First Patreon Goal Reached!

To celebrate hitting my first goal on Patreon (here comes a band saw!) here is the latest WIP peek at a commission for a Rito Harp from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. Almost done! Raw foam on the left and almost done painting on the right.

Thank you to all of my wonderful patrons for helping me reach my first goal!

My Cold Casting Video

This is the first part of my cold casting video set. I’m making some realistic looking Voltron coins (now available in my store) but wanted to try cold casting versus making them out of actual metal. I hope you enjoy following along on my little experiment as I compare Smooth-On’s Cast Magic Silver Bullet and straight Aluminum powder.

Supplies Used:
Smooth Cast 325
Smooth Cast 300
So Strong Tint
Aluminum Powder
Mixing Cups and stirring sticks
Chip brushes

Remember, my patrons get early access to my videos (they got this one last week) and tutorials along with behind the scenes work-in-progress photos, polls to vote on what I’ll do next and, at some levels, special handmade goodies. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to get notified whenever a new video goes up!

Black Lion Coin Giveaway!

To celebrate finally being ready to make my final molds and start casting the actual Voltron coins, I’m running a quick little giveaway!

This is a test cast from my junk mold but it is two-sided and full-size. I wont be making or selling coins that are a pure color like this, so this is a one-of-a-kind coin! It is a prototype from my junk mold so it has a couple of imperfections, but that is part of what makes it unique!

Win my Black Lion Prototype Coin!

Rebellion Safety Pin Jewelry


I just added two new items to my shop. These were inspired by an image the writers of Rogue One shared a few weeks back. A friend asked me to make her one, and I figured other people might be interested too!

The Rebel symbol is about 1.5″ tall and wide and is available as a pin/brooch and as a necklace.

Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke Build

I recently mentioned how I won first-place at RenCon for my Ashitaka cosplay. Over the past year, I had published several work in progress articles over at GeekDad.com about my process for making it–everything, head to toe (yes, even my shoes) was scratch built by yours truly. Below is a slightly edited, combined version of all of those posts. If you like these write-ups, please consider joining my Patreon to get early access to tutorials, videos, work in progress pics, and more!

ashitaka-referenceFor anyone who doesn’t know, Princess Mononoke is one of my favorite films, so it was a no brainer for me when deciding on my next cosplay that I’d try Ashitaka.

Continue reading “Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke Build”

WIP Updates and New Item for Sale!

kanandroidcallerAs my work on my Kanan cosplay progressed, I was unhappy with my droid caller. I was using the only one available out there — Han Solo’s, but the only reference pics I could find of Kanan looked totally different. So I decided to model and print my own Kanan Droid Caller! I’m really happy with how it all came out. So happy that I decided to start selling them in my store! Right now just the 3D files and instructions are available, but once I finish mine, I’m going to make a mold and cast it so raw castings and fully finished props will soon be available.

Continue reading “WIP Updates and New Item for Sale!”

Weekly Update

I’m working on a couple of things I hope you’ll all enjoy including more detailed tutorials as well as some video tutorials and how-to type stuff. Let me know if there are any specific things you’d like to see. But in the meantime, I thought I’d do some quick updates on a bunch of the projects on my plate right now!

coldcasting

All of my cold casting supplies from Smooth-on just arrived. I have a little more work to do on prepping the masters for my Voltron coins. This is going to be my first cold casting project so there will be a little trial and error along the way which is also why I’m working on making it my first video. I figure learning and making mistakes together will be pretty fun.

rebelpinAnd, while I’m at it with the cold casting, a friend asked if I could make her an actual pin or necklace based on the Rebel safety pin image that’s been going around. I said yes of course and will be making these as well. This is my initial prototype and my master is almost ready to get molded.

ritoharpsealedIn between everything else, I’m still making good progress on my Rito Harp commission. I am almost done sealing and coating it and ready for starting on the final paint job. If you’re wondering what that “tongue” looking thing is on the bottom, that’s the harp strings wrapped in masking tape. I glued them to a dowel that is sandwiched into the foam since I didn’t want them getting pulled out, ever. Once I’m all done painting, I’ll then tie the strings around the nails in the top cross beam.

kanan-lightsaberAnd lastly, more work on Kanan. First up is the lightsaber. I’ve gotten all of the parts sanded, puttyed, sanded, puttyed… you know the drill… as much as I plan to and am now starting on the final paint. I used a flat black primer on all the metallic pieces to help with the shading and to make the final metallic paints pop more. Using a white or grey primer under metallic paints just doesn’t seem to have the same great final look.

kanan-glovesI’m also trying my hand at making my own gloves for Kanan. I’m just not really happy with any of the ones I can buy, plus I love being able to say my costume is 100% hand made :) This series of pics gives you some insight into my process on prototyping and making my own patterns. This is definitely going to turn into a how-to post.

kanan-pantsWhat I spent most of my weekend on was my Kanan pants. I’ve only ever made one other pair of pants before–my Ashitaka pants, and those were a lot easier – sort of baggy and with a drawstring at the top. These are made from a much more form-fitting stretch denim and required a zipper or button fly. The pattern I loosely based my patterns off of had a button fly so I figured I’d give it a go. I’m REALLY happy with how they turned out. These are also the most comfortable pants I own now. I think I’m going to just start making my own clothes going forward. My wife said I was making jeggings and so now we have coined the term “Jedi Jeggings” to describe the pants Kanan wears!

I’m hoping that next weekend with the holiday will allow me to get a lot more done. We shall see.

Coming Soon! Voltron Coins and More!

I have a couple of small updates on my continuing projects as well as a big announcement of a new project!

customer-bayardsFirst off, I wanted to share a couple of pictures I was sent from a client who purchased two raw bayard castings. She did a great job on painting them, plus her and her friend had some spot on Lance and Keith cosplay!

kanan-mask-sightI’ve also made some more progress on my Kanan mask. I’m pretty much done except for figuring out the visibility piece. It looks like my best bet to make eye holes is going to be to cut out part of the white pieces and replace them with white nylon. I did some tests with my original prototype and it actually turned out pretty well. A couple more tests and I’ll be ready to butcher…I mean…finish my nice mask. The last shot shows you what my visibility is like through the nylon.

voltron-coins

And now for the big new announcement. I’m almost done with my prototypes for my Voltron: Legendary Defender coins! I plan to offer two different sets (singles may be a possibility, but we’ll see). One set will be cold cast to have a metallic look and feel like real coins. The other set will be painted resin similar to what you see above. Each coin has the lion on one side and the paladin element symbol on the back (the sixth coin is Voltron of course). Let me know in the comments if you have any preference or comments about the coins!

RenCon Cosplay Contest First Place!

rencon-ashitaka

What the hell just happened?

I decided to finally enter a cosplay contest. I choose RenCon this weekend because its local and small, and it’s the first year. The competition was amazing and there were a ton of great costumes in the contest. I mostly wanted to go through the process to get feedback from the judges so I could better prepare for future contests.

Once all the judging was through, I hung around to see who the winners were going to be. After third and second place had been announced in the beginner category, I was sure it was over for me. I thought I may have squeezed into third place, but there was no way I’d get first place on my first ever contest, especially not with these judges who have seen it all and judged dozens if not hundreds of contests in total.

I typed, “I didn’t win…” into my phone to text my wife and just before I hit send, they said my name. I was shocked…and still am. Despite the 150+ hours of work I’ve put into Ashitaka, I was just totally not expecting it! I am so thankful and grateful to the judges and to all the other cosplayers who have inspired me and taught me so many things on this journey. Now I need to figure out how I’m going to do even better next time! (Finally finishing the additional pieces on Ashitaka is probably a good next step).

rencon-prize

The prize for first place was this giant box of supplies! A pack of EVA floor mats, a glue gun, contact cement, spray adhesive, instant epoxy, pencils, Sharpies, a heat gun, duct tape, sanding sponges, assorted chip brushes, two different cutting knives and extra blades, a mold making and casting kit from Smooth-on, and, the thing I’m the most excited about, a roll of Worbla.

While everything in the prize box will definitely get put to use, Worbla has been on my list of things to try, but I just haven’t been able to justify the cost. Now that I got a free roll, I can experiment without worrying about throwing away money!

Thanks again to RenCon and ZakLabs (who sponsored the contest) for making a dream come true!

And while I was writing this, I hit 100 likes on my Facebook page! What a great weekend!