Friday, August 20, 2010


guys I know I haven't posted in like forever but I'm still alive. will be taking some detail shots of various parts of the armour and eventually I'm going to have some decent shots of it on me but I've got to get some lighting set up first, and that could be awhile.

I need more photos of these things, they're pretty keen

Thursday, April 29, 2010


okay okay I finally sat down and picked out some pics from the senior show to mess around with in PS. here's the best so far:

oh god lazy eye is lazy. hahaha

cheers, bitches.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I have 4 pieces of bronze left to cut, two pieces of fabric, 7 buckles to make, a belt and a helmet to assemble, and 6 pieces left to etch. one gauntlet is done. I'm out of the copper tubing I've been riveting with, and I need to pick up buckles and drill bits as well.

the amulets are drying in their molds, they'll be fully cured tomorrow. I hope to have everything else done and ready to accept the amulets by tomorrow morning.

then, I will be done. and I'm going to spend an entire day playing Team Fortress 2. yeah, that's right, suckers.


just got back from the shop, I've shaped and treated the main piece of the helmet. however, I forgot that I still have to solder on the bezel for the amulet. this means that I'll have to destroy the current finish. rats!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


alright, let's make a list of the official pieces in this project:


5,500-ish scales (done)
11,000-ish split rings (woven)
3 large brass zippers (done)
2 kinds of black leather (done)
300-ish large brass rings (done)
300-ish brass grommets (done)
2 zipper stop endplates (one needs to be riveted on)
3 plates on the back (finished, but need to be attached correctly with lobster clasps)
1 deer spine (well, part of one. done, but needs to be attached)
*probably need to add another row or so of scales in the front
*would like to add material to elbows if I can get to it
*many brass rings need repair


24 finger segments (finished)
4 thumb segments (need etching, treatment, attachment)
6 hand segments (2 need to be cut, 1 is etched, the rest in asphaltum, all needing attachment and treatment)
2 leather straps on gauntlets (need to be made)
2 wonderful, long black leather gloves (have)


4 main segments, fluted, riveted, etched, treated (done)
6 small lames (all ready for acid, need treatment and attaching)
4 larger leather straps to attach to the mantle (I guess I'll rivet it all together?)
4 long, thin straps to attach all lames to main pieces (will make when lames are done)
2 lobster-clasp hooks at the bottoms of the lames? depends on how they lay


2 large halves that wrap around from the back (have asphaltum on them, need to be welded together)
1 connection piece (needs to be cut yet)
4 attachment points, riveted to leather from the pauldrons


3 pieces (main piece is cut and filed, need to cut the top piece and back bronze strap)
1 small spine riveted on (oh gosh I don't know if I'll get to this grrr)
1 leather strap with buckle to go behind and under the head (still need to make/buy buckle)
1 glass amulet (wax positive is ready for casting)


4 bronze pieces (need to be mocked up and cut yet)
1 large leather strap (have)
1 large glass amulet (wax positive is ready for casting)
2 loincloth/banner pieces (have fabric, needs cutting and hemming)


*still waiting on faux leather leggings to ship from Hong Kong
*need to get some plain black leather heel-less boots
*finally have a mannequin that fits (thanks mom!)
*black turtleneck looks great, might add fabric ribbon around neck from the loincloth fabric

so I think that's it! that's the whole costume. not TOO much left but still quite a bit, really. really worried about the amulets and the leggings. we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010



I started shaping the pauldrons and got one of them ready to rivet together, when I realised I would need to somehow attach a leather strap (which connects them to the mantle). so, I quickly made up a bracket out of scrap bronze before I could attach the two pieces of pauldron together and make it exponentially harder to attach a strap later.


I also just barely had time to rivet one of the pauldron sets together before the shop closed. unfortunately, it closes at 11 on week days, which is just so terrible! *sniff* I won't be adding the liver of sulphur to these to blacken them until I'm completely satisfied with the fit (just in case I have to solder or anything like that).

aaaand propped up on the scale shirt, with mannequin-too-big-to-be-wearing-it:

do you remember a similar shot where this was just paper? 


well, hello there.

I've been sick for the last week or so, hence the lack of updates. I'm almost unsick now, so here's an update!

all four of the main pauldron pieces are cut, filed, fluted, and etched. I took the asphaltum off the upper right piece, but it's not been treated with the liver of sulphur yet, which is why it's still so bright. as always, I rather enjoy the look of the asphaltum with scratched away accents before I go and etch it all and have to strip the metal again. the asphaltum has this really neat quality of being partly transparent, so it does this weird satin-y shimmer when you move it around in the light.

it's also kind of a tarry, gross mess. here's where a thick part of it had a hard time drying before I mushed it around with my etching needle:

I also finally put the fingers on the left gauntlet.


Sunday, March 21, 2010


I've been fighting off a cold/flu/whatever since Wed, but here's what I've done since the last post. I cut and filed the edges of the four main pieces for my pauldrons:

I think they look like space invaders.

today, I added some flutes to one of the pieces, but I didn't get a chance to get a good photo of my terrible flutes yet.

also, Ravon requested some shots from the scale suit, here's the inside of the collar:

and the underside of the 45 degree shoulder seams:

that scale that is conveniently reflecting my red curtains happens to be right at the top point of the shoulder. there is a seam running straight down and another running to the right. I tried to make the vertical seam as clear as I could in this image.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I had a visitor today!

he seems to approve of my gauntlets.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


oh boy! time for pie!

my mom visited today and we went to see the butterflies at the Frederick Meijer Gardens. they imported 6000 chrysalises as well as a few atlas moth cocoons (the moths hadn't hatched yet) and we brought along our cameras for the ride : )

here's one very bright shot:

here's a slightly less colourful but much more intense flutterer:

I also found some weird tropical plants:

a strange, scaley plant:

some tiny red flowers:

some bright cactus flowers:

and even a pitcher plant!

all in all, it was a rather fun trip! I look forward to getting back into the shop again tomorrow, though. 

Friday, March 12, 2010


I was able to sneak into the shop yesterday and got some work done on the left hand. here's how the finish came out, which is actually much more attractive than that on the right fingers:

experimenting with different shooting styles. I took this photo almost in the dark. no data loss in the highlights, but it's a bit dark overall!

I also riveted two fingers onto strips of leather and ordered a 12x24 sheet of bronze for the pauldrons. won't be able to do more work until Monday, when the shop is open again.

it was so nice out yesterday that I just had to go wander around in the woods with my camera : ) here's what I think the best shot was:


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I have acquired new photo equipment, including a tripod and head. thus, I have been doing some test photos.

I'm still figuring out what to do with white balance. I'm still losing a significant amount of data in my highlights, even though I've set it custom with a white sheet of paper and I'm shooting raw. not even Lightroom can save me! well, I'll figure it out eventually.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I've riveted the right hand finger segments onto 4 strips of leather.

after this, I superglued leather to leather to attach them to the gloves. superglue holds suprisingly well between two leather surfaces! here's how the fingers look glued on:

and by the way, dragging the tips of the fingers across the wall DOES leave marks. *grin*

can you guess what fruit this is?

Friday, February 26, 2010


I decided to cut off the little tabs on the knuckleplates. they didn't sit very well on the back of the hands.

this also allows for a better transition from convex curves to concave flutes on the back of the hand. 

I also finished treating the fingers on the left hand. here are the segments before I took steel wool to the finish:

they look so silky! don't worry, they shined up nice like the right hand : ) I'll be riveting the segments onto leather strips today with copper tube rivets. so far, all is well! I think these gauntlets are going to turn out rather nicely.

Monday, February 22, 2010


that's a lot of 2s in the date today.

I've been working on the gauntlets. I mocked up the back of the hands and the knuckles with some  paper, and I'm finishing up the fingers. here's what it looks like all taped onto the glove:

for reference, I took that with the 50mm lens on my new Canon 450D. I also got a 60mm macro lens to get some nice close shots. here's some scales:

and finally, the closest macro I could get of the middle segment on the pointer finger:

these shots could have been sharper if I was shooting remotely and not having the pulse in my hands wiggle the camera just oh-so-slightly.

something I love about my new setup is that I don't have to colour-adjust in Photoshop anymore. all the shots on my old Rebel (think: the first ever Digital Rebel) had either a red or yellow overcast, depending on the glass. now it seems like those colour-adjusting days are over! woohoo!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've been working on getting the gauntlets done this week. so far, all 4 fingers on the right hand have been cut, shaped, sanded, and 3 of them are etched. I treated the pinky today, and this will be the final finish:

tomorrow, I'll finish the other fingers and rivet them onto strips of leather. hurrah!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I started work on my gauntlets today. in only a few hours, I got 3 finger segments cut, shaped, and mostly sanded. daaaang!

and just for reference, here's where the plate sits on the scale shirt (which is worn by a mannequin that is too large for it). the lower part of the plate sticks up off the shirt about 3 inches.

here's the inside of the collar, because I think it looks neato:

pip pip! that's all for now!

Friday, February 12, 2010


well I ended up mounting the back plates quite significantly too high (if I were to follow the curvature I gave them). they end up needing a mounting much lower than I wanted, but I'm going to try it anyway and see how it looks on. i could have shown you pictures a week ago, but I was upset. anyway, here they are now!

finished vertebrae-on-a-strip-of-bronze:

so you can see a little bit of really bad scrimshaw on these guys. I had to get them damp to be able to scratch lines in with an exacto knife. after that, I piled them all into a bowl full of hot, cheap puerh tea. I decided to add some spices too, and boy I'm glad I did! they don't smell like gross old bones anymore, but instead, smell of cinnamon with a touch of cardimom. the tea stained the bones to an orangy-brown, and illuminated the incised lines rather handsomely. 

the final treatment to the plates (I had to re-treat them on account of forgetting to solder on 6 hooks):

as soon as I figure out my curve and position on the shirt, the two will be married with copper rivets. how sweet!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


sawing bones is rather fun...

I had to saw off the bottoms of all the vertebrae so that they would rest flat when I join them to the strip of bronze with silver tube rivets. I also spent some time shaping the main plate and I think I'm going to leave the two peripheral scapula plates flat.

I'm experimenting with scrimshaw on the bones, hence the pencil marks on the smallest vert. it's actually proving more difficult than I expected, so I may just not do it. either way, I'm still going to dye the bones with tea tomorrow before I rivet them onto the bronze.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


okay, so I found the remote for my camera, so I grabbed a few shots of the (99.9%) finished scale shirt. enjoy!


Saturday, January 30, 2010


I've been etching the back plates today, and I left my mineral spirits in my studio, which is now locked. so I spent the last half hour scrubbing away the asphaltum with some steel wool and a chunk of sandpaper! I have one piece clean, but it hasn't been blackened yet (I'll do that tomorrow).

this is one of the plates that fit over the scapula and is hinge-riveted to the main spinal plate. you can see a sketch in the last post.

I started with the acid in the shop but it's so weak that after 4 hours, the acid barely bit! therefore, I've been finding creative ways to fit the large plate in my casserole dish... hopefully it comes out alright!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


hi again!

I've gotten the back plates cut out and ready for acid. I spent much of today scratching out the design onto this piece and I think it turned out rather nicely. here's how it started, and a few sketch designs next to it:

I ended up modifying the plans to come up with this:

right now, it's just the bronze with the asphaltum and scratched lines. tomorrow I'm going to make a run to the shop and use their acid bath (my casserole dish is just a tad too small for this one!). after the etching is done, I'll be able to do the shaping. the bones will be riveted with silver tubes onto a strip of bronze one inch wide and 12 inches long (it's basically a ruler, yeah). now... where to get something like that in a hurry... hmm. we'll see!

I wanted to add some lines to the bones to mimic the designs on the bronze but so far, I haven't been able to come up with a usable method. I think I may just have to stick with dipping them in tea and calling it good.