Thursday, February 16, 2017

Clone Wars Mandalorian Costumes Part 7: the Gauntlets and Knees

This is the seventh article in the series detailing the building of a whole bunch of Death Watch and Night Owl Mandalorians from the Clone Wars animated series in preparation for Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim a couple of years back.  I've been really slow to write these, and for that I am ashamed.

You can read the previous articles here:

Part1: the Death Watch Helmets
Part 2: the Night Owl Helmets
Part 3: the Armor
Part 4: the Soft Parts
Part 5: the Blaster Pistols
Part 6: the Nite Owl Armor 

So with all of those pieces put together, it was time to work out the making of the gauntlet and knee pieces.  Both came with their own unique challenges, but in the end we still made quite a lot of them:


For details and additional photos of how they were made, read on...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

February 2017 UFO Sightings in the Workshop

So there's been a shortage of finished things to write about once again.  Part of that has to do with the fact that I'm a lazy blogger.  But most of that has to do with the fact that I've got a lot of works in progress these past couple of months.  In fact, I've got so many irons in the fire lately that I've been accused of having more iron than fire.

That's just because folks don't realize how much fire I've really got.


Still, to make sure you know I'm still alive and churning out projects, here's another roundup of UnFinished Objects currently in the works...

First up, there's this stack of parts:
Parts Stacking Up

That's about 75% of the carved prototypes that I need to put together for the T-60 Power Armor from Fallout 4.  Each of the individual pieces is kinda huge:
Hero Pose

Here's a lower leg:
Right Lower Leg Assembly Roughed

I still need to carve out the back plate(s), the feet, and the bigger section of the shoulders, but that project is moving right along.

On the subject of carving, there's also this thing:
Shin and Knee Stacked

That's the two pieces of the lower right leg of the War Machine suit as seen in Ironman 2.  I'm collaborating with a very talented friend of mine who agreed to do the smoothing and molding in exchange for keeping the first set of parts to come out of the mold.  It's slow going, but by now I've carved out the lower legs, the shoulder, pelvis, waist, spine plates, upper arms, and the thighs.

I made the helmet a couple of years ago.  One of these days I'll install the glowing red eyes and write up that project too:
WM Helmet Painting 15

On the subject of Marvel stuff, there's also this gem:
Red Anodize First Pass

I've been fighting with the red candy coat, but once I get that dialed in I can install the other piece:
Star Unmasked

On the subject of annoying paint, I've been making a batch of these guys:
Shiny Progress

I could've probably called them done months ago, but every time I look I spot some tiny, microscopic imperfection in the glossy surface and decide I need to sand everything down and clearcoat it again.  Here's one of them fully assembled:
TI83779 Helmet Glam

I suppose it's pretty shiny...

On the Star Wars front, I'm putting together three of these guys:
F-11D Blaster Without Stickers

The next one will have the extended buttstock and the third one will be chrome.  So there's that.

In unrelated news, I've gotten a good start on a sculpt for the Wolf Helm of Russ from Warhammer 40K:
Rough Shapes Blocked Front

There's other things in progress, but these are the only ones I'm in a position to discuss publicly.

Stay tuned for updates.  More madness is always on the way.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2016: the Year in Review

So there I was on the morning of January first 2016, somewhere in the frozen backwaters of upstate New York, penniless and hungover with no idea how I was going to get home.  Little did I know, 2016 was going to present me with one of the busiest, craziest, hardest, best, and worst years ever.

For a longer summation, read on...

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Space Wolf: a New Twist on my Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine Costumes

A few years back, I made a bit of a splash in certain corners of the internet when I made a handful of Space Marine costumes based on the Dark Angels Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes.  I've always been a big fan of the Warhammer 40K universe and the Dark Angels have a very striking, gloomy, look and feel that offered up a lot of interesting opportunities for custom details.

They were pretty cool, but there's also 999 other chapters of Space Marines to choose from.  So the next challenge was to make another set of armor from my molds and dress it up in the iconography of a completely different chapter.

The result: a Space Wolf!

While the Dark Angels tend to look like they're covered in relics handed down from the Catholic church, Space Wolves are the aesthetic descendants of Vikings.  Their Codex offers up a rich tapestry of bits and pieces to add to the standard armor and I'm really happy with the finished project:
Space Wolf Finished Step

For more details on this build, read more...

This Year's Reading List

2016 has been a big year.  While I've been all over the place, doing all of the things, I've still managed to carve out a few minutes there and here to do a tiny bit of reading.  I'm sure I'm forgetting a few titles, but here's a big chunk of the books I've managed to consume in the past year.


Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard I picked this one up because I had vague memories of the Steven Spielberg film (and Batman's screen debut) when I was a kid.  The movie, sadly, was much better.


The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert This was a fascinating read.  If you've ever wanted more details about the profound impact humanity is currently having on our own ecosystem and the other creatures we share it with, give this one a read.


The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Phil Szostak, Lucas Film Ltd. a neat look into the creative evolution that developed into the characters and creatures that were finally brought to life on screen.  The biggest challenge for me was looking through all of these great concepts and resisting the urge to add even more to my ever-growing list of projects to build.


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie “KonMari” Kondo A fascinating book that has reminded me that I really need to sort my junk and get rid of much of it.


Thor Vol. 1: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman Someone told me that Thor turned into a woman, so I had to check it out.  Turns out they didn't have the story quite right, but it still makes for a good read nonetheless. 


Thor Vol. 2: Who Holds the Hammer? The sequel to Goddes of Thunder.  Because I got hooked on a graphic novel for the first time in a decade and had to find out what happens next.  Soon I'll get a chance to check out the next one.


The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein Awesome.  Typical of Heinlein's work, this tome goes into great detail about the intrigues and intricacies involved in a political revolution and insurrection in a post-digital age.


Aftermath: Star Wars by Chuck Wendig I picked this one up after reading about all of the controversy it caused in the Star Wars fan community.  I'd made it a point to wait on reading it until after I'd seen Episode VII.  It was entertaining, but not exactly profound.


The Art of Fallout 4 Hardcover by Bethesda Softworks  I've always liked the aesthetic of the Fallout game universe.  Paging through this massive collection of concept art did me no end of bad.  Now I have a huge project wishlist.  Stay tuned for more details on that front.


Three Moments of an Explosion by China MiĆ©ville I'm lying about this one.  I bought it.  I set it on my "to-read" stack, and I haven't opened it yet.


Make: Fire: The Art and Science of Working with Propane by Tim Deagan This is relevant to my interestes.  I read it.  It now sits in a safe corner of my workshop.  2017 will see me making fire.


The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi Follows a handful of fascinating characters in a future world where genetically modified crops, animals, and laborers are the norm and famine is an ever-present concern.


How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction by Beth Shapiro A look into the scientific, moral, and legal ramifications of bringing extinct animals back to life.  Worth reading, but sadly there will be no dinosaurs anytime soon.


Kama Pootra: 52 Mind-Blowing Ways to Poop by Daniel Cole Young This was a Christmas present from my niece.  I wouldn't exactly call it a practical guide, but it's chuckleworthy.

I'm sure there's more reading I actually managed to squeeze in, but these are the titles that stood out in my mind here, now, at the end of the year.