Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kali Costume Part 3: PROPS

I've already written a couple of articles about building the Kali costume for Hi-Rez Studios multiplayer game SMITE.

Part 1: Building the Rack of a Goddess
Part 2: It's Hard to Find a Model with Four Arms

Since she now has four arms, it's time to give her something to hold onto.  In most traditional depictions, Kali is shown carrying a sword or trident, a severed head representing the human ego, and a skull-cup or "Kapala" to catch the blood draining from the head.  Here's the way she looks in SMITE:
Kali from SMITE
If you'd like to see how I went about making the swords, the cup, and the severed head, read on.

The first thing I started with was her...


Since she carries a matched pair of swords, I was able to get away with one sculpt which I molded and cast two copies of.  Here's the rough outline of the blade cut in a couple of slices of MDF:
Blade Roughed Out

I did the very coarse shaping with the belt sander:
Blade Shaping

Here I am checking the scale of the rough-shaped handle:
Blade Shaped with Grip Rough

Using a Dremel rotary tool, knives, and more time on the belt sander, I refined the shape a bit more:
Grip Shaping Up

Here I am checking to see that the size seems right:
Rough Draft Skirt Front

When I was completely satisfied with the shape of the grip, I gave it a few coats of my standard prototype color:
Sword Handle Finalized
With the blade smoothed out and shiny, I went ahead and built up a clay mold box:Sword Mold Box Set UP

The little dimples will become registration keys to help keep the two halves of the mold aligned during casting.

Here's the first batch of silicone poured into the mold box:
Sword Mold First Pour

After building up a layer of thixotropic silicone, I stuck on a few blocks of silicone (molded in an ice cube tray) to keep the rubber parts aligned in the fiberglass mothermold.  Here's the mothermold coming together:
Sword First Half Mothermold

Once the mothermold was laid up, the whole arrangement was flipped over and most of the clay removed:
Sword Second Half Prepped for Molding

I sprayed a release agent onto the now exposed silicone and then repeated the silicone and mothermold process for the second half.  Once that was done, it was time to separate the mold halves and remove the prototype.

Here's the two mold halves:Sword Mold Complete

Once they were bolted together, I went ahead and poured a casting in black resin:
Sword First Casting

Here's the first cast assembled: Sword First Casting Assembled

  After a bit of cleanup I gave it a coat of black primer.  Then I painted the handles so I could, you know, handle them:
Sword Handles Drying

For the blades I used a variety of chrome and aluminum colored paints:
Swords base colors painted

Here they are with the details picked out:
Painted Swords

With the swords finished, it was time to move on to...

The Cup:

In this case, the cup has four matching sides, each with a stylized skull.  Here's the nearly completed sculpt for one side:
Kali Cup Sculpt Progress

Once I was happy with the sculpt, I built up a clay wall around it and made a silicone mold:
Kali Cup Mold Pouring

Here's the mold after I'd removed the original sculpt:
Kali Cup Mold

I rotocast four copies, glued them edge to edge, and gave them a coat of primer:
Cup in Progress

Then the whole assembly got a basecoat of chrome spraypaint:
Cup Basecoating

Then it sat unfinished in the workshop for a while while I concentrated on other aspects of the build:
Cup Basecoated

Matt got the stem started on the lathe:
Cup Stem Progress

Then I finished it:
Cup Stem Progress 2

Here's the prototype before molding:
Cup Stem

With the stem attached, the cup was nearly done:
Cup Finished

The last thing was to wire up the lights for the eyes:
Cup Illuminated

At this point, the whole project was fast approaching its deadline.  All that was left was...

The Severed Head

I had hoped to find a suitable severed head that I could buy, then just add a wig and hang it from her rear right hand, but I didn't find anything I liked.

Instead, I dusted off a sculpting armature, pulled out the game renders of the head, and started sculpting:
Severed Head Sculpt Finished

The finished sculpt looked like some freakish bastard child of Eddie from Iron Maiden, the Swamp Thing, David Bowie, and Clint Eastwood, but I pressed on.  I laid up a stone mold, slipcast the head in latex, and then backfilled it with soft urethane foam.

Since I didn't have any spare teeth laying around, I had to resort to pulling a mold of my own teeth, casting them in dental acrylic, and then staining them to an appropriately decayed color:
Teeth for Dead Head

Here's the head with the acrylic eyes and teeth installed, but before I did any painting:

Dead Head Unpainted Latex Cast 

Not bad for a quickie project.

Unfortunately, I was up against a deadline and neglected to take progress pictures of the head being painted or attaching the wig.  Rest assured, it worked out:
Kali Done Studio

Next up: Wardrobe, hair, and make-up.

Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss any updates. 

No comments:

Post a Comment