Level 3-1: Acquire and Assemble Weapon

12 Nov

Subject Delta and Eleanor Lamb Helmets

While it’s not quite as epic as we would have liked, here’s your picture of our hard-won Subject Delta and Eleanor Lamb helmets!

As fun as this stay in the land of Bioshocking helmets has been, we’re more than pleased to leave it for a while. The weather has changed here in Chicago and the weather conditions are no longer conducive to Shellacking in our nasty back alley. That and the painting will have to wait until Spring. Yes, you heard it folks this post is going to be about something other than port holes and cap nuts and tubing. This post is about our hero’s signature, gut-grinding weapon of choice; Subject Delta’s drill.

Subject Delta Drill Reference - Action Figure

This beefy bit of machinery dished out all sorts of grisly ends to many a Splicer down in Rapture and now it’s our job to bring it to life! While this picture give you a great impression of what it should look like when it’s finished, Daniel really likes this reference photo we found so we’ll be putting a little TCG style to use while working from this particular reference.

Subject Delta's Drill Reference

As we prepared to begin work on the drill we batted around a lot of ideas. Daniel’s original thought was a run of the mill traffic cone but I was worried that it would be too heavy to lug around all day with one arm. So then we thought of a floral arrangement cones but we couldn’t find any that were big enough. I even thought about making it out of thin cardboard, but Daniel kept going back to that darn cone. He almost swiped one right off the street. But that would be gross, so instead he bought one at Home Depot and he won me over. This would be our base.

Traffic Cone

What would the drill be without a tip? We glued a little Styrofoam cone to the top of the cone and then, like most of our low-budget cosplay, our next step was papier-mâché. We wanted to cover the plastic of the cone in a layer of papier-mâché so that the blades would have a solid anchor. We knocked that out together in under an hour, then we sealed the Styrofoam with some Elmer’s glue and then we had our drill’s base situated and ready to go.

Styrofoam on Cone Cone with Paper Mache

Drill with Weatherseal

Next, we needed to mark the route of the blades that spiral the length of the drill. To help us map it, we took some yarn and wrapped it around the cone so that we could trace it. Then we applied Daniel’s new favorite material; rubber weatherseal. It wrapped smoothly and seamlessly around the cone and the adhesive bottom worked like a charm. Again, in no time at all, we were finished and ready to start the real task; attaching the blades.

This might shock you, but we had differing ideas about the best way to do this. In fact, we had several arguments verging on the edge of nasty fights about it. But, in the end, Daniel’s idea prevailed and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Since it was his grand design, I’ll let him tell you about it.

For the drill blade, Sara came up with this great idea of sandwiching bendable, shape-able wire, like pipe cleaner wire, between two strips of craft foam and gluing the strips together to make stiff but bendable strips of foam. I liked this idea. But then it dawned on me that, while this would be a great idea for circular bands like a bracelet, it still wouldn’t allow flat foam to contour to the circular, spiral path of the cone without bowing and bulging at the edges. We tossed around  a few different ideas until we settled on a sort of foam tent.

Pile of Craft Foam for DrillFoil Measuring TrickIn preparation for the build I spent the better part of an evening cutting a rather impressive pile of 1 1/2″ wide by 3″ long foam strips. I then used my trusty strip-of-foil-method to figure out the exact shape of the curve on the cone and cut a handy-dandy template. The template could then be used to quickly trace and make more mini foam blades.

Sara set to cutting out the curved sections of the strips using said handy-dandy template while I set to hot gluing the strips of foam we already had; one on top and one on bottom of the rubber weatherseal.

Making Subject Delta's Drill Blades

Unfortunately, I forgot to mention to Sara that the template I made was for the curve only and not the height of the blades we needed. The example on the left is how she cut them, the example on the left was how they should be cut. The result was a was quite a few skinny, wasted strips; around 24 to be precise.

Blade Template Mix Up

After a bit of grumpy finger-pointing we each accepted our share of the blame and moved on. Luckily, we had plenty of strips to spare.

As good as my handy-dandy template was, it wouldn’t work for the entire length of the cone. So Sara cut  new templates as the moved up to the skinnier parts and eventually all the way to the top of the cone. This resulted in a big range of shapes and sizes for us to use. As I went, I would trim the edges of the foam before I glued them so that they would lay flat side by side. It was tedious but the results were rewarding.  — Daniel

Foam Blades in Pieces Piecing Foam Together

Once we finished this step, we had ourselves a very lovely, albeit crude, Christmas tree, cone, thingy.

Subject Delta's Drill Pre-Cutting

Of course, we’re still talking about baby steps here. There’s still a long way to go and C2E2 is looming ever closer. Just because it happens “next year’ doesn’t mean we have a whole year to go! We’re trying to build and maintain that momentum but will it carry us through the holiday season? — TCG

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4 Responses to “Level 3-1: Acquire and Assemble Weapon”

  1. Adina November 12, 2013 at 9:44 AM #

    Ugh … C2E2 is creepily close, and I still need to beg my boss to let me be guaranteed to have that weekend off. THEN I’ll start building my next costume.

    • thosecrazygilberts November 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM #

      No kidding! I can’t believe it’s so close!! Stress. Rising.

  2. kageshoujo November 14, 2013 at 10:39 PM #

    It almost looks like a festive Christmas tree of sorts that you could see in Legoland. xD
    And well done you two! The helmets look impressive. Can’t wait to see them painted out when the weather changes so we can see the full effect!

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