the sake of it, or make something simple), and I want to make this the best that I can.

As usual I'm waiting on deliveries which is setting me back some time, but I have got my huge order of red fleece, and I can get to work!

I am completely scaling the tail. The lines (36 of them) that run up it in the photo are a rough guideline to see how many scales I will need, and I will probably have to add more lines. At least with these journals, I can document the process of me slowly turning insane as I draw, cut and sew each of these scales on.

And to match the look of the tail, I will likely have to do the same to the feet, which I shall work on at a different time. The feet have a very basic upholstery foam base, which I will flesh out and carve to create his toes. They are going to be a pair of socks with flexible soles on them, so I can move my feet around comfortably, but still be somewhat protective. This means I can switch between stand on the flat of my foot onto my toes without much trouble.

The wire armature for the wings is pretty much done. Depending on the harness I use, I may add a little extra support with an extra strip of wire above the bottom join, so that they won't be able to droop.

Something else I have done is add to the design. I'll post it another time, but I don't think I'm going to be comfortable enough to do the open chest binding, and I want to keep my options for the wings harness open just in case they're too heavy and need extra support. So, to create a better binding effect, potential wing support, and still keeping with Smaug's theme, I have design a 'diamond waistcoat' that will go underneath the jacket. It's gold, and it'll be encrusted with jewels, gold etc. I will also be able to add in the weak spot by his heart more effectively. This may not be the only design change that I'll do, I'm trying to experiment with his face a bit more, but for now I'm quite happy with the cloting.


I'm super excited now to work on this, and I'm even tempted to try contacts. I'm not exactly comfortable with them, but it'd really give that extra kick that Smaug will need.

ONWARDS~ >A

Now my work room has been sorted out (at long last!), I can finally spend time on this costume.

Time for a run down of what I have planned for Pit.

I'm following several references, from Uprising and his appearance in Brawl, and I'm mishmashing the minor details to create a look that I'm comfortable with. The goal is to create something that looks like it's straight from the game, with a heavily stylised hairstyle and wings, but something that still looks convincing.

So looking at the elements that will be needed, head to toe:

#HEAD#

Wig - I've been incredibly inspired by Malinda-chan's wig work, mostly her Cloud wig (it's one of the biggest inspirations I've had for this project). Her progress has been incredibly helpful, and I plan to follow her methods. Spiking is something very new for me, so I will have to.

Laurel - I can make this with worbla quite easily. It'll be simple to create the leaves and add in intricate details, while keeping the piece strong. Painted with the same gold as all the armour in this costume.

#BODY#

Wings – I have been so torn about this part of the costume, and it's something I want to do right. Feathers would be great to work with, but sadly I can't afford a huge amount, and I don't think real ones would suit the cartoon look I am trying to make. Paper would be another option, but it's way too delicate to risk it (rain, wind, expo crowds etc). I have worked with foam for a pair of wings before, and again, it's not the effect I want for Pit. From my research, the best thing I have found is thin white packing foam. It's translucent enough and it creates a really soft, delicate look. The foam could rip, and may struggle to keep its form because it's such a thin material, but I am sure I can find ways to counter that.
His wings will also require a harness, which is going to be difficult because of the exposed nature of his costume. If I keep the wings as light as I can then I can keep my options open for when I have to attach them to me. The best kind of harness would be one that covers the binder on my back, .

Underwear – Pit seems to be wearing some kind of active wear under his toga, which resembles modern racing swimsuits and other sports gear. The racer back is perfect for his wings *which unfortunately falls short of my binder's arm holes fffff*. For the sake of practicality, I am going to split this part in two, and make a swimsuit (this will stretch out the top evenly, and will not be seen) and a pair of shorts. I did have a little toss up between jersey or lycra for this part because of the shine, fitting, cost and even colour. Right now I'm not too sure, I will have to research more. Lycra is more likely because it fits the stretch requirement for my pattern, even though it's more expensive.

Scarf – I want this to be a little different in either colour or texture to stand against the toga nicely. It's shown to be a different fabric in all of my reference art.

Shoulder pendant – Can be cast from resin, or be a clear dome painted from the inside. Resin would be heavier, but it would look best.

Toga – this freaking thing. I can't be the only person that has planned to cosplay this guy that has had problems for his forsaken toga. I want to keep it simple, and I'm taking into account that togas would be made using a folded sheet. So I'm treating it like really elaborate fabric origami. What I have narrowed it down to is that it's just a rounded sheet folded in half. I will either roll hem the sheet or line it completely to create a seamless look. I'm drafting it with muslin, and I will make it in either linen or cotton.
Trim – The trim along the bottom edge of his toga is just a repeated swirl pattern, I can add a red fabric that has been either painted or embroidered. Painting would be quicker but the embroidered method would be ideal.

Belt – His belt has two buckles, one in the front, and a larger one in the back. The silver can be painted.

#ARMS#

Cuff – Pit's arm cuff is more detailed than the one on his leg, it has engraved details and extra bands around the edges. This will be treated like all of the gold areas in this costume.

Bracers – EVA foam will be good to use here, I want to make these look as large as they do in the art, if I can. I will use the same leather material that I use for the belt.

Rings – I am really conflicted about this too. My fall back plan is to have two tube rings painted pale yellow. If I can use EL wire to light them up, I will work that into the costume.

Glove flaps – Red velour and worbla. I will wear these on both hands because no two of the reference images are consistent with this.

Gloves – this will be made with the same stuff as the underwear. Like the flaps, I will wear these on both hands.

#LEGS#

Band – same as all the gold pieces, will be made with worbla and smoothed to gloss. This has no detail and will be the simplest of the armour pieces to make.

Boots/sandals – this are trimmed with wool, and feature a pair of buckles on the back, and a single one on the front of each boot. The crossed leather strips can easily made with worbla. It's possible to completely make these from scratch, if I used EVA foam for the soles.


#PROPS#

Swords – these are really beautiful swords, with a glossy, holographic centre to both them. They join at the hilt to become a bow. They will be made with the same process as I will with the gold on the costume, with worbla. The core is debatable, because I could use cut perspex (I need to test this first), and it would be strong enough to support the blades. Another option is to use a flat wooden core that was cut.



I can't wait to see what I can do with this~

I've been playing around with kobracast that I ordered in a coscraft sale to make the horns for this costume. I hadn't used it before this project, but from what I'd heard, it was the perfect material for it since it's really light and is extremely sturdy. Luckily, I was right :D

I made the mistake of trying to shape it without something to mould onto. Still, I managed to create a pair of small straight horns this way. They will have to be covered in fabric to cover the few creases that I made by doing it this way, but I was planning to anyway to match the rest of the scales.

The biggest difference between kobracast and worbla is that kobracast does not like sticking to itself when hot. This is good in some cases, since you can heat it up and use it again for something completely different, also it's useful that it won't stick to the material you're moulding it to, but it's really annoying when you just want the damn thing to join at the seam. I got around it luckily.

After doing this, I decided that to make the larger horns, I'd have to have a base. I settled for using a few plastic bags wrapped in tin foil, shaped to create the shape of the horn. This made the perfect mould for the material; flexible and water proof (if needed to be dunked in water to cool down quickly). They pulled pretty easily too once fully cooled, I was quite worried they'd get stuck since they are rather curved. Things seem to be going well!

I need to figure out a way to secure them to the wig, and I'm probably going to sew them in (kobracast just literally a plastic aida cloth, so it's full of holes that can be used for sewing). With a strong enough thread they should hold themselves well enough without additional support.



I need to buy a lot of stuff still for the rest of this costume, and plenty of work to do. Lots of fleece to get and lots of scales to sew~

I'm still working on this :P

Since the new Hobbit film has been released, so had Smaug's official design, and so I've been working on the costume's design a little bit. I'm keeping as close as possible to Brilcrist's work, but I want to add a little of the official design to make it recognisable, as well as my own flair.


The things I've altered are as follows:-

Added horns and spines that are similar to the movie design
Made the collar upright instead of folded
Made the chest scales cover certain areas - should be obvious why XDDD
Decided on the embroidery pattern
Added his tail spines
Made the trousers flare instead of ripped - I prefer the effect with the long tail
Moved his back toes to the side of his feet

All the armour is going to be the same (I kinda screwed up the leg armour so I'll just use the original reference for that).


My fabric samples arrived, and after I get my patterns, I'm going to be buying fabrics. All the scales (tail, feet, abdomen, wings, maybe horns too) will be made from cut fleece. It'll be time consuming but it'll have a really nice effect, especially when details are put in via paint and such. Some will just be make up (around the neck and face). The coat I'm having a little harder time trying to decide, and I may just end up using fleece because it would work / is cheap enough, but because I'm using it for his scales, I'm not too sure. The other choice I have is some kind of velvet. I'm hoping when I go to London to buy fabrics for this project and another I have planned for May that I will be able to choose.


Also, I bought a wig for this - it's a really awesome wig, and for anyone that wants to cosplay Sherlock, it'd be perfect with a little styling. http://www.wig-supplier.com/25cm-short-black-fashion-inclined-bang-fluffy-women-wig-xfs09b-p-2349.html (this is a really good source for wigs, they take a while with shipping but it's so cheap and a nice quality). This one's super thick, and has just the right amount of curl. It isn't skin top either, so it has a really nice volume.

All I have to do to it is add the rat/pony tail in the back (this will be easy since I have a nice long weft left over from my Lan Fan costume which, while a little off colour, is perfect).


Lots to do! But at least I have a battle plan~

I made a start on his tail, from the start I knew I wanted a super huge tail (it's one of the only things we see in the first film of his design and it's loooong) As awesome as it would be to have a super long tail, I've settled for 7ft for practicality's sake, it's still going to be an ass to transport.

For the time being, it's a giant muslin sock stuffed with fabric and foam scraps, which makes it super ridiculously heavy but it moves nicely. If I can afford it/find enough of it, I will replace it with some kind of stuffing, then start hand sewing the scales on. I would have taken photos by now but I just haven't yet.

I've ordered a bunch of fabric samples from a couple of places online, they'll be here in a few days. I won't be able to order anything until I get my measurements down but hey, progress! I'll be checking out my local fabric shop too just in case there is anything I can use there (typically it's cheaper to order online, but I may have to for certain parts).

The next thing I can start on are the feet. I'll be using a high heel base to get the shape, remove the heel, and add foam for the toes. If I possible can, I'll try to make the toes bend (I've seen it done with hinges before on stilts for fursuits I think?). I'll just have to experiment.

Finally getting my act together for sorting out the structure. The legs are working out perfectly, and should work just as intended if not better. I may add the tail tonight and so be making the attaching belt, so it'll be wearable for the first time. The body should be easy to get on with after that.

In the picture you can see my full scale sheet (4 A1 sheets taped together), so you should start to be getting a sense of the scale of this project.

I may have to review my plans for the head because I'm not sure if I'm too happy with how they are currently. We'll have to see. But for now I'm happy I'm making progress. At this rate I may be able to start working on the wings (though I may wait until I've done the head to make sure the horns are clear of them).

Progress is slow for now. This last week I've been waiting heavily on supplies to show up that I've ordered. A lot of them have shown up and I've bought more. I think by tomorrow I can get more done.

I've started working on the front legs a bit, but I can't for the life of me find where my string is, the last thing I need is to add more to my current price list. I haven't even started think about fabrics yet which is daunting.

My compressor and airbrushes came recently as well, they were really worth it and I can't wait to get more practice.

I've been working on the head mechanics again, and I've decided that I'm probably going to scrap having blinking eyes. As long as I can have the moving mouth, this shouldn't be too much of a problem. But at least now I have the mechanics mostly sorted.

Also I now have a lot of the supplies I need to get started, lots of insulation tubes and pvc pipes. I'll probably need more after experimenting with them for different parts, like using thin insulation pipes split down the middle for the 'rib cage'. I'll use the pvc pipes for the wings for sure.

Something else I got was a pair of expanding foam cans. I clogged up the nozzles of the plastic tube after my first practice and now I need to get new tubes XD its godly to carve though, so it'll work perfectly for sculpting his head, horns, tail tip and crest. I still need to work out what I'm going to use as the base for the head though. Because of the mishaps (and a couple of small explosions of messy hot pink sticky evil foam that I can't get off my hands even after 3 days) I may just empty an entire can onto a large dust sheet, and make a giant lump that I can carve what I want from. I don't want to waste so much but unless I can find a safer way, I'm more comfortable doing it this way.


On another note, I finally got around to ordering a compressor and airbrush kit. Should arrive in the week, and I can finally test it out.

Working through written plans. The head mechanics seem to be more difficult than I had originally planned, so I'll need to do some research and see if I can find a resolution. If I have to I'll ask for help.

I'll be getting a huge amount of supplies on Friday hopefully, so I can get cracking~

When the foam was rubbed together, it'd just get stuck to itself, so I'm covering the basic flat pieces with some cheap garden fabric (that I've used before in costumes) so that the movement isn't restricted.

I also might have tried to PVA the fabric to the bare foam because I've run out of hot glue... yeah... didn't turn out well... I will try to get some spray adhesive and see if that works, it should do. Even if it doesn't stick I'll sew the edges down. But keep in mind that this isn't the most crucial part to do this fabric laying on, since it is only the base after all. It's when the rest of the foam is added on top for the final look that it will be important, so really this is a good test in itself.

I'm going to get a can of expanding foam soon, and play around with it to see what I can do. Then I can look into how I'll finish its surface. If I can get some practice and finish the mechanics, I might be able to get started on the head soon. I didn't think I would have been able to do this before I did my full scale plan, but now I'm confident I've got the proportions correct. But still, I'll make sure everything is planned.

Something else that I'll just put here is that I'm looking into an airbrush system. I've found one that's been recommended heavily by other cosplayers (with a 3 litre tank and two airbrushes), and it's within my price range, so I might jsut get my hands on it soon. I have several things I can use it for (including this costume) so I'm looking forward to getting it.

Holidays are here soon, and so there'll be lots and lots of progress soon :D

I've used high density upholstery foam to make the structure of the back legs. I'm looking at how to connect the pieces next~

I've done the paint job on my maquette (not too pleased with the result but it's nice to see him with some colour). I'll add the membrane at a later date, because it's much easier to see the overall shape while making the full scale puppet.

I've also drawn out the full scale reference sheet for the body, it's really starting to dawn on me how big this project is going to be.

Finally finished modelling him, baked him, and now I'm getting through painting him. I've done all the painting except his underbelly, wings, and I may redo his eyes. After that I need to put on all his membrane then attach his wings. Should be done tomorrow. I'm annoyed that I've painted him too dark though ;_; that'd be the biggest thing I would change.

Painting really has made me think about how I'm going to do his surface decoration for the final product. I may need to do some experiments with fabric types, and possibly look at some pattern. I really want to look into the games' use of patterns and what cultural references they use, and see if I can link something back in the final thing. I'll research that as I plan the rest of the construction process.

I really want to get started on some part of the legs tomorrow, then I can say I've started. It's only 112 days away until the next Expo; my deadline. Jeeez .___.; I better get cracking, and with the form of this maquette done I can finish my plans and finally start with foam work. Even if I don't /start/ tomorrow, I want to post my plans so I can ask around if others agree they will be able to work. if not, I'll have to make them work.

I got my new box of super sculpey today, unfortunately kinda smaller than I was expecting but still enough to finish this stage of the project at least. It's a good thing that I've doing this since it's going to help me out big time when it comes to scaling things up. Being able to pick up a model and see how things are meant to look in physical form is so helpful, especially when it'll be hard to see the whole large scale form at a close proximity (I've always been worse at larger scale work, but this method seems to help a lot).

I would have done a pepakura model, but all the files of Spyro's in game model wouldn't work and it just looked too complicated to put together. Then again, I've had to distort a fair bit of his model to make it suitable and possible for human wear and manipulation. Examples of this is how his body slopes down to his tail and this would be impractical for securing the legs to the puppeteer's. I've also made his legs a little longer (only a smidge) to increase his height, and to smaller his head. Something I want to do is get a full range of movement in his head and neck, so if the legs don't work as well as I hope, I an express enough emotion and character in his face and head movements.

I just have to make his wings, and then be sure I'm happy with the look of him, then I can bake him! I'll be adding the 'skin' of his crest and wings after I've painted him.


Weeeeee~ progress :'D

Okay so I'm heavily in pre production right now. This is a very ambitious project for me but I think I'm ready to give the purple guy a go.

I'll post up my written plans once I have finished them. They're very messy right now and need finalising XD it's mainly the front legs that have been causing me grief, but I /think/ I've sorted it. May have to ask around for advice at some point. The head's mechanics will need some approval too, and I may have to test them on something before I jump in.

I'm also in the process of making a maquette of my own rendition of the in game model that would be suitable to wear. So far it looks like I have a raw chicken on my desk because I have run out of sculpey. I'll fix that by next weekend.

I'm starting with the back legs since it's the main connecting part to the body, and I can work from there for correct scale.


Busy busy busy! With the deadline in October I should get it done.... should... I aim to be done with the overall structure by the end of August, that way I can focus on the skin and the surface texture, which will be an entirely difference ball game @_@

Aaaah not much time left!! I've gotten my armour primed and sprayed, now it just needs to be fully painted, then find some way to attach it.
I've finished the white under skirt tonight as well, so all I'll have left to do is paint the gold stripes onto the under shirt, paint some weathered detail onto the cape and make some sandals.

I'm starting to wonder if I'll have time to include the sword. I need to find a way to include a scabbard into the design. ;____; DON'T PANIC~

I finished the main body of the coat, and I'm only waiting on the hat to arrive.

I'm still deciding on whether or not I should add some gold patterns on the lapels and collar.... I'll have to see closer to the time...

I've been working on a lot after exams have finished; the cape's hemmed and distressed, the gladiator skirt is complete, and I've been working on a sword.

All that needs work now is the underskirt, the hip armour, the under shirt, the sandals, and a little more on the wig.

Not long to go now so I'm starting to panic, especially since I have another costume to finish before then ;_________;

Roughly using this method for my cape:
http://www.therpf.com/f24/spartan-cape-76645/

I'm going to be sewing up the hole in the back instead of creating an extra piece. I'm happy with the length and how it falls so I'll work on this once I have the materials.

All pieces put together. The shoulder pads were secured with the same fabric I backed the foam of the skirt.

Here are all the worbla pieces of my chest plate after being varnished with Plasti-Kote fast dry enamel.

Made from craft foam and hot glue. This time I used my smaller glue gun, and ended up burning myself :') I primed the foam with PVA for a coat of gold spray paint.

While cutting 19 of these craft foam plates for my skirt, I sliced part of the end of my left index finger off :'D haha I got lazy and didn't pay attention, so I deserved it XD

To add support to the foam and to prevent ripping, I glued it to a black felt fabric I picked up at BNQ (it's meant to stop weeds from growing around plants). It was super cheap and is super strong.

I won't cut them out until I've painted and varnished all of the pieces.

I outlined all of the pieces with black and brown ink (I didn't have these colours in paint), and painted the rest with acrylic paints.

I'm really happy how it turned out, and only needs to be varnished.

I sprayed a base coat of gold to all of the armour.

I coated all of my armour pieces with white acrylic gesso a couple of times, but on retrospect, I should have coated it more times than I did.

I used a glue gun to add the detailing.

I added the trim to the chest plate and shoulder pads with worbla off cuts. I found this tricky at first but got the knack of it as I kept doing it.

I spent two days shaping all of the pieces together to make the chest plate. This was the first time I've worked with worbla, and I used a stove to heat it. I love the result, and I didn't get any burns which is nice :D

The chest plate was made to split down the middle (both front and back) and be attached with velcro. This is just the left half in the picture.

Once trying it on, I found it was too long for my design, so I trimmed roughly an inch off around the bottom.

Here I laid out the pieces to make sure the foam would fit in between the two worbla pieces, with at least one shiny side facing the foam (so it would adhere to the foam once heated).

I received all the materials need to start, and started work on drafting a pattern for the chest plate. I also used my sister's old (broken) adjustable dress form. This pattern was then applied to foam, and put together on the dress form. Once I was satisfied, I traced and cut all the pieces twice onto my worbla.

Completed the wig! It took a fair bit of chopping to get it to look right (considering that I messed up one of the layers) but now it's wild enough to look like England! :'D

I say 95% because I may or may not take a little more off the fringe, or make it poof up a fraction more with a hair dryer.

I have a few more things to add, but the costume is at a completed stage. I do have a white strap for her scabbard, but it's currently being repaired.

All that is left to do is make the ribbons for her proper medals, make her Briggs coat and her sword. A lot to do, but still not as much as before ^_^

I've truly enjoyed this project so far, and once I'm 100% finished I'll finish Black*Star, and start on either Envy or Lan Fan :D

The wig arrived last week from WigisFashion. I'm so impressed with it, and since it's my first wig, it really does set the standard for me. The style is more or less done, I'm debating whether or not to curl the very tips like all the Armstrong's have, since I will probably mess it up, and it already looks like her in my opinion.

I've put my arse into gear this weekend and started the jacket. There is still a while to go before I finish it 100%, but hopefully I can get a huge chunk of it done. Just need to keep workin' at it~

Once the jacket is done, that is the main part of the cosplay complete, and then I can take my time with her coat and sword.

It took far longer than I expected, but I managed to complete the lower part of the uniform. Now to tackle the jacket, and order the wig~


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