Posted by: shinigamimusic | November 9, 2010

- Been Awhile (Tusken Aspirations 3) -

So people… it’s been a long time since I last posted…

What has happened?

Well, I graduated college with a degree in Audio Production (Associate). I also completed the arms, and the gloves.

As a quick rundown, the gloves were just some basic white canvas gloves. I also bought some cloth knit gloves, but I like them less. They might be nice if it’s ever a cold troop. How did I do them?

Gloves:

I looked ALL over the world for these gloves. I checked hardware store, department store, automotive stores… EVERYWHERE! Did I find them there? NO! I found them at a hole in the wall convinence store… and they were CHEAP. They cost me less than 2 dollars for a pair. I bought both canvas, and cotton. Both are screen accurate, as in leather.

How did I dye them?

Tempura paint! It’s cheap, and can be bought in very generous portions for those on a budget. Also, I bought a sponge brush… also VERY cheap. I think it was a whopping 49 cents. I mixed a few colors in a bowl until I got some dirty looking colors, then I dabbed them onto the gloves in a HEAVILY diluted (with water) solution. It soaked in great, and looks awesome.

Application with arms:

Simple. Look at my tutorial with the boots, and apply to the arms. If you’re going for a ANH look, don’t cross the wraps across the palm, only the wrist and up. If you’re the prequel kinda lover, then feel free to do it either way. Slap on those gloves, strap on the pad, and then wrap the wraps from the wrist to the arm. Depending on how long your wraps go up the arm, you may need to wear a light brown shirt to cover your skin… and you want to cover your skin. I’m sure it’s beautiful, but to avoid any run ins with Buffalo Bill and his infamous lotion you better cover it up…… OH WAIT. It’s for screen accuracy. Did you see the Tuskens showing any skin?

No, sir.

Here’s what the finished product MAY OR MAY NOT look like. (You might show me up)

I can wrap these better than that… in fact I’ve nailed it down to where I end the wraps so they tuck into the padding underneath. It works WELL. (Excuse the bathroom pic, lol)

Also, I’m gonna mega pack this… I’ve also done the:

INFAMOUS TUSKEN GAFFI STICK!!!!

So you wanna be a Tusken? You have what it takes? You’re a champion of the desert, looking to ambush some jedi land speeders? You better be prepared. The Tuskens had some unnamed guns, but they are more known for their Gaffi’s of DOOM… well, maybe that’s a little too over the top?

They had these “sticks” that could be used for clubbing, and not with any oontz oontz oontz, but instead the kind that pops your skull open like a ripe watermelon on a Japanese summer day. If that wasn’t nasty enough, the other end could spear you in a nasty, nasty way. So let’s make it… and we too, can be awesome…AND DEADLY!

To begin you’ll need:

- PVC pipe (1  1/4″)

- Smaller PVC Pipe (1/2″)

- A Coupler (for the two pieces of PVC)

- Some Bondo

- Some sheet metal/plastic signing

- Spray paint (Brown, black, and hammered metal)

- PVC Coupler thingie (Optional, it’s for decoration)

- A Heat Gun

- A Saw

- Gardening Spike

- A nice airy space to work in

- Duct (or Duck) Tape

- Dremel

- Tin Snips

- Totokia Head

- A Vice

- And time and love (yea, I SAID IT)

What do we do?

Well my friend, this has been fun… it’s gonna get a lot funner. Well it might get frustrating, but it’s fun too. If it’s not go do something else. No point in costuming if it’s not fun, right?

So you arrive in your shop with the supplies on the supply list. You turn on some nice refreshing cantina music and remember that HAN SHOT FIRST. You’re ready for business.

Let’s start off with the “wood staff” part of the Gaffi. It’s our meat and potatoes so to speak. You’ll start off with this larger PVC tube (1 1/4″), and you’ll need to cut it what some might say 29″  long, but I went ahead cut mine like 31″ long or so. The reason is because we are gonna modify this little baby to look prettier.

Get your heat gun (pew pew) and heat the holy hey outta one end. Some tips for using a heat gun with PVC:

1) Hot PVC looks REALLY close to cold PVC. Use gloves, and don’t burn yourself.

2) Get too close to the white PVC and you’ll discolor it. It takes longer to get the PVC to a shapeable state this way, but it also makes sure that you don’t huck it up.

3) TAKE YOUR TIME TAKE YOUR TIME TAKE YOUR TIME

Enough tips… you’ve heated the end up until it’s nice and mallable on the last 1/8″ or so. You are going to make a nice pretty lip of this end of the tubing. You’re going to do this by holding the PVC tube as vertical as possible (as in straight up, folks). Then VERY carefully, slowly apply downward pressure on the tube, pushing it into the ground. Pay attention to what the tubes doing. The hotter the end is, the easier this is going to be, but it’s also easier to muck up. This is a process best done in one step from my experience though. If you have to reheat the end you can often get an extremely off center lip… this can be bad because you need to fit the other PVC pipe inside this. If it’s misshaped then the pipe with the coupler end will not fit.

This is kinda scary, but this is something you MAY OR MAY NOT want to do. I don’t think it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary, but it REALLY makes the piece look good. Do this part first because if you screw it up terribly, you can just toss the stick and cut another. PVC is really cheap and so you really CAN afford to have some scraps. it’s just part of the learning process.

Once this is done, it might look kinda like this:

Sorry no closeup, but the focal point of this for you right now is the far right part of the thick end of the PVC. See how before it goes into the smaller PVC it has a nice lip?  To be honest with everyone, I did this MY FIRST TRY… and since then the other Gaffi’s I’ve done have not looked this good at all. You might luck out like me though. If so, YOU WIN TEH GAME!

Now the lip is done. Let’s add the curve, shall we?  This is the main reason the Gaffi is a little bit longer than other people say. We want to make a curve in the stick like is in the above picture. I don’t think it needs to be a 90 degree angle like some sites say. If you try and make the bend that much it will really fold up your PVC tube and look not so wonderful. I’ve seen people cut the PVC and reglue it, but honestly we are most likely gonna be trooping in this, right? If that’s so you want this part to be as strong as possible. The Gaffi club end is gonna stick to this as well. It’s heavier than we all might want it to be. Support is crucial IMHO. You can make your own choice though. There’s a lot of ways to do this entire costume. I’m just saying how I did it.

Making the Curve

I kinda just eyed this TBH. I’m not sure how far down I started to heat at. If I had to take a guess I’d say… 4-5″ (most call for 3, but we are gonna do something, so you’ll see). So there’s 2 keys to this… one is EVEN HEAT. The other is: GOOD WEIGHT.

What I did was put the PVC pipe in a vice and cranked it down so it had a firm hold on it. Then I turned the heat gun up and began to heat evenly around the pipe, in a sort of circular fashion. Once I felt it it was getting to be semi malleable, I put a weight into the end of the PVC and duct tape it on. You can also use your hand and pull, but I liked using the giant socket I had because I had a big stick to grap onto and gradually tork it to the shape I wanted. In order to minimize the wrinkles in the plastic I did this as slow and in as small of increments of angle as possible. You can do it much faster than the 2 hours or so I spent doing it, but it might not look as good. Unless you cut this though, making a sharp angle is going to wrinkle the PVC.

Here’s a good picture of that progress:

And that’s how you make the bend.

Finishing this end (Or how I added the club):

First off… I BOUGHT the club. It was made by a member of Krayt Clan known as KING JAWA. He was AWESOME to deal with, charged a very small fee for this item to be shipped, and had instructions inside for how to care for the Gaffi club end. I also got a 501st card… which is fun to own. As the time of this post being written… he still sells them. So sign up for the forums there and get a hold of him. Also check out the Trading Post.

I cleaned this item up with soap and water. I then let it dry. I took a circle drill bit (looks like a can with teeth) and and I drilled a circle hole into the bottom of the club. I pushed epoxy into it and then shoved the head onto the end of the PVC pipe after the bend. I adjusted this out so it was at the angle (or lack of) that I wanted. I then taped the crap outta this to it held exactly where I wanted it while it dried.

Tips on this process: After cutting the hole but before the Epoxy, try and place the Gaffi head on and make sure it’s not too long. If the PVC after the bend is too long, then cut it down to size. Remember you can always cut more, but you can’t do a lot if you cut too much. Like with everything… TAKE YOUR TIME.

I’m gonna be less detailed and leave a lot of this up to you…. but here’s

How to make the smaller piece of the Gaffi with the spike and fins:

I cut the smaller PVC pipe about 15″ or so long. It was a little too long, but I wanted that.  You’ll want to cut the fins using the aluminum metal or sheet metal of your choice. These fin shapes need to resemble the ones that you seen on screen accurately. I did it by eye and made a lot of copies on thick paper before I cut the metal with tin snips. Instead of using dangerous sharp metal like I did, you can also substitute it out and use the thicker advertisement signs you buy everywhere… you know the ones that say stuff like: KEEP OUT, or FOR SALE BY OWNER, or GARAGE SALE. You’ve seen them. They are safer and just as paintable. Look great too. I chose to use metal because it was laying around the shop.

Here’s a picture of my fin template:

Once the fins are cut you can then make the proper markings on the smaller PVC for where they go. Once you got those figured out, go ahead and dremel out knotches for them to go into. This is tricky, but after that drop some glue in these holes and on the fins and stick them in. Tape them down. I was able to get two fins at a time. If you do just one at a time you’re ok too. It’ll just take a bit longer. Let them dry and this is done.

You’ll notice you need a spike right? well the easiest thing to use is an old garden spike. You cna find these attached to a slew of things. Look in your backyard, your dad’s backyard, your grandma’s backyard, or a hardware/home and garden store. I found one in a grandma’s garden attached to an old broken spool for garden hoses. Smash it, cut it, so whatever and extract just the spike.  Trim it, cut it, or sand it down to fit into the end of the PVC spike closest to the fins. You shouldn’t need glue or anything… just force to smash it down. I know we are Tuskens, but USE THE FORCE!

If you want to make things fancy like I did you can find a PVC ring that fits around the smaller PVC pipe and cut it in half. Put one of the halves untouched on the top where the spike is. The other one will need to be sanded down until it looks round like a real ring, and slid on the bottom, about 1/2 – 3/4 the way between the fins and the fatter part of the Gaffi. This effect will make it look like the Gaffi used in the “Hero Tusken” picture you see on the internet. I prefer this look myself.

Here’s a picture:

This picture skips ahead a little bit…but it shows the fins and the two rings. Also the spike. It’s a good picture for what I just taught you.

So you’re about done… You gotta make it pretty and polished now though, right? YES is the answer. You’ve done so much though? YOU KNOW WHAT!? No pain no gain.

A Pretty Gaffi: Meet Bondo

A powerful tool for ricers and crappy car body kits… now for Tusken use! We are gonna use this to make some items look better than they are… lemme tell you how…

The first step is to use bondo on the spike. You are going to mix that stinky stuff up and use something flat to push into the gaps between the spike fins… now the SPIKE FINS, not the GAFFI FINS. I’ll show you a pic of it all finished… you also need to stuff and even out the hole that connects the two. Once painted, this will make it look like one piece… or it should. You decided:

Where else might you Bondo?

Well as you can see in that picture, you’ll always want to bondo up where we put that lip. this will both hide mistakes, and give the impression the hole is much smaller than it is. I think it’s a good trick. Remember to sand after this dries.

A Pretty Gaffi: Meet Mr.Dremel

This is quick… you should Dremel a pretty design into the hand grip section of the fat part of the Gaffi. Now by now you should have seen some Gaffi sticks used in reference pictures. If you don’t compare what you’re making to a reference from the movie… well I’m sorry sir. You’re doing it wrong.

Check out TK-409’s site for a good close up, or check this picture. It doesn’t have to be a perfect design, just look good and “homemade” to push that realistic effect… but remember… what else did Tuskens do but pillage and craft weapons? So it can’t look like total garbage and SUPER sloppy. There’s no excuses for laziness. So don’t too deep, that’s all I gotta say.

A Pretty Gaffi: Meet Mrs.Paint

This is where the entire piece will tie together. You want to make sure this thing is sexy and dressed for success. My first tip is to clean the PVC. You probably have made it really greasy/dirty from all this work on it with your hands. Get that grease off. Next scratch the crap out of it with a nice grain sandpaper. This will help the paint stick. You can use a primer if you wish, or you can use the paint made for plastic. It’s around at all stores including the evil Wally World (I’m not a hippy, that’s where I got it). Paint the stick part brown, the spike part silver… easy. To weather the wood part what I did was lay down a bunch of layers of paint in black and brown and dark brown and a clear coat… then I made scratched on it in places with various tools/sandpaper. I finished it by spray painting light coats on in a light rain outside… I then rubbed the wet paint with a rag and got some neat effects. If there’s no rain you can mist with a water bottle I’ve heard. I live in Washington though, so there’s almost always rain. Here’s the end effect:

A lot of people say it’s dumb to use black spray paint for weathering…and honestly, there’s a lot of ways to do this… but I liked the effect. it took me a lot of time layers to achieve the effect I wanted though.

When I was done I touched up areas with blakc spray paint sprayed from WAY far away. I wasted most of the paint, but it left a light light mist of black over it that looks mostly natural. Good thing cheap black spray paint is less than 1.00 a can.

And that’s a finished Gaffi… or rather these are:

That’s it for the Gaffi!

So What Else? Bandoliers?

There’s a lot of people saying what’s what to wear in Tusken fashion as far as screen accuracy goes. It’s really tough to get anything authentic anymore, because it’s OLD and they don’t make them anymore. I’ll post a pic of what I ended up getting, and just tell you that you should have patience and look around. Authentic is the way to go I really think, but if you can’t find anything online that’s a reasonable price, then buy the remade stuff and weather the junk outta it. If worse comes to worse then buy leather and some good buttons. Don’t cop out and build vinyl… PLEASE. Vinyl was not used on Tuskens… it was all leather. Trust me.

My advice is hound down people on Krayt Clan… by that I mean make a post in the trading post and be polite. The trading post is your friend and a free resource open to all. This is what I got:

It smells, but it’s AWESOME! Also, I like owning something so old. Makes me feel like a collector, lol.

What’s in the next episode of this installment?

I think I finally got caught up… so it looks like you’re/I’m almost done. All that’s left is the famous head/mask and the two robes. I’m gonna tell you up front that this is the most expensive part of my costume. I paid around $200 for a well made, quality mask kit with metal pieces and I’m looking at paying around $200 more for the two robes. Each of those is more then the rest of the costume put together. There’s ways around this, but we’ll talk about that later… for now…

SHINIGAMI OUT!

<3’s and kisses and lolz

Posted by: shinigamimusic | March 16, 2010

- Tusken Aspirations 2 -

< Tusken Aspirations 2: The Shoes >

Brought to you in part by…

Garrison Titan

(well, not really… but check them out. They are awesome!)

So you’re back joining me again for another exciting blog about building a Tusken Raider Costume! If anything you stumbled onto this site at least. Better than nothing.

This time I’ll be explaining the process of making the shoes. First off, let me tell you there’s a lot of different ways to pull this off. The most popular and sensible one I think is what I’d call the “rubber boot method”. It’s not a play on words, no no no. It’s literally, wrapping rubber boots in duck/canvas/denim/khaki cloth. You’re choice. The world is yours.

The reason I bring this up first is not because this is my method of choice, but instead because it offers the most Pros Vs. Cons.

So, here they are. (Three contestants for your love and choosing)

Contestant #1: “Rubber Boot” Method

Pros:

- More screen accurate than my method

- Easier to slip on (takes 10 seconds and you’re good to go)

- More breathable than my method

- Easier to handle and pack around than my method

- 1 part (technically 2 parts, but oh well)

- Easier to repair than my method

Cons:

- I don’t think they look as cool as my way

Contestant # 2: “Slipper/Pant” Method

So the “rubber boot” method is basically a rubber boot with cloth attached all over it. Quick, easy, simple. The “slipper/pant” method involves some slippers or shoes that have a cut off pant leg attached to them. Usually hot glue attaches these. Then I’ve seen people reinforce the pant (to make it stiffer), by covering it up with duck tape. Then after that, it’s the same as the rubber boot (i.e: attach some cloth and you’re rollin). The neato thing about this way, compared to the rubber boot, is that the shape is even more realistic than the rubber boot. Possibly more screen accurate… I think it’s hard to say. But it’s definitely more realistic looking.

Pros:

- The most realistic looking choice.

- Works the same as the “rubber boot”, only you get to feel more creative, and like you’re making your costume even more. (Note: I don’t mean this in a rude way)

- All the other Pro’s seen in the “Rubber Boot”, minus the breath-ability. I’d imagine they’d be worse, but I could be wrong.

Cons:

- Doesn’t look as cool as my method

- Takes longer to make then the “Rubber Boot” method (but still less than my way)

Finally… I give you!

Contestant #3: “My” Method

First off, even before posting the finished picture… I’d like to say I didn’t make this method. I only chose to use it. For the most part, it’s TK-409’s method. I added some dumb stuff, but basically it’s his idea.

Sideways boots can be sideways…. Anyway… those are them. My finished boots.

Pros:

- They look awesome! (At least I think they do)

Cons:

- Take forever to make

- Require a lot of dye, patience, time

- Less breathable

- Could cost the most of the choices

- Take the longest to put on. (They are 4 pieces per boot)

I’m not sure if anyone else would choose this method. It’s pretty outrageous for all you get. I think they look great, but then again, I spent hours and hours making them. I’m bias.

4 Parts: What are they?

I’ll tell you what the 4 parts are… they are as follows:

Shoes:

Shoes that have duck cloth hot glued to them. The duck cloth is strips that cover the width of the shoe, and tuck under it even. After toops, the under cloth with probably flay away is my guess. Where the show laces are, near the top, where you insert your foot, two very long (a few feet), and 1-2″ wide strips come off the shoe to wrap up the leg. This gives the impression they are one piece. When wrapping the legs, it takes a long time to get this right. ESPECIALLY if the cloth coming off to wrap up the leg is TOO SKINNY. Make there’s suckers wide. It’ll look kinda weird at first, but you’ll like the end result.

Leg Wrapping:

The leg wrappings are what we did previously in Tusken Aspirations 1. They are rectangles of duck cloth with strips of duck cloth sewn diagonally on. I later added Velcro to them, to help attach them securely on my leg, until the wrappings from the shoe were on. The Velcro really does only that. I found it was a unstable way to try and keep the leggings attached. Just use it to hold the legging in place until the shoe wraps are up and around it. I also found that dying it was almost a complete waste of time. If you do the legging straps from the shoes correctly, you won’t hardly see the wrap. I’d say it’s actually useless, except for the fact that it helps keep the next part in line, and also is a comfort factor  I think. Also IN THE EVENT that the leggings slip a bit, you won’t see your bare leg ever. It’s worth having I think.

Tip: When attaching the legging, let the bottom part overlap over the tongue of the shoe… at least if there WAS a visible one. If you overlap this legging a little bit, it helps with the illusion the legging and shoe are one piece.

A Shirt, Cloth, or Foam:

This is to stuff/wrap between your leg and the legging. It’s not for comfort (although it is comfortable), but instead to help puff the legging out. You’ll need it bunched thicker closer to where your foot enters the shoe. This will help create the image that you’re wearing a boot (or have legs of awesome!), and also make your leg look really meaty. This is more important if you have fatter, wider shoes. I used some old DC skate shoes that were REALLY meaty and fat. I like the result, but this extra stuffing is unneeded if you have smaller shoes. This is up to your discretion. I personally like ho mine turned out using this.

Wraps:

So these were basically mentioned before. I’m mentioning them again because I consider them both part of the shoe, and a part on their own. Reasoning is because you’ll spend a lot of time learning to wrap them properly (that is, if you care to be a perfectionist on the “boot”). Like I said before… fatter is better when making them, and be creative on making them look like they naturally come off the shoe. I did a few layers under and over to blend it into the look of my shoe. It’s really not a perfected art, but I think it’s good to pay attention to the details in your costume. Have some pride over it!

So this blog was a little different than the last one. It was less straight forward and more of a “experiment on your own” kind of post. I think the shoes are really a matter of personal choice, and there’s so many ways to do them, it really doesn’t matter what way you choose. You just need to focus, take your time, and look at some reference pictures.

As a closing remark I’d like to add that the pictures of other methods were taken from the Krayt Clan forums. I’d suggest any aspiring Tusken Raider join there, and even if you don’t post, check out what other people are posting. There’s lots of ideas floating around to take ideas from. Also there’s a great Trading/Selling forum.

I’ve done more work on this Tusken project, but I’m going to make an entirely new post for it soon. The next items on the list I’m working on almost simultaneously, so it might take awhile. I can’t say which one I’ll be posting on next.

STAYED TUNED NEXT TIME FOR….

TUSKEN ASPIRATIONS PART 3: Gloves/Wrists, Modified EP1 Rifle, or Tusken Gaffi Stick

It’s gonna be a good one. Keep checking back.

Shinigami out.

Posted by: shinigamimusic | February 19, 2010

- Tusken Aspirations Pt.1 -

Well, it’s been a loooonnngggg time since my last post. In order to kick off the new year, I’ve started a new nerdy craft project. This time I’ve taken a step away from electronics, and moved into costume design.

When I was about 16 or so I started making lightsaber replicas. None of them really turned out too great, but it was a fun thing to do. Now that I’m older, I figured I’d give a good costume a shot. After mulling through some ideas and doing some research on the tubes, I came to a Tusken Raider conclusion.

My main resource of information came from the mighty TK-409. His site offers a lot of really great insights and even greater links to making some of the better Star Wars costumes out there. If you’re interested in making a SandTrooper, C-3PO, Tusken Raider, or Boba Fett costume, it’s almost a one stop shop for all your needs.

Enough promotion though… I am working on a Tusken Raider costume right now, and I started by making the leggings and shoes. So for Part 1 of Tusken Aspirations I’d like to explain my process from a beginner costumer maker’s perspective.

Supplies

The first item on my list was Duck Cloth. I don’t know much of anything about fabric, but that’s what TK-409 suggested. After buying it, I’m sold on the idea of this fabric. It’s worked out better than I expected. There’s a few places you can get it, one of them being Jo Ann Fabrics. I instead, looked locally here in Seattle, and ran into a GREAT fabric shop on Capitol Hill called Stitches. The lady there was really nice, and helped me instantly with finding what I was looking for. I suggest finding a dark khaki color, it worked well for me, and after some weathering, matched the color I had in mind perfectly. I’d also like to add how friendly the store keeper was to me, even explaining the process of buying fabric (I’m REALLY new to this remember). So I bought a yard. So far it’s seemed to be enough.

Also, I needed a sewing kit (or glue, as you’ll read later) and some paints (other solutions mentioned later) with a foam brush. The paints and foam brush are easily found in any craft/art store, and the sewing kit I scored from Walgreen for 5 USD (115 pieces including scissors, a pin cushion, needles, pins, thread, and more! ). Good times.

The Process

The first thing to tackle was cutting the fabric. I looked at my more favorite home made Tusken costumes, as well as the originals and then started cutting. I mainly copied the picture from TK-409’s site though, as I liked that idea of tackling the leg wraps the best. I wasn’t super keen on the look, nor the process of wrapping up rubber rain boots, which seems to be another very popular idea of Tuskeneers. I won’t cover that here, but if you’re researching into the subject before starting (something I REALLY REALLY suggest doing) you’ll definitely come across the process.

So I measured about 3/4th of the way up my leg, from ankle to kneecap for the height of the under fabric, and I measured a few inches past what I might need to wrap the fabric around my leg for the width. That left me with a nice rectangle. I then made strips of fabric to line up diagonal across the under sheet. When cutting these, I purposefully didn’t cut straight lines… I made them jagged cuts, and sort of wavy in places. The result of this process looks something like this:

At this point I was almost concerned. This definitely doesn’t look very much like what I want for an end result. I had to push that notion behind me though, and remember that this is the beginning, and not the end. Therefore, it’s gonna look bad at first.

Moving on… it was time to make them ragged and frayed. I’ve read a plenty of ways to do this, and decided to start off by the most simple way… washing the fabric. I was scared as to what would happen, but I tried it. I didn’t really know if I should throw them in the washer and dryer, or hand wash them in water… use soap? I didn’t know. I’m new, and couldn’t find information of the specifics. What I ended up doing was filling my kitchen sink with warm water, and dripping a dap of detergent into the mix. I then dumped the fabric into it, and let it soak for about 10 minutes.

When it was done soaking, I then scrubbed and mashed and rolled the fabric together. I beat it like the Micheal Jackson song, and after not too long, I ended up with a frayed out mess of wet, soapy fabric. Yay! I then pulled it all out, untangled some of it, cleaned the fibers out of my sink, and rinsed and squeeze dried the whole mess. They were then left overnight to dry.

I woke up to this. A bunch of dry strips, and two dry rectangles, frayed quite decently.

It was time to start the attaching. One way to do this (I believe TK-409’s suggestion) is to simply glue the strips onto the fabric. It’s a pretty good idea I think, but I wasn’t sure if I could trust glue to hold something on all day (in the event I was at a con or something). I instead opted to sew. The approach I took to sewing the fabric, was to try and make the least visible path I could take. Instead of sewing the entire piece on by sewing the top and the bottom, I decided instead to just sew the top part, and leave the bottom free to flap around. I can show this better than I can explain it… so here’s a couple pictures.

These pictures are after the first coat of weathering, so don’t mind that… but that’s basically what I did to attach the strips on. I hand sewed them, and it took a long time. If you’re sewing it, a machine might be a faster decision. If you decide to use glue, then it’ll be even faster.If you do hand sew, I’d suggest using pins to hold the strips in place. By doing that you can keep the fabric straighter, and it’s just easier (minus the fact you’ll likely poke yourself a few times).

So the two leg wraps are done now… It look’s pretty good, but maybe not still exactly what you’re looking for? The next step in the process is weathering. I mean, you’re going to be a freakin’ Tusken Raider. They hang out in the sand, and harsh conditions. After that rough wear and tear, you don’t think they’ll have pretty shiny clothing, do you? Yea, I didn’t think so.

The weathering process has been really difficult for me. Looking online you’ll encounter A LOT of different ways and ideas to go about it. I’ve seen watered down paint, dirt, spray paint, hitting it with rocks, tea or coffee staining, washing they hey out of it… and more!

My hand washing had frayed the pieces out, and I didn’t want holes in it, so I ruled out the rocks and washing. I tried dirt on a test strip, and didn’t like the result. I mean, it works, but not to the standard I was holding this project to. A lot of it comes out over time by movement. Also: it STINKS. At least it was pretty musty smelling. I wasn’t cool with that. Ew.

So I got paints. Acrylic paints to be exact. I also made a pot of coffee. It was morning, so why not? The paints I had purchased were the standard primary colors (Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Black, and White). I looked up some color combinations online, and got to experimenting. I can’t tell you exactly the colors I used, because I just kind of went with it. Black with a hint of green turned out good I thought. The result was a dark effect with some pale dark green hues around the edges.

My application of it was basically watering the crud out of paints, and then dipping my foam brush in it, just a little bit. I kind of just randomly hit the pieces of the cloth, little sections, small strokes, or large sections with long strokes. I feel that it applied the colors semi realistically. When I was done adding on the paint, I poured myself a cup of coffee. I also poured some of it in a bowl. I rinsed out my brush and then dipped it in the coffee, and generously applied it all over the fabric.

I was kinda of worried… it was now really dark looking, and not much of what I wanted… but I waited for it to dry.

A few hours later it looked like what you’ll see in the picture below. On the left is before, on the right is after.

And that’s the end of part one. This whole ordeal took me about 3 days to complete, and still needs a little bit of work. The process was fun though, and I can’t wait to get working on Part 2.

!!!COMING SOON!!!

TUSKEN ASPIRATIONS PART 2: TUSKEN SHOES

I’ll see ya then,

Shinigami, Signing out!

Posted by: shinigamimusic | September 12, 2009

- Meteor Games :( –

This is really dumb… but I’m kinda pissed about this.

Last year at PAX my girlfriend had me sign up for this free 3D cell shaded MMO thing by Meteor games (they made Neopets). We did it so that she could get this cute beanie baby looking thing. I checked out the game and it looked really cool actually. (Called Twin Skies)

After about a few months they sent me an email saying they are working heavily on it, but it’s not gonna be out in it’s 3D goodness for quite a while… so in the meantime, they set up the site to have a bunch of free and fun flash games. I played there for about a month or more and then got another email… This email said that they had to cancel the 3D version of the game, and instead were designing a 2D version Facebook app, which still wouldn’t come out until maybe 2010 or longer.

They axed that site out, and then told me to play their new awesome game: Pirate, Vikings, Ninjas... cool, right?

Wrong. Once again they offered fun games… but a few months later…

I go to the site and see that they “had a malfunction updating”. This lead to the game being unplayable… BUT they needed to do it in order to make their system work for YET ANOTHER GAME…

A FACEBOOK APP.

WTF METEOR? Can you get your head out of your ass!?

PLEASE!

This represents their company:

FAILCAKES!

FAILCAKES!

Posted by: shinigamimusic | August 18, 2009

- Pink Gorilla? -

I was walking with a friend today to the International District here in Seattle with a mission.

The mission today was to go to my favorite import/classic game store Pink Godzilla. Things are great until we get to the entrance to the building that houses this fine museum of gaming goodness. I was pretty confused as there was no sign. I entered anyway. After browsing through a few of the games there I asked the friendly looking Nintendo supporting clerk where the sign went to.

He proceeds to tell me that the sign had to be taken down. Toho, the company who owns the rights to the word Godzilla, apparently issued a “friendly” letter similar to a cease and desist to the neighborhood friendly Pink Godzilla.  I got the impression the letter wasn’t entirely friendly though. This resulted in a forceful name change, and now the store is known as Pink Gorilla. They even have a new mascot… which looks just about like our old friend, only with a Gorilla face. Toho really wanted to rub it in on them though, so to add insult to injury, they also required that they see a list of possible name changes the store might have. After showing them the idea of Pink Gorilla… they said no.

What does this mean for the store then? Well a new sign would be a good idea I think. As far as Toho telling them they don’t want the store called Pink Gorilla… well that doesn’t really matter because they don’t own the rights to the word. So for now you’ll find the cute pink godzilla stuffed creatures with the name sharpie’d out, as well as the posters. But the rest of the store remains the same and still sells awesome goodness.

I’d like to add also that this isn’t a new thing for the company, as reported by Wired.com

I invite everyone to check out the store though. It’s really awesome and they have printed some new pins and new t shirts. Also the video game selection isn’t too bad. Hell… they even have 64DD’s…. can you go wrong with that?

Pink Gorilla

Nerd Out!

Posted by: shinigamimusic | August 15, 2009

- Weekend Project -

Recently I was sent a link to some audio for a show that me, RevBadger, Stunt Junkies, and MC Gigahertz did.  It was quite a while ago, but an awesome buddy known as AlienBobz (That’s Alien Bob Z, to you) was kind enough to film the show for us. Now the audio is in my hands, and I’m hoping that my connection speed will hold up here and I can actually get these files matched up this weekend.

If I do, I’m pretty sure that means the elusive footage will be seen to all. I thought it was a really good show (I was dressed snazzy at least), but I didn’t have many songs (2, I think? 3 maybe?), so I guess the footage will show the truth.

Yea…so keep your eyes peeled for that. I’ll post it when it’s released.

Posted by: shinigamimusic | August 14, 2009

- Nerdy Craft Idea #98343 -

I haven’t blogged about this yet, so I suppose I will now.

As some of you may know… I enjoy modifying DMG’s (Original Gameboys aka: Bricks). I’m not super good with the electronic components of them yet, but I’m working on it. In the meantime, I’ve been experimenting with the cases and dyeing them. So far I’ve found the best work to come from using a solution of Acetone, Boiling Water, and Rit Dye.

Lately… I’ve wanted more out of my cases though. Something more artsy I think… My idea was to somehow transfer graphics onto the case itself… Well, I searched around for awhile and decided to try out a method called: Gel Medium Transfers. The task itself is pretty simple, but you’ll need to be prepared to not have this done in one day. My first shot took me 4 days to complete. It might take someone less anal about projects only 2 days though. I went a little crazy.

If you’d like to try your hand at it, I’d suggest visiting this site.

Basically, you need to find printed material. Then you “paint” the gel goop over the image in thin layers, making sure to go vertically, then horizontally, vertically, then horizontally… and so on. In between coats you need to wait for the gel to dry (Takes about 20 minutes). After you’re done you need to let the page dry completely. That should take about a day, unless you’re like me and “accidentally” place 20 coats on it over 2 days (really thick coats too). Then you’ll need about 5 days for it to dry. After it’s dry you can soak the image in water and peel the paper off of it.

If you’re lazy though… you can do it my way… That involves getting a cup of water and your finger. Dip your finger in the water and drip water onto the back of the paper. Then rub your finger on it… lightly at first… you’ll eventually get a feel for it. The paper will come off and viola! You’ll be the owner of a chunk of goo with an image on it.

It’s pretty cool I guess. My idea is to do it again but make the transfer thinner this time. Then I’ll apply it on the DMG and glue it down with more gel medium (because it dries clear). After that I’ll place a clear coat on it and be in business… hopefully.

I’ll leave you with two pictures. The first is a mock up of what I’m wanting to do… The second is my progress so far.

DMG Mock Up Idea

DMG Mock Up Idea

Phase 1.5 - Just need the image

Phase 1.5 - Just need the image

Hope everyone is havin’ a good day.

Posted by: shinigamimusic | August 13, 2009

- Event is Seattle Tonight -

A memorial for Tom a teacher that I highly respected and deeply miss is being held today at The Moore Theatre in Seattle. It’s located on the corner of Virgina and 2nd. It will be a free concert featuring a couple bands as well as open mic time. Everyone is invited to celebrate Tom’s life.

For more details… click here.

Also, I’d like to add today that a few days ago I uploaded some previously unreleased songs on my myspace. Go there and check them out. They have been uploaded due to the fact that my album may never be released, so there’s no point in holding them back forever.

As far as my days events are going… It looks like I might be recording some vocals for a remix of one of my songs. We’ll see. If I do, then I will be sure to blog about it. Also I’ll be at the memorial for a lot of the night.

Posted by: shinigamimusic | August 13, 2009

- The Birth of a Temporary Site –

Here I am. Sitting here on the internets, writing another crappy post blog.

This is the new (un)official site for me. At least it is for now.

If you’re wondering who I am… I’m a wannabe: student, musician, electronic screwarounder, rapper, audio engineer, sound designer, and so much more. I attend school in Seattle and have about 2 and 1/2 quarters left to go. But no one really cares about that crap, do they?

What do I do? What will I post about? Why check this place out?

It’s just like every other crappy blog. Maybe it’ll be even worse. The fact remains that I will stay and continue to post here about all sorts of fun stuff* anyway. I’ll be posting what I’m doing at my internship a post production facility. I’ll be posting about what I’m doing to screw up another Gameboy or Keyboard. I’ll post about school, and my projects I’m doing for my portfolio. I’ll post about my music (be it nerdcore or whatever). I’ll post about anything I find particularly cool. I will warn you though… That’s going to turn out being either nerdy or electronical. If you don’t like it… don’t come back. If you do… join the LAN party.

So welcome. Hello World!

I’ll leave you with a great quote of something I heard today. It works for a begining of something.

“so internet history/functionality in a nutshell is: in the 50’s, the us government (ARPA) created internet protocol for a way of sending information, it soon expanded to universities around the US, and then around the world. and then in the late 80’s/1990 tim berners lee at CERN created the world wide web, basically a visual way to navigate documents sent over the internet by clicking links. that became insanely popular, and thus what we know as the internet was born.

but then people were like, “whoa, the us government can’t control our access to the internet” so they made a non-profit organization, ICANN, to do that, working with other groups around the world”

The More You Know    ^^

*To me at least.

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