1. 581-Erudite Watch
    Greetings Guest! I am the NEW guide of the 405th Infantry Division. I am 581. Surely, you are asking yourself, who is this fascinating entity and what is he about? Fear not! The staff of this great community has cleverly created a comic to share my backstory with you. Click HERE to learn more!

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Skookum's Prop-a-Month Challenge

Discussion in 'New Recruits' started by TurboCharizard, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    So over the course of finishing off a free keg at a local art show conversation steered to the desire for the gallery owner to have a cosplay props and armour showcase at some point in the not so distant future. Long story short I decided that a year and a half of building would give myself and some other local cosplayers ample time to fill up a gallery with displays.

    Not all of the props are based on Halo, in fact very few are. I'm doing this more as a way to log my builds and track my growth in the various skills required for making props. Many of the listed props are from popular franchises but are either personal favourites or things I've never seen made into a real world version and I want to change that. All of the schematics and .stl/.obj files for these props will be hosted in a linked Dropbox folder as they are finished because if someone sees something cool and they want to try it, I want them to learn from my mistakes and make something even cooler.

    So here we are in March (month three of my challenge) where I've just finished my first Halo prop on the list which is an old favourite of mine, the Type-33 Light Anti-Armour Weapon (Fuel Rod Cannon) from Halo 3. The timing of the build was to match up with a local gaming convention which was hosting a cosplay contest and the Fuel Rod Cannon was to replace the Battle Rifle that had previously been banned from several other events for having too similar a profile to active military service weapons even though it follows prop and replica weapons to a T. So big space gun that looks absolutely ridiculous.

    It all started simply enough with waiting around in a Tim Horton's with a sketchbook, my tablet and about three hours to burn. After playing around with NifeGun for a bit to figure out a scale from a Halo 3 Spartan to a 1.75m ODST (out of armour) the pattern was completed in SketchUp and scaled in Inkscape
    untitled.png untitled1.png

    Since the finished gun was scaled to be almost five feet long, two feet tall and six inches thick I needed it to be crafted from as lightweight a material as possible while still being durable. C-200 XPS foam was the champion here coming in at about $17 Canadian for an 8'x2' sheet and I needed roughly two and a half of them. The benefit of this stuff is that it's simple to carve with a knife and sands smooth with very little effort, so I ended up going overkill because this is a large prop and nobody has time to whittle away at 48sqft of foam. A jigsaw to rip out rough shapes from the sheets, a scroll saw to refine shapes, a plunge router to adjust depths of foam at various areas and my favourite toy and MVP in this project a handheld 1.5" belt sander to carve and shape.
    untitled3.png 3.png

    The basic setup was that everything was to be completed in five layers of foam, with the two outermost layers being the sweeping arches and hand guards, the second and fourth layers being detail for the side panels at the depth between the arches and the core, layer three, being primarily structural and having the handle/grip. Between layers 2-3 and 3-4 tracks for electronics were laid to have light shining through control panels and various indicators and ports. In total there was 6 LEDs (3.3V 20mA Super Bright White) inside in pairs with a ~150ohm resistor powered by a 9V battery which is accessible through the Fuel Rod magazine trench and a switch at the grip. Proper wiring is important since a 9V powering so few LEDs will heat the 9V up and possibly melt paint/glue/foam and let some ungodly fumes to the convention hall so do that right, whenever in doubt or if you're just lazy use a circuit solver to make sure you're not going to burn out any electronics. Because of the internal nature of the lights, they're never going to be accessible again once the pieces of the Fuel Rod Cannon Body are glued together, 2mm acrylic sheet painted transparent green was installed in the openings and the track was sealed with acrylic gesso as a layer of protection as well as to hide the pink of the foam when looking into the prop through the acrylic.
    untitled4.png untitled5.png
    Everything was then pieced together with 3M Super77 for a stronger and quicker bond than with PVA wood glue. In a past build (Halo 4 Needler) PVA took about a day to set and that was only the outermost sections that had access to air to assist in drying. When drilling in support rods between the main body and the stock internal sections still had wet glue after 3 days, so I wasn't having any of that. The barrel itself is a 2"OD acrylic tube which is also the size of the fuel rods, which is oddly convenient. Detail was built up with 2mm EVA foam and 10mm EVA floor mats for the rails. A threaded rod was drilled through the barrel and the weird front panel was attached.
    untitled2.png untitled6.png 7.png

    As mentioned, the fuel rods were 2"OD acrylic pipe. The three rods were painted with the same transparent green as the interior windows[?] and the end caps were modelled in SketchUp. Packing foam sheets were used as light diffusers and LED light sticks were placed inside. To turn the rods glow on and off the end caps are pressure fit in place and just need to be slightly twisted to pop free and hit the on switch.
    untitled10.png untitled8.png

    For paint the majority of it was done with the Canadian Tire special of whatever was cheapest at the time. For a primer coat I used three coats of brush on acrylic Gesso (get it at Michaels for $30/gallon or $15 on the weekend with the weekly 50% off coupon) and then a two layers of Krylon ColourMaster flat black primer. The silver was Rustoleum Aluminum finish, the brass was Krylon Hammered Gold and then highlights were finished with a handful of colours from the Valejo Model Air line for airbrushes, I believe I used gunmetal, iridescent silver, shining gold and then a grey. Everything was coated with a satin clear finish and some light weathering was done with acrylic brush on paints and a handy toothbrush.


    I think it turned out alright. If I do end up making another one, I'll be using a worbla or other thermoplastic coating layer for the whole thing. I carried it around for a weekend and was constantly trying to be careful not to turn quickly and hit something or have it crushed in transport with everything else. Even with five layers of paint and three of Gesso the surface likes to scratch and dent. The good news is that I came second in the cosplay contest and had a great time over the weekend while meeting a bunch of talented cosplayers. Look at the top 3, they're amazing.

    I learned a lot over the course of this build and I'm going to keep on pushing forward. I don't post as frequent updates here as I do on Facebook so if you want to derp around and talk about stupid large builds or weird costuming techniques, hit me up at Skookum Props and Armour.

    Sorry about the novel, hopefully the pictures helped ease the pain, I'll have another of these big updates in this thread sometime next month.
    JD of Asgard, Yeexsters and Schankerz like this.
  2. Schankerz


    That thing as absolutely gorgeous, the glowing fuel rods are an incredible touch of detail, it really makes the novel reading quite worth it. :p What other wondrous props are you intending to make?
  3. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    This was the hit list as I envisioned it originally. Some of them are purely there for the sake of a challenge, some are there for friends cosplays and other ones because they'll look awesome on the wall. I'm sure it'll gradually change and some other things will get added as it goes on but it's a target for now.

    So far I've finished off the Cardcaptor Sakura Sealing wand and am finishing up the Mami Percussion Lock Musket

    My BR looked a bit too real for the prop check team at that con so I went full ham. Then I entered a "Magical Girl Idol Contest" and was crowned the crowd favourite. That was a weird day.
    Schankerz likes this.
  4. mike bike

    mike bike

    this is actually amazing
  5. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    So I remembered that I started this thread and I just recently finished off a commission that I'm rather happy with so I thought what the hey, might as well throw up a little build log. I've got a few other pieces that I can add onto the Prop Challenge log once I clear off the photos from my phone but those are for another day. Today I present to you Yuna's Staff from Final Fantasy X.

    As a commission it had some pretty interesting requirements which led to some light problem solving, be to scale and be able to fit inside a suitcase that is 24" tall so that it can be flown out to Toronto for Anime North. So checklist.
    - 70" staff fits into 24" suitcase
    - Lightweight to keep costume + props + luggage for a week less than 50lbs
    - Durable enough to survive any crashes and bangs in transit

    With the requirements laid out I started digging though rips of art books to get the best possible reference images I could get my hands on. Thank you JRPGs for having art books with full character costume references.

    1.png 2.jpg

    So I spent a bit of time fiddling with scrap C-200 XPS foam and wooden dowel with knife lock threaded inserts but gave up due to concerns about durability of the staff head and the weight of the shaft. Then I turned hard into 3D printing land because a) the symmetry of the prop would get to me if it was off b) I'm lazy and might as well nap while the machine does the work. That led to a bit of fiddling around in Fusion360 to model all the detail pieces.

    3.png 4.png 5.png 6.png 7.png

    For the whole project I used consistent settings in HatchBox Black PLA at medium detail settings (0.1mm layer height, 0.8mm shell and a fill density of 10%) in four pieces on a Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2.1. About 400g of filament through the printer later it came to the best part of any build, gluing it all together. I learned from this process that I might want to invest in more clamps. Everything was glued together with Gorilla 6 Minute Epoxy.

    8.jpg 13.jpg

    I'm not sure if it's the common method of cleanup of parts but this is my general process. I use my bastard file/rasp to rip away major imperfections and then progress through 60, 80 and 220 grit sanding sponges and paper to remove major layer lines and other unsightly sections. To fill seams and low spots I use Bondo Auto Body Filler let it cure and then sand. To further reduce seams and print lines I thinly spread Bondo Spot Putty and then sand once more. It makes one hell of a mess but in the end it comes out buttery smooth.

    10.jpg 9.jpg 11.jpg 12.jpg 14.jpg

    For final paint prep I use Dupli-Colour Automotive Filler Primer which is sandable which is good and gray which is awesome since it gives a contrast when sanding to Bondo's red/pink or as a base when doing colour coats. Like most filler primers it helps with the tiny gaps and cracks that even Bondo can't get into which is a life saver on 3D printed parts.

    For the staff shaft I used 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC as the outer handle and 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC as an inner sleeve to pressure fit to since the inner diameter of 3/4" is less than a millimeter larger on average than the outer diameter of the 1/2". With a bit of rubber electrical tape wrapped around the inner sleeve it fits like a glove and the staff can be swung around without fear of separating.

    Painting was pretty easy for this one. A quick coat of primer and then Krylon ColorMaster Metallic Gold for the staff head, end cap and detail rings, Tremclad Bright Aluminum for the staff connection... thing and the rings for connecting the bell, and cheapo dollar store special paints in "True Blue" for the shaft, "Bright Red" for the handle and "Metallic Cobalt" for the staff head inset detail pieces. A quick topcoat of Krylon Clear Satin on the non metallic pieces and I called it good to go after attaching a bell found at Fabricland to a piece of braided cord.

    15.jpg 16.jpg 17.jpg


    I hope you guys like this kind of thread it helps me lay out my build process as well as give a little bit of insight into why I do things the way I do (being a crazy engineer doesn't seem to always cut it in the world of cosplay construction). I've got a few more things in the hopper currently, some of which were on the original prop challenge list, some which came out of being easily distractible so I'll likely have another picture and process heavy post some time in the next week or two. Cheers

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  6. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    I apologize in advance for this one since it's going to be a bit chaotic in comparison to the other build logs since it was over the course of three-ish weeks and I didn't take quite as many pictures over the course of the build. A bunch of things you can fill in the gaps for since I have pictures for the start of the piece and it magics to being done, for those just assume bondo, spot putty and painting happened.

    This time it's another costume off of my bucket list, the NCR Veteran Ranger Black Combat Armour. New Vegas is one of those games that just drew me in so naturally the coolest armour in the game had to be made at some point and a costume contest at a new local convention seemed like the time to put my rear in gear and make something new after entering variations of ODST in 3 previous contests.

    This build can be easily broken down into a few different sections based on the variety of materials used.
    Fabrics - Jacket, Pants, Strapping, Belts, Pouches, Gloves
    Foam - Armour Plating
    Found Objects - Helmet, Accessories
    3D Prints - Mask, Helmet Box, Pistol, Accessories

    Even though I said this would be photo-light, there's still a bunch so I'd like to start off with an image of what kept me going throughout the build. Thank you Tim Horton's for your crafting juice that let me build for 8-10 hours a day after an 8 hour shift at work.

    This was the part of the build that I would be weakest at since sewing is something I'm not at all practiced in. The base of the jacket was a McCall's 7374 "Men's Costume Jacket" pattern which would be modified to have the proper collar, lapels and a rain slip added. I looked around for a similar pattern to this one for a while on the RPF for other Ranger costume builders but all of them called for an outdated pattern that was ~$80 CAD which just wasn't going to happen, either way, sewing patterns were more expensive than I thought as this one came in at $21 before 50% discount with a Fabricland membership. I skipped the interfacing for this one since the canvas I picked up was rather stiff and the collar was going to be a minimum of two layers at the least thick point. For lining, as a sewing noob I went for whatever said "lining" above it and was the right colour. I think it worked out okay.

    What I learned from this is that patterns suck when it comes to their suggested layout for cutting and I'm way more efficient at placing things onto the material. I blame fiddling around with EVA and trying to jam as many piece onto a floor mat as possible. Sure some seamstresses will yell at me because I may have messed with the grain of the thread, nope, they just suck at placing things onto things puzzle piece style. Sewing wasn't too difficult surprisingly, the canvas played nice and I managed to get everything together in rather quick fashion.
    5.png 8.png 11.png 12.png

    As you may or may not have noticed, my jacket was totally the wrong colour. Yeah... Fabricland may be a magical place but they still have a lack of certain things. Instead of paying $38/m of fabric I went with the $12/m wrong colour with the choice of hand dyeing everything. Although crazy in theory it worked out very well. An hour of soaking the jacket in a big Rubbermaid tub with Rit Dark Brown dye for an hour while constantly stirring it and beating it with a hockey stick it came out into a big soggy mess that needed to be rinsed for another hour and then through the washing machine. Dyeing fabric works the arms out. The brown came out fairly even, there is a few spots that came out mottled around the pockets but hey, weather-worn. I added some stencils using white el cheapo acrylics and fabric medium. The text was done in the font "Agency FB" which is a default loaded font for Office 2013. The bear and star icon are based on the shoulder patches of the normal NCR Ranger uniforms. Both stencils were sized to 7" in height in InkScape and printed onto standard printer paper and cut out with an X-acto knife because clean lines really didn't matter too much on this build.

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    Pants were easy. A pair of old beat to hell Levi's 501 that had recently gone with me to paintball for a more authentic mud and dirt splatter. I did weather them some more with paint, but that was an accident because I was messy when painting other pieces.

    Strapping is the standard mix of 1" nylon webbing to support armour pieces. Fake banding for the arm plates was done with scrap canvas sewn into a loop in the most shoddy way possible with the wrong colour of thread and then weathered heavily with brown acrylics and fabric medium.

    The gloves were my biggest mistake and I should have thought of it from watching a bunch of Punished Props. I bought Pigskin LEATHER gloves but used acrylics and fabric medium which chipped off heavily during the 6-8hours that I wore them for the con. Dear Bill Doran of Punished Props, I will go buy Angelus Leather Paint next time instead of being a numpty.

    I went with what I knew for making armour that looks good and can be knocked together quickly for this one. The EVA I tried in this instance was a larger, slightly cheaper alternative to what I usually buy. It was a 4'x8' roll and slightly under 10mm thickness. The density was slightly less than what I was used to though which made it a breeze for sanding and a lot easier to cut which is awesome. All pieces were roughly drawn onto a duct tape form of my chest along with a Batman logo, Bat Nipples, a Nike swoosh and an Apple logo. I dunno mang, we were drinking, it was funny at the time. I don't have any pictures really of the forearm and hand plates, I'm probably going to replace them first, one of them with a PipBoy 3000 so everything should be good!
    18664276_1118782298265578_7035861557215870346_n.jpg 18881882_1127447830732358_5842223819921814872_n.jpg

    Surface prep was done fairly standard with heat sealing and Rust-Oleum FlexiDip instead of my usual PlastiDip. It was cheaper per can and I find it goes on finer while still being able to fill in small imperfections just as well as PlastiDip. Although it is a matte black, I primed with Krylon ColourMaster Black Paint and Primer, base coated with Vallejo Model Air Black Metal, hit edges with Vallejo Game Air Gunmetal and highlighted with Golden Iridescent Silver. The decals were made in InkScape and then printed out just like the fabric stencils. For the text the font is Capture It which is free use. After the decals were painted on I did further weathering with silver and brown acrylics.
    paint2.png 18880320_1128530590624082_4084498277450066615_o.png Capture.PNG 18920407_1130523530424788_7988881642173431498_n.jpg 19029665_1132608440216297_1510268654192932072_n.jpg

    Found Objects

    The helmet was... interesting. The box attachments needed to sit roughly parallel with the snout of the mask while being on top of an ear piece. I used an old NATO Helmet for it's shape, the brim on it became a problem later when attaching everything. Think dremel cutting wheel and hack saw ripping through steel meant to deflect bullets type problem. Yeah... The box pieces can be seen on the left of the second image below.

    In the box I installed a 3.3V 20mA Super Bright White LED for the search light and a random red LED I found in my electrical bits box for the targeting laser type thing.

    For the primer I used Krylon ColourMaster Black Paint and Primer, followed by Krylon Camouflage Ultra Flat mixed with Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Dark Gray for a speckled and stippled effect. For the box pieces I used the same painting scheme as the face mask.

    16.png 18740643_1122865281190613_2860461675751684582_n.jpg paint1.png

    I also knew that I'd have a bunch of random goodies throughout the day so I brought along my Vault-Tec Lunch Box from the Fallout 3 XBox 360 Special Edition.

    To impress (read:bribe) the judges of the costume contest I made some caps and some chems if they were into that sort of thing. For the Cateye I made a label sized for an old contact cement bottle I had saved for situations like this where I needed a bottle. Caps were made using, surprise, bottle-caps which were primed with Vallejo Model Air Engine Gray, Vallejo Model Air Ferrari Red and then had the 1" images stuck on with white glue. I then went around the edges with needle files to expose metal and rough up the transition between paper and painted metal. When everything was set I used a clear coat of Krylon ColorMaster Clear to seal everything and really tack the paper down while masking it's texture. Then it was grime time with acrylics and hobby paints.

    14.png paint4.png Caps.jpg

    I also had bobby pins just in case.

    3D Prints
    For the mask I used consistent settings in HatchBox Black PLA and some leftover M3D 3D Ink (would not recommend) at medium detail settings (0.1mm layer height, 0.8mm shell and a fill density of 10%) in four pieces on a Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2.1. Everything was glued together with Gorilla 6 Minute Epoxy and I didn't take a picture of the bulldog clip setup that I had for holding pieces together, it was ridiculous.

    I use my bastard file/rasp to rip away major imperfections and then progress through 60, 80 and 220 grit sanding sponges and paper to remove major layer lines and other unsightly sections. To fill seams and low spots I use Bondo Auto Body Filler let it cure and then sand. To further reduce seams and print lines I thinly spread Bondo Spot Putty and then sand once more. It makes one hell of a mess but in the end it comes out buttery smooth.

    Two 12V fans were installed into the mask, the larger blowing in on the left cheek encased in the filter and the smaller blowing out hidden in the mouth piece. The fans were protected on the outside with black nylons and wire mesh salvaged from a splatter guard.

    Everything was painted up using Krylon ColourMaster Black Paint and Primer, Vallejo Model Air Black Metal, hit edges with Vallejo Game Air Gunmetal and highlighted with Golden Iridescent Silver and then muddied up using Citadel Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade in heaping amounts to make it so that it looked like water/goo had pooled or dried in recesses or in spots on the mask. Rust and other highlights were added with Privateer Press model paints. Not pictured is the spaghetti wiring of the inside of the mask or the lexan lenses which were painted with Tamiya Transparent Red. Not pictured is the random bag of fasteners used to connect a dishwasher drain hose and a flexible sprinkler system pipe to the side of the helmet. Thank you Home Depot plumbig section for your post-apocalyptic wares.
    0.png 6.png 18813466_1122815771195564_6690945193876640572_n.jpg 15.png paint3.png paint5.png paint6.png

    Much like the mask I worked my way through this 18" long pistol making it buttery smooth and painting it up with the same colours, just to look brighter. Over the course of printing this pistol and a few other things I passed the 1km mark on the printer and drained a 2kg spool.
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    The Finished Thing

    I was working on this one up until the wire (see picture one and re-read 3 week build time) so I apologize if finished work pieces are lacking or it jumps from "piece mostly together" to "oh jeez, it's all painted". As an offering of good will, I give you this cool shot from Hanamaru Photography. Yes it says "Fund the Legion on GoFundMe on the wall. Yes, Hanamaru Photography is awesome and you should hit her page up for more photos from the con.

    Oh yeah, I may have won Best in Show at the convention cosplay contest. The bribe of caps must have worked :p

    Thanks for sticking through this marathon post, up next I should probably finish off the three things that I have at ~60% for previous months Prop Challenge Entries.

    You guys rock, don't ever change.
  7. mblackwell1002


    Dude, that looks super cool! The bottle caps are super cool as well!

    Just a recommendation though, for 3D printing, you might want to decrease your toolhead speed and maybe increase the temperature 5 degrees or so (to encourage adhesion with slower speeds). I see your prints have lots of shifting, blobs, zits, etc. If you slow it down, it should give you some better surface quality. Sure, it will take longer, but it might be worth the hour saved in sanding. :)

    And yeah..."Fund the Legion!" :p
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  8. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    The big thing right now is that I need to stabilize my Z-axis I find. Anything above 3 inches from the bed starts to get stutters. It's a problem with the Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2 unfortunately but it just takes some tinkering to solve.

    I've burned through that Hatchbox PLA and am now trying out some eSun PLA+ and am really liking it so far. In the 210 to 215 range it comes out nice and smooth making sanding even easier.

    "Fudge is a favourite snack of the Legion"
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  9. mblackwell1002


    Well at least you're finding a filament you like. I've used Hatchbox filament before and it was a pain in the buttox. Surface quality was terrible. I've been using eSun filaments for quite a while now, and they print really well. I've found eSun's ABS+ (silver) prints really smooth. It's really easy to sand in comparison to PLA and doesn't curl nearly as much as ABS+ with a heated enclosure. As always, Acetone welding is nice too.

    How long does it usually take you to sand that PLA+? I've had my eye on it for a while and I'm not sure I want to break away from ABS+ yet. :)

    "Fuzz is all over the Legion"
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  10. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    I don't have an enclosure built yet so I've shied away from ABS in general so I'm not the best for comparison to be honest. The ability to do vapour smoothing is really tempting for me to get into making one. Maybe after summer convention season and build commissions slow down.

    Depending on the print quality and size of course, I'm usually spending at least an hour or two on sanding alone on objects the size of my mask. That's working down through files, 60/80/220/400 if I'm looking for a spotless finish. If I just want to lessen print lines I'll maybe spend a half hour with files, 60/80/220 before going to spot putty and filler primer.

    There's a sale on eSun PLA+ right now through Filaments.ca, I'm not sure if they ship to the states so I'd say it's worth a shot to try out.

    "Furlongs are the favourite measurement of the Legion"
  11. mblackwell1002


    I don't use vapor smoothing. It kind of removes the sharp corners of the part. What I do is this: Sand down the part and mostly remove the build lines. Then, I grab some acetone and rub it on with a paper towel. ABS+ is not very reactive to acetone, so it smooths it minimally. (which is perfect for me, helps retain the sharp edges while making sanding easier) After that, I sand it some more, and then use spot putty. The result is a perfectly smooth part, with crazy awesome detail. I use 0.15mm layer height, so most of my prints are pretty smooth and detailed to begin with. You should try that out someday.

    Yeah, I'll have to check out that eSun PLA+ sale for sure. Saving money on pricey filament is always nice, too. :)

    "Funbuns are a delicious dessert made by the Legion"
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  12. jsg6


    Very nice builds!
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  13. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    Wind Waker is awesome and needed some cosplay love. It's my mission to fix that.
    Get strapped in boys and girls because remember how I said last time was a bit chaotic with 3 weeks of build time? Yeah, I must be some sort of masochist. This build for two costumes and four harps was done over the course of 12 days because sleep is for the weak and there was a surprise round of Roll Up the Rim at Tim Horton's that kept me going. There was a limit of 12 days because I was asked to present a panel and be a judge at a local Cosplay Day while in the middle of a two week vacation, so all the planning and some of the rough patterning was done around the campfire or on the plane.

    Due to the extreme time constraint everything was planned to be as simple a build as possible while still looking crisp and professional for the cameras at Cosplay Day and to be used in social media updates. As an aside, the reason for building four harps was one part to do a demonstration of different building procedures within my panel at the event and to give three away as a thank you to my page followers for reaching 100 likes and celebrating one year under the Skookum Props and Armour name.

    As always, here's the breakdown of what's being made
    • Rito Harp x4
    • Farore Symbol Stick Pin
    • Wind Waker
    • Hero's Shield
    • Hero's Charm (cancelled)
    • Lobster Pajamas
    The meat and potatoes of this post will be the Rito Harps which were the case study as well as the giveaway objects. My goal was to show off four different methods of construction that are both simple and cost effective while still producing props that look great. The construction materials I used were all given the self imposed restriction of needing to be easily accessible at craft and home improvement stores and have less than a $50 CAD start up cost so that even though I have stockpiles in my shop, other people won't be blocked by something that's unobtainable on a typical shoestring budget that cosplayers operate with. So I went with
    • 1/2" MDF and 1/8" hardboard ($37 CAD)
    • Foamcore, 10mm EVA and 2mm craft foam ($38 CAD)
    • C-200 XPS foam and 2mm craft foam ($29 CAD)
    • 3D printed PLA (less than $50 through Shapeways for 60% sized or roughly $20 in filament for full sized)
    The 3D printing option is obviously a bit more out of reach for the average cosplayer but most that have connections to the maker community have the ability to dump a file onto a buddy's lap along with a case of beer to get something made so I just went with it to minimize stress on the builds.

    I started off with a reference picture and started a quick pattern in SketchUp (easy learning curve, free and great for beginners) while recording it so that I could have a visual aid to talk about patterning. That was scaled and set to an appropriate size to be printed on tabloid paper (only three sheets!). The main body of the harp was then traced onto 1/2" MDF in two layers which were then glued together.
    DSC_0146.JPG DSC_0148.JPG DSC_0150.JPG
    The pattern was then broken up to separate raised details which would be cut out of 1/8" hardboard.
    DSC_0152.JPG DSC_0154.JPG unnamed.jpg
    A 1" dowel was cut and sanded to shape to make the neck of the harp. Pieces were tacked into place and then clamped with glue to set overnight while I went onto work on another harp.
    DSC_0156.JPG DSC_0166.JPG DSC_0167.JPG

    Much like the wooden harp, the EVA required the same pattern cut out and traced onto two sheets of 10mm EVA foam and one layer of foamcore. The foamcore was used to add some rigidity to the harp and reduce noticeable bending over the two foot length and one and half foot breadth of the harp. Everything was glued together with LePage Heavy Duty Contact Cement after the raised texture on the back of the EVA was sanded off.
    DSC_0159.JPG DSC_0158.JPG DSC_0161.JPG DSC_0164.JPG
    The raised details were cut out of 2mm craft foam and tacked down with contact cement and Gale Force 9 Hobby Glue on the corners because I was working at my table where I build minis. The gap on the edges was covered over with a strip of craft foam and hot glue which was then sanded down with my new rotary tool (RIP old rotary tool) on the edges to hide the seams.
    DSC_0162.JPG DSC_0163.JPG DSC_0168.JPG

    Finally the C-200 foam was cut out using a combination of a hotwire and my scroll saw. Craft foam was cut out for the raised details and everything was glued on with 3M Spray Super 77 because I wanted to show off the powers of thistothat. A length of Schedule 40 PVC and end caps of EVA foam were sanded to shape for the neck of the harp, and then there were three.
    DSC_0169.JPG DSC_0172.JPG DSC_0173.JPG

    The final harp was printed out at 1/3 scale so that it'd easily fit on my printbed in two sections and not take forever to print. I used my usual print settings in eSun PLA+ at medium detail settings (0.1mm layer height, 0.8mm shell and a fill density of 20%) in four pieces on a Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2.1. I might be tossing the files up onto MyMiniFactory in a little bit, I'm not sure though since they might need a bit of tinkering before sharing with the world.

    Painting was fairly easy, it just needed a little care to make sure nothing went catastrophically wrong. The C-200 was coated in three layers of brush on acrylic gesso and then sanded to protect against damage from aerosols. The C-200 and wooden harps were primed with Krylon ColorMaster Black. The EVA harp was primed with two thick coats of Rust-oleum FlexiDip black and then Krylon ColorMaster Black to reduce gloss. The 3D printed harp was given another coat of DupliColour Filler Primer for good measure before a black prime colour coat.
    DSC_0178.JPG DSC_0179.JPG DSC_0184.JPG DSC_0183.JPG
    Main body colours were Krylon Metallic Brass and Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Satin Espresso. Acrylic paints from the $2.50 bin (moving up in the world) were used for highlights and shades. Prominent edges were exaggerated with white acrylic and a old toothbrush. A top coat of Krylon Clear Satin was applied on the non-metallic surfaces. I was lazy and didn't coat the metallic surface with a lacquer but probably should have.
    DSC_0200.JPG DSC_0196.JPG DSC_0201.JPG DSC_0199.JPG

    A quick ghetto photo booth was set up in our living room and glamour shots were taken.
    DSC_0194.JPG DSC_0195.JPG
    One of the Rito Harps, not necessarily the best looking one, I'm biased towards the wooden one which I'm keeping, but a quick show of what can be done on zero budget.

    For the Wind Waker I decided to save some time and print a readily available file from MyMiniFactory and my Medli started sewing a little Makar stuffy so that we could have both sages and the Hero.

    A quick stencil was prepped for the Lobster Pajamas. Some white acrylic paint and fabric medium and we were off and running.

    And then there's my new baby. The Hero's Shield is going up on my wall somewhere because it just hits all the points for me. The usual of 10mm EVA sandwiched together and glued with contact cement. 2mm craft foam and googly eyes for details. Paint. Bam.
    20139951_1164845640325910_4188574734284004877_n.jpg 20106720_1164845663659241_4402135759294840579_n.jpg

    I ran my panel, we did some video and photo shoots with some cool people and had a good time.

    I hope you liked this quick build. One of these days I'll be able to take my time and properly document the full process but these picture book stories will have to do for now.

    I mentioned that there were four harps by the way. One is for my collection, two were given away at Cosplay Day Victoria during my panel and the last one I'm doing a prize draw on my page Skookum Props and Armour. If you'd like to get a sweet piece of Zelda goodness, check it out.

    Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  14. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    I've been slacking in the posting department but not the building cool BLAM! department. Since I posted last in (oh dear god it was July) I've gone head first into Fusion 360 and this is one of the fruits from the tree of learning.

    A Fallout 3 Plasma Pistol because why do a big project that's easy? Start with something stupid big, work on the easy bits and then just don't stop until it's all easy! I'll be making a couple of copies of this on my Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2.1 over the next little bit and the good news is part of it will be using leftovers from two other builds (Fuel Rod Cannon and NCR Ranger Mask) to help keep costs low. There's no channels in the piece yet for wires or a slot for a battery but I can probably give that a shot after the first one comes off the print bed and I can see how well it all fits together. It's all broken up into 37 manageable chunks to help make printing easier so wish my machine luck. Here's a gallery and an animation to help see how the pieces all fit together.

    Adjustment Knob.png Aft Cylinder Connection.png Aft Cylinder.png Body.png Containment Connector.png ECell Connector.png ECell.png Electrodes.png Emitter Support.png Emitter.png Fwd Cylinder Connector.png Fwd Cylinder.png Grip.png Handle Ball Joint.png Handle Bubble.png Handle Butt.png Heat Sinks.png Hose Connections.png Hose Rings.png Trigger Guard.png Trigger.png Pew2.png Pew3.png Pew4.png Pew1.png

    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  15. Lieutenant Jaku

    Lieutenant Jaku

    nice work
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  16. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    Halloween has come and gone and I should probably post something of my lazy but not so lazy costume. A bit of history on this one, it's been sitting on the back burner for a year in part due to lack of skill but mostly lack of technology. Last year Blizzard released the Overwatch Halloween Terror and with it a bunch of themed skins and sprays, I immediately fell in love with glorious bastard.

    I instantly went to MyMiniFactory, downloaded the first Soldier 76 mask I could find and started working on manipulating the file and scaling in to fit my face. At that point in time I was... less than stellar at 3D modelling and things went okay but the real pain was that I was still using my old M3D Micro printer and I had to slice the mask into 14 pieces to print nicely. That printer is slow and the quality wasn't fantastic so I've had ~10 pieces sitting in my drawer as a reminder ever since of what not to do.

    This year though plan of attack was different, I was going to do everything right and have it done for Halloween. Unfortunately no plan survives enemy contact, in this case it was the weather that was the one throwing a stick in my spokes as opposed to my own inexperience. Twice I got to the 80%-95% completion region on 24+ hour prints when power cut out due to windstorms and everything needed to be scrapped. Where I live we have underground lines and I didn't know that was possible since it was the first time losing power in the two years I've lived here. I went and picked up a UPS because screw that noise.

    Everything was printed in Filaments.ca Standard White PLA run at medium detail settings (0.1mm layer height, 0.8mm shell and a fill density of 20%) in four pieces on a Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2.1
    22554737_1223168121160328_6937487534875241804_n.jpg 22815577_1225850830892057_5646416872927444964_n.jpg

    Test fits were good so I went on to sanding and filling. For the visor buck I tried something new that was posted in The Proptarts of Punished Props, I sanded and smoothed as per usual but used a spackle Polyfilla 15-min to spot fill instead of the usual Bondo or Bondo Spot Putty. It worked pretty well, the work time was quicker as expected and it sanded smooth easily which is a bonus but the real win was the lack of fumes. I don't know if I'd use it on pieces that I actually incorporate into the costume since it seems much more porous but for a buck, yeah, it works and I'd definitely try it again for a similar application.

    Painting went well using the usual suspects of Duplicolour Automotive Filler Primer to get a mirror smooth finish wet sanded to 800grit, Krylon spray primers and Vallejo Game Air for colours.

    The visor was a bit of an experiment as well since my coloured acrylic sheeting didn't make it in time so I got to use clear worbla (Worbla TranspArt) since I had a roll in storage and iDye Poly Red to tint it. I will be replacing the worbla visor, it works but the colour is uneven and as always clear worbla gives the "beer goggles" effect to everything since it's not uniform thickness and shaping it only makes that worse. Visibility is awesome, I just know using the actual material I had planned will work out better.

    Glamour shot of the mask
    Me pondering needing a haircut to match 76's receding hairline.

    There was a few cool cat trick-or-treaters who recognized the spray I was emulating so that was cool. I had to resist dumping all our candy into the pillow case of our sixth trick-or-treater who was dressed as The Chief from Halo 4. All in all Halloween was rad as usual, I haven't seen many posts about how other 405th members spent their Halloween so let's see 'em!
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  17. mblackwell1002


    Oh man...I didn't see that glorious Plasma Pistol...WOW, dude. That is insane. Amazing work!

    And...the Soldier 76 costume looks pretty cool as well. Lots of sanding, I would imagine! A job well done!
    TurboCharizard and Dirtdives like this.
  18. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    I've had the printer going fairly steady to pump out the pieces for the Plasma Pistol, only four more to go. It's definitely one of the most fun things I've made in 3D since I modelled slots and pegs into the pieces and I can just press fit all the pieces as they come out, it's big and goofy and just fun to hold.

    The 76 mask was probably only two or three hours of sanding all said and done, getting the mouse sander has made my life so much easier with print finishing. Sure there's a lot of time going in, but not nearly as bad as before.
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  19. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    There's a funny thing about doing sci-fi costumes, you never make knives. This month's Go Prop Yourself challenge from the PropTarts of Punished Props was EVA knives or swords and bring a friend to teach for the journey. I'm just getting into Persona 5 and saw the opportunity to put a few checkmarks in boxes for doing my first ever #GoPropYourself, making my first ever EVA knife, starting work on a Persona 5 costume.


    This was a one day build of the Joker's Dagger from Persona 5, the only reason it took a day was to properly let paint cure and we took a break for dinner and BEvERages but it's a great into to prop building that results in a pretty slick looking end result without a whole bunch of required materials or tools. For materials all that's required is EVA floor mats (the denser the better), craft foam, 8mm googly eyes, super glue of your choosing (I prefer Gorilla), black paint and silver paint. As far as tools go we used snap off blades, a heat gun, a drill press and a rotary tool. The drill press was used for punching out the center hole cleanly and accurately and can really be skipped, the rotary tool was used to clean up some bevels and fuzzy edges which can be skipped as well if not available.

    I made a quick pattern in Inkscape and scaled it appropriately for my hand.
    There was two new-ish to cosplay people joining me and neither had ever made an EVA prop so it was a group activity where we went over the steps and took our time to make sure that everything was as close to symmetrical as possible.
    23519016_1237161609760979_4205907192025883768_n.jpg 23472741_1237161573094316_5050605263846944195_n.jpg 23472807_1237161649760975_2458007049466270954_n.jpg

    All the tool work was completed without anyone cutting themselves, the only damage was some fingers glued together when applying googly eyes. One dagger was claimed as being perfect without paint and is now called the "Lightning Googler" and can be seen below. The other two were given two coats of Rust-oleum FlexiDip, sprayed with silver and then finished with brush on black.
    23435107_1237161629760977_8372692217678096702_n.jpg 23379911_1237161706427636_1141221253732455516_n.jpg

    I'm really happy with the finished product and because it was so easy to make I'm all about throwing this thing around. It's also probably my first completely convention safe prop since there's no hard edges and it's just so damn light.

    Thanks for checking out this build I had a lot of fun with it and I highly recommend the experience of doing a one day build where you teach the basics to a friend or two if you have the chance. Plus now the world has three new epic weapons named "Hot Potato", "Boruto's Dad's Knife" and the "Lightning Googler" and I don't know where I'd be without that.
  20. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    Haha, there was a list of things that I was planning on building this year and I'm completely ignoring it. Something something shiny red ball, butterfly, something something.

    Anyway, I've started looking into making a series of game currency and similar recognizable small tokens that can either be displayed as a set or tucked away into a wallet, pocket or dice bag for nostalgia bombing friends and fellow nerds. I've been slowly working on this one for a while but finally sat down to finish it off thanks to a sick day and not feeling like doing anything else. I present to you the Talismans of Shendu from Jackie Chan Adventures.

    23843399_1243822222428251_2545833740236616612_n.png 23844400_1243822245761582_7630115917626804930_n.png 23795745_1243822272428246_7051997926240170537_n.png 23844384_1243822302428243_3886312719035407361_n.png 23659455_1243822342428239_7542062485521410261_n.png 23722755_1243822385761568_4492031543175428288_n.png
    23722544_1243822422428231_6276095217543671976_n.png 23754736_1243822469094893_7950939518004835908_n.png 23659722_1243822509094889_5291318037335678329_n.png 23722460_1243822532428220_5467384570890335025_n.png 23795202_1243822565761550_5124520604754632675_n.png 23844404_1243822622428211_7483174615124692381_n.png

    I've started fiddling around with the Render and Animation workspaces of Fusion 360. It's pretty fun but there's definitely a lot to learn. The printed talismans will be posted soon, I just have to finish printing off something Zelda related.
    Schankerz, PaiganBoi and Dirtdives like this.
  21. bestellen

    bestellen New Member

    Agree. This is actually amazing.
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  22. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    I've been carrying on with the game currency kick and have a few more things printed out as test samples to see which finishing techniques I like best on them which means you only get pictures of the in-canvas renders of Fusion 360.

    Animal Crossing Bell Coin
    Wreck-It Ralph Hero's Duty Hero Medal

    I've been having a weird issue with Fusion and it's possible the 405th hivemind might have a lead on how to rectify it. In-canvas renders are A-Okay but doing a normal render or a 3D image output just kills either Fusion or my computer hard. It shouldn't be a hardware issue since the rendering can be done in the cloud but maybe I'm missing something? Any thoughts?
  23. mblackwell1002


    Man, you make props from just about everything, huh?

    Idk why, but fusion's cloud rendering tool has never worked for me. It doesn't kill my PC or cause Fusion to crash, but it just "doesn't work". I never receive the final renderings.

    Perhaps you should check your internet connection? I just looked at system hardware requirements, and they're pretty easy to meet, so I definitely doubt that's an issue as you said. Plus, if you've never had issues before...

    Perhaps you should report a bug?
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  24. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    I just make things from stuff I like or things for people close to me so sometimes it looks like a crapshoot but there is some sort of method to the madness.

    It might be a connection issue, I'll turn on WireShark and see what's all going in/out during a cloud render and hope it doesn't blue screen me again. I'm on a fairly high speed connection but it's worth seeing if there's something wonky there.

    My tower is 3 years old but was built to be relatively futureproofed for minimum five years or more so I'm pretty much ruling it out. If it crashes and fails again you might be right and it'll be time to bug hunt with Autodesk.
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  25. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    More currency today because I'm locking myself in Fusion 360 until I can build things in my sleep.

    Super Mario Sunshine Shine Sprite
    Shine Sprite v2.png

    I also did another render test, I had speedtest up while the render was up and running and it crashed my computer at the final pass. This is some black magic goofiness going on. I'm starting a trouble ticket with Autodesk for sure because I'm stumped.
    Speedtest Results.PNG
    mblackwell1002 likes this.

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