Turning to execs for recommendation is likely one of the smartest strikes a fledgling cosplayer could make, and Steven Meissner suits that standards. An expert costumer and prop maker with over a decade of expertise, Meissner is the lead artist and proprietor of SoloRoboto Industries. His books, A Robot’s Guide to Sanding and A Robot’s Guide to Bondo, include a wealth of information for cosplayers of all ability ranges, and each are at present obtainable as part of Humble Bundle‘s Return of the Cosplay Book Bundle till July 22
Meissner has made a profession out of manufacturing screen-accurate replicas of film costumes, props, and online game weaponry, and is blissful to share classes he discovered the onerous means with fellow craftspeople. Game Rant not too long ago spoke to Meissner about matters together with security precautions, sanding methods, and really helpful instruments for fantastic element work. Whether they’re engaged on relatively easy costumes or detailed recreations of complicated armor, cosplayers of all ability ranges can profit from his insights.
Wearing respirators is second nature for seasoned foam and 3D-printing smiths, however these new to the interest could surprise if they’re vital. In Meissner’s expertise, the reply is an emphatic sure, as there are quite a few risks related to particle inhalation.
“Most of the stuff we sand (foam, plastic, body filler) can’t be broken down by the body – meaning it sits in your lungs. The stuff we can break down places horrendous stress on the body – much of which we can recover from, if we give it time to do so.”
Those engaged on a quick, one-and-done venture can in all probability get away with utilizing just a few N95 respirators, however Meissner urges dedicated hobbyists to spend money on an improve. Silicone respirators that depend on cartridges will outlast a field of paper, disposable respirators, and supply superior safety. Even although silicone respirators are dearer, they’ll nonetheless solely value $15 to $20, making a reusable respirator one of many smartest purchases a cosplayer could make.
Meissner additionally had some recommendation for cosplayers experimenting with new instruments. He stated taking issues slowly and training on scraps or different disposable supplies is the easiest way to accrue ability – much like practicing wig trimming. When doubtful, asking an skilled good friend for an illustration and a few early supervision can go a good distance towards creating one’s method. Lone wolves who’re at loss, or crafters trailblazing into new territory for his or her good friend group, also can seek the advice of YouTube for video demonstrations.
Sanding is likely one of the most labor-intensive components of prop and armor making, nevertheless it additionally has an amazing influence on the ultimate high quality of a chunk. Meissner’s main ideas are easy sufficient: do not do pointless work, and do not attempt to “cheat.”
“Each step of making a thing smooth takes… however long it takes. Stick to it until you’re there. Don’t overdo it, but don’t skip ahead either.”
Using 1,000 grit sandpaper on an object that shall be painted and primed is pointless, because the coatings will cowl fantastic scratches. By the identical token, it is very important use a given grit totally earlier than transferring onto a better, finer grit. Jumping forward will make thicker traces smoother with out eliminating their striations, leading to extra work down the road.
Putting this knowledge into observe is usually a matter of expertise, and moderating effort on a case-by-case foundation. Unlike drying or curing instances for paint, there isn’t any predetermined variety of hours after which a cosplayer can declare a chunk completed. When planning a cosplay, it is very important be versatile with regards to budgeting time for sanding.
Sanding in broad strokes takes lots of elbow grease, however the actual devils reside in fantastic element work. Meissner recommends a particular sort of instrument for shaping intricate traces and recessed areas in foam: riffler information. Not to be confused with needle information, that are supposed for metalwork somewhat than plastic or foam, riffler information are available a wide range of shapes that accommodate every kind of adverse designs. Cosplayers will need to be certain that the information they’re buying have precise grit on them, nevertheless. The “diamond coated” number of riffler information are the greatest wager, based on Meissner.
A Robot’s Guide to Sanding and A Robot’s Guide to Bondo can be found as part of Humble Bundle’s Return of the Cosplay Book Bundle till July 22.
Source: Humble Bundle