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Unread 01-14-2009, 08:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Dr. Franken Stein's Screw Tutorial

Soul Eater is getting to be a pretty popular series, and I've seen plenty of awesome Stein cosplayers, so I figured I'd try it out myself! Arguably the hardest part of the costume is the screw (unless you elect to make Spirit in Deathscythe form as well, because that is more of an advanced prop too). Hopefully this tutorial helps! Also, obviously this is my method of making it, so if there are certain parts of it you think that could be done in a more efficient way, by all means do it.

So, for those of you who don't know what it looks like, here is a reference pic:

The basic idea here is to use an arrow-through-head gag prop (which can be found at most costume shops) and a small party noisemaker (the kind that clicks when you spin it). The problem most people have with Stein's screw is that they make it too heavy, which causes each side of the wire frame to sag down. I've seen it often done with plaster, but it just seems to be too much weight for the arrow-through-head prop. What I will be using is a combination of foam cores, and polystyrene sheet plastic. The former you can find at any hardware store, and the latter you can find here (sorry for the long URL): me=76&product%5Fid=3008&MSCSProfile=95385A1F52DEA1 A229D5B3754205446434345BE03107164A9B4AAB3AF89B9F82 B9A7F421876C1BE39B4AB028E6360548992921574C0088EE02 E23FD024BEF1DC2F4D43759DB500814B5D7C7F06C534F68797 E5906FBAC292EF4560AE174ACB25EE9426D59C94F0C5A9A806 CC1DCE90D0D9956A38F32C25C2B2AB44C9586B38CE879A1486 3B6EBA00
I usually go with the .040 inch thickness. Using sheet plastic for the exterior will not only reduce the weight, but will also increase the durability and the overall look. Plaster and paper maché will often come out lumpy unless you are really good at it. For the foam core, I used some 3/4" thick polyisocyanurate (for the main circular part of the screw) and 1/4" thick styrofoam (for the slightly raised part of the screw head), but you can use whatever works for you. Here's a picture of the foam materials I used:
Also, I primarily used hot glue for adhesion, as it works wonders.

First, measure the length from the middle of the noisemaker's handle to its edge, and cut a circle of that radius (plus maybe a quarter inch or so) out of some tack board, or paper, or whatever. This is your main pattern. Using that circle, trace another circle. Take a ruler, and draw a chord on the circle of appropriate position. This will be the "raised" portion of the screw. Here's a picture of my patterns:

Next, trace and cut out TWO of both the circle and the circular segment out of the polystyrene sheeting. In one of the plastic circles, make a small hole in the center, and push the handle of the noisemaker through:

Now you want to create some filling between the two plastic circles so that the part of the noisemaker that's on the inside doesn't move. Here's what I did:
That's the polyisocyanurate foam you see there, but you can use anything you want really. The idea is to make the raised part of the screw head less thick than the main circular part. Anyway, glue the filler foam onto your circle/noisemaker contraption, and then glue the other plastic circle on top of it. Here's about what it should look like:

Using the "chorded" circular segment pattern, cut out two pieces of thinner foam core, like so:
Glue the foam pieces onto the assembled screw head, and then glue the plastic circular segments on top of the foam:

Next, we're going to take care of the styrofoam on the "inside" of the top of the screw head. You'll see what I'm talking about in just a bit. You'll want to measure the length and width that you'll need for the strips, and then either make a pattern for them and then cut them out of the polystyrene, or just measure the strips directly on the plastic sheeting and cut them out.
Glue them on, and you'll end up with this:
Getting closer!

No one's perfect when it comes to measuring and cutting, so if there are gaps or imperfections in the side of the screw like this, just glue on a little strip of craft foam (like the Foamies brand sheets, for example) like so:

The only exposed part of the screw left is the perimeter, so let's cover that too! Cut out a strip of plastic that is the screw's circumference in length, and the screw's depth (from the surface where the noisemaker handle is sticking out to the surface of the raised screw head) for the width:
Start wherever you'd like and glue it around the entire perimeter. Now, you will have parts where the styrene protrudes to the same height as the raised screw head, even though there is no raised portion here. No worries, just take an X-Acto knife and cut away the excess. You'll be left with something like this:
If there are small gaps in the plastic seams, take some hot glue and use it to caulk up the gaps. If there are uneven seams, you can use the X-Acto knife to cut away any excess.
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