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+)

Goose and I have been working in overdrive to get the garnet rod done. So we cut 15 slices of 1/4" MDF in the shapes of the rod head, based on a template from the manga. Then we glued together 5 of the slices that were shaped in the heart shape on the top. Using a high-speed cutting bit and a rough sanding drum on the Dremel, we shaped the balls around the edges.
Starting to carve out the shape.
After the basic shape was etched out, we glue on the rest of the 10 slices (5 on either side), for the orb and cone shape on the bottom of the head.
Most of the shapes were finished, but a slice on the very top ball and the left ball fell off
so we had to glue them back on and wait for it all to dry
Goose finished the shape better after the glue dried
So the head was all set. While I was cutting, carving, sanding and getting the whole house covered in MDF dust (it's still everywhere!), Goose was working on the staff part of the rod.
First he labeled the dowels with markings of where various details would go including notches, raised parts and the key pieces.
He cut grooves out of 1 1/8" dowels and cut 1 1/4" PVC pipe pieces to length of the raised parts of the staff, sliding them on at the approximate placement. We taped the PVC to the dowel so it wouldn't slide around. Then he glued Styrofoam balls onto those grooves. (More waiting)
Then we covered the Styrofoam with Bondo body filler to make a hard layer.
There are 6 balls total
 Goose found it to be easier to apply the Bondo with his hands (gloves with thick rubber, of course) than using knives to try to apply it. Then we attached the head to the staff with a 4" long 1/2" dowel with more wood glue.
Goose clamped on another dowel to help straighten the connection while the glue dried.
After all the balls were dry, sanded, applied with a second layer, dried and sanded again to shape, he glued in the key pieces that we cut out of the same MDF as the head, glued and shaped with the sanding bit on the Dremel. He filled in the PVC pieces with more bondo after nailing them gently onto the pole for stability. Unfortunately, the top rod ball cracked and then broke off. Goose was ready for it, so he cut off the ball completely from both sides, then made a dowel that would go 2" into either side of the connection and enough room for another styrofoam ball. Those were glued into place and hammered into a tension fit.
You can see the top ball is still white since we hadn't bondo'd it yet in this picture.
Then more bondo for that fix up, waiting, sanding, bondo, waiting, sanding (can you see a pattern here?). Then we coated the whole thing with Rustoleum Filler Primer, with two coats, sanding in between with very fine sandpaper.
1st Coat
2nd Coat
After the second coat was sanded, Goose covered it with Rustoleum Metallic Silver Spray that's very shiny and dries in 30 minutes (we love auto paint, so much)
Blurry image, but you can still see how shiny it is.
After work, I'll be taping up the head so that we can hit it with the Cherry Red Touch-Up Paint that we used for my earrings. Then maybe a coat of clear gloss (but it probably won't need it), and we'll be done!!

We also finished shopping for our room supplies and we're in the midst of packing all that. Goose has to do laundry so he has clothes for Otakon, but that will be his Wednesday task since he's taking that day off too.
So excited!!!

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