Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Subject Delta and Other Projects–March Was Busy


March was a good month, sort of.  We did have some good weather days where I was able to get a lot of work done on the Subject Delta helmet, drill, and tanks.  Even had time to get a good start on Melinda’s Eleanor Lamb/Big Sister costume.


28 - Goal Close

I was able to take it outside and get a good coat of resin on it.  I did run into one issue, where apparently my mix wasn’t right and there was one section that would not dry.  Took a while, but I finally got it corrected.

Subject Delta Helmet - 67Subject Delta Helmet - 68
Nice and shiny…and smelly.

After I got the resin on there, and a light sanding, I was able to get a quick layer of primer on it.  Seeing it all one color really helps finding little surface imperfections that I can just fixate on and consider the whole process a failure because it is there.  Then Melinda steps in and reminds me, I’m not done yet.
So more surface build up, sanding, resin, and priming.

Subject Delta Helmet - 71                       Subject Delta Helmet - 72

Subject Delta Helmet - 73         Subject Delta Helmet - 74

All of the above were after about an hour of sanding.

Subject Delta Helmet - 75                         Subject Delta Helmet - 76

Subject Delta Helmet - 77



   I considered this the last layer of any kind of body filler, so it was time to apply all the rivets.  These are just wooden plugs I found in the Home Depot router section.  They are slightly rounded, and worked really well.



Now more resin and primer.  Fortunately there was also another pretty day.


Subject Delta Helmet - 81                 Subject Delta Helmet - 82


Subject Delta Helmet - 83                 Subject Delta Helmet - 84

Subject Delta Helmet - 85                 Subject Delta Helmet - 86

Still managed to find a few more surface areas that I just couldn’t let go of.  More filler and then primer.  The new primer is also closer to the copper color and I am really happy with the way this is working.

Subject Delta Helmet - 87                Subject Delta Helmet - 88

Subject Delta Helmet - 89                Subject Delta Helmet - 90

Subject Delta Helmet - 91

It is really looking like the Subject Delta helmet now, and the surface is still keeping a hammered metal look.  Once I get the lights in place, glass in the face mask, and the wiring done, the helmet will be complete for final painting.




I also got all the LEDs (yellow and red) all wired and ready, but I am still trying to figure out the best way to get them in the helmet to provide the best light and glow effect.  The red LEDs are great, but I am a little disappointed with the yellow ones.  I may have to scrap them and try different ones.


you’re welcome

2 -Goal

There are a set of 4 tanks that are worn by Delta. I had built them first actually, and I even used PVC pipes to make them.  I may regret that come time to wear this monster for any length of time.  You may spot a winded Delta at a convention near you.
I had also planned to put an iPod on the costume somewhere and speakers in the larger tank so I could play a custom mixed version of the soundtrack and sound effects from the game.  I had two very old and heavy battery powered computer speakers I was going to use.

7 - Speakers

Well, I found a better and lighter solution.  A single round speaker.
Tank Speaker

The pink ring is just a foam ring to help it fit in the large tank and not shift and rattle when I move.  Drop this into the tank and hook the iPod to it and the sound is really effective.
With the warm weather, I was able to get the tanks primed and painted.  The paint job is rather fragile since I used just primer colors to keep that flat, muted, rough look.  I think they’ll survive a few conventions if I’m careful.
Tank - 1                   Tank - 2

Tank - 3

I’m really happy with the paint job on them.  The smaller tank will hold the batteries for the lights and fans in the helmet, and the larger tank will have the speaker and battery for the drill.

The Drill


There has been a lot of work done on the drill, and a lot of work re-done on the drill.  When I initially assembled the monster, I lowered the torque setting on the drill so it wouldn’t spin too violently and destroy everything.  Well, I never took into consideration that paper, tape, glue, Mache, resin, filler, resin, paint, etc. adds weight and weight needs more torque to spin.  I’ve had to open the drill back up twice now to increase the torque.  I was not happy about that.  Especially the second time since it had a coat of resin, primer, and filler on it, but better to find it now and fix it than to have a non-working drill at a convention.  I’ve got the torque turned up nearly full now.  So, when I use it now, I have to keep myself from getting to trigger happy and just gently pull the trigger.  Getting excited and pulling it all at once could lead to bad things.

Drill Arm - 21                Drill Arm - 22

Drill Arm - 23Drill Arm - 24

Happily coated in Mache now.

I then ran into another problem.  It was indeed getting heavy and the initial arm brace that I had built wasn’t cutting it anymore.  Now, how do I attach the supports I need without having to take the whole thing back apart?  Rivets.  Thank God for rivets.

Drill Arm - 25Drill Arm - 28

I had the metal left over from college printmaking.  Cut it down a little and then rivet into place.  Bend parts around the supports and done.

Drill Arm - 29Drill Arm - 40

I love the copper coloring on the list picture.  I was going to leave it unpainted, but it got hit with some overspray.

After the Mache dried, resin, and primer, the drill needed some filler badly.  Lots of uneven ridges.  It was also at this point when I had to adjust the torque…again.

Drill Arm - 43               Drill Arm - 44Drill Arm - 45               Drill Arm - 46Drill Arm - 47

This is the patch where I had to cut it open to adjust the drill.  Once all the filler dries, time for sanding and priming again.




Eleanor Lamb

But what about Melinda?  What is she going to be doing while I stalk around looking like a deep sea diver from hell?  She’s going to be right there with me. 

There is a character in Bioshock 2 named Eleanor Lamb.  Subject Delta is trying to find her throughout the game, and when she does make her appearance, she is dressed very similarly to another character, the Big Sisters.  Melinda is going to be Eleanor in her Big Sister gear and really get two costumes in one.

This is the Big Sister character.  If you ever wondered how they could make something more frightening than the Big Daddies in Bioshock 1, well, they did.




BigsisEleanor                         Eleanor_Lamb_Concept6227d1274120955-big-sister-eleanor-lamb-sneak-peek-1lambbio2 

These are all Eleanor in her Big Sister armor.  There are some differences that make this easier than the standard Big Sister, but Melinda will still end up with two for one on this deal.



First thing to try is that round helmet.  Much more diving bell than the Delta helmet.  I first tried building a foam frame to cover with Mache.  That failed miserably.

Big Sister Helmet - Fail 2

Off to Target to do what most normal people end up doing from the start.  Get a beach ball and Mache that.  Why didn’t I do that to begin with?  It’s me.  I always take the hard road.

Big Sister Helmet - 1Big Sister Helmet - 2


Next was adding the textured areas.  I used a rope to mark off the areas and then filler to raise them.  Melinda then coated the whole thing in resin.

Big Sister Helmet - 3Big Sister Helmet - 4Big Sister Helmet - 5

The circle was left uncovered just to make cutting out the port hole easier.
I’ve got to order some more LEDs for this and rig up a ring to hold the LEDs and light the mask.



Eleanor, the Little Sisters, and the Big Sisters all carry this terrifying syringe.  The Big Sisters have it mounted to their arm, where the Little Sisters carry it with them.

It actually is not that hard to build, with the exception of the glowing red bottle on the bottom. I’m working on that.

syringe - 1syringe - 2

syringe - 3syringe - 4

Old plastic shelf leg (same thing that is the main grip in the drill) two dowel rods, some wood and glue and poof…one syringe.

syringe - 6

These will be the valves on the outside of the syringe.  I love rivets now.  I don’t know what I did before I found them or why it took me so long to find them.






March has been a good month for getting stuff like this done. Thanks to the weather.  Hopefully I can keep up the pace and finish ahead of schedule.  I’m still working on my Little Sister, a new Destro mask, and updates to Melinda’s Baroness costume too.  There will be entries on them, when I have something to show.