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Level 3:5 – Recon and Advance

23 Jun

Once we had decided to enter our Subject Delta and Eleanor Lamb into the Crown Championship of Cosplay at C2E2, we began looking at certain aspects of our pieces with a more critical eye. Just as Sara looked at her syringe panel and decided it was lacking, I too looked at my drill and decided that the turbine section was in need of improvement.

Subject Delta Cosplay Drill Subject Delta Cosplay Drill Arm Support











This simply would not do!

So, as hard as it was — I dismantled  it and went back to the drawing board and hardware store. As disappointed as I was to be starting over, I knew I could do better and building the first turbine section actually did a lot for me as far as figuring out how to make each section fit together. I would stay with the same basic “cylinder” design in order to ensure that it would fit back into place with the rest of the drill.

I started off with a sheet of light gauge, galvanized steel. I used a pair of metal cutters and cut out an identical strip of metal to match the previous pre-fabricated piece I had used. A tip? Don’t forget to wear gloves and goggles. I got a couple of minor cuts and had a brief scare when the sheet flipped up and hit my cheek. It was a flat slap on my cheek so there were no cuts but Sara just about died watching it happen.

IMG_0693 IMG_0697

This would serve as the base of the turbine section.

Next, I cut out a strip of 2 mm foam to serve as the base of the bladed section, the outer shell of the turbine. I then cut out slanted, recessed parallelograms all along the strip with alternating raised sections.


I then hot glued the foam piece to the metal cylinder and affixed the raised sections with short strips of the weather sealer. This way I could build the bladed sections of the turbine in the same way I did for the main blade of the drill.

IMG_0698 IMG_0699

Already looking much more accurate and awesome then the previous attempt!

I then hot glued small, foam parallelograms to each side of each of the weather sealer sections and then hot glued them together along the edges to form slanted, foam wedges. Once complete, I then attached the new turbine section to a newly crafted wooden hand section.

Subject Delta Drill Turbine Cosplay Subject Delta Drill Turbine Unit Cosplay

Now that’s what I’m talking about!!!

To finish off the turbine section, I drilled a series of three holes through each section of the recessed panels.

Subject Delta's Drill ReferenceWith the new and improved turbine section complete, I attached it the body of the drill and moved on to some detail work. I searched high and low for a good way to make the beveled gears that are attached in clusters around the outer edge of the drill near the turbine section, but never quite found what I wanted. I did however, find some interesting toy gears at a local robotics store.  They gave me a few to use as they no longer sold the kits they came with, but not enough to complete three clusters like I wanted. Not to be discouraged, I used the toy gears as templates and cut some additional foam gears out of 5 mm craft foam. I cut them out and glued them together in layers of two and four so that I could have some levels with the gears. Now, if we had a Dremel (that’ll be one of our next purchases) I could have beveled these pieces myself, but I was really happy with how they turned out.

IMG_0711 IMG_0714

Now it was time to breathe life into our drill with some  paint! So, I set up my paint room in the basement laundry and got to work!

First, I sealed all the foam pieces with Elmer’s glue. Then I sprayed on at least half a dozen layers of Shellac onto the drill. This step was critical to ensure that all the different types of materials would appear to be the same once coated in paint. To make the drill more visually appealing, I decided to go with a two-tone color scheme. I hit the body of the drill, the gears, the stabilizer bars and the bicep coupler with some of the Dark Steel then used some of the Antique Brass for the fore arm coupler and gear spacer at the base of the drill. I then finished it off by hand painting the hydraulics with black acrylic paint and steel for the fixers.

Subject Delta's Drill Bioshock Cosplay

Subject Delta Drill Bioshock Cosplay Subject Delta Drill Bioshock Cosplay

In order to keep the bicep coupler in place, I made a leather band to wrap around the coupler with a costume velcro strap. I detailed the leather band and strap with stitching and hot glued it into place.


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I then weathered it. The first step in this process entailed using the process described in our Weathered Metal Effect tutorial and black acrylic paint. After that was done, it was time for the fun part; the blood! I bounced back and forth between a realistic blood and a stylized blood but in the end I decided that stylized blood would be more fun. I used the same Venetian Red acrylic paint that Sara used on Eleanor Lamb’s suit. Instead of painting it on using brush strokes, I globbed it on in patches to mimic splatter and pooling patterns. Also, let’s face it, this is a drill, it’s going to have gummy messes on it.

Subject Delta Drill Bioshock CosplaySubject Delta Drill Bioshock Cosplay

Here’s a series of shots to show you the details from various angles.

Subject Delta Drill Bioshock Cosplay Subject Delta Drill Bioshock Cosplay

Subject Delta Drill Bioshock Cosplay Subject Delta Drill Bioshock Cosplay

Of all the things we built, this was the most satisfying. The helmets were amazing and gratifying but there was something about this hefty prop dirtied up and bloodied that made me actually feel like Subject Delta. Thank you so much for sticking with us as we wrap up our documentation on this cosplay. Hopefully you had a good time or were able to glean some steps from our process! — TCG

Side Quest Unlocked: Apply Color

12 Jun


Finally, finally, FINALLY – we got to paint!!!

That meant we were so close to completing our first Cosplay project!!!

Ideally, we would have liked to have built our pieces and then painted them as we went. However, we didn’t (and still don’t)  have a dedicated work space which made that a little hard. Plus, we waited a little too long and, when the time came to paint a few pieces, the weather had turned. So in an attempt to wait it out, we kept building and planned to paint everything at once. With no more building to do, it was time to put some color on ‘em! Time to transform them from foam and paper into convincing, hard metal objects.

We had two options when it came to painting. We could hand paint everything in the relative comfort of our apartment or spray paint our pieces in one of the common areas of our apartment building.

Hand painting would have let us paint whenever we liked as long as we laid something down to catch the paint and opened the windows with fans for ventilation. However, we thought it would have taken a long time to paint everything; especially if we wanted nice, smooth, streak-free finishes. I figured spray painting would eliminate that concern. Plus, I’d had more experience with a spray can. So, we chose to do the majority of work with spray paint but for some detail work, touch-ups and distressing done by hand.

Now, the first problem with spray painting in Chicago is that it’s illegal to sell spray paint within the city limits. We’d only been living in the city for three years at this point and who would have guessed that this was an actual law!? It exists to combat graffiti and tagging within the city; but, if you’ve ever spent a day in Chicago… lots and lots of graffiti… So the only thing this stupid law really does, it make it very difficult and annoying to procure spray paint. The nearest place for us to get some was at a  Home Depot on the border of Chicago inside Evanston’s city limits. That’s a 45 minute train ride, plus a 25 minute bus ride… Through out the course of the this project I had to make three separate trips to the suburbs for paint.

Oh well. On our first trip, we made the trek and the paints we decided to use were: Antique Brass for the base tone of the brass pieces, an Antique gold for the highlights on the brass pieces, Dark Steel for the steel pieces, and a Leather Brown for painting some of the rubber pieces to appear leather. “What about the primer,” you ask? Well, as much as I would have liked to have given everything a nice primer base coat we were very limited on time and I didn’t want to have to do any more spraying of harsh chemicals then need be in an apartment complex. So, we decided to skip it.

Paint in hand, it was time to… well, paint. Wouldn’t you know it? This was one of the harshest winters in recent US history and Chicago was hit pretty hard. Ever heard of a Polar Vortex? Here we were, well into March, and the temperatures were still right at or just below freezing. With C2E2 just around the corner we had to paint or we risked not having the costumes ready in time. So we decided to do the worst thing imaginable… spray paint indoors.

I know, I know… don’t get me started. We all know how this ends.

Spray Painting Inside?We decided to set up a small, make-shift painting room in the kitchen. We laid painting tarps on the floor, hung some from the walls, opened the kitchen window, and used a floor fan for ventilation. Surely, this would be sufficient.

Eleanor Lamb's Harpoon Pre-paint


We started off with a couple of small test pieces and everything seemed to be working okay. First, we sealed all of the foam with Elmer’s glue. We do this so that the Shellac won’t eat into it. Next we hit the pieces with at least three layers of Shellac and allowed it to dry completely before moving on to the paint. I sprayed in light layers in very short sessions. The open window and fan did the trick for adequately getting rid of the paint fumes; however, after a couple of hours, I noticed that it was not so efficient for getting rid of the residual paint particles that did not adhere to the cosplay pieces. Instead, it was falling in a fine layer of dust all over everything… :/

 A couple of hours of cleaning later and only a small percentage of Cosplay pieces painted – it was back to the drawing board.

C2E2 was creeping up faster and faster and still we had constant snow fall and below freezing temperatures, painting outside was still out of the question. We were so desperate that it forced us to be creative. So, after a late night of — social hydration — I decided to use our common laundry room as a new paint studio and to knock out all of the spray painting in a few marathon sessions. It was the only indoor common area that was anywhere near warm enough and had proper ventilation.

Subject Delta's HelmetEleanor Lamb Syringe Eleanor Lamb's Helmet

I didn’t want to piss off the neighbors or get the land lord called so I waited until 2 or 3 am before beginning. I crept as quietly as possible down three flights of stairs to the basement where the laundry room is located. I laid out my painting tarps over a couple of tables and lined up as many pieces as I could that were going to be painted the same base color. I did this every other night or so for a couple of weeks until all pieces were painted with their base coats.  I even spent time after each painting session wiping down any surfaces that might have collected residue; including but not limited to the washing machines and bikes stored there.

Subject Delta's Drill

Seeing everything in living color was really really cool. No really. Really cool. It was amazing to see everything in it’s intended color. They looked real for the first time and I could tell that we’d really done good work. Really. I had a day off work when I did all the big major pieces and I sent Sara so many texts with pictures because it was so exciting. Subject Delta and Eleanor Lamb were really coming together.

Eleanor Lamb and Subject Delta Helmets

We did all of our touch ups with acrylic paint. It wasn’t an exact match, which was frustrating. Luckily, we were going to distress everything so that would help. Plus, the differences in color can give the impression that something has gotten dinged in battle and been patched up. Even though it all worked out, next time we’re going to try to avoid the spray paint.

Subject Delta's Air TanksThere were a couple of pieces that we painted by hand that turned out looking really good, which also served to sway me toward hand painting in the future. Included in this category was the trim of both Subject Delta and Eleanor Lamb’s helmets, the tanks for Subject Delta’s pack and Eleanor Lamb’s arm guards. And for weathering, we used black acrylic paint and the process outlined in our Weathered Metal Effect tutorial which you can find here.

Despite some major stress, sleepless nights and a whole lotta time in transit, we got everything painted and it looked amazing. We were so close to finishing that we could taste it! C2E2 was under a month away at this point, so we were beyond happy to have gotten to this point.

Thank you for following along as we learned a thing or two about spray painting and Chicago winters! — TCG

Level 3-4: Stabilize Weapon

7 Jan

Subject Delta Drill Reference

Greetings Co-Op Campaign fans! Hasn’t this been a crazy busy holiday season? I know we’ve felt more than a little hectic over at the Crazy Gilbert abode but we have an update to share with you and three months to go until C2E2! When you last checked in, we’d made some pretty amazing headway on Subject Delta’s drill and now we’re going to finish that up. Let’s check our work against our reference photo.

Subject Delta's Drill Reference  Subject Delta Drill with Base

We’ve got the blades on the cone of the drill and we’ve recreated that metallic, fan-like section around the wrist and now we need to create some cuffs, bars and hydraulics. So we gathered our materials from our local Home Depot and started an evening of work.

For our version of Subject Delta’s drill, we imagined that the entire silver fan section would rotate when the drill was activated so this drill would need something to connect to the arm that would help keep the weapon stable. (For the record, our drill will not be functional but it’s going to look really darn cool!) For these cuffs we purchased a thin plastic coupler and hub-fit adapter from Home Depot’s plumbing department. These were thin enough to cut through and flexible enough to allow Daniel to slide his arm through it when wearing his bulky jumpsuit. For the first cuff, we wanted to attach it with some constructed hydraulics.

On the reference photo, you can see the hydraulics along the top of the drill; a set of two tubes starting from the metal fan and extending to the first cuff.

Constructed Hydraulic for Drill We cut the lengths of the hydraulics from a dowel rod and then used some of the 2 mm craft foam to case the ends. I cut a single strip of foam, set the dowel rods in place and then hot glued the foam into a ring. We then used screws and cap nuts to attach the hydraulics to the cuff. We used some of the flex tubing left over from Eleanor Lamb’s helmet to cover the dowel rod. You can see it put together here. Next came the tricky step; attaching the hydraulics to the metal section on the drill. Using Daniel’s actual, functioning drill, we ran some holes through the metal and plastic running along the inside and then, with some more screws and cap nuts we attached the dowels to the metal. Because we were drilling through metal, we wore eye protection and took special care to collect any shredded metal shards from our drilling since we’re doing all of our work in our living space. Repeat on the other side and we’ve got one good-looking little number!

Subject Delta's Drill with HydraulicsNext, we needed to make some bars that would link the first cuff to the elbow and then to the upper arm cuff.

Subject Delta Drill ReferenceHere you can see the full length of the drill and bars going up to Subject Delta’s shoulder. For our purposes, we have the bars stopping at a cuff at Daniel’s upper arm. We started with another plastic coupler, then we measured the distance from the coupler to Daniel’s elbow and then from the elbow to the first coupler that was already attached to the drill. This gave us the measurements for the metal bars.

To make the metal bars we decided to use plastic hanger strap. We sandwiched some cardboard between two layers of strap to give it some rigidity and then we drilled through the preexisting holes to mask the cardboard.

Metals Bars for Drill

With a few washers and a screw and cap nut, we attached our first bar to the upper arm coupler. We chose to use a larger washer for the bottom and then a smaller for the top, it’s a little bit more interesting to look at that way, don’t you think?

Top Hinge Subject Delta DrillNext, we created a hinge at the elbow, connecting two bars with washers, a screw and a cap nut. Again, we used a large washer beneath a small washer, this time for consistency.

Drill Elbow Joint

Because of the size of the cuff around the forearm, we had to do the small washer only, but we have a sneaking suspicion that the whole mama-jama is going to distract from this minor inconsistency. What do you think?

Subject Delta's Drill Side View

And here’s the action shot with helmet lights and suit!

Subject Delta Cosplay Pre-PaintI’d say that it’s coming together nicely! Since we aren’t able to make a function drill, and by functioning I mean spinning, we definitely want Daniel to have freedom in his motion. As of now, there’s a small hitch in this. The screws we used to connect the elbow joints are a touch too small. And, because they are too small, the bars won’t straighten out after they’ve been bent.

Drill Wacky Elbow Joint Drill Wacky Joint Result

A quick trip to the hardware store will remedy this problem. Now Subject Delta’s drill joins the ranks of Subject Delta’s helmet and Eleanor Lamb’s helmet as it waits for painting. As for the weather, well there’s about 2 feet of snow outside so we won’t be Shellacking or spray painting any time soon. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a short winter this year! — TCG

Level 3-3: Fit Weapon

17 Dec

Subject Delta's Drill Reference

Greetings readers and fear not, we’ve been working like busy little bees on Subject Delta‘s drill. With the tedious task of  papier-mâché behind us, we’ve started working with some fresh, new materials and we’ve made some excellent headway! For a lovely change in pace, Daniel’s going to start us off as he describes working with plywood to create a handle for the drill.

Drill Handle TracedNow that we had the main body of the drill constructed, the question was, “How do we make it easy to hold and carry while giving the rest of the drill a sturdy and supportive base?” At first, I thought about using a single dowel rod but it didn’t give us much to attach the rest of the drill to. Then it dawned on me that a plywood base with holes cut out of it to form a handle bar would be perfect. It’s light weight and would give us plenty of surface area to anchor the drill to. Thankfully, Home Depot carries smaller, individual sections of plywood that are perfect for small projects and simple home repairs. We had hoped that they could cut the circle out for us at the store, since we didn’t have anything more than a simple hand saw at home. Unfortunately, they couldn’t and, for a couple that relies on public transportation, renting the tools were completely out of the question so we decided to tough it out.

Makeshift Saw HorseTracing the Drill BaseCutting shapes out of wood can be difficult without the proper tools and a steady work surface. Our end table wound up as the steady work surface in this instance. Sara wasn’t hovering and nervous at all… Using the base of the drill we traced a circle onto the plywood, we laid a towel down and I got to it. Rather than killing myself by trying to cut the shapes free-handed I decided to use the drill to cut some starter holes. I then drilled a continuous series of holes along the lines I wanted to cut; this way my hand saw would have less wood to cut through.

Drilling guide for Base Drill Holes Guide Hand Saw for Drill Base

30 minutes and a blister on my finger later and I had the basic shape cut out. Though the basic shape was there, it was rough around the edges and just a smidgen too large to fit the opening of the cone. Lucky for me, and my blister, my drill bit set came with a couple of handy-dandy sandpaper rolls attachments which I used to smooth out the edges and grind down the excess around the outside edge. Here’s the end result! — Daniel

Finished Drill Base

You might think that the next step would be to attach this lovely new base to the cone, but you would be wrong. Don’t feel bad though, I was wrong in this assumption too. But that’s only because I get stuck thinking about the next step instead of three steps ahead like my super-smart husband. So, here he is again to explain the very strange picture below.

Drill Base AnchorIf you’ll check out our reference photo you’ll see that at the base of the drill there’s a fan-like mechanism with rotating blades backed by what looks like a cheese grater. Rather than attaching the base and then constructing the mechanism, I wanted to build this “cheese grater” part of the drill  and use it as a bridge between the body of the drill and the arm strap system. Sort of like that song; the drill body’s is connected to the wood base, the wood base’s connected to the “cheese grater,” the “cheese grater’s” connected to the fan-like mechanism, the fan-like mechanism’s connected to the arm strap system and so forth.

When it came to attaching the fan-like mechanism section, I first thought about using thin individual strips but then realized that if I used one larger, continual band of material that it could be used to attach the fan-like mechanism to the base. I could then emulate that “cheese grater” look by drilling holes into this band and they would peek through the blades. Since I had left over cone, I decided to use those scraps, hence you see orange “cheese grater.”

The left over cone material was strong and pliable, perfect for securely attaching the fan-like mechanism to the base; but if you’ll notice, it does not contour as perfectly as I would like, leaving a slight gap at the back. This is due to the angled design of the cone.

Thankfully, this  “cheese grater” band will be housed inside the fan-like mechanism section, masking the gap. Plus, this gap section will be on the underside of the drill where no one will see it anyway.

Metal Outside Cone Bending the Metal

I attached the  “cheese grater” band to the drill-base with four wood screw (two on each side) and the drilled the series of holes. I bent the tabs of the fan-like mechanism section to give it that fan-blade look and then fitted it over the “cheese grater” band and attached it with two bolts with cap-nuts. — Daniel

Drill Base Together

And voila, we have the base of our drill. Next we shoved that base into the papier-mâchéd cone and with a couple of wood screws we secured it.

 Subject Delta Drill with Base

But we weren’t done here. No siree! Next, we needed to create a bar and strap system that would connect the drill all the way up Daniel’s arm. But I’m afraid that you’ll have to wait for next week. Be sure to check back next week! – TCG

Level 3-2: Refine Weapon

26 Nov

They say that you make time for what’s really important, but I don’t think those guys that said that had the months of November and December in mind. Those Crazy Gilberts are playing catch up in a major way and here we are, merely days away from Thanksgiving, Daniel’s birthday behind us and a whole boat load of things left to build. Don’t worry though; I remember where we left off and I won’t leave you hanging because I’m sure you’re chomping at the bit to know how Subject Delta‘s drill is coming. Aren’t you?

Subject Delta's Drill Pre-CuttingWhen we last left the drill project, we have something that looked a lot like a crude, Christmas tree made out of Legos. Our next step was to trim and glue them together but how would we ensure that the blades would taper at the correct proportions? For a split, foolish second, we considered free forming it; just trusting the scissors and the foam and the universe. But then we came to our senses! Once again, Daniel’s tin foil trick came in handy.

Daniel positioned the foil and then I came in and traced it out. What’s great about using the tin foil is that it’s easy to re-position and bend into shape. It’s a very forgiving and cheap tool.

foil cutting foam guideTraced Line on Drill Blades

Snip, snip and we’re set to move on.

Foam Drill Blades CutFor our next couples activity; hot gluing! One of us would lay down a line of hot glue while the other would follow and smoosh the foam together to make our blade shape. Since my hands are so teeny and delicate, Daniel got the job of smooshing our foam together. Then, we went in and added layers of glue to the base of the blades, adding some more strength to their structure. We also used the tip of the gun to smooth out the seams between the strips of foam to give it a more uniform look.

Subject Delta's Drill  Foam Blade


Subject Delta's Drill Foam Front View Subject Delta's Drill Foam Blades Side View

Now all that’s left is the small, hardly time-consuming papier-mâché step. And by hardly time-consuming I mean horrifically time-consuming. Not only did Daniel insist on medium size strips of news paper strips cut to the curvature of each blade, but he also took hundreds of tiny, thin strips of newspaper to line each edge of blade. In case there’s any doubt of Daniel’s dedication to this project, take a look at this.

Scale of  Papier-mâché Drill Blades  Papier-mâché Along Drill Blades

Allow me to quote myself, “It finally happened. 11/10/2013, 10:04 PM. Daniel is sick of paper-mâché.” – Sara; Facebook.

Daniel looked over at me, his fingers coated in glue, his back aching from hunching over the drill and he said, “Whatever we build in the future is gonna depend on how much paper-mâché it needs.”

Subject Delta's Drill Blades Paper Mache

But was it worth it? Take a look at this and tell us what you think.

Subject Delta's Drill Blades Finished

The holiday season is rushing in, ready or not, and bringing with it new gaming consoles, games, gatherings with friends and families, meals and treats that require time in the kitchen and the days are certainly not getting any longer. I was thinking today about how I would possibly find time to play a new game I got over the weekend and a this question came to me; how do cosplayers find the time to consume the things that they wind up cosplaying? How do you, our fellow cosplayers, find the time to invest in new fandoms, or get to know new favorite characters that you’d love to pay homage to, how do you balance everything?

Seriously though, any tips on time management and motivation are greatly appreciated! — TCG

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