Level 4-5: Upgrade and Refine Weapon

24 Jun

Now that everything had been painted, we could move toward our finishing steps for Eleanor Lamb’s syringe. This particular piece had already gone through a revision stage where we agonized over the panel, built the panel, agonized some more and then built a whole new panel. Little did we know that there was one more hurdle to jump in building this gnarly prop. More on that later.

Eleanor Lamb with Helmet Concept Art

 

Before we could jump the unsuspected hurdle, we got to play with some resin! Check out the front view on the reference photo and you’ll notice the two gauges along the top of the syringe. At first, we thought we’d just have to purchase something that looked similar. It never occurred to us that we could actually build gauges until Daniel found this amazing tutorial on EPBOT, a blog all about fun, crafty, nerdy joy! She came up with a quick, easy and cheep way to make steam punk inspired gauges. We’ll show you our work as we followed her step-by-step instructions but you can find the tutorial for yourself here:

DIY Steampunk Gauges.

We started off with sliding closet door handles which you can buy at your local hardware store. The color we picked didn’t really matter as we planned to paint them before filling them with resin, which we did in our makeshift painting room, a.k.a. the kitchen.

sliding door handles pre-paint Gauge Backs Painted

 

Once the paint had dried, we could really have some fun. After all the months of papier-mâché and foam work it was very exciting to work with a different medium! Jen, the wonderful blogger who provided the process we used, put the gauge faces she used for her project up on her blog for others to print and use. So we did just that! We put the gauge faces into the sliding door handles and got our work space ready to go. Next came the epoxy resin.

Steam Punk Gauges Steam Punk Gauges Epoxy Resin Supplies

Easy Cast Clear Casting EpoxyWe purchased a basic kit from Michaels and followed the simple instructions that came with the kit without a hitch.  A word of advice, make sure that you have a disposable cup and stirring stick before you start. There’s nothing like getting all excited to play with a new process only to discover that you don’t have the containers and tools that you need. Using the two plastic cups we mixed together the epoxy and then poured it into the sliding door handles. There were bubbles, naturally. Using my hairdryer set on a low cool setting, I swept it across the surface of the gauges which worked out the bubbles. I made sure to take my time and sure enough, we got really clear gauges!

Steam Punk Gauges with Bubbles Steam Punk Gauges Gauges Resin Drying

 

We let it cure for 72 hours and I was amazed at how hard they were! I love learning new crafty things! Again, the instructions that come with the kit were very simple and easy to follow but just in case you prefer a video here is a tutorial for you. How to Use Easy Cast

Gauges for Eleanor Lamb's SyringeNow for the hurdle, how to mount flat gauges on the curved surface of our PVC syringe. At first, we thought we could just mount it in some 2 mm craft foam and then wrap the foam around the pipe. The foam would account for the gaps and once we covered the sides it would look like there was a raised portion on the syringe were the gauges were mounted. This did not work out as planned. It was time for us to get innovative.

 

 

We batted around some ideas and finally decided that we would need to carve a hole into the body of the syringe for the gauge to sit in. Since we had a freshly painted, beautiful syringe we were reluctant to do this without testing. So that’s what we did. We took a spare piece of the PVC and drilled into it with the proper sized auger bit and, as you can see from the image below, the gauge fits into place quite nicely.

Syringe washers cutArmed with the confidence that comes from testing, we started work on the actual syringe. We got everything set up and Daniel was ready to cut in to our beautiful syringe when it hit him. The thinner PVC pipe we used for the needle of the syringe extends through the entire body of the syringe for stability. If we cut into the body of the syringe, we would risk damaging it a ruining the whole piece. Plus, the PVC pipe would prevent the gauge from sitting fully down into the space. This meant that we were back at square one.

We would have to figure out a way to mount the gauge on top of the surface of the syringe. First, we removed the panel and added some spacers to the body of the syringe. Daniel used a hand saw to cut them in half so that the panel would be raised and we could run leather strips around the syringe. In the whole trial and error process, we also decided that the leather detailing was more accurate than the foam. Daniel then cut some brackets out of 5 mm craft foam to help “square up” the round surface. The brackets also served to close the gaps on either side of the gauge and give the effect of a raised panel that housed the gauges. We used two strips of hand detailed leather straps and put the gauges into them. Then we put it all together.

Eleanor Lamb Syringe Bioshock Cosplay Eleanor Lamb Syringe Bioshock Cosplay

 

All that was left to do was put the panel back on, take care of any touch-ups to the paint job, weather it using the technique out lined in our Weathered Metal Effect Tutorial and add the ADAM tube which we purchased from Scrapbook.com and then filled with red body wash, pomegranate scented for anyone who’s curious. And with that hurdle behind us, we had finally completed Eleanor Lamb’s syringe!

Eleanor Lamb's Syringe Bioshock Cosplay

 

Between the posts for the harpoon and the posts about the syringe, you might have noticed that we haven’t mentioned the gloves yet. Well here’s your bonus tidbit! We found a pair of gardening gloves that were a light-colored leather and then dyed them. We used Rit dark brown dye. First, I soaked the gloves in water until they were saturated. Next, I mixed up the dye and put the gloves in. I stirred them several times to ensure that the dye was taking evenly. Since the original color of the gloves was so light it took about 45 minutes to get them the shade that I wanted.

Dying Gloves Dyed Gloves

Once they dried, Daniel whipped up the metal plates for the top of the gloves. He cut the shape and the “rivets” out of 2 mm craft foam, sealed it with Elmer’s glue and then hit with some gold spray paint. Using Shoe Goo, he glued it to the glove and let it cure for 24 hours.

Cosplay Plated Gloves Cosplay Painted Gloves

Then we weathered the plates and gloves and now we’ve completed all of Eleanor Lamb’s “arm gear.” If you haven’t checked out the posts about the harpoon, which includes the arm guards, you can find them here! Thank you for following along! If you’re interested in more immediate doses of Those Crazy Gilberts, hit up or Facebook page: Co-Op Campaign Cosplay! — TCG

 

 

 

 

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