Thursday, 30 May 2013

Guns, girls, spaceships, food and Super-Heroes.

Hello once again my loyal followers!
I hope that both of you have not missed me in recent months due to my frankly criminal lack of posts...
It occurred to me that not only have I not made a Blog post in over a month, but I also missed out several events in some of my previous posts.
And so, once again I must form one of my (ridiculously long) short versions of the last few months.
First up, Super-Heroes.
As those of you with keen eyes may have seen, my last post mentioned a Super-Hero themed event happening in Hobbycraft, I showed you my poster for the event, but never revealed my costume, and so, here it is...
I find it insanely difficult to find masks that fit due to having glasses, and so after much faffing about in shops not buying costumes or masks I decided to make my own.
I started out with a rough Batman mask shape edited slightly from a design that I found online, I made sure that the eye spacing and width were perfect to accommodate my glasses.
I then added little flaps inside the mask that actually grip the glasses rather than relying on elastic or my ears to hold the mask on.
To finish I made Bats' classic utility belt and cuffs from a thick black paper.

Here's the finished result:
The costume was supposed to be a Gotham City Impostor, one of those insane morons who wants to be Batman, so clips on a belt and goes out into Gotham to get beaten up by thugs in an alley.
Due to Super-Hero Day and the fact that I was making a Batman (ish) costume, I felt that it was necessary to buy the Batman: Arkham City game to get into character.
Upon playing the game and finding it to be not only visually stunning but also having one of the best stories I have played in recent months I went on eBay and found myself some Bat-toys.
In the game you play as Bats about 70% of the time and Catwoman 30% of the time, so I wanted to get both as cheaply as possible... I found an Arkham City Batman for relatively cheap, and a Catwoman/ Batman pack that was acceptable, but the Batman in the pack was a 1970's Batman, not the Arkham one...
And so I faced a dilemma.
-Random Intermission-
Well, it's sort of random, you'll understand in a minute, I promise.
Going back quite some time now to when I made my Assassin costume I wanted to make or buy some weapons.
Thanks to a law (I am unsure when it was instated or what it's called) realistic gun toys can no longer be sold in the UK, even old guns like Flintlock pistols must be produced to look unrealistic.
I looked everywhere, but I couldn't buy a Flintlock pistol without it costing a ludicrous amount of money or looking utterly terrible, and so I purchased a terrible one.
A broken terrible one.
For a pound.

I then set about fixing and painting it to look more realistic, laying a base coat of matte brown Crafter's Acrylic (a much smoother, flatter acrylic with less pigment than artist's acrylic) and then a metallic silver for the barrel.
To finish I rubbed watered-down black paint into the cracks and brushed certain areas to make it look older.
I'm pretty happy with the results:

I think you see where this was going...
I decided to go with the 1970's Bat/ Cat pack and paint the figure/s to match the game, firstly because I thought it would be good practice for when I finally got around to painting my Fiora Cavazza model (more on this later in this post) and secondly because it was easier and much cheaper than buying several different packs.
I used Americana and DecoArt Crafter's Acrylics to paint the cape, mask and any other parts that were blue, I also mixed a little metallic paint with the black to create some nice effects on the panels on his boots and arms.

Luckily painting both the gun and Batman figure gave me the much needed confidence boost to continue working on my Fiora model.
I had stopped this for two reasons; one, the artist's acrylic looked horrible, it made her look sweaty and shiny, which wasn't what I wanted... and two, after slicing my finger open while making her boots I appeared to have developed a slight fear of my flat edged scalpel.
The Crafter's Acrylic sorted one of these problems, giving a beautiful, smooth, flat finish that I needed for the skin and flat fabrics, though I still used the artist's acrylic for the shinier fabric on her skirt and dress.
I also told my inner self to buck up and stop being such a pansy about knives.
After this, I managed to finish pretty much all of the carving in a day.
I also decided to get rid of the upper clothing that I had made from leather and paint it on instead as many figures do, which made her look a lot longer and thinner like her in-game counterpart.
Lastly I made her hair from Sculpey Bake & Bend clay; this time I cooled it slightly so that it was less sticky, and used cling film over the head to stop any residue sticking to the face sculpt.
Here's what she looks like now:

Afterwards I decided to make a sword for one of my other Assassin's Creed figures, it was supposed to be the sword of Altair... it's not bad for a first go, but I will more than likely re-make it at some point.
As for the Fiora model, she still needs more work, but I am happy with what I have so far.
Moving on.
As some of you may remember, a while ago I made a promotional Viking end for work, and in the same vein my colleagues and I were given a particular product or place to make more appealing in the same sort of way... mine was Revell Star Wars models.
Obviously, having no prior knowledge of "Star Wars" this was a daunting task.
Okay, that was a lie.
In every way.
So naturally as soon as I got home I started making my giant epic space battle scene between the CIS (droids for those of you with only general geek knowledge, or robot thingies for those of you with lives) vs. The Republic (clones for those of you with only general geek knowledge, or those guys in white helmets for those of you with lives) over the gigantic city planet Coruscant...
I stuck far away ships and explosions onto the base layer and then close ships and exploding ship pieces on top of them to create perspective.
I used a healthy amount of found images of the ships, a mixture between Jedi Starfighters, ARC 170s, Droid Tri-Fighters, Vulture Droids and of course Star Destroyers and layered them with explosions using foam pads on an A1 starry background.
To finish it off I made up one of the Revell EasyKit models which would hang in front of the entire scene.
And here is the finished piece:
Since then it has taken a slight beating... the Jedi Starfighter now only has one wing, but the poster is still intact.
 And now for food:
For those of you that know me in the real world you will already know this, but for those who may not have the privilege, you may not...
In less than I month I will be getting married, and for the occasion we wanted to make some cake toppers, but unlike my sister's ones we wanted them to be disposable...
I tend to start hating my own creations after about a day, then after a year I warm to them again, and then I notice a subtle flaw and go back to glaring at them.
And so...
We decided to attempt to make cake pops; a cake/ icing shape covered in chocolate to keep it together...
This is our practice version of Lazy Red, the red cat that you may have seen featured on this Blog before.

I'm aware that it's not red.

This went okay, but considering that we are relatively busy in the run up to June 17th we decided to employ someone else to make these for us... more on this later...
I also made Holly a special dinner for her birthday, a home made sushi platter with a fake sushi platter for myself (as I am not overly fond of raw fish)...
Above is Holly's raw smoked salmon sushi with sushi rice, sesame seeds, spring rolls and bean salad. Below is my fried smoked salmon sushi...

And with this I bring this post to a close...
For those of you who managed to read and digest all of this, congratulations are definitely in order, and for those of you who did not, shame on you.
Though it occurs to me the latter would not have read this far, thus will receive no shunning...
Until next time.