Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Thestral Prop

So I'm going to Comic Con 2015 as Luna again, partly because there will be Harry Potter guests coming, but mostly because it's a cool costume and is an especially good one for a con...and I don't have another inspiration for a different costume.  SO.  Not wanting to be completely lazy, I decided to try and make an addition--a baby thestral!  
This was the face I was using for a model 
by jessburnett at Deviant Art
My first plan involved visions of taping together water bottles and copious amounts of masking tape.  Then Sarah's voice kicked in that it might be easier to try and find a basic horse toy/form first.  So I ended up detouring to Savers today on the off chance they might have something.  This was after doing internet research and finding that a large-ish horse form was going to set me back ~ $40 (no thank you).  But Savers was on my way to the grocery store, so I figured why not stop in, not really expecting to find anything.  

And there it was.  In the toy aisle, smudged, and tossed in the back, was the PERFECT sized horse.  The color didn't matter, as I would be spray-painting it.  It. Was. Perfect.  Even more perfect when I found that it was $1 !!!!

I was stunned that I had found it so quickly.  So tonight was the first round of starting to shape it into a more thestral-like form.  I wish I had taken a before pic, but I was just too excited to get started.  First thing that had to go was all the hair.  Next, I took a piece of long wire to serve as the tail and poked it up into the backside where the tail hair had been, then glued it in there.  Not sure if i'll end up doing paper mache, or masking tape on it, but the length will give me a place to start.  

The general body features I'm looking at, though probably more prominent ribs
by fuckingPIG at Deviant Art
Next up was a session with a glue gun.  There are several renditions of a thestral on the internet.  I wanted it to be pretty recognizable, so I opted for prominent horns, no ears, and definitely no hair.  So I built up some of the features around the eyes, trying to make everything a little more skull-like.  Also spent some time on the beaked nose.  That may need a little more work.  It was pretty much building it up, then cutting it away to get a sharper look.  

I ended up using a piece of wire as a base for the horns.  Then slowly using my (cold) glue gun, started to build up the horns a bit.  I stopped for tonight, but it's a good start.  I think next time, I'll focus on the ribs.  There's actually a slit where the mane used to be that I can use to insert some wire for the wings.  Wanted to consult my uncle about these--he's recently been doing gargoyles and wings, and might have some thoughts.

Another session with the hot glue after marking up the horse with a sharpie, and got the ribs on, as well as some texture to the muscles.  I just wanted to give the paint something to catch on so that I can dry brush it and get a little two tone paint going on.

My next step is going to be to paper mache the tail a bit so that I'll have something to continue the spinal dots along.  Also need to figure out how to drill a bit of a hole on the nose to get that hooked nose look.  I received a dremel/rotary tool for last xmas, and might try that, see if it'll work on glue.

And now just put some paper mache on the tail to build it up so that I can add some bony dots.

Today was the attempt at the wings, and another round with the hot glue gun.  I had read about this method on pinterest about coating wax paper with dish detergent in order to be able to peel off hot glue from it.  So I made a wire frame for the wings. I twisted them so that one side would be flat against the side (So the wings don't poke me when I carry him).  I outlined the basic structure of the wing (cold glue) then once that had firmed up a bit, went back over it again (hot glue) and filled it in so that the area would be relatively smooth.  The peeling up part was *gasp* not as easy as pinterest suggested, but for my purposes, it wasn't terrible.  I need to go back over them with some tweezers to peel off any remnant wax paper.

Some of the wire came off the first wing, mostly because I hadn't put any glue behind it before sitting it down.  I fixed this on the second wing and didn't have any problems.  I do want to go back over them one more time and possible add in some detail vein work.  My main concern was getting the basic structure finished, as well as attaching them to the back of the horse. 

Fixing them to the back just took a lot of patient holding and setting up a fan.  The wire went into the place where the mane was, then it was just a matter of filling the hole, sides, etc. with (cold) glue.  Oh, and somewhere in here I added the spinal dots to the rest of the tail, as well as added more muscle detail in some of the gaps.  

Got out the rotary drill (cause my people know how to give awesome xmas gifts), and drilled the hooked nose.  Went better than expected, though the bit of heat from the rotating drill melted the glue ONTO the drill, and had to be periodically picked off. worked pretty swell in getting the hook correct.  Afterwards, I went over the wings for more detail, and filled in any other little spots/gaps.  THEN, spent about an hour tediously cleaning it off of any little glue 'hairs' that were hanging around.  So he's ready to paint the first layer!  Squee!!  I'm actually really excited to see what he looks like *crossed fingers that he looks remotely like a thestral*

Spray painted the whole thing black.  Starting to look veeeery Thestral-like...

Dry brushing of a second coat of gray/silvery all over, but especially the ribs and whites in the eye.

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