Sunday, January 3, 2016

Professor Pericles Statuette

Hey, I finished a project!

Character: Professor Pericles is a villain from the animated show Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated, which is brilliant and you all should watch it.  From the wikipedia page: this show features "two elements that have never been used in a Scooby-Doo series before: a serial format with an ongoing story arc featuring many dark plot elements that are treated with near-total seriousness, and ongoing relationship drama between the characters."

Pericles is "The Smartest Criminal Parrot in the World". I made this little statue as a Christmas present.


This is a free-handed sculpture. The only thing underneath the Magic Sculpt is aluminum foil and a long sturdy twist-tie.

In progress:

These pictures are after the first sculpting session. I went back in a few days later to sand down the rough parts and add more Magic Sculpt to smooth out sections. Then he just needed a few painting sessions and a bunch of coats of sealant to finish.

It's not a large piece, or terribly fancy, but I like how it came out. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bat-Santa Suit (Cosplay)

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted here. 

I've done a few craft projects in the past couple years (See the bottom of this page) but mostly I've been busy with work, life and other such trifles. Plus, since 2012, we've lived in a beautiful place, so I want to go outside all the time. 

However, this year I created a costume for Erin to wear to Emerald City Comic-Con. 

Here's the final product:

And here's the run-down:

The costume is based on a one-shot holiday special, see an excerpt here:

Everything but the gloves was created more-or-less from scratch. The gloves we bought at Burlington Coat Factory, and just pulled out the fleece lining so they wouldn't be so warm.

Most of the suit is based on this pattern:

The pants I basically just followed the pattern:

The red fabric is a nice rich color that doesn't come through in this photo. I chose a microsuede to give it a little soft texture while keeping the weight light and comfortable.

I altered the coat pattern to close up the back instead of the front, and added a fur collar (the pattern calls for a standing collar in red).

More details:

The bat-symbol was of course the hardest part of the coat, and the most important to get right. I traced it onto pattern tissue paper from a Batman T-Shirt, and very carefully transferred the design to the back of the fur.

I did a bunch of tests of different ways to attach the symbol:

And the straightforward tight zig-zag stitch acting as an applique won out.

The boots are just boot-tops made out of a black fake leather, probably the least successful part of the costume. I just altered the McCall's pattern to come to two points in the front instead of having a fur trim.

The mask/cowl presented a problem. We went through a bunch of ideas and a few trial runs before Erin said the magic words: "Attach the bat-ears to the hat." And then everything fell into place.

The ears themselves are thick craft foam, doubled over and glued, then tacked into the hat. The hat is just built off the McCall's pattern. The pom-pom has some weight to it, I filled it with stray fluff from cutting up the rest of the fake fur!

Erin doubted me when I bought crushed panne velvet for the cowl, but it was just the right color, and I just used the shiny side as the inside.

This design I just free-handed by pinning it to Erin's head inside-out. The panne is so stretchy that it works fine.

The mask was the last piece to be finished. It's a separate piece, not attached to the cowl.

I bought a full-face mask and trimmed off the bottom section - it was the only way to get the line I wanted. I think I also enlarged the eyeholes a little. Unfortunately, the costume shop only had full masks in white, so I also painted it. The 'nose' is craft foam. 

I am particularly pleased with the utility belt.

Originally we were going to buy something, but that fell through, and this is a better piece than we would have gotten anyway. I found the perfect color in a duck canvas, and the rest was a bit of trial and error to get the best size and shape for the pouches and weight for the belt.

The snaps are the kind that come with a tool and you attach them with a hammer, not needle and thread.

I added these channels on the back so that the pouches are free to move along the belt, and the buckle is just a heavy-duty buckle from JoAnns. 

For some of the time, Erin wore a Santa beard, but it was really uncomfortable, and he looks great without it.

Maybe next year I'll be better at scheduling and make myself a costume too!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lady of the Black Lagoon

Based loosely on a dream I had once, this lady was partially a series of experiments, and partially made just because I wanted a scary-looking siren-esque swamp chick.

Construction: She started life as a fairly generic Barbie friend that I bought at a yard sale.
I liked her mane of long hair, and I matched her head with a body whose arms were fairly beat up, so I had no compunction about losing them.

I chopped off the lower arms and replaced them with forearms from a Beowulf movie Grendel's Mother figure. (Those things are fabulous custom bait, by the way.) The transition is covered in Magic Sculpt, which I textured to blend the two looks, while I used Kneadatite to add some dimensional details to the neck and feet.

All exposed skin got sanded and painted with layers of brown, green and gold. Her face got a makeover as well: I re-colored her lips and eyeshadow areas and widened and deepened the pupils of the eyes. I also added new little sculpted earrings, since she had the holes anyway.

The dress is stitched together out of wide lace, cut into pieces. The lace started out an ugly teal, but I used tea to dip it down to a nice swampy color. This also aged it some, which really helps with the rising-from-the-deeps look that I was going for. Completed 2011