xaerael avatar

xaerael
Progress

I started this whole thing with an ambitious project to make "one of the best alphnose elric armours around". while the final result wasn't as good as i hoped for, i was still happy with it, and the MCM expo judges decided to bestow upon me a 3rd place.

thus the bug bit me.

since then, i've spent virtually all my free time experimenting, making, learning and generally working towards making things that will hopefully amaze and inspire people to join this hobby and community.

i'm currently trying to move away from the "armour guru" status that was unintentionally bestowed upon me by working on some creatures.

Last online 8 months ago

Torquay, Devon

Joined: 12th Aug 2008

Completed costumes: 9

Photos uploaded: 77

Progress journals: 108

Events attended: 7

No social links provided

Component sourcing issues abound. Metric, Imperial, oh my. Making Flammie primary for now.

body is coming along beautifully. i'd say construction is at about 60%, but the last 40% should be very quick since it's just putting everything together and finishing off loose ends.

hoping to be starting the sculpture part of the project within the next fortnight. probably hands first, then on to the head.

done a whole lot of looking at the costume recently. neck ruff is made, fabrics for completing the carapace are all picked out, few more bits and bobs for the robes.

the arms are next. i can't really move on until i have the arms sorted. having a spot of urgh sorting the right hinges for the elbow, but i'm sure a trip around B&Q will turn up something.

most of the understructure is complete now. carapace is at about 85% done. working on the arms next, which will be a bit of a puzzle!

finished the basic framework for the eyes, support points still need to be added in, but are all designed ready for sculpture.

hoping for the eye rig to be ready for the end of jan, and the other facial movements to be started.

making of the dark crystal book for xmas, get.

incredible resource, lots of detailed photos of the guts of the skeksis suits. i feel pretty fortunate to have found a copy of it for my folks to buy, the book being over 28 years old. it's also in pretty amazing condition for it's age, with no tears, and very little signs of age. to be truthful, i've bought off the shelf books in worse condition.

Beau Touche

rucksack

keep working on ideas for carapace

little bit of a skin detail sculpt. didn't go too detailed as i was going to destroy it straight after sculpting.

eye is a 36mm crystal glass blank, clay is white newplast.

more research stuff!

Skeksis Body puppet from the 1982 movie "The Dark Crystal" by Jim Henson. As many as 3 puppeteers were needed to articulate the fingers, eyes and facial movements from outside of one of these creatures while the main puppeteer performed from inside the Skeksis moving the head, arms and body. The bulk of the puppet was attached to a backpack carried on the main puppeteer's shoulders which kept his hands free to manipulate all these parts. There is no way to see out of the creature once inside so a small television monitor was attached to the backpack. This allowed the puppeteer inside the body to see where he was going.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92BgINy8rL0

if you're wondering why the chunk of design notes, i learned my lesson last project when i lost all my research to a power surge that cause my HD to corrupt.

taken from the book of Habidabad

These notes are a compilation from a memo of rediscussions between Michael McCormick, Sarah Bradpiece, Lyle Conway, Vin Burnham, Leigh Donaldson, Brian Froud and Sherry Amott, and notes from a script meeting attended by Jim Henson, David Odell, Brian Froud, Duncan Kenworthy, Michael McCormick, Lyle Conway and Sherry Amott.

Each indicated by color.

General Notes

Special voices/sounds for each
Garthim Master: spurs sound
Artist-Designer: swish, rustle of silks
Historian: shushes, hums

Symbols - see Ritual Master notes

Power struggles. Two sitting on the bed/throne, perching forward.

Mystic-Skeksis corollaries: Slave master - missing hand and eye - same on one mystic. Scientist - artificial leg and bionic/mechanized arm. Same on a mystic.

All Skeksis have hump cowl configurations, which are combination of organic and mechanical elements.

1 CHAMBERLAIN

Miss Haversham in the woods. King Lear. Looks like a chair, upholstered and stuffed, with hard carved animal parts like Lion's foot legs and Griffin arms. Collar like a headboard. When stripped we see the inside of the back contrast to outside. Also we see mechanical bits worked by his spines and vestigial hands, chair insides - springs, sawdust, horsehair, money, webbing, sacking, underfelt. Work in a coat of arms somehow.

Runs castle. Wheedling, obsequious, golem type.
Secretarial, administrative, carries rolls of scrolls, second to the dying one. Envy. Suspicious, eyes moving a great deal. Smiling. Creates dissension.

2 GENERAL/GARTHIM MASTER

Stern, massive, strong, sneers, is angry. No subtlety, mostly movements of power . . . brute strength, when speaking he never goes quieter than a deep resonant bellow. But, if this is the Alpha of the character, should we also see the Omega - what are his unguarded or weakened characteristics?

3 RITUAL MASTER/HIGH PRIEST

Tallest. Skull-like head. Throbbing temples. Deep-set eyes. Rasputin type with white eyes showing. Hypnotic - like Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Bishop Sheen, Eric Von Stroheim. Witchdoctor scepter. Ring hand to be kissed, has hidden menace - stylized, ritualistic type movement, like Tai Chi, but perhaps clumsy for all his smooth, gliding movements. Conjuring tricks - throwing powders into flames to punctuate his speech. Self-aggrandizement: conjures up false spirits. Carries (palms) a deck of tarot cards. Skeksis symbols - perversion of Urskeks symbols. Floor and wall markings. 21 spaces in floor, 21 original Urskeks masters, split into 21 Skeksis and 21 Mystics, 21 black magic symbols. Triangles, threes. 9 power centers. Double Helix, double spiral. Transcendent power - two snakes intertwined. These same symbols different styles appear in the crystal room/council chamber, floor patterns, mystic back piece, ritual master costume, and Aughra's costume. Masonic imagery - lower piece - Masonic apron. Symbol of the crystal - neckpiece, crescent with spike. Over apron or waistcoat - pockets for fobs, chains, pieces to put on - added ecclesiastical bits, dingle-dangles, badges of office plus straps, holders for stomach. Bogus religious stuff - obvious switch on staff to turn on light - like gaudy religious grotto. Reliquary boxes with glass fronts set into costume, going down the ribbon bands over robe. Like in the Russian film IVAN THE TERRIBLE, or as in BORIS GODUNOV, Russian orthodox Icons-encrusted.

High Priest. Controlled, precise, formal, straight backed, carrying ceremonial ornaments, a snob. Tarot readings, astrology-horoscope, myth making. Shaman, false magician. Connection with the other world solely for their own mafarious ends. False augurs.

4 SLAVE MASTER/EXECUTIONER

We see him kicking, whipping slaves. Evilly silent. Hisses. Sneers. Metallic hook, sheathed. Pulls off sheath, revealing hook, herds slaves around. Directs their movements. Sees that dead slaves are carried away, or that machinery rolls over the dead ones, like in pyramid building. Surcoat - leather, hooks, metal clasps, chains, manacles. More chains, padlocks. Hook seen grabbing peasant hands, neck, head. Hook seen pinning notes between peasants to floor. Back prong on costume opens and closes like scissors. Shiny fabric on gown like snakeskin, colors/tones like slaves. Head attached to collar with chains. Scars. Moist, wet snakeskin texture, like layers of crocodile skins, surround head-neck area, yet remain flexible like gearshift box surround. Like mock turtle plastic wrinkled pieces in Alice in Wonderland. Slave control tools, Garthim like claws. Hard plates, chain mail, armor. Hanging sleeves with detailed hard and soft bits. Back plate - black shiny, patent leather, put together and stitched like a glove. Slavemaster keeps slaves from playing. Tally sticks of dead slaves. Scalps?

Slave master: in charge of the eye blanking, getting rid of slaves, rules the abattoirs (in terms of slaughtering the food sources). Has eye patch.

5 HISTORIAN

Sitting on a stool, knees up, peering over tomes. Tail wrapped around stool, flicks tail. Blotter pad. Expandable reading glass prop. (Like Kermit on the stool - Skeksis as actual hand puppet). Historian has characteristics of the idiot. Looks like a book. Pleated fabric like pages. Bookmarks in the pleating. Surcoat like a green-tooled leather book cover. Marbled inside book flyleaves. (Lining of surcoat, lining of collar? To better identify heads). Live bookworms, pressed flowers, writing like print on fabric to look like pages. Head - long snout gets caught in the books. When head projects out of collar, he assumes an academic, pedantic tone. When head retreats into collar he assumes other persona - babbling, cackling, childlike, falls asleep like dormouse. Has a group of peasants doing illuminations. Add a court photographer. Historian shushes, hums.

Smallest. Lopsided face, constantly looking confused. Goes where angels fear to tread. Does everything out in the open . . . completely opposite of the others . . . maybe the General/Garthim master is his idol. Idiot gets hit and laughed at a lot. He limps. I think this is a valuable character. Possible use for a plot change. Perhaps this is another race? Problem of breaking up the hierarchy.
Smallest. Historian, always carrying scrolls, writing notes when Skeksis meet. This job could be the Chamberlain's. Professor, librarian, historian, solicitor. Propaganda making, rewriting history, has the power of the written word - but as a solicitor who uses words for their power only, not for truth. Argues any side of the case that's useful at the moment. Actively corrupt.

6 GOURMET

Head - Robert Morley. Jowly, bushy eyebrows, sweaty, burping. Stuffs food into cheeks. Lifts head to swallow, like a pelican. See food traveling down. Cheek bulges mechanized. Wine stains. Bits of encrusted food. Slaves always carrying trays of food for him - silver goblets, small sugar things, tidbits for him to nibble. When he talks he sprays food and saliva. Has a serviette of handkerchief tucked into sleeve. Surcoat dark glaze - crème brulee! Inside collar - skirts, pantaloons, like Roast Pork of Leg of Lamb. Back costume piece like a Lobster of Crayfish presented on a tray. Feelers reach over back of Skeksis and move. Pastry on shoulder rolls. Scored Pork with cloves and cherries, with apricot glaze. Sausage skirt. Body bulges, tummy pops buttons, slits gape, pink extrudes. Ham pale pink, edges of white fat. Has beautiful crystal goblet with murky wine. Has soup that eats him - clams in soup. Hands - long fingernail to pick teeth. Little finger to cock, lifting teacups.

Gourmet cook, sensual, glutinous, lustful, sloth. Slob, food encrusted, slovenly, fat.

7 ARTIST/INTERIOR DESIGNER

Designs fabric, jewelry, furnishings. Decadent, perverted sexually, sensual hedonistic, vain, theatrical. Highly emotional, shining. I believe his main function would be to dress and bejewel himself (and other Skeksis?) Heavily made up with jewels and equipment of mascara. Artist's power play might be to create a strange new jewel, then bribe the Ritual Master to falsely augur this jewel - i.e. everyone must have one, and must go to the artist to get it.

Has slaves, peasants with makeup pots, powder puffs. Giggles. Slimmer belly than design? Swishes, rustle of silks.

8 SCIENTIST/DOCTOR

Pale. Yoke-like neck brace or brace with metal bits. White or pink, hinged chrome-plated sections. Plastic and chrome tubes. Latex sheeting thing for under or over sleeves. Leg appliance - exaggerated. Very finely mechanized. Gears, levers, machine parts. Gleaming metals, glass. Limps with cane. Special sound of artificial leg. Constantly fingering his instruments. Bionic type arm. External structure on outside of atrophied arm, to help it move - pneumatic devices - hisses, pins into bones of arm. Structure starts at cowl, leads off from it down his arm - view from side of body like a nautilus machine, or wheelchair, or locomotive wheels. Loci description. Italian futurist sculpture, movement machine, other side of body normal. Wound on sleeve, suture pins. Transparent tubes - liquids, fluids. Materials like clear cast resins and polypropylenes. Cowl like iron lung - a medical support system for him. It hisses. Electrodes to head from cowl with tubes and liquids. Pacemaker, colostomy bag. Tube with liquids going into face - one color going in, another color leading out, or different color threads pulled through bubbling liquids like Christmas tree candles. Epileptic, petit mals, Oxygen tents, waste bags, liquid receivers. Back of train gauze, with bloodstains on hem. Polythene worked in somehow. Thick bandages on surcoat - cotton wool with frayed gauze over. Back spine - metallic blades. Leeches, bloodletting. Hanging sleeve piece with pockets for surgical instruments. Keith Moon pervert - flasher with raincoat.

Little beady eyes, mad. I don't think he's mad. He's always studying, observing, thinking. Maybe he constantly has scientific tools about him, (equivalent of stethoscope, speculum, etc.) He's the intellectual. Experimenting with reproduction. Has telescopic eyepiece, possibly with light source, for peering intently.

9 TREASURER

Thinnest, counting - abacus collar. Tiny brass scale on hook. Weights, measures, coins, purses. Suggestions of chains and padlocks, fastening devices, keys. Combination lock with dials. Pocket calculator. Gold mesh bags and misers purses. Sagging and bulging pockets, pocket in vest. Silas Marner type. Pound signs on pupils. Biting a coin to test for gold. Touch stone to test gold, sound of cash register or reacts to sound of coin. Codpiece purse - two coins and a fountain, or miser's bag. Details - wax edgings - seals Hieroglyphics, for quantities of wealth. Milling. Embossing - shallow relief. Spines open out to the sides. Jeweler's loop to look at mint marks - decorative notches on staff like tally sticks. Casket or chest under his arm, which he strokes. Spines - weighing scale-like shape. Weights and chains. Weights with holes in it stacked on a rod.

Avarice, handles jewels and money.

10 EMPEROR/DYING ONE

Dark-faced, crumbling, dark head on the pale pillows. Mystic goes pale when he dies, Skeksis goes dark. Dark - going off like a piece of bad fruit. Or white faced in death, wheezing, excretion from eyes, nose, mouth. Deterioration of Skeksis: build up layers of wax with high melting points. Hard bits fall off separately, soft bits slough away at different rates.

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"They are part reptile, part predatory bird, part dragon." - Brian Froud

--------------------------------

For every Mystic there was a corresponding Skeksis. SkekTek the Scientist was the counterpart of urTih the Alchemist. SkekAyuk the Gourmand was the alter ego of urAmaj the Cook. The Skeksis had control of the castle where the Crystal was kept; in its chambers they practiced their evil arts, hating one another as much as they hated the rest of the world.

Evil masters of a corrupt culture, they rule through the power of a darkened crystal suspended at the heart of their encrusted castle. From, there, they have turned all good in the world into evil. They have bird-like beaks and reptilian bodies, but under their elaborate robes of velvet, lace, and brocade, there is only decay.

Their figures are sinister and reptilian. They have hooded, uneasy eyes above their beaklike jaws. They stand bulky in the thick layers of robes with which they have draped their skinny, scaly bodies over eons, never removing a layer but adding another as one decays. They walk on their hind legs with their forelegs poised in the air. Their talons are arched and their heads protrude from humped cowls, thrust out as if to strike.

Their bodies decompose with remarkable haste, having no soul to arrest the process. It is like the creation of volcanic rock with the space of a minute or two. Their flesh seems to boil, rise, blacken, and then transform into rock that rapidly develops gaping cracks and festering caves. Soon they crumble into pebbles. A sour, grey dust thinly films the air.

The assumption that pure spirituality was in some sense a higher form of being than brute matter was not self-evident to them.

Force, greed, and ruthlessness are the qualities the Skeksis respect in a ruler.

Skeksis are carnivorous. They have been known to eat roasted Nebrie and small, hairy-legged shellfish.

They have cold reptilian eyes and long necks.

The Skeksis always use the Garthim for their hunting because they aren't terribly good at it themselves.

Pettiness was a strong suit among the Skeksis.

Since the division after the Great Conjunction eons ago, the Skeksis had left the urRu to themselves in their valley. They had to: the object and its mirror image could not be combined except in cancellation of both. In any case, the Skeksis never had needed the urRu: impractical, old, chanting visionaries, obsessed solely with their collective inner life, their values diametrically opposed to those to which the Skeksis ascribed.

The Skeksis had profited prodigiously from the knowledge and from their control of the Crystal within the fortress they had carved from the mountain that contained it. Along all the ley-lines of energy around the planet, they had continuously fed noxious pulses, fomenting misery and weakness throughout their world. And along the same ley-lines they had sucked in the geodynamic energies. Lightning focused into the Standing Stones of the Valley and transmitted to the castle. The Skeksis controlled the nodal points of the planet by terrestrial acupuncture.

To the Skeksis, the Division of the urSkeks was a great triumph; even the darkening of the Crystal is interpreted favorably.

Every one of the Skeksis desired to have sole credit for the Garthim.

They had a demand for repetitive flamboyance in their materials.

There were considerable mutation in the Skeksis during the period of their degeneration. The Skeksis did not care to keep records of their former appearance.

Much of the Skeksis' descriptions of their work was committed to parchment made from Nebrie skin. Smooth and unblemished, it crumbles after a few centuries.

The bodies of the Skeksis are founded on deeply disordered principles. Only in their heads does an intelligible pattern remain.

------------------------------------------

Between skekUng the Garthim-Master and skekSil the Chamberlain there was bitter rivalry, for skekSil hoped his smiling poison and suspicious craft would lead him, not skekUng, to succeed to the Emperor's glory. Both were deceived.

He has a scrawny neck and a moist and unctuous body. He is the Chief Secretary, and therefore next in line to the throne.

He has a wheedling voice that all the others loath.

-------------------------------------------

Comments from Steven Gregory, associate costume designer:

I cut all the toile's (fabric patterns) for the Skesis. The Chamberlain had advanced the most. I worked with Sarah Bradpiece at Henson's in Hampstead. I was introduced to Duncan Kenworthy by Vin Burnham. They wanted me to do a 5 day week, but the naval gazing was a very slow process. I went in one day a week and cut a complete pattern of each character's costume. My theatrical eye could see possibilities in Brian Froud's wonderful drawings. The experience of having my work shown to Jim Henson and Brian Froud, as thought it had been done by our leader, was rather galling. I thought my involvement had finished and later, whilst on holiday in Germany, I had a call from Duncan. They wanted me to come back to do the art work on the costumes. I insisted on a separate workshop to get some kind of control over this process. Sleeves had been made by one person, a collar by another, it looked like a jumble sale from the woman's institute. I could see that none had used an organic approach to the decoration elements. I set about the costumes. I had makers in tears when they saw what I had done, but Brian Froud loved it.

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rise from your grave!!

project is in pre-production.

i figured i should post about this. due to my injury, it's pretty impossible to do this costume. i'm not scrapping it, as once i'm healed up i'll be able to continue. but for now, it's on an indefinate hold.

sorry to the people who are eagerly awaiting it.

yup. day off from making stuff.

have a final concept art pic instead.

mind bogglingly close to finishing now.

need to make the plate for the back of the hand, tidy a bit of stitching up, consider the cape another 234987562934876 times and make a few more decos.

it looks.... amazing. so happy.

working with suede is officially the scariest thing i have ever had to do in costuming.

hell yeah, tons done in the time my PC was busted.

body: done.
underpadding: done.
neck: done!!

tail done. waiting on a few more bits and i can get the last of the bodywork done.

so, i think i've settled on a final design!

well, atleast till i decide i don't like how something looks again and get all pretentious and artsy... haha.

no prizes for where the loincloth was inspired from!

almost have all the materials needed! just waiting on a few bits and pieces from here and there. mainly an undersuit to build all the foam on and the remainder of the leatherwork bits (straps, buckles, D rings, etc)

there's still a lot to do, but with the main hurdles over (design process and material sourcing) it should be plain sailing from here on in!

.... said xae carelessly ^^;;

hands and feet (paws?) are almost done. bit of tidying here and there and they can go on the done pile.

zomg head almost complete. few more tasks remain, the "special" bit needs doing, stuff.

spent the last 2 days wefting hair.... AGAIN.

fortunatley, i have about 6-8 left to do, about 18 already made. far less than nina, and i seem to be a lot more proficient at machine wefting than i was last september time.

fur is currently winging it's way here, and i'm hoping to see it on my doorstep early next week...

finally got the design down! hurrah!

work commences the moment i get materials...

done a heck of a lot of work towards the costume now. designs and materials are all locked in, some parts are well underway beig made.

Wow.

When I added this as a costume, I was pretty excited. Now I'm creativley charged from rbw I'm ultra hyped up and raring to go.

I'm sort of planning a new thing for this really. Sort of a costume with it's own costume.

Excited yes. Revealing... No!

head furred :D

still needs shaving/tidying, but... progress!

time to let the cat out the bag?

yeah, why not....

completed the pattern for a section of the costume. starting to get worried about timescales now though... 2 months to complete u.u

big upgrade in plans. i'm excited for one!

due to unforseen circumstances (ie, a really good skit idea, and the mystic generally taking an obscene length of time to complete) i'm switching mystic and nina's dates.

sorry to anyone who was excited to see it in october!

due to unforseen circumstances (ie, a really good skit idea, and the mystic generally taking an obscene length of time to complete) i'm switching mystic and nina's dates.

sorry to anyone who was excited to see it in october!

started making some smaller pieces to the costume post aya. some of the things that i saw were very inspirational to me, and many thanks to some people who i spoke to pretty much know where i'm going with the costume!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfefTbaXyY4

first mystic hand road-test.

this is the only hand which will acually be "controlled" the other 3 are inanimate due to having to use my right arm/hand to control the head.

trying to make a dummycast of the left hand. pain-arm is causing me a shit-ton of greif tho u.u

that.... hurt.

(duct tape dummy complete)

added to-do list, explaination of each point as follows:

Duct tape dummy "in pose"

a dummy of myself in the stance required to wear the suit correctly.

Frame (arms and neck)

plastic tubing (waste pipe) frame which will be responsible for holding each of the four arms (3 fixed, 1 jointed), the neck and the coupling for the tail.

Hands

sculpt-cast-mold 4 hands.

Feet

sculpt-cast-mold 2 feet

Dream coat

multi part quilted blanket type thing they wear on their backs.

Body structure

basic plastazote bodyform for my body to be concealed in, and the clothing to cover

Tail

cloth covered tail, with last part of dreamcoat attached.

Clothing

shirt and trousers to fully cover the costume's inner workings.

done some design sketches for the costume, pretty sure i have all the concept down now, just a matter of working out correct scale sizings and finding the proper materials.

you can go about your buisness now, move along.

wig complete.

man, that was hard work, but i now know how to weft, stitch, and handle kanekalon hair.

next up: proper neck, then frame.

all the materials for the hairpiece are now here, hopefully start making the actual thing monday.

excited again!

finished working on the final panel for the lower part of the jacket. i'll be fusing them all together tomorrow then i should be finishing the whole jacket!

started work on the "tentacle" things that are pretty much all over the costume. i guess it's good because the same cast can cover his coat trims, shoulders, boot trims and other bits.

moulds are done, currently doing a first test cast to gauge how many layers of latex to add to each piece. i might make a few more moulds from this cast just to speed things up a little...

viva la plaster casting!

updating photos, but it's taking a while to pick the ones that i like most @_@

2nd place! A shocker to be honest, there were so many amazing costumes here this year that I wasn't going to be suprised at all if the costume walked away with nothing.

Hats off to pheebs, her deunan was amazing and I couldn't have asked for a better costume partner!

Well done to everyone else, this expos quality stepped up a notch, and it was amazing to see you all.

Witch king tomorrow!

finished! done! week to spare! woohoo!

project is getting close to finished. all that's left is the sword to make!

now briareos is finished, this will by default become the top priority project.

(and what a joy making something with no armour is going to be!)

done! all done! hurrah! no more briareos and his stupidly complex armour! only a few more pieces of armour full stop! hurrah! moving on to something different!

right glove done... man... i have to do that AGAIN??

2/8 fingers complete... this may take longer than i'd hoped....

sword and gloves left! so colse to completion now i can taste it!!!

RAAAARRRRRR robes almost complete. the cuts up the front just need sewing and distressing, and it's done!

all that's left is the shoes, greaves and sword. about 2 days work!

HOLY CRAP LENS IS CUT AND TREATED!!!1!11!1!

other than that, i've been working on distressing WKoA's robes.

move along, nothing to see here.

eheheheh, yeah, i've not updated this in a while.

well, bri's almost done. just those last niggling bitty pieces left (gloves, shoes, central lens), and it's ready for the trip down to london.

....i'm happy with it. i need to refine my system tho for any future armour. time to break away from the habitual systems, and try something new.

well, i did the cast today... and it seems to have worked!

started doing a pour of the mould, but as usual, laex drying time is holding me back, haha... might have something to show for my efforts and the total destruction of my sculpt in a day or two...

so, after a couple of days of sculpting (and a sudden stroke of genius for making a base for the sculpt) the head sculpt is all but complete. i'm probably going to be plastering it sometime this week, and possibly will have a dummyhead sometime next week.

i really shouldn't be doing this yet, but briareos is coming along quickly still, and i don't have the materials yet to complete the witch king.

almost finished construction on the shoes.

...

nothing much more to say!

back to bri!

finished work on right shoe now that i have bases for them, should have both complete by the end of tomorrow. that leaves the greaves and some fine detailing to do before going on to latexing and completion! wayhey!

yep, i'm updating on Al.

checked the suit today for any major damage after the MCM in preperation for rewearing at ayacon later this year. nothing *critical*. a few of the edges could do with either relatexing or binding with ducktape (non are visable, so i can be scruffy with my fixes).

all good stuff!

not dying so much anymore, but still waiting new materials. i've literally not got anything done with either costume for way too long, last week of procrastination.

DYYYYYIIIINNNGGGGGG.

taken 13 days to construct both vambraces and paint one. lame. cold needs to gtfo now.

completed the crown to great effect. really... really happy with it!

i'm really crap at keeping secrets, so i've unsecreted it...

haha....

almost finished the first piece for this now! it's really coming along so fast, and i'm getting pretty excited about it, haha.

been working on this for a few days now, i have to say it's looking really cool already. it's not a character i'd have thought of at first to cosplay, but when i saw it in all it's glory, i had to do it.

since i'm so heavily ahead of myself on bri (i expected to be at the point i'm at now probably late march), i've been looking at a second costume for the second day of the event. this costume is totally top secret (sorry folks!) and i've been sketching it for a few days, hence not much more has been happening with bri since i finished the vambraces.

so yeah, i'm in my first filler season folks! i've gone all bleach/naruto anime on your asses. i promise you though... it's going to be worth it.

getting seriously close to endgame now... 4 months early!

head, body, vambraces, pauldrons all complete, greaves and shoes remaining. after that, fine detailing, latexing and finishing.

i need to head into town at some point this or next week and try to source some flip-flops (and a spare pair for the mystic). while i'm there i'll see about getting my lens cut to size!

Updating from bed on my phone! Haha. Upper body is complete. Pauldrons are well on their way. Everything is well ahead of schedule.

Yes... Content even if I have had a lazy day.

ahhh bitumine based glue, how have i missed thee....

doing some final alterations on the body today (back looked crappy, and the jacket is a bit in need of a trim), gonna start the pauldrons if i have time.

also brushed up on the pics. all old prog pics are gone!

did a little maquette today. looks good, if a little scruffy!

i'm also wondering if i should change my mystic. from what i recall there are several dead mystics that you never see, so the option would be there to totally invent my own...

i've been thinking of something along the lines of a cartographer, or a wanderer.

/muse /muse

started... and just about finished the cut, shape and gluing on the body and jacket today! haha.

i'm still a little bit torn over whether to make the jacket part of the body. if i did this, the front edges would be attached somehow (not sure how yet tho!) and the back would be glued down.

it's probably a good idea tbh... it would mean that the body would be one piece like al was, so i'd only have to worry about one piece being suited on correctly.

musings musings, so many musings.

i have the collar to do still.... oh joy! i dunno if i should just throw myself under a bus now, or later when i'm frustrated to hell.

the upside is.... i'm actually close to the constructed part being finished O_o i need to finish the body which is like... the collar and the trims, make the vambraces, make the pauldrons (which will either go together on their own, or leave me screaming), make the greaves (see last to do's brackets), make the shoes and gloves, then it will be on to fine details, fixings and then latexing. no isoflexing on this one since it needs to be matt, and there's no paintwork to seal in, so again, less to do thankfully!

one thing that is still causing a little grief is the pouches and pockets for the belt, and the actual upper body (i.e. what will i wear under the armour). only time and my inventivness will tell on those items X_x

foam arrived! now on to working on the body...

head 99% complete! all that needs doing now is the central lens cutting and fog coating.

i've also been working on the edit for the stage music to go along with the suit (yes, i'm being fussy editing songs, but the song in question has an intro almost 30 secs long)

foam should arrive tomorrow... hope hope. i'll get to work on the body armour jacket tomorrow night as long as it arrives.

ordered all the foam i should need for building the armour. hopefully the head will be complete by the end of tomorrow (less the central lens which i still have to fog treat and cut x_x) unless i get a second urge to add LEDs and electronics again...

i melted one of the plastic balls trying to fill it up with hot glue.

i kinda knew this was going to happen, but my body was in automatic.

ah well, trip into town tomorrow and buy several this time incase, sice i'm now stuck for things to do X_X

righty, since i don't need to do anymore sketchbook work for briareos, my book time is going into this project.

been doing some rough armature sketch designs with some adaptations from the original. rather than having a single spine on the armature i'm thinking of adding two supporting spines which the arms will fit on.

the making of video on the DVD i own is proving invaluable... they don't keep any secrets which is something that happens far too often these days. back in the eighties artists were so much more open about their methods!

i...... finished the head!

well... by finished, i mean the tedious part of injecting hot glue into the mould, aligning the two parts and cleaning, and cutting the uncomfortable bits off so it fits fairly comfy on my head (even if it still squashes my nose).

i'm thinking of using some sort of nose protector to make it more comfortable, if only to take all the pressure off the end of my nose.

trip into town tomorrow to get some flexable 2 part putty (aka greenstuff), some black sprays, and some lovely impact adhesive.gonna try to put in the order for all the foam/bits/etc from flints either tomorrow or sunday since they won't ship till monday.

progress at last!

i've been reading into the UK VCRA and the implications and complications of carrying imitation firearms around with me. since i'm not the type to join either a theatre group or airsoft skirmish club just so i can carry a fake gun around expos and cons i've resolved to fix the problem in an alternate fashion!

past few days i've been breaking down bri's sniper rifle into it's seperate components on paper. the results are interesting, i can now clearly see how to make each part except the handle purely from foam and plastic plumbing pipe.

ofcourse, that's not enough for me, i'll be over-extravaganzing (is that a word????) the final product. including a working telescopic sight and maybe an infared ponter in the barrel to simulate the railgun effect (shame is i'd have to have a smoke machine on the go to get the "effect", but i'll add it anyway for completism)

i can't say i'm content i can't add in the accurate sidearms, but i'd rather carry a highly unrealistic 160cm latex covered novelty sponge than 2 plastic and metal "arrest me please" sign. highly inconvinient law, but i'd rather abide than spend the night explaining to constable plod that i was just being "complete".

ordering all the foam tomorrow. estimate is 3 sheets 12mm, 9 sheets 6mm, 2 sheets 3mm. a quick trip to B&Q after that and i should be set to make up all the body parts. all that will leave is getting new latex colourant (lol B&Q creative range again), the undersuit (which is still a topic of internal debate for me... i don't fancy the skintight trouser look still so i'm still thinking of good fitting combats. the upper will most probably be some sort of skintight lycra things), and the trimmings like the belts, pouches and such like.

oh... and a new pair of beach sandles! (and maybe boot risers...)

end of the year. end of the procrastination? not yet. as soon as my miniwage hits my bank i'm planning on buying a few materials, then i can get the ball rolling again.

nothing much else to update with!

new glue gun! woot woot it's good. remade 1/2 of the head and it looks far smoother than before.

i need to get some fine putty and black spray on the 2nd when i get my next pay. if i'm keeping this job i might splash out and get the aztek airbrush i've been looking at too and get this job done already!

finally! a well fitting, fairly comfortable head to work with! woowoo!!!

my 1st attempt at fibreglass was a success! woo woo!

it's probably not the best mother mould ever made, but it's worked non the less.

head mk2 soon...

Finished resculpting, begun latexing. Going to do more latex layers this time. Still waiting on the fig to arrive, maybe today...!

sculpt #2 is almost complete. i've been adding a whole load of extra details in this time that i avoided last time like the little airvents at the back of the head.

i've used artistic licence a little on them, since they looked odd placing them where they are "supposed to be", i've also been a lot more agressive with the recess lines.

i've also added in some indents to the top of the head to match the original. since the top of the head was the problem in the first attempt, it's been heavily extended, along with the back. i've also extended the length of the back, and i'm thinking about adding the skirting as a solid part, since i know what TFA is like to work with.

i've given into the need for a 3d representation of bri, and ordered the WAVE 1/10 figure in the sample shots.

also ordered more newplast, some glassfibre kits and am ordering some modroc for try #2

First head failed! No biggie tho, it was too small on my head, so I'm having to go back to sculpting.

waiting on hot glue deliver is making xae very impatient!

nothing else to report other than the house move was non fatal.

tedious part is tedious. i'm on about layer 14 of the latex mould for the head. only about another 26 to go x_x

maybe a 1st head by weds/thurs....

URGH! not having materials is driving me mad already... 11 days untill i get more funds, i can hold out! i can!!!!

in the planning area, done a lot more design sketches, decompositions etc. ideas area... i think i've had too many! haha

pretty much finished the sculpt of the head. Needs a little cleaning up, but other than that it's done.

Nothing much to do now till the end of the month due to a lack of funds. I'm way ahead of myself, so all is good.

made the head! yay! (and holy christ its heavy!) sculpting shall commence tomorrow...

completed headcast! not nearly as scary as i was expecting it, however.... it was really.... REALLY cold. like, WOAH! cold!

need to buy some denture adhesive to stick the alginate to the plaster outercast before i make a xae-head to work on. probably making some xae-heads on sunday. maybe i should sell one on ebay.... xD

materials for the headcast arrived today. everything looks in order!

cut all the lenses for the helm today at work. i now have 6 little lenses and one big one. the large one is tinted and finished, but the six small ones are only blue so far, so they need another trip to work to make them the same colour as the main lens.

probably doing the headcast on thursday. i'll have a few people here, so expect photos!

done some deconstruction plans of the ears and the left shoulder. nothing so far has made me think that i'll have to cut corners, whic is good.

also contacted tomps regarding what types of materials to use for a head cast, and they've very kindly advised me, props to tomps! i tried to contact the guyver dude in the US about what type of paint he uses, but i can imagine he's busy, and probably not able to reply for a good while. never mind tho, i have a good idea of what paint types to use!

sketching, drawing, brainstorming, researching and being inspired!

i've been reading up on head casting, seems not too scary (as long as my flatmates don't murder me while doing it for me x_x;; ) hopefully i'll have the head well under way by xmas.

on the topic of the head, the wonderfully clever Kuma has talked to me about electronic stuff to synth my voice to be like bri's while in the suit walking about. it seems like something totally do-able, so it's officially in the project now! so is an LED system that will make the eyes flash like they do in the movie when bri's getting an incoming communication.

on the actual construction side of things, i've actually done something already! (if a bit of a minor thing, but cool all the same). i've started doing the tinted lenses at work. the main central "eye" is done, and looks very nice and green. when i get time (or on my lunch breaks) i'll be making the other 6 matching lenses (4 at the front 2 at the back of the head)

i've also been drawing up schematics for the interior of the helm (like where the mic will sit, where the potential earpieces will go if i choose to add an external mic so i can hear people outside the suit, and where the LEDs need to be placed so there isn't much light pollution across the 5 front lenses.

planning working with hot glue is interesting. i can see where the versitility lies already, and every time i have a new idea, the medium seems to basicly say "sure, you can do that with me :D". i've not found anything yet that i've thought "damn, i can't do that with this material", totally the opposite of foam and latex.

that's not to say, however, that i won't be using foam and latex again. i'm 100% on using the same methods i used for Al on making bri's body. and even though his armour seems complex and very detailed, i'm 100% confident that i can replicate it as well as i did Al.

anyways, lots of planning. i need to get a new A3 work book, as my old one is looking as beat up as it's resulting costume (haha, poor al) and my trusty A5 has been traveling with me to work each day since the expo.

back home from london. Al is looking worse for wear, going to have to spruce him up before the next time i wear him

will be updating the gallery in general over the next few days as photos come in. i've managed to delete the txt file with names, so people are going to have to PM me for credit of any photos i post in the meantime unless i retrace my steps and find each of the used photos ^^;;

got in the masq on the second to last entry, al was pretty heavily beaten up by this time. Fixed him up and got resuited as fast as I could, waited hours in baking heat, but it was all worth it...

3rd place!!! Big ego boost for my first cosplay!

costume is packed. everything is ready. expo here we come!!

ARMOUR 100% COMPLETE!!!

left to do:

tunic, fastenings and makeup.

more more more....!

latexed and painted the curiass. looks great.

finally... FINALLY found the right gloves. (in the gardening section at focus!) made the armour plates for them, latexed and painted them.

latexing of pauldrons/upper arms started. maybe finished by the end of the day.

aiming to have almost everything done for next sunday. all that really needs doing now is the legs, the isoflexing and the tunic. that leaves a nice 2 weeks to do any finishing touches!

[20th aug update]

back of curiass, collar, inner shoulderpads completed. one foot semi complete.

unmade parts remaining: upper and lower arms x2, upper and lower leg x2, groin, foot x1, gloves x2, outer shoulderpads x2.

[22nd aug update]

made left arm, finished both feet

unmade parts remaining: right arm, upper and lower leg x2, groin, gloves x2, outer shoulderpads x2

[24th aug update]

upper body finished! photo gallery updated!

[29th aug update]

all the body is completed. gloves need making, tunic/loincloth thing needs making, everything needs latexing, but i'm well ahead of time right now!

[14th sept update]

no progress >>;; been really busy at work and spendable money is short for materials. expect an update some time around the end of the first week in october tho!

[24th sept update]

still no *real* progress. i re-cut the inside elbow curves on the lower vambraces for comfort, fixed the pauldrons to the main body permanently, and fixed the shoulder domes to the upper vambraces permanently. mostly cosmetic/comfort edits before i start final latexing sometime next week.

i did try wearing the suit for a prolonged time (about an hour plus) and i was fairly suprised at how natural and comfortable it felt.

[04th october update]

leaps and bounds! latexed and painted the helm, feet and vambraces. looking great! also finished the spikes and permanently fitted them to armour.

also made a permanent decision to abandon trying to make the knee and elbow pads. maybe a future addition.


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