Wobbly with Worbla’s

Hi all,

 

So, I’ve literally just gotten back from playing around with Worbla’s Finest Art, the stuff I’m going to be using to make Ed’s arm and leg. Oh boy. If I could make something that physically bound itself together in just 5 minutes… I dread to think what excuses I could come up with for having not made this arm and leg. I guess I have no excuses now! Let’s delve a little deeper into what this stuff looks like, feels like and working with it. But before I do this, take a look at the picture below which is a bunch of stuff I had on hand.

Worbla's Finest Art out of the packaging.
Worbla’s Finest Art out of the packaging. You can also see the various equipment being used.

Above:

  • Worbla sheet
  • Heat gun (seems you could use a hair dryer for this, but it certainly was quick with a proper heat gun! I got this one from Maplins for around £13.)
  • Marker pen
  • Scissors
  • Modelling knife

All I want to get out of this is a basic “bracelet” you can wear.

Looks

So as you can see above, Worbla’s comes in this lovely brown colour making it very neutral. From what I’ve heard, this stuff is fine with being glossed and once glossed, you can use a spray paint to paint it. Once I start doing those kinds of things, I’ll write a post about finalising a piece. For now, I wanted to make the most basic thing possible: A “bracelet”. I.E just a ring.

Feels like

Well, this stuff feels grainy. Not a bad kind of grainy, it’s almost like it’s “scaled”. Unique texture but you can sand it, gloss it, do whatever you need with it. The plastic sheet itself is nice and sturdy and will take some effort to do damage to (Which I demonstrate later).

Working with Worbla

So first, I decided to cut my A4 sheet as I wouldn’t need all of it for such a small project. Since this is the first thing I was going to make, I decided I’d take a strip of it and work from there. This cut very easily with a sharp pair of scissors.

Cut Worbla
Cutting Worbla by marking and just cutting along the mark. Easily cut through with a pair of scissors.

Once I had my piece, I got my heat gun at the ready and decided to use the lower setting, as I heard Worbla can be ready to go quite easily/quickly. This, I can confirm, is the case.

This was done after about 10 seconds of being heated with the heat gun. Bent slightly.
This was done after about 10 seconds of being heated with the heat gun. Bent slightly.

So, after I stopped making funny little “seat” shapes, I bent my Worbla into a circle, applied some heat to an end of the Worbla and… after it cooled down…

This is the result of around 4-5 minutes work at most. No, it's not amazing, but that's due to the speed of the trial.
This is the result of around 4-5 minutes work at most. No, it’s not amazing, but that’s due to the speed of the trial.

Well, there it is. I mentioned earlier about how strong this stuff gets… Well, it takes a bit of force but you can damage this stuff relatively easily… For example:

Easy enough to pierce, but force was needed to do so.
Easy enough to pierce, but force was needed to do so.

The hardened product (just let it cool back down) will happily spring back into place. If you want it even tougher, you may like to consider fitting it with some form of foam inners. For now though, I have a “bracelet” and will soon enough get some gloss and spray paint to see how easy this stuff is to work with in a paint job. I’ll then try binding other materials to the Worbla Bracelet.

Okay, thanks for reading all, if you have any questions about this then please drop me a line in the comments section or send me an e-mail. This was simply done as an exploratory and quick project, to show the ease of using Worbla, even for a first timer like me.

Starting a costume

Good evening from Bristol!
Well today, I thought I’d talk about how to start working on a Cosplay of your choice and how I am personally going about working towards it. This site will also be a way for me to post my updates about my next costume and hopefully more, as it’s a great hobby for anyone who’s got any interest in it.

The last costume I made, I rushed. I decided to take my usually lax approach to everything by delaying and delaying. Once I did a day in a costume, I realised how much fun it was. The conversations that are started… The dancing, oh the dancing! Oh and of course, the satisfaction of people recognising you after your hard work. My last costume, because I rushed it, was pretty poor… But people seemed to understand who I was and more importantly, spoke to me about it. This time, I want to make a great, lasting costume.

First off then, how am I beginning? Simple:

Researching your character

The first thing to do is have a character you want to Cosplay. Ideally, you want to pick someone who’s relatively close to your height (if possible) and you want someone who you think you could replicate personality wise as well as a character you enjoy. Enter my character of choice: Edward Elric.

Edward Elric
My character of choice for my next costume.

Now that I’ve got my character in mind, the best start is research. Now, I could spend hours on end watching the manga or reading the anime (… Gotcha! ;)) but instead, I feel the best start is to gather as many resources on the character as possible.

Give yourself plenty of time. I’m not intending on wearing this costume for a good 6 months, yet! This gives me time to do a plethora of things, such as: a few weeks of research (This is now behind me, I’ll explain more shortly), plenty of working out (That’s more for the personal benefits as well as to be closer to the character :P), plenty of material studying and maybe even testing your skills to see what you need to work on before starting your next project.

Materials

So before you begin, consider what materials you’ll need. I only know I need the following:

  • Dark red material for the coat, preferably cotton.
  • “Shiny” black trousers. (See why the working out kinda matters for this outfit? :|)
  • Faux leather (Boots)
  • Black linen (for the top underneath the coat)
  • White lining (Again for the top underneath the coat)
  • A blonde wig (I’m a brown haired dude and I won’t be able to grow my hair that long in time. Years ago I could!)
  • White gloves
  • A brown belt with a buckle
  • … Plastic?

Those who know the character will know one thing about him:

He just so happens to have a metal arm and a metal leg.

Metal arm and metal leg.
Disclaimer: I refuse to walk around a convention in just my boxers! So does Ed as this picture shows.

So, I’m no blacksmith (though, I have taken a shining to it in the past. If I lived in the middle of nowhere, I’d have my own forge, darn it). I do have a heat gun, though! As luck would have it, I do know of some websites, such as CosCraft which deliver to the UK free of charge, if you order over £20 worth of stuff. For my first trial of working with thermoplastics, I bought an A4 sheet of Worbla’s Finest Art, got out the heat gun and just played with it. Do you need to do this step? Depends, are you a confident individual who thinks s/he’ll do it first time? If so, go for it and stay positive!

Okay, so now we know (at least most) of the materials and as you see, research on the character will pay off. Granted, if you already know about the character, extreme things such as this should be quite obvious. How many of you who know about Edward Elric know that inside of his coat is a large pocket? Large enough to carry around a brown notebook? Who also remembers the pocket watch? It’s these finer details that can make a good Cosplay into a truly fantastic Cosplay. Is it obsessive detailing? Yup, but again, for a truly spectacular costume, you need this attention to detail.

What’s next?

As time goes on, I’m going to, with pictures, show the process of me making this costume. The first thing I’m going to be working on is the arm and leg, as these parts will take the most time. I’ll also have to make a way to adjust these when being worn. There’s also the question of flexibility, but these are details I’ll be working on over time.

The next Cosplay related post I will make will include my own “artwork” which is to explain to myself as well as to you all how I am going to make these costume parts.

Have I missed a trick? Anything you want to add? Let me know guys. I’m always interested in more ways of working!

Woah there!

I said in my post last night, I had a picture of my first ever cosplay attempt.

I do indeed have this picture and this post is my procrastination, before posting the link. You will be accredited a cookie point if you guess the character and game.

I rushed it during the last week. But, one important point: I, of all people, did it. You can, too.

image
If you know what this character is, I’m glad it kind of worked.

Now, I think I will huddle into a ball and just forget this post happened..!