Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Insane Black Rock Shooter progress: part 3 - The Insane Blade Claw

  Now that the anime for BRS has finally come to an end (right?), my character is not just Huke's illustrations anymore!  Huzzah!!! I probably have not indicated this before, but I'm actually doing my costume based off of the figure that comes with the BRS blue-ray disc.

  Anyhow, I have finally made some very small progress with my weapons!  The big one (Insane Cannon Lance) is still the biggest concern for me, but I wanted to at least get started on the smaller one due to it's complexity.  The sword itself is called the Insane Blade Claw (why are the names for things in BRS so stupid sounding?), it is basically an upgrade from the Black Blade used by BRS.

  My inspiration for making this weapon comes from Kamui Cosplay, who is known for her awesome weapons and armors made out of foam or/and wonderflex.  I decided to use expandable foam for this sword because of it's "organic" shape.  So, below is my current progress:
1. I got some foam boards (the ones you use for science projects) from the scrap exchange for about 25 cents each (if not less), and free handed the sword onto the board.  I kind of trust my free hand ability (even though I know it's not perfect), but if you don't (or you are a perfectionist), then do it with a projector, or print out large patterns in pieces and then glue them together.  Then I cut the sword out with an X-acto knife.

2. Here is where I made my first large mistake.  I forgot about the stick that I have to insert into the middle of the sword.... yeah, but you will see I fixed that later.  Anyways, I sprayed "Great Stuff" foam (from Home Depot for $3.99) onto my foam board pattern.  This was rather amusing because the foam came out like whipped cream.  Although on the can it said that the foam will cure in 8 hours, this is complete bull-shit.  Perhaps it's due to the thickness I sprayed, it took about 14 hours if not more for the foam to completely cure.  Also, according to the guy that works at Home Depot, air is what cures the foam, so if you spray this stuff into a bag that is not airy, the foam will become liquid.

3. After about two or three hours (I went to dance and came back), the top part of the foam was already stiff, so I just turned the whole thing over.  Of course, this is when I realized, "SHIT, I forgot to stick a handle in there."  Luckily, I only had one side sprayed.  I took a sharp utility knife and dug a long hole onto the exposed foam board, this is when I realized that nothing inside was dry, and once you get that stuff on your hand, it is very hard to get off.  I sprayed some more foam into the middle of the sword, and placed a pvc pipe (from Stuart's Stein cosplay) into the middle of the sword (of course, the pipe had to be supported with a box or something).  Then, I sprayed foam onto the other side.  "PHEW"

4. Once the foam was completely cured (aka Next Day).  I took out my utility knife and just carved the sword out.  This sounds easy, but it was rather difficult.  Just be patient and take your time.  Do it at a place that you don't mind getting dirty, and don't wear anything that the foam will stick to (such as nylon stockings Q___Q).  When you are happy with what you have, you should just put the knife down.  I tried several different types of knives because I didn't like how short the blade on the utility knife was.  However, nothing worked better than the utility knife.  Saws are nice and long, but they created very uneven surfaces and sent tons of little foam particles flying everywhere.  I had a set of wood carving tools that I wanted to use for the details, but it didn't work really well.

That's all for now, I'm planning on masking tape the whole thing, then paper mache it with newspaper.  I'm still debating on whether to do the pulp paper mache on top of it or not, I like the idea of paperclay better, but of course it is a lot more costly >.<.

- Mimi

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