vrijdag 23 februari 2018

Cygnus Belt Buckle: the very first cosplay effort

Okay, stay with me.  While I always had a love for cosplay, Noshi finally pulled me over the edge of actually starting with it...

While my very first effort will be rather limited in scope (Cygnus Hyoga in his civilian clothing with his Pandora box), a few talks with a "handyman" resulted in making an trial effort first.

So I decided to make a belt buckle for the cosplay, the one the Cygnus armour carriers but will look good on the plain black pants of Hyoga.  Add to that that this is actually the very first time in my life I came into contact with both a hot glue gun and EVA foam, so it would be a journey of great discoveries...

The first thing I did was draw out the rough shape of the buckle on the foam, using... a nail.  As I didn`t have a white pencil at hand to mark the lines.

I then cut it out, and used the template to make a second one for the cut outpattern, against again drawn using a nail.

Grabbing my trusty scalpel, this was then cut out so I have the diamond shape going with the patterns to paint in afterwards.

These two halves where then hotglued together onto each other.

Using my dremel, I etched away the dried glue drops, as well as smoothen up the edges a bit.

Testfitting it on an old black belt I had lying around, the diamond is the right size for the buckle.  Okay granted, I`m lucky here, next time I try and compare sizes BEFORE I start cutting and gluing...

Preparing it for painting, I went for a solution of 50/50 PVA glue and water to seal the foam up.

Next, I undercoated it with Vallejo Black acryll paint, and mixed together Vallejo Gun Metal and water for the basecoat of the buckle.

The red areas where then filled in with Vallejo Heavy Red.

The metal was highlighted with Coat D`Arms Mithrill Silver, while the red areas first received a layer of British Scarlet, then Angel Red, both again from Coat D`Arms.

 It was all varnished with Coat d'Arms Gloss Varnish next, to give it an extra shiny, metallic sheen.

Now the only thing I had to do was attach it to the belt's original metal buckle, once again using hot glue.

And voila, my modest first steps in the world of building cosplay gear...

I must say, I am rather satisfied with it.  Surely, the edges could be a bit smoother, and the cutting and etching still is on nooblevel, but I could draw on my wargame skills to do a lot of camouflage painting.

I actually feel a lot more confident now to start our projects with Noshi then I did two days ago, as the whole shabang of watching series, tutorials and all about making cosplay gear is overwhelming as heck.  But I guess like everything, you have to try it first before judging if it`s feasible...

Diamondo Dustooooooooo!!!

donderdag 22 februari 2018

Plantijn Moretus Museum visit

Last sunday Noshi and me went out to visit another museum in Antwerp, and this time we went to the Plantin Moretus house on the Vrijdagsmarkt.

The historical house is divided into 34 rooms, each detailing another part of the art of bookbinding and printing, the art Christoffel Plantin made famous.

Christophe Plantin was a french bookbinder and leatherworker from France, who settled in Antwerp in the 16th century.  The city is in it's "Golden Age" by then, and he creates a true market of printing books, being the pionier (not the inventor though) of the field.  Soon, being the smart businessman that he is, he has offices in Frankfurt, Leiden and Paris, but the main house remains in Antwerp.

Over the course of the museum, one also finds various works of his, with hundreds of original books still preserved in the museum.

Apart from books, the museum also contains various maps and charts that where printed by Plantijn.

In the old print atelier, there are even two original mid-16th century printing machines on display, the oldest surviving ones in the world!

The museum also has various pieces of art from his contemporary friends like Rubens on display.

Being located in the actual house, this means you can also peak into the various rooms as they where, like the bedroom or the spring garden.

It`s definitly worth the visit, so if you are ever in Antwerp, like for the Crisis wargame show in november 2018, you can extend your visit to the sunday and pay it a visit, it`s open from 10 till 17 on sundays.