Mar 28, 2011

Argh emergency repairs (also, long post is long)

This past week Pere and I went back down to OR to pick up some of my stuff from my brother's apartment. We probably got maybe half, maybe. About a third of that was stuff that got moved into the room, the rest got stuck into storage (a hearty huzzah for the storage place having a deal going on, first two months are 50% off). Only brought one of my costume trunks up, but I put a fair amount of my ren fair stuff into it since I have no idea if we're going to be able to go to the Highland Games or the ren fair this year, but I wanted to have options just in case. There's enough room for my to stick Kora's purple kit in it, but first I need to kit up and take some pics for the CK clan just to show I'm still official quality I guess? (Sorry guys, I really don't completely get it, but I'll do it anyway. lol)

However, a problem had developed. After the NWC clan picnic back in August, I stuck my kit back into the trunk, and it pretty much hadn't moved since. When I pulled it out to place it in separate bags to make sure it got into the room rather than storage, I noticed that the shoulder bells had some funky patterns on them from the cape fabric. I figured, hey, no big deal, it's just a glue or residue from the fabric (it's one of those faux leathers). Oh no. As I discovered when I started trying to remove the "residue" the fabric had actually imprinted onto the paint. Aaand of course the only spray paints I brought back up this time around were my primer, satin black (to paint my rifle), and ivory (to paint the steampunk armor). *sigh* So I resorted to sanding them and running out to find yet another can of the metallic red I used on my helmet visor and hand plates. Thankfully Hobbytown had some, and it wasn't so expensive it made me cringe. So Kora's shoulder and diamond plate/s are now red. I admit I painted the diamond red only because I figured it would help balance out the red since I've tossed the girth belt for now. Short torso and big hips make girth belts a bit of a challenge. I also finally made the covers for the elastic on my shin armor; yay armor scrunchies. XD

Anyway, ultimately, when I switch back to the 2 piece helmet, all the armor is getting repainted to the airbrushed purple rather than that rattle can shade. The helmet will still be the same red/purple combo, and the hand plates will still be red, but all the other swirlies will go back to the correct swirly shade. Hoping to get some armored up pictures soon, but I've got to make a run to the storage unit first as I apparently forgot to take my gloves out of the armor box.

I've gotten some work done on the sniper rifle. Now that I have my dremel again it's a lot easier to move forward on some of this stuff since there is no way Pere's would have lasted (silly dremel with it's dying battery). Going to need some time in the garage to do some of the sanding though as I don't really want epoxy and bondo dust in the room. Need some of the epoxy Pere uses to fill in portions of the barrel. I think the body is mostly filled in given that a lot of the gun is going to be wrapped in fabric so there's not much of it that's ultimately going to be showing. However, because there is no way I will have it finished any time soon, I'm thinking I'm going to splurge a bit and snag one of those $10 Cad Bane blasters for kids. I'm small enough that I can use it well enough with some simple mods, and, luckily, I discovered today while digging through my hard greebly box that I have a barrel that may work as a barrel extension for it.

Aaand, I've even made some progress on the Early Crusader Beast Master helmet for Tiika. I know, it's kind of astounding that anything has been done to it. lol Let me tell you though, that sintra was a pain in the ass to get on there. I've still got to trim the sintra down (a LOT in the case of the back shroud), and after that it will probably sit there again for a time until I have some of that epoxy putty to get to work on smoothing things into the helmet, adding some of the small horns, and over all making it look like bone. Also still debating methods for making the larger horns. So what started out as this:

Has become this:

And on the "costumes that are not mine" front - Thanks to Sidd who sent me some gauntlets insanely cheap, I now have some of Imperial Outpost Armory's gauntlets to mod for my brother's mando kit. (For the record, I love IOA's stuff; it's there GM knees I use for Kora's purple kit and plan on using for the winter kit, as well.) I stripped the paint from two more Hasbro clone helmets for Pere (these two were actually not purchased originally for his purposes entirely. . .the RFs were traded for some other parts he needed). And if you're wondering how many clone helmets that makes now, I think that's about 6? Eh, somewhere around there. Still have a fair amount of the parts to finish sanding before stuff starts getting glued together and epoxied and all that fun stuff. I'm looking forward to that if only because it means there won't be plastic bags of helmet parts sitting around. lol

I think, shockingly enough, that's it for this week. If I manage to get some pictures later today (I almost said tomorrow before I remembered what time it was) I'll make another post to showcase that stuff. Here's hoping by the end of the week I'll also have a suitable pistol and gotten the rest of the clone helmet parts sanded at the very least.

Mar 19, 2011

Event Report: Star Wars Exhibit: Member Preview Day

I can honestly say I don't know the last time I was as happy with a purchase as I have been with my PacSci membership. Friday was the Preview Day for the Star Wars exhibit (which I plan on trooping in April and perhaps May). Though short, I did enjoy the exhibit (though perhaps not as much as the Harry Potter one which had AWESOME presentation), and it was entertaining to go through with Pere and listen to him point out which costumes they had labeled wrong. XD Yes, I am simple minded at times. A lot of times lately as it's what keeps me sane.  Since I had well over 100 pictures, only some of them will be actually in this post. I'll put a link to the photo album itself at the end of the post (and I apologize in advance for the glare on some of the pictures, the lighting was not good for taking pictures through glass).

We had the 1:15 time slot entrance (I had mistakenly been saying 1:30 previously so it's a good thing I double checked). We stayed in there for, oh, probably an hour? I admit, we pretty much ignored the real world analogies stuff they had up; I'm not a kid, I know most of it already. As this was the first time I've gotten to see any of that stuff up close (costumes/props/models) it was a pretty interesting experience for me. I'm always amused by how certain costumes look on screen vs in person (really, I was a little 0_0 at the fact that they used fleece for the stormtroopers and at how simply made some of the belts were, things like that).

Because I'm very much still a giddy little kid at heart, I have to include a brief blurb about the gift shop. First, really guys? Really? You're going to charge $20 for action figures that I can find at Walmart for 8? Yeeaaah. There were some reasonably priced things (posters, framed film cells, mugs, coasters, etc), but most of it was the usual way over-priced gift shop fare. As with the Harry Potter exhibit, I was disappointed that they had absolutely nothing special for the exhibit itself. Seriously guys, I can buy all this other stuff in stores or online; is it too much to ask for just something as simple as a key chain for the exhibit itself? Walked away with the set of wooden coasters you can find online. With shipping figured into buying them online, the price came out about the same so I didn't feel too bad. Several other things I badly wish I had an income so I could justify (like some of the film cells, another set of coasters to act as a display set, some of the posters, the Vader t-shirt and. ..yeah).

After we finished up there, we headed back to the butterfly house, which is really not relevant to any of my nerdery/costume stuff, but it's what came next in the flow of things. We didn't take long in there; I'm not ashamed to admit that Pere handles humidity far better than I, somebody born and raised in the south, does. It served as an excellent reminder of one of the reasons I left. lol Got in line for the Millennium Falcon Experience about 3:10 or so. And from there we waited. . .for about an hour. Yes, it's only a short little 5 minute video, but they can only fit four people in at a time as you're supposed to be seated in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. I'm wondering if, when I troop the event, if I've got a ticket purchased for the "ride" if they'll let me have a quick picture snapped while I'm sitting in the cockpit in armor. I'm also enough of a nerd that when it made the hyperdrive failure sound I, from my position in the pilot's seat, blurted out "They told me they fixed it!" It got a chuckle at least. :)

Now to stop my rambling for the time being and give you the pictures:

And the rest of the images can be found here: PacSci Star Wars Member Preview Day

Mar 14, 2011

Running a little behind today

Well, I think I am anyway. I feel like I should have this sort of thing posted before it gets close to midnight as that rather defeats the whole "post on Sundays!" thing. (Which I admit I'm not strictly following anyway; I just haven't had anything exciting enough during the week to post about.)

This week was more frustrations than anything with my stuff. The rangefinder earcap on the steampunk mando helmet has been giving me no end of problems. Got the cable glued in, only to find out the stupid thing is a tad bit too deep, so I've got to dremel part of it down to keep the earcap at least partially flush. Couldn't clamp it for gluing, the clamps kept making it slide out of position. So I put some epoxy putty ridges down to give it something to butt up against, only now I've got to sand part of the epoxy putty down as I forgot about some of the raised parts on the inside of the earcap that are now hitting the putty near the earcap. Oy.

Got some minor pattern work done for Pere. Just the pouches for his flight suit's pants and the Imp Officer hat. We were supposed to move on to getting the patterns done for his flight suit pants, IO pants, and my steampunk mando pants, but that hasn't happened yet (things keep coming up that require more immediate attention).

I may have some gauntlets I can afford for my brother's mando kit soon here. Fingers crossed about that. The rest of his armor will be easy to knock out a new set of, but I had no idea what to do for his gauntlets. Hoping these pan out.

It'll probably be another pretty slow week. I'm waiting to hear back from Lowes to see if I'm going to get a third interview this week or not (also, fingers crossed about that. . .my dad, who works for Lowes back home, says that usually means you're hired). It won't be a lot of money, and over half of any money I got would be going to bills, but all I need right now is enough to save up for a plane ticket for Dragon*Con. And maybe a spare bit to pick up the occasional costume bit or toy to fill out my collection. (I'm trying not to have a break down thinking about all the video games I need to at least rent in order to catch up. >_<)

Friday is the Star Wars Exhibition at PacSci. Pere and I have passes for the 1:30 entrance (member's only preview day). We'll be missing the Mercs and the 501st, but I wanted to have enough time to see the butterfly house before the museum closed so *shrug*. I'm kind of hopeful that, since I have to go retrieve at least a good portion of my stuff this month, I'll actually have my costume up here to do at least one of the trooping days for that in April.

Mar 6, 2011


Ah. Con weekend. As one of my previous entries said, I was unable to attend ECCC. Let me tell you, I'm really not sure there are words to express my level of frustration about that. However, because it meant the garage was finally free for a bit, I did manage to get some work done.

Did some minor sanding and fill work on my NERF conversion to a sniper rifle for my mando. Very minor sanding sadly as I don't have my dremel up here yet, so I have to use Pere's. Which has a battery that is barely holding a charge anymore. Hrmph. Hopefully I'll have mine within a month or so though, because there's a lot of sanding work on that gun (and the one being converted to my rocket launcher) that I definitely need a working, high powered dremel to go at. Anyway, sanding and some small filling here and there with the epoxy putty. Once I have the majority of my paints again, I can actually see where else needs to be filled still.

Cut another cardboard faceplate for my early crusader mando helmet. The old one was getting warped and squished and wasn't really long enough. So I'm going to measure and secure it to the helmet sometime soon I hope. I would really like to actually get to work on these things I've had to do since the fall that I should have already had done. Which is the same category my pilot helmet falls under. That one I may need to go back over the seam with some more plastic metal. I think I started messing with it before I should have. Oops. But really all it needs is that seam taken care of, then I can paint it and put the ear caps back on, and it'll be done.

And finally I managed to get the Jango 2 piece I'm using for the steampunk helmet put together. I know, astonishing right? I actually made some progress on that damn kit. The range finder is painted. . .though I started looking at it and in retrospect realized it wasn't the entire thing I needed to paint before installing it, just the bottom part of the stalk so it wouldn't look funny once the entire helmet had to be painted. (That's the problem with 2 pieces. You can't really install the rangefinder after putting the helmet together and painting it unless you don't want your earcaps to be flush as that usually requires some sort of bondo work.)

Hrm. Random aside, I seem to have found yet another issue with my laptop. The little music controls at the top of the keyboard don't seem to want to work anymore. Well, that makes it a little more annoying to listen to music and type but whatever.

Anyway, just need to get the earcaps on and do some more sanding and it should be good to paint. I quite look forward to that. I miss having stuff to work on. Hell, I miss being ABLE to work on stuff. Costuming has been something I've poured so much of myself into for the past several years that. . .yeah. . It's rather painful to feel like you've had it all taken away from you.