Archive for the Art Category

Experiments in Cosplay – Part 1

Posted in Art, Coping Mechanisms, Cosplay, Craft and DIY, Depression, Mental Health, Personal Thoughts, Reasoning, Self Doubt on March 3, 2017 by Neal

The last two days I’ve been in a depressive slump. No reason that I can think of just felt like ignoring the world and staying in the dark. While my wish to be a vampire is whimsical it was a good thing I’d taken a few days off work to use up some over time I had earned. Now for me, I rarely have these negative slumps to such a high level. Usually if I have a slump I’ll just mope while around everyone at home. I function but it’s almost on autopilot. 

So what does my slump have to do with cosplay? My mind tends to wander around into all sorts of things and comes up with some very odd connections to an idea. For example – I was curious about what I would need to finish off my vacuform machine (will document that later when I can find it in the shed), this led me to look at ideas for furnaces to smelt your own metal, which in turn took me to making castings for props, then to plastics to use and finally recycling hdpe plastics. 

Yes confusing isn’t it? When I find the time I’m going to see about recycling milk containers and lids to us with my vacuform machine so I can do test forms without spending lots of money of plastic sheets. If I can get it to work properly it would give me plenty of  material to use and also help reduce our Eco-footprint. 

Stay tuned. 


He’s No Good To Me Dead – Making a Mandalorian Part 1

Posted in 501st, Art, Cosplay, Mandalorian Mercs, Personal Thoughts, Star Wars on February 24, 2017 by Neal

I’ve been throwing this mental football around in my head for ages and finally started to put thought into action. 

Being a Star Wars fan I’ve been keen on joining the 501st for several years now but cost has been a major limiter. Recently I managed to pick up several large sheets of 3mm PVC foam which is ideal for costuming. This gave me an idea and I went back to have a look at the Mandalorian Mercs website. I’ve got a half built helmet that I had started ages go when I attempted to make normal armour. Unfortunately the armour for crushed when I had things fall on it so I put things on the back burner.

With the PVC sheets I decided to take a big leap and started tracing out the patterns for a legacy era Mandalorian costume. I’ll have to make a different style of helmet to fit the style but that’s the fun part for me. I find building things can be very relaxing for me. 

Should prove an interesting learning curve as I’ve never used this material before. 

Trying New Skills – Part 2

Posted in Art, Craft and DIY, Personal Thoughts, Pokemon on February 15, 2017 by Neal

I’ve taken a few days off work this week in an attempt to recharge after a chaotic past couple of months. I made the mistake of saying out loud this morning that I should do something instead of just doing nothing. My youngest chimed in with “I know you can make my Pokémon eggs for me. I’ll find them.” So after being checked up on every 15 minutes or so all day I finally completed 2 Pokémon eggs for him. One random egg and one Togepi egg. 

They aren’t exactly mind blowing in their complexity. I had found some large egg shaped foam at the local cheap store and painted them in a base coat of white acrylic paint. I then proceeded to paint the shapes on and experimented with different shade mixes. The Togepi egg I washed in a very watered down yellow and wiped off to give it a slightly different tint. They were both sealed with a matt varnish spray to help protect the paint job. This is a simple way to make toys and ideal if kids want a craft they can have fun with.

Several months ago I also experimented with normal foam balls and made a Voltorb and an Electrode. 

One thing I did on all of these was to insert a screw into the bottom of the foam to act as a weight. This helps them stand up or at least align themselves better if they fall or roll over. 

Trying New Skills – Part 1

Posted in Art, Craft and DIY, Personal Thoughts, Poseable Dolls on February 15, 2017 by Neal

I’ve seen a lot of videos and images on Facebook of poseable dolls and wondered what would it take to make such amazing works of art. I was sorting out my new work area in the shed and found a few stuffed Dino toys my wife had for other project ideas. Then I found some wire and stuffing in some other boxes I unpacked. 

Having found these things, my brain started churning over while I did some more unpacking. Once I was finished for the day I decided to give making a poseable doll a try. I didn’t get a lot of pics but I did come up with some learning points along the way.

First I made a basic shape out of the wire I had. While making the shape I realised the wire I had wasn’t as malleable as it should be so using softer armature wire would make more sense. This would allow the doll to bend more easily. Once I had the shape I then started unpicking the dino to remove the arms, legs and head. 

Using the stuffing I wrapped it around the skeleton frame and then slid the pieces over top. To bulk the limbs out I added more stuffing. I found that the skeleton didn’t sit right due to a couple of factors. The first being anchor points for the hands, feet, tail and head. Because I had just shoved the wire into the body parts they didn’t have a solid foundation to rest on. The second being the uneven position in the limbs as I hadn’t wrapped enough stuffing around the skeleton to make the bulk of the form.

Then came the process of stitching everything back together. I’m a little rusty and was in a bit of a hurry so my hand stitching wasn’t very neat. In the end Frankendino was born. He can stand on his own two feet. Not bad for a 4 hour practise piece. Has me considering some other ideas to work on in the future. 
To see some amazing works of art check out some of these incredible artists on YouTube

Wood Splitter Lee
Creatures of Nat