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Unread 02-08-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
RedMoon
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Need Help with super large arm wing things/shoulder pauldrons

Hey there! My friend and I are making some Magic Knight Rayearth costumes for a convention in March/April. We've been searching extensively for different armor methods, but we haven't found anything that could help with a part of her costume yet, which is why I'm posting.

She's doing Princess Emeruade from the last episode of season one (otherwise known as her alternate form). (Pictures attached, I hope. ) We're experimenting with Worbla (http://www.worbla.com/) for all of her basic armor, such as the chest piece, but we're looking for the best and most lightweight method to do... whatever it is that's on her shoulders.

We have some experience in making armor, but this is probably the most complex article for us thus far, and we've used wonderflex and craft foam in the past, and she has some experience in fiber glassing. We both live in apartments, but if it's something bigger we need to try, it's not a big deal to travel to my dad's house or her boyfriend's for more space.

So, any mastermind ideas out there for making/keeping these babies on?
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Unread 02-08-2013, 02:26 PM   #2
verdatum
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You are seriously fighting physics on this one. There doesn't appear to be any mechanism to keep the pauldrons from tipping off your shoulders. I can only see a couple things that might work.

You can adhere the things onto her shoulders. You'd have to build the pauldrons so that the underside conforms to the shape of the shoulder so you can have the needed surface area to create a secure bond. You'd need to make them light, so like, craft foam. And you couldn't really remove them and reapply them repeatedly during the day, because it is bad for the skin.

You could have a rigid connection between the pauldron near the armpit and the purple underbust section. Based on the side shot, they don't appear to be connected in the character design, but oh well. The rigidity would be critical, otherwise the connection would just twist and the pauldrons would tip. You can either make the entire purple section of both the pauldrons and the underbust rigid, or you could use something like a 3/16'' steel rod that runs along the inside edge of each pauldron and the top of the underbust; tucked underneath.

If doing the purple parts rigid, I'd probably go with fiberglass on this. There's a chance that sufficiently thick Sintra would be rigid enough, but I am not familiar enough with it. I'm almost certain that wonderflex is too flexible to work here. To do the fiberglassing, you can sculpt the form in soft clay, paint the clay with cheap acrylic paint or Krylon Crystal Clear spray enamel, then give that a couple coats of PVA mold release, then fiberglass away. 3 layers of fiberglass cloth is good (don't use the chopped strand mat for this application) and squeedgie/scrap off as much resin as possible before it starts to gel up. Once it begins to harden apply either a gel coat or a thickened coat of resin to hide the fabric texture. Once that it set, you can peel everything off the clay, sand it smooth, and paint it.

If you make the purple parts rigid as described, you could potentially have them as separate pieces if you can fasten them together securely. This wouldn't look quite as good, since there'd be a visible seam-line, but it would facilitate things like bathroom breaks. A couple square inches of industrial Velcro would probably work, or maybe a couple screw posts

There's a third option I'm not so sure about. You could embed lead weights to the lower inside corners of each pauldron. If you can add enough weight, and the black part of the pauldrons is light enough, you might be able to balance the pauldrons and lower their center of gravity sufficiently that they just hang in place. I fear that it would require so much weight that you couldn't manage to embed it all, but I'm not about to start doing the torsional force equations to figure it out.

Regardless of the method, I'd recommend doing both the black and red parts of the pauldrons in craft foam. The flexibility would increase your range of motion and be safer too.

Hope this helps
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Unread 02-08-2013, 03:04 PM   #3
Millions_Knives
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ya physics is crazy there lol

but i think i got a good idea
ok let make them form foam so they are light (EPS if ya ask me)

heres the trick
the choker make out of a ridged material (1/4" PVC sheeting if i were making it)
then anchor the shoulders to the choker via clear straps
straps round the torso if you want to minamize wabling
and add the fabric to hide working bits
as long as they are both about the same weight you should be good
aside from door ways lol

hope ya like this idea
GL
good times to all
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Unread 02-08-2013, 03:20 PM   #4
char99char
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This is funny - I was about to post the same question - how to make large shoulder pauldrons.

http://cdni.wired.co.uk/620x413/s_v/...ts_Crusher.jpg

I am thinking of getting football pads as a base but I'm wondering if there is a lighter way to do this. The under structure will be hidden so it doesn't have to be pretty.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 03:23 PM   #5
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Is there any reason you can't make a rigid collar, and attach the inner edge of the pauldron to the lower rim of the collar? The majority of the weight would be supported by the wearer's shoulders, but the attachment to the collar would keep them from tipping over.

The collar would have to be made in two separate halves, with some means of locking them together when you don the costume.

[edit] Yeah, what Millions_Knives said.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 03:23 PM   #6
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As for the princess - I would extend the shoulder structure down your back and attach it to a corset. Similar to:

http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2806246/
http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2979250/

I would use something lightweight like craft foam. I would also recommend against attaching anything to your neck. Something that big WILL get bumped or yanked and you don't want that pulling on your neck.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 04:15 PM   #7
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I'd thought about the idea of attaching the edges to a rigid choker. The problem I see with it is that this will pull the choker upwards until the thing reaches her chin, which would be uncomfortable and silly looking. The choker would need to be somehow fastened to the dress, and I couldn't think of any good discreet way to do that.

Fastening them along the back of the dress might work if the underside of the pauldrons were stuffed with something like furniture foam with a space carved so that it rests on the shoulders. One risk would be that they could slip back off her shoulders...and if that happened, there's a chance it could cause her top to roll right down, giving everyone quite a show. So you'd probably want to do lots of testing before wearing it in public.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 01:40 PM   #8
RedMoon
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Thanks everyone! She said that she isn't too interested in putting it to her neck though, because she doesn't know if she could support it all day. Maybe putting the clear elastic around her back and chest would be helpful instead?

I'm going to toss these by her and see if they strike her inspiration.

And, glad I could help you too, charr99char! Football pads was my first suggestion to her.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 07:38 PM   #9
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I finally clicked the second image and I see the bare back now. I've added some sketches below of what I think will work. The main assumption though is that you fake the back with dancer's fabric or swimsuit lining to match your skin tone.

You may think - but that's not what she's wearing! In my opinion - cosplay is a blend of the impossible and the practical. In exchange for a little bit of Trompe-l'œil (fooling the eye) - you get a much, much more secure garment that will be tons more enjoyable to wear.

I speak from experience - my Felicia fools a LOT of people - more than I ever imagined. It looks like it should be skin - people know the reference and the brain just kind of fills in the gaps and says "oh that's skin". Your skin colored piece would also be on the back and frankly - most pics are taken from the front.

http://www.cosplay.com/photo/3146107/

Here ya go - let me know if you have questions! My notes are kind of random.

http://www.cosplay.com/photo/3349730/

http://www.cosplay.com/photo/3349731/
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Unread 02-14-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
RedMoon
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Oh, Thank you! I see exactly what you mean. I'm sending it all over to her.

It kind of looks like we ended up being on the same page. I was speaking to my fiance about it as well, and he suggested that she form it out of heavy paper first as well (which is what we did when we made the "Final Armor" versions).

I never even thought about using the skin colored fabric. Which, totally works in our favor, because we were saving the dress for last, actually.

I went ahead and threw her current WIP warbla/craft foam chest plate picture in here.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 05:59 PM   #11
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Yay - I'm glad I could help

The bodice looks great. I can't wait to see how this turns out.
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