Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Say Hello To My Little Claptrap!!

He's done!


I probably should have set up a better photo backdrop, but I was so excited I just had John wheel Claptrap out to the back deck for some quick photos.

Behold our marvelous creation! MWUAH-HA-HAA!

"Oooh, check me out!"

We worked off of our own screen shots from Borderlands and this excellent reference art by Keith Schaffer:

We made Claptrap as screen accurate as we possibly could, right down to the screw heads. The only major differences are a few tweaks in the arm structure:

Claptrap definitely puts the "pain" in painting; we spend a solid 4 or 5 nights getting all those layers on. I was in charge of all the detail work, outlining and highlighting. And for the record: I am NOT an artist, so that was some scary stuff. 0.o Good thing my screw-ups can be chalked up to battle damage!

 John came up with a genius way of constructing the hands; they're pose-able and can even hold things!

I'm still deciding on things Claptrap might hold - the funnier the better. Any suggestions?

We originally planned to put one arm on a puppet-rod so I could make Claptrap wave, but the arm turned out too heavy for me. So instead John attached both arms at an angle, which we can easily change.

Unfortunately Claptrap does require someone to move him; he rolls on one wheel, and has a small handlebar on the back. (It's pretty short, so I'll probably be the one "driving.") He also has a magnetic kickstand, so we can step away for pictures.

We painted the kickstand so it blends in to Claptrap's body when it's up, but now that I've realized it's more important to blend in when it's DOWN, I'll be repainting that black soon.

 I think I should also paint the push bar black. Right? Or yellow?

The kickstand uses extremely strong magnets to hold it in place both when it's up and down. It could still be kicked out, of course, but it's the best compromise we could find between stability and ease-of-use. We'll just have to stick close-by at cons and make sure no one gives him a hearty back-slap.

 Note to self: next time move the deck chairs.

These daylight pics don't show it, but Claptrap IS lit up inside in four places: his eye, warning sign, bottom window, and antennae.

I'm most proud of the window below the Warning sign: I hand painted everything on there, and then we used a blue LED ribbon to match the light from the game. Here's a comparison shot:

And here are some shots in our darkened back room to give you a better idea of the lights:

We tried to make the lights relatively dim so they wouldn't blow out anyone's photos - although the green antennae light is a lot brighter IRL. We also shortened the antenna, both so it would fit better in photos, and so it won't whack me in the face while I'm pushing him around. :D

We used screen shots for the name plaque - which, oddly enough, does NOT match the letters Claptrap gives you in-game. (He calls himself the CL4P-TP.)

Here's our screen shot. The C looks a lot like a B, but that'd be just crazy-pants, so we stuck with C.

Claptrap has a hinged top and is almost completely hollow inside, so we can use him for storing our gear while at cons. (Handy, right?)

The one feature I *haven't* shown you yet is the audio; Claptrap is wired to say four different things from the game, using small push buttons on the back. (We cut open this keychain and just wired it to a bigger speaker.) Here's his most famous line:

(Watch your volume; he's pretty loud!)

And that's our Claptrap!
Those of you going to MegaCon will get to see his big debut, so be sure to say hi if you see/hear him coming your way!

(I don't expect we'll be in costume with Claptrap for MegaCon, but John and I brainstorming options for Dragon Con in August.)

 And finally, since I know most of you haven't played Borderlands, here's a compilation I found of some of Claptrap's best lines, to better help you appreciate his comedic genius/annoyingness.

Hope this made you guys smile! 

Oh, and this week John and I drive to Williamsburg, VA to help my parents with some remodeling, so I hope you'll bear with me if it gets a little quiet over here. Lots of stuff to share; just gotta find the time to do it!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Eye Candy For Your Neck!

I picked up this adorable lollipop charm at Shock Pop Comic-Con for $5, and then decided to make a little necklace with it:

(My inner 5-year-old is in heaven right now.)

I used my new Looper tool to make those Swarovski danglies (and wow is that easy/fun) and then added a tiny length of chain so the lollipop hangs just below them, like so:

I already had the crystals and chain, so this was a pretty easy upgrade for a $5 charm!

And now a close-up, since I can't be the only one who loves rainbow eye candy:


The lollipop is by Bon AppetEats, btw, and look what else I found on her website:

GLaDOS potato necklace!!

Lots more miniature food goodness over there, too, if you want to do some shopping. (The ice cream scoop earrings are crazy realistic, and super cool. [pun intended])

Now I've moved on to a much more involved necklace project. Still not quite done, but here's a peek - and I think my fellow Disney fans are gonna liiiike it!


I cast the bats from resin, then sanded, painted, aged, and drilled each one. Tedious stuff, and it took forever just to get the resin casts right, since my first few batches were riddled with tiny bubbles.  >.<

I've since found better/thicker chains, so I'll be swapping those out soon, but quick poll: what do you guys think of the green/teal bead? Any good? As a Haunted Mansion homage I wanted both green and purple, but do you think I should try other colors, too?


Aaaand now it's time to announce this month's art roundup winners! So congrats to:

Noortje Merks, who wins the Godzilla in love ACEO

Katelyn Nielson, who wins the cute Monster 

Lizzy (of Lizzy's Fancy) who wins the "snow maiden" Ermine girl

Angela McKean, who wins Leia

and Holly Denghal, who gets her pick from the Art Give-Away Board!

Congrats again, ladies, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses! (And your choice of prize, Holly!)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

WDW's Dapper Day, Spring 2015

Last Saturday hordes of well-dressed Dizgeeks descended on the Magic Kingdom here in Orlando, braving the nearly 90-degree heat in gorgeous vintage fashions and dapper accessories.

Even better, many fans incorporated Disneybounding into their snazzy styles, so you could easily spend the whole day people-watching and guessing who's-who!


Dapper Day has positively exploded in attendance over the past few years, and it was a delight to see so many beautifully turned out guests roaming the parks with parasols, walking sticks, and the like.

They brought a real sense of elegance to the Magic Kingdom, and made the rest of us feel downright schlubby by comparison. Heh.

That's right, I *still* have yet to dapper myself up - but John went shopping early that morning just so he could surprise me with this:

 He said he felt like he should be selling ice cream in this outfit, but I think it's awesome. 

Even with only taking pics of my favorites, I ended up with a couple hundred photos - which I will now condense down to my top 40. Ish. Enjoy!

It's only fitting someone would Disneybound as a Dapper Dan, so kudos to Dapper Jill here for stepping up! And that fella is actually Bert from Mary Poppins, but the straw hat fooled me at first.

The Kingdom has two new park-like areas right outside the hub, complete with beautiful fountains and plenty of green (fake) grass for picnics:

Seeing the new grassy areas filled with dapper gents & ladies made them even more beautiful - pretty as a vintage postcard!


This gal hand-painted her skirt with the castle & Cinderella's coach:

 And here's another skirt with the house from Up - plus a Disneybound Orange Bird & Mad Hatter:
Love those Orange Bird ears - and I'm pretty sure she made them herself!

Fifties-style skirts with Disney designs are pretty popular for Dapper Day. Here's a fun Captain Hook on the right:

And that's Smee on the left, wearing a nautical rope fascinator. Hee! (In the middle is Marie from Aristocats; she had a giant pink bow on the back of her dress.) 

A fab Mickey dress:

Plus check out the poison apple Mickey ears on the left!

My friend Christie dressed as a 40's style Elsa, with her hubby Chris as Olaf and her sister Robyn as Anna:

 Aren't they great? We spent the day with them, and little kids kept mistaking Christie for the *real* Elsa. I also took way too many pictures of them all, because I'm basically their groupie now.

Next, Captain America & Agent Carter:

   This couple was dressed the most authentically vintage - at least to my eyes - and just stunning:

Here's a close-up, so you can fully appreciate those rockin' orange specs:


Pastel pretties:

 And possibly my favorite group of the day, this Wonderland trio:
That's the White Rabbit, Alice, and the Queen of Hearts, and they were just the sweetest:

The Queen had playing cards on both her parasol and her hat, and the White Rabbit had a fur-trimmed bow tie! SO FUN.

I'm pretty sure these two Donald Duck 'bounders didn't even know each other, but everyone kept asking for more pics of them together:

 I love how they "put up their dukes" to pose!

Fabulous fifties couple and a 'bounding Tiana with a lily-pad in her hair:

 So happy to see more guys getting in on the Disneybounding action this year, too!

That's Olaf, Sully, and Woody. 

 I really love this next shot; all the pretty dresses!

One of the meetups that day was for the Riverboat, and there were so many Dapper Day folks that only about half fit on the boat at a time, so it took two trips to fit them all!

 Another Bert, this time with Mary:

And the dapper Avengers, assembled:

 This couple was 'bounding as Lady & the Tramp - check out her collar necklace!

 And that's a lady Gaston holding a dapper Baymax. (SO CUTE.)

This couple actually asked *me* to take their photo, which was a first.  

So I guess I managed to fool at least a few people into thinking I was the official Dapper Day photog. (Woot woot!)

More cute couples:

 A dapper Merida plus a trio with Peter Pan, Jane, and Mary:

 More pretty ladies:

 And finally, my favorite dress of the day:
And I love the petticoats. 

Hope you enjoyed your virtual visit to Dapper Day, everyone! And hey, considering the raging sunburn I got after neglecting to cover up my lily-white hermit arms, you're probably better off this way. :D (Take THAT, vitamin D deficiency!)

PS - For all you dapper folk who were there on Saturday: there's still more! So be sure to check my Flickr gallery to see if I got your picture!

PPS - Forgot to mention the official website, DapperDay.com! Check it out for their schedule of future Dapper Days and for some sweet photo galleries.