Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dr Fate helmet: Fiberglass and Bondo

So, I skipped some pictures, sorry about that.

The fourth Dr. Fate helmet, as I said, was close enough that I didn't feel the need to make a fifth one. The first picture is of me after I cut the helmet, to see how much of a gap was needed to be added. I didn't add as much as is shown there, but I took the picture just to give me an idea of the size. I'm very proud that my very first attempt at a sizing picture actually worked, by the way. I just held my phone away from me and clicked the picture.

After I got the sizing done, I added some fiberglass resin to the outside and inside of it, which made my studio stink so bad that I abandoned the room for a couple of days. Note, do this crap outside if you plan on doing it.

Next I reread everything I could find about turning pepakura (papercraft) files into wearable stuff, and started the awful task of fiberglassing the inside. I used fiberglass cloth and more of the resin for that.
Side note, the resin, the cloth and the bondo all came from WalMart. This stuff is easy to find. It is with the tools/automotive stuff, all right together.

Today, I sanded the devil out of the Fate helmet, inside and out. I wore a respirator, goggles, gloves, and long sleeves to do this, and I did it out on my front porch, that way my neighbors will fear me. I did it outside and wearing all that gear because I am slightly phobic of fiberglass.

Next up, as seen in the second picture, I covered all my hard work in a layer of goopy bondo body filler. Now my cool paper helmet is pink. Pink, and as hard as a car part, I might add. (Also, seen in the picture, bird poops on my porch. That's what I get for having a bird feeder)

Later, I'm going to be sanding down the bondo, fixing any gaps that show up, checking and rechecking the symmetry of it, then eventually painting the whole thing brilliant and gaudy gold.

More to come as I get there!

Also, as for my sculpting progress:

I cut down a styrene ball to the shape I wanted for a large doll's head, then sculpted the head in super sculpy. I didn't take a picture before baking it, but trust me, it was cute.

After baking, I found that my cute sculpted head had shattered. I started over, but I first reinforced the styrene so that it wouldn't expand or anything to cause another break.

I resculpted the head in super sculpy, baked it again, and again, it busted. GAH!!!

I'm not giving up on this doll, just so you know. The next step is trying my hand at paperclay for the first time. Pictures and what not will follow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dr Fate vs. Vacation

Pictured here is the first three Dr. Fate helmets. The third one was painfully close to right, but it was still too small. I also made a fourth one, but guess what? It's still a little too small!!! Gah!

The fourth one is close enough that I may simply mess with it a bit to make the helmet fully wearable. I can squeeze it onto my head, but only with a little distortion to the helmet. It also mashes my nose. I think I will cut into where the cheek parts meet the face part, and add a little paper to there to stretch it some. I'll let you know how that goes.

Next, I'd like to let you know that for Easter I went to Pigeon Forge, TN. It was kind of a sudden spur of the moment trip, but it was a lot of fun. So much fun that Sarah wants to go back there for her birthday in July. So, I guess that's what I'll be doing then.

We went to a petting zoo, and to Wonder Works, which were both kind of fun, but the petting zoo gets more revisit value, if you ask me. I petted a camel, some goats, a zebra, some deer, a zonkey and donkey. The goats win, in my opinion. Later, I may do a more in depth post about the trip, complete with pictures of me getting mauled by little animals.

The biggest thing to come out of this was that I was inspired to sculpt again. Pictures will come as soon as there is anything to show!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dr Fate helmet continued

Not much to report, other than I made the second helmet bigger, and I used hot melt glue (a glue gun), which sped up the process A Lot!

The second helmet is STILL too small, so as I write this, I am printing a third helmet even bigger. I hope it works, because I'm running out of room on the pages.

The second helmet looks cool enough that I may salvage it for something later. I just wish that it fit.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dr. Fate and Mortal Kombat

Over the weekend I have been working on a Pepakura Dr. Fate Helmet. I've highlighted Pepakura before in my post showing off my mini-nuke and Birdo papercrafts. The Helm of Fate is the same process, but I intend to harden it, finish it more completely and talk about every step along the way.

Unfortunately, my helm of Fate is too small! My gigantic head won't fit in it! I was frustrated with this, but I've realized it is an opportunity as well. Apparently, when using Pepakura for costuming, getting the fit right is something everyone struggles with. So, I've increased the size of the Dr. Fate helmet by 10% and I'm going to try again.

The first time I talked about papercraft, I said that I used white glue to hold the parts together. I did that with this helm of Fate too, but after looking at a ton of tutorials to figure out how to fix my sizing problem, I've learned that most costumers who work with this use hot melt glue. So, next time, that's what I'm doing too.

The helm of Fate was printed on mock A4 card stock. I say that it is 'mock' A4, because I couldn't find A4 cardstock anywhere in my city (I live in the U.S. and A4 is not a standard size here). How I got around the need for A4 cardstock was by buying 9"x12" cardstock and cutting it to size. Last night at around 1:30 a.m. I learned that this is not something I should have worried about.

In Pepakura Designer (not Pepakura Viewer, but if you are doing these papercraft things, you should download both), it is possible to change what size paper the pieces are printing on, and rearrange them if you need to. For the next incarnation of the Helm of Fate, I am printing it on good old American standard card stock ( 8.5"x11").

Next, Mortal Kombat. Any male of my age knows and loves Mortal Kombat. It was the excessively violent video game that came out in 1992, and caused a whole generation to fall in love with side scrolling, 2D plane fighting, and more importantly finishing one's opponents.

Tonight at midnight, Mortal Kombat 9 is available to the public! I have preordered a copy of it from Gamestop, and will be picking it up for my PS3, tonight. That means I am going to be up all night killing my enemies, and then dragging myself through the day tomorrow. Good times! Just like my childhood!

Until next time!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Building a cardboard shelf

Sarah's collection of Littlest Pet Shop figures was taking over her office. It honestly looked kinda obsessive and creepy, to be honest. She's got a billion of the things, roughly. She wanted a little shelf unit to display part of them on, but after months of looking for one, she still didn't have one, so I decided I would try to make one.

Let it be noted right now that I don't do carpentry at all. EVER. Wood was out, so I figured cardboard would work. I've seen some very pretty pieces of cardboard furniture out there, so I figured a shelf would be a snap. It really was, too.

I measured and cut six pieces of cardboard for the three shelves (two pieces of corrugated cardboard per shelf), then four pieces for the sides (two per side, again). I glued each shelf and each side together separately, clamping them together with clamps and clothes pins. I used Mod Podge to glue them together. Very simple stuff.

Next, I glued the sides and shelves all together using hot glue and masking tape, It was nothing fancy, but it worked well. I started with one side, and after the three shelves were stuck to it, I glued on the other side. I also covered the exposed edges of the cardboard with masking tape, just to make it cleaner for the next step.

Finally, I tore some sheets out of a book (don't worry, it wasn't a good book, and it had already lost a page or two. There was no reading it ever again, anyway), and tore them into little pieces. I used Mod Podge to glue them on, one at a time. After the whole thing was covered in paper, I went back over it with another coat of mod podge, and then left it to dry.

From start to finish, the entire shelf unit was only a few hours long project, and I think it turned out pretty nice. I wouldn't want to use it to store my weights, or an anvil or anything, but it's plenty sturdy enough for the Littlest Pet Shop critters.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

MEGA Post!

Austrich has been on me to update my blog, and he's right, I should.
First things first. This is my new gas mask. I found it at the Hickory Antiques Mall. It was $35, and I think it was worth every penny. Sorry for the bathroom pic, but I gotta get this show on the road, so I took the picture in the o
nly place I could (I had to use the bathroom mirror to aim the camera on my know, Facebook style). Anyway, that's me in the new mask, and I loooove it. It's a civilian gas mask from... God only knows how long ago. The leather that holds the straps together was hard as a rock and brittle. It's my new favorite one currently, though.

Nextly, without a photo, I've been doing quite a bit of 2D art with the colored pencils. I need to do a black dragon pic and then I'll upload a set of dragon drawerings. I've got a white one, a green one, a red one, and a blue one.

Nextly, the ghostly clown there started life as a sheet of plastic. That doesn't mean much to anyone other than me, I'm sure....but he's a HUGE step forward for me. My Vacuum Form table is complete!

The clown was pulled from a resin clown my sister gave me. He's spooky, and so I may make
a duplicate one in plaster soon, so I can have two of him!

The vacuum forming process is sooo much easier than I could have guessed, so I'll be doing a lot more of this in the future! Yay!!! Maybe I'll end up with my storm trooper armor, after all!

Next up is a Mario Question Block that I made and have hanging in my living room. Woo Hoo! It's kind of disconcerting, as it does look like it's just floating there. In actuality it's just hanging from the ceiling.

I've wanted to do one of these for a while, but I didn't have a good way to make it. Finally, I found a way. Hobby Lobby sells paper boxes of various shapes and sizes. I grabbed the biggest squarest box they had, tossed the lid, and painted it!

I made a grid on one side of the box, used tracing paper to copy the pattern that was going on it, then used carbon paper to copy the question mark onto the other sides. Inside the box is a block of styrene that fits snuggly into the box. The styrene is what the fishing line, which hooks the box to the ceiling, is embedded in.

Finally, I've been decorating my bedroom. The closet door has new hardware, there is viney stuff hang
ing in the corners, and my story teller doll has moved to the mantle in there. There's also some weapons, lots of figures of foxes and fantasy thingies, some dragons and the like. Also, several of my fantasy paintings hang in there.

The gyphon over the closet door is made out of blue polystyrene. I just cut him out, shaped him up some with sand paper, and painted him black.

The viney crap (I don't know what plant it's actually supposed to be. Heh) is strung up along little nails near the molding at the ceiling. I just used floral wire to wire it to the nails and let it hang.

That's it for today.
Hopefully that will let you know some of what I'm up to, and satisfy Austrich. More stuff will be coming later!