Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mara Jade - Knees and Shin Guards

This was mostly getting to grips with Worbla. I had no issues getting the patterns for the shinguards and kneepads made, and I chose to do them at the same time. The construction of these happened side by side, so I’m just doing the one post about them.

The patterns were basically made by covering my legs in saran wrap, followed by duct tape. I drew on the pattern that I wanted and cut it out and transferred it to paper. The pattern for the shin guards was 4 pieces to try to get the curves to my legs so it wouldn’t just be a straight up and down block with a back opening. The knee pads were drawn at the same time so that they would fit into the space made by the shinguards at the top. 

My difficulty began when I tried the “sandwich” method of making the shinguards. Now, maybe this works well for shinguards that do not have to go around your leg, but I just could not get it to work for me. It was a miserable effort that had me frustrated and annoyed. 



This is the failed attempt. It looked terrible, had almost no shape, and I just hated it. 

So I started again, this time with thicker foam. 


I used 5mm Durafoam. I glued each foam piece together with contact cement and shaped the foam to where I wanted it to be. As I was now going to be covering it in Worbla anyway, I chose to just create the raised details around the edge and in Mara’s cross shape in craft foam. Then I covered it in Worbla. 

This worked perfectly the first time, and turned out great. I beveled the edges to make them appear less thick from the outside, which helped take out a lot of bulk. 



Oh, and I also did this- 



This was SUCH a good idea. While the two sides definitely are different, it is not always immediately obvious when looking at them, so this turned out to be a great idea. Since the foam was exposed on the inside, I just very lightly cut a R and L (for right and left) into the foam in an easy to spot place. This might be up there with my best ideas ever. 

I used Kamui Cosplay’s method of attaching D-rings to the inside, sort of. She uses scrap Worbla to wrap the straight end of the D-ring and then heating that to the armour. Except that I cut through the foam first and then attached the spare Worbla to the Worbla on the front of the armour. It was tricky, but it worked. It did leave a bit of an imprint on the front, and if I was doing it again, I’d probably try something different.

The kneepads were much simpler. I cut them out of the 5mm Durafoam and then traced a copy out of craft foam. I cut out circular spaces for indentations. 




Then built the outer edge again out of craft foam and covered the whole thing. The knee pads and shin guards then got covered in several layers of gesso before I sanded them down.


I got sick of sanding the primer before it was mirror smooth, but in the end, I think the final result is just fine, so I'm not too bothered by the slight imperfections. Afterall, Mara is a woman of action, so its highly unlikely that her gear would end up without a few scratches here and there.




Then I just sprayed them with black primer, followed by black paint, and topped it off with a shiny varnish. 

Considering these are the first pairs of armour I’ve ever made, I was actually quite happy with how they turned out. Even though they gave me some trouble it was nothing compared to what I went through with the bodysuit which deserves its own post… 

Stay tuned. 

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