Friday, 31 October 2014

Aygo Manga Swords

  This was a strange, last minute commission.  A call went out over Facebook for a Cosplayer, a Costume maker and if time permitted, a Prop maker to create this character and her swords for MCM London Comic Con / Expo (Never clear on what it's called).  Even stranger, it was Toyota GBs PR peoples asking, super corporate.

You can download the full comic here.
Yes, she is based on car.
 This was three weeks before the event.  I put in a quote for construction of the swords, ambitious, with a rush fee in there for good measure, and promptly forgot about it.
A week before the event, I got an e-mail saying they'd take it, get an invoice ready, they'll pay for me to hand deliver them so I can floof around Expo and please keep them up to date.  
 Eventually I also got some better reference images.
It's a lot maths, strangely, but I have a spreadsheet I've made that does it for me.

 Now, maths happens for a while, comparing the lengths of the swords to the given height of the model to the length of the weapons in the pictures.  Using a silly long rulers, tape measures, and other straight objects this was then transferred onto grease proof paper to cut out all the various sword shapes that'd then be glued together.
 All these cut out parts get glued together, around a rigid fibreglass rod.  Using Evostick Impact, lovely stuff that I live off, all sandwiched together as a large bat.
 Those familiar with LARP weapon construction will recognise this!  You know, make what you know, also it's materials I had to hand especially with the limited time.
Don't mind me boss in the background.
 This piled up bat was then brought down to my local workshop, Southampton Maker Space (SoMakeIt) for use of the belt sander.  This place is an invaluable supply of power tools, knowledge and space for doing more advanced crafting things.  But using a really nice and strong belt sander rather than knives or my hand sander is the best way to get a really nice finish on the weapons that I've found.

Fresh from Aperture Laboratories.
 Freshly sanded we come to my own workspace to get on with the painting!
Undercoated in dark metal grey ... still drying
AIRBRUSHED, Airbrushed base coat, god I love me airbrush.
 The first layer of anything was coloured latex.  Without an airbrush that'll push through latex it's sometimes hard to get a good even finish, but I feel a good result comes from hanging them up and painting unthickened latex slowly from the bottom up.
 Then once that's dried, I went over that with my airbrush, metallic black and nice pure white.  Then more colouring, differentiating edges with metallics and cursing my terrible airbrush for not giving me more than 5 seconds of straight painting without needing to be unclogged.
(I had ordered a new airbrush and it arrived a clear week late.)
Are they looking at you?  Because they're looking at me.
 The finishing touches are sealing it with aerosol plastidip and then a touch of silicone spray so they lose all their stickyness and can be wrapped up nice and safely.
And a nice final flourish, I have some lovely soft white leather that I cut strips of and wrapped the handles.
Bubblewrap provided by something I bought recently.
 This metre and a half long foam cudgel was brought through the various train networks to deliver in person to the event!
 And here they are on the model.

 The seamstress did a better job on the costume than I could ever have done, and apparently they had FOUR different fitting sessions to get the costume to sit right.
But, I thought they looked amazing together, especially for under a weeks, short notice, what I have to hand, work.

No, I didn't ask if I could just have a car as payment.