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Koda Vonnor

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Everything posted by Koda Vonnor

  1. More work on the lightsaber holster: I laced up the gap in the "leather" lining (it's actually flexible fiberglass) using embroidery thread, then soaked the thread with superglue over a polypropylene tube insert. Glue didn't stick to the plastic but made the thread semi-rigid. Shout out to Thomas Spanos for that idea. Jedi Leda will be adding the weathering. In the background is the hollow and very lightweight shoulder bell for the blind/drunk Kota. I also cut and weathered a tabard (not shown) to loop over the belt. All ready for Celebration now. ~ vonnor
  2. Today was a prime day. I tack-glued the hollow shoulder bell for the blind TFU Kota armor, then bondo'd the two half shells together. I also put the tsuka-ito wrap on the final version of the lightsaber, and primed the bell and the lightsaber-holster liner. More to come. ~ vonnor
  3. Although not technically part of the TFU2 Rahm Kota costume, I did a little work on another shoulder bell this weekend. It is for the blind/drunk version of General Kota from TFU. Pam Simpson gave me a suggestion a long time ago about reducing armor weight. Her idea was to cast inner and outer shells and fix them together. I need an extremely lightweight solution for the blind Kota shoulder bell since he only wears one and I don't want it to pull the shirt neckline all out of kilter. I used the old clam shell mold that I cast the original bells in and laid a rondo gel-coat followed by 4 tight cloth layers. It came out very light weight. I will bondo the two halves together and smooth out the edges. ~ vonnor
  4. Here is the de-molded saber holster liner. The opening is still rough cut and needs the wavy edge and the lacing. If any of you build fiberglass production pieces, I can highly recommend a bit of the flexible resin in the mix (see previous post for source link). As you can see in the first photo, it REALLY flexes, and that's only about 25% flex-resin to 75% normal laminating resin. It snaps right back into original shape as soon as pressure is let off. There were three layers of glass cloth in this casting, and I could have gone four with no problem. I plan on using a little flex resin in the mix for the ab-plate. For the lacing I plan to use plain un-waxed dental floss, and make it rigid with superglue (Many thanks to Thomas Spanos The Clone Emperor for the idea). Next up is the new leather wrap on the (now longer) lightsaber hilt. ~ vonnor
  5. Here is the fiberglass casting that will be the lightsaber holster liner. It is made from three layers of glass cloth and a mix of 75/25 rigid/flexible polyester resin. Note the cloth is cut on the bias (45 degree angle) in order to follow the contour of the mandrel. When this sets up I will prime and sand it inside and out, then paint a base of satin brown on which Jedi Leda will paint the leather pattern in acrylics. This is also a test to see if the flexible polyester resin will be viable for the abdomen plate. ~ vonnor
  6. What's THAT thing?? Practice. It's the whole clay-sculpt / plaster-backed-rubber-mold / rigid-casting process applied to build a mandrel for making the "leather" liner for the lightsaber holster. The Hydrocal mandrel will be shaped a bit then sealed and waxed. Three layers of fiberglass cloth will be laminated over the mandrel using a blend of rigid and flexible polyester resins. Since I need to make the abdomen plate out of "flexible fiberglass" this will be a test to see how the recommended 75/25 (rigid/flex) resin blend works, and if I need to adjust the mix one way or the other for the ab plate. The production holster liner will be painted by the real artist in the house (my GF) to simulate leather, then cut off at the black line and fixed down inside the holster frame. The lacing will be a heavier fiberglass strand from package sealing tape, which I stumbled upon by fluke. Stay tuned. ~ vonnor
  7. Vambraces test. A little teaser. ~ vonnor
  8. Twins! That's it for the arms. Now it gets real. I will be working on some of the soft parts, not the least of which is the flubber on my body. Finish the shirt and make a 2nd one, build the lightsaber holster, weather the boots. Torso cast comes as soon as 20lbs goes. ~ vonnor
  9. I just received some satin finish paints for the scapula plate and the back plate's center panel. These will be dirtied up and scratched down to a TK-white like the references. From Art Primo. Highly recommended for color matching. ~ vonnor
  10. More shiny stuff! Gotta wait a few days for the paint to dry completely before sand-weathering to match the left assembly. ~ vonnor
  11. Today I received some aluminum strips that I had cut to size. The references suggest two clips that attach the lightsaber holster to the bandoleer. I'm experimenting with how to form and attach them. Details, details... Painted and weathered vambraces coming this weekend. ~ vonnor
  12. Thank you very much! I looked at your work on https://www.facebook.com/VillainworksLtd and it's quite impressive. ~ vonnor
  13. Sorry there's no photos of the mold making progress, but here is the production casting I poured last evening. One thing I did differently from the left wrist clip casting is I powdered the mold lightly with talc. This totally eliminated the surface bubble problem I had before. There was a little bit of bubbling up to the top, but it shouldn't affect the finish or the structural closure. This casting used Smooth-On TaskĀ® 9 super-hard urethane resin with a splash of white coloring. The fit is tight and the alignment is decent. I'll clean up the flashing and surfaces and paint it later today. The most technically difficult and tedious elements of this costume (the vambraces) are almost completed. ~ vonnor
  14. This shows how I built the guide tracks for the vambrace mounting. The wrist clip has to squeeze the padded glove strap snug enough to keep the whole assembly from slipping down and encroaching on the hand guard while worn. It also has to withstand the normal torque from rotation/pronation of my wrist, and facilitate the rotation of the rest of the vambrace. In the CG model that is being replicated, there is only a small point of contact between the wrist clip and the main vambrace assembly. That small point will be subjected to a lot of torque in normal wear. These tracks will transfer to the production casting and lock everything in place. There will also be a 6-32 hex screw and an aluminum backing plate at the join point that will clamp the pieces tightly together. This will be one of only two screen inaccuracies on the costume that are necessary in order for it to be worn by a real person. I tested this solution at CVII for a few hours with the left vambrace and it worked like a charm. I first sprayed mold release on the contact area of the main assembly. I mixed up some epoxy putty and pressed it onto the inside of the wrist clip along the lines where it will mate with the edge trim of the main assembly, then just pressed it into place and clamped it for a few minutes. The mold release kept it from sticking to the main assembly and left nice neat tracks in the wrist clip. ~ vonnor
  15. I decided it would be better to correct the taper on the wrist-clip hard master rather than on the production casting, so today I added a few more layers of fiberglass cloth and Bondo just to the palm side on the inside of the unit, then power-sanded the new exterior surface taper. Notice it is much thinner at the wrist and mostly follows the contour line of the main assembly all the way to the wrist opening. This is much more accurate to the references and mirrors the left vambrace dimensions. I also filled in some gaps, bubbles and Dremel slippages with PC-11 epoxy putty. ~ vonnor
  16. Side by side with the left vambrace shows pretty good symmetry. I should have tapered the sculpt more at the wrist, but there's not enough thickness to sand it down at this point. I'll try filling the insides a bit thicker on the palm/cutout side and tapering it on the production casting. It really needs to fade in about 3/16" (5mm) on the side with the rectangular cutout. I hope to put in the epoxy putty back-fill and alignment tracks tomorrow. ~ vonnor
  17. I stuffed the mold with rondo (60/40 Bondo/resin) and 6 layers of flberglass cloth/resin, topped off with another rondo gel coat. It was extremely difficult and frustrating stuffing the thin strips into the mold on the sides and the back-of-hand area with the semi-circular cutout. I should have built up mold walls in those areas so the return edge would be thinner. You can see I will need to thin out the edges quite a bit. Here is the rough break-out with a little bit of sanding and edge trimming.Comparing the two hard-masters side by side shows some variance from mirror images of each other, but all in all it's not too bad. The right wrist-clip has a bit more twist to it, but as the sculpt aligned properly with the main assembly so should the rigid model. ~ vonnor
  18. What this photo tells you: I made a mold of the right vambrace wrist clip using Smooth-On Rebound-40 and a plaster shell. While the vambrace assembly was wedged onto the armature, the elbow guard came apart. Originally I had used Loctite PL 8X construction adhesive to glue a galvanized steel strip to the fiberglass plate but for some reason the bond didn't hold. The glue did not stick to the galvanized steel. Likely there was some oil or other contaminant on the metal. I understand JB Weld is pretty good for metal to fiberglass so I used some for the repair (after cleaning the steel with acetone). Hopefully it holds. What this photo doesn't tell you: The plaster mold shell broke in two places and had to be repaired with Elmers glue. I should have used Hydrocal but used White Art Plaster 'cause it was easier to get to in my storage closet (I have 5-Gal buckets of each). Also, the sides should have been thicker, and I should have softly pried up all round the edges instead of torquing the **** out of it on the breakout. Built-up clay mold walls would have helped as well. Live and learn. I will lay fiberglass in the green rubber mold this weekend. Should be perfect weather for it. ~ vonnor
  19. This sculpt gave me a lot of trouble finding the correct thickness, edge cuts and symmetry. Every couple days for the past two weeks I worked on it but was never happy with the results. Finally in a moment of sanity today (or more accurately, functional insanity), I called it done. Any further adjustments I'll have to make on the rigid model. Here it is ready for the mold. I will make that tomorrow. ~ vonnor
  20. Here is a rough cut of the right wrist clip sculpt. I still have to adjust the alignment a bit and smooth out the surfaces and edges. Just wanted to get the basic shape and volume on there. Shooting for fiberglass rigid model this weekend. ~ vonnor
  21. Here's 3/4 of the whole right arm vambrace, all sanded and primed. Gotta put it on that plaster arm behind it and sculpt the wrist clip next. Moving right along. ~ vonnor
  22. Left one on the right, right one on the left. Symmetry is pretty good. The magnetic closure is in place but the glue has to set up before I can take it apart. I put epoxy filler on all the edges as well. ~ vonnor
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