Monday, May 30, 2011

Tiny takes from the weekend

While I sewed Yoki’s costume she worked on her belt buckle. Sadly we didn’t take any photos from the process, but maybe next week Yoki will make a post about her accessories.

After some minor hood problems I finished Barriss' cape. The fastening is still missing and I need to do a separate collar piece. The print looks great!

I tried Luminara's make-up. I’m really happy how the lips turned out, but the diamond markings still need attention. And I think I bought eye shadow with too subtle golden tint.

Yoki looked grumpy. “Get out of my lawn”, she yelled.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Luminara's headgear- The dome

I realized yesterday that Desucon is only a month away. Inspired or horrified of the closing convention I started with Luminara’s headgear. I dug up the base I had prepared in February as a refreshing crafting project between Snowtrooper’s construction. The materials I used for the dome part was corrugated cardboard, lots of masking tape, modelling “clay”, tricot and flannel for support and padding and wool.

I took advantage on our Snowtrooper helmet dome mold for the cardboard skeleton. I actually had done one dome before, but because I didn’t have anything to shape it over it became too big and bulky for my taste. With the mold I was able to get the shape close enough and with little tweaking and trying it on it finally took nice, fitting form. I used hot glue and masking tape to keep the structure together.

Next I took about 250 grams of modelling material and rolled it to thin sheet. Then I covered the dome with the clay substitute. Then I left the dome to dry before the next step. After the clay is dry, it’s almost impossible to alter the shape anymore. The cardboard dome was correct size for me, but it was bit too round while my head is more oval. I padded my wig head with plastic to fit my head size and taped the sides down to create the right shape on the rim.

After the clay was dry I covered the dome with tricot and applied glue-water mixture all over. The tricot smoothed out some of the inconsistencies in the clay and because I was too lazy to sand it I added flannel on the front to hide all the remaining bumps. I only applied glue on the edges to keep the fabric soft. I also didn’t cover the whole dome, because the back part will not be visible under the, uh, curtain..?

I had bought the only brown wool with smooth surface available on the local fabric stores. Not the best time of the year to buy wool, I say. I stretched the fabric over the dome and added water to where I had to stretch even more. Damp wool will stretch nicely and with little effort, but will not revert as a warning to the aspiring hat makers out there.

I haven’t lined the dome yet. I’m still thinking will the hat need some support system or elastics inside. To write this post I took a break from trying to figure how the shape of the, emm, curtain structure on the top is achieved. I’ve tried three different methods this far and I think it’s time to move on to mesh-wire-paper clay- direction.

Oh yeah, I finished the brooch! At least something is ready!

I could've take a photo of the finished thing with missing rings and attachment... Oh, well.

Monday, May 16, 2011

From pale to olive: Barriss make-up trial

"You call me pale?! Why don't you take a look in the mirror then..."

Four of our costumes have required more make-up than the basic foundation and enchantments. Mayuri was the first and he was followed by Jasdero and Debitto. From them we learned that for applying oil-based products you need damp sponge like with water-based ones. Not dry. You might quess that it took some time to apply the paint...

After realising that it was child’s play to create Samara’s look last Halloween. Even if we have some body paint stuff behind us, we never actually made try-outs with exception of Joxter's nose. By miracle they just have worked adequately. But we don’t like to settle for that with our new costumes, so we had a trial for our Mirialian chicks, more specifically for Barriss who will be portrayed by Yoki.

We had in mind of doing a tutorial, but because we didn’t have all the right products we decided to share our experience as a regular post. And the make-up isn’t that hard to do if you just have patience. The hardest thing is to apply the diamond shapes, but when good position is found for both the model and for the one doing the make-up it will go fast.

I started with the base. I applied Grimas’ Créme Make-Up with damp sponge. It’s best to tap the color on to avoid streaks. Then I fixed the paint with transparent fixing powder. I think we will buy tinted powder later on, because the white powder will catch flashes and make the skin look really pale, which I noticed after taking photos from the process. At this point the golden eye-shadow would be added, but we hadn’t purchased it yet.

Comfortable position is everything. Note the pillow started when I was 18 and never finished.

Then I started with liquid eye-liner. I used it for making the diamonds shapes on the nose and cheeks and lining the upper eyelid. Again the trial proved useful. Because the eye-liner was water soluble, it was rather hard to even get the color on, yet try to make the shapes sharp. I think three layers would do the trick. I did only two for the trial. For eyes I think I’ll use pencil eye-liner, it can be also added inside the lash line safely. That was actually my first idea and purpose, but the pencil was missing at the time we started the make-up.

Then I added black mascara, black lipstick and darkened Yoki’s eyebrows a little and we were done. It’s annoying how nice facial structure Yoki has; she actually looks pretty with the crazy make-up!

In all the process took about an hour. We’ll buy the products we missed and have another trial, possibly for Luminara's look. I also need to study my camera options more, because the photos Yoki's skin is pale compared to what it really looked like. Next to practising my make-up Barriss' also needs some more attention; the diamond shapes extend further on the cheeks.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Under construction: Barriss' cloak

During the last four evenings, the only sound that was heard was: thump thump thump thump thump thump thump and some unmentioned Finnish words which happened to escape our lips during the process. Indeed, it was time for printing Barriss' cloak fabric.

As I said, this project took four evenings, Hiron helped me out during the first two. We made one template out of soft plastic that was found from our local fabric store. The downside of this material was that it started to curl as the pattern had a lot of small strands in it. I got really frustrated with it while doing the final two lines, consisting 16 individual prints. But clearly I weren't as frustrated as Hiron during the first evening when it looked like the pattern was wrong, parts being too far apart from each other and the color was too light.

After going through most of her emotion arsenal, (the time I decided it was best to retreat) Hiron made a simple solution for the problem. She linked the small figures together with a brush, used more blue color in the mixture and finally pressed the wet print with a paper, removing the excess paint and making it more animate.

The template of doom!

There was another small problem with the template. After doing three lines, we noticed that the pattern started to look smaller and it was clearly missing parts. The paint had stuck on the template, closing the holes and making a nice layer on the plastic's surface which acted like a sticker tape. For this, there was a easier solution: a wash.

So after sitting, kneeling and lying on the floor for hours the print was finally finished, now only thing left to do is to create the network-like structure and put the cloak together.

Casualties: one telephone directory, yoki's right index finger and few stiff back muscles.

-yoki out

Monday, May 9, 2011

Typical situation with changing plans

Changing plans with costumes, conventions or schedules must be one of the most typical situations (or problems) amongst cosplayers. We are no exception. After Tampere Kuplii we unanimously dropped Bakacon from our convention list because of Yoki’s exams. Now, after being somewhat crippled for weeks first by back problems and now with swollen knee and notorious spring flu, I’m completely assured that it was the right choice.

As a duo, it’s really easy to tell the other party if a costume idea doesn’t appeal too much or if you've had a change of heart. Dropped and changed costume plans happen so casually between us that we don’t even remember to report them. I think our long-term readers have noticed that. If I were to count all the costumes we have thought about doing, the list would possibly be at least double the length of the list of the actual costumes.

Crazy things have been introduced here on our blog with our possible projects. Talking about lists, I thought I could make one and try to clear out what new costumes we are going to do for this summer:

Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

That was short… These costumes we will wear at Desucon, which is the next convention we are going to attend to. Of course we have plans for the autumn, but at this point it’s too early to go there.

"I find the lack of your ergonomics, while constructing your lightsaber disturbing!"

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Under construction: Luminara's cloth

Yesterday was the “May the fourth be with you”-day and I spend it according to theme; constructing Luminara’s accessories. This time I worked with the cloth she has attached to her belt. I managed to cut all the pieces and some I even prime painted. You could tell by looking around my apartment that the material I used for the cloth is craft foam. After months of static Finnfoam dust I’m happy with the some foam scraps wandering around.

I scaled the design from printed image and drew it on pattern paper. I traced the shapes on craft foam in two different colours. The markings and details I made with various objects and I’m using acrylics in brown, copper and gold. I still have much work ahead. Especially the detailing will be troublesome as there isn't many close-ups from the cloth.

During the upcoming week we are truly going to work with Luminara and Barriss as Yoki is having days off from school. We'll start printing the fabric for Barriss’ cape and hopefully finish the lightsaber hilts for both of us. I’m also trying to make some progress with Luminara’s headgear. I have started with it, but after realising how hard it is to find the right materials for it, I’ve just pushed it back.

We might also have some video stuff coming up.