Okay, okay, so I couldn't just stop at the pistol. Everybody who was anybody was building this helmet for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy release, and when I found a great foam pep unfold on the RPF, I decided to join in.
Why? 'Cause I can. ;)
So, naturally, I printed all the parts after sizing it to me, cut out all the paper templates, then cut out all the foam.
Just for a bit of perspective, on the left are all the pieces for an N7 breather helmet, and on the right are all the pieces for this one. Muuuuuch simpler overall, though obviously with its own difficulties.
Organized all the cut out pieces, then started the assembly!
Totally laughed at this part, because it looked to me like an aviator platypus or penguin or something. XD
Got it all pretty much assembled, then put it aside for a bit while I finished off a couple other projects. This was for me, so other stuff came first!
Once I was able to get back to it though, I etched in the lines with the xacto/heat gun combo.
Starting to look more like it! Attached the breathing tube things on the sides, as well as simple craft foam bits on the cheeks. Nothing fancy or crazy about the build, just getting what I can done with little time to spare.
Tried to find some bendy straws, a trick I saw someone on the RPF do for the tubing, but I didn't have any. Instead I grabbed some old ethernet cable I had lying around and glued all that on.
Sent that out for paint so quick (and rushing to get it done the day of the release) that I forgot to take pictures. Sorry! I did take a quick shot of the acrylic discs for the eyes, done with the same red acrylic I used on the Terminus helmet.
For the paint I used Plasti Dip (naturally), metallic gold, and a satin aluminum I had lying around. No weathering, no clear coat, and no gunmetal, since I didn't have any and we were out the door soon as the tape was off and the acrylic eyes installed.
There's still a bunch of work I'd like to do on it, and some shots of me wearing it I'd like to get, but it currently sits in the state you see here, in a giant pod with all my tools and belongings, in Pennsylvania. While I sit here in Utah.
Once I get it back though, it's a nice casual cosplay that I can wear, carry, see out of, all that. I'll be putting the final touches on it just for that. It also needs some beveling and edge work, so expect a possible repaint when that happens. Either way, I think it turned out pretty great!
Was commissioned to make the comic book version of Star Lord's pistol, by a previous client of mine. Not only did it look really cool, but with the upcoming release (which has now passed) I thought it'd be fun to do and a bit of a challenge.
First up, printing out the proper sized thing, and cutting pieces out of the foam.
If you read the previous write-up on the Turian Phaeston (which you should if you haven't) you know that these two builds happened basically at the same time, so you'll see both in a lot of the pics. Don't worry though - I'll try to keep things on track. ;)
Once all the layers were glued and each puzzle piece cut out, I got to work on the acrylic pieces. I was still debating a few different ways to do the glowy parts, as well as hide the battery, but after a wonderful chat with Beer Money Props, we came up with a couple simple, and useful, solutions.
First, I cut a quick and dirty mask with painter's tape and sprayed some paint on what would be the inside of the acrylic. This would help make the cool pattern in the discs when the light shines through, without blocking out the light entirely.
Next, I heated up a section of the acrylic and bent it over a small pipe, curving a section and leaving two flat walls, to make the middle section. Originally I was just going to make that out of foam, and insert a panel of the acrylic on either side, but this was his suggestion which was not only easier, but worked perfectly.
Here you can see the cutting bit I used to cut out the large hole in the side, where the discs would go. You can also see how the other acrylic bit bent to go in between it all.
Finally, I used a forstner bit to drill a hole in the back for the wires, as well as in the front for the barrels. For that I used a slightly larger bit, followed by a smaller bit, to give them a bit more detail.
Finally, I had originally planned to have the very back section be removable, attached via magnets, to hide the battery and give easy access to change it. However, Beer Money Props suggested sticking it in the middle, above the grip, which would give it a more even balance.
So I did. :)
I still had to cut out a small chunk of foam for it to recess into, but it worked a lot better. Now that that was done, it was time to wire everything!
I put six wide angled LEDs inside the front bit, with some aluminum foil to help diffuse the light more so it didn't look spotty from the outside. You can also see that I installed one of the two discs so that I knew exactly how much room I would have. When that was done, I installed the other disc.
And it works! You'll probably notice here that I left the protective paper on the outside of the acrylic discs. This was to save me from having to tape it all back up again after painting it, which would have been a pain. I left it on both discs, though I took it off entirely from the cover piece. Once I had that all set, I glued all the pieces together, added a couple more LEDs to the other acrylic section, and tested the lighting again.
In hindsight, I probably should have put a third light in the middle there, but I was worried the battery would block that light anyway. Still turned out great though, so now it was time for all the details.
Started out with some craft foam layers, to get the thinner spots. Also added the central details onto the acrylic with the craft foam. This helped hide the edge of light and wires underneath.
Then came the 1/4" foam, again with the hole cut out, for the slightly thicker area (which the 1/2" would have been too thick for). Once both sides were done, it was time for the details!
These were done, as always now, with the xacto knife and heat gun. Super fast, super easy, super clean!
Lastly, I cut a small PVC pipe to size, used a dremel, file, and some sandpaper to sharpen the inside edge of the pipe, and scored a light ring on each side of the grip. Then I attached it to the back of the pistol, and used more craft foam and scrap acrylic to form the doohickey on the back.
Those strips of blue are bits of painter's tape, to mask off the acrylic. That will make more sense later. I also taped off the inside of the half-tube bit, to make sure no paint got inside, as well as the battery connector. Then it was off to the Plasti Dip!
I didn't want to risk pulling out the wires of the lights attached to the half-tube section, so I opted to cover one side at a time. Once that was set, I propped the pistol on its top, painted the grip and back section a metallic black, let it set, then taped it up some more.
Then I grabbed the darker red I used in the Original Helmet 1 build, and painted more of the bottom area as well as the front. Naturally, I let that set too, then taped it up to paint the rest of it silver.
Once that set, I took all the tape off, including the strips on the half-tube section and the paper protecting the acrylic. The result?
Ahem. Sorry. :D
The paint masking on the inside of the discs worked exactly as planned: there, but not holding back the whole light. The strips shone through wonderfully. You can see it best when I turned down the light levels on the camera in the third shot.
Finally, time to tie it all together with the weathering!
Acrylic wash and dry brushing, then a clear coat to seal it all in. Super stoked at how crazy cool this turned out, and it looks amazing even without the lights on. Big thanks to Beer Money Props for his suggestions which helped a ton, and to Viverra Cosplay who will share some amazing pictures of it once she's finished the costume (crossing fingers)!
And now, back to the awesomeness that is the Turian Phaeston. I built this to go along with my Terminus armor, though unfortunately I ended up having to sell it to raise some money to move my family BACK to Utah, after having been in Pennsylvania only six months. Two moves in one year, both cross-country, have really done a number to our already drowning finances. :(
Still though, it was a fun build, and I know it's gone to a good home. I'll make another one once I get all my stuff back from the storage pod everything is living in.
Onward! Started this one, as always, scaling and printing a massive version to use as a template.
Decided to go the same route as I did with the M8 Avenger version 3, with the 1" thick foam as the core, and the other foam as build-up layers. Had to cut it out in three different pieces though, due to the small sheets of foam you can see above. Got it all cut out though, and used the contact cement to glue it all back together.
From there, I cut the paper template into smaller pieces, using them to prep the rest of the foam. I traced these onto 1/2", 1/4", and craft foam, to really give it a nice layered effect. The subsequent pile was quite a sight.
(Heads up - I did a lot of the Phaeston at the same time as Star Lord's pistol, seen on the left, so you'll see a bunch of pictures of them together as we go along. I'll write-up the pistol next, to help stave off any confusion if I can.)
Once all the pieces were cut out, I arranged them to ensure they fit on the core, then slung contact cement everywhere and put everything together.
Then I threw on all the craft foam, to give everything the final feel.
Next came the tricky part. I had to angle the top section, the rear of the stock, and the base of the grip, as well as bevel some of the edges. So, I took it out to the belt/disc sander, and got to work. While I was out there, I also cut out the barrels and final pieces, and used the puck left over from cutting out the hole in Star Lord's pistol to make the extended chunk of the Phaeston's main barrel.
After some cleaning up, I then took my xacto knife and heat gun to it, and etched in all the detail lines.
Once I was happy with everything, it was time for everyone's favorite thing, Plasti Dip! I followed that up with a coat of silver as well. Originally I was going to do a custom color scheme with it that was similar to the Terminus armor, but I was worried that it would blend too well with the armor and it would get lost in it. Instead, I stuck with the original coloring to have it stand out on its own and compliment the armor.
'Course, that ended up not mattering, since I ended up having to sell it, but oh well! Still looked awesome.
Taped up everything, then threw on the same metallic black I used on the Terminus.
After that I painted on an acrylic pewter, which is what I normally use on the M8. This helped give some contrast to a few of the lower layers and the barrels.
And last, but definitely not least, came the weathering. As per usual with the silver, I did a black acrylic wash, with dry brushed highlights over everything else.
I'm really proud of this build, and sad to see it go, but such is the way of things. At the very least, I know what to watch out for when I make another one! :)
Check the Terminus Armor build for some awesome shots of the two together! Also, while you're at it, take a look over here and vote for me! Contest runs between August 18-28, 2014, and you can vote once per day. Appreciate it!
Normally I start my write-up posts with a preview picture of the prop or armor I made, or an example of something similar I'm basing my build on. This time, however, other than the base helmet everything I did to make this custom build was by the seat of my pants, going off an idea I had in my head.
I got started with the helmet base, which I give 100% credit to Evil Ted Smith and his foam fabrication videos. If you haven't already, go check them out and learn some neat tricks of the trade! Really helpful video series.
Anyway, I started by grabbing my new Ed head, from Monster Makers. It's the right circumference, though the rest of the head is pretty skinny. We'll work on that, though!
Great head for the cost, and they leave a hole at the bottom so you can fill it with something more solid to sculpt on it. Really is a quality head!
Anyway, I covered the head in aluminum foil.
Then, I covered that in duct tape, making sure to keep the facial details there as best I could. Once that was all done, I traced two patterns: one on one side, and a different one on the other, then cut both off with a razor blade.
Since I was making a pattern that would be flipped and repeated on the other side, I figured making a second, different pattern on the other side would save time and materials. It also got me two patterns in one go, which sure was nice! Both varieties give me several styles of helmets I can make, so it works out well.
Also, those cuts you see, the small darts? That's another trick I learned from Evil Ted's videos: alignment marks! Helps to make sure everything fits pack together the way it should. Literally a godsend. :D
So I flattened out the pieces, then transferred them on to paper and enlarged them a bit, to account for the 1/2" thick foam (and the slightly small head). Once that was done, it was on to the foam!
After that it was the usual heat gun to shape it, and I grabbed the contact cement to glue it all together. Love that stuff!
From here on out you'll be seeing lots of angle sets, because I wanted to get as many shots of it as possible from as many angles as made sense. Being an original item, I really wanted to show it off right. So, bear with me as I share a bunch of photos at once of each step!
Next came the face plate, which you can see the early sketches for in the above picture. I drew out one side, then traced it, flipped it, traced the other side, and gave the inner seam a slight angle in the middle. The result:
Thanks to the middle seam it was easy to line it up straight to attach it, though it was interesting gluing the rest on evenly. I bent each side one at a time and marked off where it would end up sitting, put down the contact cement, then glue the two together. And, naturally, then repeat with the other side.
Then I threw a neck guard thing on the back, which ended up sitting a bit high - but I went with it anyway since I was making it up as I went along. It was fun, it looked neat, and I was on a roll!
After that came some filigree, to fill in a lot of this empty space and cover up some of the seams. First I threw on some craft foam doodads all over the face plate.
To ensure I wasn't making them too large, I used the original face plate pattern, drew the designs on that, then cut them out and traced them onto the craft foam. The mouth bit I cut an angle, like the main section, just to keep things as even as possible. Really proud of myself here, since I don't normally do the curly stuff very well when freehanding it.
Next, I threw on some more 1/2" foam on the back, as more filler in the huge empty space.
After that, more craft foam to fill it in even more, plus an extra bit on the neck guard.
And, finally, I decided to add a conning tower to the top at a slight angle, because I decided it needed a plume.
Once again, this was all a freehand, flying by the seat of my pants, no idea what I'm coming up with next kind of build. I had no idea what I was going to next when I hit each step, but by this point I was finally happy with it. It looked awesome! That meant it was Plasti Dip time.
Put it up as a giveaway on my Facebook page, and took some better pics of this stage then while I waited for some bites. Never panned out, but was fun all the same. Here's the better shots:
Since the giveaway didn't end up happening, that meant I got to choose the color scheme and final look. I decided on gold and red, with a red plume. Started off with the gold as the base:
...taped off areas for a deeper, darker red:
...and hand painted the lighter red on the rest:
After that came the usual weathering. I did the acrylic wash all over it, no dry brushing this time, and I did it pretty heavy at first because I knew that the clear coat would take some of it away again.
Then I took it outside, did the clear coats, and took some nice pictures of it with some good old natural light.
Had to put the next part on hold for a bit, since I needed to get to a craft store but didn't have a way to get there for another week. Was originally going to go with a red wig, but couldn't find one that would work like I wanted so I decided on another tip from a good friend of mine: yarn. I'd have to brush out all the twists and whatnot, but it would work pretty well for what I wanted.
A week passed, finally got the yarn, gathered a bunch of strands and cut the ends apart, then tied one end and secured the knot in the hole on the conning tower. Then I brushed the strands as best I could to separate them.
Left: before, right: after. Turned out pretty nice! Not perfect, but hey it was still that seat-of-pants build. :)
Here's the final product! Hope you enjoyed that one as much as I did.
Yes, yes, I know: the title says Paladin, the picture says Carnifex. The two guns are 100% identical, besides the paint and decals though, so I'm sure you'll forgive me this slight oversight. ;)
Anyway, got commissioned to do an M77 Paladin out of foam. Relatively simple, though due to all the open areas in the middle of the gun, I opted to try out a different method.
In the pile of foam at the top of the picture, you can see I'm still layering it to cut out all together, but it's a little more puzzle-pieced than the other two regulars you see below it. Makes it much easier to get to all the holes inside!
Once all those layers were glued down, I cut out the puzzle pieces, glued them all together, then used the extra to cut out the small bit at the bottom of the grip.
Super simple. It's remarkable how quickly this came together and how simple it really is.
After assembly, I grabbed my craft foam and cut out the top layer.
Then, I did the light scoring trick with my xacto knife and heat gun for all the details, after marking all the lines with a pen, and cut out the angled bit on the upper hole with the xacto as well. I also threw on the upper details with more craft foam, and cut out the barrels, and heat sink on the back out of PVC pipe. I covered the back of the heat sink with more craft foam.
Next came the Plasti Dip! Lather, rinse, repeat.
Oh, and, naturally, the paint and weathering. ;)
I was both surprised and happy at how quickly this build came together, and I can definitely see why most people start out by making this or the Carnifex. I'm super tempted to make a wooden master and mold a few, though there are already so many out there that I don't think it'd go anywhere. Still though! :D