website and costume updates

I have been reuploading older content to my site ๐Ÿ™‚ So now if you o to the menu above you’ll find costume genres rather than a full list of all costumes. This just makes it tidier.

In order to get those pages up I had to take my full sized photos and edit them all over again for modern devices. In the past I had to have small files for storage and bandwidth issues, but also for simply image editing! I don’t like using PS on my costumes but I have been able to rescue many unused photos by playing with image temp and saturation and new editing options mean that goes a lot faster!

The exceptions so far have been costumes from before my first digital camera.! I need to get those photos and digitise them ๐Ÿ™‚

 

As far as costume progress is concerned I have demolded my Draenei horns!

The molds areย a little brittle. This is fine, and what I can do is use them twice to get a working latex pair and then a pair of urethane semi rigid horns I can then back fill and tidy ready for 3D scanning and also better mold making ๐Ÿ™‚ I also found a small pocket of air but luckily I know exactly how to fix that ๐Ÿ™‚

I also found exactly what I was looking for in regard to hoofy base options. It comes under things like using AA paint on the body or contact lenses- I’m waiting until I can test their safety before talking about them!

Duty of care and all that!

 

I have to admit I am really wearing out physically to be makingย complex curved molds any more.

But I have Maleficent and Ahsoka molds to go.

So today I’ll clean the last of the clay out of the molds, get Maleficent properly sewn up and my Cleves gown.

And write up a few workshop proposals tonight ๐Ÿ™‚

And more molding process with ultracal

Yesterday I built up clay walls and supports for the horns. I made sure to really support them as the ultracal winds up very heavy during the molding process.

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Here you can see theย shallow keys cut into the clay walls.

I used a brush to apply the product and so totally was unable to get in progress photos! Anyway, I mix and apply with the same 2″ brush so that the molds are nicely raised and evenly applied. And yes, there is a vertical lay up element. This is possible because ultrcacal forms a gel like structure as it cures. So while there is a lot of slumping you can brush upwards and get it to stay vertical.

I usually use warm water to speed the curing process and so avoid slumping as much as possible however today I did not.

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This process is messy and I did splash over the clay walls so I transferred the entire piece on to a wool blanket.

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Here you can see how much clay I used to support the weight of the molds. I could only do this because it is winter and the clay is extremely solid when cold!

After this I used a small craft saw and a metal paint scraper to remove excess plaster. I normally do this earlier but it’s been a while!

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I had to be careful as the plaster is still damp and so not at full strength. This made breaking off the very narrow pieces easy but I could also have potentially cracked any part of the mold that was fragile.

Draenei horns ready to mold

So I thought I’d share how I matched one side to the other ๐Ÿ™‚

After tidying up the proportions I started to transfer the lines by using a divider (scribe compass.) I did this along the top section on the inside as well as the outside.

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After that I used the needle point picker from my sculpting tool set. I pressed the long end across the clay to start and then matched to that line from each side.

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And then I did a crazy thing. I took a paint scraper and pressed it in to the clay by a few mm using the edges to line up smoothly and precisely.

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This deep but narrow line was then beveled with a silicone tool

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This was imperfect so I spent some time buffing the surface with a cloth in one direction.

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After this I used a large smooth bristled paintbrush dipped in vaseline to further smooth.

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Now that I have set in for the night I can see the last bit of evening up I need to do!

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Multiple horn making

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Currently working in three fandoms.ย While each set of horns is being made in clay I am using slightly different techniques to support them. I’m also hoping to find some way to scan these, though scanning is very expensive as there are very few people with them as opposed to printers!

The weather has continued to be very chilly, which is perfect for sculpting in oil based clay. Well for me ๐Ÿ™‚ I much prefer carving so pressing clay, I find I have much better density control if I can carve.

Oil based clay melts in direct heat, softens in indirect and then sets solid when chilled.

When working with chilled clay I need to quickly wave a heat gun across the cold surface- our environment is very damp so a fine film of water can form which blocks the clay from sticking. When heated the surface gains a little traction and winds up bonding to the new clay much more firmly.

I heat my clay in a crock pot (dedicated!) and use a heat gun for spot melting. As this warms up and melts I can brush it on, as it cools down I can form hand molded shapes to press.

But the warm clay softens the cold so there is a limit to how long you can work before the bulk of the clay moves too far.

Draenei sculpt ready for detailing

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These are going to be segmented like the player characters (detail type 1- I love all the horns but these seem to frame nicely) and like the NPC Draenei. This is why I have some fairly stark blocks of shape.

I have only been working on these at night, but today is grey and a bit wet so I can get some nice carving going on ๐Ÿ™‚

More Draenei sculpting

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Left hand side rescaled and tidied, the right about to begin!

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The right started, I wound up adding a little to the inside of the horn edge and then continued shaving off the top.

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I had to leave the sculpt here, it will cool further overnight so I can shave and carve the rhs to match. I usually prefer to work equally on each side but as these horns will be cast separately I decided to get one side sized ideally in case I bumped one of the horns off and had to sculpt without support. It means I can also cast one before anything happens to ruin the sculpt ๐Ÿ™‚ But I am so far lucky that the clay is cold enough to retain shape.

Those are also my favourite tools for sculpting:

A paring knife- it is dull! But the blade is fine enough to use it for carving and shaving. Also if warmed it will smooth a surface quickly using one or the other face flat to the sculpt.

A loop of plumbers coil- it is able to be held in a tight or loose loop depending on how much pressure I want to put on the sculpt.

One of the blue plastic tools you can buy in a set.

The wedge shaped silicon brush- for corners and to press caly from one pane to the other in a corner.

Wood handled tool that is a flat topped loop- for carving and light shaving.

And a vegetable peeler. This shaves off much more cleanly than anything else but is only a few cm across. But it cuts back a surface super fast! And leaves only shallow teeth marks that are easily buffer out.

 

Draenei started

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Leg armour started. I fell in love with the Sister Benedron figure when she was first released but I could not afford her at the time and now I really cannot afford her! Never mind, I can make my own costume ๐Ÿ™‚

I did not want to get in to the hype of the movie, but I really have wanted to make this for seven years ๐Ÿ™‚

But I also love the Draenei, sure they are as tropey as Asari but hey. They have pointy ears, tails, neck tentacles and horns. And hooves. Oh these are so pretty.

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Well not these. These still need to be made! but the horns are blocked out. It’s cold enough here that I’ll be able to carve these puppies but I need a crock pot to keep the clay soft. To prevent the horns from falling off I have curved the ends to sit on the headcast, I’ll be able to soften them enough to curve to the right shape later ๐Ÿ™‚

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This was me finding the customisation of a player character. I’ve also been indulging in lore and kind of love Yrel (you are a shining beacon of light and kindness now to battle, yeah, again, trope I can live with.)

I love the shading, and I also love the gradient tint to the hair. I tried the same set with a Belf and oh boy, I love them too. If you go by the artwork night elves and blood elves are all badass and fierce. In the preview night elves bop around with their default animation, and blood elves are just so over everything. Draenei are more like I am familiar with from SWTOR and the constant look around, but neutral stance.

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See?ย 100% done. But looking fabulous.

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If you want to test looks, do try this:ย http://www.wowhead.com/dressing-room

I included the toon options in the close up ๐Ÿ™‚

 

So yes, I have to make hooves. Gah! I cannot risk breaking an ankle so there will be some extra support, which means being able to put that support in place.