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Painted mask

The mask is moving along and I've finished the paint job. Just need to add the elastic to it.


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Mask pics

Some pics of the mask, just needs a paint job. I like the rough and ready look it has, although this is mainly due to the fact that I did the sculpt really quickly.

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Prep for BM & mask ideas

 Well, 

It turns out I've been significantly neglecting this journal. Mainly due to twitter I think. I stream my thoughts as they occur, rather than collate them here. Not sure if that's a bad thing or not, but I don't want to just repost a bunch twitter status messages.
I'll have to make a decision at some point regarding what I want to get from here.

For now however I thought I'd write a few bits about my impending überholiday to the States. As I've probably excitedly spouted at some of you IRL the Secret 7 are off to spend a week of crazy in the deserts of Nevada at Burning Man. A few of us have gone before, but fully half the group are first timers so are naturally a little giddy about the whole thing.

We've all been spending the last few weeks preparing, passport renewals, ESTAs, insurance, goggles, and whole other list of stuff. It's quite a major undertaking. Aggy has been the absolute core of this operation, and without him none of this would have happened. He's done so much PM stuff it's unbelievable. Booking RV's, flights, hotels and all the sundry items you would expect for a big group to the middle of nowhere.

We've each got our own tasks, as well as little projects of our own. I'm a little at a loss about the whole gifting thing, some people are making loads of stuff to take with them; Stickers, clip on tails, etc. I'm not really sure what to do, I'll certainly be taking a sack-o-limes I can give to bars and such, but I'm feeling a little afloat here atm.

I've been working on a custom mask for the desert (much inspired by miss monsters masks), under which I shall be wearing a smaller dust mask. I was originally going to do it in a green man style, but then realised I have no artistic talent, so instead opted for an Egyptian style because a) Egyptian stuff is awesome and b) The main style is lots of straight lines. 
I've done the master and made the mould last night, need to make the mother tonight and will try some test pulls on Thursday or Friday I imagine. I'm pretty pleased with it so far, it's turned out surprisingly well. I'm not entirely sure how to paint it up yet, I was thinking the traditional blue and gold, but a more Necron style may look cool as well. I may also incorporate some of the EL wire I have laying around.
 
There's a large open space at the front of the mask (intentionally) that I wanted to put something in like a scarab holding a jewel or something, but in the end I just opted for the burning man symbol. It looks nice enough, but I dunno if it's a bit cliché.
Since the master is made of plasticine I should be able to carefully remove it from the mould and alter the symbol to something else. I may still do a scarab version, but does anyone have any ideas for this? I'll try and remember to get some pics up in the next couple of days.
 
 

Cosplay

 I've been thinking recently about expanding my costume horizons a little into doing some cosplay monsters.
Claymore is probably going to be my starting point, try and tackle a few of the awoken perhaps. Admittedly this will probably mean moving into new materials, but there's probably some furred ones (other than the obvious Rigaldo) that I can play with if I fancy.
Maybe even do some old school Zoanoids from Guyver seeing as that was one of the first shows I saw as a kid.

I'm aware that there are various different levels under which costumes are judged, novice, journeyman, master etc. but I have no idea what the criteria is for which sort of level judges/organisers would put me in and I'm having trouble finding details.
I know it probably varies from comp to comp  but if anyone has any info about how it all works then please feel free to leave some pointers, they'll all be greatly appreciated.
 Had a very relaxed, albeit sneezy, weekend of tidying, hoovering and game playing.
Nic's moving in was delayed by his friend letting him down with the van, but managed to bring a little over with another friend in his car and spent the night.
Sunday mostly involved game playing for Simon, Shaman (who had popped down for the weekend) and I, and extended use of the industrial carper cleaner by Nic to try and remove some of the extremely unsavoury stains left by our previous tenant, although we did have a lovely breakfast at the dumb waiter earlier on. I think that may well become a regular habit.

Sep. 22nd, 2010

I've decided that my typical Balaclava base moving jaws aren't really up to scratch, they all too easily become skewed to one side or sag at the front from true weight. So I've decided to try and experiment with hinge based ones before my next batch of commissions in November.

Unfortunately these little experiments aren't going too well. My first attempt was to try and create a plastic mount for the head with a bar going over the top of the wearer's head and the jaw hinging just below the ear. It turned out that I just couldn't get the shape of the pieces right and the plastic became very brittle after heating. I'll need to do a bit more research if I'm goint to take this idea any further.

The second experiment met with a greater degree of success. It involved a hinge modification to my existing Balaclava design. This seemed to yield far better results and I will be making a more refined version later in the week to assess its potential. My only concern is that the balaclava base is going to make it tricky to arrange the elastic and hinges by getting in the way.

I'll post more as things develop during the week, although I doubt I'll be able to do much before Friday the way things we going.
Also, EF post with pics and vids as and when I get the chance.

Aug. 25th, 2010

First session at the gym with Paul (my new PT) went well, apparently my flexibility is above average and I have good posture which is nice to know :) 
I'm booked in to have a session with him once a week, although obviously upcoming holidays will make that impossible, so I must maintain my regimen over the EF period, and have scheduled a training session with him once we get back. Hopefully this will speed up my body plans, as although I've shown some fair improvements over the last 2 months, it's not moving particularly quickly. 
What I'm really wanting to get out of this is a better understanding of exercise technique and diet. I know I could look all this up on-line, but that could take quite a while and not necessarily give me the best advice, and it's good to have someone knowledgeable you can have a face-to-face conversation with.

I spent last night sewing tails and sculpting teeth (I can never get those bloody things right) with a little finish up work tonight left to do. I'm glad these will be out of the way as they're quite fiddly, although the new core design has worked surprisingly well and gives a nice movement as well as being super posable.  I did some stress tests on the wire internals and they took quite a lot of bending before fatigue set in so they should have a pretty long life.

This evening I also need to evaluate the bags we have at home and decide whether or not I need to buy a new one for this trip, as although my personal clothing will be pretty limited, suit stuff is going to take up a lot of space. The hyena for instance takes up a whole case by himself due to all his ridiculous body padding.
At least this year we're not flying. There's no way I'd have managed last year without Kurt's help in lugging stuff around. Although we do have to get up to Crimson's place in London on Sunday, we should hopefully be able to avoid the underground and it's ridiculous stairs by using the buses instead. I must remind myself to get travel details to his place.

Dad's being a godsend and coming over to pick up the rifle parts for Quartermane's gun, turning the vial holders out a little bigger, and returning them on Friday which saves me having to travel over on the Saturday. This means I then get a *whole* extra day to finish stuff up. As I typically only have a few hours in the evenings this is a huge boon.

Work is good, currently having a crash course in WPF control design, such a steep learning curve. I've been taking apart an existing open source control and learning how everything fits together, took a while but once it clicks everything makes sense.
 Nice weekend was had.

Nic popped down on Friday night so we spent our time making merry and playing games which was nice and relaxing.
I look forward to him being around a lot more :)

Work on the hyena's new neck has finally drawn to a close with a final test wearing later this week, to iron out any other problems. Need to fabricate a new set of hand paws, and renovate the feet somewhat, redo the paint and then he's done enough for EF.
I will probably add some more airbrushing on at some point to bring out some of the features and make the spots more subtle and irregular.

Pics to follow.
 An update? Surely not!

Went out on Wednesday to evening to see a show called Ghosts Stories up in London and I have to say it was fantastic. Really nerve jangling at points. They used some very clever tricks that ratcheted up the creep factor.
Thanks muchly to Zuki for recommending!

EF fast approaches, and still quite a bit to do. Both suits that I plan on taking are in the shop atm undergoing repairs and upgrades which are actually going quite well and should be on track for completion before we leave.

I'm doing a major overhaul of the hyena's neck that should allow me to greatly improve the range of motion. If it works that is.
The hyena is very obviously Joker themed, and the new  green mane is looking good (although not quite as crazy looking as the previous one) and I should hopefully be installing that this weekend.
The problem is I've gotten too good at making them :P The first one was made in a rush with only a very rough idea of how it was going to work. I've had quite a bit more experience with making them now, and it's looking a bit too polished for its own good. I'm sure I'll sort something out.
The changes to the neck mean that I'm essentially attaching the head to the body via pieces of elastic and using the same green hair I've used on the mane to provide a fringe to cover the gap that will appear when I move the head around. I'm undecided at this point as to whether the fringe will look right, but after a rough laying out I think it will look OK, we shall have to see. If it looks rubbish I'll either try something else or just sew it solid and work on it another time.
The face paint will be getting a polish and a touch up to fill in a few gaps as well.

Quatermane will be getting a nose job, a slight refinement on his rifle, and some new, more impressive looking, scars. I had planned to do a significant overhaul on the rifle, however I doubt this will happen now due to time constraints. It's OK as-is, but there's always room for improvements.

Aug. 6th, 2010

 This week has been fairly productive both at home and at work.

Work this week has been database design for the job reporting section of the software, and assorted research. Some irritating bug fixing kept interrupting me, but I have that under control now.

At home I have been working on the Zebra for Mr Z, hand sewing all the stripe inserts has been soooo time consuming, and I'm well behind schedule, but will hopefully have everything finished by the end of this weekend.
I finished the other arm last night so only have one paws stripes to sew and then the paws themselves. Then to finish the ears, attach the mane properly, and sew the back of the head and neck.
Also need to fur the tail, however the core of the tail is complete and it just needs a skin so this shouldn't be too big a task.

I really need to get this done and dusted as I have my own suit stuff to be working on for EF which in itself is going to be pretty time consuming (major modifications to the hyena, possibly including a new head if I have time)  and at least 1 weekend in the machine shop with dad.

It's going to be a heavy and tiring weekend work wise, especially as we will be suiting at Pride for a couple hours, but I shall push on through. 'Needs must' as they say.

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