Genuine real Ahsoka Tano progress! I wasn’t sure if our oven would be reliable to bake my leather armour in. I wasn’t sure if the curves would flatten out while on the trays and I wasn’t sure it would be under 60C but over 50C to get the pieces steaming but not scalding.
But it worked! THe hip pieces are a little crisper than the gauntlets, they sand very well. But I don’t really want to try and soak the gauntlets again so there is going to just be a little extra edge seal to cure and sand back.
I can paint these today, though it looks like I interpreted the belt strap wrong, it has a single channel. This is fine as the belt more than anything scalded on the racks and then when it fell onto the oven floor.
My montral were not curing, the latex created an airtight seal, so I have then hanging fan heater height and gave them a few blasts to heat up the water and get that to evaporate. I sewed my Padme Light Blue skirt back seam and tidied the zip area, and even sewed most of my Jem dress on between 🙂
This is how I scaled my hilts. I knew they were much to flat to fit a working blade in the end. And that is still true. I did scale slightly to make them fit a 20mm tube (which is skinny enough for OT and Rebels era blades, the most common 25mm/1 inch) tubes are really good for prequel, TCW, and it looks like the new trilogy too.
I did check my machine. It is perfect for PLA but it’s not completely happy with ABS. I’d need to set up each time with a new adhesion layer (glue stick did help) and do one component at a time. And that was going to be a week of constant work. Not great for stress levels.
But my scaling made the hilts feel slightly oversized. It turns out I spotted other had this same conundrum of trying to fit a blade in. And so I tend to refer to my own hilts as FX style, after the MAster FX line of light up sabers.
Going by knuckle space it works, but my hand itself is much smaller. On my leg it feels right but I’ve rescaled to the dimensions I think look best and it’s printing now. I did also test and her hand fits four times over the body of the hilt but it looks smaller due to the size of her hands over all. So it’s probably best to aim for that effect in hand.
I’m doing Star Wars Reads tomorrow so sadly no Ahsoka, but I will have her ready for next week.
While putting some more latex on Ahsoka and wetforming the knee cops I got a call to do a photoshoot today. Was able to put it off til tomorrow 🙂 It’s for the Herald article that I did a short interview for 🙂 So I’ve tidied up most of the issues with my frock, just need to whizz the chemise under a sewing machine. Or I can sew by hand for when I do eventually hand finish it. Hmmm…..
I’ve been watching Elementary today to do so and been able to do some back stretches again! Physio for my rib was pretty much to loosen all the muscles that tightened during all the flinching and flu while the break was healing.
I’ve obviously also been very wary of stretching and especially using props due to how I injured my rib in the first place. I’m a bit concerned about bone density as it has been treated before, and has everything to do with medication and disuease full stop.
It just is much like the lightsaber hilt progress: it looks the same as the last time….
So after posting yesterday I managed to paint a little more latex on the lekku this time right side up and as expected the extra internal latex did help a lot with montral support.
i initially bought a random length of what looked like a very skinny pool noodle to support my Shaak To montral (inside the upper section of the back montral that tends to collapse into a side ways 0 rather than a nice round shape.)
So I wanted some for ahsoka and actually asked someone at the hardware store and lo and behold, it has a name!
PEF foam backer rod (or gap filler rod also brings up some results.)
I use 25mm as it’s rigid but very light, and is carvable into points.
This is what it looks like. There are lots of products out there, this is from IndiaMart. I think mine is Sika brand as the roll is yellow. Also if anyone needs a small amount I have far more than enough so.. happy to send some.
So that is today’s plans. Get the backer rod into the montral to help the points stay vertical not fall outwards. And I need to get some elastic across the front of the headpiece so if can sit nicely on my head- it tends to bow out at side of my own forehead. That may be a job for internal rigging too. That will be a job for internal rigging.
I need to find some charcoal grey matte stretch fabric though. I really wanted to use the same fabric as my Padme dress. I might just see if I can remove colour because if I can I can overdye. I think it’s rayon. But there is Nick’s fabric and the other store next to it to try and find some reasonably priced sports fabrics.
I do have perfect sports fabric, it’s got a surface texture that matches the show but it is straight up black and I don’t see me being able to reduce the colour evenly. Though this could work with a light acrylic wash and airbrush… But that might just make it look painted.
So today, rig the montral and dry the armour. I finally got the ankles to form on the slightly scaled leg. I can also now cut the front piece and form that too. That is going to see some creative problem solving. The mannequin has sculpted knees. So I may have to form the leather over the elbows. Oh! Actually. I have a lamp that I don’t trust that is the perfect shape. So… let’s see if it is perfect.
Well the fabric didn’t dye. But I have tested that pattern so many times now I know it works.
The leatherwork took a huge step forward though 🙂 Got the bracers, hand plates, hip pieces, narrow belt soaked and heated again. So I will be able to paint this week. The test scrap looks amazing. I know Fiebings is good but I’ve only really used the dyes and resolene before. The paint sets like woah, so you have to work really fast. But gosh. Really flexible.
And I finally got the last of the ankle shaping done for the greaves 🙂 So I can get the front panel sorted soon as well.
Still really bummed that the tunic failed again. Charcoal grey is incredibly difficult to get- and to dye even more.
But I’ve had some physio on my rib (well muscles from the hip to rib and spine to rib) and so want to at least try and get some more latex on the montral.
Ahsoka has really been overly difficult. I know all the techniques I’m using well so why it has gone so badly I do not know. Well yes I do.
So it really is my health. Take tonight for example. I am not fit for doing anything right now. I need to go to bed. This time tonight is “wasted” because I can’t do anything productive. But I also have this horrible issue of insomnia.
I’m too tired to do anything but I am far too awake to sleep.
And I can’t even “reset” by going to bed later. Anything I do in this physical state has a higher cost that even my normal. So I really can’t stay up later a few nights. That is several hours extra use of my physical resources. And I can’t catch up on it except by rest.
That said. The B12 injection has been great. I may see if I can get another this week instead of fortnightly. Which I am allowed to do. I may see if next week helps, then do fortnightly for a couple of months then a maintenance monthly shot.
Oh the trick to these? bend arm at elbow and pretend to play a keyboard. Tricks the nerves. At least for long enough to let it settle 🙂
I have also passed the printing on to someone else. I know everything I need to do for it and I cannot get it done in time. I need to set the temp higher and make/buy a cover so that the heat is maintained. So thanks to the hobbyist community I save a good week of watchinbg my printer. I still don’t trust a machine that heats up as high as it does!
But further to progress: the montral are curing. Thank goodness. Still going to be a few days.
I have new tunic fabric. It’s very slippery so internal knickers have been cut as well.
I think I can use my scrap faux suede for the underbelt- the one that fits fairly closely.
The leatherwork I have done looks good and I have enough paints, sealer, and cleaner.
And there is a seam up the back of the greaves and darnit I’m going to cut right up the back regardless of the impossible continuous upper section. Why??????
Okay. My health has started to go south again- fatigue combined with insomnia is making for a lot of unpleasantness!
but my early mornings are good!
So yesterday I cut my new Ahsoka tunic from a fabric that has a microfine crepe surface, like nylon stockings, which will create a slight glowy effect. I wanted to use my left over Padme Light Blue ans the surface would allow for some hand stitching that would not show. But there was not enough and the fabric store only had it in mustard yellow. To be fair I am thinking of grabbing it for some summer gear…
I spent half my nap stitching in bed to line up the super wibbly wobbly piece. I am fully lining the garment so I can have super smooth hems (bottom of tunic, neckline and halter seams.
It was actually still quite restfu;. So I know I can do that today with my Padme Light blue hem for a rest and progress. Normally that sort of thing is not restful.
Also I tested my printer and it’s great. I need to really be careful with ambient temp and so really do need to see if I can build some walls around it to keep the heat in. I was really lucky and got a model that seems really sturdy on the Y axis (a lot of people find them bent) with the bed (very slightly doming in the middle but was fixable with bed leveling) and while it rattles like the blazes homing on the y axis. I don’t have to make it home.
But I am still stuck with the issues in SketchUp. And that has everything to do with quads vs triangles. In SKU Circles are not circle. They have 12 or multiples of 12 edges. So My test emmiter looks very blocky on the end. I folllowed some online advice and used Blender to change faces to quads and to divide and set smooth to 0.50 (the guide recommended 3, but that is way too much given the flat faces of my model need to remain flat and they have radiating lines still.
Also the dome part of the emitter does subdivide nicely the rim does not due the radiating line thing. I think though increasing the number of vertices will at least help so that I can just sand those rings down a bit. The inside gets a bit messy anyone with or without build support.
Also, my printer did seem to do well with just glue stick for plate adhesion but hopefully by now my ABS juice is thick enough to brush on the plate.
But I am feeling that time crunch so I think I’ll do the blender stuff today and test another part.
Oh but blender won’t recognise STL exports from SketchUp but it does obj. But it does export as stl as well. So today is play tidy all the things also see if slic3r can work. I think I know how to fix the emitter issue, and make the outside curve a little better but not really able to avoid mangling the flat sides of the hilts.
Well after the excitement of getting the printer to be aligned properly I am now in the situation of trying to make sure my prints adhere to the plate. The best point for adhesion is the middle of the plate, and my experience was that curling happened on part of the file that was printed first, it may be that point of the plate or it may be that it cooled too fast between whatever the slicing chose. So I took each component and made them a separate file:
Okay so a couple of couple of doubles that should be able to print without interfering with the print head (one file is missing from this screenshot)
So that was open in SKU, copy, open new, paste- move to origins, save as.
And then I exported them all:
That was open in SKU, export with plugin, type filename, click window ticky box, close window.
And then exported as gcode:
This was opened in Cura, click export to removable drive. So the fastest of the steps!
Much of 3D printing is this process. I think my horns will be easier as they are organic and I’m much less worried about fractions of millimeters shifting. But it will be a big project!
Thank goodness! I took the day to redo the montral and front lekku for a nice clean line. It’s worked which is nice 🙂 I was thinking about taking a break from the costume because of them but I think it’s going to work out.
But yay. It’s also inspiring me to work on other scifi type gear 🙂
Including Maleficent 🙂 I’ll need to work with her under better lighting to get a good scan- the ends keep being missed in the IR camera. I may be able to heat up some paler clay to see if that helps.Ditto putting lines on. I’ll see how I go today and tomorrow. But latexing is my main task for the next few days. I say days as the weather is not yet warm enough to cure quickly so I have to cure smart. So no putting the stand outside where it can blow over (had that) and where I can’t prod at it make the support collapse (done that!).
Hmm I may need to quickly put some extra support underneath. Fingers crossed.
Yes. I also need to get some pigment into a container to mix into her colour too. BTW her pantone swatches do not match the final result, so it’s going to be interesting!