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.

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