Monday, 27 August 2012

In Progress - Halo Reach Spartan.

We are currently in the process of creating a set of Halo Spartan armour based on the armour of the Noble 6 character from Halo Reach and a set of Master Chief armour for MCM London in October.
Here is the progress that we have made on this armour.

-Craft Knife
-Cutting Board
-Hot Glue Gun
-EVA Foam about 3/4 Inch thich
- Webbing and Buckles
-Pepakura Files
-Acrylic Paint 

Here is a photograph of Noble 6 which we used for reference when working on this armour.

This armour is for Naomi and when using the Pepakura files you need to make sure that your measurements are correct or you will end up creating a piece of armour that is too big or too small. 
During the first stages of working on the armour we decided that it would be best to check every couple of steps that the armour was scaled right.
This is the chest peice of Naomi's armour, as you can see there are individual pieces which are cut out from the Pepakura files and then glued together, at this point we had finished the front and started working on the top/back.

This is the back of the armour, before we had attached it to the front part. This was a little bit tricky as we had to work out the best way as parts of the armour are further forward then others which left us with little room to stick it together, however with a but of luck and alot of hot glue we managed to make the armour sturdy enough to wear.

Here is the finished build for the chest armour, due to the glue leaking out of the parts there was a lot of trimming and tidying up to do before we could start painting the base coat.
However Naomi ran in to a problem while she was painting. After reading online that it is best to coat the foam in watered down PVA glue before you paint, the paint decided to go like this.

Naomi solved this problem fairly quickly by allowing the paint to dry and giving the armour another coat of the paint. She decided to give the armour an undercoat of black paint to add to the effect of being battle worn when we add the colour.

Here is the finished Chest Piece:

After finishing the Chest Piece we decided to work on the Cod Piece. After looking at the Pepakura files for the Cod Piece Naomi decided that she would customise this piece of armour herself but still use the base build. 
After searching online for tips on how to create the armour a little more efficiently we came across the method of scoring the foam where it needs to bend, which saves time rather than cutting out the individual pieces. 

This is the sides and the front part of the Cod Piece, as you can see the side parts were cut out as a whole and bent in to place. The Front part was created by cutting the base piece out and adding three additional pieces for the detail and then using the Dremel we sanded the sides down to meet the base piece. 

Here is a 360 view of the finished Cod Piece, as you can see Naomi has used the Craft foam which is thinner and easier to use for detail to add pockets and detail to the sides. The back part of the Cod Piece was simply the pieces from the Pepakura files with no changes.

Due to the craft foam being very flimsy Naomi coated the detail parts in PVA glue before painting.

Here is a photograph of the main parts of the build after they have been painted. 

Naomi has decided to work on adding a spine and an additional part to the front of the armour using reference photos from her own Spartan on the Halo Reach game.

Here is the work so far on the spine 
This was created using the blue craft foam, however Naomi does not have any templates to work from she had to create the templates herself.

After looking at countless photographs of the Spartan spine,  Naomi managed to work out a few of the shapes that could be used for the spine, although the spine doesn't look exactly how it should Naomi was happy with the end result. Here is a photograph of the trial build for the spine detail.

After building this we decided that we would us the trial build for the actual armour. 
We  then decided to build a base for the spine as this is built out of craft foam which is easily breakable. 
For the base we just up-scaled the general shape of the spine on EVA foam:

Here you can see how the base of the spine fits in with the chest armour and the cod piece, after the base was finished which includes sanding down the sides with the Dremel, which is something Naomi wanted to do as she felt that it would fit better. She then glued the spine detail on to the base.

After creating the spine Naomi then decided that she would work on the armour for the arms. 
First she created her shoulder plates, which she did by splitting the armour in to three pieces and cutting these out as whole templates, and scoring the parts which needed to bend.

From here she began to work on the armour for the legs, using the same technique as she did for the other parts. This is the first completed thigh armour.

Check back for the progress of the Halo Armour.

How To Make : Lightning FFXIII Gunblade

Naomi has been cosplaying as Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII for two years now, due to the first MCM event that she went to was last minute she didn't have enough time to make Lightning's Gunblade.
This gunblade was made in just over 5 days, due to this Naomi is going to re-paint the Gunblade before the next expo.

The tools which were used when creating the gunblade are:
-Craft Knife
-Thick Card
-Craft Foam
-Plastic Tube
-Strong Glue or a Glue Gun
-Silver Spray Paint
-Red and Black Acrylic Paint
-Dark Grey Acrylic Paint.

The measurement for this Gunblade was 50" long. Here is the template which we used for the outline of the sword. We started off by creating the general shape of the blade first. 
After creating the template we then started to draw the blade on to the card first, and then the same with the handle.

 Once we had the first layer to the Gunblade we then repeated this process two more times so in total we had 4 layers for the sword. However the two outside layers for the handle we made the pieces a little bit longer to give the sword some strength and to cover up the joints in the middle.

After doing this we then coated the sword in a papermache, however the sword was still a little flimsy and needed alot of reinforement. we did this by adding an addition piece of thicker card to the sword which you can see here:
Despite doing this the sword didn't support its self properly and we had to improvise a way to support the handle of the sword. We decided to cut a whole through the middle of the handle and add a thick plastic pole, which gave the sword the support that it needed. 

After these sets were completed a final coat of papermache was applied and then we were ready to add the detail. We did this by using the previous template which we cut out the shapes of the detail and used these to created the detail from thin blue craft foam. For some of the detail a few layers of the shapes was required. The piece for the handle easily covered the plastic pole.

This is the sword after all the building work was complete. We added another layer of papermache over the foam detail to protect the foam from the spray paint and to also harden the foam to stop it coming away while we were at the expo. 

After the papermache layer was dry we then coated the gun in a silver spray paint, and then used reference photos to add the additional colours on to the Gunblade. 

Due to Naomi's sword being made the week before the expo. she has decided to give it another coat of papermache and to repaint the Gunblade.
Here are some photos of Naomi in her cosplay at MCM Manchester 2012.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Lightning Farron Cosplay

At the two expo's I've attended, I've noticed that Lightning is quite a popular character to cosplay as, so I thought I'd post up some pictures of Naomi's outfit so any one that is looking to put their own together can see what is needed.
This outfit however, was not made by neither myself nor Naomi, so we have little knowledge of how to create it from scratch, but references are always a good starting point :)

The 'under-vest' as I would call it, has only 3 important factors for it to work with the overall outfit, firstly the collar/zip needs to reach your neck, this is something Lightning uses to hide her brand, she doesn't like to show any weakness, which makes this quite an important part of the overall aesthetic. Then its the colour, a slightly darker than Tan Brown, and then the pattern. Once these principles have been met, your quite safe to move on, if the top is too long for you, you can always just tuck it into your skirt :)
The skirt is fairly easy to get right, it's simply brown high waisted, and hugs your curves. I can bet it'd be quite hard to find one with the zips and ribbon, but I know that these additions can be introduced to a skirt with simple sewing skills.
Naomi's skirt has belt loops, which is quite useful when you need to attach the bag to your hip.
The bag is quite a complex piece, but don't get put off by the straps. The bag itself is three compartments, the main section, then a smaller pouch on the face that has a side zip and a zip across the top, sectioning the pouch into two pockets. The bag is held onto you with the large strap going through one of the belt loops on the opposite side of the leg, with enough slack to allow it to rest just beneath your skirt. Then there are three more strap that tend to mix and match which seem to mainly be for aesthetic use only, they wont hold the bag up, but it will stop it from swinging around. you simply need to over lap them through the loops on the bag, then meet them on the inside of your leg, it's quite simple, but gives off an 'intricate' effect when worn.
The jacket is something you're going to want to spend the most time on, it's imperative to get this spot on, as it's Lightning's most noteworthy aspect of her out fit. The main thing you want to get right, are the three buckles on the front, and the colour of her pockets, and you should be ok. The cape is a simple red fabric, but when attaching it to back, try not to make it too wide, but use a wide enough cloth so you can almost bundle it at the seem. This way it'll look a lot more badass when it blows in the wind :)
To finish off the jacket, this belt is needed, the thing to look out for, is the doubled up appearance as it moves away from the buckle, and the colour.
The accessories are quite tricky, Lightning's shoulder pad is quite unique, but luckily, she only wears one :) it might be worth scouring eBay for a cheap one of these if you aren't good with fabrics. It attaches with 3 buttons, one on top of the shoulder, another on the front of the jacket, if possible under the brown strip, and the last can be hidden under the cape. The gloves are blue fingerless quarter arm length, silver wristband, and a gold fabric with 4 bundles, almost like you be able to fit a straw in each of them. She has a black sleeve coming from under one of her gloves that reaches her elbow. Then on the other arm, around her bicep are 2 bands, one is a simple straight band, and the other appears to be a string of rectangles angled at 45 degrees.

Last but certainly not least, are Lightning's boots, these Naomi did have to put together herself. However, it was quite simple, she bought brown boots, with the buckles already attached, and then simply sewed silver ribbon along them. The strap at the top did not go all the way around the boot, but she circled the ribbon around it to make it appear as though it is. The tongue is simply a wider ribbon, pink, that is also just simply stitched up the front of the boot. She did find it quite hard to get the needle through the leather, so a thick one is recommended if your going to try this.
That's everything for Lightning's costume, if you have any questions or would like to offer myself any advice on improving both the costume and this description, feel free. Let me know what you think, and I'll be posting up how I crafted Lightning's Gunblade from card and gym mats very shortly :)