Monday, August 10, 2015

District 9 Wikus Costume Part 7

Stockton Con has come and gone, and with it the (mostly) finishing of my District 9 Wikus costume. Here are some of the things I did in the last couple days before the Con.

I painted all the alien skin bits I made with InstaMorph with ink, and added a couple more pieces.

I then hot-glued them to pieces of fabric from another shirt. I may or may not have burned myself with the glue a couple times...

I once again used the hot glue gun to attach the pieces to the inside of the shirt where I cut holes into it. It ended up looking pretty cool, but there was still one more thing to do before the shirt was finished.

Blood. Lots and lots of blood. I ended up using a recipe I found online that consists of corn syrup, flour, water, red food coloring and chocolate syrup. The result looked great! These pictures were taken after it had already dried. It still looked wet, which was exactly what I was going for!

As for the gun, I applied a layer of white paint, to serve as the base color.

I then used matte black acrylic paint for some of the extra pieces, like the canisters, magazine and jam guard.

After painting the canisters black, I applied some metallic silver paint in a gradient to give them a really nice metal look. 

Then the troubles happened. I applied the orange sections to the gun, but the details in the gun meant the tape wasn't completely held to the gun, and some of the paint dripped past the points I had taped off, and because I was in a rush (it was getting late on the night before Stockton Con) I was sloppy with the black detailing. I didn't have time to do much of the wiring, and what I did do ended up not working. I might work on the wiring again later.

 Despite all the issues with the gun, the costume really came together in the end! I didn't take many pictures, but here's what I have. I'll probably take more later.

Gun doesn't look THAT bad... From a bit of distance away.

My girlfriend and I got to meet William Salyers, the voice of Rigby in Regular Show, and he complimented my costume and said he loved the gun! Yay! Here are a few pictures of me with some other cool cosplayers there at the convention (plus a better look at my costume as a whole).

The project had its ups and downs, and there's still a bit of work to do on the gun, but it all turned out pretty well. This was definitely my most complex (and most expensive) costume, and I'm honestly already considering what to do next year (Handsome Jack and Corvo are my top picks at the moment).

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

District 9 Wikus Costume Part 6

T-Minus 3 days to Stockton Con

I was hoping I'd be getting some work done this past weekend, but I came down with a fever and wasn't able to do much, hence this might be a short update.

Been having issues with the Arduino and can't seem to get it to work, so the chances of the gun having sound have decreased. I'm doing what I can with the soundboard, but I need to go out and get a special plug for it. In the meantime, I got the lights working.

To get started, I got the basic switch and button system working. The red lights will be on while the gun is on, while the blue lights will go off when the trigger is pressed.

I decided to place a yellow light in the barrel too, so that it lights up when the trigger is pulled as well, but I wasn't sure how bright it'd be, so I did a test. You can also see that the gun has been given a coat of primer.

Thought I'd add a couple red lights to see how much brighter it'd be.

I think I'll play around with the number of lights in the barrel and how far inside they are. Meanwhile, I thought I'd see what the blue light behind the grill-like piece looks.

Really like how this is looking so far, but I wish I could get the sound working. Have started progress on the hand, this time being cleaner with the tape. Ready for a coat of latex then a coat of black paint.

Not much time left, and I still need to paint the gun, paint the glove, paint the skin pieces and put them into the sleeve, and dirty/bloody up the shirt. Lot of work ahead of me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

District 9 Wikus Costume Part 5.5

T-Minus 11 days to Stockton Con

Aaah! It's almost the final countdown! I realized I forgot to post pictures of the fully shaped gun put together. So here they are.

So far I think it looks really cool! I'll be painting it sometime on Wednesday or Thursday. In the meantime, I'll be trying to figure out the programming tonight.

I've made some changes to the plans. For one, I decided not to do the spinny-bit. I think it's just one more thing to figure out and I don't have much time left. But I decided to add a yellow/orange LED to the barrel, so that firing it will make a light come out. I'm still deciding if it will be too ambitious or not to have the reed switch (the thing that makes it so that the gun can't activate unless I'm holding it with a magnet).

Monday, July 27, 2015

District 9 Wikus Costume Part 5

T-Minus 12 days to Stockton Con.

Over the weekend I really got to working on the gun, and I feel I made quite a bit of progress.

First order of business was prepping the Puff Paint bottles to become alien-goo-stuff canisters. I got myself a hacksaw and cut off the nose thing on the caps then sanded the top of the caps down flat

I had to empty out the paint into a bag. Still wondering what I should do with my bag of mixed Puff Paint.

I found that my alien glove fingers couldn't fit into the trigger guard, but that made a bigger hole in the gun, so I had to cover it.

I took some thin plastic and used an exacto-knife to cut out the right shapes to cover up the holes. I had to cut them in half so that I could still open the gun to mess with the insides.

 Next, I used my grandfather's drill-press to make some holes in the exhaust-like section of the gun, and then 4 holes where I plan to put the LEDs.

I put quite a bit of work into sanding the gun before I remembered that you can't see the details too well on the gun after it's painted. The only thing you can really see is the NERF logo. I might have to cover that up or sand it down more. Parts of the gun do look much nicer now though.

 My original plan was to superglue the canisters to the gun, but my dad suggested I screw them into the gun instead. That way they're more secure, and can even be taken out and changed, in the case that one breaks. I drilled some holes and made some thread cuts, then used a screw and washer to hold the cap onto the gun.

After all the caps were installed, I just screwed in the bottles. The gun is looking a lot more District 9-esque now, though it looks a bit silly with all the different colors.

I made another trip to ReCreate and found a much better canister. I used a PVC adapter (partially covered by a hose clamp)
to screw it onto an ink bottle I found then screwed the ink bottle onto the magazine.

By that time, the weekend was over. I'll be doing more work over the next couple days and hopefully I can figure out the Arduino programming.

Friday, July 24, 2015

District 9 Wikus Costume Part 4

T-Minus 15 days to Stockton Con

Really closing in on Stockton Con. Things are starting to come together and the end is in sight. It's actually pretty bittersweet. This costume was both fun and frustrating, as I'm sure many cosplay projects are.

First off, something I really should've gotten to begin with, the clothes. The shirt was easy enough to find, but the pants were a pain. Finding pants in my size is never easy. The shirt is actually tight enough, I'm considering just attaching the alien skin pieces to the sleeve instead of my arm. That way I can just slip the shirt on and don't have to apply each and every piece to my arm.

I have started making the alien skin pieces. As I've said before, I'm using InstaMorph to make them. I'm finding it difficult to make smooth shapes with the pellets, and will probably try using a rolling pin in the future.

For the alien hand, I went to a dollar store and found a pair of rubber gloves. I didn't completely know how to make the alien hand, so I thought I'd try on the right glove as a test, much like how I did with the gun piece.

I forgot to get a picture, but I made paper claws and stacked them on each other to make the claw shapes. I then taped together my fingers to get the three-finger shape on my glove.

After I got the shape I wanted, I started applying liquid latex to the glove. If I had the materials, I'd just mold one, but I don't. I'm sure some people are questioning my intelligence at this part.

It dried nice, but there are still some open parts in the tape. I'll do a better job of applying the tape on the glove I plan to use, but for now I'll see if I can fix it with the liquid latex.

I figured I'd try 3 things, since there are 3 fingers. The left-most finger has tissue poorly applied to it with the liquid latex. The middle-finger has nothing done to it. The thumb has an extra layer of liquid latex. I'm gonna warn you, if you plan on using this stuff for the first time, it smells awful. Just be warned.

I haven't made a whole lot of progress on the gun, just getting more pieces and stuff. The Arduino is pretty difficult to figure out and I'm worried I won't have it figured out before Stockton-Con. I've made a few decisions about the gun since my last entry. For one, I decided not to have the Portal-gun-like arm-spike things. I also decided I don't want the tubing around the outside of the gun, and instead I'll apply it to some of the openings in the gun. Finally, I decided not to use wine bottle corks for the canisters on the top, they're too textured. I decided, instead, to use a few of these paint bottle things.

Don't have too much else to say. I plan to get a good amount of work done this weekend, including finishing making the skin bits, and getting to work shaping and painting the gun. Stay tuned for an update soon after.