At long last the shoulders I have been working on are done!! Almost! I still have to figure out how to attach them securely but I have a pretty good idea how I’ll do that. Anyways, onto the progress pictures and long, boring explaination on how it was done.
First off, the base. I made it out of foam to begin with since foam is tons cheaper than wonderflex. Its a pretty basic shape, just an oval with little triangles cut on the side. The edges of those triangles are then glued together to give it a curved shape.
Once the shape looks good you cut the same general shape from wonderflex, just a little bigger so it can curve over the foam. I like to keep the foam lining since wonderflex can get a bit scratchy. To help give it more of a curve I left it to cool on a cylindrical jar and used heavier jars to keep the sides down.
It doesn’t matter if the wonderflex gets lumpy or anything it’s gonna be covered with a whole mess of foam. I covered the wonderflex with a few scribbles of hot glue becasue it seems like it’ll hold the explanding foam on there better than the smooth surface fo wonderflex alone. The foam I use is called Great Stuff Expanding Foam. Cover the top of the shoulders with a generous layer of it, then let it dry for atleast 8 hours. And if you are really good at mess making you’ll end up with something like this:
Once the foam is dry it’s time to carve it. I use a serrated knife for this and just sorta… saw away at the top layer to make a nearly smooth surface. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or really even close to it. Next step is carving out the details. The left one is the finished result of the carving, the right is the smoothed out foam.
Next comes the paper mache pulp. This stuff is nasty and powdery and gets everywhere. I am not sure if the stuff I bought is technically paper clay or not but it works fine. My basic tecnique is to get a small disposable dish, pur some of the dry paper mache in there, then slowly add water. Its complete guess work. After that I smash it all together. Too dry? Add more water. Too wet? More powdery mess. I covered all the foam with it and used it to fill in any air pockets. You don’t want the layer to be too thick because even though it doesn’t seem like it weighs much, it adds up pretty quick. I see alot of cosplayers talk about sanding. Sanding bondo, sanding paper mache, sanding modge podge, and even sanding model magic. It’s like some wierd cosplayer obseassion. Well there is no sanding here. NONE. The paper mache pulp gives the perfect rock texture.
After the paper mache is done drying (two days at least) its time for the spines. The base is made of cardboard glued to the shoulder pad, a peice of model magic wedged underneath to prop them up.
I didn’t wait for the model magic to dry, instead I covered the spines with expanding foam.
That gets carved into shape and covered with paper mache pulp, same as before.
All that it needs after that is a nice coat of paint and some wonderflex bits for the armor pieces! Here’s three pictures taken with three different lightings, none do it justice: