After having a few hectic weeks of day to day life I have finally completed the torso for the jupiter wedding dress.
I found the back particularly difficult as there is a lack of photograph references available. I believe this will become more of an issue is I work my way down to the lower half. I will need to but up the speed it have this completed by my deadline.
Update on the flowers.
I have been continuing with fiddling around with the flowers and I have found a pattern and style that seems to be adequate.
They are still a little small and lack the petal definition of the originals.
I am having difficulties sourcing the thin style feathers seen in some of the flowers on the back of the dress. Or rather I am not prepared to pay the price of the ones I have found. My initial resolution was to keep too my normal cosplay budget of $100. That is not looking likely at this stage unfortunately.
It is interesting to see what people focus on, some are very particular about stone placement and accuracy in fabric.
What I find interesting is the flowers, so far I haven’t come across a creation that is portraying the flowers “accurately”.
I have no intention of offending my fellow cosplayers who have undertaken this mammoth dress and used purchased flowers. Have been wanting to learn to make fabric flowers for a while and this project is a good way to give me the motivation to do so. I didn’t intend to recreate very tiny flower, but just the larger ones. Its all down to personal preference.
When I see the dress I think the flowers wade the most outstanding feature. Focussing in these will first also give some the time to source the dress fabrics and figure out what to do about those troublesome red 3D printed chips.
My grand ideas of perfect flowers faded quickly as I realised the extent of how complicated these flowers can be. They have been created by combing the work of Katherine Wardropper And Angel Armor
These fantastic Women specialise in the art of textiles and their skills are well beyond my own.
They are hand cut with many layers and made from damask silk.
Silk alone is not cheep starting at $25 a meter. The fabric uses in the costume has silver thread woven into the fabric and is right up there in price range.
These are a sample of the costume flowers
I have experimented with various alternative fabrics but have settled on a Faux silk made from nylon. It is extremely heat sensitive and melts at the drop of a hat.i am aware that my flowers are not yet a exact replica, but this will improve with practice and time.
My experimenting flowers.
In preparation for the costume I have been experimenting with a sculpting clay. It’s quite similar to fondant to work with. I am applying the same technics as I would with fondant and it seems to be working out well. Next thing to do is see how it bakes!
As a child we had a box of dress ups to play with. I loved putting on mums old dresses or children’s fairy costumes. Experiencing the joy of pretending you were grown up and been somebody else. I guess some of us move on and grow up, leaving out imaginings to a time were it was deemed appropriate. I however have yet to relinquish my love of dressing up as somebody else. luckily for me their is a whole group of adults out there that share my enthusiasm. On occasion we meet up and share our love of the unusual and show off our own creations. This blessed event is know as comic con, or in my case Armageddon.
I have wanted to go to this event since a customer of mine was sporting a hat that had the symbol of the serpent guard. ( the snake symbol worn by teal’c in Stargate SG1.
I have gone through my favourite characters from all the best shows and have decided to embark on a journey to transform myself in to a female wraith. Not just any wraith but a queen!
This one from season 2 “The Hive”
I find her clothing the best out of all the queens. Most of the male wraith have small differences in their attire and facial hair, tho they are fairly uniform in general. The queens however all have unique styles and the biggest difference is the dresses. Some are harsh and sharp while others flow and are quite beautiful, considering they suck the life out of people…..Most of the queens are featured in black leather (makes them look bad ass) the exception to the rule is the first wraith featured, and she was more if a watch dog clothed in a strange t- shirt dress( tho she had wicked hair) and later on when the wraith and Atlantans have somewhat peaceful relations over chemical warfare…..
Any way this one is my favourite because it’s so feminine and sexy yet still looks terrifying. The sleeves are amazing and would pass for a medieval (human) queen
Now you have your NERF spruced up on the inside, draw your attention to the outer. NERFS are traditionally in bright lurid, oranges, yellows and blues, reflecting there 70’s origins. It’s hard to take your opponent seriously however when the weapon aimed at you looks like a creation of a hyped up 7 year old. To insure that you really induce the appropriate respect and fear, the only options are to use it as a club… or artistically commonage your NERF in a layer of paint. Again here are some amazing examples.
What you will need
Grey spray paint (undercoat)
Additional colour depending on your design
Small paint brush
Some little buttons, knobs, est. to add detail( optional)
Plastic glue( optional)
You want your paint to adhere properly to the plastic, just buying any old spray paint won’t work and after a few goes your hard work will start to rub or flake away. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and get mega expensive pain, just read the labels carefully and chose paints that are designed for plastic. I used grey as an under coat because it shows up colours well and when you roughen up the paint later the grey underneath will look more authentic.
There are a few paints that will add a little more detail, for example
Hammered Effect paint, (I used this one made the NERF look more like well used metal)
Glow in the dark, (this I must try)
Glitter, perhaps for a girly effect…..or not
Note: It’s very easy to go overboard and spray the paint on too thick, this gunk’s up the mechanisms and can cause jamming.
Using a screw driver disassemble your gun, if you’re having trouble see the last post.
Sanding is a very important step, creating a rough surface ensures the pain will adhere properly. Don’t be tempted to do a half assed job, yes it’s boring but harden sunshine up and do it right! Basically what you want is to have no shinny surfaces, this included the NERF logo, don’t worry it won’t come off unless your sandpaper is too rough.
Wash the pieces. After sanding small particles can cling to the plastic these little particles can affect the paints ability to bond to the plastic. Dry it off with a rag.
If you have decided to add a few unique touches for increased detail glue them on now.
Using your prime paint spray a light coat over all the pieces, it’s ok if small sections of colour can still be seen. Give the paint at least a good 20 min to set properly, re spraying it to soon can cause the colours to bleed in to one another.
Chose your first colour, tape up all the sections that you don’t want to be painted just yet. Again spray a light covering making sure the sides get an even coverage. Again let this dry.
Take off the tape, and now cover the sections you just painted leaving the remaining grey arias exposed. Keep covering and spraying until you reach your desired design, (once again keeping in mind spraying the paint on too thick, this gunk’s up the mechanisms and can cause jamming)
You can add further detain using a brush or sand paper.
Brush – This can be used to paint fiddly individual knobs or added extras.
Sand paper – I find a perfectly painted gun looks odd. If you gently use the sand paper to roughen up small sections it will make the gun look aged and scratched, like it has seen many wars.
Flat head screwdrivers are also effective for smaller details. 8. Finally reassemble your gun. Now you are fully prepared for battle, good luck.
The humble NERF gun is foam based weaponry, designed by the Parker Brothers. The guns shoot small projectiles in the form of foam darts. These darts come in a variety of forms most commonly they have a black body and a bright orange cap, or alternatively a small suction cap.
NERFs have been kicking around since the seventies (hence the bright colours), but have recently gained popularity particularly in people ages 10-35. Unlike most toys aimed at children the NERF has quite a big adult following. Upon taking a survey of 20 something year olds in my neck of the woods the popularity has two major contributors.
They are a cheaper alternative to popular hobbies such as paint ball or Laser games. A single Paint ball session can easily cost $150, a Maverick style NERF costs $10-15.
The second but no less important reason is that because of their fairly simple components and plastic frames the guns can be easily taken apart and modified.
Modifications to a NERF can be as simple as cutting away a few knobs of plastic and adjusting a spring to the more advanced modifications with the battery operated kinds. Some of the more interesting modifications involve painting the outside of the gun, these also vary greatly from the simple black spray paint job to more advanced modes like the ones below.
I myself have only recently discovered the entertaining value of the toy. Brought up with a “guns are bad” parental view I considered myself too mature for the children’s toy, until one was placed in my unknowing hands…… Needless to say I was hooked after my first little foam dart hit the vulnerable backside of my fellow man. Now the owner of several, I was intrigued by the new designs popping up on the internet. My first mod is as below.
Here is a little tutorial for those like myself just getting started. I would like to point out that the NERF has a written warning on the side against tampering with the gun, you may advance at you own peril.
Each component you wish to glue or paint on to needs to be well sanded, this helps the paint to adhere properly and will give it a longer life.
Don’t over paint, if you use to thick paint the mechanisms will seize up, no matter how awesome your NERF my look it’s useless if it can’t fight!
An obvious but important step in to have a container to put all those small springs and inner pieces, many guns have gone to their grave over a small missing spring.
This mod is for a Maverick, this will increase your fire power and extend barrel for quicker reloading.
Flip your NERF over to where there are visible screws, unscrew theses. To release the slide, make sure the screws are all out then carefully take off the slide. Under the slide is an extra screw, this too needs to be undone.
Open up the body, some will come apart easily and others will need a bit of coaxing. If you are having trouble a flat head screw driver can be used to pry it open.
Looking at the image below:
The barrel this will easily slip out in one big piece. Just set it aside for the moment.
This small longish spring is part of the slide mechanism, remove screw and spring put them aside in your container (it’s not strictly necessary but it can be annoying as it gets in the way).
The spring and air chamber need to be taken out, they are not connected so don’t worry if they came apart.
This little guy has a important spring at the base, put the orange ring like section with the spring in your container
4. Have a good look at your barrel at the business end there will be a grey plastic disk of sorts, this is one of the discs that hold the barrel in place while reloading. There will be a grey knob like piece, this keeps your barrel from fully extending during reloading, using a Stanley knife cut off the offending knob.
Tip: If you find it difficult to cut the knobs of in one go try instead to gradually shave little bits of like if you were slicing cheese.
5. flipping the barrel over you can see three cogs on the back grey piece, the middle one should also be cut off, be careful on this part the barrel can turn easily and you don’t want to have the knife in your palm instead of in the plastic.
6. Inside one half of the gun you can see yet another knob cut away this one also.
7. Now to increase you fire power, this step will put more pressure on the spring and cause the dart to fly out faster and further.
Glue or tape three 5c coins together. Place theses at the back of the spring.
Tip: These are in reference to Australian currency, any coins that are approximately the same size at the end of the spring will do. Coins that are smaller or more then 3mm bigger will not work. If you don’t have anything suitable two flat buttons or similar shaped objects will work just as well.
8. Reassemble your gun going backwards in steps, (eg 3,2,1) do not replace the slide. Take your time doing this as all components need to be in there correct positions. You may find the barrel tricky to keep in place, that’s normal just keep trying.
When all the screws are in the sides have a look at the gap were the slide normally fits, you need to thread the end of the spring with the rod (as seen in picture).
Reattach the second half or the side replace the last three screws and you’re done!