Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Some random cosplay fun

This weekend's task yielded several nice results. I can now produce puffy sleeved dresses, socks, boots, ribbons and gothic lolita dresses. Hooray. However, the most important development was how to get better results on wearing down the thick black construction paper without creating severe defect prone wear from crumpling and folding. The old method involved crumpling carefully, unfolding, then rolling it along a thin bamboo stick to weaken it further. The success rate was around 80%, with not so desirable wear lines showing up as a result. It did produce soft paper that worked well for frequently folded aspects like shoulder and elbow parts of clothing but with a high rate of failure.

The newer method skips the crumpling and goes straight to the rolling. It takes 4-5 passes with the bamboo stick, with the occasional alternating direction to wear down the fibers in all directions. You get a nice, semi-weakened paper that can easily be worn further for more flexible applications or left alone for more decorative, static elements. I fold over the weakened paper and use my fingers to rub the area near the fold against itself to get it to become softer. Still not desirable, but it saves me from having to crumple a large pointy sheet.
The large bottom flaps are done with the newer method, leaving a smoother appearance. The top used the old method, and some wrinkled parts are visible. The boots are also done with the older crumpled paper method, but can certainly be done with the newer one.
Dress isn't too stiff that it's unposeable. Still needs some work to get it to allow the full range of movement the doll's joints have.
The reference model used to construct the dress. One of the more difficult Mizuirogakuen models. Provided enough information from constructing it to adapt to the dress.
"I'm bigger than you are!"
There's not a lot of interesting poses you can have with a dress like this, and I figured a gun wouldn't fit too well. (Variety or lack thereof was needed for this set, I figured)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

M60E3 and boots!

Presenting today's work: boots. They're technically modified socks... I developed a sock like outer covering that fits over her feet and lower legs and into the shoe. Cheating, but it sure gets around the design difficulty of full on boots that require fasteners or actual cloth. Aren't workarounds great?Well, the other, older item Hotaru's playing with is the M60E3. It needs some paint. And ammo. Haven't bothered making an ammo belt or box to go along with it yet. Might not ever.
Oh yes, did I also mention the tie? Tying ties was bad enough when I had to do it myself (and for other people too, on that note), but tying a stiff 1/6 scale tie isn't fun. Flops around too much. As you can also see in this picture, her "boots" allow a good degree of freedom.

Damn, the tie is really stiff. At least it makes her look good. Maybe I should redo this shot with her in a schoolgirl outfit with frilly skirt and a bag...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Vroom Vroom

Yakumo on a bike. A LEGO 8422 Technic motorbike, to be exact. Seems to be a bit small for 1/6 scale people though. Maybe better for 1/7 scale. Strangely, the wheel wells haven't oxidized, considering the amount of light exposed to them these past 3-4 years on my desk.

No new developments, only thing of note is the lack of black and silver paint. Perfect for this:
I'm a sucker for movable parts. Revolving barrel and break action with a manual catch. Awesome. All it needed was a moving hammer and trigger and I'd be fiddling with this all day. Too bad it doesn't. I impulsively built this the past two days after listening to a friend go on about the Broken Butterfly in Resident Evil 4. I figure, it's got to be fun playing with a break action revolver, so here we go. Perhaps one of the best wastes of time this month.

Monday, August 13, 2007

2007 Wizard World Comic Convention/ shopping trip

Well, my first comic convention. It was full of obese white men hawking comics and other toys from the era of my childhood for exorbitant prices. Not to mention, scary looking girls dressed in what I can assume is not a cosplay of a goth girl. I spent about six hours literally walking through lanes of memories long past: tons of Transformers toys, some Crash Dummies toys (which I was slightly compelled to buy), a Nicholas D Wolfwood action figure (which I passed up), and Monsieur Bome's Full Metal Panic! figure set which I spent months wanting but ultimately decided it wasn't worth the desk space it would ultimately consume. So much for impulse purchases. However, the best item I came across that I bought was this:
YES! 1/6 scale weapons, so I don't have to make them! Go Japanese injection molded miniatures! I bought two, and these random weapon packs had a total of 18 different detailed scale weapons to get. I looked on the back, and saw the silhouette of an M60 machine gun and an MP5SD6. "AWESOME!" I thought. "M60! I want that!" Well, $8 later, I got two of the most cookie cutter guns you could've gotten: an AK-47 and an XM177. Wow. Hardly as exciting as the Steyr AUG, the MP5 series or the weird mystery gun I couldn't identify that I could have gotten. Oh well. Still nice though. They fit perfectly with Hotaru's poorly made hands, and had some nice surprises.
(The new arsenal of toys! Left to right: Gewehr 43, MP44/StG44, AK-74, FAMAS, XM177, AK-47)
The XM177 was ok. It sported some recesses on the foregrip that I assume can be fitted with some non-existent accessories. The magazine came out, which was nice. The best surprise was the extendable stock. However, the excessive fake wear effects made it look really nice, although a new looking one would have been just as fine.
This was perhaps the best of the two, perhaps best of them all. The AK-47 with fixed stock and taped banana clips had the best wear effects done on it. Down to the worn wood and scraped magazines, it was superb. Naturally, the magazines are removable.
"Look at me! I'm like an African child soldier!"

I actually would have been very pissed if I ended up with two M16 rifle variants. So unexciting. Anyways, the other piece of loot worth showcasing:
This peculiar figure got my attention (along with the $25 price tag, which helped me not be poor after the convention) because of the interchangeable parts. It's just like Hotaru, but mass produced! Unfortunately, I'll never get to review and play with it, because this one's going to remain in the box. I probably should have bought a second one to fiddle with, despite my lack of love towards Haruhi.

Now, onto the non-weapon aspects I haven't had time to showcase.

From the obviously bootleg backdrop, I have taken a photo of Hotaru's new outfit and non-violent accessory (perhaps non-violent is incorrect, as I've given the umbrella a sharp pointy spike). She now has a spiffy sun hat and a matching dress.
It's rather heavy to hold, and might require some joint stiffening to properly hold.

The understructure was made of electrical wire and provides a great party piece:It closes too! Not too impressive, since paper martini umbrellas are smaller, and kick this one's ass by a lot. But, hey, buying a lot of 1/10 scale umbrellas wholesale isn't too great, and no one makes 1/6 scale ones. That takes care of this post's worth of updates. More to come when they do.