The first step in creating the body piece, was to create the pattern for it. The one Jan posted at bakachan.com was correctly shaped for the most part, but it needed to be resized upwards (it also needed to be flipped horizontally, for some reason). I rescaled the pattern until it covered what I felt would be an adequate amount of space. (I'm not sure HOW much I rescaled it. I suspect it was at least 150 percent.) After printing out the pattern, I pieced it together, and this was what I had:
The next step was to cut the pattern out of a sheet of 3mm craft foam. This I did by laying the pattern over the foam and poking holes into it along the lines of the pattern. I then connected the dots to recreate the pattern drawing.
I cut the piece free of the foam and had this (sorry for the faintness of the lines in this picture):
I hotglued the foam piece to a sheet of styrene and cut it free, gluing the edges of the piece together under the armhole. I then set about to gluing another layer of foam and styrene over the first one (which would lend thickness and stability to the piece, as well as give it the appearance of being composed of several different, seamed-together pieces of metal.) Each section within the lines of the pattern I treated like a separate cell. I cut each individual "cell" out of the foam, covered it with styrene and glued it to the body piece.
One exception: there's a rounded "hump" in the front of the body - a "D"-shaped piece which has its rounded edges lying flat and it's flat side slightly raised. That wasn't too difficult to figure out. (I discovered that it's easier to wait until all the other cells have been glued on before attaching the "hump" piece.) After gluing all the "cells" on, I marked the places on the armor where the studs would go.
The body would attach to the torso of the person wearing it via a clear vinyl strap, (which would itself be attached to the front and back of the body piece.) I would rely on snaps as the means of connecting the strap to the armor... (Jen's pattern marks off the spot where the snaps should ideally be located...)
After attaching the snaps front and back, it was time to work on the upper arm plates. The most complicated of this lot was the top flat plate which had to be darted so that it was slightly curved.
In the CosMode pattern, this piece is connected to the body piece by means of a shaped metal strip. Since I have NO talent whatsoever when it comes to shaping metal, I substituted a flexible strip of friendly plastic.
I reinforced the strip with some foam and styrene layers and glued the strip, the top flat plate and the body piece together like so. (You'll notice I also closed the open holes on the top flat plate with a layer of styrene.)
Next step: finishing the upper arm...
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All costumes created by and all pictures property of Amethyst Angel c. 2005