Friday, March 27, 2015

March UFO Sightings in the Workshop

I've been running way behind on posting anything at all lately.  As is usually the case, whenever I've got time to write it feels like I've got nothing to write about.  Then whenever I've got interesting projects going on, I can't find time to write.

I will write more detailed write-ups as these projects get completed and I find breathing room.  In the meantime, here's a shotgun blast of photos of UnFinished Objects around the workshop lately.

Let me be clear, there's a lot of them:
Almost Halfway There

Those are just some of the several hundred parts that we've been making for the Mandalorian Death Watch and Night Owl costumes we'll be showing off at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim next month.  Here's one of them strapped together for a quick duct tape test fit on our smallest wearer:
Shortest Nite Owl Test Fitting

As part of that project, we're making no less than 19 jetpacks:
Jetpack Makes Me Happy

On the subject of Star Wars, I'm also making a few Sith Acolytes from the Old Republic MMORPG.  Here's an in-progress shot of the mask:
SA Mask 95pct Smoove

I'll also be dressing the Lady Shawnon as Shae Vizla from the same game:
Shae Helmet First Gloss Pass

I'm a bit touched in the head, so cranking out thirty simultaneous Star Wars costumes* is apparently not enough.  That's why I've also been tinkering with my realistic interpretation of Captain Rex from the Clone Wars:
Rex Silver Base 2

On the subject of helmets, I'm still making slow headway on my War Machine helmet from Ironman 2:
Trimmed Castings Out of Mold

Of course, there's also the really big, super secret project going on over on the main workbench.  It's starting to get difficult to take any photos in the workshop without having some part of this thing visible in frame:

I can't tell you what it's going to be (other than "awesome" of course) but hopefully I'll get a chance to show off the finished result some months from now.
The next couple of months should make for some pretty exciting updates.  There will be Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim, the Bay Area Maker Faire, and Shawnon's next visit back in the states all coming up in short order.

So stay tuned for further updates...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A New Utility Belt for Batman

A while back I was in Japan helping with an ad campaign (featuring this commercial and print ads like this one) and had the pleasure of meeting one Kevin Porter.  Kevin has made a name for himself appearing as Batman in a variety of short films as well as conventions all over the world.  You may have recently seen him in the Batman vs. Darth Vader Superpower Beat Down video.

He mentioned to me at one point that he'd like me to make some parts for a new version of the utility belt he wears with his costume.  By the time we were done discussing it, the project had grown from "can you make me a smaller version of this little buckle?" to "How about three complete belts instead of two?"

I guess that's how these things happen.

Here's he is in character as Batman wearing one of the uitility belts I made for him:
Bat Belt Kevin Porter

For more pictures and a detailed explanation of how it was made, read on...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Two Years Ago Today...

...I met up with my sister and her friends for dinner and met the most amazing, intelligent, beautiful woman a guy could ever ask for.  It turns out her name was "Shawnon," the first sign of the perfect match that makes us about 150% too cute together.

Withing a few short weeks, I'd happily given her the keys to my everything.  Here she is driving my car:
Nice Car

She's been away at school for most of the time we've been together, but when she's in town, we spend every waking minute together.  Even though I'm always in the workshop, she's right there with me:
More Shawnon

Even with all of the separation, we've manage to squeeze a lot into the past two years.  Here we are diving in the Caribbean:
Day Fourteen 18

And touring Disneyland: 

And wandering the streets of Tokyo:
Shawn and Shawnon

Somewhere along the way I've travelled to visit her at school a couple of times and we've managed to enjoy all sorts of road trips and other adventures together.  Last year I even had her made a Baroness of the Principality of Sealand, so she can be properly referred to as a lady in her own right.

Suffice it to say, it's been a wonderful whirlwind couple of years and I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of our years have in store.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Clone Wars Nite Owl Costumes Part 1: Helmets

A while back I mentioned that I'll be going to Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim with a group of friends and that my friend Matt talked me into making a bunch of costumes so we can go as Death Watch mercenaries from the Clone Wars animated series.  Since then, we've been on a roll with the Death Watch stuff.  If you didn't see the post about making the helmets, you can read it HERE.

Since our significant others will be going along (as well as a handful of other folks) we have a pressing need to dress the girls in appropriate outfits to fit in with the group.

Here's a finished helmet:
Nite Owl Helmet on Shelf

We've made a few more of them too:
For details about how they were made, read on...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 2014 UFO Sightings in the Workshop

The holidays really took their toll on workshop projects, so it's taken me a couple of weeks of 2015 to really gather steam and get to working on my various projects again.

Back in what seems like forever ago, my amazingly gorgeous girlfriend bought a couple of tickets for us to go to Star Wars Celebration 7 in Anaheim with the condition that I had to come up with stuff for us to wear.  Once some of my friends got word of the fact that we were going, they started making plans to go along, so I'm dressing many of them as well.  One or two of them have even showed up in the workshop to help me build the outfits for them.  

So looking around the workshop there's a lot of Star Wars stuff going on.  Here's my friend Matt putting together a jetpack prototype so we can dress as a unit of Mandalorian Death Watch Mercenaries from the Clone Wars series:
Matt Skinning Jetpack

In order to include our significant others in this plan, we're also making a handful of sets of Nite Owl armor.  Here's some of the helmets in progress:
Test Fitting Ear Puck

Another thing I'm planning on making a few of are the Sith Warriors seen in the trailers for the Old Republic MMORPG (like this one).  Here's the first couple fo pieces of the armor out of the molds:
Sith Acolyte Raw Armor Pulls

I'm laying them up in fiberglass, so they'll be unnecessarily sturdy, but using silicone molds to ensure that they'll have all of the details in place.  Here I am test-fitting the chest armor:
Sith Chest Armor Test Fit

Also from the Old Republic there's the Shae Vizla costume I'm building in cooperation with DW Design Studios for Shawnon.  If you don't know who Shae Vizla is, she's the redheaded badass that shows up prominently in this video.  Here's the prototype for one of the gauntlets in progress:
Gauntlet Detail Test Fit
Still not sure if I want to make the flamethrowers functional or not...

For one of the other Star Wars costumes I'm making, I had to lifecast a copy of Shawnon's head.  Here's a shot of me cleaning up the seam line in the lifecast so you can see what she's look like if she shaved her head and painted herself orange:
Filling Seam Line

Getting away from Star Wars for a moment, I'm also doing some work on another set of Warhammer 40K armor:
Ready to Add Foam
This one will be epic.

And finally, since I can't seem to get enough Ironman, I've been tinkering with a prototype for the War Machine helmet from Ironman 2:
WM Helmet Front Left
It's still got a ways to go, but I'm loving the way this guy is coming out.

Stay tuned for more detailed write-ups of these and many more of my projects...