Thank goodness! I took the day to redo the montral and front lekku for a nice clean line. It’s worked which is nice 🙂 I was thinking about taking a break from the costume because of them but I think it’s going to work out.


But yay. It’s also inspiring me to work on other scifi type gear 🙂


Including Maleficent 🙂 I’ll need to work with her under better lighting to get a good scan- the ends keep being missed in the IR camera. I may be able to heat up some paler clay to see if that helps.Ditto putting lines on. I’ll see how I go today and tomorrow. But latexing is my main task for the next few days. I say days as the weather is not yet warm enough to cure quickly so I have to cure smart. So no putting the stand outside where it can blow over (had that) and where I can’t prod at it make the support collapse (done that!).


Hmm I may need to quickly put some extra support underneath. Fingers crossed.


Yes. I also need to get some pigment into a container to mix into her colour too. BTW her pantone swatches do not match the final result, so it’s going to be interesting!

I had left the hilts and greeblies looking good 🙂 But then… today as I was arranging all the parts on a stand in plate… well I found that I needed to cut one hilt section in half, and also find an emitter end cap.



But this is how it all looks now so it should be good 🙂 Okay I know it’s good as I error checked and used Cura 🙂


 




If you look closely I’m printing at draft quality because I don’t really want to have my printer going for a week. I just don’t trust power/machine combos atm ever 🙂


But it’s really not that bad as I can just sand and acetone wash as planned. So it shouldn’t be extra effort to save a little filament and a lot of time 🙂


 


It looks like I only have photos of the previous sets of hilts over here. Yes. I had to rebuild my hilts from scratch as bending the hilts slightly early lead to something being off by about 1mm over the whole length. I managed to do so in a much shorter time frame but… it was still a lot of work. So to find the hilts still needed work today… ugh.


But, yes, all in parts.



I believe this is actually of my final set 🙂 The emitter got lost so I have put it back in the file here (with all the pieces nested) and in the file at the top (all parts in areas about the size of the plate of my printer) and are in the three files for each print job.


I used LIPID object exporter plugin for Sketchup and opened them in Cura to make sure they were all aligned correctly.


I do really enjoy this. Well most of it. Once the order is sorted and I don’t have to work in the air as such.


 

 


My Take A Breather costume- A remake of my Jem dress 🙂 The belt and shoes were still fine but I also have a glorious new wig. So it needs a really glam dress.


And Ahsoka belt and bracers. I now have the belt wet forming on a dressform.



The horns separated in temperature change, the plastic went up and the clay went down. This necessitated getting the horns able to be worked on more easily and able to be tidied away.



Take the seat off a stool and replace it with the sculpting surface. Perfect height for sitting at 🙂



My back lekku is a little short and the front sit too close so I also had to change how I worked with her.



So I put my old head cast on a dress form. Her neck is so short because I was aligning bust and chin. My shoulders sit much lower and my neck is rather long. This may help exlpain how much work I need to do on patterns to fit them! And why dress forms are rarely helpful.



This is a waratah. It is not supposed to be a standard (long skinny trunk and ball shaped top.) But that is what we have. Also the bottle brush at the back is not a single tree but is doing what the waratah was supposed to.



Finally some of the ducks are back. This one taps on my door for food. And then goes to the other end of the drive to the house to ask for more.

My Ahsoka lekku did not cure as well as needed. So I’m going to see if I can tidy the belt template and start tooling leather.

But I am nearly back to where I was. I decided that I was too annoyed by the short back lekku to be happy. Side track to making a new stand for sculpting and I now have wiggly lekku- one attached two on the floor.


 


And so much mess.


 


So much.


 


But the back lekku has a layer of latex, there is latex grouting on the new montral seams (actually an older cast that was still in pieces) and I also templated a headband for her.

Well I have divided the hilts into reasonable lengths and created supports so now… now I hope I can just make a curve and use the plugin. Hopefully. I am exhausted.

The site will default to your WP login but if you aren’t logged in you can use FB, or Twitter at the very least.  Woo!



After using the shape bender I used hidden geometry to work out why the end looked blunt and then added lines.


And then used Solid Inspector2 to check for errors. It actually fixed some things that were meant to repair, but not my edges which I did expect.



And then I found trying to slice through horizontally just did not work. The model is perfectly horizontal but as soon as I intersect faces it doesn’t. So lots of short pieces like for Ventress 🙂 I know that worked so this should work too 🙂


I started making fairly the overlaps to help join those pieces once printed but I’m not so I like them, so I’ll spend a little more time today on making ring supports instead.


Each hilt is more than 10 pieces. This is to better reflect the different materials (copper, silver, black) Also to allow the same print to be used as non functional and functional by having some separate blade holders able to be used simply as support, the end cap being functional with the D ring holder and screw. I kept getting errors using the bolt making plugin so I’d rather just not use that atm. It should work at a larger scale but I did find scaling could be unpredictable with curves,


These also have to be arranged in correct alignment for printing. which I will do once the connecting sections are added.


 


I find this quite painful and painfully slow work. A lot has had to be drawn by hand even after using tools and plugins. For example the supports I’m making can’t be just extruded as they connect into pieces on a different angle. So I have to copy from one piece and add to the first and then measure and draw to size. Luckily 5mm seems to work well so I can at least be fairly consistent with that 🙂


It’s seriously fiddly work, lots of copy paste and drawing on the inside and outside

I’ve done this before, so thought I’d capture it for posterity 😉



I printed the concept art at full scale. What is helpful with these is the flat back. SO we can use the profile as the very first piece to cut.


 


This is then taped perpendicularly to card that will form the back. Once the frame is taped then it’s time to try for shaping the back. This is done by eye which can be a bit off.



To create the sides tape the frame to paper and cut radiating strips out. These offer something for tape to adhere to.


 


Then these are cut apart and transfered to card for more careful shaping. Keeping the profile shape helps keep this stable as well.



Once taped to the form it is possible to see where shaping needs to happed. As this is a template it’s possible to only alter one side.


Here only the left has been altered.



The top seam also can be adjusted. And the entire pice taken off the form.


I have used a similar method previously for my Ahsara Zavros ensemble:


http://www.arrayedindreams.com/2015/01/14/1756854/



I used sheer pantihose to smooth the foam. Urethane foam is lovely and squishy but is fragile. The material also allows minimal seepage of latex into the foam to help keep them fairly soft.


Latex shrinks as it cures to the thinner the layer the better.


This is also how I make all my Twi’lek lekku- skinned foam  🙂 It takes patience. latex cures very fast in thin layers.


Ahsoka plans

Aug. 20th, 2017 07:42 am
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This is where I left her Montral. The lekku are the next on the agenda.


 


I have a cunning plan, but I have managed to move and misplace or actually corretly store so many costume elements this year that I am not sure where all my lekku making materials are.


Sadly probably no pictures while I actually do the work. Latex all over the place and latex cures super fast when in thin layers so it’s easy to lift finger prints or grab fibres from anything if I am not careful 🙂 But it’ll be much the same way I worked on all my lekku.


So that is the plan for tomorrow- work out the lekku proportions and start marking the montral for seamlines with the lekku- I hope to hide the seam in the paint.

As in the so called definition of madness. Yes I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to do something expecting it to work. In part because the tutortial I used did not really make full use of SKUs component and group features.


I want to make my hilt fool proof for printing and so I’m dividing them up into shorter sections to print only so high- they are hollow so too tall and there is the risk they will skew. This has to do with Z axis (though my machine has a steel frame- less of an issue unless there is a flaw) and cooling/heating issues. I have a heated plate so that is good.


Anyway. to make a slice. Make a square on the green axis make it a component. And then you can merrily place it through your model and it won’t move anything. Then select everything, explode curves, and intersect selection. Then you have the slices in place.


But keep them all as separate pieces before then.



On the right is me using the guide and this shape stretched some interior planes. No idea why. But I didn’t notice until I have all my hilts divided and ready for adding internal support for snapping the pieces together.


So….. I know now. I have had practice now and it means I should., should, be able to do the last tidying of proportions today.


I have been working to the limits of the resolution my printer can manage (apparently 100microns, 0.1mm) but I need to test my machine. PLA at 0.2mm is a bit chunky. I have seen how fine 0.1mm looks on the standard owl model but I don’t know it if was PLA or ABS.


I now have 1.75mm ABS so can test the machine again. And at 0.1mm


I want to make it easier so I’m trying to round all my measurements to full mm so that’s what I’m doing today. Except for anything to do with the emitter. Though I guess I do now know how to cut through a little more easily…


Oh man. What took a couple of days to get “mostly done” for a solid print is taking ages because I want a fancy one that can hold a blade.

I sometimes think I should try and capture the fun times of working with SKU on screen record. And with mic on so you can hear the sears. They get a creative. Though the f’bomb is usually muttered. and the s’bomb gets stretched out to sheee-er-gerrr.


I saw my PC space with other so it means trying for levity in the stress.


So lots of what the foo, whyyyyyyy? *push keyboard away*  but whhh-hy-hhy-hy-hy-hy???


Never the less she persisted! Yes I went there. It’s basically the mantra of my life. And there will be a post!



I started with the original images, Note, this is a screenshot, it really is that blurry to work with. I wanted to do a line art originally but used a photocopy in hand and on screen just scaled to hight.


I actually then started a new model with the hilts cropped to height to make it muuuuch easier. And yes, when you import images you need to scale them once in as well. Unless there is a keyboard trick… there probably is.


 


then I made a series of guides and then drew curves and loved it. Until I realised yes, the sides are totally rounded, I did say the images are fuzzy!



So, Viola! (that was a pun.) New guides new scaled image and new face made the same way. From here I extruded a series of tubes leaving the inside empty. It worked really well for Asajj. But I am making mie a touch simple in the joins this time.



Guides guides everywhere!!!!! This was to create the inset grip of the longer hilt. Basically pecil and extrude and some maths!


And yep the decorations are in place. But I wound up having to move them on my longer hilt. That was just a bit frustrating.



Then came the other pieces; inset switches, what i think are peg/screws to hold the end caps in place, the long end cap holder, and the large button. Finally the emitter caps!


The large button. I goofed and wound up with the circle not centred so yesterday was a day of fixing issues like this. I placed everything together (they are all separate components so they will print separately and in whatever orientation works best. I also adjusted length and made the end cap holders fit smoothly to let them pass so we can gain acccess to the insides to put electronics inside.



Here you can see I had yet to place the end caps. But the are there not. I also got the emitters to their final shapes and sizes. One emitter needs some smoothing but aside from that I think I’m happy.


So today with the emitters lined up correctly it’s time to get the pencil out and start cutting.! Had a few practices but it’s not really been perfectly even as I didn’t have then perfectly on my guides.

#ahsokalives hilts with nearly all the little buttons. I also cleaned out the inside of each piece, tidying up guidelines or removing interior lines and planes.



So to make the D ring holder actually fit I have to be very careful about the curves. I see they sort of curve there in the line art but it is a bit much to try to do right now. Also I need to make the emmitter and make sure that fits in the end of the sabers. They are different to each other too.


I need to rest my ribs again. It’s also quite cold so a bit of warmth from the blanket will be good too 🙂

That'll do

Aug. 8th, 2017 06:40 am
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It would be so nice if there was a super easy way to scale in SKU! It really should be as simple as selecting all, choosing scale and typing in the measurement- but there is a trick to clicking and unclicking and holding the mouse while typing(?) and so I am amazed I managed it. But scaling up by 1000% means I can do half mm in my print.


It is essentially an architectural tool so I get why it is much more sensible to have started at this size. Anyway.



Not bad for a single day where I had a big rest in the middle! My ribs are still sore, and my muscles in my forearms are sore (the shortened bones in my hand mean the tendons and muscles are overworked all the way to my elbows.)


So there are little greeblie details to add but I genuinely have to stop typing in 3,2,….

I’ve been using the @starwarsrebels supplied concept images of Ahsoka and found I’m only a tiny bit shorter than her, which sort of balances out if I wear orthotics in the boots, which is sensible, and can potentially just pad a little more between me and the headpiece.


(edit, this was supposed to be posted before my last post but well.. I mistake the “add tags” and “publish” buttons!)


So I decided I will scale to the appropriate height of her vs me as it won’t be so far off as to look like I’m carrying oversized versions.


But I want to eventually put a blade in. But even with a little rounding up to account for the blurring of the lines when scaled I wind up with a 20mm thickness. My Shaak Ti and Talon blades are 20mm. I find it mimics the OT and SWR style well while the 25mm (1″) blades often used really mimic the prequels and TCW.


What this means is I would want at least 24mm thickness. This is because there is an inset piece that should be at least 1mm. That gives me 1mm thickness around the blade- a bit close but my ventress hilts are that thin in places. And I could also cut a piece of the same acrylic tubing to support vertically on the belts. Or I could just accept that I can’t have both? Though I did just scale the fronts to match as if I was going for 22mm thickness and that is not so bad. So maybe I could do that.



This has a 3mm thickness and is at the to scale size. Now to see what I can do with a 2mm thickness.


I totally forgot how to do all of this so what should have taken a half hour took a few. But I did finally settle on scale. I enlarged 10% on the face and 20% on the side. It really was the only way to keep length and minimise thickness disruption. Now I need to remeasure and work on the weird grip.


Okay I forgot to publish so here is where I am now!



Next is to figure out the size of the diamonds to add them in and also make the emitter. But I forgot to have lunch and also my ribs are so sore I have to have a lie down.

I have to redo all the leather parts. It’s okay though I have heavier grade russet and found the line art I did so phew! I just am not totally sure how easy this thickness will be to form but it’s kind of my only option atm!


The montral working though is huge. The shape of the molds mean I can’t in fact get inside the molds to brush or spray so I have to cast each half and then trim, then join. But now that I have a good stash of blades and know the limits of the latex and timing I will be able to at least make a test cast building on the technique.


The tunic and sleeves have taken colour, not quite enough and slightly uneven thanks to the dye settling in the bottle but hey. I should be able to wash properly. Just need to overlock some loose ends.



Tags: ahsoka, ahsoka lives


Only photos so far are of Ahsoka sitting nicely on my head next step it to decide if I want to make that rigid section permanent and how much shaped padding to put in. But having the support in place now means that I can actyally make that shaping 🙂


A post on different SFX techniques is needed I think..


But I found an older Mina bodice lining and I think I prefer it! Not as it is but umm.. I can put hip gores in just like with a set of stays so why wouldn’t that work???


And I also got ABS juice in my Leia molds! IT WORKS!!!! So far the back hip has been mostly cast and it is so light. A bit too light, I think the surface had enough dust that it got mixed in. That said this is definitely going to let me scan them to get them digitised 🙂 Now I just need to hunt down the missing collar piece. Very frustrating to have that missing.


 


And yes, the prednisode is making me feel freaking AMAZING right now. But it can only be temporary because of how it works. So much misinformation, I really want to do a post full of real research that shows what we actually experience.



Tags: ahsoka, leia, mina


Tags:

In order to figure out history of the gown I wound up with dozens of reference notes about the production of garments and how there are multiple copies and why.


I still haven’t found the specific references I want (all secondary atm) but enough to feel confident in several statements made.


But there are some conflicting descriptions of materials, I have my suspicions about why so will also have to discuss those.


So yeah. I can now start the day and do things.


 


But I also will have my abs juice ready to go today and the latex work of yesterday will hopefully pay off today. Unless it didn’t adhere in what case I get to strip the base back and redo it. IsoPro does work but it is a PITA to time correctly. The latex needs to be clean and dry for the next layer of latex. But with a very damp climate there is a fine layer of moisture on anything outdoors- or in a room without insulation.


 


What else… Oh yes. I need to bleach my sateen panels for my 1870s gored stays. I worked out what I need vs the original pattern styles so will also see if I can make one in red sateen finally. I have tried to do this in the past and somehow wound up with stays too short.


What I need from stays is less about squish as it is about reducing stress on ribs. My current pain is a very good reminder! My ribs are very long, there is barely two fingerwidths distance at the side of my waist between ribs and pelvis. So this means if I want a wasp waist I either deal with ribs being heavily squished or I make it nip in only at that narrow point. Or I can avoid too much restriction and taper the stays to the waist then flare out over the hip.


This last one is what I find gives a shape that is both acceptable to a modern eye as well as historic. If I nip in only at the waisy it tends to make everything else seem disproportionate rather than drawing the line in.


So today will be spent cutting fabric and bleaching to have a summer and winter variation. There may even be enough silk satin left over, though that feels a bit extravagant!


 

sewing day

Apr. 14th, 2017 08:56 am
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I wound up breaking out the overlocker all day instead of working on horns. Which was probably wise. The rain is still leaving everything damp so curing would be risky.


So I zipped around the edges of my Worth sunburst skirt (the satin is so perfectly buttery that it was just nice to do!) and used the drafted bodice pattern from the 1876 tool to trace a new pattern for my new Phantom wedding dress bodice. I did use the vintage organza after all so that leaves some of the crepe for a potential Moulin Rouge dress. If I ever find a trim that works!


So that was tracing and transferring the pattern to a layer of twill, a layer of calico, and a layer of organza then overlocking all the edges tidy.


And then finally I cut the trim for my Cleves sleeves having removed the colour from the silk. And that leaves some softer trim for the undersleeves.


 


And finally, my last cast from my Ahsoka molds finally worked!

I was very worried as my latex thickener took a while to arrive and my molds wound up soaking too long. But it’s all good 🙂 But the latex I had was certainly bad. Not so bad that it couldn’t be rescued but rescuing requires a lot of work 🙂



Thickener and coloidal silica 🙂 I probably should have grabbed microballoons, explained later 🙂



I used up as much of my latex as I could- two bottles of thickener will turn 2.5L of latex into a very thick consistancy, but it does still run, not immediately but over a few hours.


What have I done here you may ask. Well here is the answer 🙂


Self supporting latex


In order to have self supporting horns but an adjustable thickness tentacle latex layer I first lay up a thick layer of the thickened latex (for this also with some added silica to limit warping) then  a layer of peeled foam in 5mm or 10mm thicknesses soaked in a latex and water mix. I push the foam into the latex just enough to adhere but leave a layer of just latex to create a skin to the foam.


This is tricky! If the environment is too warm the latex well turn tacky while working with it causing deformities. This has been my fifth run and it’s the first time this hasn’t happened because it was much cooler yesterday than any other day this summer.


The peeled foam is very soft, very soft and not at all self supporting alone. In fact its use is to pad and create a soft layer.


But once soaked in latex and left to cure it becomes fairly rigid. The cells become rigid but the air pockets remain.


The foam also tends to not pull away from the walls of the mold while the latex is curing. This makes it much easier to be able to control warping of large pieces like this. It also reduces weight and can be stitched then glued/latexed to hide the join. It is also possible to pare back the foam with a knife to thin it out for the tentacles.


This is sort of a reverse industry standard method of skinning foam for creature effects. Having a mold means I control the skin texture a lot more but means working a bit blind in terms of being able to know exactly how thick that skin is.


This standard method is how I make my lekku in general. And as I work to finish this piece I’ll be able to share tips on how to do that- it still requires skill to avoid limiting stretch of the foam and adding  weight! I also want to update my Rachi Lekku and Talon lekku 🙂

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