Friday, February 12, 2021

So It Begins ... Breast Collar Armor

It's cold outside. -2*F. I'm anxious to get started on my cosplay project, but it's too dang cold to go outside and measure Skeeter.

But, like I said, I was anxious to get started on my project and decided that I could start on the breast collar armor. Her tack is already fitted to her, so all I needed was the breast collar off her saddle to start getting measurements and working on the pattern. 

My plan was to just grab the two bits of tack I needed and then get started on the pattern. Except, it's been a long time since I've cleaned the tack and there was no sense taking measurements and making a pattern for the tack if the tack's dirty right?

I felt like this happens with every project around the house. In order to even get to a starting point, you have to do another project first.

Once I was done cleaning the breast collar, then I felt better about getting started on attempting a pattern. I know absolutely zero about making cosplay patterns, but I watched a YouTube video of Adam Savage making foam Ringwraith Gauntlets, so I'm basically an expert. What struck me about making the gauntlets is that some of the pieces were so small and tedious to cut out, so I wanted to get the tedious part out of the way today.

I stole some of Jay's sketch paper, blew up the reference pictures I had, and went to town. 

In my mind, I'd made out the breast collar to be a much more complicated pattern than it turned out to be. I was worried, but then when I calmed down and actually *looked* at it, it's really just a leaf shape over and over again, except for where it comes together and even that's not too bad.

I made a quick sketch, cut out a couple of paper pieces and laid it out. Not bad. I could see what I needed to do, so I broke out the foam. I probably should have gotten 4mm foam, but bought 6mm instead. It's a bit thick, but I think it'll be okay for the breast collar and the leg guards.

I bought a beginner kit off Amazon with sheets of 6mm EVA foam, a cheap knock-off exacto knife, and a cutting mat, plus a handful of other crap I'll probably not use. It took a few practice cuts with the craft knife for me to get the amount of pressure right to cut smoothly. After about six or seven pieces, though, that craft knife got pretty dull and didn't want to cut. I didn't have high grit sandpaper to sharpen the blade with, so I went looking for something I could use.

I remembered that in my scrapbooking kit, I had a disposable scalpel that I used for paper crafts, so I pulled that out.

What a difference! That disposable scalpel cut through the foam like butter, and the difference in the edges of the cuts are like night and day.

Crappy exacto knock-off on the left; disposable scalpel on the right

Crappy exacto knock-off cuts on the bottom; pretty disposable scalpel cuts on top

After cutting out the first piece with the disposable scalpel, I set it down, picked up my phone and ordered a whole pack of #11 blade disposable scalpels from Amazon. The crappy craft knife went into the sharps container - I have no room for it in my life.

It didn't take as long, nor feel as tedious, as I thought it would to get everything cut out. Part of that is because the "scales" of the armor are horse-sized, not human finger-sized, so it went a lot more smoothly. In no time, I had all of my pieces cut and ready to lay out.

It kinda looks like the Chicago Bulls logo (for now).

I didn't pull up my reference picture when I laid this out, so there are some adjustments that will need to be made before it's assembled, but I've gotten as far as I can with the breast collar today. Tomorrow, when we're in town, I'll pick up a heat gun, primer, spray paint, and sealant. 

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Nothing like the right tool for the job!
Looking good.