Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Enchantress Update II

The weathering of the armor!
Hey everyone!

It's been a while since I updated about the Enchantress so I thought it was about time I shared pictures!

Blizzcon has come and gone - and boy was it a fantastic convention! I was able to finish my costume in time but I was so disappointed that my straps/fixings didn't hold up as well as I had planned. I therefore was unable to wear the costume. I'm hoping to make the fixings more secure soon so I can do a proper photoshoot and get some good pictures!

In the meantime, I've got some pictures to share with you guys of me finishing up the pieces. Previously we talked about making patterns and using the thermoplastics to form the armor. Now I'll go over a bit of the priming and painting! And a bit of sewing, too.


After I finished constructing all of the armor, I went in and applied as many buckles and fixings as I could before I started painting. I used a strip of Worbla or Wonderflex, in combination with a D-Ring, to create places to wrap velcro/leather strips around my body. This would have been perfect - except the velcro I bought was terrible. Lesson learned!

Examples of D-Ring fixings.

Once all of the fixings were secure, it was time to start priming! Because both Wonderflex and Worbla have a bit of texture to them, I took the time to apply layers and layers of gesso to really smooth them out and get a good layer of primer. Not only did this smooth out the texture, but it made the armor itself more secure and stable. Some people recommend using wood glue (which may be faster), but I really liked using gesso. 


Stages of Gesso: Application, drying, and totally dry!
After priming (and sometimes sanding) the armor, it was ready for paint! I tried out a few different silver bases until I found one I liked. I loved the color of this nice, nickle colored one but it was super expensive. So I ended up going with a cheaper one - it was a silver fabric spray paint. I set up a little painting station on my balcony and got to work! I did about 1-2 layers of spray (letting them dry completely in between) and then brought them in for weathering. I was sure to paint on the inside, too, just in case someone saw underneath or in between armor pieces. 

Spray painting corner!


With a good color base, I was able to build on it and do some weathering. Depending on how dark you want your armor to be, it may be smarter to spray paint your pieces black, and then highlight them. But I wanted most of the silver to show through, so I did that for my base.

My weathering station.
From here, I looked for lines or creases where I could do some weathering. I mostly looked for where pieces of the thermoplastic met each other, making a crease or indent, and highlighting that. I did so with black paint, washed out with some water - although I'd also recommend using two brushes: one to apply some black paint, and a dry brush to spread it out. I was often using my fingers, too, to really give it that "brushed" feel of metal. There are lots of painting tutorials online, so I would check some of those out if you're new to painting! I also did a bit of highlighting with white to really help bring out the shine in pictures.

Before and After with weathering - it makes a huge difference.
The painting process actually took quite a bit longer than I thought. I pay a lot of attention to detail, so I spent probably 30-40 hours over the course of a week finishing this up. The final result turned out great!

Cosplay took over the dining room table :X

Complete armor set!
The final step of the Enchantress for me was sewing. I saved this for last because I knew I could do it quick, and it would turn out okay. She didn't have much to sew, and the pattern seemed fairly straight forward. Here are some progress pics of me assembling the dress, and the skirt pieces.

I'm always happy to find patterns!


I hope to be able to share one more final installment once I have pictures of everything put together! So stay tuned for updates on that. I hope to share some pictures and convention coverage from ALA this January as well - I'm not sure if I'll be dressing up yet, but we'll see! Thanks again for reading, everyone.

Alaurei

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