Love your Firebrand superhero who's striving for a tenure-track position ! ;) Hehehehe.
Awesome dedication in creating this superhero. I love her origin story and arch nemesis, Aqua Marine and side-kick-cat.
I want to know more about the bow/arrow and please bring it to class Wednesday. Side question I hope you can answer on Wednesday: how many hours did it take to create the costume and the photoshoots AND the photoshopping? I mean, even the gif of the transformation is a great touch. I need to know!!!
(ps I typed all this up and then realized you said "discuss in class on Weds"....oops.)
Haha thank you!
I'm going to try to bring both the fire bow and water wand on Wednesday, although it may require some creative juggling as both are very unwieldy!
The costume pieces were almost all recycled from other costumes and just pieced together for this project. I’ll breakdown the individual times, but the short answer is “way too long”
It took us almost two years to properly age the cat
Makeup and hair was about an hour. Neither the quickest nor the longest costume makeup I’ve done by any means. Nothing particularly exciting there
The photoshoot was about 2 hours total. Since I failed to think of a good location that wouldn’t be super crowded on a sunny Saturday, so we shot around my apartment complex (which is part of why I photoshopped all the backgrounds wherever possible). We used gold and silver light reflectors to change the effect of lighting on the original pictures, and had to get a little creative since there was only three of us (myself, Leah/AquaMarine, and James photographing) to get the camera and light going at the same time. The camera distance button thing I ordered arrived two days too late, obviously.
I did all the photoshopping over the course of about two days. It took somewhere around 13 hours. I watched a lot of Justice League Unlimited while doing this, and caught up on the Flash. I did the gif using a free online gif converter, and I can’t for the life of me remember which one. I tried about 6 different ones before I found one that let me do the fade effect between the pictures. Unfortunately, this meant uploading my pictures to a bunch of random websites, which I am obviously weirded out by these days.
The bow was done for a Sailor Mars gladiator costume. It took about 20 hours to design in solid works. rather than design it from scratch, we used a Skyrim orcish bow as a base model http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121013014635/elderscrolls/images/0/0a/OrcishBow_SK.png . Printing it took close to another 20 hours, and it was printed in about 10 pieces, which I then glued together, sanded forreeeeevvver, and painted to look like fire. Finally I wrapped it in a material called “Fantasy film”, which is sort of a heat-shrinkable iridescent cellophane thing that a lot of people use for fairy wings. The post-printing processing time was close to another 35-45 hours, done over the course of about 3 months (it was REALLY hard to sand down because of all the spikes). You can see some of the processing pictures here http://imgur.com/a/5jFhD (and some bonus pictures of my cat sidekick). The arrow followed the same process, but was printed as a hollow figure so that I could run a thin wooden dowel through the center for stability. In retrospect I wish I had used a metal rod, as it still bends a little under its own weight. The arrow was about 5 hours of design, 7 hours of printing, and 10 hours of processing. The final touch was attaching a magnet to the arrow shaft that corresponds to a magnet on the bow, so that I could click the arrow into place. This totally failed, as the magnet was way too weak.
The gladiator belt was also borrowed from the Sailor Mars costume (if you’re curious, you can check it out here https://www.facebook.com/DancingRaptor/photos/pb.517749828260152.-2207520000.1431144266./796835423684923/?type=3&theater ) I assembly-lined all the leather work for all five sailor scouts. These were cut out of a large cowhide, tooled with the scout symbol, dyed, the tooled symbol handpainted in gold, and then connected with sparkly gemstone rivets. Each belt also has a handpainted extra-girly belt buckle that doesn’t show in any of the pictures ever. Total the belt took maybe 7 hours, but it’s hard to tell since it was spread across a month and done alongside the other four.
The other pieces all came from a dark elf costume I made for a fantasy masquerade ball last year (when I wore it for that, it had an elaborate crown, facepaint, and elf ears)
The “armor” took close to 25 hours (shoulder pauldrons and bracers) over the course of a couple months. Although they seem pretty underwhelming, each piece is constructed of lots of little scraps of sheer fabric which were torn/cut, burnt along the edges for texture, sewn to the base piece, and then sprayed with a spray adhesive and heatgunned to dry them into piece so that they stand up. The capelet was similarly burnt, but without the gluing and dry time it only took about an hour or two.
I think the corset was around 15 hours of work. I made it out of canvas, set grommets in the back, and put in steel bones. To get the color I then sprayed it with layers of purple and red glitter paint. To stencil in the “texturing” I put lace over it and sprayed it with black. Finally, I hand sewed the lace along the
top and bottom, the appliques, and the gemstones.
The shirt and skirt were a couple hours each. The skirt is hand gathered along the sides, and the appliques and gemstones on the shirt were also handsewn. I also added Velcro strips to the shoulders of the shirt which correspond to Velcro strips on the pauldrons, so they can be removed to wash it.
I bought the tights at Target. ain’t nobody got time to make tights. I also added some ebay hair extensions.
The Aqua Marine:
The “Water Wand” goes with a costume from a few years ago – the sorceress from Orcs Must Die. (http://www.maycontainspoilers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2012/10/Sorceress-and-War-Mage.jpg ) This is basically a table leg with some added pieces along the bottom, wrapped in leather strips and a thermoplastic material. The top gem section was the hardest part – the gem is a section of acrylic rod, hand carved with a rotary tool into the shape, and painted purple with stained glass paint…stuff. The gem was the hardest part, followed closely by carving the “claws” that grip it and press fitting it into place. We worked on this for a couple weeks, but since it was a while ago I can’t really estimate how many hours. We also tried a few different methods for the gem, including casting it out of resin and creating a hollow clear thermoplastic (originally I wanted to embed lights in it).
We actually didn’t make any of the fabric pieces. The corset is from corset-story, the gloves went with an old sith costume of mine, and we just pinned the cape in place day of. The wig I had just for funsies.