2015 m. kovo 16 d., pirmadienis

Q & A about costume making

Hey everyone! Thank you all for submitting your questions for this Q&A. I hope you find the answers helpful and there will be many more Q&A's like that! :) 

Q1) "How to fix finger armor to your arm, and it has to connect with the rest of the hand/arm armor?" 

A1) Of course I would like to suggest to use a glove, which your character is likely to have, and either glue the armor directly to the fingers of the glove with hot glue, or glue velcro with superglue to the insides of the armor, and then sew the other side of the velcro to the fingertips. This will allow you to put on and off these parts without the glove and one by one. Convenient for fixing con damage. As for connecting it to the other parts of the hand armor, the question you need to ask yourself is why do you need? it Is it in the reference, does it look the character is wearing an armor glove and not just finger armor plus a handplate and wristbands/armbands? If the latter is the answer, than you do not actually need a connection, you can just attach separate parts of armor to your glove, ideally by using velcro, or sew on studs like this (I'm sorry I don't know the name): 

Now let's say your character has a lot of armor on it's fingers and hands and DOES NOT have a glove, but a bare skin showing through. This is a lot more complicated, but can be made just as simply by still using a glove in skin color and just doing the same thing I wrote about above. Otherwise, you can make an armor glove, that is connected together and works like a glove without any fabric, by using transparent silicone bra straps:

You can by them by the meter/yard without any ends, just like any elastic or bias or any tape, and cut into as many pieces as you need. On the skin, these are almost invisible, especially in photos, and you can use it for holding your armor glove, gluing the pieces of this material from the inside of each piece. All of the materials for this: velcro, studs, clear straps can be bought at the places where they sell stuff for sewing. 

P.S This question was originally asked in Lithuanian so I will make a short translation here for the person who asked it:

Na pvz.. Kaip pas Elise ar Marauder Ashe tie nagai.. kaip juos tvirtinti..? Kad ant pirštų jie laikytusi normaliai. Bet tie nagai dar turi susijungti su visa armoro rankove iki alkūnių.

A: geriausia naudot pirštinę jeigu personažas tokią turi (jeigu juoda tarp šarvo dalių, reiškia turi), ir arba klijuoti prie jos tiesiogiai su karštais klijais, arba siūti prie pirštų galiukų pirštinės velcro kibią juostą, o kitą pusę klijuoti į vidų šarvo dalių. Jei nagai turi susijungti su kitomis dalimis, visiškai be tarpų vistiek nepadarysi, tačiau vizualiai galima. Naudojant pirštinę tiesiog tvirtink tiesiai ant jos kitas dalis ten kur jos turi būti, arba su velcro, arba su knopkėm kaip fotkej viršuj. Jeigu personažas turi nuogą ranką po šarvais ir tai matosi, tu vistiek gali naudot kūno spalvos pirštinę, arba jeigu jis turi tokią pilną "šarvo pirštinę" ir nenori/negali dėl kažkokių priežasčiu naudot medžiaginės pirštinės, gali pasidaryt šarvo pirštinę iš vien tik šarvų, naudodamas permatoma silikoninę juostelę (kaip ant liemenėlių būna), klijuodamas gabaliukus tarp atskirų dalių iš vidaus. Tada gausi ir galėsi užsidėt tokią su mažais tarpukais šarvų pirštinę, bet bent jau ties riešu vistiek kažkaip turėsi prie savęs pritvirtinti, su knopkėm ar velcro ar kažkuo panašiu.

Q2) What materials do you use to make your armor, specifically the trim? What are the hooves on your draenei costume made of?

A2) I use pvc foam board or worbla for my armor. Most of the Draenei armor is made out of worbla, and the rim is also out of worbla, I made it by cutting a strip, heating and bending it to the edge of the table, and then  very slightly heating it and making it adhere it to the rest of the armor plate. No glue is needed, as worbla is self adhesive. Here you can the picture of the raised rims happening:

The hooves I made like this: Made a prototype hoof using whatever crap I had around the workshop and smoothed in out later, primed it and so on, and here is what I got: 

Then I molded it in molding silicone and cast two exact coppies in epoxy resin. However, I'd recommend using polyurethane as it's a lot more lightweigt, but I wanted it to be tinted from within so it does not chip, and I do not have vacuum degassing system to be able to use clear polyurethane resin, and the white cannot be tinted dark brown, so here's that. Then I made three holes in each screwed them to my high platform shoes with removed heels, and lastly I added some furniture "anti scratch" pads to the bottom to make it less slippery. I used super glue on top of their adhesive surface. It lasts for about one con and then one has to glue new ones on but it really does help :) 

Q3) I wonder about is how hard is it to keep all your cosplays in good order when traveling? and during conventions when walking around in a crowded space? making it was durable and easy to wear as possible etc 

A3) For travelling I use absolutely massive amounts of bubble wrap. I wrap each and any armor part into bubble wrap separately very single time, and that definitely helps the costume to travel in tact. Walking around a crowded space? That's not something we can do anything about, con damage is real and will always happen. To me what always happens is paint chipping and sometimes some very thin edges breaking of (I often have some thin long parts on my costumes..). If I want to wear a costume for a another cost it takes me about a week to repair it, as I usually strip a lot of painted parts due to chipping or cracking, refill it, prime it again and repaint it. 

Q4) When you do a costume with large shoulders like your draenei, how do you go about strapping them?

A4) I always do one and the same: one elastic band across the back (both of my shoulders are always connected together), and one elastic band around the armpit. I have done this for my Draenei shoulders, my Aion ranger shoulders, my Erza shoulders... I didn't do it for my necromancer shoulders, but I really should have, because I went it had visible leather straps connecting them together and I was certain this was going to be enough, but they kept sliding and moving around, so I definitely recommend my initial method to anyone in regards of shoulders. Oh and yes, I do need help putting them all! :) If a character has a naked arms/back, I use clear silicone bra strap tape instead and it's almost invisible in picture and crazy easy to photoshop out:

Q5) I love your Erza Scarlet costume so much! For her pauldrons, how did you shape them? The compound curves are very smooth, and I'm curious how you achieved that finish.

A5) I have used acrylic  half spheres for the curvy round base of the shoulders. I heated them up and bent them a little to resemble the needed form better, and then I use large chunks of pvc foam board that I also bent and glued and carved around the half spheres and finally I have used worbla scraps to build the other details and to fill in whatever mess I had left there. I use a dremel to carve off the excess everything and then of course filling, sanding and priming took place before paint, to achieve and ensure a smooth finish. It would have been easier not to use pvc foam board and just build the rims entirely from worbla, however, that would be a little bit of a waste of money. You could also build the rims empty on the inside, just using a worbla-craft foam sandwiches, and I have a tutorial for that technique over here, along with how to achieve the smooth finish: http://dulcineacosplay.blogspot.com/2014/02/worbla-smooth-surface-magic.html

Here are a few pictures illustrating my story of the Erza shoulder making:

A6) What kind of, or brand of resin do you use for your gemstone casting?

Q6) My favorite for this task is Pebeo Gedeo epoxy crystal resin that can be bought at hobby stores. It's really expensive though and that's the biggest con, but I really get best results with it, as I can't use polyurethane clear resin not having a degassing chamber.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to your new questions about crafts! ^_^

xoxo, Dulcinea

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