thermoplastic

How to make wings without a harness

Most of the time wings that are a bit heavy needs the support of straps that goes around the shoulders and under the chest to stay up against your back. 

Harnesses works very good but if the dress etc have bare shoulders however the straps are going to show. 

This is how I normally do wings in a way to avoid having a harness for those character designs.

First of all this method will not work if the top/dress is loose fitted. The wings will require some support to hold them in place on your back. I find that corsets are the best for this especially if the wings are a bit heavy but I have also used it in tops without boning.

Start of making your wings seperated on two bars. Make sure the bars are made out of a stiff material since they are going to support the weight of the wings. If they end up being to week and bend the wings will slope and gap away from your back. 

For my angel wings in felt I used 3 mm thick aluminum bars to hold up my, a bit more heavy, wings. I then covered them in worbla and connecting them using some more worbla, This creates a good wing base and makes them stay with a good distance from each other. 

In a similar way I attached an other pair of wings made out of worbla to a base, but since these wings are quite light a few layers of worbla was enough to keep them stiff and not bend.

Make sure not to make the base too short since you will stick it into your back lining and don’t want it to fall out.  

One of the most important steps when doing these kinds of wings is to bend the base a bit. Most backs are not 100% flat so put the wing base against you back and mark where on the base where a gap between the base and your back starts to show.
If the base is made of a thermoplastic you can just heat it up and bend it at the marking into the right angle. Otherwise, like for the base with aluminum, you can saw it of and reattach them again to create the right angle.
You can of course make the angling of the base before attaching the wings but I find it easier to do it after. 

When the base is done you can just stick it in to the top. I find that sticking it into the bra strap also helps the wings stay in place a bit better.

I personally love this method since you super easily can take the wings of and back on if you want to sit down or walk in a crowded hallway without worrying about people bumping into you wings.

~Bubblefish
(Photo at the top was taken by David Johansson)

2

Creating A Thermoplastic-Friendly Workspace

We’ve had a cold snap this week, which means my outdoor (garage) workshop is too cold for thermoforming, so I’m doing all my crafting work in my kitchen right now. When working indoors, it’s important that your cosplay habit doesn’t damage your living space. (Nobody wants to kiss that security deposit or resale value goodbye.) The good news is, you can usually outfit your indoor work space for less than five dollars!

In addition to a power outlet for your heat gun, there are two very important things you need when working with heat guns and heat-activated material such as thermoplastics:

  • a heat-proof surface to work on – one that will not be damaged by OR stick to the surface of your material
  • a safe, heat-proof place to set your heat gun when it’s not in your hand

For my heat-proof surface, I’m using an enameled steel tray that I picked up at a yard sale a few years ago. (An old metal baking sheet will also work; check your local thrift store.) I’ve set the tray on top of my range, so there’s a nice air gap beneath it to allow it to cool more quickly. Don’t place a hot tray directly on a countertop or table without towels/ironing pad/something insulated beneath it, as the heat will transfer to the surface below. Also, beware the hot metal while you’re working!

I use a silicone baking mat when I’m working with sticky materials. (Mine was 49 cents at Goodwill, but you can find them as cheap as $3 new via Amazon.com.) The silicone has a slight surface texture, so I don’t use it when I’m working with very smooth pieces or rolling out little Worbla snakes to form surface designs, but it’s helpful for keeping the soft plastic from gluing itself to the tray (though for the most part, once the Worbla has cooled I can pop it off the metal).

With this setup, I can keep the hot metal end of the heat gun over the stove at all times, so it doesn’t make contact with (and melt) my countertop. When I work on a wood table or other surface, I use a wire cooling rack (the kind used for baking cookies) or a large metal trivet to keep the heat gun safely elevated. (I paid $1 for my cooling rack at Dollar Tree.)

It’s generally a good idea to move anything heat-sensitive out of the area when you’re working with a heat gun, but if you’re careful, you can set up a workshop and build things right in your living space without risking damage to your property!

2

Thermoplastic Pricing Guide and Behavior Cheat Sheet



 -These prices are based off of US stores and shipping rates. These prices are consistent across many websites and discounts are offered on bulk orders. Prices vary depending on shipping country.

*Sintra is offered in many sizes and shapes. The prices listed are from CosplaySupplies.com . More sizes than these exist. Sintra is a company name for foamed PVC. You can often find cheaper sheets of “sintra” by looking for “foamed PVC” or “extruded PVC”

* Worbla

-  The most well-known thermoplastic in the cosplay community. Available from multiple vendors online and from a few physical stores.
-  Thermoplastic capable of multidimensional shaping
-  Has no internal mesh
-  Can be heated with a hair dryer or heat gun (better results from heat gun)
-  Capable of reusing scraps by reheating them
-  Smooth adhesive side/rough exterior side – can adhere to itself
-  Relatively thin, often requires a supporting material in armor (craft foam sandwich)
-  Most expensive of the thermoplastics
-  Requires priming (wood glue, gesso, ect.) to remove texture

 

*Terraflex

-  Only sold by Tandy Leather. If you live near a store this product has the benefit of no shipping costs and the ability to pick up same day its needed
-  Thermoplastic capable of multidimensional shaping
-  Has no internal mesh
-  Can be heated with a hair dryer or heat gun (better results from heat gun)
-  Capable of reusing scraps by reheating them
-  Smooth adhesive side/rough exterior side – can adhere to itself
-  Relatively thin, often requires a supporting material in armor (craft foam sandwich)
-  “knockoff” of Worbla, if you have Tandy Leather membership cards, it makes it a fair bit cheaper than Worbla
-  Requires priming (wood glue, gesso, ect.) to remove texture
-  Has a scent, smells like graham crackers when heated

*Wonderflex

-  Contains an internal mesh
-  The mesh provides additional stability to thermoplastic
-  Can be heated with a hair dryer or heat gun (better results from heat gun)
-  Smooth adhesive side/rough exterior side – can adhere to itself
-  Internal mesh prevents multidimensional shaping without puckering
-  (mesh can be picked out- extremely work intensive)
-  Relatively thin, often requires a supporting material in armor (craft foam sandwich)
-  Requires priming (wood glue, gesso, ect.) to remove texture

*Sintra

-  Comes in a variety of thicknesses
-  A UNIDEMNSIONAL material. Is incapable of making compound shapes – i.e. can only bend in one direction without cutting darts.
-  Can be brittle if cut when cool or across large pieces of material
-  Needs to be heated with a heat gun or large heat source like an oven to work with uniformly
-  Does not adhere to itself. Requires glue to bond pieces together
-  Smooth texture doesn’t require priming like Worbla, Terraflex, or Wonderflex
- Due to variety of thicknesses, it can be used on its own for armor pieces (no foam sandwiches)
-  Cheapest of the thermoplastics, but limited in some areas. Great for things like pauldrons and vambraces, not so much with breastplates and curves.
-  Because it is PVC, it is strongly recommended to wear a respirator and have ventilation when heating this material due to fumes.



* Transpa Art

-  Transparent thermoplastic
-  Needs to be heated with a heat gun and only workable within a small temperature range
-  Does not adhere it itself like other thermoplastics. Requires cyanoacrylate glues to stick pieces together.
-  Not a strong as Worbla, Terraflex, ect.
-  Cannot be reformed with scraps
-  Great for accents and LED applications
-  Elemental Photography and Design, and Kamui Cosplay do excellent videos showing more of how Transpa behaves

6

Some cool progress shots for princess Zeldas jewelry bits. I think the one thing I always hear about is how the hell to smooth out your worbla once you’re done sculpting what you want. 
The thing I found works best for me while I was working on Ganondorfs crown was to water down some wood filler and rub it all over the worbla. This will remove some of the rough textures and bumpy look. Once the filler is dry lightly sand down your prop and cover in gesso. In my head the gesso will keep the wood filler in place although there is a good possibility this is an unnecessary step. Sand it down one more time and apply several coats of spray primer/filler. 
 From there you can sand down any imperfections and rework the necessary areas with more wood filler and primer spray! This should give you a nice smooth base to paint on 👍🏻
Hope this was helpful! Happy cosplaying! ❤️

3

This Roman period glass bowl is made of translucent, light green glass. The bowl would have been formed by blowing a bubble of glass into a mold, creating the ribs on the vessel’s exterior and leaving the areas between the ribs extremely thin. Despite its age, this glass object is intact with the exception of one small, oblong loss in the thinnest part of the wall. Conservators do not always fill every loss in an object, especially when an object comes from an ancient and/or archaeological context, or when the loss is small; however, in the case of this bowl, the glass surrounding the area of loss is so thin that filling the loss actually improves the object’s stability by protecting the edges of the loss from further damage.

The loss in the bowl’s wall was filled with a thermoplastic acrylic resin called Paraloid® B-72. Paraloid® B-72 is a favorite material in conservation, used as an adhesive, a consolidant, a fill material, and a coating. B-72 is versatile as it is soluble in a variety of solvents in a range of concentrations, and particularly well suited to conservation as the resin is chemically stable, reversible and manipulable with solvents and heat, structurally strong, optically clear, and bonds well to many materials. Paraloid® B-72 finds use on a wide range of materials, but because the resin sets through solvent evaporation, tiny bubbles visually disrupt the resin film, making B-72 less aesthetically appropriate for glass. To help conservators use this excellent repair material in glass conservation, conservators at the Corning Museum of Glass developed a way to cast Paraloid® B-72 resin films without bubbles.

To make the fill for the bowl, B-72 resin was tinted with dyes and dry pigments, poured into silicone rubber molds, and cast into thin sheets. The molds were placed into polyethylene bags (left) to allow the solvent to evaporate slowly, reducing the formation of bubbles in the resin film. Once set (right), the film was cut to shape and adhered to the loss by applying a tiny bit of solvent to the edges of the fill; because B-72 is itself an adhesive, no additional adhesive is necessary.

Through exposure to its archaeological burial environment, the surface of the bowl has developed a layer of iridescence often referred to as “weathering products.” Unlike accretions that have become adhered to the surface of the glass, weathering products are actually the original surface of the glass that has delaminated, or split, into many layers. As light passes through these extremely thin layers of glass that are separated by small pockets of air, the light bends or refracts, the optical effect creating iridescent colors like oil on water or the colors of some butterfly wings.  

To make the Paraloid® B-72 fill resemble the weathered glass, a layer of goldbeater’s skin painted with acrylic iridescent paints was added. Traditionally used in the beating of gold sheet into gold leaf, goldbeater’s skin is thin, strong, translucent, and has a satiny sheen similar to the glass weathering products. This bowl will be part of the upcoming reinstallation of the Brooklyn Museum’s Asian and Islamic Galleries.

Posted by Victoria Schussler 

4

Forest God art doll.

Sold

Forest God is a character from the movie “Princess Mononoke”. This doll is a fanart which I was going to do a long time ago.  All the details have been ready long ago, but I could finish this work only recently and If I would start it again, I made it look a little bit differently to be honest. Anyways I decided to finish this doll as planned and feel relief now :)

Made of super sculpey, thermoplastic , faux fur, rabbit fur, wire+plastic armature, primer, acrylic paint, varnish. Its horns are made of unbreakable plastic so they are very solid. Its neck has a plastic ball and socket armature inside so it can turn his head. The tail and legs have wire armature inside and narrow posable.

youtube

How to Create Breastplates with Worbla by KamuiCosplay

View the full tutorial here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXme58f4Ibc

Painting Poison Ivy

I’m going to show you guys step-by-step how I painted each piece of my armor, using my shinguards as an example. It’s a very simple process - anyone from any skill level of painting can do it! It’s behind a ‘Read More’ so that people who are uninterested are not subjected to 9 photos of no significance. 

Above is the final product, below is the tutorial. 

Keep reading

8

I know I’m barely on tumblr anymore but I’ve been super into Undertale lately and making a Papyrus for Wondercon!
Skull is a helmet template that I purchased from Evil Ted Smith and modified into a skull and spent a million trillion years dremmeling and smoothing. Expressive details are being sculpted with Thermomorph moldable plastic. Still got a little ways to go.
Plans are to have a moveable jaw so I can be a loudmouth with an actual mouth. 8)

5

Wrought Plastic Corset

Once again, I decided about a month before the deadline to enter the Foundations Revealed competition. Because inspiration always strikes at the last possible minute.

I opted to use the theme “Intersection of Light, Black and White” rather than the historical pattern. I’ve been meaning to play with thermoplastic corsets for a long time now but had never had quite the right project as an excuse or the funds available. I finally gave in, especially once I read the prompt and it mentioned wrought iron as a potential source of inspiration. Wrought iron is a serious weakness of mine, and I’ve always found it incredibly beautiful and inspirational, so I decided to run with that in combination with a clear thermoplastic.

I wanted to play with how the transparency of the base corset would combine with the decoration and the wearer’s skin tone. The fact that with the plastic I can get a completely transparent result, in comparison to the more standard corsetry mesh that not only has color but also needs boning channels, means greater influence of the wearer on the appearance of the actual garment, which I’m excited to explore with different models. In the case of a belted overlayer, it creates the illusion that just the decoration is doing the cinching, which is a really cool effect when viewed from a distance. 

I took the opportunity to also play with my new corsetry form! I draped a pattern in paper, since it would act more like the final product than muslin would, and created the base corset out of clear thermoplastic.

The outer layer is a separate piece, made of another thermoplastic, wonderflex. I wanted the ability to be versatile, and the clear thermoplastic doesn’t have the self-adhering qualities of other thermoplastics, so attachment would have been difficult to hide given the transparency of the base layer. I’ve also made a couple of other outer layers that can be switched out, so it can be used for very different looks.

I really loved working with this material, and I can’t wait to explore it more! I’m already in process for a mini collection with it that’s going to play even more with the fun properties of the material. 

(Bottom picture credits: Model @hjsteele, Photographer @eye-ofa-panda)