I have finally done it. I have finally finished…one piece of my armour. Raise your hands and shout hallelujah!
I didn’t screw it up…well that’s a lie, I screwed up a little, but still, I actually managed to make something, look like the something it’s supposed to look like. Whoop Whoop!
‘Clears throat. Composes self’
Celebrations out of the way, I want to show the gauntlets I made for my N7 armour. Which, in my opinion, were the easiest thing to make and paint. Below are some pictures of the gauntlets all shiny and new, painted with red and white acrylic paint.
Unfortunately in my haste to finish my gauntlets, I neglected to take pictures before I painted them, but just imagine them grey and…foamy.
The process of painting is a long laborious one, but it pays off in the end as the foam looks shiny and holds a metallic tint, without you spending money on a metallizer.
Firstly, cover the foam in two coats of PVA and water, waiting for them to completely dry before painting over them. Add a thin sheen of Plasti-dip and wait another four hours for the foam to completely dry.
Next, spray paint the entire piece with a silver spray paint, (I just use fast dry project enamel.)
Lastly, spray paint over the silver, whatever colour you want your armour to be, the silver undercoating leaves a metallic shine under the second layer and even aids to adding battle damage such as scuffs and weathering.
Here are my finished gauntlets with battle damage. To make the cracks, simply cut the foam with a crafting knife then heat the area
with a heat gun, the foam will expand from the head and open up, leaving a gash in the foam. Simply paint the inside of the cracks silver, rub in the paint with your finger and leave to dry.
If you wish to create scuffs, get a bit of masking tape, stick it on to the place you want to create a scuff and rip it off. The masking tape will rip away the second layer slightly, leaving specks of silver underneath.
This is only one way of creating scuffs and battle marks.
Building the Greaves – First try (Still need to be painted)
I spent most of the day yesterday building the greaves for my N7 armour and I have to say, I am pretty happy with how it turned out. The picture on the left is the unpainted base for the N7 greaves, made with a Nike shoe spray painted black, and a shin pad.
I did not use any templates for the foam, so I was expecting the greaves to be a disaster, but I am pretty happy with them. The next stage is to paint them red and add battle damage.
The engraved lines were created by cutting the foam with a very sharp knife, then heating the foam so it expands.
This is what they look like when I put them on. As you can see they still need to be painted and the laces need to be changed. When it comes to finishing them, I shall be painting them red and black. Attempting to add battle damage and weathering.
Having to put the armour build on hold until I get paid, I have decided to build a weapon to go with my armour. I did not have enough foam to build a weapon, so I decided I would create my own shotgun with a Mass Effect look and feel using a water-gun!
I started out thinking it was going to be a disaster, but it actually turned out looking pretty good. (I think)
I used the M-300 Claymore as a template for my own weapon build, then tried to find a water-gun that looked similar in shape to the weapon shown below.
I then painted the water gun with black, silver, red and white, creating my own spin on the M300 Claymore, painting the distinctive N7 stripe down the side.
Below are pictures of the gun before it was painted and after it was painted. Hope you like it!
Sorry for the massive delay, I have been super busy!
Anyway, the armour build is going well, much better then I expected. You can see the progress below, along with some descriptions and pointers of how to make your own. As I said in my previous post, I am using EVA foam for this armour build.So far, I have not had any problems with it. It’s easy to cut, east to shape and holds a good, sturdy shape when the foam cools.
What you see here is the chest piece. I know it looks a little wonky, but when it’s wrapped around my torso, it looks pretty good, I must say that I am pretty proud of it. The bottom piece is just a template for the lower torso. As you can see, I have not added the detail yet.
To make the chest piece, I used a thick bit of wood and two circular sauce dishes. (See below.) I glued the dishes to the plank of wood. (Which was originally a door to…something ) and put paper-mache over the top to make the flat bottoms of the the dishes more rounded.
I then took my flat chest template, and heated it under the grill until it was soft enough to mould.
WARNING: Wear gloves and a face mask, the smoke the EVA foam gives off is toxic. Make sure you ventilate your workspace. Do not let the foam burn.
After the EVA foam is soft, it will become floppy. Mould the foam to the breast template as quickly as possible, making sure to press down hard on the bits you wish to mould. Weight the foam down, or have a friend help you. If you don’t do it the first time, repeat the process, but flatten out the foam first before giving it a second try.
The templates have been drawn…very roughly and the foam has been ordered!
After many hours of searching, I decided to go with standard EVA foam that’s nice and cheap from the internet. Since it’s my first armour build, I did a little research into what would make the best material for the build and EVA won in both price and flexibility.
Many Cosplayers use the same material, so I hope it woks!.
Twinkle and I spent the day drinking coffee and drawing out the templates to cut out of the foam, you can see the rough design of the torso on the left.
(Please excuse the badly drawn N7 logo)
After Twinkle-toes and I drew the rough templates, we put some detail on them to see what it would look like…Fingers crossed it works.
Since this Armour build is being done on a budget, we have to find a way to heat the foam to bend it…without a heat gun…we have to figure out how to burn in the detail without a burner and we have yet to figure out how we are going to make the breastplate…
Firstly, let me make one thing clear…I have no idea what I am doing. In fact, when I first attempted to build my N7 armour, it ended up looking like a hat a member of the royal family would wear…I was trying to make an arm guard.
So when my best friend flew in, in a flurry of flamboyant excellency, offering to help me build the armour like my very own fairy god mother, I was more than happy to let him help me.
This project could go one of two ways. Either, we build some amazing N7 armour, I become the prettiest gal at the fair and live happily ever after as long as I shall live…
Or…we do a a terrible build on the armour and are forced to cross the border to live out our lives as fugitives in Mexico!
Either way…it should still be fun. 🙂
I will keep this page updated as often as I can with the build. So wish me luck! Because I am going to need it!
It is a dream many of us have, but few of us follow. Many people at some point in their lives has wanted to be a superstar, but then they grow up, get ‘proper’ jobs and leave the ‘childish’ fantasy in the past.
Yet, there are still those few who follow the dream with the hope that they are going to be the next Angelina Jolie or Jonny Depp. These determined people participate at the local theatre, donating hours of their time, and probably spend most of their wages on head shots, acting classes and expensive audition sites. Some even go to Drama school.
Anyone who has pursued acting as a career would be aware of the countless conversations with people who say this is not a real degree; that you are wasting your time on some pointless pipe dream; and the only job you will be able to get with a qualification in acting, is one that required you to say the line ‘Would you like fries with that?’
I remember telling my eighty year old grandmother that I was going to University to study a degree in both Drama and Film. I also remember the way she looked down at me, her eyes narrowing as she glared over the silver rim of her large glasses. She asked me why I chose to choose something so pointless, why I did not choose to study something like science. The simple answer was – I do not want to be a scientist.
I am sure every actor remembers people telling them that Drama must be an easy degree, that it is not a real subject as it involves nothing more than messing around with your friends, then writing about how and why you were messing around with your friends.
This makes me just a little bit temperamental. So I am here to set the record straight, once and for all.
First of all, Drama is far from an easy degree. You are constantly judged not only on your ability to act, but also by your appearance, and then you are expected to write about how and why you did not get the part you have wanted for years, because you were either too tall or your nose was not the right shape.
You can forget about having a social life, because all your time is devoted to either reading the mountains of material that you are given, remembering entire scripts, theatre practitioners and historical influences as well as hours of rehearsals with groups that include at least one know it all Diva who always wants to steal the spot light.
There is a reason that almost half of the class disappear after the first few months. They thought it was going to be easy too.
Secondly, when you have finally done your three to four years at University, you dread coming out into the real world, because you know when you do, the hard work truly begins.
Being over thirty grand in debt, no job and no ‘usable’ qualifications, you live day by day, normally living out the clichéd life of an out of work actor working as a waitress or waiter. You obsessively apply for auditions, agents, extra work, intern-ships and sometimes become one of those people who dance around the Town centre, wearing one of those ridiculous full body costumes, essentially becoming a classically trained panda.
Then, just as you are about ready to disappear forever, the phone rings and you have been invited to an audition you forgot you applied to. They send you a script and you cancel all your plans to learn the lines by the next day. However, you are never able to get rid of that cold floating feeling in your pit of your stomach, or the thought that you will make a total fool of yourself, resulting in the Director dramatically standing from his chair with a flail of his arms, saying, ‘You will never work in this town again!’
Cue the dilemma of Actors Equity. If you don’t have an Equity card, you are unlikely to get any other role other than the panda I mentioned earlier. However, if you have not had a paid role as a principal character in either theatre, TV or Film, you cannot get an Equity card…Twenty points to whoever came up with that one.
When you do finally get a part for a commercial or a production, there is always the fear of that dreaded line, the line that strikes fear into all actors hearts , the line that again makes us question absolutely everything we have done in our life to this moment.
‘We will not be paying you, but its great exposure!’
Cue the blood boiling rage that you always seem to have under control, even when you want nothing more than to rearrange the smug look on the casting director’s face, then continue on a psychotic killing spree that would make even the most hardened criminals fear for their lives. But you force a smile and a nod, all the while thinking. ‘Exposure doesn’t pay the bills buddy!’
Many people reading this article probably still question why people go into acting. Maybe even the actors themselves are starting to question what they were thinking when they chose such a risky and cut-throat career. The answer is simple. So many people refuse to follow their dream, simply because they believe they cannot do it, but you can still fail at something that you don’t want to do, so why not risk it all, by working hard to succeed in something you do want to do?
Acting is like a drug to many actors -they cannot live without it. It runs through their-blood, keep them going and makes them happy, and even though it comes with hardships…it might just be the best job in the world.