For my stage show I needed something with a “WOW factor”, and an automatic crossbow would be amazing.
But to be able to make it open automatic at stage I needed a spring mechanism. This cheap umbrella open automatically when the release button is pressed. Hmm, I can definitely use this.
Because of the mechanism I had to redesign the prop, so it could move freely along the axis. That means that the awesome horns that swirl around the extended ” arms must be tweaked.
Let’s go! I started by stripping the umbrella and adding cardboard details as a skeleton and a little foam to build up the form. After every bit I added I tested to see if it could still be opened and closed.
Thin foam strips (2 mm) were added to created the ornamented details.
YES! I can still close it.
To keep it lightweight and cheap I used cardboard to create the scales of the horns.
The only part of the bow where I have used worbla is the skull face on front, since the form was so organic. The worbla sheet was sculpted by hand to get the shape I wanted.
More movement tests
Then I need to slap some paint on it and add a few LED
In the end the prop turned out great! And if you want to see it in action, here is a youtube video of the spring effect.
The Bracer Since I did take some in progress photos I might just add a write up of this piece also. For the smooth surfaces I used cardboard as a base, with foam details in layers. The end piece is only foam.
I wanted arrows to stick out of my shield, but to be able to pack and transport the costume I need to be able to take them off. For this I embedded M5 nuts into the cardboard and secured with worbla, while the corresponding bolt where attached to the arrows (You’ll see later)
Then I gradually covered the top with worbla (only the top) and wrapped it around the edges.
Since I was going to cover up the underside with fabric anyways I thought I would save a little by only using worbla on one side. The ornamented back piece would not be covered with fabric, so I tried to blend the surface using paper mache again, and it worked beautifully.
I also made a bracer and a claw for the other arm.
Then the horns were carved out and covered in masking tape.
To get a different texture on the helmet than on the pauldron horns I added Glue gun glue around and round the horns (took forever). Then They were spray painted gold and heavily weathered with brown acrylic paint.
Back to the base of the helmet, testing horns, not happy yet.
The base was painted the same way as the horns.
To attach the horns I have embedded 5 mm nuts in the horns and secure them with 5 mm bolts. I have even made a youtube video explaining and showing how to take them on and off.
This have to be the most iconic piece of this armor and I wanted to make sure the looked badass – The pauldrons.
Again I would use worbla, but I wanted to see if I could make the base out of cardboard and then cover it up with worbla and details afterwards. Also on the larger pauldron I needed to make horns and a mean skull face. All this without making the shoulders too heavy (as mentioned before, I’m weak and don’t want to carry more than I need).
Small pauldron I covered a balloon with paper mache and added details with cardboard.
When it had dried I added details in foam.
Tha pauldron has several indents, created by just cutting away some of the cardboard.
When done I covered it up with worbla, bringing out the foam details as I go along. I used a small wooden stick to press down the worbla (e.g. a pencil or chopstick. I started on the top and worked my way to the sides.
All wrapped up
Thin strips of worbla was added along all edges to create dimensinon.
Under the pauldron there are a couple of smaller armor pieces which were made much like the leg armors, by covering foam with worbla and shaping ot over a ball.
This a part of the leg armor
Large pauldron with horns With the larger pauldron I had a little more touble to the the basic shape. But same method by using paper mache over a balloon and adding foam details in layers was essentially used.
To get more depth to the mouth.
Starting to cover it with worbla.
Here I just used a blunt pencil to press in the worbla and bring out the details
For the skull piece I first made the form out of clay, then used that as a mold to shape the worbla, so I would end up with a light weight shell.
A hollow skull shape
I filled the space with tin foil to help keet the shape up while I added the rest of the worbla.
Before we move on with the skull details we need some horns. I build a basic grid out of cardboard.
Filled that with expanding foam
And carved out the shapes.
To be able to get the horns off the pauldron when needed, I added bolts to the horn base. Then I could screw them in place when needed.
I used all my small left over pieces of worbla for teeth. The pieces were heated and shaped.
Priming with gesso and glue, since I needed to get this peice pretty smooth.
More testing with the chest piece I made earlier.
I needed a small piece under this shoulder also.
Painting will be covered in a seperate tutorial eventually.
Until then, enjoy the full effect of these enormous shoulders, I have to go sideways though the doors in our apartment.
So many armor parts and so many techniques to use. Love this project, I have learned buckets. Here I will show how the thigh, leg and shoe armor was made. And I tried a few thing I have never tried before too, like curved shapes with cardboard base covered in worbla. In this tutorial I don’t explain how worbla works, only how I have used it.
Thigh armor. Since these pieces are single curved I thought I could use cardboard as a supporting core for the worbla, which worked great. I also alsmost always only use one layer of worbla.
Some detail pieces were more curved, here I used foam (2 mm) as a core
Detailig done with thin strips of worbla
Leg bracer This piece was way more curvy, so foam core all the way.
I tried two methods here, the first where I used two seperate pieces attached with a seamline goind down the middle, and this (see picture below) where I used one piece and streched it over an acrylic sphere.
All the pieces attached together and detailed with worbla strips.
The knees are made from separate foam pieces covered in worbla.
D-rings are added along the sides to attach the armor to my legs. More about the painting in a later tutorial.
Shoe armor Shoe covers need to be flexible, and form fitting to the shoes :)
Many armor makers forget to address the back of the shoes. Even though I have no idea what the look like from behind, I will make something interesting.
This is one fierce lady with full cover armor, so of course I had to make this costume. Demon Hunter from Diablo 3. This will be my first big armor costume and I will most probably use mostly worbla for the construction since the shapes of the armor is very organic.
Worbla is a thermoplastic sheet which can be heated with heat gun or warm water. The material then gets flexible and can be shaped, bent or molded in any way, and even better remolded if you need the materials for something else later. You only need scissors to cut it, and all leftovers can be molded together so you don’t waste any material.
First up is her chest armor I figured that I could build the chest in layers and not use foam in between to save a little money. So I started of by making a one layers base shape.
The Worbla is heated up and shaped over acrylic hemispheres. Careful not to stretch it too thin.
With by basic shape done I added masking tape to draw up the patterns for the next layer. With focus on using as little worbla as possible I will only add details in visible areas. Other worbla makers such as Kamui often make whole pieces that the almost completely cover up with the next layer, therefor spanding way more material than necessary.
When adding new layers be more careful not to get any dents in your armor, so you won’t have to smoothen them out later.
The collar will be visible from behind, so I’m adding a double layers of worbla with a cardboard core (holding it stiff and smooth)
Repeat masking process to get the rest of the detail-layers.
Transferred to a sheet of worbla.
And back on the chest.
The cross ornaments in the making.
And all the stripes and “bolts” are just more worbla added with care.
The piece will be attached to my body together with a back piece being hold together with straps. These will be added when the back piece is done.