Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Garnet Rod + Update

I'm getting very excited. Not only because I'll get to see a bunch of otaku and awesome cosplayers, not only because of all the guests and premiers, but especially because I get to see my friends who I haven't seen in a few months to a year and spend some quality otaku time with them.

Warning: Image Heavy Post After The Jump!! (PC, you've already seen these images on Google+)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

FABRIC (aka how my kitchen table looks right now)

Going to be a huge loser and buy/return a sewing machine. all of the red fabric is already cut & prepped as desired...cut freehand without pins. aslkdhdgshdfj. Need to do something about the Fire Nation emblem on Azula's top, too. Probably just going to do a winging-it-all run at Michael's & Joann's tomorrow.

Trimmed down the green t-shirt to mod, sliced open the shoulders along the seams, and am probably going to be hemming eyelets FOREVER to thread ribbon, like I did for these shorts for a music festival last month:

...except about 5x the number of eyelets... sigh. (whipstitching the slits I cut into that denim was also annoying, but I didn't trust a sewing machine to be as meticulous as I wanted to be. I'm also just getting my feet wet again...let's face it, I'm still a giant sewing noob and don't trust sewing machines for anything but hems & straight seams for now x_x)

speaking of which, here's the first t-shirt mod I did, last month:

9 days!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Update

Goose and I worked very hard this weekend, trying to get things done.

First off, we finished making the Sailor Sleeves, which I have lovingly nicknamed "arm tacos" since the fabric is shaped like a taco shell and then filled with a bunch of quilting batting.

On Saturday, I worked alone on them, but the technique I was using wasn't working on the fabric I was using, particularly because the darts wouldn't crease neatly like 100% cotton would.

So that was a day of work that didn't amount to anything.

The next day, Goose joined me and helped me measure out the taco shells based on my, Lira's and Kaye's measurements. Then we cut the quilting batting to shape for each taco shell, stuffed the shells and pinned them together like wontons. Then I sewed them, hoping that they wouldn't twist too much and that the lines would appear properly.
Left to right: Completed arm taco for Akira, stuffed wontons for Lira, shell and stuffing for Kaye
They came out better than my first five or six tries, so hopefully this will be the last time I make anything arm taco-y.
Left to right: Akira, Kaye, Lira (I left extra room for Kaye and Lira to stitch onto the leotards)
Goose finished sanding and painting the Pluto earrings we were working on. He sprayed the fronts with the Cherry Red auto paint. After they dried, there were a few air bubbles, so he sanded the surfaces with very very very fine grit sand paper. Auto paint is awesome, because it dries into a hard layer that sands as well as the resin. So he sprayed a second layer onto the front and after that dried, one on the back to make the color look uniform.
Here are the earrings after drying the second layer. I love the shine that comes off them.
All of the Garnet pieces are done drying, so I'm working on the heart shapes to sand them down to the proper shape. Goose says that he can do measuring and cutting based on measurements and stencils, but he hates freehand work, so I'm working on the shape with a dremel and a respirator since I'm still getting over a chest cold I caught in June. Blech.

While I work on those, Goose is working on making the details for the staff part of the rod.

Our Portal costumes are both ready to go and Goose just needs to fix a small electronic problem in the Portal Gun for that to be ready.

Right now, our only focus is on the rod and it's only time consuming because of the drying times we have to account for the Bondo, primer and paint.

More pictures as we make more and get closer to Otakon!

Friday, July 15, 2011

okay, real update instead of just a flailing update.

I'm hoping that I can have a majority of Tomoyo done by the end of this weekend. By majority, I mean that I only need to assemble the head dress dangles to the top pieces and only minor touch ups. I don't know how feasible it is at this point, but I finished stenciling (beading remaining) for the overrobe lapel, finished the damn ... weird... knot things; only have one last part to stuff and sew on to the main knot before it's attached to the belt. The masters for most of the head dress (missing the "bow") are sanded; molds to be done TOMORROW. PETTICOAT IS MOSTLY DONE WHY IS THAT THING SO EVIL. Then it's just.. the wig. And the rest of the sailor senshi stuff. Which I am not thinking about until Monday (two more hip pipings to sew, the gems, sewing most of Lira and Kitaku's boot covers and adding zippers to everything. ... And Kitaku's scary ass wig.).

Now here's a picture to round everything out. It's the last thing I was working on before I decided to go to bed. Masochism, I has it.

(sorry about the crappy photo quality. My phone doesn't like low lighting)

Thursday, July 14, 2011



Quick update (pictures from prior hacks will come when I get home):

- Need to finish Azula. This requires a sewing machine. I do not have one. This requires me finding friends with a sewing machine I can borrow (or hours upon hours of hemming by hand, or buying a machine & returning it later). e____e;;
- I have light hazel contacts for Azula that I do not know how to put in properly. After several half-hour attempts (more than that and I'm afraid I'll go blind) and lots of eyejabbing, I'm still not quite there. They do, however, look AWESOME.
- Still to come: one more t-shirt mod, turning an old Threadless t-shirt into an open-shoulder crop top for the Otakon dance.
- I'll be walking in the Sixh. Fashion Show on Friday at 4pm and getting my J-goth on. (I don't even have an inner visual kei/gothic lolita fiend, so this is just going to be slightly bizarre, while interesting.)

If I remotely have the free time, I may make a last-minute run to a hardware store & see what I can improvise in the way of Sailor Saturn's glaive that doesn't look horrendously crafted. I do not want to be one of these...

but add that to a photoshoot on each of the two weekends between now & Otakon, and songs to finish, and the chances of me having the free time to do a glaive looks slim. I'm disappointed in myself. :x

Akira and Kaye's work looks rifucklously amazing so far, and I am EXCITED. Although apprehensive. I have no idea where I'll be this time next year, and while everyone + several other friends are talking about attending Otakon next year since they've gotten excited-by-proxy, I really don't know if I'll be here again. I'm doing it for the experience of enjoying this process with my friends, and getting really swept up by Akira & Kaye's skill and enthusiasm, but I myself am no longer an active anime fan nor much of a con-goer. Still.

...Maybe I'll do NDK next year!

14 More Days Before Otakon!!

I'm getting so psyched, but that also means that there is a lot to do. Goose is working hard on the Garnet Rod. We're making it out of MDF which we were routing out with a Dremel on a plunge router attachment. This was taking a very very very very long time as you can't plunge too deep into the MDF without a lot of resistance and the Dremel would overheat after one pass around the shape. We could only really cut out two and a half pieces a night (since we're working after work). Very slow, considering we need to cut out 15 pieces to make the 3D shape. Then Goose bought a DeWalt Jigsaw. And cut out two big pieces in the matter of minutes. It makes such a difference when you have the proper tools. He was kind of kicking himself. Now we're in the process of gluing them together and need more clamps for all the pieces.
Dry quickly, please!
I finished my Sailor Pluto Wig after much fighting with tangles. There's a reason people don't usually grow their hair that long. I was pretty pleased with how the odango came out. It was a fight with hot glue on the inside. I burned some skin off my fingertips, I'm pretty sure.
So nice and green! I had fun with this wig :D
I finished casting my Pluto earrings. I bought the starter kit Kaye mentions in this post. I made the master out of clay and cast the silicone in an old Motorola cellphone box we had kicking around after sealing all the edges with hot glue. Then cast the earring with the CR-600 Casting Resin after placing a large stud earring I bought from Claire's in the mold. After sanding and trimming the edges when it cured, we sprayed them with filler primer to fill any gaps in the surface. Now we're waiting for them to dry, but then we'll spray them with the dark red auto paint we're also using for the rod details. (I love auto paint. It's so shiny.)
It's a little heavy, but I just need to get used to it.
Also, I finished the tiaras for all of us and Kaye will be casting the gems to attach to them.
They're pretty shiny when you get them in direct light.
I finally got around to finishing the glove piping for each of us as well. I don't know why I was so unmotivated before.
Left to Right: Sailor Saturn (Lira), Sailor Pluto (Akira), Sailor Mars (Kaye), Sailor Moon (Kitaku)

And I finished one of my Sailor Pluto boots yesterday. It slips on like a sock and looks pretty form fitting. I have to figure out how to strap down the boot inside, or maybe just wear some heels.
Need to add traction to the bottoms as well since they're very slippery on the bottoms.
Whew, that was a huge update, but the glove piping and tiaras were done earlier and since Otakon is coming in about two weeks, it really has lit a fire under my ass.

There are still a bunch of things that still need to get done.

I need to finally get those f%$*ing sleeves completed. They fight me. Goose and I need to finish cutting and gluing all our parts so we can sand and paint the thing. I need to finish the other Pluto boot. Then I need to check over Goose's Aperture Scientist costume and my Chell to make sure it'll last another con. I foresee a lot of mending in my future.

Then it's purchasing supplies, packing and driving to Baltimore of a weekend of awesomeness!

Kaye and I still have a bunch of things to do once we get to Baltimore in terms of fitting, sewing and attaching pieces. It's the price we pay for making cosplays 2,000 miles away from each other with two other people who are both not located near either of us. It'll be an interesting and fun night!

Well, hopefully, the next updates I have are more completed parts of the Sailor Senshi!