Thursday, January 5, 2012

False arm

Yoshimitsu's right arm was by far, the most complex prop I've ever done alone. Okay, okay! Hiron helped me out with fastenings and small stuff. The dummy was made from five different bigger components: under glove, fingers, palm, upper - and lower forearm.

Hiron made the black under glove by using a basic pattern. It both kept the parts better on their place as well as created the black joints and seams.

Fingers come together from 14 different pieces. They were made out of craft foam then glued to their cylinder shape by using a similarly shaped piece of black cloth on the inside. All parts were coated with several layers of water-glue mixture, which made the surface harder and protected the craft foam from the spray paint. Pieces of each finger were sprayed twice with russet primer, then once with glossy lacquer before they were connected with a black, flat rubber band that was glued on the inside.

The patterns for the fingers and the palm I found from the internet years ago. It was first made for Edward Elric but I had to do a rather dramatic remodeling so it would fit Yoshimitsu's design.

The palm was made out one cut-to-shape part that had two seams on the underside. The one going between the thumb and a middle finger was sealed with fabric and secured with tape. The other seam, going between my wrist and thumb, was fastened with three flat rubber bands. If the seam had been solid, I wouldn't have been able to put the palm piece on.

On the inner upper side of the palm, there was a piece of fiber fabric to make the back of the hand more firm. The piece was coated and painted just like finger pieces, and the same technique was used in the rest of the arm parts as well.

"What respirator?"

The upper forearm was made from nine pieces of craft foam and together they formed the big elbow ring and more narrow ring below it. The narrow ring was simple, it only had two pieces of craft foam which were supported with fiber fabric then glued to a cylinder shape. Why I made the ring out of two pieces instead of one is because Yoshimitsu's arm has two seams running all way down from the elbow to his wrist.

The big elbow ring was therefore made out of seven parts and inside the hollow ring was foam and fiber fabric to prevent the ring from collapsing. The rings were glued together with black fabric and final detailing was made with 12 pins that were on the both sides of the two major seams.

Moving between two work points was sometimes bit challenging.

The lower forearm was made out of two big pieces of craft foam that were supported with fiber fabric. Underneath was black fabric to keep the pieces together and small amount of velcro near the wrist to help to put on the dummy.

"I can see flying arm parts...."

The most outstanding feature of the arm were the 14 balls that were attached above the wrist. For the base, I bought paper balls, which was a adventure of its own as I was short of two balls. TWO! I was literally lying on the shop's floor and had my head inside the bottom shelf as I tried to reach the farthest boxes during my search. The paper mass balls were then covered with putty, sanded, coated with glue-water mixture and painted.

Fastening the balls was teamwork. I filled holes in the balls with hot glue then pushed ends of the fishing line strand into the glue. Now we had a fishing line loop. Hiron made fourteen small holes to the forearm, threaded a strong yarn through the loop and hole then made a knot inside the forearm piece. Knots were then secured with glue so that Yoshimitsu wouldn't lose his balls during a fight!

-yoki, out

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