Saturday, February 25, 2012

SC2 Spectre Cosplay: Helmet

The good stuff starts now. 

 Probably the most interesting part of the spectre is its helmet--the real deal has a multi-piece visor that pops out and swivels and does all sorts of craziness.  While it would be nice to be able to do all that, it's a bit beyond my skill level at this point in time.  However, there are lights galore, which definitely will be added later for effect.  The helmet is locked in the closed position which may be disastrous in terms of airflow, etc. but I'll figure it out as I go.

My bff across the country in NY managed to produce the base form-work of the helmet from which I'll be building upon to eventually finish.  He did a great job up to this point, but time has eluded him so I'll be taking over now.  It started as a nicely detailed pepakura model which was scaled from a life-cast model of my head.  The pep model was affixed to the cast head and expanding foam was used to fill in the gaps.  The outer pep surface was then smoothed out a bit with bondo and a few details were added with apoxie sculpt.  Right now the helmet is permanently bound to the head casting.  This means that once the helmet is finished, it will need to be molded and slush-cast or roto-cast to yield the finished, wearable shell. 

After working with the leg and shoe models in previous updates and having experienced the never-ending perpetual add-material-sand-repeat process--I'll be experimenting with a different approach for the helmet.  I picked up some Monster Clay which is a professional grade modeling clay used for creating masks, props, replicas, and other wild stuff.  It seems to be a popular medium used by those in industry and Hollywood--it should fit the bill I think.  I essentially coated the helmet with monster clay and will next spend time adding details and trying to "sculpt" the surface.  After working with it for a few hours, my impression is that this clay is pretty great.  Monster clay has zero tack which is absolutely crucial for achieving perfect surfaces and textures.  Apoxie sculpt is great too but it has a decent amount of tack which is really annoying when more material sticks to your gloves than the surface you're working on.  Another great thing about monster clay is that it's incredibly rigid at room temperature.  This requires you to heat the clay (microwave / oven) till it's pliable, add material to your surface, and then when it's cool the clay is firm enough to allow more precise sculpting and the adding of details. 

However, I must add that I'm not a sculptor and have not really worked very much with clay, so it's going to be a learn-as-I-go experience.  Right now the helmet looks pretty ugly with my shoddy clay-forming skills but hopefully it'll begin taking shape with future updates.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

SC2 Spectre Cosplay Update

Weather has been bad lately, too cold and too rainy, so I haven't been able to think about priming the legs.  I continued sanding the shoes a bit more, and more sanding and smoothing is needed yet still...

Soon in the future I'll likely begin working on the helmet bit as well.

A link to the pep file for the legs / shoes can be found here:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Perfume - Japanese Daft Punk

I've featured some Japanese music groups before such as the always-entertaining Genki Sudo, but another group that I enjoy, which I guess you could describe very loosely as "Japanese Daft Punk" only in the sense that both have an electronic sound,  is パフューム or Perfume

Perfume is a pretty big-name electronic pop group in Japan with a pretty unique and upbeat sound while not being a "cookie cutter" girl group.  Their music is only half the story though.  While not quite the same style or caliber as Genki Sudo, Perfume's choreography is entertaining and fun.

Their music is featured in various commercials and movies, including in Pixar's Cars 2.

However, while huge in Japan, Perfume like most Japanese music groups has only niche followings in other parts of the western world.  That's fine, but it would be cool to see them branch out into other non-Asian markets.   *hint hint*

A sampler vid is below:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

SC2 Spectre Cosplay: Legs 11 + Shoes

I'm making very slow progress as usual--I'm  pretty much limited to working on the project during the weekend as by the time I get home from work during the week, it's pitch black outside.  Temperatures are still on the cold side so that's going to hinder the painting process.  Hopefully things start to warm up soon... California cosplayers probably don't appreciate their amazing weather enough. 

Anyway, smoothing of the "leg bits" continues, they're pretty much done I believe--the next step(s) should be to give them a coat of primer if weather permits.  I'm pretty excited to see what the legs will look like when they're a uniform color, although surface unevenness will be amplified.

The shoes are also going through the slow "build-up and smoothing" process and are slowly making headway.  It seriously looks like I haven't done anything in the picture below due to the ugly patchiness, but I insist that it's a lot better than it was last week.  Baby steps, to be continued...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

SC2 Spectre Cosplay: Legs 10 + Shoes

Tried smoothing out the detail bits on the legs but apoxie sculpt is pretty tough stuff to sand down, takes a lot of passes to level.  It's coming along fairly well though.  I think the legs are nearly done and ready to be primed and cut.

As far as the shoes are concerned, the body filler / sanding process is currently underway and the process is pretty terrible (dust EVERYWHERE).  It'll take a few goes at it before it starts getting somewhat uniformly smooth.  I'm not sure if I'm going to  leave the Sintra exposed or if I should coat it with a thin layer of something.  The easy way out it to leave it as it is, but part of me thinks I should cover it...