Belles Crazy Cosplay created this tutorial for the third round of our TranspArt Competition.
Step 1: Finding Source Material and Getting Ready for the Build
Google is your friend!!!
Knowing what you want to make is half the battle. For this project I knew I wanted to make killer bow and a character that I had a connection with. I went back to my teen years when I played fantasy Warhammer and had a High Elf army. I decided to pick one of my Shadow Warriors, but the game pieces and rule books didn’t have enough images and detail for me, so to the Google I went where I was able to find images from Warhammer Online of the High Elf Shadow Warrior. I also found a book full of great source material on amazon (The Art of WarHammer Online)
Once you have the source material time to decide the sizing of the bow. For this project I decided to make the bow when standing on the ground come no higher than eye level on me and I am 5’5″. The second way you can do sizing is to uses scaling
I find it easier to plan the build if I do sketches of the different levels of work. I started with the base bow shape to get an idea of proportions making the life size version
Step 2: Building the Base Structure
- 2 2″x 4′ boards
- 4 or more large C Clamps
- Scrap Wood board the dimensions to fit the full bow plus some extra
- protective heat covering
- 5″ long 1/4″ bolts (50 count)
- 6.5′ long 1/2″ PVC pipe
- Drill and 1/4″ drill bit
- Heat Gun
- Protective gloves
- Dremel and Plastic Cutting attachment
- Earth Magnets
- Epoxy (Smooth-On Super Instant)
First things first you will be using heat to shape the PVC pipe so safety first. Wear protective gloves and shape the PVC pipe outside or in a very well ventilated area; maybe even use respirator.
Flattening the PVC pipe:
1) Determine what areas you want flat and what you want to keep the round shape. A 10″ center portion was kept round for this bow for the grip.
heat up one size of the PVC pipe till it is squishy and malleable.
2) Sandwich the PVC between the 2″x 4′ and apply pressure and clamp the two boards together to smash the PVC pipe while it is cooling.
3) Repeat again till you get it the flatness you are wanting. I needed to do this twice for mine.
4) Then repeat for the other side.
5) let the PVC pipe to cool over night before shaping so you do not loose much of the flattening as the reheating of the pipe will make it want to start going back to its original shape.
Prepping the board:
1) First make the scrap wood board heat safe by covering it in the protective heat covering.
2) Draw on the board the shape of the bow.
3) Using the drill drill holes along both sides of the shape to allow just enough room for the PVC pipe to fit. Also adding more holes where the PVC is having to do extreme shaping such as curves.
4) Insert the bolts but only a little ways in.
Shaping the bow:
1) Center the PVC pipe on the board and working one side then the other start to heat the PVC pipe starting at the first place needing to curve from center and weave it between the bolts working your way to the end.
2) Extend the bolts to lock finished sections for them to cool.
3) Let the bow fully cool over night.
4) Once fully cooled test the shape to see if it feels right as a bow.
4a) Mine was too much of a horse shoe shape for me so I gently reheated and at the curves off the cent and pushing against an even surface made the curve less extreme.
5) For easier travel I cut the bow in half using my cutting bits for the dremel
6) I then attached a PVC connector to one half using epoxy and sanded out the other half to make pulling the pieces apart easier.
7) To make the connection a little stronger I epoxied an earth magnet inside the connector and to the other end of the bow.
Step 3: Adding the Detail
Base Shaping Continued:
Using Fine Arts Worbla I made the shapes on the ends of the bow and evened out the connector in the middle of the bow.
Once that was done I covered the entire bow in a layer of Black Art Worbla to get an even tone and texture of the Bow
Dying the TranspART
When going for the look of Obsidian I did a test of black iDye Poly with other colors to get a good combo of dyed pieces to combine. I chose to go with the Black/Brown, Black/Yellow, and Black/Green combos
I used the red dye for the gem pieces
Adding the Detail
First step was to make the gems by heating up the red TranspART and forming it in my dome silicon molds to get different size gems.
Then using Black Art Worbla I added the detail to Bow minus the wings
I then made the wings using the obsidian dye combos of the TranspART by doing alternating feathers using two combos; black/green with black/brown and black/yellow with black/brown.
I created templates that I used to tape to the TranspART mashups to ensure the feathers all matched and lined up with each other.
I then used Fine Art Worbla to lock them in at the base and hot glue to glue the feathers together down the length.
Once the feathers were made they were added to the bow and shaping around them was created using Fine Art Worbla and then covered in Black Art Worbla.
With the feathers on the final wing details were added.
I used Jaqucard Pearl EX pigment powders in various metal tones and mixed them with a clear acrylic to paint the bow
I did not do a coating as I liked the look and feel that the paints had on the bare Black Art Worbla
Then I did touch ups to clean up the edges and did a final clear coat in satin to seal it all in