Sunday, 26 August 2012

Projects Past: Part 6 (Jango Fett v.1)

After Wellington Armageddon in '09 I decided to start making a Jango Fett costume with the aim of joining the 501st. At that stage I was still relatively unskilled compared to today, so in most cases if I were to start again I would do things differently, however it was all part of the learning experience for me.
For the armour plates I used an expanded PVC foamboard called foamex, which is similar to sintra. Out of this I cut all the plates and then using a heat gun shaped them to fit me, and match reference pictures.

The helmet I used was a reject cast given to me by one of the 501st members I had met at Armageddon in Wellington. Because it was a reject it had many thin spots that needed reinforcing, and much of it was uneven and lumpy so needed quite a bit of work to smooth it all out.
And painted up, prior to weathering and the addition of the pinstripes around the brow

For the gauntlets I used a modified pepakura file of Boba Fett's gauntlets, which I fiberglassed and then used bondo to smooth it out.

And here is the costume that I wore to Auckland Armageddon in October of '09

It was far from brilliant, and has many elements that are missing, but was a good start and has been significantly improved since.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Projects Past: Part 5 (First foray into costuming)

Back in 2009 I made my first foray into the world of costuming and prop building. I had recently read the Republic Commando books, Hard Contact and Triple Zero, by Karen Traviss and decided to attend the scifi and pop culture convention, Armageddon, being held in Wellington wearing a suit of custom mandalorian armour from corrogated cardboard and paper mache that I had made myself. At the time I was very pleased with the result, though retrospectively I can see many things I am not happy with.

While at Armagegeddon I meet some members of the New Zealand garrison of the 501st. Many of the members in attendance were extremely supportive of me, despite the relatively low quality of my costume, and it was the friendships I struck up with them and the support they gave to me that put me on the course I am on today.

Their encouragement and support meant that over the next 6 months I pieced together a basic Jango Fett costume, for the Armageddon being held in Auckland later that year but that is for another blog post.

Here are some pictures of me in my costume and some of the 501st members in attendance.

Wearing this costume to this convention marked a large turning point in my life, setting me on the course I am now on, and I will always be grateful to those who supported me right at the begining.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Projects Past: Part 4 (Wearable Art '07)

In 2007 I made my final foray into wearable art. This year my entry was called 'Picasso in 3D' and was entered in the 'Off the Wall' section, for which there is no criteria that must be met, and you are free to let your creativity run wild.
I started off my doing lots of research into Picasso's art, and doing many sketches. I then started templating what the garment would look like.
The garment was made from closed-cell foam camping mats.

Cutting the foam out.

Front view (in progress)

Back view (in progress)

And all finished

This entry got runner up in its section, and back stage after the show I got a chance to see the garment that won the section up close, and it was a very well made entry that fully deserved to win.

Projects Past: Part 3 (Wearable Art '06)

In 2006 I was 13 and once more decided to enter the wearable art. This year my entry was called Multi-Ethnic Angel and was a garment consisting of multiple different styles of ethnic dress, such as Japanese Kimono, Indian Sari, and Spanish Flamenco dress. The model also had two masks that she could alternate between, one painted in the likeness of and Indian face and the other Maori face.

This garment was entered in the student catagory of the Ethnic section, (the criteria of this section was open as long as it was a culturally/ethnically themed garment) and it won the Best in Catagory award.

Projects Past: Part 2 (Wearable Art '05)

In 2005 my garment for the wearable art awards was inspired by the Papua New Guinean fire dancers and their large animal masks.

This entry was my own interpretation of this design.

The mask (the wearer looked out of the mesh just above the mandibles)

In this pic I am working out the frame for the inspect arms that would be added.

These pictures were taken just before it was completed. The flax grass around the stomach was replaced with longer flax, and a few other tweaks were made.

This picture was taken back stage just after the show and show the finished garment. This entry won it's section, and you can see me holding the trophy i recieved.

Projects Past: Part 1 (Wearable Art '04)

Way back before I became involved in prop and costume building one of my hobbies was Wearable Art. There was a small local competitition called The Daily News Fashion Art Awards, which is held annually that I entered for a number of years along with my mother and sister.
Way back in 2004 I entered for the second year with an entry in the Children's Newspaper section. The criteria were just that my garment must be made from atleast 80% newspaper. My entry that year was called 'Where's Dad?' The garment consisted of a chicken mesh frame and paper mache, with the clothing being made form a sheet of newspaper backed with duracell, and then cut out and assembled as you would if you were sewing a shirt, the only difference being that hot glue was used for the seams rather than stitching.

This entry not only won best in it's section (an impressive achievement on it's own) but went on to win Best in Show, or the Supreme Award as it is called. To this day I am the only male to have won the Supreme Award, and am the youngest person to do so, being just 11 at the time.

That same year I also entered a joint entry with my sister in the Natures Living Magic section, where the criteria is that the garment is made from atleast 80% natural materials. This entry was constructed from hand made felt, that my sister and I made in 1.5X 2.5 meter sheets on an old door that doubled as a table top outdoors when placed on tressel legs. The frame of the garment was an old bamboo umbrella that the model could open and close like a jelly fish as he moved along, and was titled 'Oceanis: Guardian of the Sea'.
This entry also won it's section which was the student age group, as there were not enough entries in the childrens section, so it was moved to the next age group up.

**Apologies for the quality of the images, they are photos that have been scanned into the computer.