For Cosplayers - Novice's Face and Bracelet
I started early, 8 months before Gally!! I had to make educated guesses and measurements from stills from the episode "Grid Lock", and work my objects, patterns, etc., measuring then against my body, face, etc., that way. I started with an old t-shirt, figuring to sew it on under the fur face later. I wanted to have a face that was as close to a cat as possible. I was ambitious. The nose above is made with fabric paints, layered up and allowed to dry. I finalized the color of it with acrylic paints. I then laid the fur over the nose, making a "T" cut for the nose itself, and trimmed the edges off, tucking and stitching tightly the nose to the fur. Then I began filling the sides of the nose, between the t-shirt and the fur materials, with pillow holofil, and stitching around it to make the puffed cat muzzle. To enhance the muzzle and create the cat profile I wanted, I knew I would need to have the face stick closer to my own face, somehow.
I repeatedly sized it against my face, as it is custom made. This way I altered the nose and muzzle padding as necessary. I also attached a very wide (~3/8") wire fastener (from a coffee bag) directly behind the nose so I could give the nose the proper curve. I was also working still with a t-shirt inner liner. After I was satisfied with the muzzle appearance, I closed the stitching on the stuffing openings of the t-shirt and trimmed off all excess. I only had t-shirt left on the muzzle, nose, and around the mouth, for reinforcement. I also began to close up the fur under the chin, and bring together the sides towards the back of the head, fitting the face to my head shape. Then I hand stitched the face into the balaclava in the proper position, trimming off the extra fur afterwards. I was very careful to brush the fur during stitching, to hide the thread marks.
I made a balaclava by forming it as a huge scarf first, with the closing part under my chin. I used a substantial amount of material so it wouldn't bind around my neck or shoulders, fitting rather like a shawl at first. The seam was down the middle of my throat, vertically. In order to fit it, I had to slip it on over my head each time. I needed it snug, but also needed to allow for the thickness of the fur face, as I was going to stitch the face to the balaclava to eliminate how to help hold the face on. Then I hand sewed the face onto the balaclava. After that, I needed to cut the back out of the balaclava to create a shaped opening that would fit the back of my head, and cut the shape to go over my shoulders.
I gave the fur a light painting with thinned acrylic paints, and brushed the fur with a baby tooth brush to create the dimension and appearance I wanted, but also keep the fur from matting with the paint. It wasn't a very big task.
Cutting the eye holes was difficult, I finally had to stop when I figured I would only ruin it if I went further. The whiskers were the last items, I cut varying lengths from heavy fishline that I had hung several days with a weight in the sun to straighten, tied a knot on the end, poked them through and positioned them how I wanted them, and then dobbed each with a bit of super glue onto the t-shirt muzzle, inside.
I spent a lot of time imagining my steps, and what I wanted to have happen, and knew I was not going to attempt a zipper, so I looked into other possibilities, and was wondering about medical prosthetics, which led me to Braza flash tape, for clothing (Amazon). I decided to give it a try, for both the balaclava opening and the fur-to-face application. . I made a test run with some fur and applied it to my face for a couple hours, and it was comfortable, and held well, but needed to be removed respectfully. I was very satisfied with the result, it was working as I had hoped. With the fitting shown above, I don't have tape in all the contact areas yet, as this was a trial fitting.
The tape was applied down and along each side of the nose, right above the upper and lower lips, the muzzle, along the cheek bones and lower cheeks, and in very thin strips around the eyes, creating the proper profile. It kept the face in place comfortably, and I was extremely careful removing it each evening. And it was not hot, I was actually quite comfortable!
Ah, the icing, for me! I used 14 really cheap (we bought 50 or so) green LEDs, a small circuit interruption switch (I will change it to constant on or off, later), and a 2 AA battery pack (all Orvacs). Six (6) gauge copper wire from Lowe's for the thick bracelet frames, each which I soldered closed, for the heavy outside rings. Skulpey Premo clay, for the bracelet body. Research showed this stuff bakes firm but flexible, and I wanted something I knew I could curve into the shape I needed for the silver body of the bracelet. I could also trim it as needed with scissors. An inner wire frame to run my LED leads along, made up of the 12 gauge wire pulled from some Romex house wiring, one inside ring positive, one inside ring negative. Large green beads found at Hobby Lobby, split, then drilled out for each LED. Super glue, and the ever useful silver duct tape.
My clay work is a bit coarse, but it still worked. I made a cardstock pattern of the initial beveled crystal opening piece and just stamp-stamp-stamped that along the flattened length of Premo clay I had rolled out and pressed flat, making the trim lines with a pen knife. Then I trimmed out the excess. Creased the edge details, and baked as per directions. It worked perfectly!
I used graduated drill bits to bore out the correct sized hole for each LED (start small or you'll crack your bead), and then split the beads with a hack saw . That way I got double the amount of drilled out beads completed. Aftrward, I pressed each one into an opening, raised to the correct level, and super glued it in place. An earlier test showed the bead would set well within the clay, and nothing chemically dissolve.
From above, you can see the work is a bit messy, but it more than accomplished my goal. This isn't heavy duty stuff, so just tight wrapping will work.
The silver clay body was also trimmed to the proper width to hold the outer rings apart (always comparing the reference photos to my body for best dimensions), which allowed me to duct tape the inner copper rings to the baked-clay body when installing the LEDs. Make sure all solder joints are colocated, where the battery leads will enter, and all will be hidden.
I soldered extra length to each LED leg, pushed each one into its little hole, and then wrapped each leg lead around each respective added length and ring according to polarity, all positive to positive, and negative to negative, including the switch and battery leads. Watch your wires, keep things insulated with duct tape if necessary, or you'll short out = no lights. Thin strips of duct tape helped secure the inner mount to the outer large rings, and reinforced the connections to the battery for strain relief, and we were gold.
I taped the battery pack onto my arm, hidden under my sleeve. Perfect!
It wasn't until MUCH later that I finally discovered these 2 images online, of the actual Novice Hame face, and concept drawings of the bracelet. Guess I wasn't too far off in my imagination!
I think I succeeded...!
Click on the Photos for Enlargements