I actually started a few weeks ago but I don't remember when. I'll start the log as of today and maybe report the progress I'm making once a week (no promises). My goal is to finish Captain by Megacon this February. So far I've written some notes as to why I want to make Captain Gundam and some of the features I definitely want to have. I am so excited about this that I want to make a Shute doll. Even to the point of playing Captain's theme song while spraying Fabreeze in one of the smelly convention rooms that you know that you'll eventually run into. Anyway, so far I've started on the base for the helmet, a mock up for the face mask and the eyes. I'm working on measurements now using the action figure I have.Base for helmet
I'm using Featherweight's tutorial, which is extremely helpful. I want to make the helmet out of cardboard because it will be more stable for when I put in the electronics. The rest of the costume will be foam and fabric to cut down on weight so I'll cover the helmet with that once I get the base done. Mack face mask
Sewn a white face mask but it's a little too big. I think I want to sew the gundam goatee directly to it unless I find a better method.Eyes
I need something that I can see pretty good out of without my real face showing through. The material for my black mask worked well last year so I thought that would be a good option. *I'm talking about a mask for Barry the Chopper, btw*
Fortunately, I had that kind of material in white so I drew the eyes with Sharpies and other markers I had. Note to self: Sharpies bleed. Markers bleed more. The white reflections in Captain's eyes were a little bigger than that. I wanted to seal the colors with some Modge Podge but I didn't know how it would turn out. So I decided to make a spare set. Um... yeah. The markers bled again and the blue of his eyes bled into the yellow. I was going to try to fix it by making them into Baku's *Bakunetsumaru, an other SD Gundam character*
eyes but that didn't work. Thank goodness those other markers were washable!!! I retied making Baku's eye's and I'm surprised at how well it turned out. I do want to make a Bakunetsumaru costume eventually but I'm almost tempted to make him in addition to Captain. Crazy, right? I'll think about it. I tried to make Captain's targeting lens with green sun-catcher paint but it didn't come out right.Measurements
I'm using the toy proportions and then applying them to my height. I think I did the calculations wrong and caused Zapper to be off. The way I'm doing it is taking the measurement of a part of the toy, dividing it by the height of the toy to the the part's percentage and then using that percentage and applying it to my height to get how big the part should be on me. So the formula looks like this:
size of toy part
____________ = percentage of part to height X my height = size of part on me
height of toy
So, for example, say a part is 2 inches long and the toy is 4 inches high. When you divid the part by the toy height, you get 0.5 (or 50%). I usually don't bother changing it into percent format. I'm 56 inches high ( T.T I thought I was taller) so if I multiply that by 0.5 then the part should be 28 inches on me.
____________ = 0.5 X 56 inches = 28 inches
And that's is why math class is important! Now I just have to measure everything. 3D models are extremely helpful for this.12-2-11
Ugh. It's December already. I was hoping to get further than I am so I'm just going to have to kick it up a notch. But I have done something. So far I've don't mock ups for Captain's v-fin and the base of his shoe. That's not a whole lot. However, that could be because I've done some for Bakunetsmaru as well. I wanted to try to do Baku's head kinda for a low-risk kick start to get me motivated. I've calculated the toy ratios for him and made some mock ups for his headband and goatee. And let me tell you, his goatee looks different between the toy version and the picture versions. Other than the costume itself, I did price the voice activated lights and came up with an audio file for a possible stage performanceV-fin mockup
I started with the red part of Captain's v-fin using the calculation I got from the toy. The basic shape came out pretty good but I'm going to have to make the edges more rounded because the tv version doesn't have sharp angles like I thought it did. Unfortunately, the toy is only good up to a certain point on that respect. The yellow parts of the v-fin gave me the most trouble. The length was fine but the angle made it so that it stuck out too wide. Took a little while to get it to look decent. Shoe bottom mock up
Not much, just the bottom. Again, the tv version of Captain looks a bit more round so I added a slight curve to the sides.Baku's headband mock up
After getting the measurements for Baku (using the toy version with the removable helmet), I decided to make the mock up for the headband. I decided to use the flexible tape measure on account of the curves. I thought that this is how it should be measured but when I taped the pieces together, the head looked entirely too big, and that is without his big helmet. I don't know. It just didn't look right. Straight ruler it is.Baku goatee mock up
Yet another instance where the toy looks different from the picture. From the picture reference, Baku's goatee has more angles. I kinda like the first version I did, though. Maybe I can save it for Captain.Captain's sound clip
One thing that I have trouble in is being in character. My other costumes were of villains and I can imagine what they would say and act but so far I haven't been good at doing that. Captain's pretty nice so he may be easier to pull off. Anyway, I would like to try to so a little more with the stage performance. Episode 28 "The Ways of the Warriors" where Captain introduces himself to Genkimaru seems good. *(I'm using the clip from 2:57 to 3:27 found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGnZKrcoD-U
)* Not too long and something simple. I used Audacity to cut out as much of the unnecessary sounds as I could and added/ clipped Captain's theme song to match it. Not bad. I may add some more to it if I get and chance.Voice activated lights
I've been searching for sound activated lights but I don't want to go through the hassle of soldering stuff. I took one electronics class and I never could get my soldering to look good. Besides, I don't remember all that stuff now. After searching I think that EL wire is my best bet. That's Cool Wire.com had a nice video demonstrating their voice activated inverter. It's adjustable. They have different colors/ sizes of wire. They can add the battery pack. No soldering. I'm sold! The only thing I'm worrying about is the length. I know the inverter has a maximum length but I've got to ask if it has a minimum before I start hacking stuff off. I wan't to get a red EL wire for Baku and just switch out the inverter so it will cost me around $50 with the shipping.12-11-11
I did some actual cardboard cutting for Baku's head. With the side face guards and the bottom part of some of his hair, it's actually starting to look like something. I did run into a bit of a problem, though. I believe the proportion measurements are right to get the gundams how they are supposed to look and I knew the head was going to be larger than mine. But I had trouble turning my head when I put on the side face guards with the original measurements. So I'm going to have to either keep the measurements how they are and adjust where I see out or I'm going to have to scale it down. Not much of a choice since I want Captain's mask removable and it would be safer if I can see out of the gundam's eyes. So re-size it is.
I didn't do a whole lot with Captain himself except make a few paper measurements for his arm cannons. I may be shooting (hahaha "Shute"ing) myself in the foot because despite really wanting to have Captain done first, I made a plushie of Shute. So far, with the other two cosplays that I made a plushie for first, I never finished the actual cosplay. So it's either going to be third times the charm or three strikes I'm out. He's almost done (just needs some shoes and a mouth) and I hope he inspires me to get it done. Or at least remind me of his annoying voice telling Captain not to give up.12-20-11
In the grand scheme of things, I guess you can say I didn't do a lot this past week. But still, I feel that what I did was a major victory visually. First off, I did finish the Shute plush. Yay, yay, yay. It's going to be so much fun when I'm finished with everything!
And I did contact That's Cool Wire because I was concerned about what would happen if I cut the wire too short. They answered me right away and the shortest I can have it is just under 3 feet. Not as short as I want it, but I'm sure I could make it work. They suggested that I use their EL wire kit builder and it looks like I have to get two colors at that length to even get the voice activated inverter. Oh well, at least I could get red for Baku and don't have to worry about it anymore. I just need to gather the funds to get it.
I decided to take a leap of faith (because time's ticking to get Captain done) and test out my paper patterns on the actual foam. I have the arm cannons put together in the foam and it looks great. They are nice and light too and I was having fun dancing around in them. I just hope they look right when the other parts are done. I guess I should try to have faith in the measurements. Other than that, the only other thing I have so far are some paper measurements for Captain's feet. 12-27-11
This week I used my paper measurements to construct Captain's feet out of foam. I used cardboard for the bottom on the shoe. I was going to just double up on the craft foam for it but I think that thin layer of cardboard will give it more support. My feet kinda don't face perfectly straight when I stand so I'm going to glue the sneakers in at an angle to account for that. I can just imaging me tripping over the wheel on the the back of the shoe of I didn't. I think the hardest part of the shoe design was figuring out the right angles for the red trim. I really like how the foot structure looks. I finally got some fabric. Hooray for Christmas and Walmart gift cards! Why in the world is it so hard to find the right colors I need. Is a solid dark grey too much to ask for? Joann's didn't have what I needed but fortunately Walmart had something close. I forgot to bring a reference with me so it was hard picking out the colors. I don't know how much it would help anyway since the toy, the anime, the internet, and the printed reference all look like they have different shades of the colors. Especially the blue. The blue is going to drive me nuts! But for the sake of time, I just had to choose something. Now the only other main things I need are the EL wire and some white craft foam. I didn't glue the shoe completely together because I feel it will be easier to add the craft foam/ fabric layer first. Speaking of glue, my glue gun died and my back up one is horrible. Better add that to my list of things I need. Since I got the material, I also started on the gloves with the little bit of craft foam I did have. It's a good thing I was watching the show because the toy had a part backwards. Saved me a lot of hand sewing.