Kaolinite gives us a breakdown of her epic build of Lady Vashj from World of Warcraft. Strap up soldier, it’s time to get awesome. For more information on Kaolinite, nappy feet, randomness, and other shenanigans, visit her on Facebook.
Excuse the floppy skirt on the panda and my kids crap in the background. The basic wiremesh of the tail laid out with the skirt. I sewed the skirt with marine vinyl (you can buy it at Joanns) and put a coat zipper on it since it is heavy duty.
A more fleshed out wiremesh tail that is supporting my skirt up. The wire goes up inside the skirt and is hot glued. I used 12 gauge wire on the mesh and thin wire for the braces. I also used duct tape on the braces for better support.
I don’t have an in between picture of attaching the fins. The fins have holes drilled at the very bottom of them and a long wire runs through one side of the tail to the other with bracing at the fin. I then used upholstery foam and batting around the outside of the wiremesh to give it more shape.
Here is a front shot of what you see on the left. I was starting to figure out what the heck I was doing with the front belly armor and how to walk. I knew that Blizzcon has in some way, shape, or form ramps for the costume contest, so I was really trying to plan how I would tackle that and walk smoothly. This year they in fact have ramps when the contestant was about to walk onstage.
Sooo…I cut out billions of scales and spray painted each one four FREAKING times. All the scales were cut out of the same marine vinyl I used for the skirt. For the colors, I used 3 different metallic colors of model spray paint and one gloss for the coat. The spray paint never fully cured on my tail…I will explain that fix in a minute.
This is my progress hot-gluing the scales
Damn! The ONE model spray paint that I just happen to buy has been discontinued years ago…the store I bought it from had it chillin on the shelf for that long. Not even ebay or amazon had it anymore. WTF??!! Do you notice the white-blue tips compared to the grey-blue tips? I do but I was hoping no one else would!
Back to gluing scales again.
Guess what? I’m still cutting, painting and gluing scales for two months.
Unfortunately I didn’t do progress pics of my belly scales. They are made out of craft foam, plasti dipped (I didn’t know what I was doing so I could have skipped that), painted it with metallic acrylic paint and painted jewelry resin over it to make it hard but flexible. I used to use Modge Podge but that stuff breaks and cracks from wear and tear, especially if you wear your costume when it is cold.
Remember when I said that the spray paint never fully cured? I followed the direction (at least 15 mins between coats, didn’t even spray a lot on..etc.) The scales were still somewhat tacky. Especially when the scales are sitting in sunlight. I used an airbrush and sprayed floor cleaner on the whole tail. Over to the right is my belly armor (painting not done on it in the picture.) I used heavy gauge wire to attach that sucker to the mid-section of it.
Some coloring and aging work for various pieces
Up close of progress of my painting of the fins. The fins are made out of worbla, then spray painted with different colors to give a gradient.
Detailing with acrylics for final touches. (Hooray my husband’s costume reference pics are in the background!)
(finished photo) – Final touches for the tail – gluing some rogue scales to drape down by my feet and added furniture sliders in case of carpeted areas. I really wanted to have the armor dragging on the floor, but again, I wasn’t sure about the whole ramp business at the con, so I played it safe with my nappy feet sticking out.