Doing it for the fun of it.
This is what my Facebook status was this weekend. There are only 100 days till Dragon*Con so this weekend I decided to force myself to sit down and accomplish something. As I have said before a group of friends and I are doing a How To Train Your Dragon group. My friends Hesa and her boyfriend Allen, will be doing Astrid and Hiccup. Me and my cousin will be doing Ruffnut and Tuffnut. Heather is doing Snotlout, and her sister Meg is doing Toothless. If all goes well we will have the winningest group at Dragon*Con. 🙂 It would be awesome if we could find a Fishlegs by then but we shall see.
So, as this is a group of Vikings, we needed helmets. So that is what I spent my weekend doing. Making helmets… Lots of Helmets… I had been creating the horns for said helmets all last week, sculpting, drying, painting, sanding, cutting down when they turned out to long when placed on helmet that I couldn’t fit through doorways much less in pictures.
The horns are pretty simple. I created a basic shape using aluminum foil and covered the whole thing with paperclay. Once dry it can be sanded and painted, leaving a pretty durable and very lightweight horn. At first I was worried that the horns would be far to fragile for the abuse many of my costumes get at Dragon*Con, but after having to try and cut down my set for Ruffnut I am not worried anymore. Those things were a pain, I figured they would crumble when I tried to cut them but they didn’t dent, crumble or crack. For Snotlout’s horns I needed to create ridges so while the clay was still wet I wrapped a string tightly around the horn and gently pulled it off leaving the ridges I needed.
Making the helmets was a learning experience once again. Even after making my Valkyrie helmet I wasn’t sure how I was going to create these ones. They each needed a much more domed shape then before, and I really wanted to make sure I could pad these so that Heather and Danny will be comfortable wearing them. So I ended up using my head cast again and wrapped a piece of cloth around the head to simulate padding and began to shape my helmets. I ended up cutting out a big circle of wonderflex and heating it while it sat on the head, folding the excess as I went. Once I had the main shape I needed I put a separate strip around the edge and folded it under to make the band around the side. Folding the strip also helps hold the padding band I had wrapped around the head cast in place. Also while the wonderflex was still warm I put some scratches into the helmet to simulate damage. To attach the horns I made and attached tubes that I sized to fit around each horn snugly. That way I could easily remove horns for transport.
After the whole thing had re-solidified and cooled I used apoxi putty to fill around the folds on the dome to make it look more like one continuous piece. Once the apoxi putty had dried I did a quick sanding and began painting.
Painting was pretty simple, Ruffnut and Tuffnut both have similar colorings,silver with a hint of gold to the bands. Snotlout is an all over dark aged bronze, and all get some weathering.
Over all I am happy with how everything turned out. Now I just have to sit down and start sewing. I have nothing else left to “build” so to speak, so I can’t really push things off anymore. I have 100 days and 3 full costumes to sew, and one to finish last touches. And on top of it all I have started dieting and going to the gym so I can fit back into some of last years costumes. Have a trip to Ireland in 2 weeks, and a trip to the beach in July…. I can do this…. Right?!