Whew! Got back from NDK last night, but spent today relaxing. Legs hurt, neck hurts, but I had an absolute blast. Hotel treatment was atrocious, but that's another story, and NDK more than made up for it! I have to say, for a first time attendee, and my first major cosplay, it felt great (and weird at the same time) to only be able to move two feet before someone asked me for a picture, proceeded by a wall of cameras as everyone else took the opportunity. It was awesome.
Because of this, I didn't get much of a chance to take pictures of everyone else, but you can see a whole ton on the forums. For now, I wanted to show you a few of my favorites, and then I will throw the rest up on the Photo Gallery page, with more in as they get shared on NDK's forums.
Now that I have more tools and space available to me, I have really been wanting to do an upgrade to my Mass Effect N7 armor. Thanks once again to the 405th and the RPF, for I have found muuuuuuuuch better templates there. Still had to do some adapting, but overall it looks so much better. To start, here's the shot of me in the first set:
I was so proud I had made all that. Still am. But now I wanted *better*. This one just doesn't have the awesome amount of detail as everyone else's (and it started falling apart in the ungodly heat wave this summer). I started off with the helmet, using the same method I had in a previous post with the Iron Man build I started (and have yet to get back to :P).
What? No ear pucks? We'll get to that later. I wanted to try to find something that would work without having to personally detail it, and for now just wanted to get it all done.
Next up was the shin pieces.
That last shot is a comparison shot. Just a tad more detailed, eh? ;) I had to cut some off the bottom and the top for movement's sake, as well as cut a couple slits in the front so I could actually fit my feet in, but all in all it looks soooooo much better. By this point I was quite giddy, so I started the arms.
The helmet and leg took a day each (including a day at work), but were made on their own. The arms I wanted to make at the same time to both save time and ensure moderate symmetry. After cutting and gluing, I attached the bicep, elbow diamond, and forearm with elastic straps, to give freedom of movement. I also added elastic straps to the inside of the forearms so I could make sure it kept its shape (the other one warped outward due to lack of support).
Next up was the thighs.
Kind of in a random order, I know, but bear with me. :)
As you can see, I ran out of black craft foam again, hence the multicolored thighs. These pieces are also the biggest reason I wanted to update the suit (besides the shins of course). The other ones didn't stay up and were quite uncomfortable, whereas these are much more form fitting and attach to the belt around the chest (so no falling). They were also what ended up determining the paint scheme, but more on that later. I was really happy with these pieces.
Progress up to this point:
I snagged the gloves from the last one. Still worked, and I still liked them. Next was the torso.
I'm very happy with this part as well, though as you can see above the "eye" chest piece I wanted to angle, and cut on the wrong side. It'd look even cooler otherwise, but each piece came together very well. I remade the front ab plate, but again snagged the spine from the last one. It's the piece I'm most proud of and dang it I want to show it off! ;) After this, I finished the other leg:
And then I did the helmet's ear pucks. They were the last things I needed to cut, and I hadn't found anything I could put in there without either cutting them out and welding them or mocking up and molding due to lack of funds, so I just cut them out of foam, etched in the details, formed, and stuck 'em in.
And with that, it was off to paint! I took my new skills with Plasti Dip spray and covered everything in it.
This is where the fun really began. Not only was the paint coming together, but I fully intended to have this one lit as well. I had some EL wire I had purchased some time ago, specifically for this project. I wired that into the back section of the torso.
I also added some wax paper to diffuse the lights on the back, since they were hard to see how I had them. I will probably adapt them as I go, but for now this will work. Then I added a tinted visor to the helmet, and more lights! I also started painting the details as you can see here.
Due to writing on several of the pieces and the fact that I really didn't want to spray paint the whole thing twice over, I decided on an opposite theme to the standard grey/black you see everywhere. Still kept the red/white stripe, but rather than all black I added in grey highlights.
Some minor strapping (less than the last one thank goodness), then it was time for the important details!
Yes, I totally kept the one side on the helmet reversed. Gotta be accurate, baby! ;)
And there's the end result. I'll have pictures soon of me in it, though that may not happen until after NDK this weekend. Either way, you will see me in it I promise! Hope you enjoy!
So NDK is next week. Our group leaves on Thursday. I have been planning this trip since February, and fully intend to go.
My boss, on the other hand, seems to want me to stay. Either I'm the only one he trusts to work or, more likely, he just doesn't want me having any side things that may actually have a chance to succeed (as has been the track record with every other employee he has had). I have already paid for the trip, and at this point I can't get my money back. I'm going on this trip, plain and simple.
I worry though. As I have only been doing this prop making for less than a year and have little to show for it (lack of funds, dwindling orders), it makes it hard to pay bills, get tools, and generally improve my making abilities without either a: a job or b: money. And that's where you come in, dear readers.
As I am sure you all know, I have started an ongoing project called Mass Effect Insanity. You can read all about it in my last post. I am currently taking commissions for any of those specific weapons that anyone wants, which will put those weapons at the top of the list. If no one buys/commissions, they will be done as I get to them depending on what else I am working on and whether or not I can support myself in doing it.
If you are not interested in Mass Effect, especially since 3 has been out a good while now, I totally understand and want/need to branch out. I am willing and able to take on a number of commissions, and would be more than happy to hear what you have to offer. I am opening up any and all slots for commissions, and am more than happy to discuss whatever you want built. Please email me via my Contact form.
As a final bit of news, just a reminder that I will be sending a few items to the wonderful people at Mass Effect Marathon! They support Child's Play, one charity I back fully and have always wanted to give something to. This here is my chance, and I am thankful to these guys for giving me the opportunity.
As a tip of the hat to them, I want to offer something on the side as well. For every purchase/commission/whatever, during the months of September, October, and November, I will donate 10% of all proceeds to Child's Play via Mass Effect Marathon. The more orders I get, the more I donate. I will try to do something of my own either way, but this is a guarantee. This is a great opportunity to you guys, as you get an awesome prop/commission, and a donation through me! So awesome.
Anyway, enjoy! Keep those orders coming! ;)