Darth Talon updates!

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So.. it’s happening. Finally some good progress on my Lekku of Dooooooom!

Check ‘em out! They reach my knees! Some of the super curve I had in early stages fell out, but I know what I did and I don’t think I could have avoided it under current circumstances.

Also photo of my latest purchase! the perfect packable sized containers from the local Daisco (or $3.50 japan shops in Auckland- super excited one opened local to me XD). These are pill containers and I have filled the larger panel with the main body colour for (left to right) Rachi, Liara and Talon/Shaak Ti. The smaller panels I am filling with highlights, liners and colours for patches/markings.

So for Rachi I have (clockwise from top right) pink, white, dark purple and then the final panel will have black for line work.

For Liara (ditto) I have white then will mix similar shading and line work colours (dark blue and black).

For Talon/Shakk Ti I will have two for white and two for black as both require a fair amount of one or the other.

Then I can pack my small carry kit (seen in an earlier post, check the tags (make up) with all the brushes and shading powders in there along with mascara and regular make up..

As a balance of cost type of comparison, you need two NZ Airbrush Tattoos bottle to make about the same as one RC large colour pot. So if you are on a budget you can buy the local stuff and slowly build it up if you are not mixing colours. If you want to head straight into the colour pots then expect to pay about 2/3 extra for shipping. At least if you are buying say 4-6 pots.

Other Talon updates: The strapping has been fixed 🙂 I need to trim some extra bits but the greaves and bracers now have black velcro (don’t ask how I wound up with white as I don’t even know…) and the fixed strapping has been glued down.
I have cleaned the bikini and will need to take in the leggings and gloves. I left the top edge raw as the fabric is scuba stuff so it hard to hem, I am hoping like heck the bikini bottoms still fit as the legs have been hemmed and I don’t fancy unpicking so I can take them in.
The belt still needs to be taken in and I hope I have enough rivets to do so! I may not. I have the snaps but the leather is thick. I am pretty sure I had issues trying to get them to work last time.
Tattoos are being redrawn! I hope to get the line work able to fit fewer pages but if not, I’ll have to use two types of paper. I am flitting between files and artwork and think redrawing them is going to work out the best as I can then use unsharp mask to make sure the edges look hand painted. And the files I made last time were slightly oversized.

So.. it’s happening. Finally some good progress on my Lekku of Dooooooom!

Check ‘em out! They reach my knees! Some of the super curve I had in early stages fell out, but I know what I did and I don’t think I could have avoided it under current circumstances.

Also photo of my latest purchase! the perfect packable sized containers from the local Daisco (or $3.50 japan shops in Auckland- super excited one opened local to me XD). These are pill containers and I have filled the larger panel with the main body colour for (left to right) Rachi, Liara and Talon/Shaak Ti. The smaller panels I am filling with highlights, liners and colours for patches/markings. 

So for Rachi I have (clockwise from top right) pink, white, dark purple and then the final panel will have black for line work.

For Liara (ditto) I have white then will mix similar shading and line work colours (dark blue and black).

For Talon/Shakk Ti I will have two for white and two for black as both require a fair amount of one or the other.

Then I can pack my small carry kit (seen in an earlier post, check the tags (make up) with all the brushes and shading powders in there along with mascara and regular make up..

As a balance of cost type of comparison, you need two NZ Airbrush Tattoos bottle to make about the same as one RC large colour pot. So if you are on a budget you can buy the local stuff and slowly build it up if you are not mixing colours. If you want to head straight into the colour pots then expect to pay about 2/3 extra for shipping. At least if you are buying say 4-6 pots.

Other Talon updates: The strapping has been fixed 🙂 I need to trim some extra bits but the greaves and bracers now have black velcro (don’t ask how I wound up with white as I don’t even know…) and the fixed strapping has been glued down. 
I have cleaned the bikini and will need to take in the leggings and gloves. I left the top edge raw as the fabric is scuba stuff so it hard to hem, I am hoping like heck the bikini bottoms still fit as the legs have been hemmed and I don’t fancy unpicking so I can take them in.
The belt still needs to be taken in and I hope I have enough rivets to do so! I may not. I have the snaps but the leather is thick. I am pretty sure I had issues trying to get them to work last time. 
Tattoos are being redrawn! I hope to get the line work able to fit fewer pages but if not, I’ll have to use two types of paper. I am flitting between files and artwork and think redrawing them is going to work out the best as I can then use unsharp mask to make sure the edges look hand painted. And the files I made last time were slightly oversized.

ricochetdarling:

neimhaille:

ricochetdarling:

neimhaille:

ricochetdarling:

neimhaille:

@masseffect Nyreen progress! Again sorry for bathroom photos but this is the best lit mirror in the house at this time of day and I do not fancy setting my tripod out and all the rigmarole it takes to get my camera to focus when taking self portraits (I need to have a stand in or the camera focuses on the background…. I usually use a Christmas tree stand, vacuum tube and wig head, it can be entertaining)

Anyway so this is the first successful cast! I will be using this but I want to make as many sets as I can before the mold loses too much definition. I love the texture I got on the skull but it will eventually go bye bye. The very last set will be a semi rigid urethane which I will also use to cast my Asari pieces from and any other plaster mold looking a bit dodgy.

Also, I will be using various means to hold pieces together. The pins forced curves not present and the underside of the upper lip sticks out but will be glued flat to the inside. I will be using a lot of velcro dots. They stick very well to latex indeed and will allow for fast removal in case of heatstroke. Cough, not that that happened at the Dragon*Con parade at all… cough. ehem.

I may go try and test the hood pattern. It’s crazy with overlaps and stand up collar and all that jazz.

(ETA: I use @XYZ because I cross post to twitter on this account 😉 )

Oh my Goddess that is a bitchin’ Nyreen mask! I love it!

Thank you XD Indeed it is a Nyreen mask (five parts) currently stalled due to health reasons but I do hope to be able to start cutting out the fabric for her tunic and hood asap. 

Aw, I hope whatever health reasons there are clear up soon and don’t reappear. I hope the rest the costume also goes smoothly.

Thank you 🙂 There is a concerted effort to ensure this! Including me taking a break from a few things including costumes I want to do but really don’t need. Nyreen is not one of these! lol! I will though not go mental like I did with Liara and try to make every detail “real” (the silver on her jacket is all applied, the layers are all different and only tacked together where needed). As for the attempt at seaming Samara and Shae Vizla…. yeah not going to do that again 😉 Samara was about 120 pieces not including the buckle strapping).

Still going to attempt airbrushing the design of muscles on the undersuit if I can… 

Oh wow. That’s a lot of pieces! But you did a Liara cosplay and a Samara cosplay? I think you just became my cosplay hero!

lol! Thank you 🙂 I am a Bioware fangirl, I was hunting for interesting sci-fi costumes years ago and stumbled across screen caps of the ME crew in the Phoenix armour and just got hooked! When the sneak peaks of Samara came out that was when I got seriously addicted and then finally the SWTOR cinematic with Shae Vizla (or then unknown female Bounty Hunter) I just kind of lost it 😉 You should be able to search tags here to find them, if not I have some tagging to do!

I think I’m a a banana tree! Liara half pulled off but good view of the extreme use of paint shading.
You can see the seam line here, but I don’t shoop, never will unless it’s a camera issue (lighting, foreshortening etc).
Why is my chin so pointy! Lots of pink to shape the eyes and nose. pink over white for the eyes and a tiny bit of white down the nose, pink in the curves
how I keep my powders now. Much easier to find the right shade vs in regular eyeshadow palettes.
A travel kit for Liara. Latex, PA and paints to shade the appliance and face.

I do goof around a lot…

Alcohol Activated Paints

I kind of leapt right into here after playing with a little Aquacolour and Snazaroo. Both are fine, and in many ways are easier to apply and blend. However I wanted to paint my whole body red. Red in particular transfers badly in body paint. Really really really badly. No matter how well sealed and set. I found this even with PAX (might be because I did insist on added pure pigment powder and not mixing it fully…)

These have a bit of a reputation for being harder to use, but they aren’t 🙂 So long as you know a few tricks, as with everything 🙂

Prep:

First, they are solvent in alcohol (ethanol and Isopropyl Alcohol) but also in the industry standard cleaner Isopropyl Myristate. Which is super expensive in NZ. So it means once dry they are set. You would think this is all kinds of bad for tidy up but it’s not.

I set my work area up with my towels and plastic containers and plastic bags so I can just dump everything in my makup up kit at the end happy to wipe down the surfaces with rubbing alcohol and knowing it won’t keep transfering from cloth to surface to cloth like you get with a wet face cloth. or wastes paper towels. And knowing that the paint on the outside of my bottles/pots/pallets can be cleaned off later but won’t damage my kit.

Types:

There are several brands to use. The ones I use are:
NZ Airbrush Tatoos Mostly for my white based paints. So for Liara and Rachi. It’s a good product, with amazingly fast response from the owners and they pack the bottles nicely. And cost effectively. Also on TradeMe and I may use their auctions next time so I can leave feedback :)These are in liquid form, ready to airbrush. It’s fairly thin so you do need to evaporate off some of the liquid if you want to paint/sponge on.

Reel Creations  I live overseas so can’t buy their paints easily, but the liquid form is apparently already mixed to use in airbrushes as well. I buy their Large Color Pots as they are totally evaporated and so don’t pose a risk to shipping by air. Oh heck, I worked out how much they cost in NZ dollars. But it’s about $24 each including shipping? But one pot of red lasted multiple applications for Darth Talon including the lekku.

harder to remove than the above but still needs hot water and soap at least. IM is best and IA works. Just avoid the face.

Latonas which seems to have changed their bottles and maybe formulation? This is close to PAX as you can get without being PAX. It is/was half diluted, so you need to thin it for airbrush but works well as is to sponge on appliances. It is super durable. I did my underarms and butt/thighs as Talon and I looked like I had red boy shorts on the entire time at C6 and some way in to D*C. Even with IM to remove it.

Storage:

In all cases I prefer to pour them out into a flat container and evaporate them off so I can use them like a mix between cake make up and watercolour. But using alcohol vs water 😉

Colour mixing:

I like to buy the red as is as well as the black in all the above and use as is- my lekku are tinted vaguely transluscent within my own skin shades so it refracts light in a similar way to my skin. It’s not perfect but the red is slightly transluscent so is better than not.

I do however buy a lot of white and mix to make the Asari blues and pastel to mid tone shades where possible. This is because I can then be sure they are all equally opaque (some inks are opaque some are transluscent) and equally mixable in to each other.

To do this I have pure pigment from the art store. The skull and bones on the bottles is not because the product is toxic but is so finely milled you do not want to breathe it in! So I get my dust mask, and spriitz the top of the bottle with alcohol to keep stray particles from being breathed in and mix directly in my bottles/containers.

I use a col blue and warm blue, opaque yellow and a “red” that is actually pink and a true red. And also Titanium white as it is a base for cosmetics.

I check my mixes regularly and give a stir every so often after mixing and during the evaporation process as the colour pigments rise and the white/fillers sink. This is also why the paints can look darker once dry than in the bottle/pot.

I also mix street shadow with these pigments to intensify them as you need strong colours to shade with.

To use:

First prep the skin:

Shave/defoliate every hair from everywhere you can.I forget this as my hair is so fine and blonde but when I do it gives such a good result. So I will put my hair in a pony tail and use depilatory cream around my hairline and back of neck. These fly away hairs at the back are about 10cm long and can cause issues with gluing bald caps. But you might be suprised how fluffy you are near your hair line!

And then I use tweezers on my brows and upper lip and even my epilady if I am brave. I didn’t do my brows or lip for Rachi and in person you could tell, not so much in photos though! If you forget the hairs will get coated in paint and stick out like bristles.

Moisturise as usual but use a dry cloth after and wipe off any excess. Moisturiser and AA paint do not mix.

Application:

I have an airbrush but it is better for detail work and I rely on canned air so it’s not economically feasable atm. Also it’s toploaded so makes it hard to self paint faces! So I use a large filbert type brush. Starting on the cheeks and nose and working towards the jawline and neck then across the forehead and down to the brows, finally dabbing with the same brush with minimal paint and minimal alcohol towards the eyes. I do paint over my lids but it’s usually lighter than elsewhere and I avoid my brows as much as possible.

Shading:

For Talon this was pretty much it except some minor shading at the eyes and of course the painting of the tattoos… I only hand painted the face and lekku, my body tattoos were transfers. Very expensive, fiddly but if done right works really well. It’s about $50 an application atm. I hope I can get that down and also to get my tattoos a little more finetuned. I am not happy to share my graphics as I did use Jan’s work so much on this. However I will ask her permission once they are actually okay to convert to PDF as I know it would help a lot of Talons in the waiting.

 

For Liara and Rachi though I then got stippling with a sponge and the pallettes. Lots of white for Liara on the nose and jawline and cheeks and a little pink on the eyes.

I use a range of sponges. For liara I used the defolitaing side of the depilitory sponge as it is very open celled and very firm. This makes for a light freckly type of effect.

For Rachi I used a latex wedge for the cheeks as it lays down a lighter but more easily blended layer of colour.

For Rachi and Liara I also wear aggressive lashes! There is always a gap between lash line and lashes so once in place I use a very long pointed brush and use the very tip to fill in tat line. And then also top the lashes.

For the eyes I also use black to line under the eye and bend with a colour I use to shade. So for Liara this is a purple as well as pink. And use white abover the liner on my upper lashes before getting the pink/other pastel shader over it. And also a little white directly under the brow. Again i will over colour with another pastel if it is too stark.

I also paint in my brows with a fine brush and black paint usually. Twi’lek and Asari are reptilian essentially so their brows look painted in anyway.

The good news is you cannot go too far. Once you look painted you look painted. You may as well use every trick in the book to make your eyes look bigger, give definition to your jaw and cheeks as you can.

I basically use old theatre make up tricks in the alien colours to counter the flattening effect of opaque colour.

To remove:

I have used a few abbreviations so here they are all consolidated 🙂

Fill a basin with hot hot water. Put in your face cloth. Take out and wring then put on your face. This is like having a nice steam facial and helps by getting your face sweating. Do this a few times and be careful. You want that theraputic heat not scalding heat!

Next use same face cloth with a gentle soap. Gently use the cloth and soap on your cheeks and jaw and the less sensitive areas.

If this has been going well you won’t need to try the next but you may…

For my hands I spritz with IA (Isopropy Alcohol) or ethanol (“meths” in NZ though no methanol is involved any more thank goodness) and use a hot facecloth again and scrub. I kind of beat up my hands anyway.

I will also use IA/ethanol on my neck and arms etc. But I avoid my face and also any areas I have pulled PA from (edges of latex appliances). Well I do *now*. Lesson leart the hard way!

For the face I also use a good big dollop of Aveeno and work then in to the skin already cleaned and in to the edges of the paint to help lift it. The heat from the face cloth, the moisturiser and gentle buffing action will remove most. (I use this to remove street make up too).

But if you have some Isopropyl Myristate (IM) this is the ideal time to use it.

It is oily and mega effective so always keep it separate from your main kit and well sealed. IA/ethanol with dissolve the paint and then evaporate leaving the paint actually still usable (if you can get at it). IM does not. I suspect it joins to the binder like an emollient so one end is soluble in oil and the other in alcohol and even water. So a forever solution.

Baby oil helps but it is a mechanical action with massage and heat helping.

If you use IM or baby oil remember to also then clean your face with a gentle cleanser and use your moisturiser. They are oily so can clog pores.

 

Sorry for huuuuuuge wall of text! I could have broken this up as well 😉

  
  
  
  1. Jennifer Barclay as Tali
  2. Lindze Merritt as Miranda
  3. Rana as Samra
  4. Jia as Jack
  5. Crystal Graziano as Commander Shepard
  6. gilttersweet as Liara
  7. Unknown as Thane (if anybody knows inform me and I will credit)
  8. Unkown as Wrex
  9. My Wicked Armor as Garrus

Tumblr ate my reply.. wtf? So to try again..

Thanks for including me in this amazing collection 🙂 (Liara- I know I have too many online user names, I am trying to change some of them). And thanks to Sylvie for her photo because there is no way I’d be in that collection without her 🙂

I think Thane is http://www.cosplay.com/member/32469/

Wrex is made by CrabCat I think (there are a few sculpts but I think this is the one: http://crabcat.tumblr.com/post/9871898302/wrex not sure who is in it though.

tuprincesaestaenotrocastillo:

El cosplay definitivo con el arma definitiva

lawl! I don’t think this is the one I posted from JP. In that one I’m snarling, this is wonderfully serious 😉

Ahh… memories. I *loved* that canon!I hope those dudes that made it got as much fun out of the weekend as everyone who saw them 🙂

Sigh. Leia’s and the tardis, Liara and Pinkie Pie… what can I say? I love my fandoms but I also love messing with them 🙂

allurious:

palaven:

captainkiran:

palaven:

I learned so many things testing out my asari headpiece today.

  1. I really should have put on makeup for these photos. (My skin is reacting to the spirit gum/”woah eff what is this” reaction)
  2. Asari can’t wear glasses. I literally can’t put them on my head properly, it’s awesome.
  3. Asari look cool with ‘cigs’ (aka lolipop sticks)
  4. It takes me an hour to put it on the first time (wrong) and 20 minutes the second time (properly).
  5. I can’t hear a damn thing, haha. It’s like living in a fish/cloth-laundry-basket combo.
  6. It is actually really comfortable. Like a soft latex tight blanket thing. 
  7. I can totally wear it for a long time.
  8. I reaaaally need to paint some colour on this thing.
  9. I reaaaally need to get some body paint.
  10. I reaaaally need to get some contacts.
  11. I have really thick eyebrows.
  12. I’m gonna look so cute. c:
  13. OH GOD MY EAR ITCHES AND I CAN’T SCRATCH IT.
  14. I have to turn myself sideways in order to drink and sit on a chair at the same time.
  15. Hurts like hell trying to take it off.
  16. Face and ears are fine with spirit gum. 
  17. Neck is not.

Oh my gosh, how’d you get this? I need one like, really badly.

I ordered it from Satine on cosplay.com.

There is actually a whole Mass Effect subforum there with a lot of tutorials to make them too. c:

i love seeing mdb’s headpieces turn up! nz AND mass effect rep! u///u

Aiee! yep 🙂 Them be from my molds 🙂 I was 8this* close to not beng able to bring my own Liara to D*C but I decided to sacrifice my Dress of Bling (it takes more than half my luggage space….) to be able to bring her as well as Shae and a few saller costumes 🙂 I said I’d finish Mystique too 🙂

So yes. I would recommend PA. it is a biatch to remove but it holds well is not stingy going on and should hold up to even marching in the D* parade. We should have an Asari group march…..

Anyway. PA with a *lot* of isopropyl myristate. Also do not use Latona’s on the face… but Reel Creations and most other AA paint is okay.

Sigh, I need to get the WellyGeddon notes properly written up!

I’ve been distracted from Asari casting and writing by fraking the eff out over my trip to Celebration and D*C as it is so very far and I have so many plane trips that may or may not have extra charges at the airport.

Come to NZ. We have cheap flights, very few hidden taxes and a moderate climate. Also elves and hobbits 😉

Have I mentioned how much I am freaking out???????? Luckily my RA seems, seems to be responding to all the chemicals beng thrown at it and I may actually be passably functional…

FREAKING OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh and finally, shave your forhead and back of your neck. I will be applying electrical hair pulling equipment before I go so I don’t grow prickles 😉 No hair where you glue means you don’t use as much glue to hold the back of the neck in place (less is wasted being gummed up around the hairs) and it is much easier to remove the piece as sweat will help separate the glue from the neck. And you will sweat. It’s why I use a bald cap regardless, it helps hold at least some of the sweat back a little longer than it would otherwise.

Also Airbrushes and non-pigmented Acrylic Ink are your best friend for shading.

shelbicarp:

lethal-candyfloss:

neimhaille:

#masseffect two bas ass chicks. One one bad ass, one short ass 😉 That would be me as the shortie.

So cool, so cool, so cool!

These sexy ladies.

/oh god, that need to cosplay samara is rising again…

My typo, it is far too late to fix 😉

Funnily enough I have more than a few extra casts of these tentacles around 😉 And luckily my original Samara tentacles. I probably shouldn’t hug them and squeeze them because they probably did wind up in some odd places….

So the story goes, I was demoing how long it takes to apply a latex piece like this (on Sylvie- Aria above) in case any contestants or regular ‘geddon cosplayers had thought about it, seen the pros and still were worried about it (pros being wonderfully fast and already worked out a lot of the issues you face when learning). Basically a demo of how long it is going to take to prep for a contest and how to plan for it. How messy it can be when you do not have a nice set up, all that.
So I had my Samara tentacles and let them be handed around the room. I figured no one was going to sit through a boring geeky talk if they weren’t there specifically with an interest, or sit there out of politeness. It was a cold room too.

Unfortunately the set, on wig form, went AWOL at the end, and no one was able to see where they were.

Needless to say I was almost in tears, there is some monetary value to a latex cast like this but nothing like as much as was invested in materials and time. But it wasn’t that- they are all I have left of my Samara costume. They have huge sentimental value (I made them, they weren’t bought and painted and assembled- I dedicated easily a hundred hours in sculpting, molding, casting, and painting them.)
I really thought that if someone had picked them up off the floor and had no idea of the kind of work that involved, or cared about it, that they would wind up in a bin somewhere.

I am however tremendously lucky to be part of the most incredible amazingly generous and open hearted loyal community I have ever come across: The NZ cosplay community. Cosplayers I have met but once, and who have not entered or regularly entered the contest were asking me all day if they were found and looking out for them. In fact when they were found, the people who found them did not want to even give them to the Info booth, they wanted them put directly in the hands of myself or Sylvie (who is Aria above).
While it may have saved me a bit of stress had they been given to the info booth, the sentiment behind holding on to them is appreciated- especially as I know a costume has gone astray before a few years ago and the same vast community reached out to find that one too.

Oh yeah, Liara is no where near finished here 😉 But I didn’t want to look like a dork and wear the whole thing around the house to test it. I mean, sheesh 😉 But seriously, buckles, proper undersuit, knee cops, arm armour (made but left in my suitcase as a later addition) freckles…

Oh the gauntlets and greaves are molded leather 🙂 After working with my Shaak Ti apron i wasn’t sure 1.5-1.8mm vege tan would be a heavy enough grade, but it is perfect 🙂