HelenaLove avatar

HelenaLove
Progress

Last online 6 years ago

London

Joined: 15th Jun 2013

Completed costumes: 10

Photos uploaded: 40

Progress journals: 19

Events attended: 9

http://www.flickr.com/helenalove/

Updated it with new boots and gloves that are much closer to source material (not perfect though) and match this time. Boots where cheap brown leatherette wedges from Shoe Zone, gloves where black matt PVC opera gloves from Honour, I would of got blue gloves and boots but couldn’t find blue ones in my size anywhere . I shortened the gloves and fitted brass zips, the boots had a couple of buckles removed, then both where painted with Flexible Vinyl Spray Paint I found in Halfords. Also repainted the belt buckle and made a new strap for the pauldron because both where damaged. Improves the costume a bit and the boots are more comfortable than the other ones, but I’m worried about that paint lasting, its already cracked a bit on one of the gloves from just the wear at the photoshoot :(

a minor update turned into a complete speed rebuild over a course of a week, only part of the original that remains is the wig. Suit was a "Miss Whiplash" wet look catsuit from a fancy dress shop that was modified quite a bit, boots and gloves from ebay, gloves where shortened, furry bits where made from some very fluffy fake fur I got from a local fabric shop, mask was scratch built from Worbla and the collar made from leatherette and scraps of metal and an end of a can of drink.

Some progress, I’ve made a faux Ninjato Ninja sword, it seems to vary among comic artists, some have Psylocke with a curved katana, some draw her with a straight Ninjato, but I went with a straight one. From the research I’ve done it seems these swords never really existed historically (unlike katanas) but where made up for Ninja movies, Oh well. Its mostly PVC foamboard, with some balsa to thicken the handle and a little craft foam for the bit on the end, it is a bit wobbly but its is con safe and can’t hurt anyone (unlike my steel one) .

After far to much sanding and filling (why does this form the bulk of most cosplay projects?) I painted it with car touch up paints and some brass Humbrol spray I had lying around from a steam punk project. Wrapped the grip with synthetic leather (string ray skin is apparently what you are supposed to use but I didn’t have any handy) and then tried to learn the art of Tsuka-Maki (the very specific way wrapping a Japanese sword the grip with little twists to form diamonds) of a from you tube videos, its harder than it looks.

The result is well erm, a 10ft stunt prop, not a hero prop, but it will do for cons etc.

The darker wig arrived, yes very dark almost black purple, I like it, but it was a bit to long and curly, I’ve cut it down to the right length and given it a couple of hot water washes to straighten it a bit.

Got some Tabi Ninja shoes from Japan (via ebay), they’re quite cute, but are a very dark blue canvass I had go in painting with black liquid latex, which hasn’t been 100% successful, Latex on thin – loads of brush strokes, latex on thick - loads of air holes and lumps. Not a good look :( abandoned that idea

But i have found surfers where neoprene split toe boots, found some on ebay (again) that look good, but they came with quite a large logo on them though just above the ankle but a slice with the circular knife got rid of that. They fitted quite tight, but that goes with the costume, but that just left the colour, they where supposed to be black, actually but more a dull dark grey, its wetsuit material and always they look like that, but I found if I applied the same polish I used on my latex to make it look shinny to them, they went a lot darker and wetlook, so its a pretty good match to the latex stockings. I cut the toes off the stockings and tried them with the polished shoes

Think that works, the line between the boots and the stocking can be seen, but I guess that can’t be helped, I have to be able to change to and from regular boots to travel to the con and back, also with the amount of WTF I generate, guess not many people will notice my shoes Am slightly worried about the polish eating the neoprene long term, its not designed for them and I don't know the material compatibilities, I just hoping that anything that works on latex should be OK with most stuff, cause latex is rather fussy when it comes to what you can put on it.

That's the costume nearly done, last thing to modify is me, I must loose some weight

I ordered the costume from a fairly well known Chinese cosplay supplier, and it arrived after a few weeks and it did fit :) well that's the good news, the problem is it was made from heavy synthetic leather with a lycra lining is rather heavy, it feels like wearing a motorcycle jacket, not a skin tight bodysuit, the arms where rather baggy as well, the glove's fingers where to long and the leggings had no details on them.

I might be able to adjust the fit on the arms, but really don't think it will ever work how I want it to, going to chalk it up to experience.

But I have another plan.... Latex! as I feel the suit should be form fitting and shinny (I've worn latex a few times and know what its like), I think I can make the bodysuit and leggings out of latex sheet and glue the latex applique on for the details. To this end I've taken a course in latex clothing making, got the tools and some sheet latex and have already made a couple of garments, its quite tricky, but not impossible, so we will see.

Pretty much done now, weapons are all painted, back buckle with hidden elastic built, new boots bought and wig trimmed and washed. Had a bit of a photoshoot today, see main pic and generally spent some time in the costume, which identified some weaknesses in it and area I can improve the comfort and mobility, so still a couple more things to do, but should be all good for MCM expo next week

Sewed the faux thigh boots thingys, they’re made of of 2 way stretch synthetic leather with is very awkward to sew, I had to bin my first attempt and the 2nd attempt still isn’t that neat

Nearly there now, I’ve slapped some paint on the MAC 10 and drybrushed it to make it look a bit more realistic, but think I will have to paint an orange tip on the end of it to make it con safe.

Last thing still to build is sort of buckle for the back of the belt, want to try and incorporate some elastic into the main belt as well so it stays on better.

Did a mini photoshoot, see main pics, hrmm, outfit is more awkward that I hoped, if I drop something on the floor I can’t pick it up, and walking up stairs is a bit tricky. Getting to a con and changing is going to be difficult, also need to change the boots

Put the straps and buckles on the armour, 14 buckles to do it all up, originally I wanted a line of 3 or 4 down the side to join the front and back torso parts, but after putting in two each side and trying it on I found I couldn't actually reach round and do them all up due to the rather large chest area... Decided to just use 1 each side at the bottom, can do them up easily enough.

Armour fits OK, but is a little restrictive around the knees, but I can still walk up and down stairs, just about, its the knee pad design that isn't really very good for actually walking in.

Also have been working on the belt/webbing/holsters, its rather complicated , but I think I'm almost there.

There's a main belt that goes around the waist and will have bags attached, then lower straps front and rear to the holsters which will sit on my thighs, with another strap around the bottom of them to hold them to my legs and finally a strap around the crotch because erm the original model had one. Plus its got another 9 buckles, those buckles have become a sort of design feature for this outfit (if you can’t fix it, feature it....) .

I've tried to make it all adjustable and it sort of works, but it needs a few more tweaks, think I have to sneak some elastic into the thigh straps, they have to be tight, but not cut off circulation. Also have to make sure it can carry the weight of my stuff (money keys, oyster, camera, phone), plus a rubber knife and plastic sub machine gun, think it will be strong enough (The webbing and buckles take most of the weight), but I'm just not sure it will stay on me well enough.

The buckle and the holster pieces where made from PVC foam board mostly 2mm, its the first time I've used this stuff, but I'm impressed, its easy to cut, its sandable, doesn't need sealing, only takes 10 seconds under a heat gun to make it soft enough to bend, has a smooth finish and when super glued together it feels very strong, I'm going to use this stuff again, its just much precise than EVA foam.

The central buckle is in 2 parts so it can fit around the webbing they slot together but I think I'll have to glue them to make sure them don't come apart, the right hand side is a holster for my MAC 10 sub machine gun, the left holds that large rubber knife in a sheaf, need to design and build a sort of box/buckle thing for the back still.

Still got the back buckle to build and the boot covers (which involves sewing, I’m rubbish at sewing), I think will make those ankle length so I can vary what boots I wear with them, heels for photos and flats for wandering around a con.

Will have to do a test photoshoot soon.

Armour went together quite quickly (for me), painting is done, went almost black instead of dark grey as originally planned, it a base of black metallic with a mist of steel grey over the top. Logo's where brush painted and the detailing done by dry brushing aluminium paint

Have to attach half a bazillion straps to it, with buckles, then there's a complex belt/holster/webbing things to build and some faux thigh boots, lots more work to do before MCM expo in October

Also have been working on the accessories, have bought a Steyr AUG rifle (Plastic Toy) and a MAC 10 machine pistol (cheap plastic spring airsoft) and a rubber knife, am going to modify them and paint them up to make them look a bit more realistic (but leave the orange tips) and attach laser sights to them, because lasers are cool.

Got bored with sanding and filling, all further defects are being put down to battle damage. Have got the breastplate, back and forearm armour to the last coat of primer stage and have just sealed the shoulder guards, the leaves knee and shin armour to go, well that and all the other non armour bits to do.

Also have been buying 2million bits of webbing off ebay and a whole arsenal of toy guns...

I built a former to shape the breastplate around by covering my torso in cling film, then applying masking tape to get the basic shape. Cut that off me and filled the out with expanding foam, but the foam distorted the shape a bit, so I pulled off the tape and reshaped with the a breadknife (cuts foam perfectly).
Then I applied another layer of masking tape, the a thin layer of newspaper wallpaper paste papier mache and then a lot of poly filler. Then, after a lot of sanding I had a breastplate shape, ish, it was not quite as smooth as I would of liked and wasn't 100% symmetrical :(

Original plan was to heat form a double layer of worlba over it, dam the stuff is expensive and I needed a big sheet. But it was my first go with it and well I guess there is a learning curve, as it seemed the temperature it would start to form over complex curves was only 2 degrees from melting down :( after making a lot of mess I gave up with it and went back to EVA foam which I have more experience with.

Had to make the foam part in 3 pieces, with darts in the breast cups to get the shape I wanted, it was glues with contact adhesive and reinforced with hot glue, the shapes OK, but the joins aren't as neat as I want, guess I have a lot of filling to do. Also have to add some trim and the Cobra logo, will do that with thin craft foam.

Am calling it finished, made some adjustments, used iron on repair material to make the chocker a little bigger, brought in the wrists on the gloves. To stop it rolling up I sewed elastic loops on to the tip of the V hip roll front and back (on the inside) and buttons onto the some long underwear, that way I could slip the elastic over the buttons to keep the dress pulled down and get the classic V shape. To stop the boots from wrinkling I duct taped (erm yeah bit cheap and nasty) a plastic bone into them (on the inside of course).

Wore the costume to MCM expo May 2014, Saturday, seems to go OK, character was recognised and I got a few complements (possibly due to bravely), didn't get any pictures though, forgot to put a card in my camera. Those boots have 4" heels though, that did me in after about 4 hours.

Will have to find an find another even to wear it to now its done, if I can find a new wig, that one is horrible and tangles all the time.

See pic on the main profile

I Look a bit chunky because there's no corset under this one :( have to diet.

Costume still needs more work, the boots fall down a bit, will try and stiffen them with some plastic boning, gloves are too short (should come up to just past the elbow) and fall down, have some replacement ones already just need to sew on the black end bits, chocker needs widening a little as its very tight and that hair, OMG it just goes everywhere apart from where you want it to.
Oh and I forgot to put the earrings on.

The dress rides up as friend warned me it would, am holding down with a safety pin to my knickers for the photo's to get the V shape, but have found a great way to do it properly (saw it on a forum post), sew a button on my knickers and a loop of elastic at the tip of the V, then just loop the elastic around the button, simple, will try and do it

Am still working on the staff to go with it, but painting didn't go well and it didn't turn up as good as I hoped it would, still have some detailing to do on its as well.

But biggest problem is my expression, my usual sulky pouty look just doesn't work with this costume does it.

Should get most of sorted for MCM expo, but am going to have stay away from the waterside, it gets windy there and my hair (and skirt) will go everywhere.

Am updating this, as the thigh boots I was wearing with it became agony after 2 hours and I was never happy with the belt.

So I've got some red Lycra (how much!) and have made a much longer sash belt, being stretchy it should stay on my (rather narrow relative to the rest of me anyway) hips better than the old to short satin one when I walk.

Also I've adjusted some long wet look lycra stockings to fit my legs better and have just sewn them into some heavy flesh tone dance tights, so they stay up. Will just wear a pair of black court shoes with them instead of turning them into shoe covers. This is mainly so I can kick of the heels and change into some comfy flats when the heels become painful, yes I'm a lightweight.

Hope to get around to taking photo's of the update tomorrow.
Might wear this to the LSCC

Got around to starting the Time Key Staff/Garnet Rod (the name appears interchangeable) this weekend. Its made from PVC pipe, craft foam, polystyrene balls, balsa wood, dowel and Xmas baubles, plus lots of glue. Its about 1.47cm long, actually that's a bit shorter than it should be but I had to work to convention prop guide lines. It breaks down into 4 sections for transport and is pretty light. Still got loads to do, have to seal the foam and wood, slap on loads of filler to hide the gaps, then sanding priming and probably more filler, sanding and so on until the finish is good enough for paint.

Have finished the earrings in the end I made 2 pairs, one out of sheet styrene (3 .5mm layers glued together) and the other out of 6mm EVA foam, the foam ones are the bigger ones. Both sets have been glue to blank clip on earrings (I'm not pierced) I got from Ebay for a couple of quid. originally thought the foam wouldn't work, but now after paint and filler and sanding and varnish etc. I think they look better than the styrene ones.

Also worked on the gloves, made my own cuffs with shinny black lycra (had plenty left from my Black Canary project) turned over to the non shinny side and stuffed it with fake fur (left over from my Black Cat project) and all sewed up on my little machine, which was behaving itself today (must of threaded it properly for a change). New ones aren't as nice as the bought ones, but look aren't to bad and do fit, have tack stitched them back onto the white gloves and are ready to go

Now just have to build the staff....

Didn't make it for the LAC :(

Still have loads to do, have now done the boots, folded down the tops of the boots and hand stitched them up (didn't think my little sewing machine would punch through 2 layers of leatherette), then made a paper pattern for the white trim, then cut out some white leatherette (got from Shepard's Bush Market, 2.95 for a huge piece) and contact glue up seams and then to the boots. Glue is cheating, but I didn't think I could sew it. The results are not perfect, see pic, but will do I guess. Maybe redo in future if I can find better boots.

I've stared the earrings, got some blank clip-ons (I'm not pierced, I don't really like piercings of any kind) and have made the shapes out of EVA foam, am trying to paint them now. May have a rethink about materials though, needs something that sands and paints easier than EVA but still can be cut or shaped easily.... (edit) Ah just remembered I had some sheet styrene, its only .5mm, but I can double or triple it up, glue up the bits and sand it and it loves acrylic paint, will give that a go.

Gloves :( after I found they didn't fit, the 3 ring arm band bits on the end are to small I thought about inserting a strip of black Lycra between them, no that won't work, I need a couple of inches :( so unpicked the bands from the original gloves carefully and re-sewed up the white gloves, they fit fine as they are stretchy. I'll now try (emphasis try) to make my own black padded arm bands for the gloves in my size, they don't look that difficult, but I'm awful at sewing. Have to find some matching material as well.

I've bought all the materials for the key staff now and have a plan, just have to put it into action.... think I'll try and get the gloves and earrings done first

Wore it to the LFCC, so I'm going to call it finished. I guess I was noticed a bit at the con ;) got complimented a few times and had several pictures taken, also generated a few laughs and an awful lot of WTF, well that's to be understood, its possibly the least suitable costume I could wear for my body type :P
There does remain a possibility of a version 1.1 though with changes in the chest area

Ok, it looks like Power Girls first outing will be the London Film and Comic Con on the 5th of October, Woot :)

Got another wig and sorted out the underwear, but wimped out on the LFCC, its the bloody weather, its just far too hot for me, as even though the costume looks skimpy, its actually a rather warm costume due to all the extra bits and pieces I have to wear with it and I couldn't cope with it in the 27 degree heat today, especially as I would have to go to Earls Court on the tube, which is like an oven when it gets this warm. The costume will keep till October MCM expo, where you can pretty much guarantee it will be cold and grey.


This user has not been active recently.