WIP Angelic Overseer – Magic the Gathering

So a while back I decided to make wings (WIP for those here).  Making them was fantastic but finding a character for them is a little backwards from the way I usually work.  

Copyright belongs to Jason Chan.

Inspiration for the character came from Jason Chan’s stunning drawing of The Angelic Overseer for a Magic the Gathering game card.  I do hope I’ve done it justice.  This is a short post on how the costume and props were made. 

For this shoot, due to time constraints I got my good friend John Davis (aka The Wizard of Foam) to make the armour blanks for me.  I then did the detailing, decoration and painting myself.

Designing the details for the front of the shield.  As you can see I use proper professional tools! LOL

Heat shaping the foam into their correct shape for the details.

 

Shield all done and heat sealed ready for paint.

Putting the details on the breast plate.  First they are pinned on and then heat shaped and left to cool.  Note to self: Don’t grab the breast plate just anywhere, you may avoid the top part of the pin but there’s that sharp bit underneath that draws blood.  Of course it is only right and proper for a blood sacrifice to the crafting gods, but it’s still painful lol

 

Details on the headdress, cut free hand.  Attached using contact adhesive, then heat sealed ready for paint.

Armour and sword all complete and ready for painting with Flexi Paint from Tyges Supplies.

First coat of of silver. Silver paint mixed with flexi paint.  I use flexi paint to stop cracking that happens to normal paint when used on a flexible surface.

Details all painted.  The silver is Royal Langnickle mixed with Flexi paint and the gold is colour shifting powder mixed into a clear flexi paint.

Gladys modelling the full set just before the shoot. 

A quick (and bad video lol) of the wings opening and closing ūüôā  It’s a bit of a problem when your house isn’t wide enough to properly test your wings!  I had no choice though as it was raining heavily and along with the wind made it impossible to do outside.

Some behind the scenes images from the actual shoot.  Myself and the fantastic model that is Loretta Hope in front of the chapel in the Sheffield General Cemetery.  What an incredible place to shoot!

Sometimes even angels can’t keep a straight face. . . sigh lol

I hope this has been of some interest to you.  If you have any interest in commissioning props or costumes please do not hesitate to contact me on  [email protected]  Many thanks for reading ūüôā

Gods and Goddesses

Last year I decided to take on, what turned out to be, a bit of an insane project. Seventeen images with ten models over three days.  It was totally insane!  But we had a blast.  Special thanks to my models and my fantastic MUA’s Mir Shin (who also modelled) and Avant Garde.  And never forgetting my amazing Cousin-in-law who helped out as well as being drafted into modelling.  Thanks Cuzzy, I really do appreciate you helping, couldn’t have done it with out you x

Artemis, The Huntress
Athena, Goddess of War
The Oracle of Delphi
Demeter, Goddess of Harvest
Dionysus, God of Wine and Fertility
Erebos, Primordial God of Darkness
The Fates
The Furies
Hades, God of the Underworld
Helen of Troy
Medusa
Nymphai, Spirit of the water
Nyx, Primordial Goddess of Night
Pandora
Pan, God of the Wild
The Three Graces
Nymphai, Spirits of the Woods

Articulated Cosplay Wings

Greetings mortals!

I do hope this post finds you well and in good health.  The following is a look behind the scenes at the set of white wings I made and displayed at the SWPP convention.  I do hope you find it interesting and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions.  I’ll add a list of supplies at the end with links ūüôā  Also, if you are interested in a bespoke costume or even your own set of wings, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout!  Happy reading!

Feathers

I buy my feathers in a trim as I’ve found this one of the best and most cost effective way. Generally I use goose feather trim.   I use a rotary cutter to take them off the trim.  The pipe you see is my vacuum that I switch on while cutting as the fluff from the feathers gets everywhere and it’s not fun to have a ‘feather fur ball’ in the back of your throat ūüėÄ

Using a standard gold acrylic paint, I tipped all my feathers.  You can buy pre-tipped feathers but they are expensive and rightly so as this is a very time consuming thing to do.

I then cut out my cotton fabric into the lengths I knew I’d need  and coated one side with glue.  Placing the wire (9 gauge for the smaller feathers and 12 for the larger) down the centre, I carefully place the second piece of fabric down and smooth out wrinkles and air bubbles.  I then hang each piece up to dry.

Once dry I iron them smooth.  I then coated each side with a clear coat of flexi paint and again hang them up to dry.  Using the same paint, this time mixed with a colour shifting mica powder I add another thinner coat to each side.

 

Back Plate

 

I had my back plate laser cut and pre drilled.  Predrilling is not the cheap option but it does save a large amount of time!

Once the wing struts are mounted I then mounted the actuator and attach the cable so each wing can open.  I’ve also mounted a remote control that allows me to just press a button to open and close the wings.

Once the fabric is dry, I then cut out all the feathers and lay them out on the struts.  I then bend the wire into a loop at the marked point and using a M6 bolt attach the feathers to the struts.

 

I’ve laid the cover over the mounted feathers to see if it covers the struts well, and I then finish sewing the feathers on to the covers starting at the bottom and working up one row at a time.  I use a felt fabric here as it’s pretty strong .  Note that when sewing feathers use a leather needle and go slow as the spines of the feathers can break the needle if you go too fast.

These are the wings fully open. ūüôā 

Video of the wings in action ūüôā

To see a black set of wings click here  and to order a set of your very own contact me on the form below ūüôā  I currently make them in 2.5m and 3.5m wing spans.  And pretty much any colour you can think of ūüėÄ

Supplies

 

Flexi Paint

Colour shifting mica powder

Acrylic paint for tipping the feathers

Aluminium plate for the back brace

Aluminium square tubing for the struts

M6 bolts of various lengths

Goose Feather trim

Cotton sheeting fabric

9 and 12 gauge wire for the spines of the fabric feathers

Felt fabric for the wing covers

Actuator, remote control and battery for motion

Steel cable to attach the actuator to the wings

 

Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask ūüôā

Follow me on Instagram for regular updates and progress photos of my projects.

SWPP Convention 2018

Greetings and salutations to you all ūüôā

This time last week I was heading home after an awesome convention in London.  It was the annual SWPP Convention for all things photographic.  I had the privilege of hosting a master class on making props and costumes.  It was with surprise I saw my class fill to capacity!  I would just like to thank those that attended from the bottom of my heart for your interest.  I am truly humbled that you came to my class and I do hope the class was of use to you.

On show in my class was my newest set of wings.  My thanks to FlexiPaint for providing an incredible product that is invaluable in the making of my wings.  Especially as I was able to add mica powder to give them a colour shift from white to gold which definitely added to the wow factor.   Next weeks blog post will be the ‘making of’ these wings with BTS images for those who want to see what goes into putting together a set of these.

Coming soon I will be doing a photoshoot with a well known photographer to show the wings off to their best.  Watch this space, I can’t wait!!

This is the video of the wings in action.

In this shot you can see the colour shift on the paint.

All packed up and ready to transport to the class.  Peter Ellis was kind enough to assist me to get everything there and we did get some odd looks going down the corridor lol.

Image credits:  Christina Lauder, The Societies, Magdalena Sienicka

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Wings for a Champion

Greetings all!

It’s the start of a new year and so far it has exceeded any expectations I could have had!  On January 4th Marty Scurll, also known as The Villain, entered the New Japan Pro-Wrestling Tournament at the Tokyo Dome wearing a pair of wings he had commissioned me to make.  When I accepted the commission I knew he was involved in wrestling and that the wings would be travelling to Tokyo.  But I had no real idea how Big this event was or the fact that Marty was the current champion!

Marty was introduced to me by James Musselwhite a very good photographer who was producing the video that was going to be displayed on the big screens during Marty’s entrance.  And what an entrance that was!  I sat in front of my computer with my jaw on the floor, it was beyond incredible and the first time I had an inkling of just how huge an event this was.  40 000 people in the stadium alone, never mind the pay per-view viewers!   The whole thing was perfect!  The music, his dramatic rise from the floor and the way he snapped those wings open! I had goosebumps all over.  It was surreal knowing that I had made those wings and that the commentators were saying such amazing things about them to!  Saying all that, it was Marty who pulled off that dramatic entrance and made them look as good as they did.  You can see more of Marty at Bullet Club on Facebook.

Here are some WIP images of the building process.

Flexi Paint is what I use on my builds, the stuff is close to indestructible.  You can just about tie it in knots with out it ripping.  Check them out!  The ink was to intensify and add depth to the black so that it matched better with the natural feathers.

The back plate and struts still resemble a plucked chicken to me lolThere is a blue green sheen to the fabric feathers that I got by adding a colour shift mica powder.  It’s not glaringly obvious but does help match it to the natural feathers. . .  feathers. . . sooooooo many feathers!

I made the cloak as well so that the outfit would be complete and matching.
With almost a 4m wingspan it was fun trying to open the wings fully inside.  Especially as Winston the mannequin is 6’2′ tall!  I’d love to have done this outside but it was howling a gail and I didn’t fancy chasing Winston down the road.  My neighbours think I’m bonkers already LOL.  I definitely think broken fingers make the best wing struts! LOL

 

Music by The Elite Music ‚ÄĒAndreadreacotru   

Images in the video by Portrait of a Wrestler 

 

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The Morrigan

THE MORRIGAN

She is primarily associated with fate, especially with foretelling death in battle.  She is sometimes referred to as a trio, known as the three Morrigana.  They are most commonly known as Babd (Battle Crow), Macha (War Horses & Sovereignty) and Nemain (Frenzied havoc of war).  The scene of a battle is know as Morrigan’s acorn crop.

The origins of the Morrigan seem to reach directly back to the megalithic cult of the mothers.  The Mothers usually appear as triple goddesses and their cult was expressed through both battle ecstasy and regenerative ecstasy.  The Morrigu is prophetess of all misfortune in battle.  She is the messenger of death as the dark lady or also known as Washer at the Ford.

This is the beginning of my new project and The Morrigan is the first character.  I designed the dress with the intention of adding feathers.  There were some changes as the design progressed, but over all I’m very happy with the final result.  The feathers were a rooster tail feather trim which was stitched onto the base dress.  The headdress has a eva foam base onto which were mounted the skull and feathers.  The arm bands are also foam based with feathers and metal disks added.

Morrigan The Design
Dress partly done

Feathers on the dress complete14393813_10153994477635735_547449042_o

 

 

The above is the original design and the first making of the dress.  I decided against the sleeves as, as a war goddess sleeves would get in the way.  I made the original belt and ‘tassels’ to simulate armour, but found (as you can see in the unedited image below) they don’t work well in practice.

 

The Morrigan

 

I also decided against the weapons in this image as they just looked too cheesy!  Not my best work in weapon design and build, that’s for sure!  So I remade the belt and headdress and changed the weapons.  I created a corset base onto which I mounted the disks making it look much more like armour than the original belt.  Disks were also added to the headdress to tie everything together.

 

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So after the redesign and additions to the headdress, I decided that a change of scenery was also needed.  So a road trip to Wales, Henrhyd Falls to be precise.  What a STUNNING place.  I had no idea how big and high it really was.  Anyway, we dragged ourselves down to the falls and got everything set.  Two swords replaced the spears.  Miss Avant Guarde my long suffering model made a brilliant Morrigan.  The intrepid Megan had her first experience as an assistant, the poor girl LOL.  I’ve included two images from the set.  More will be added so please do check back. ūüôā

 

the-morrigan

 

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On the wind you hear her cry

The wind on which the Morrigan fly

On the battlefield her crows await

A warrior’s last breath

Is what she will take

***

 

Comments and shares on social media are always welcome.  Also if you have any questions about the shoot or the design, please do not hesitate to ask ūüôā

Thank you so much for visiting.

 

 

***Please remember these images are copywrited and belong to the photographer.  No uses are permitted with out the photographers written permission.***

 

 

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SWPP Qualification Panel

In the Shadows of Innocence
Qualification Panel

 

It’s officially over for another year. ¬†And WHAT a year it’s been. ¬†The Twenty Sixteen Convention far exceeded any expectations I could have had. ¬†Towards the end of 2015 I had finally completed the longest project I have ever undertaken. ¬†If you’ve read other posts on my blog you are aware that I create each element for each of my photoshoots (bar a couple of shoots done for others). ¬†An image can take up to two months to pull together and this is not including research time. ¬†It all depends how involved the costume and props are. ¬†It’s taken me two and a half years to get to this point, but it has been totally and utterly worth every sleepless night, burnt and blistered fingers.

There are so many people I want to thank. ¬†My family, for putting up with the mess and esp to hubby for working so hard so that I can take the time and have the resources to do what I love so much. ¬†To my mad bunch of friends, you all know who you are. ¬†Your support and butt kicking is most appreciated! ¬†To the SWPP for being such a great organisation and encouraging all of us to better ourselves and putting in place such incredible support to allow us to do just that. ¬†I also have to say thanks to George Fairbairn for his mentoring and for putting up with my insecurities and moaning lol. ¬†To the Judges who work so very very hard. A special thanks to my models, you guys have been awesome! ¬†And finally to those who inspire me, Kirsty Mitchell, Brooke Shaden and Benjamin Wong (Von Wong) thank you for sharing of yourselves so much. ¬†I almost forgot, Nick Rennie at One Vision Imaging! ¬†Thank you so much for doing such an excellent job on the printing. ¬†You nailed it first time round and your customer service rocks! ¬†I certainly know where I’m going for my next panel ūüôā

I arrived at the room at 9am to put up my panel. ¬†To say I was terrified is a total and utter understatement! ¬†My voice had totally deserted me, I was shaking and trying very hard not to cry. ¬†Then the judges came in and it got worse! ¬†I had no idea I’d react like this! ¬†I felt like I’d stuck my soul on the board and someone had given the judges a knife and I was praying they weren’t going to cut bits off it LOL . . . ¬†and here I’d thought I’d divorced myself of my personal attachment to the images! ¬†Terri Jones who was chairing the judging kindly read out my statement of intent for me.

In the Shadows of Innocence
Statement of Intent

Once the judging started, my nerves just got tighter, especially when they all started quietly conferring and then announced that they would like to deliberate. ¬†That has got to be the longest most terrifying five minutes of my life. ¬†They then all filed back in and sat down to vote. ¬†When Terri announced the verdict that I had not only passed but been unanimously upgraded from Licentiate to Associate, I almost fainted with relief! ¬†And then there was the cheer that went up from those who had attended the judging. ¬†Guys you have NO idea how much that cheer, and the one all you wonderful people gave me when my qualification was announced at the awards evening, means to me! ¬†I will never EVER forget that feeling. ¬†I’m sat here typing this and blinking so bloody hard, trying not to cry. ¬†Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for all your support. ¬†Ok enough mushiness! ¬†Time to get to those all important images. ¬†I’ve included a layout image so you can see how all the images sat together.

PanelLayout

Nymph

Maleficent

Poisoned Deception

Snow White

Journey to Maleficence

Witch

Death Note

Speak no Evil

Spirit of the Woods

Deaths Kiss

A Gentle Vampire

Pixie

Deaths Music

A Dance with Death

The Huntress

Winters Kiss

Elf

Reality Disfunction

Fae

A special thanks goes out to all my models, with out you this would not have been possible. ¬†Also my wonderful MUA’s, you’re both gems!

For anyone who is thinking about doing this, don’t let fear stop you, do it because you are scared. ¬†It’s the main reason I did! ¬†Despite the stress and fear, I would do it again, in fact I am starting on my Fellowship panel this year (Fellowship!! ¬†Holy crabsticks batman!!). ¬†I never ever thought I would be saying that. ¬†Why am I doing it? ¬†Well to challenge myself and once there I will be able to start paying back all that which those others have given to me but helping others do the same. ¬†I owe so so much to so many for all the help and encouragement that I have to give back, I have to be able to help someone else like I’ve been helped!

The Journal

I’ve included this so some of you can get an invite as to how I go about building an idea and then creating the image. ¬†I’m heavily influenced by stories based on myth, legend and folklore. ¬†This panel was based on it. ¬†If anyone wants to know more, please feel free to contact me either on the contact form or via Facebook. ¬†I’m fairly active on line so will get back to you pretty quick. ¬†Right so here it is.

This is the cover. Each element has meaning and a story behind it :)
This is the cover. Each element has meaning and a story behind it ūüôā

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Assassin’s Creed Connor Kenway Project

So it’s official, the new project is underway! This was probably one of the most challenging projects I’ve done to date. The character is Connor Kenway (Ratonhnhak√©:ton) from Assassin’s Creed 3. I’ve reposted some of his story below, wording is from Assassins Creed Wikia

“I realize now that it will take time, that the road ahead is long and shrouded in darkness. It is a road that will not always take me where I wish to go ‚Äď and I doubt I will live to see it end. But I will travel down it nonetheless.”‚ÄēRatonhnhak√©:ton, 1783.[src]

Ratonhnhak√©:ton¬†(1756 ‚Äď unknown), often known by the adopted name of¬†Connor, was a¬†Master Assassin¬†of the¬†Colonial Brotherhood¬†of¬†Assassinsduring the period of the¬†American Revolutionary War. Born into the¬†Kanien’keh√°:ka¬†tribe, he is an ancestor of¬†Desmond Miles, through the¬†paternal line.[2]

Ratonhnhak√©:ton was born to the¬†Templar¬†Haytham Kenway¬†and¬†Kanieht√≠:io, a Kanien’keh√°:ka woman from the village of¬†Kanatahs√©ton. In 1760, while he was still a young child, he was assaulted by¬†Charles Lee¬†and other members of the Templar Order seeking the¬†First Civilization¬†temple¬†which the Kanien’keh√°:ka were protecting, and lost his mother shortly after during the burning of his village by¬†George Washington‘s forces. Ratonhnhak√©:ton himself however, believed the Templars to be responsible for the attack.

Growing up concerned by the outside world’s impact on his people, Ratonhnhak√©:ton joined the Assassin Order to prevent the Templars from returning. Finding the Templars had all but destroyed the Colonial Assassins, Ratonhnhak√©:ton convinced¬†Achilles Davenport¬†to train him. Adopting the more Western-sounding pseudonym of ‘Connor’, he revitalized the Order by recruiting craftsmen to renovate the¬†Davenport Homestead¬†and the Assassin ship, the¬†Aquila.¬†Robert Faulkner¬†subsequently trained him to captain the ship, while Ratonhnhak√©:ton inducted six more Assassins into the Order.

More of Connor’s story can be read by following the links above.

Below you’ll find images of my progress through making props and the costume for this shoot. ¬†All in all it’s around 80 to 100 hours of work. ¬†I’m still in the process of editing the images and will add them to the post as they are ready. ¬†I’d also like to thank Patterns of Time for the coat pattern I used as a base. ¬†The chap from assassinscostume.com who’s tutorials were invaluable and Yulittle on DeviantArt for the hood pattern. ¬†Fabrics used include leather, Faux Suede, denim and linen.

 

Connor’s Pistols

Original pirate pistolConnor's Pistols progress3Connor's Pistols progressConnor's Pistols progress2Connor's Pistols progress1

Completed Connor Pistols

 

 

Connor’s Coat and holsters

 

AC3 Coat Progress4
Coat Completed
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AC3 HoodAC3 Coat Progress3

 

AC3 Details
Coat Details
Harness and holsters
Dying the leather harness

 

Vambrace Assassins Creed Symbole
Vambrace Assassins Creed Symbole made out of eva foam

 

AC3 Armband Beading
Connor Kenways Armband bead weaving

 

Connor Kenway
Connor Kenway

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My thanks to my awesome model Darren S for all his hard work in making this character come to life. ¬†Please feel free to share or comment, and any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a shout! ¬† Ned x ūüôā

CRIVENS!! The End is Nigh!!

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And so as I start on the final phase of my project, getting all the images ready for print and then in for judging to see if I’m good enough to gain a qualification. ¬†This is more than mildly terrifying. ¬†I’ve been working on this project for the last two and a half years. ¬†All the props, all the costumes, the images and their processing. ¬†These are my babies. ¬†I’ve been with them from conception to completion. It’s been a voyage of discovery, both, of my abilities and opening up my equivalent of pandoras box. ¬†Once you open your mind to inspiration, it’s everywhere. ¬†You can’t turn it off, no matter how much you may beg to sometimes. ¬†And believe me, you will. ¬†At 3am, when you’re desperate for sleep but your brain is running round in circles throwing this idea and that idea at you. ¬†Some completely off the wall and totally impractical, but oh they would be awesome to produce. ¬†Sometimes the smallest thing will set you off, a song lyric, a colour, anything at all. ¬†And you never know when it’s going to strike. ¬†Although usually it’s just before you go to bed and you know when that happens, sleep is likely to be impossible. ¬†I call these idea bombs. ¬†The name is so very apt! ¬†It’s like everything and everyone in your head are all talking at the same time at the top of their voices. . . I get a headache just thinking about it!

So back in 2013 I went to listen to a talented lady by the name of¬†Kirsty Mitchell. ¬†She single handedly threw open my own personal pandoras box. ¬†My eyes were opened to all the wonder I could create. ¬†All my life I’ve read fantasy, and romance I’m embarrassed to add. ¬†Part of me desperately¬†wants magic to be real. For all those fantastic creatures to exist, maybe to even be one. I mean who doesn’t want to live forever? ¬†Can only do so by drinking blood? ¬†You know what? ¬†I like my meat bloody so this isn’t such a stretch for me. ¬†This has always been my deepest wish, the ability and especially the Time to investigate everything that catches my attention. ¬†After all this you may find it hard to believe, but part of me is extremely practical and realistic. ¬†That is why my images tend to have a bit of a dark twist. ¬†While I want the rainbow unicorns, fluffy bunnies and flying fairies to be real, I know they’re more likely to be¬†Nac Mac Feegles!¬†¬†Still, I wish for them. ¬†I have a huge collection of Disney and Anime DVD’s. ¬†My book collection is larger and I’m now purchasing as many of them on kindle as well. ¬†Why? ¬†So I can carry them with me everywhere and when I get home I can hold a real book in my hands and immerse myself in another world. ¬†You see, I find this one rather pedestrian and mundane. ¬†Just about everywhere has been explored (except the tract-less wastes of the tundra and coldest parts of the world, and I hate the cold). ¬†I want to discover new exciting places and the only way I can do that¬†is to read about them and to create them in my art. ¬†But they need to be realistic. ¬†Happily ever after is wonderful, but seldom happens and besides, what comes after that? ¬†This I want, no, Need to know! ¬†It’s probably why I love stories that come in a series of books / DVD’s etc.

Just a Nibble

Did a shoot this past week that is a little different from the norm and with a bit of a bite ūüôā ¬†Many of my shoots are done TFP (time for prints) or are shoot exchanges. ¬†This was one of the latter. ¬†LadyMayJ, LadyBHairDesign and I have started a project together and these are the first batch. ¬† Feel free to comment and shares are always appreciated.

Lustphotocrati gallery