Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Star Wars Celebration and Darth Vader is done.... well almost.

As of writing this it is the 12th of July and Star Wars Celebration Europe 3 is 3 days away. Tickets brought and email printed so I can pick up my pass and the hotel is booked. All that is left for me to do is to pack my Suitcase and bags. I do not really know how I feel about Celebration right now i am very disappointed on how they are doing the talks for the main stage and the prices of the autographs and photos. The doors open at 06:00am for people to queue up so you can get a wristband for the talks you want to go to. That is very early and a real pain in the backside, this means that I am unlikely going to be able to see the talks i wanted to. Now the one good thing is that the other stages don't need one so I can see the talks broadcast on the other stage at the same time. But it wont be the same as being in the room. On the other hand there was only 3 talks on the main stage I wanted to see  anyway and the rest of the interesting stuff is happening on the other stages. Apart from that I can not wait for this Con it will be an awesome 3 days. and it's the first time I've gone to all 3 days. 
Then there's the Darth Vader armour....

OK Darth is done it's complete I've done everything I can and wanted to do in the run up the convention. It has been a long and at times a hard road but it was worth it. I am very happy with it. 

It is hard to believe how different it looks compared to what it looked like when i got it back in 2007. It's a completely different helmet a Night and Day transformation. And the rest of the suit looks different as well.

So wheres the photo of me in FULL Vader... well that will have to wait for the next post. Don't want to give away any spoilers away now do I!!!
This is a short post as I am getting ready for the trip and there is still a lot to sort out and doing this while also working it's not easy to find the time. But hopefully the next post will be a big one. 


Sunday, 26 June 2016

Star Wars Celebration Europe and Darth Vader update.

Threes weeks to go till Star Wars Celebration Europe III.... 
And i am getting a little worried about the convention. I mean the show floor is looking like it will be good. I am looking forward to seeing artist alley and there will be costumes and props from Rouge One there and I am really looking forward to that. But in the last few weeks Celebration have been releasing guest lists, prices for photos and talks on the main stages. I have to say I am very disappointed at the moment, I must say that the guest list is some what lacking in star power. Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew will be there but no one... I repeat NO ONE from The Force Awakens nor Rouge One will be there and as for the rest of the guests... They are the same people that go to The London Film and Comic Con most years and some of them will be there a few weeks later for the LFCC 2016 con... Considering that the films are now being filmed in England and the fact that the studio is not far from London there is no reason for there not to be any of the new cast to not come. We don't even need all of them but there should of been some. I just hope they do not turn up to next years con in the US. If they do then that will be a BIG F**K YOU to us European fans. But with three weeks to go I am hoping that they will announce new guests.... fingers crossed. If not this is looking like an armature production. Also the price for Mark Hamill is £145... That's nearly $200 USD.... What the hell is that I was excepting £60 or maybe £70 something similar to what was being charged for the MAIN CAST of Star Trek. I had a Photo with the cast of Star Trek The Next Generation and it only cost just over £200!!!! and that was with NINE actors. And with Destination Star Trek back in the UK for the 50th anniversary in October.... Maybe I should of brought tickets to that con instead... 

So with that little rant out of the way lets move on the the Darth Vader Amour. Now a lot of progress has been made and I am nearly finished. I have a little bit of work to do with the jump suite and that should only really be an afternoon worth of work. I am hopping to get some fan installed ion to the helmet and the dome repainted by the 3rd of July. That gives me just over a week and a half to get the whole thing finalized before leaving for the hotel on the 14th.
So how far am I, what has been done?

The chest book is painted and just needs to be strapped and the neck seal is complete. I just need to figure out a way to attache it to the helmet. Something I am going to have to think long and hard about. I then moved on to the chest armour and helmet. 

The mask and chest armour is finished. I am not going to do anymore painting. Unfortunately I dropped the dome and the paint was messed up. I have now re sanded it and am going to get some primer and more black paint and paint it one last time. I can not believe I did that. but not to fair there is still time to fix anything i screw up....
Early last week my new Darth Vader ep IV gloves came and they are amazing. I might have made a little mistake with the measurements but if i put some cotton wool in the finger tips everything will be fine. 

The last thing I did since the last post was to put the tusks. mouth grill and install the new lenses into the mask. while doing this I cut my thumb... That was just STUPID of me. I had blood go everywhere and it hurt like hell. So i have now Bled for my Cosplay. 

It still hurts now. Anyway the pain and blood was worth it as the mask looks great. 

I am very happy with how this is coming together and look forward to show you the final costume. 
And that's everything so far. Nearly done and I can not believe it. I started this way back in early 2015 and it had taken nearly a year and a half to finish. This has been a fun project but I will be happy once it's over. Who knows I might wear it at work for Halloween.
Leave a comment below if you are going to Star Wars Celebration on what you think about the guest list and some of the prices they are charging I would like to know your thoughts on it.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Darth Vader is getting closer to being finished YAY!!!

With five weeks or so left till Star Wars Celebration I need this Darth Vader armour finished asap. and in the last seven days i have made a lot of progress. The bulk of the armour was primed and that was written about in my last post but I was not happy with how the primer had dried after a couple of days. I think I was to impatient and rushed the job. Also I was using a different primer and the more I looked at it it just didn't look right. And I just had to go back and sand the eye holes in the mask. So I had a friend come over and spent the day in the garden working on the armour. 

With the clean up and sanding done it was time to re-prime. Priming this time was not to bad after all they were primed already. So I had to give them two coats and all was good. Things are falling in to place. 

With that done I left it to dry for a few days. This gave me the time to start working on the  Neck Seal. I have not worked with resin before so this is something new. Doing this costume has taught me a lot and I am not sure what i will do next. But getting back on track. The neck seal was something I always wanted for the helmet. I don't know what it was but the helmet was just missing something. Then a year or two ago i realized that it was the back of the helmet that was missing. And So i spent the next couple of years looking for one. I would bid for one on ebay and get out bidded or find an online seller selling on but by the time I would go to buy it... they would be sold out. Then one day this year I saw one from a UK online seller and I ordered it. It was delivered a few day later. Jump to now and I finally start working on it.

The neck seal is nearly finished and just need a few bit doing to it. I decided to leave it for next week as I wanted to paint the armour gloss black. 

This all went great but i did run out of paint for the dome. Not a big deal I will pick some more up after work on Monday. Once the black is done I will then move on to the gun metal coat. Then it will be time to move on to painting and putting the chest box back together and I have asked a friend to give me a hand with installing a couple of fans in the helmet. Hopefully I will have more to report in the next week or two.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

London MCM and big Darth Vader update.

Lets start by talking about the London MCM that was held the weekend of 27-29/05/16.
I have to say that it was a very mixed bag for me. I had a good time, maybe not a great time but differently a good time. I didn't leave till after 4:00 pm and normally i would of left by 1:00 pm. And there was a lot to see, I think there was more than last year. That is a good thing as it shows that the Con is growing. Down side to that is that MCM are still not using the space to their full advantage. I mean they have Halls that are practically empty and they do with them. There was a food hall that was empty and the hall where we queued was empty. With a little more thinking then the ExCel main corridor was not be constantly pack and if they moved the Japanese food stalls in to that food hall then That would free up so much space on the show floor. Also matters were not helped by the fact that the ExCel Center closed off half the Center so people could not spread out along the main corridor or leave through the back entrance. It just comes down to the fact that the way the MCM lays out it's floor plan just need changing. It hasn't really changed in years and if you have been reading this blog then you will have noticed that I have said the same thing about every MCM Expo... 
We can only live in hope that one day they will learn.
But it was not all doom and gloom. The con has grown and that is always good and there were a lot of things to see and the outside stage was playing live music that was very cool. I didn't much chance to listen to a lot but what i heard was good. So i hope that is kept up for the next con. 
I picked up two anime box-sets Rage of Bahamut Genesis and Durarara X2 Sho. Not much i know but i have to try to save for the Star Wars Celebration convention in July and that is the weekend before the London Film and Comic Con... Two cons a week apart July is not going to be kind to my wallet.....

Speaking of Star Wars Celebration, I have been working on my Darth Vader Armour and things are looking good. I have till the end of June to get things finished..... So four weeks.... This is crunch time...
I started with test fitting the metal rods on the Chest box and I am very happy with the results.

Once this is painted it going to look great. A lot of work has gone in to the face mask I had to do  a lot of work around the eye sockets. I pretty much re-sculpted the eyes I didn't want to do this but I should of realized  once I started work on the helmet that this was going to be needed to be done. 

With this done I moved on to priming everything so I can start painting. This means I am nearly at the home stretch. not much left the end is in sight. It has been a long road but almost there.



I ran out of primer so I will have to get more and by this coming weekend i hope to have everything primed and any sanding that needs doing will be done so I can then paint everything black and I need to think about the kind of grey I want the chest armour to be. So many different types. Guess i will be taking a lot more trips to Halfords.
And with that i this post comes to an end i will post an update in a week or two with the progress I have made.  

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Vaders gloves and May 4th sales

Star Wars Celebration Europe is now less that two months away and i still have a lot to do. The Vader Helmet is ready for final sanding and painting. I am on holiday at the end of the month and so the plan is to get pretty much 90% done and then that will leave me a month left to finish it off. I was hoping to have more done by now but work has kept me very busy lately. and with the MCM Expo on the 28th of May my free time is getting short. i need to double my efforts. Now I know I have said that before.... Ok I keep saying it.... But now it's pretty much crunch time and if I want this ready I will have to put the work in. Also it became clear that i needed to upgrade my gloves. With there not being much time left I finally ordered Some Ep IV A New Hope gloves. These should be with me by mid-June.

As mentioned above work has kept me busy but I did make some time to see Captain America Civil War. Which was an awesome movie and is in my top 5 Marvel movies.
And then there was May the 4th. A lot of places had Star Wars sales. The Forbidden Planet had a big sale and i picked up a Super7 Shadow Trooper Super Shogun Jumbo. It was a huge saving so i had to pick it up. So now i have a two foot tall rocket firing fist black Stormtrooper. 

And from the Disney Store i picked up a Darth Maul and a Boba Fett Tsum Tsum... I will admit i have no idea what a Tsum Tsum is. But they are cute.

Anyway this is a quick update. I will hopefully be posting again when i'm on holiday and once the MCM Expo is over.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Clone Commando Helmet part 02

A lot of work has gone into the Clone Commando helmet over the last week. This is down to the fact that the weather has been farily good so i have been able to get home from work and work on it. When I last posted on the blog the priming was done. With all things considered I am very happy with how it went. I do like the plain grey look of the primer it reminds me of the behind the scenes photos of the prop makers on a movie. 

I left the helmet to dry for  day or so then started to prep for the first coat of paint. I wanted something similar to a Clone Captain with a red accents.

This turned out better than I thought and I had very minimal running or dripping. That was nice as I didn't want to spend a great deal of time sanding and repainting. So like before with the priming I let the helmet dry for a day or more. Then once I removed all the masking tap I was very happy with how well it turned out. For my first time at doing this  think it turned out really well. 

Now I know there was a run/over spray that I should of removed but I thought i would just paint over it. After all I don't need this to be perfect it is a test after all. Once the paaint was fully dry I got the helmet ready for the black paint.

Once again i left it to dry for a day or two before removing all the tape. I was very happy with the black look and hopefully will look good next to the red.. The gloss black did dry a slight mat-ish but i am sure that once i use a little polish it will bring out the shinny.... But before I do any of that I still needed to so a clear coat.

Well that is as far as I have gotten this week. I still need to look into polishing the helmet to give it a shinny glossy look. Then there is the T-visor i need to add as well as the blue LED light that runs along the top of the T-visor and the little mouth bits that go on the bottom of the helmet to glue back on Then I think I will be done. 
This project should be mostly complete by the end of next week. Once this is complete and out of the way I can carry on with the Vader amour. And there is still a lot of stuff that I need to do. At the moment Cosplay feels more like work than fun. But once complete all the hard work and effort will be worth it.