Thursday, October 22, 2015

Link's Hylian Shield

My boys are reprising old costumes for Halloween this year - 11th Doctor for the elder and Link from Zelda for the younger. So there isn't much for me to do. But one of the things on the younger son's birthday wish-list (which is also in October) was Link's Hylian Shield from The Ocarina of Time.

So I figured I could read a few instructables and make him one! And that's just what I've been doing. The shield is made of fun foam and foam core (that paper covered foam you get at Michaels). I thought about covering it with worbla like some of the tutorials I've seen, but that's pricey and I'm just not sure if he really needs something like that. So I cheaped out. :P

 First I made sure I was looking at the right shield - turns out Link has like a million of these shields! :P So C confirmed that this is the shield he wanted.

 So I looked at a bunch of Instructables to see what other people did.  I found these were particularly helpful: Cairdy Crafts, Parker's Tutorials, and ShanesInsaneVids, thanks guys!  I drafted up a shield, using the same sorts of methods I do for sizing up grided patterns - part math, part free-hand drawing, and a lot of reference to the source material. The sewing fashion curves were super useful for this part! I forgot to take a picture of my pattern before I started cutting it apart but there's the end result:

I used two pieces of foam core one 1/4 in deep and the other 1/2 deep. The shallower one is the silver framework around the shield and the 1/2 deep one is the base. I followed the tutorials and bent my foam by wetting it on both sides then putting something heavy in the middle while it dried so both pieces have a nice gentle curve.  Then I cut both designs out with an exacto bladde then sanded the edges of the foam. Then I painted them with 2 coats of gesso and sanded them again.

I traced the shield design elements onto fun foam, cut them out with craft scissors then painted two coats of gesso on them and spray painted them gold and red. (I was psyched - we had all the colors of spray paint already in the garage!)

 Then I painted the shield base with blue spray paint on the front and silver on the sides and back. And painted the frame silver. I did two coats on each and think I need one more.

I need to sculpt the weird squiggly silver element, paint that and some small wooden disks silver, then glue the whole thing together and add hand straps - and voila Hylian Shield!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Crimson Peak - or Bad girls and Good Clothes

So we went to see Crimson Peak last night, after all the gushing fellow costumers had done I couldn't wait any longer. 

* I've tried to talk about the movie in general terms and not spoiler things too much but if you like to go in knowing nothing you may want to wait until after you've seen the movie to read this...
So I'll start by saying I'm a HUGE fan of Victorian Gothic fiction. I own just about everything Wilkie Collins and J.S. LeFanu ever wrote, and numerous volumes of Victorian ghost stories besides, so I was looking forward to the story as well as the costumes. And while it was quite good I'm sorry to say it disappointed me on both counts. Part of my love of Victorian Sensation/Gothic fiction is the slow ramp of of tension, where everything seems slightly wrong, and to me this felt a bit too much like a modern horror film - more jump scares and less of that slow build of tension. While the antagonists were wonderfully wicked I was left feeling like the protagonists were less fully realized.

As far as the costumes go they were all certainly well-crafted and rich in color, but Mia Wasikowski definitely got the frumpy/dumpier of the costumes. 

 I mean really - would you rather wear this? 

Goth royalty!

Or this? (My husband said she had Mother Hubbard clothes and Hilary Clinton hair!)

I like the belt and the man, but those colors do nothing for poor Mia.

I'd heard that DelToro wanted Mia's character to be sunny and light, like a butterfly, but to me she just seemed boring and/or odd and dumpy.  

Even my nightie is prettier than yours!

Help, I'm choking on ruffles!

I know, the bad girl wasn't even wearing the same era clothing as the ingenue, and that certainly was part of the problem, natural form gowns are just more graceful to my eyes than ginormous 1890s sleeves.  But they did give Mia a few nice outfits -

While I'm not keen on this rather dull mustard color
I thought it was a nice and flattering walking suit.
(But it's not reminding me of a butterfly AT ALL.)
And the ballgown she wore was also pretty.  But in general she looked less like a butterfly and more like a bit of a drip.   But then, I've always had a gothy side so gowns like these are just more appealing to me.

What did you think?