Saturday, 26 July 2014

The awkward stage with no real progress

Two weeks went by with little progress. I bought some shin guards to augment the leg armour, but these were essentially modified football guards and didn't really add anything. I had considered using hockey guards, but given I wasn't actually mounting them on the shin (rather the lower knee), I figured it was better to go small.

 Then I started work on the torso. This proved to be the most complex piece to date, comprising numerous sheets of paper and tricky design made harder by my less-than-perfect frame.

Each costume takes around half a rainforest.
I had to scale to factor in not only my unusually tall height, but also my protruding gut. This worked out fine with the exception of the cup, which ended up looking as if my crotch is the size of a ping pong paddle. 
Before spray, cuts etc.

Still, I persevered. The cup could always be left off as required, so I instead started on cutting the pieces out of foam. This was more complex than I'd anticipated, because England decided to have a small heatwave; this meant creating the ab grooves and various sci-fi elements was close to torture with a soldering iron.

After two weeks, the costume was still in the spray and glue stages; everything was holding together in the shape I desired, but it was far from finished. The weather decided to complicate things again, and began to rain/thunder; I also fell ill. This meant the spray coats weren't close to finished, and the whole torso was taking its time.

Instead, I decided to focus on another area that was bothering me - the shoulder pads. I finished securing the pads with fabric to create a hinge, and started work on how to attach them to my shoulders. At first I tried to use fur hooks, as I had with the leggings. These worked, but created an uncomfortable lateral movement, and tended to get pulled off.

Note the hook just below the small shoulder pad.
The problem boiled down to physics. Effectively rather than working with their inherent strength (as in the case of the thighs), the hooks were working to pull each other and create tension: this invariably meant that either the fabric ruffled or the glue snapped.

So I decided to cheat. I thought the Velcro idea had been sound in principle, and with the new spandex undershirt I could be confident it would stay in place. So I simply sewed the Velcro on to the spandex and stuck the pads down.

And it worked.

Raarargh! Rarrrrrrgh! RARRARRGH! Bleh.

This left me with a month to finalise everything; maybe two weeks' work in addition to tidying everything up and making sure the fit is comfortable.

In short, it was two weeks were no giant strides were made. But two weeks that would hold me in good stead going forward.

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