Friday, July 10, 2015

District 9 Wikus Costume Part 3

T-Minus 29 days to Stockton-Con

Starting to feel the pressure. It's less than a month until Stockton-Con and I feel like I haven't nearly gotten enough done. Can just hope for the best and do what I can.

The tubing I mentioned in Part 2.5? It arrived! (Finally). And to celebrate their arrival, one of my dogs chewed up the package... Luckily I was able to salvage a good amount of the tubing. Plenty to do what I want.

One idea I've had is making the soundboard accessible from the top opening slide, so that I can change the sound effects if I wanted to. Problem was, the magazine clip went to nearly the top of the gun, leaving no room for the card. So I took out the spring mechanism (gonna put a battery in their, remember?) and cut it in half... Or a third... I cut the top off.

Next was to saw off part of the trigger guard. I'll have big fingers on my alien hand, and I wanna be able to hold it, so cutting off part of the trigger guard was the best way I could think of to do so. Wish I could've cut off more, but I didn't wanna ruin the gun.

Unfortunately, the part that I cut off was hollow, so I'll need to find a way to plug up the ends while still allowing the gun to be opened up. I've got a couple ideas, we'll see how they go later.

I didn't wanna go into painting my gun blind, so I took the barrel extension piece and did some painting tests on it. First order of business, put some primer on it.

Then put on a layer of white paint. If anyone is curious, I used Krylon spray paint. I noticed that District 9 guns tend to have orange stripes and stuff, so I taped off a section to paint orange.

While that was going on, I tried painting one of the wine bottle corks to see how it looked. It didn't turn out bad... But I'm not happy with the textures. Sometime next week I'm gonna see what I can do to get a nice, smooth surface. If you have any ideas, let me know in the comments.

Back to the gun. The orange turned out pretty well. For some reason the white appears different shades on different pieces, but I'm now pretty sure it was cause I only sanded part of it, and the "whiter" white is the section I sanded. Will have to keep that in mind for the actual gun. Next I'll do a "wash" over it. A technique I heard about, where you brush some oil paint over it and quickly wipe it away. The paint stays in the crevices and brings out some really nice details.

The wash was a failure. Complete failure. It turned my gun gray and made a huge mess of my hands and sink. Now I have a pricey tube of black oil paint and nothing to use it on while I'm at my current level of experience (or lack of)...

Had to repaint. Turned out nice, but there were a few cracks in the paint. It actually looked kinda cool and added to the weathered effect.

I applied some metallic black paint to the bottom section. It looks meh now, but I know a trick for making it look better. I also tried doing the "wash" again, only with acrylic ink... Again, it didn't work. Gah!!!

The technique for making the black look better? Get some metallic silver paint, get some of it onto a paper towel, wipe off some of the paint onto another paper towel (or rag) until there's just a bit left on the paper towel, then lightly brush it along the black area. Makes it look more weathered and metallic and just looks really cool. I tried a bit of it on the white and turned out a bit meh.

For one final attempt at giving it a wash, I used black acrylic paint with quite a bit of water in it. It still turned the gun gray, but not as gray. I've now given up on the wash idea and I'm starting to think I'll just go over the crevices with a pen or something... The final result looks really nice, but it doesn't look like a District 9 gun, it looks like Halo.

I only painted the one side, and left the other side alone in the case that I wanted to try it again, which turned out to be a good idea in hindsight. Next week I'm gonna try again with some new ideas and see how it goes.

In the meantime, I keep forgetting to work on the alien bits, and I still haven't even started on the hand. If I want to finish by Stockton-Con, I'm gonna need to work faster. Expect more frequent and/or longer updates to come.

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