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Neimhaille's Darth Talon 
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Unread post Neimhaille's Darth Talon
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I managed only 1/2 the tattoos I had ready to go because even a "cheat" option has downsides, one of which is multiple fiddly steps where things can go wrong. The patterns are all taken directly from Jan's Talon as a bear rug pattern ;) Scaled and cropped and rejigged in photoshop to smooth edges and scale to size. It was a good 5 hours image editing and after wearing these I am going to go back and do at least as much more work to make them better.

The red is all hand brushed. One small tip for those handpainting: horizontal strokes. For some reason our eyes see vertical stroke marks more easily ;)

My lekku patterns are a mix of SWTOR and all the tattoo artwork I could find to fill in the gaps. So some patterns wrap right around- a bit of a mind bender trying to unwrap that! There are some messy bits I need to go back and fix- luckily my Reel Creations order arrived so I can work on that as and when I can :)

I have lost a *lot* of hair from medication (also used in chemo so I get the same effects just spread out over years and obviously not as high a dose!) so my old methods of using my hair as an anchor didn't work and I got a headache each time I wore the lekku, to the point of requiring assistance to walk ;). For Dragon*Con though they sat higher and didn't pull so much on my face at least! ;)

There is a bald cap glued from eyebrows to hairline and around the hairline. Then the lekku placed over that and glued to the bald cap. Prosthetic Aide and Cabosil mixed to paste and used to hide the seam.
Next time I'm getting my hair very securely glued down with gel and also will try to get it in two french plaits. Hairpins wind up taking the weight of the lekku and pinching the scalp. But having hair in buns helps keep the lekku from pulling back too much. It's a literal balancing act ;)

I was way too nervous to meet Jan while wearing this costume. One of those photos shows how very close to her booth I came ;) But I chickened out. So I went back and got her to sign my lightsaber hilt when I was not quite so shy ;)


The lekku were hand stippled and latexed, one offs and were a quick and dirty back up to the set I have still in my molds due to environmental issues inhibiting cures... sigh. It was a cold and very wet winter. Summer very soon and I shall start casting! My molds are for lekku even longer than these btw ;)... That said they have survived travela nd being left in a suitcase for a month ;) They are currently sleeping on my bed to rest the latex and de-crease.
Eventually these will be for my Sith Inquisitor in SWTOR (just got her to 50 XD)

The gloves and leggings and bikini pants were made from a scuba material with a rubber coating. Makes for great durability.

The "armour" is PVC pipe. The straps for the armour are made from the same material as the bikini bra and belt straps.

The belt is handtooled and dyed hogget. There are riveted snaps at the back to get into and out of the belt and the leather is angeld so the belt arches over the hips- which makes the belt more secure while still letting the plaques at front and back sit quite low. There are strips in the rear because I like balance ;) I have booty and the hanging strips in the back look better than just a big butt ;) Also it means the shaped plaque looks like it has a purpose ;)


So glad to have gotten the chance to go to Celebration and D*C as I don't think I would have had the kick in the pants to actually make her otherwise ;)
She is a really fun costume to wear. Not physically! but as a character :)

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Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:01 am
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Unread post Re: Neimhaille's Darth Talon
Wow, this looks amazing!!! I actually have a few questions about how you did some things. :) How did you make it look like the lekku were actually part of your head with no seam line? Did the gluing help that much? I want to make the ear cones look like part of my skin instead of surrounding it completely with a head piece.

Also my fiance wants to make his armor out of pvc pipe, so I'm totally showing him pictures of your armor. :) Best tactic for that?


Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:40 am
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Unread post Re: Neimhaille's Darth Talon
Thank you :)

When I was laying the latex down I knew I'd need it a little heavier than i would normally due to how much tension it would get from wear. Not just the physical pulling from the weight but also sweat- it's why I really do recommend a bald cap for extended periods, better to sweat into something you are going to throw away than your expensive headpiece ;)

So that meant the line around the face and neck was heavier than I really wanted. So there is a lot of bondo to try and hide the seam as much as possible. It is hard however in a hotel room when you haven't been able to pack a mirror- sitting while gluing and painting the face is so much easier than standing and leaning over a counter ;)
Prosthetic aide, never spirit gum, and cabosil mixed together until the cabosil dissolves and the whole mix is thicker than toothpaste. It is a little more reliable than thickened latex as it doesn't shrink so much :) But I also stipple thickened latex over to match. My lekku have a very grainy texture. I learnt with Shaak Ti I could get away with brush strokes on her due to the patterning but not so much with lekku ;) But it helps to blend as you can stipple the latex on to the face as well to match texture.
I keep meaning to do an in progress series of photos when I have time to really do a complete make up job, but someone did get a series of photos when I was able to paint another Asari earlier this year:
http://gallery.of.geek.nz/index.php/Arm ... y1?page=11
I don't know if you can find the time stamps but that was a rushed job and still took an hour just to glue! But it also clearly shows skin, bald cap, bondo and lates appliance layers before they were all painted to match. Not a perfect seaming process by any means but I did get complimented by a lady who works for a profession FX company so that made me happy :)

My earbuds are cast from a little mold. I really wanted to make the edges feather a bit more but as I was painting it just didn't turn out that way!They were temporarily glued in place with PA as well. I have to take them off to be able to travel with my lekku :) They are significantly larger than regular lekku (though not perhaps the original Oola set) and actually have to bend around in my luggage ;) So the earbuds would just make it that much more difficult!

And I really wish I had in progress photos of Talon :( I really thought I had taken photos for my own memory if nothing else. I may want to revisit the method for another project though :) Still keen on Teff'ith lekku of ridiculous proportions ;)

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Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:13 am
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Unread post Re: Neimhaille's Darth Talon
Updates! I am currently redrawing all the tattoos (and trying to arrange them to best fit) and have just made my first set of Unleashed proportioned lekku ;)
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Links go to my tumblr and FB page :)

So, thank you Pam for your wonderful sharing of your techniques :) I never would have thought that it was possible to use a dremel/rotary tool to tidy latex mishaps! The cloth and felt disks work amazingly well! My rotary tool has no gears due to a spot of overuse, ehem, so I managed to buy a small engraver which is far less powerful and is perfect for tidying :) I am now going to fix all my molds and not sweat the seamlines because this really is so incredibly effective :) Also small and portable tool is small and portable. And cheap. Yay :)

I am going to make a stencil for my face as I know I get very shaky towards the end of the process. I have some self adhesive craft foam which I'm going to sick to some fabric and pull away so the backing is only slightly tacky. I really just need to do the two jaw/cheek pieces as I hope the headpiece will sit at about browline.

My armour is being repaired (strapping glued and velcro replaced) and the leggings and arm covers will get taken in a little.

Also making handy dandy paint kits!
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Rachi Sitra, Liara (MAss Effect) and Talon/Shaak Ti palettes in progress :)
There are about 4 Reel Creations colour pots in the red! I will cry if I ever lose it but this really is a nice wide base to work from for brush painting. And deep enough that I'll have enough room to work the paint and solvents well.

I am painting the lekku though with Latona's as it is like a runny PAX and I should be able to get a reasonable cover with brush and airbrush. And then the tattoos. Oy. Okay, time to stop worrying about how much work is left as it is all painting.

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Mon May 20, 2013 8:47 am
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Unread post Re: Neimhaille's Darth Talon
This morning marked the point of no return- I talced my lekku. They have little nubbins still but frankly given what Talon goes through a few battle wounds might just be ideal...

Anyway:Image

Enredenned! I have also got my lekku patterns sorted, still figuring the best way to transfer them with what I have on hand. Probably will heat shape some foam and make stencils. They also sit a little further back than I intend to wear them so fingers crossed my little hair buns hold everything up.

I have plans to heat shape some other plastic but that may have to wait for a few hours or til tomorrow as winter has suddenly arrived and I want to curl up in bed.

Lekku and body tattoos have been converted into pdf! Rock! I want to tidy them a little more but that will wait until the next time I wear this :) But the pdf makes it easier to print as most of my graphics programs want to scale to print and the generic MS printer thingy just won't print or allow fast draft etc. that my printer actually does do.

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Tue May 28, 2013 2:27 am
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Unread post Re: Neimhaille's Darth Talon
You are truly amazing. I'm having so much fun following this thread! (I'm living vicariously through your project, since I totally chickened out on the Talon costuming.)

Thanks for sharing your progress!

Pam :-)

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Tue May 28, 2013 4:23 am
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Unread post Re: Neimhaille's Darth Talon
Thank you Pam :) I would still love to see your Talon one day if you ever do decide to go back to her :)

This has been fun revisiting, and I hope the tattoos work at least as well as they did last time (new make, eek!).

Short break from trimming but I have a dreadful selfie:
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This is the rough trim now I know the headpiece sits where it does so that can be tidied and so can the full necklline. I look uncomfortable trying to do an actual selfie ;)

So:
trim lekku
mark tattoo details
mask lekku for airbrushing
trim headcap leather cut holes for ear buds stick earbuds in headpiece. Also tighten rhs leather of headpiece.

Rub n buff in silver with solm gold mixed in will be applied at the hotel. My saber hilt is silver with gold and it just makes the "metal" look a little less cold :)

Then pack in the morning for the flight!


And thank you again so much for all your hard work with making the twi'lek community a lovely place. I would never have had the courage to just keep going had I not had the Twilek photoshoot to look forward to :)

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Thu May 30, 2013 5:20 am
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Unread post Re: Neimhaille's Darth Talon
Well.. it wound up spur of the moment when I was really really really unwell and SHOULD NOT HAVE DONE IT!

No really, I wound up scaring a lot of people over how rapidly I go from well to totally not at all and threatened with the hospital. And yes, still suffering physically.


So the Friday I might have gotten lost and then walked away too far and sort of ruined any chance of turning up to the show on Saturday. So I spent the day debriefing and sitting on my Iron- er- Pillow Throne. So wish I'd grabbed a photo because it was totally a throne of pillows. Yay for the hotel having five pillows I had all to myself!!!!! I did though cut my tattoos:
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Note the trades under them all ;) And I think some may be late back to the library. I should not be allowed a library card! I also tested some of the scrap unprinted paper and was super happy:


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I painted my hand then stuck the stuff over then cleaned with IA- I wish I was able to do this on the actual product as it really makes them look more subtle. But it basically removes the coating and leaves the gummy adhesive which is very hard to remove and will pick up dust. I noted this effect on the previous set of tattoos paper as well.



So Sunday morning I woke at 5am and couldn't get back to sleep and thought.. what the heck! Stupid but logical for Stupid O'Clock!

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Green tea and Isopropyl Alcohol...

Anyway yes. That was entirely painted by me and yes it took a few hours- you can see the two brushes I used in the small Klipit container. No idea if the metadata is still attached.. okay my comp says 7.49am. Sounds about right. Okay I have mentioned my gigantic ribcage before. You may now see why corsets are a tad not comfy and need to be very carefully made. Also why I can't wear belts over an inch wide. Also sexay leopard print pants are my pj's so shush.

So I started peeling, sticking and wetting. And wow, I love this stuff! So easy to print (aside from my printer issues) and cut and then stick. Just make sure to not get the backing wet before you stick because it will cause the tattoo to remain stuck to the clear side.
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But bugger, the bikini sits too low so I wound up hiding too much of the tattoo I spent most time on! But in love with the chest tattoo! Also thigh and arm tatts need rescaling as my printer scales down and I hadn't taken that in to account on those pieces. And then the face paint:
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I learnt fast to not put paint on under the lekku. And the lekku have to stick all the way to the brows. Also I noticed how heavy Jan penciled her eyelashes so falsies!

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So yes. hotel pillow plastic bags to protect the paint and i took up three basins at the showgrounds to actually stick the darn things on! Amusing moment was trying to dry the PA/cabosil Bondo hiding the seam. See those rectangles in the background. Yes hand dryers and I had to sit under them to dry the Bondo... which I also stippled latex over. Wet fingertips are the best way to smooth latex when still wet. Only trouble was I really needed hot water.... nevermind.

And I did use a paint brush just over an inch wide to get the glue on my forehead and to stick the gloves and leggings in place.



And then... well I stepped out of the ladies room and was stared at. Good staring but people were too shy to stop me until one person did and boom! A ring of cameras and phones. We live in an age where there is a camera on nearly every hand held device and while NZ is still one of the highest uptakers of new tech and social media we aren't terribly good at sharing. So I think most of those photos are on private facebook accounts or on files on comps.



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And soon after that... I wound up shivering outside the end of the Zombie walk and having to cut through to first aid. And that's when I scared a lot of people. And I have to admit scared myself.



Anyway, back on the costume... I have plans to upgrade and get an actual shoot done (as in not a fly by photo grab :) ).

So....

Enlarging the tatts for arms and legs.

Adding the extra tatts that are less distinct for the back and upper hips (I have three pages spare to make up to ten sheets per application!)

New bikini! As per previous posts from wonderflex and leather.

New skirt strips, also leather from a piece that has been languishing in my stash for about a decade..

Thinning the lekku latex near the face

Repairing paint blotches on lekku..

Trimming lekku over ears and back of neck.

Make the thigh armour a little smaller.... or figure out a velcro arrangement.

New bikini bottom for the same reason and to expose a little more of the hip so as to put the thigh tatt in the right place.



But I really am in love with the costume and have been in contact with wonderful people because of it (online and in person XD).

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Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:39 am
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