asgardener FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

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from Winston-Salem, NC

  • Activity

    • Raven Branwen costume, mk I!

      3 years ago

      asgardener

      What's up, RT site? I received some pretty badass shots of my Raven costume from a good friend of mine, so I figured I'd put them up here. c: Unfortunately the captioning option from the old RT site is gone, so I figured I'd just double-post both pictures here. Taken at Ichibancon 2016!


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      Happy almost-weekend, you filthy animals. Here's to hoping the lovely ominous crimson queen will show up in episode 9 this weekend.

    • 3 years ago

      asgardener
    • Cosplay update, Raven edition (aka musings a la Worbla)

      3 years ago

      asgardener

      OH GOD, THIS IS SO LONG. I promise there are pictures!


      Hey everyone! It's been a super long time since I've posted one of these, so I figured I'd take the free time I've accumulated over holiday break to actually document... well, rather, actually START a cosplay project. The past few months have been really busy and life in general has gotten pretty weird, so to blow off some steam, I spent some time bringing Raven to life this month. I wanted to have her finished by Ichibancon (spoiler alert: it was this past weekend), so a lot of crunching happened, but regardless, here we go!


      The two pieces I'm getting the most questions about (and am incidentally the most proud of) are Raven's gauntlets and mask. Back in March, I tried Worbla (really popular thermoplastic used by cosplayers) for the first time with my Velvet build and was sort... of... happy with it? But the qualifier there is really to convey the flaws of Worbla's Finest in building this stuff. It's not super clear in the pictures, but I struggled really hard with the texture of the shoulder and wrist pieces because Worbla's Finest is infamously difficult to smooth out. Think wood pulp meets the stubbornness of plastic, because that's basically what happened. I mean, at least it smells like cookies when you heat it up. Well, sort of.


      Anyway, I read up on this new sister product to Worbla's Finest, which was this new, sleek, black form of the thermoplastic, and after getting a really good handle on how to use it, I got some. And it is AMAZING. What would normally take a cosplayer 8-10 layers of gesso to smooth out took me a few coats of spray Mod Podge (which is also amazing).


      Seriously, fuck Worbla's Finest. I'm never going back from Worbla Black. Ever.

      So the first thing to do was to map out the pattern of Raven's gauntlets, which were pretty hard to actually architect because of their limited screentime. Oh well. That's why we have a print screen key.


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      So eventually I got it down to seven tiered layers of this strange red material. Funny story about that red, actually- two years ago, my roommate struggled really hard to find a metallic red spray paint to use for the Crescent Rose she was building, and after all that passed, I remembered to keep VERY close track of the metallic red paint I stumbled upon in an auto store. That's right, guys. If you're ever unsatisfied by the selection in Home Depot (read: often) and can't mix your own with an airbrush, go to an auto parts retailer. They will blow your mind.


      More about that later.


      First thing that needed to happen was making a pattern for the Worbla pieces. Kamui Cosplay has some excellent tutorial videos on YouTube about Worbla, so I feel like any detail I might go into would do the product no justice in comparison, but essentially, there are three steps to making anything out of Worbla - (1) paper patterns (stencils), (2) foam patterns for structure, which are sandwiched between (3) two Worbla pieces for reinforcement. After quite a bit of agonizing over the shape that would fit my arm best, I decided that a vector design would be easiest to recreate and shape each piece accordingly, rather than eyeballing things. I drew up a really simple design with Inkscape, scaled each up by 10 percent after starting with measurements from my forearm, and ended up with six of something like this.


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      Title accurately depicts frustrations, believe you me.


      So after all of those were cut, the design started multiplying exponentially with doubles in foam and doubles of those in Worbla. The process can be tedious, but worth it.


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      At this point it was time to paint!


      I found some Dupli-Color Metalcast in an amazing cherry red color and decided to go to work with it.. but failed to initially read the very specific directive on the back telling the user that this is only meant to be used over chrome or metallics... perhaps indicated by the name "metalcast"... well, that's not important. The text was very small. Regardless, if you've got silver metallic spray paint/that "chrome" stuff advertised by Rustoleum and such, your project will be savable. This is how everything looked after I totally didn't spray before reading, possibly realized the mistake, and did another two pieces separately to make up for it-


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      (You can't really see it in the picture, but the exceptionally shiny "black" pieces were the most gorgeous shade of crimson you'd ever see in that light. I was almost sad to repaint them.)


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      And here's the after.


      Just so we're clear, the formula went like this:

      i. Worbla Black, raw

      ii. 4(ish?) coats of Mod Podge acrylic sealant (spray, and I think it was matte)

      iii. 1 (accidental) coat of Dupli-Color Metalcast in extremely reflective and overall quite a violently red color

      iv. "oh shit" (1 coat of high performance silver auto enamel)

      v. 4-5 more coats of "candy apples meet blood of thine enemies"


      After that, the pieces were all glued together with a mix of E6000 and high temp hot glue. I didn't get any pictures of the straps beneath the arms, but I found out through the shortcomings of Velvet's armor that 1" elastic was pretty durable if secured properly. I did one loop at the top of the gauntlet behind the fifth tier, and another attached to the third tier and connected with a parachute buckle. Whew.


      So at this point, I was wearily beginning to entertain the idea of the mask. I was having some serious trouble deciding what would be best for my time constraints as well as my cosplay situation, which would include the shape of my head, ease of taking the mask on/off, being able to actually see through the thing, and shaping everything in a mostly canonical fashion. Eventually, I decided on something like this. It's sleek, it looks pretty damn close to what we've seen in the show, and it would allow me to see through it.


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      Why yes, I do use a plastic photo frame to heat my Worbla. The floor tiles, also made of plastic, appreciate it very much. (Everything has worked so far, but for the record, that's a sheet of glass underneath the mask.)


      P.S., for Destiny fans- can you tell that I was thinking about the Celestial Nighthawk while building this? I blame the fact that late-night Iron Banner partying was happening in the next room over... but I digress.


      Anyway, I put off painting this for a pretty long time because of frustrations over attaching this to my head. The reason I did this is because I SERIOUSLY regretted not attaching the Worbla from the gauntlets to itself before I painted them, since I knew the paint would die a quick death the instant I turned my heat gun (read: paint stripper, yes, really) on. But eventually, I decided to make use of some stray D-rings I picked up earlier in the week by securing them onto the Worbla using a few pieces of scrap thermoplastic to create a third layer of the foam sandwich, housing the ring underneath. And I'm super psyched to report that it worked. I cut an elastic headband (think 1980s workout video), tied both ends to the D-rings, and prayed the Worbla would flex- which it did!


      So next came Mod Podge + paint...


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      ... and detailing.


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      So that's the story! Let me know what you guys think?

    • 4 years ago

      asgardener
    • Update/Destiny cosplay!

      4 years ago

      asgardener

      Okay, so admittedly I've been putting off this post forever because it's going to involve an asston of photos and captioning and probably too many details... but I realized that I haven't done a cosplay update here lately, so here we go! smiley13.gif

      I guess most of you have probably figured out at this point that I've been working on/finishing up a Hunter costume from Destiny recently, and I've worn it to two cons so far this year. So that's been really awesome. I knew from the early advertising plus the beta content that Destiny would be a game for which I'd be dreaming up cosplans, so I'm really fortunate to have had the inspiration and motivation necessary to get a project out in such a short (well, sort of) amount of time.

      But before I get into any of the how-to, here's how it turned out!

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      Ever since the shader list went public, I really wanted to make a costume with either Thunderdevil or Superblack, so ultimately I figured that Superblack would just look cooler and essentially make me feel like a space ninja. Even though it's not... technically... part of the game yet. Doesn't matter.

      I had a lot of different ideas about the armor itself, but I always really liked the design of the Cryptid 4.6 helmet despite its less than stellar stats. It's sort of reminiscent of a gas mask/fighter pilot type thing, though most people tend to liken it to a paintball mask because of the respirator on the side and the oxygen tube that goes around back. I didn't get a lot of progress pictures of this because the paint I was using got super sticky and all over my hands (and stayed there until like four days after, honestly), but I can tell you-

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      ... that it turned out pretty well. Also, excuse my filthy mirror. It was another resin-cast piece, but the visor this time was laser cut and oh my god it made such a positive difference. smiley13.gif It took forever to decide which paint to go with, but I think I ended up using Rustoleum's metallic grey. I was sort of on the fence between that and their "carbon black", but it's more of a warmer black (like, think brown-tinted rather than blue-tinted) than I wanted. The weathering was done with silver/"chrome" Krylon sp. I've gotten a lot of questions about weathering, so maybe I'll make a video about it someday?

      So that was what I wore to Animazement this past May. One of my really good friends made a sweet post about it on Reddit after I got some photos back from Salk City Photography (check out his work on Flickr, seriously).

      The next big challenge was the auxiliaries. Because Destiny is a game known for its customization, it's honestly pretty hard to make a super identifiable character without the right pieces. My dear friend @grenadier_k went all-in with me on this to build his Titan costume, so he was a gigantic help for some of this. We ended up 3D printing the Ghost that I used, and he used his engineering magic to light it up. After adding some paint and reassembling Mr. Dinklebot, he turned out pretty convincing.

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      The only problem is that he's super hard to actually see with everything on. I don't have any pictures of it, but he kept getting lost in my hood since my shoulders are far from broad. I had him wired through my shoulderpad so he'd stand upright. but when my chest piece moved, so did he, so that's definitely something to work on for the future. Be aware of your frame!! It will make your life a lot easier when figuring out how to rig costumes together, so I implore you! Self-awareness!

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      How the Ghost setup was ideally going to work. Also known as "what the fuck is a selfie face?".

      Finally, the last thing any space ninja needs is a gun. I was a little bit wary of making one of these at first, but I wanted to give it a shot since I'd never... really made any conventional costume weapons before? (see: Ember Celica, rusty pipes, boxes...) I really wanted to make one of the exotics, but because I was pretty short on time, I went with a legendary hand cannon by the name of The Devil You Know. Has the recognizable Vanguard emblem on it and is also pretty awesome. (I'm more of an auto rifle user myself, but hey.)

      I started out with a Nerf blaster I'd seen modded before. Think it was like $10 on Amazon. The model is a (excuse me while I Google this to make sure it's right) Nerf N-Strike Elite Mega Magnus Blaster as the website calls it. Color and all. <3 It's super gaudy right out of the package, but I saw a few really cool paintjobs around the internet by custom artists that, in my opinion, were way too highly priced considering what this is that I wanted to recreate. (Seriously, though, it's bright red and orange. Google it.)

      Long story short, I used that Carbon Mist paint that didn't work for my helmet as the base coat/color for the blaster, and painted the emblem with acrylic (cadmium orange + white). Progress in grid.

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      Anyway, that's how everything turned out! There was a lot more to this post originally, but RT's character limit cut some of the explanations and random tangents out which is probably for the best. Hopefully this was interesting to some degree, and I'm aiming on doing better about journal neglect. <3 smiley9.gif

    • Thought experiment

      4 years ago

      asgardener

      After having a few issues with an upload to YouTube, I decided my next best form of creativity for this prompt would involve posting within a community very close to my heart (and also pretty extremely YouTube-oriented!).

      I was recently asked to describe an event I have hosted or will host on my university campus that would prove exciting to not only me and those involved, but to a larger perspective as well. Those who know me know how I feel about (and how late I've previously stayed up playing) video games, and those in this community are familiar with how video games can make a difference in the lives of many people beyond just whomever wields the controller (or VR auxiliary, or handheld... you get the picture).

      Because my campus is small enough to maintain a very unique culture, video games are not often incredibly familiar to many of my peers, but one thing my school does right is service. Every year, the student body hosts many events supporting various organizations, foundations, and charities around the world. If given the chance, I feel that it would be extremely beneficial and well-received to host a 24-hour livestream-slash-LAN party-slash-game night to the benefit of an organization such as Extra Life. Not only would we be exposing kids (you know, "kids') to a relatively unfamiliar form of entertainment, but we would also be maintaining the same values we're known for as a student body through the incorporation of new technological frontiers. I'm honestly getting excited just by typing this.

      I hope this journal finds you all well and encourages you to push technological frontiers of your own. It's funny to think about seemingly impossible unions where they seem most unlikely. smiley13.gif

    • So this was a thing?

      4 years ago

      asgardener

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      holy shit.

      The amount of support from this community is awe-inspiring.

    • 4 years ago

      asgardener
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      asgardener
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      asgardener
  • Comments (20)

    • Ratatoskr FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Logics

      2 years ago

      Hi, it's the Director cosplayer from RTX. Thanks for joining in the hiring-process interviews!

    • SingingMime

      4 years ago

      I vote we get trapped in a parking garage again in Austin. Looking forward to it. :D

    • Giries FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold PA Guardian

      4 years ago

      Hi Caroline! Just wanted to say, your cosplays are pretty damn cool. What got you into doing it?

      • Giries FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold PA Guardian

        4 years ago

        I didn't mind at all :D. It always cool to see how cosplayers, artists, or content creators get their start, which is why I ask smiley13.gif

      • asgardener FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        4 years ago

        Hey Giries! And thank you! :) It really means a lot.

        I think I was just always into costumes on the whole- when I was younger, I got to a point where I was designing my costumes every Halloween like, ten months in advance. I started watching/engaging in media whose character design excited me to a point of wanting to try it out myself. But on a base level, I think I just have a pretty intense adoration for the characters I cosplay. ... Bit of a long answer to a short question, right? Ahaha.

    • ninjaspectre FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold PA Guardian v4

      4 years ago

      Thanks for the friend request. By the way, that is a wonderful cosplay of Yang.

      • asgardener FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        4 years ago

        Quite welcome (: Thanks for accepting, and for the kind words, as well! smiley13.gif

    • xcalante Sentry The Defiant

      4 years ago

      I'm ALMOST positive that we met at RTX in '15...I was cosplaying as George RR Martin, sound familiar? smiley4.gif

      • xcalante Sentry The Defiant

        4 years ago

        I most certainly will!!! Don't be a stranger Caroline!!! smiley9.gifsmiley0.gifsmiley12.gif

        Post edited 1/08/15 9:10AM

      • asgardener FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        4 years ago

        Hey, thanks :) Sweet of you to say! And yep, I am planning on going, it's great to hear you are too! smiley1.gif That's a great idea, it would be really cool. Keep in touch about it?

      • xcalante Sentry The Defiant

        4 years ago

        For sure! It seems as though you put a lot of dedication and passion in to cosplaying and I totally love and respect that!

        Yes! It is online! It made my RTX experience a million times better!

        Are you planning on going again this year? I am, we (you and your friends and other people I've met here on the site) should all go have a huge family style dinner one night! That'd be rad!

      • asgardener FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        4 years ago

        Dude, no way! That's really awesome!! I wasn't at the panel (though I did see the beginning online), but I'm betting your guest appearance is on the internet for all to see, right? smiley13.gif

        First time cosplaying is always nervewracking but you did splendidly :D Be proud! (And aw, thank you :) It means a lot to hear it!)

      • xcalante Sentry The Defiant

        4 years ago

        Oh man! It was STELLAR!!! Not sure if you went to it but, the podcast...I got to go on stage!!!! Blew my mind!

        Haha, thanks! It was my first time cosplaying and I was pretty nervous, then I said eff it, I think it's funny and at least one other person will and thats cool enough! Your Yang was hella dope!!!

      • asgardener FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        4 years ago

        YES! We did meet! I still have your business card! (For the record, your cosplay was the funniest costume idea I think I've ever seen, haha.) I'm really glad you found me. :D How was the rest of your RTX?

    • AwesomeAdams

      4 years ago

      Hey,
      What's up?

    • trevorc FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      5 years ago

      Thanks for the friend request Caroline! smiley9.gif

    • shinhwariza

      5 years ago

      <3 hey asshole

    • Kiwi OCC Time Lord

      5 years ago

      Welcome to the RT Community! I dig the Cosplay! smiley12.gif

      • Kiwi OCC Time Lord

        5 years ago

        Thank you!

      • asgardener FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        5 years ago

        Thank you so much, for both the kind words and the welcome. c: Hope your birthday was spectacular!

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