Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Break Update


So, I typically take the two weeks around Christmas and New Years off from work.  This year I had the crazy idea to use that time in some way that I wanted in order to be somewhat productive.  I have basically spent most of the time working on the Subject Sigma costume in one form or another.  It has been great.

I realize that not everyone may be that familiar with what I am trying to accomplish with this costume.  I actually do own the action figures, which serve as a fantastic reference, so here are a couple of pics of what I am aiming for.
27 - Goal  28 - Goal Close
I am still not 100% sure if I want to do the drill arm or not. There are plenty of other weapons in the Bioshock universe that I can play with.  I am trying to build a marionette of the Little Sister to carry on my back, and I have to say, it is getting creepier and creepier building her.

I started building the helmet some time ago, but have forgotten to upload any progress.  You’re going to get it all at once.

Subject Delta Helmet - 1Subject Delta Helmet - 2

The whole mask is built using insulation foam.  The pink is 1/2” foam and the blue is 1/4” foam.  This has the advantage of being easily carved, sanded, and bent into shapes without adding any weight.  The tape and the toothpicks are to help hold while the glue sets.

Once I had the above skeleton made, I used expanding spray foam to cover and fill in the overall shape.  I would then carve back into the foam to fine tune the shape.  Kind of like sculpting.

Subject Delta Helmet - 7Subject Delta Helmet - 8

Subject Delta Helmet - 10Subject Delta Helmet - 12

Due to the cold, I did set up a heat lamp to help dry this out.  This is what the basic shape became.  Next was the opening for the face mask.

Subject Delta Helmet - 13Subject Delta Helmet - 14

The foam does have some issues.  It is not very sturdy, doesn’t have  a smooth surface and it is not really paintable.  All this could be solved with just a few layers of fiberglass resin, but the resin will eat the foam.  Some have used a product called UreShell to coat and protect the foam.  At $85 a gallon, it is out of my budget at the moment.  I have found others that use the foam and then coat it with a few layers of Paper-Mache and then resin and paint the Mache.  So, lets give that a try, shall we?

 Subject Delta Helmet - 16Subject Delta Helmet - 18

Subject Delta Helmet - 19Subject Delta Helmet - 20

Subject Delta Helmet - 21Subject Delta Helmet - 22

Because it is barely 30 degrees and my basement is not exactly well insulated (to be fixed this summer), this part had to come upstairs to the kitchen to be done.  Also, Melinda was a HUGE help in making and applying the Mache.  It pays to have a school teacher for a wife.

I do have the camera roughed out.  It will be attached and then Mached later.

Once I get at least two layers on the helmet, I will then start adding the lights and other electronic details.

The expanding foam is a great medium.  I had earlier posted about building the skeleton of my Little Sister, but I had no idea how to cover the skeleton.  Foam to the rescue.  Spray on, let dry, carve and sand.  Adds shape and definition with little to no weight.

23 - Sister Muscle 124 - Sister Muscle 225 - Sister BodyAnd yes, I do realize it looks like guts.  This has only added to the creepy factor.

One other feature I needed to add to my Little Sister was a set of hands.  I wanted to make them articulated somehow.  The solution I came up with is by no means original, and I must give credit once again to Harrison Krix over at Volpin Props.

26 - Sister Hands

Pulling on the wires does make the fingers close.  Some of the wires did break during the process, but enough are still articulated that I am happy and don’t want to rebuild them again.

36 - Sister Built37 - Sister Arm38 - Sister Hand ClosedThe hands are attached to a dowel rod that is then inserted into the PVC with the wires routed out the elbow.  All in all creepy as heck.  Oh, and no, I have not forgotten her head or feet.