|Click on image above to go to PDF file|
A long long time ago, Jenn & I make a lego spice rack. You can read about the making of the block on her blog. It was her idea and I only helped a little …
|two GIANT legos stacked!|
-DropBOB(tm) Designs Out
|Star Lord Helmet, Cosplay by DropBOB Designs|
My Star Lord Helmet is finally complete. Read on for the making of this helmet by DropBOB designs.
I wanted to make my own version of the Start Lord helmet from Guardians of the Galaxy, but I didn’t just want to make a replica. I wanted to make is a little more utilitarian/steampunkish. I didn’t want to go full out steampunk though. Here’s how it all started (foam sheets from Michaels):
I ended up modifying the file so that all the pieces would fit onto exactly 4 sheets of 8.5″x11″. I had bought the 4 sheets of foam before I had this pattern, so the challenge was on! Like a tetris champ I managed to fit the original 8 sheets all onto 4 sheets.
In the process of doing this, I learned about this great program: Pepakura. A great program to make any mask into simple flat patterns. From the popular iron man masks to the less popular bunny heads. You can even use it to make custom designs from imported 3d CAD files. (Soon coming to a DropBOB Designs near you!)
After cutting out all the pieces, the fun begins! Glueing to make a 3 dimensional mask. The best glue for foam is Contact cement. This year I took into consideration the wife … I bought low odor contact cement. The tradeoff is that instead of taking 5 min to dry, it takes 30 min to dry. So this lead to a series of “your not even working on your costume” … “I’m waiting for glue to dry” responses.
It didn’t take long for it to star looking like something. For really tight angles, after gluing with the contact cement, I also applied some silicone to the seams. This added smooth joints to the mask as well as added strength and flexibility.
Using some thin 1/8″ thick foam, I added the Star Lord mask mouth detail. Layering it adds realistic texture, compared to just painting or drawing it in.
I also added a wooden plate to each side of the helmet to mount the electronics. I needed something sturdier than foam to mount these. The film version of the mask has 3 round tubes for “decoration” here. But I like my designs to be a little more useful than this. So, this houses my batteries. I actually custom designed the electronics for this project using an online Circuit Simulator Applet.
I really love this tool as it allows you visualize the current flow and speed (Amps & Volts respectively). So I designed the circuit to have a high power and a low power mode for each the air intake fans and the led eyes. 2 switches to toggle back and forth low/high and 2 switches to turn on/off.
You can download my Circuit Sim file here. and play with it if you want to modify it.
Here are the list of electronic components (all from Digikey.ca … best electronic shop), not including tools to assemble:
The magnet wire was the best idea too! because it is enameled instead of using thick insulation, its super easy to score the foam and tuck the wire into the foam to route each line to each component (you can see this on the photo showing the inside of the mask).
while routing the electronics, its also important to visualize it as it will be laid out on the mask. This helps you simplify the number of wires to run inside the mask.
Note as well that I designed the circuit with power requirements in mind. I’m using 6x 950mAh rechargeable batteries. with the estimated power draw from the Circuit simulator, I estimate the turbo mode to be able to run for 3.3-hrs and the regular mode to run for 7-hrs. I played around with resistances to be able to run as long as possible while keeping the low mode as close as possible to the minimum drop in voltage that the motors and led’s will take and high power mode being 2x more than low power.
A few tests along the way while wiring up the SMD leds (surface mount technology) help since the wiring of these tiny devices is quite difficult:
|Helping hands required!|
After the eyes were completed, the air intake was started. I’m using the same 1.5″ ID, 1.9″ OD PVC tube I had laying around in my workshop.
And I caped it off with a funnel cut to fit the tube perfectly. Also note the generous use of silicone to seal the openings after gluing it down with some more contact cement. Since these air intakes will be pulling air from the outside and pushing into the inside of the mask, I actually simulated the flow on a fluid simulator:
|See the small opening for the air to flow out of.|
|you can see the turbulence caused by the blades, these blades are not efficient at all! oh well …|
|flow is out of the mouth at approx 0.05m/s max|
I actually designed the fans and got them sent to 3D print before I did the fluid flow simulation (defeating the purpose of analysing the flow). But it definitely made me feel better while I waited for the prints to come in.
I setup the boundary conditions all around the assembly to be open, 1atm, no flow. I then made the blades spin clockwise at 17,000 rpm (max rated motor speed). It was nice to see that the air actually got pulled and pushed by the blades in the simulation.
Next time, I will optimize the flow with a few parameters: #blades vs mass airflow, blade angle vs mass airflow, etc.
Eventually the blades came in, and I mounted them, tested the circuit and the flow and all was perfect! The flow on high power mode is great for when its hot and stuffy, and low power is good for low noise. With this setup I can wear the mask all day and not sweat like crazy. Which, like most cosplayers know too well, sucks.
Next step, add elmers glue to insulate the foam. This step is essential to apply prior to coating the whole thing with urethane. After the glue is dry, a nice and thick application of 2 part Urethane (also got this at Michaels). You can coat the whole thing with this. Careful to keep the battery contacts clear, otherwise they won’t conduct.
Also right before you apply the urethane, use some sand paper to make the copper shine. Then apply the urethane. This will keep the metal from oxidizing and keeps the copper looking new.
After using painters tape to protect the eyes and electronics, use a dark base color followed by some lighter colors on top. After it dries, a light sanding will give it a weathered look.
After removing the painters tape, feel free to add small details with a tiny brush. Black lines helps to add a more Borderlands effect.
|Star Lord, chilling with the wife|
Overall super happy how this turned out, considering its my first fully functional foam helmet Cosplay. Looking forward to wearing this at the Vancouver Fan Expo. Nebula was supposed to show up … but she’s canceled now … sad. That’s ok, my favorite actress, the engineer from firefly, is still supposed to be there.
This mask (& accessories) will be available next year (Oct 2017) for sale. Also, check out my other items for sale (add to your cart on my page) including my Cold Drip Coffee Maker, and last year’s Cosplay Pyramid head (build post 1, build post 2).
So I’ve almost completed the head part of this costume. And since I’ll be attending the Vancouver Halloween Parade, I have to make sure not to put any gore and blood on it as its a “family” oriented event. But don’t worry, The gore will be added after this.
Since last week, I’ve added mesh & cast iron pipes & foam.
I started trying to screw in the mesh with fasteners and washers … but it was actually way stronger and faster to just hot glue it.
The foam was glued in using my favorite glue: PL 8x I haven’t yet found something this glue can’t do! It’s low odor and does not melt foam (most glues do this because of the acetone).
With these major upgrades the head already looks badass!
Drinking always gets those creative juices flow!
Adding some of these Cast iron union joints (these are my favorite parts, they just feel really good in the hands).
And since the structure is build with 1/2″ plywood, attaching anything is simple.
Adding the foam strategically to fit your body is key!
Now that you have the whole thing built up. Adding some paint just makes the whole thing POP!
After a little bit of searching. I found that the best color and style for this is the Hammered Brown. It gives it a cast iron sheen and gives it a galvanized texture. Perfect for this project!
The mandatory painters tape!
And after a few complaints from the smell coming from the wife … and voila. Let it dry overnight and you have yourself a metallic looking helmet!
Now to make the rear wiglet looking things. Note, that I could have left these out as they are pure aesthetic … but no. I go all the way!
And since I only want it to look like the bolts actually bolt right into my spine … I’ll end up cutting these.
Ya, I love sparks! I know.
Using the PL glue again, you can add to this piece.
And that’s what it’s supposed to look like once installed. And, to give it some extra emphasis … I’ll actually keep these metallic silver (galvanized).
And don’t forget to paint the interior foam black … makes it look professional.
Up next: Don’t forget the most important part:
Up next, install the red gear, buy material for the bottom of the costume (the pants), and make the ginormous sword … standby!
|photocredit: Wikipedia page|
|photocredit: TOM PARKER (Character artist) This guy is good!|
This year, I’m going for an actual horror movie character. If you haven’t seen the “Silent Hill” movies or played the games, don’t sweat it. The game was fun (as I remember it), the movies were ok. I liked it because I played the games. The character’s name is “Pyramid head” … dunno why …
So, I started with the best part. The head:
Now the tricky part. How the donkey do I get the right shapes? I’ve looked online and found nothing decent! a few simple attempts but nothing that will give me a decent looking shape. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. Design it myself on CAD and keep it flexible enough to mold it into the exact shape I want using the images online as a guide. Simple right?
We’ll yes, maybe for me. But I think it would be nice for me to share my work so that you don’t have to waste your time doing the same thing if you wanted to attempt this. Here’s My Solidworks 3D CAD model uploaded to GrabCAD. Feel free to download it.
Here are the simple shapes you’ll need if you don’t want to mess around with the CAD stuff:
Now that you have the wood cut, It’s time to attach them together. To do that, I use a flat wood joining plate Using my self made bending Jig (2 angle iron’s drilled together) placed in my vice.
And then I use my angle tool again to eye-ball the bend. I get the angles from the CAD file I built. But If you don’t want to get into the file to get the angles, here they are: 5x 71.5deg, 6x 122.1deg, 4x 134.2deg, & 3x 163.6deg (going from front to back … I’m sure you can figure out which ones).
Oh, I almost forgot. I picked up 2x boxes of 100x #6 x 1/2″ long flat socket head particle board screws. I’m running low … you should probably get 300x at least.
Next step, Make it fit well, make it look good, add the mesh & foam. I’m happy with progress so far. And this thing is sturdy as a horse!
More pics after the break.
|Even evil villains need a coffee break|
|Walking down the sea-wall in downtown Vancouver|
|Mini-spidey! Must attack!|
|I had to get a picture with my childhood memories of Super Mario plants!|
|This witch was one of the best quality costumes I’ve ever seen!|
|… And time for a beer …|
|managed to fit in the elevator somehow|
All in all, I think this year was a complete success. I will get to use my costume for my Halloween BBQ at work, and I’ll also accompany our friends’ kid for trick or treating.
A little over 2 weekends of work and about $200 at home depot. Costume weights in at about 15-lbs and was not too difficult to wear.
I learned some new methods for working with foam and some basics for large wearable costumes.,.
I also learned that crowds are ruthless and will stop at nothing to get the picture they want! Check out the day’s events retold by my most beloved fan and supporter (all these pictures are from her), her blog at: Jenn’s Blog It’s a great recount of the day.
Thanks for reading!
After the first weekend of production I had 3 arms made and ready to go. The costume was looking like it would be done super quick! But as the 80:20 rule always comes around, These last 2 days have been showing a little let progress. (note: the 80:20 rule refers to 80% of the work is done in 20% of the time … it is a general term that essentially means that the last part of a project is always the longest)
|My little claw turrets|
The glue I used for this is the “Pl-Premium Construction Adhesive x8“. This is my new favorite glue … as long as brown is fine. This stuff is like cement!
|Stupid HTC “purple tint defect“|
So I’ve been working away over this weekend on my Halloween project. Here’s mu progress thus far:
|progress so far: see below for detailed build|
|First cutout is a little shaky … but it gets better after a few more|
|I’ll need to make 108 of these|
|now to thread in the little black tubes|
|Should have threaded all the tubes together … this method is terrible …|
|For the second arm, I threaded all the tubes into each piece as I inserted the pieces|
|stick inserted to stiffen up the assembly.|
|workspace is a little cluttered, but at least its all in one room.|
|Here’s the backplate that will hold the arms|
|bending the structural tubes makes the arms look so much cooler!|
|and now more shapes need to be cutout|
|total for material comes to about $130. I used a $50 home depot gift card that Najin and Lawrence gave us for our housewarming. Jenn also gave me a $100 for my b-day … its under budget and ahead of schedule so far.|
|second arm shape complete!|
|here’s how I bent the tubes. This little heat gun is really awesome. The vice also have come in very handy.|
|and now a third arm.|
|Not bad for 2 days of progress I think.|
I’ll continue that last arm tomorrow after work. Then I’ll have the next few days after work to complete the end-effectors (hands). And next weekend to paint and detail … Not as long as I thought this would take. Not as noisy or messy either, and Jenn loves that.