Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Blog Design, Excalibur and Lace

I decided to change things up a bit but I couldn't find a premade background to suit me so I made one. I call it "Tools of The Trade". It sounded like a good idea at 3 in the morning. I also made it the new background for my site. I have yet to complete the welcome speech and the text boxes are still subject to change but here's what I have so far:

I measured my Saber figure and Excalibur and used my height to figure out how large my Excalibur would need to be for it to be to scale. It came out to be just over 49 inches. I used the grids in Photoshop to scale up my photograph of the figure's Excalibur then printed it out on several different sheets and pieced them all together.This will serve as my pattern.

I've got most of my supplies collected  for Excalibur. I decided to use a method I've seen used by Blind Squirrel Props and Volpin Props involving sandwiching a threaded rod in the blade and running it through the handle to strengthen it. I marked out the placement for the channel on one of my boards today but the Dremel bit I had just wasn't cutting it. See what I did there? I suspect they may just be worn out as they are the same bits I used to make all the recessed areas on my gunblade. Nothing frustrates me more than not having the proper tool for the job so I hopped on Widget Supply and bought replacements for my Dremel bits along with a few new bits. I decided to try a cylinder carbide cutter for the Dremel and some straight router bits for use with my Rotozip. I got the priority shipping so hopefully they'll be here in time for me to work on Excalibur this coming weekend.

I did a little test sew on some silk organza to see if I could make decent free motion lace on the sewing machine. It didn't look awful but it wasn't as accurate as I'd like either. Then the thought came to me to airbrush it onto the organza. This solves the problems of accuracy, uniformity and shaves off a good deal of time in the bargain. I'm going to test it out with the paint I currently have but once I've satisfied myself that it'll work I think I'm going to go for a pearl paint. Pearl White from Createx and Pearl Sparkle from Aqua Flow are looking good so far. I haven't figured out how to finish up the raw edge on the bottom yet but it'll come to me. Maybe some type of heat seal like a hot knife would work. Fray Check might even do the trick, I'll just have to play with different things.

I bought three sizes of half round stryrene from Hobbylinc so I could see what it was like. It's fairly stiff but with a little bend to it depending on thickness. I put the largest of the three (which I believe was 1/4") into the toaster oven to see if it'd become pliable. I probably left it in there for about 5 minutes total on 300 degrees but I took it out 3 times during that 5 minutes to check on it. The first time I wasn't able to bend it any more than normal, the second time it had more give to it then the third time it was nearly like a strip of clay. I was able to easily bend it into a tight horseshoe shape without any distortion to the styrene. I'm looking forward to trimming something out with this stuff. It comes in sheets as well so I may have to look into getting some to experiment on.

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