This is one of those projects that I haven't mentioned before because I was afraid I'd fail miserably, and if there's one thing I hate, it's failing miserably with an audience. There have been a lot of bumps and set backs along the way, but I've finally reached a point where I'm reasonably confident the end result won't be a complete laughing stock. (Er, fingers crossed and all that.)
Normally I'd show you the end result right away, but this time I'm going to make you wait for it. Humor me; this little baby has been a labor of love - and I've risked more than my fair share of digits with the Dremel tool for it.
So imagine with me, if you will, what one can do...with this:
That's a $30 Vader helmet & mask combo I purchased online.
Now I'm going to TRY and keep the chatter from here on out to a minimum, and just let the pictures do the talking now. We'll see how long that lasts.
(You'll see why in a minute. Patience.)
At this point I tried a primer that I wasn't happy with, so I ended up sanding it all off again. (Urg.) That's why the mask looks so grungy here:
After the primer I base-coated the mask in matte black, and then applied a silver metallic glaze with a dry brush technique:
Comparison shot of the the silver dry-brush vs the matte black base coat. (The underside of the mask is done in both shots.)
Completed silver dry-brush.
(I wish I could tell you what these trim pieces are, but the truth is I found them in a bin at SkyCraft Surplus, our local tinkerer's paradise, and have no idea what they're for. If you know, please tell me in the comments!)
[UPDATE: per Darus in the comments, the trim is RF Shield Gasket. "It's used in cases for computers and other electronics that need tight electrical shielding. It goes along the edge where a cover meets the rest of the case. All those little points make electrical contact making sure the whole perimeter is electrically sealed." Hey, I learned something! Thanks, Darus!]
(John cut out the center portion with a Dremel [the one part he insisted on taking over for, since the piece was so small], and then I painted it copper.)
Our second LED strip had to be longer because the lights were wired in threes, requiring us to cut into the tusks and make a bit of a mess. Yuck.
To disguise the butchered tusks, I took one of these thin metal gears*...
(*these are the gears Sharyn made for me on her embossing/cutting machine. Thanks again, Sharon!)
Once I was finished stitching, I flipped the vinyl over and glued it down inside the mask, giving me this lovely padded, finished edge:
Next I made an elastic head strap:
Aaaand....I think it might be done!
LIVE, MY CREATION!
LIVE, MY CREATION!
It took a little experimenting to get the voltage right, since at full strength the lights tend to blind anyone I'm looking at. They're currently powered by three button cell batteries, which will be tucked inside the cheek.
And that's just the mask.
Sometime in the next month I'll show you the goggles, helmet, jacket, belt plate, accessories, and the rest of the costume. Or maybe I'll just do a grand reveal after Star Wars Celebration. At this point we're about three quarters of the way done with everything, but of course that last 25% is a doozie!
And, as I'm sure you've gathered by now, this mask is for me. John decided my female steampunk Vader character needed a name, so I'm calling her "Lady Vadore." Or "Lady V'dor." Or maybe just "Lady Vador," but I doubt anyone would know to pronounce it "vah-DORE" that way. (Which do you think, guys?)
Well, I hope you liked this little sneak peek at my first big cosplay project! And as always, if you see something steamy you'd like to share, hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail.
Happy Saturday, everyone!