Saturday, August 30, 2014

Belt Buckles: Deadpool & DBZ Majin Buu 2

Once the polymer pieces were ready, they were painted using acrylics. For Buu's belt piece the M was first painted black and then the golden acrylic came next...
 back was painted black...
 The rest of the Deadpool buckle piece was painted red and then the black vinyl was covered using thick paper so that the clear glossy finish wouldn't get onto it...
 back painted black...
 Once the clear glossy finish was dry the paper pieces were removed and the white semi circular pieces that serve as the eyes were glued in. These were spray painted first with a glossy white paint...
 Buu's buckle piece was also sprayed with a clear glossy finish...


 The blank metal belt buckle pieces were ordered online and then glued using industrial strength glue...Small screws were later added in to give it more strength...
 A quick pouch was made to hold these pieces... This was made of some kind of soft felt and was super glued at the edges to form the pocket...bubble gum pink for majin buu's...

 And for deadpool's I went with a gray pouch...

 Metal buckle piece was added in the same fashion...


And just like that these guys were done!

DBZ Saiyan Armor 2

While all the filling and fun sanding happened at night, i started preparing for the shoulder pieces and velcro straps.
 I started the shoulder pieces by making a stencil of one of the shoulders and testing it out on myself. This is the white cardboard piece you see on the images above and below. Once this was of the desired shape and size i went on to make the full shoulder piece. This would be a single piece that would rest on the shoulders and would be kept in place using velcro straps attached to the front part of the chest piece....

in order for the shoulders to fit nicely i constantly kept putting them on and double checking them with the other two armor pieces. you can see the added pieces that were taped onto the template in the above image.
 Now that half of the template was ready i proceeded to make the final outline and cut out of poster board...
 My friends shoulder pieces obviously had to be larger than mine so i used the same half template for the first shoulders and used it as a guide to make the second shoulders larger...
 Once both shoulder outlines were cut out i taped some wire to one of the sides and proceeded to bend them using a mailing tube. Seems i didn't take much pictures of the process for the shoulder pieces ...pretty much after getting roughly the right curve i stated adding a couple of coats of fiberglass resin just to find out that the cardboard i was using wasn't absorbing the resin...so i had to jump in and add the cloth and resin on the exterior surface of the shoulder pieces...
 For the straps that would attach the armor pieces together i bought a couple of yard of black nylon strapping....cut it up to the desired size...bought some velcro and cut it up to size...
 The velcro i bought was the sticky back kind, however i would later go thru and hand sow the pieces to the nylon straps to make sure they stay on...
 in the image below you can see how the strapping would work...The  strap with the velcro is the piece on the left while the piece on the right will have the metal ring permanently attached to it...

 Here's where this lovely tool called a woodburner with interchangeable tips comes handy! So when you cut nylon straps the ends start unthreading so in order to stop it from doing that you have to burn the edges. Well! I planned to attach the nylon straps to the armor by using metal rivets so holes would be needed to be burned in as in the image below.

Monday, August 25, 2014

DBZ Saiyan Armor 1

Great and happy news came by this summer!

 Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods was to finally be released in the USA after its Japanese release more than a year ago! This past August 5th and 6th thus became the deadline for one of the funnest and exciting projects i've had the pleasure of working on!
Battle of Gods had already been released in a few other countries including Mexico (Sept 2013) so being so close to the california-mexico border there was no way i would miss it! Ended up watching it twice and loving it! So, of course i jumped with excitement upon hearing it was finally going to be released in the USA. Luckly i was on summer break and had enough time to get another project started up!
Thus, in lieu of its release i decided to make a pair of saiyan armors for my friend and i to wear as we enjoyed watching dbz on the big screen!

I'm finally sorting thru the pile of images so Here it goes!


My initial idea was to simply make the chest and back plates with the simple straps...my friend preferred the saiyan armor with the fancy shoulder pads. So, why not give both armors both? Hence, the project now involved interchangeable shoulder pieces. It wouldn't be a complete cosplay without the gloves, boots and blue undergarment, would it? So that got added onto the list!
 Luckly internetland had a saiyan vest already circulating from pepakura. I did not create the saiyan armor model nor unfolded the model in pepakura. kudos to the person who did it! I'll see if i find the name of the creator and post it up!  If you have not heard about the pepakura program, check it out! its pretty awesome! From what i know, you import a 3d model into the pepakura program. Using the program you can then slice the model up and unfold it. Then you arrange all the pieces (with tabs to glue one piece to the other) into individual pages (top image: right) that can then be printed, cut up, and glued together to form the object.
 This model ended up being about 28 letter size pages that were printed on cardstock paper (thicker paper)...I went on to cut the wee little pieces up carefully with the x-acto blade...a day or two later i was read to begin folding the pieces and gluing them together.....This really, really tests your patience....but it got done!
 I started working on my armor first in order to test things out and get my friends armor done much faster and hopefully better. So, once it was all put together i went on to add a couple of coats of fiberglass resin.
 a cardboard armature was added to the inside to prevent the top portions of the front and back plates from moving around...Also as i added the interior cardboard armature i was constantly taking my measurements and comparing them with what would be the final product. Lucky me the original size that the file was created looked like it would fit me!
I left out the shoulder straps since i opted for making them out of polymer clay later...
 two coats of fiberglass resin were added to the exterior...
 patches of resin were also added to the interior, then, once the armor was rigid enough to hold its shape the cardboard armature was removed....finished coating the interior with a bit more fiberglass resin...if you haven't tried fiberglass resin before, it's this syrup like liquid that has a pretty strong smell. Its dry time is of about 12 min so you have to mix in small batches and use it as quickly as you can to avoid wasting...and be prepared to gets some sticky fingers if you don't use gloves like me!
 next came reinforcing the overall armor from the inside...This was done using old bed sheets that were cut up in rectangular pieces. Fiberglass resin was then brushed over them to stick them to the armors interior...
 made sure to overlap the cloth pieces to add some strength to it...and continued the stickly mess all around the interior...

 This cloth+resin left the armor pretty sturdy so now it was time to cut it in half!
 Cut the armor using a dremel tool and a cutting disk...no trouble cutting thru, just make sure to wear safety glasses!


 Once i tried the two pieces on it proved to be in need of a bit of cutting...
 sliced the sides up since overall, the armor came out to be a bit tapered at the tops...
 Now that my armor was ready for the next step it was time for the second armor to catch up! using the first armor as a guide i fixed the second armor...the main fix pretty much consisted on the top portions of the chestplate which they flared out a bit too much...a small cut on the side and overlapping the pieces seemed to do the job...I had to cut into the first armor after the cloth+resin stage to fix this problem and then patch up the cut with more cloth + resin...not so difficult...just tricky to get it to stay in the right position for the hour it has to completely dry...did this by getting creative with wire..
 The second armor had to be resized just to be a tad larger than the original. luckly that was done easily in pepakura!
the second armor was then applied its coats of fiberglass resin and cloth+resin interior lining...once both were at the same stage...came more good smelling fun stuff! body filler! sanding! 
The purpose of the body filler was to curve the flat shapes and give the rims a bit more roundness...filling and sanding...
 filling and sanding...i must admit it was pretty fun getting all that white dust all over the place when sanding!
 I tried on my chest piece and realized it was a bit too open on the sides...so cuts were made along the seam line you see in the image below it is already cut..a wire was then used to push the sides closer to each other...
 Once i tried the second armor on my friend, cuts were made to the sides of his chest piece and to the back piece...the cut on the back piece was made before the cloth+resin stage so that means less resin wasted patching up!
more filling and sanding...the lovely hot summer days in my hometown had me working the night shift and sleeping it away during the day...fun stuff! more work on this project coming up soon!