Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ember Celica RWBY prop cosplay tutorial

First of all, my reference was this post. However, I only have limited resources available so I'll be using an entirely different set of materials and had to improvise along the way. Still, I'm quite happy with how they turned out so here goes...

Main materials:
  • rubber sheet (half a yard should be enough but make room for possible mistakes) - they're about 0.5cm thick
  • spray paint (yellow of course)
  • white/silver paint (acrylic/poster will do)
  • empty thread spools (min. of six)
  • red fabric(prefferably stretchable but non-stretch is alright as long as it's soft and thin)
  • super glue
  • hot glue (optional)
  • cutter & scissors
  • unused newspapers/empty garbage bags
  • black sharpie (or paint whatever you fancy)
(Click the photos for larger view)

STEP 1) Get/create the template. I got mine from a friend who found them here (bless this guy). It's a really good template with easy to understand instructions. It's already in a 1:1 scale but since I'll be using a much thinner material, I had scale them down. However, it will all still depend on your arm size so scale accordingly.

STEP 2) Before scaling, I transfer first the pattern to the rubber sheet and cut them out with a cutter(scissors flatten the edges). That way, I'd be able to see how everything goes first before deciding how much i need to cut off. Unless, of course, you want a bigger template then you'd have to scale first.

Note: There's only one template for it but there should be two back fins per gauntlet. For the smaller one, follow the inner (non-dotted) lines.

STEP 3) Scaling details(feel free to skip if you have no intentions to scale).

First, I tried the base cylinder on my arm. They were too big so I had to cut off about 5cm from its width. For the back fins, I cut off the dotted line at the bottom and 1cm from the remaining sides.

For the top fin, I cut off 1cm all sides but for the front end, I only cut off from the bottom horizontal line. Don't throw away that part you cut off. Glue it on the back of the bottom edge of the front end.

When putting the parts together, use superglue for durability. It also has a cleaner finish unlike hot glue that bulks a lot.

Make sure you glued on the right side. The left and right parts should mirror each other

STEP 4) Starting with the main body, glue the edges of the rectangle together to form the base cylinder. 

STEP 5) Next, add more volume to the body by adding two more layers of strips to the 2nd and fourth row of the base cylinder. Take note of the distance by using the printed template as guide.

Carefully glue in the first layer, making sure it completely wraps around then add the second one.

STEP 6) Add the back fins. Attach the larger one first and then the smaller on top of it. Take note of their base midpoint and align them accordingly.

STEP 7) Attach the front end. Find its base midpoint and align it to the back fins.

STEP 8) For the top fin, I glued two pieces together to proportion the entire thing since it looked too long and thin. You can probably get away with just using one layer but if you're going with two, make sure you glued the edges well that they wouldn't separate when you bend it later.

I glued them on a larger piece of rubber sheet first before cutting the excess off so that they'd be exactly the same size. I then ran it under a hot iron several times before carefully bending them since it was really stiff.

Don't glue them on the body yet.

STEP 9) Temporarily assemble the entire thing using pins to check the overall output. It's frustrating going so far only to find out they didn't turn out the way you wanted them to. That was when I realized I needed to add another layer of the top fin,

STEP 10) For its bullets, I used about six pieces of empty thread spools. Carefully cut each of them in half and trim excess length until they fit snuggly on their place in the cylinder. This will serve as a sturdy frame for a nicer finish rather than just bending rubber sheets. If you don't have any thread spools, look for materials that has quite similar structure.

STEP 11.) Cover the spools with rubber sheet. 
You might need to hold the sheet to the spool longer to make sure the superglue do its job since the area is small and the sheets stubbornly goes back to being flat.

I used six pieces per side. no need to cover the entire body. Just enough for the area that will not be covered by the top fin.

Rough finish should look like this:

STEP 12.) Finally, I used a red fabric to cover the exposed side of the bullets. It's safe to use hot glue now. Make sure to glue on the inner curve. Glue both sides first. For the top and bottom, gather the fabric first, twist, pull then glue on the inner.

Before proceeding, try fitting the bullets to the body again to make sure they fit snuggly since it might be tighter because of the added materials. Adjust accordingly for misfits

STEP 13) Paint the body. 

I know most people would prime first before spray painting but after testing on scrap, they turned out ok so I went ahead and painted the entire thing directly. It was actually my first time using spray paint so I don't know if it's completely ok not priming it first (I googled and results led me to building construction materials) so I'll leave it up to you.

StEP 14) Once they are completely dry, time to draw the details with the black sharpie. I wanted the lines to be neat and straight so I used a clear tape to keep the lines in. Make sure to stick the tape first on your skin a few time to reduce stickiness in case it might take some of the paint with it if it's too sticky.

I tape the entire outer edge first and then gradually the inner. I tape one inner side first, filling them in then slowly remove that inner tape then move on to another side. (I hope that makes sense).

STEP 15) Next, put the bullets in place without glueing them first. Then lightly mark their place with a pencil so that you won't have to worry about their positioning once you actually have to stick them in. You can either use hot glue or super glue with this

STEP 16) Before attaching the top fin, glue about three layers of small rectangular rubber sheet on the unoccupied bullet area. This will serve as an additional support for the top fin.

STEP 17) Align the top fin with the rest of the body. Lightly mark with pencil where everything goes first. Start gluing from the rectangle. Use superglue on this one since using two layers for the top fin, it was quite stubborn to bend and I had to be extra careful.

And then on the sides. Glue whatever part the side of the fin touches...but just the side. Don't glue on the diagonals. To make sure they don't pop out of stuborness, tie the fin in place but not too tight or the rubber sheets will deform. Keep it there for at least several hours.

I was suppose to stop here because i have no idea how to attach the nozzle because of thin materials but I still had some spare thread spools which I put to good use.

STEP 17) Cut the spool in half vertically but not all the way. Just cut on the part that will not be showing on the top. Then cut horizontally from that. I forgot to take a photo while working on this part but it should roughly look like this:

STEP 18) Cover the visible part with a strip or rubbersheet and paint it silver/white. i also covered the area that was cut off with another strip of rubber sheet so that i can easily glue it on the inner wall. I think It would also be better to color the exposed part with yellow but I ran out of paint so I let it be for now.

And Done!

The back is messy because it was a rushed idea but it looks really cool on front and as long as I angle it away from prying eyes, then that's all that matters to me. But If any of you guys have any good solution for it, please do tell me. Thanks~ :)

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