Friday, November 7, 2014

Lady Loki Headpieces

A faithful follower of my blog named Ruby commissioned me to make a Lady Loki headpiece for MCM Birmingham (a comicon), and also to wear with some friends as they do some good-deed-doing at Christmas, visiting kids at hospitals.  I don't normally do commissions, but since it's semi-charitable, I figured I'd bend my own rules for once.

To start I looked up some reference photos online.

This model seems to be everywhere.

So I based my headpiece on hers.

Then I used some insulation foam for the horns.  This piece needs to be as light as possible, so insulation foam seemed to be the best stuff to go with.  I drew my shape with a marker.

I then cut it out and attached the pieces with glue.

I repeated this process for the second horn.

When the glue dried, I began sanding.

Shortly I had 2 rounded Lady Loki horns.

Next I began on the headdress part.  For this I used a thick piece of EVA foam, also known as foam floor tile.

I cut the basic shape.

Since my model can't be here for me properly fit this to her head, I used elastic to hold the 2 sides together.

The elastic will also help keep this a tight fit, and the foam will make sure it's flexible and not too uncomfortable.

The elastic was held on with a lot of glue, and then further attached with a bolt & nut.

I tried it on myself, and it's snug and not too uncomfortable.

Next I cut 4 thin pieces of plywood.

I sanded the plywood smooth and glued 2 piece to the ends of the 2 horns.

The other 2 pieces were glued on the inside of the headpiece.

I drilled 2 holes in each piece of wood for screws.

I drilled matching holes in the wood on the horns.

Then I screwed the horns to the headdress.

Despite my silly looking photo, this thing is shaping up nicely.

Next I started gluing on various thicknesses of crafting foam to build up the headdress.

Then I made a template of a crest using a folded piece of cardboard.

I traced the template onto another thick piece of EVA foam and cut it out.

Then I glued it to the headdress.

The wood on the inside of the headdress was covered with some foam pieces to make it comfortable for the wearer.

And it's still fairly comfortable!

No matter what expression I wear on my face, this thing looks a little silly on me.  But I bet it will look great on Ruby.

Next I added some more pieces of foam to spruce up the look.

Then I gave the edges of the headdress some sanding and prepped for priming.

Since aerosols will dissolve the insulation foam, I had to apply several layers of brush-on primer.

Although insulation foam is far denser than styrofoam, it is still quite porous.  So I had to do several coats of primer.  Once all the primer dried I began coating it with Plasti-dip.

Once the several coats of plasti-dip dried, It was time to colorize it.  Ruby wanted the same gritty look as my most recent Loki helmet (seen below).  You can see that build by clicking here.

To create this effect I spray painted some metallic gold onto a dry brush....

 ....and dusted the paint onto the helmet.

After a short while the whole headpiece was covered.

Lastly I sprayed some clear coat.

After letting it dry, I decided that this one was done!

I love how well this one came out.  It's simple but quite awesome.  For fun I popped it onto my Knight armor.

Since this build didn't take too long for me to make, I began work on a second one for my friend, Hallena. This one will be a bit different, but I more-or-less used the same method for making this one as I did the first - only I started with the headpiece first.

I made a cardboard template which I traced on some EVA floor mat.

Always use a sharp knife for cutting the foam.

A sharp knife makes smooth edges.

Next I made a template for the crest.

I didn't have another piece of foam big enough for the crest, so I cut the template in half.

I cut it out and glued it to the head piece.

Followed by a few different elements - all made out of foam.

Then I glued on the elastic.

And reinforced the glue with a bolt & nut.

I still look silly.

Next I began work on the horns, which were made the same was as the first Lady Loki.

I quickly screwed on the horns to see how it looked.

I am pleased so far.

I removed the horns and cut pieces of plywood to anchor the horns to the headpiece.

I shaped the wood to fit the shape of the horns.

I then attached the horns to the headpiece using the wood, screws and glue.

I love the simple look of the first headpiece, but decided to make this one a little more elaborate.  So I cut some thin crafting foam and glued it on.

I also glued thin foam to the insides, covering the wood and screws.  This will make it more comfortable to wear.

And lastly I glued on a thicker piece of foam to cover up the bolts on the sides that hold the elastic in place.

Below the 2 Lady Loki headpieces sit side-by-side.  The horns on the second pieces (left) are considerably smaller than the first one I made (right).  Believe me, the horns are still quite large.

Next, I added brush-on primer to mainly the insulation foam horns.

Once the primer dried I applied some plasti-dip.

Once the plasti-dip dried I noticed that I didn't do the best job covering the horns with primer.  Several spots eroded away.  Aerosol from spray paints will have that effect of insulation foam.

To fix this, I added filler to those spots, and ultimately to the entire horns.

When the filler dried, I sanded the horns smooth.

There is still a good deal of texture on these horns - which is what I want.  If they were perfectly smooth, my process of brushing on gold spray paint will not look as good.

When I finished sanding, I gave it a good cleaning, then applied some more black plasti-dip.

When that dried I brushed on some gold spray paint.

And I'm done!!!

Next I carefully packaged both headpieces to send mail out.

When the Lady Loki headpieces arrived they both sent me these photos.  Here's Ruby's photo:

And here's Hallena's Photos:

I'm glad that these pieces turned out so well, and I am happy that their new owners like them.

Thanks for reading!!

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