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Level 5-2: Attach Accessories

18 Jun

Is that a club on your hip or are you just happy to see me?

With Subject Delta’s suit near completion, it was time for some finishing details! What’s a suit without accessories?

 

Subject Delta Action Figure Front

If you’ll notice in the reference above, there’s a club of sorts hanging from Delta’s hip. It appears to be a wooden cudgel, the kind akin to a tire thumper like truck drivers use to check their tires. Delta and the Big Daddies use theirs to check underwater pipes.

For the shaft… Ha! I said shaft… we used a 3/4″ inch dowel rod. I cut the length to about 12″ and then cut one end with a series of angles to form a rough point.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I then sanded the rough point down to a smooth, rounded knob… HA! Knob, this is too easy… and then sanded the opposite, flat edge to round the edges just slightly.  Next, I created a hand guard using a wooden napkin ring and a crafted foam piece.

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 The foam piece took some finagling as the template for a circular trapezoid; or cone without a top, is actually a rainbow shape. Using 2 mm foam, I cut out the rainbow piece and a circular doughnut for the cap. I glued them together with hot glue and attached it to the wooden napkin with hot glue as well.

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Look at how nicely that fits! You’ll also notice that there are a series of rings notched into the handle of the club.  I free-handed the rings with a pencil and then used the hand saw to cut about 3/8″ into the handle to create the grip. With the basic pieces complete, it was time to give them some color. For the club itself I used a dark walnut stain. I painted the stain on with a paint brush, let it set for 2-3 minutes and then wiped it off with paper towels.

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For the hand guard, I coated the foam piece with a few layers of shellac and then hit it with some of the Antique Brass spray paint.

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After the pieces dried properly, I fixed the hand guard in place with a bit of wood glue, used some black acrylic paint to weather it and viola! Finished Big Daddy, pipe-thumping club!

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To attach the club to the suit, I fashioned a sort of holster out of some of our left-over leather. I started by cutting a rectangle section to serve as a base. I stitched the piece like we did with our straps for consistency. I then cut and stitched another, longer and wider rectangle and attached it to the first to form a leather tube. I hot glued the pieces together and spot stitched them for added strength. I then hot glued the combined holster to the suit along the edge of one of the straps and spot stitched it as well.

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Sara suggested gluing the cudgel into the holster. She was worried that it might fall out and I, with my mobility limited in costume, might not be able to put it back in. But, after reading over the C2E2’s weapon’s policy, I wanted to be able to remove it in case security wanted to take it away. Shows you what newbies we were, worried about a small wooden club. Ha! Ultimately, we didn’t have a single problem.

The other element you’ll notice from the above shots, is the elbow pad. I built one for the non drill arm and two similar, slightly larger pads for the knees. I started off with a basic elbow/knee pad from Home Depot. The pads were an ideal base; sturdy and durable with a built-in elastic strap. They were a perfect anchor to build onto. One edge of the pad is flat and the other rounded; but if you’ll notice, Subject Delta’s pads are rectangular. So, I took out my handy-dandy hand saw and cut off the rounded edge.

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With the pads cut to the proper shape, I measured and cut out a strip of leather to face them with. Before attaching the leather, we hand stitched it with some of our yellow detail thread. I then hot glued the leather to the pads, around the sides and anchored the edges around the backside cutting slits at the edges to allow for the elastic strap. To finish off the tops and bottoms of the pads I stood the pads on end and traced the shape to get perfect curved shapes to hot glue in place.

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The next step was to build the metal platting attached to the pads. I used some 2 mm craft foam and cut out three rectangle pieces with curved edges to match the shape of the pads. I then used the hole punching tool from our grommet set to punch out some foam circles to serve as “rivets” for the corners.

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I hot glued the ‘rivets’ into place, sealed the foam with a couple of layers of watered-down Elmer’s glue,  applied a few layers of Shellac and then sprayed the plates with some of the Antique Brass spray paint. Once the plates were complete, I hot glued them to the pads. Sadly, the hot glue was not strong enough to adhere the plates to the faux leather pads. So, I pulled the plates off and peeled off the useless hot glue. After a couple of days of brainstorming and trying to figure out what adhesive would work best, I remembered the stuff I used to reattach the soles of my sneakers… SHOE GOO!!! This stuff is amazing and I plan to use it for this and future projects. Since it’s made for shoes, it’s perfect for adhering wildly different types of materials together. It’s perfect for attaching more substantial elements to fabric pieces while still remaining playable. You just smear the stuff to both sides of whatever you want to glue together and let it sit for a while, get good and tacky and then put it together. We let it cure for 24 hours and it worked perfectly!

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After all of the plates had time to properly dry, I then took some of our black acrylic paint and weathered them.

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Last but not least, I detailed the suit. I laid it out on the floor and took some time weathering it with some of the black acrylic paint. I made sure to grime up the zippers that ran along the outer seam of the legs, as well as all around the strapping and patches.

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What started on a pretty basic work-suit and now, after some dressing and distressing, we’d wound up with a pretty fantastic looking suit!

Photo by: Geek Behind the Lens Photography

Photo by: Geek Behind the Lens Photography

Thank you for following along as we crafted Subject Delta’s suit! — TCG

Level 5-1: Upgrade Suit

25 Feb

For those of you that check in on us and take note of the count down to C2E2 along the right-hand side of the page, I want to reassure you that we have more built than we’ve actually blogged about. While we might be stressed and filled with fear and you might be filled with those same things on our behalf, we are much more prepared than it might appear! This week’s update will be coming in two parts. You’re reading the first one right now and it’s about the details on Subject Delta’s suit. The second will be posted on Thursday and we’ll show you what we have cooked up for Subject Delta’s back pack and air tanks!

Subject Delta Drill Reference

If you’ll recall way back in July, we found a work suit for Daniel’s Subject Delta and we finally got around to making some leather patches for it! We bought some upholstering faux leather and some butcher paper for making rough patterns and got to work.

Take a look at this reference photo, you can see that beneath the helmet there’s a couple of layers of leather to serve as padding between the metal helmet and the suit itself. We started calling this “the bib.” I took some butcher paper, cut a hole into a large square section of it, put it over Daniel’s head and had him put the helmet on. Then I free-handed the curve of the bib in paper.

Subject Delta Leather PatternSubject Delta Leather Pattern Back

I created two patterns, one for the larger bottom layer and another for the top layer. I then laid my patterns out on top of our material and got to cutting.

Bib Patterns Bib from the Leather

When I put these cut pieces of leather on Daniel again, I noticed how flat they looked. Yes, they were very practical and if Daniel really did have a huge metal helmet to wear they’d serve as a nice buffer between his delicate shoulders and the cold steel but, in Cosplay, we’re going for an aesthetic so we decided to do some stitching.In case I forgot to tell you, we don’t have a sewing machine so any stitching was going to be done by hand. With this in mind, we knew that any sort of stitching would be purely for looks.

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I picked up some yellow thread from Michael’s, we went with the color on the left, along with some needles and Daniel and I spent two movies stitching the details onto his bib, his knee pads and the other decorative panels for his suit. We wanted something that would be big enough to be seen at a distance, which is why we picked the yellow instead of a dark brown like you see in the reference photo at the top of the article.

All of our hard work and stabbed fingers gave us a table full of details; beautiful, beautiful details.

Bib with Detail Stitching Details Stitched

Since Daniel’s suit was double lined and padded, we decided to hot glue the patches onto the suit instead of attempting to wrestle it into submission with hand-stitching. I was really afraid that the glue would make the leather pucker but it worked quite nicely. Score another point for Daniel who assured me that this was not in fact cheating.

Suit with Detail Patching

Knee Pad in LeatherFor the knee pads we bought a set of light weight , plastic foam knee pads from Home Depot and cut them into squares. We then covered them in leather. They’re not done, by any means, but we need to paint the rest of the detailing before we can add it to the cloth on the knee pads.

Just in case you think the suit needs even more leather detailing, I want to let you know that we’re not done by a long shot! If you take another look at our reference you can just make out some leather straps running along the top of Subject Delta’s thighs. Here’s a better angle so you can see exactly what I mean.

Subject Delta Action Figure Front Subject Delta Action Figure Back

So, I got to cutting and stitching. We purchased some buckles on-line from BuckleGuy.com. They arrived quickly and in great shape! I decided to cut all the strips we needed for Daniel’s suit as well as our boots and weapons all at once. I was cutting so many strips that I almost lost track of all the strips! Using a nail and a block of wood I punched some holes in the leather for the buckle to go through and then glued the other end shut with some hot glue and I was set.

Buckle with Hole Buckle with Glue Buckle Strap with Stitching

While I was putting the finishing touches on his strap stitching, Daniel cut and hot glued some leather around his belt. This belt is actually going to be supporting the backpack and tanks so you’ll see more about it next week. We decided to hot glue yet again and here’s what we got!

So sorry to post and run but we’ve got lots to do and not as much time as we’d like to do it in! Check back later this week for our post on Subject Delta’s backpack and air tanks! — TCG