21 August 2016

Fishbones - 2015

I realize I was very negligent on posting during the entirety of 2015 so I'm taking today to write up abunch of old projects so I'll have something to post when college starts and I am too busy to makeprogress/write blog posts

(I apologize I really did not take many progress photos during this project so I'll try hard to explain as best I can!)

I'm starting this series off with a prop I was commissioned in June 2015: Jinx's Fishbones from League of Legends!

This project was pretty daunting, but I had a lot of ideas of how to tackle this beast. I figured a large PVC pipe would work great as a base and I could use EVA foam for all the details! So that's exactly what I did!

I purchased a 4" inner diameter PVC pipe that was 2 feet in length and spray painted it black. I decided I wanted the cannon to be 3 feet total in length, so I started planning it out. Here's a few of my beginning sketches.

I scaled my original reference up to the appropriate size and started patterning! Here's a picture of my patterns all laid out.

Now all I had to do was cut the pieces out of EVA and glue them together, right? Wrong! This project was much more complicated than that.

I had decided I wanted to make the trim that appears on most of the pieces 3D. Meaning I didn't want to just cut out and glue strips of craft foam onto the edges. No, I wanted them to look triangular. The best way to do this was to use a dremel to carve long strips of foam down into the proper shape. I had used EVA foam a bit when I worked on Big Sister, but I had never actually tried to manipulate the appearance of the foam apart from painting it, so this technique was pretty new to me.

I cut several long strips of foam at my preferred width. I marked the center of each of these strips and used a cylinder cement dremel tip to carve the foam at a 45 degree angle. I did this on both sides of the strip until I had a piece of trim that looked like this when laid on the body pieces.

This process was ridiculously tedious and messy! I spent hours working the trim into shape as my back hurt and black dust quickly covered my work area. (Note: please wear Safety Goggles and a respirator when sanding foam! The particles are nasty stuff).

This process was so lengthy and uninteresting that I actually procrastinated working for a long time.

When I at last finished all my strips, it was time to attach them to their corresponding pieces. I did this by measuring out how long each piece would be before trimming them and attaching them in place using hot glue.

After all that was done, I started work on the shark's head. I cut out small triangles to act as the top and bottom of the jaws. I sanded the edges of each head piece at a 45 degree angle to make them easier to glue together. From there I used the dremel to carve the head to make it look less blocky and more shark-like.

I glued the teeth in place, added the eyes, and ta da! The head is done!

I just love how it looks~

Now all I had to do was add the hole details on some of the top pieces (This was done by drawing out where I wanted each hole to go then cutting them out with an X-acto knife) and assemble the shark!

I used contact cement to glue the foam bits together and attached them onto the PVC pipe using the same method.

Then, I primed the whole thing with Plastidip and Mod Podge (one coat took an entire can of Plastidip, so instead of biting the bullet and buying two more, I switched to using Mod Podge).

Once that was dry, I handpainted the silver details with acrylic paint before weathering with black acrylic paint and a stencil brush.

And after around 30 hours of work, Fishbones was complete!

Here's a photo of me with it to get a sense of how huge it is!

And some more finished photos!

Sadly I didn't get too many photos of it before I sent it off to its new owner, but I hope what I have does it justice!

As always, if anything I said wasn't clear, don't hesitate to ask!

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