Final gold paint. Still need to dark wash crevasses and clear coat.

Working With Worbla: King Loki Build – Helmet

In preparation for the King Loki cosplay build, the helm was one of the pieces that intimidated me the most. That thing is crazy detailed and those horns! I thought about it for weeks and researched like crazy. I found some other creators on the interwebs (most notably Eldritch ArtsSithcamaro and Timbo’s Creations) and who had posted their excellent work. The thing I realized quickly was I preferred the look of the helms that had been sculpted. I’m not a sculptor and wasn’t ready to tackle yet another new medium for this project so I finally decided I’d do something similar to Timbo’s and start with a foam base and build it up from there.

Sometime later I was at Goodwill looking around for random stuff (you never know what discarded item you may find that can be tuned into something cool) and I saw one of these:

i-blacksilver

Easton Batting Helmet

It’s hard to tell because of the photo’s angle but something about the shape reminded me of the Loki helm. (I forgot to take picture of the actual helmet but this is a stock photo of the exact model.) It hit me that maybe basing the Loki helm on a preexisting helmet would be a better place to start. So I bought the helmet for $6 and the rest follows.

The more I studied the batting helmet in comparison to Loki’s Avengers helm I realized the dome shape of the batting helmet was much rounder than the Loki’s more squared off Helm. I really try to strive for screen accuracy but quickly realized that I would have to modify the overall look of my build if I was going to stick with the batting helmet base. What I ended up with is a helm that copies the main lines of the Avengers helm and actually takes on a bit of the style of the Thor style helm. Yup, his helm is actually different between the two films. This picture isn’t the best but it get the point across:

Helms

When I started modifying the batting helmet I was in a bit of a rush so I didn’t take photos to being with. My progress photos start with the batting helmet already cut down and heavily modified. Besides removing the bill I also chopped out a part of the midsection, pretty much the whole part that is painted silver to compress the profile of the forehead.

This post is not meant to be an exact how-to guide. What you’ll find is a whole bunch of progressive photos of the build and painting prep process. I’m not done with the final painting. The photos stop at the first base paint layer. I’ll add the painting photos when I’m done and satisfied. Thanks for reading this far. If you have questions please feel free to ask in the comments section.

Be sure to check out my King Loki Spaulders armor build too.

If you liked this post you can see more work in progress stuff over at my Facebook page: Coregeek Cosplay and Creations. Give me a “Like” while your at it!

LokibyAzimedes

Final helm and costume. Photo by Azimedes Photography http://azimedes.deviantart.com

Loki Worbla Shoulder 3

Working with Worbla: King Loki Armor Build – Spaulders

*Although I was happy with the painting prep process I outline below, I’ve actually changed it a bit and like the new results better. See Worbla Finishing Take 2 for quick details on the newer process.

King Loki - Step 1
I just learned a new word. Yup, I had no idea what a spaulder was until I looked it up. I was just going to call this piece the shoulder armor thingy but I figured there was a fancier armorers name.

The spaulders are the first piece of the King Loki build I decided to tackle. Not sure why I decided to start there. Turns out they’re quite complicated due to the need of being curved over the shoulder. For the most part I am happy with the progress so far.

Loki Worbla Shoulder 1

Bases built using the craft foam (EVA) “sandwich technique”.

space

Worbla is so easy, yet finicky at the same time. One thing I was not prepared for was the massive amount of prep needed to get Worbla’s surface somewhat smooth. In my research I discovered most techniques involve many coats of either gesso, wood glue or primer. I used these to test what process I like the most. What I’ve learned is it really doesn’t matter. If you want a smooth surface you’re pretty much going to have to do a lot of sanding.

My process was: 4 coats of spray on shellac, sanded with 120 grit, 2 coats of brushed on wood glue, rough spots sanded with 150 grit. Then 2 or 3 coats of Krylon primer 150 grit sanded between coats on the rough spots. Total PITA so I’m trying something different on the other to get the process down less. Some have just used 4-6 coats of wood glue but I really hate hand painting that stuff so many times.

Loki Worbla Shoulder 2

Added edging and beginning of ornamental elements. All done with extra Worbla, which adheres to itself when heated.

space

Layers of Shellac, wood glue and first primer coat applied and sanded ready for 3 more primer coats.

Layers of Shellac, wood glue and first primer coat applied and sanded ready for 3 more primer coats.

space

The reason you only see one of the spaulders ready for paint is I’ve put off the second because it needs to be sanded and primed and sanded again. Ugh, I hate sanding.

Loki Worbla Shoulder 3

First piece of armor built, sealed, smoothed and primed, all ready for final paint.

space

Final paint base coat,

Final paint base coat,

space

Final Helm, Spaulder, Belt armor and Spaulder

Final Helm, Vambrace, Belt armor and Spaulder

For building technique I pretty much followed the Worbla tutorials posted online by the amazing Kamui Cosplay. I also purchased a copy of her ebook which I highly recommend if you want her excellent info in an easy to read/research/return-to format.

For the detail “rivets” I used these metal round domes.

3838

The domes are the perfect size but I was hoping the tacks would easily press into the Worbla; they don’t. It would probably work fine if I was able to heat the Worbla, I can’t because the heat makes the primer begin to lift. So instead I have to clip off every single one of those tiny little tacks then adhere them instead. The rest of the details were hand painted on with dimension fabric paint. I thought I took a picture of the spaulder after I applied the dimension paint and domes (prior to covering with primer) but I couldn’t find it. Apparently I only thought of taking that specific shot.

For those wondering you can order Worbla from CosplaySuppies.com. The stuff is not cheap but it is quite easy to shape and mold. Worbla adheres to itself, you can cut it with scissors, heat it up, shape it and once it cools it becomes hard plastic again. Pretty fantastic for armor building, if you can put up with the prep for finishing.

Update: Discovered that my little project got a mention on the Facebook page for Cast4Art.

cast4art

I hadn’t heard of Cast4Art before but apparently they’re the worldwide distributor for Worbla’s Finest Art (that’s the actual full name for the stuff we just plainly refer to as Worbla.)

Also I didn’t realize I had comments turned off when I made this post. Comments are on now. So if you found my page and have any questions feel free to ask. One of my favorite things about building stuff is sharing ideas with others.

Be sure to check out my King Loki Helmet build too.

Nerdcrafting Vlog Now on Geek & Sundry

Geek & Sundry has been adding Nerdy/Geeky vlogs to its video channel.

The latest is Nerdcrafting with Paul Mason the DIY Guy #1.

I like the humor and Paul has some pretty cool DIY. Domo Chewbacca is totally brilliant! Something that stuck me while I watched this is I’m a Nerdcrafter but didn’t really know it. I’ve always just referred to myself as a Geeky DIY’er. Anyway Paul looks like he’s got some great ideas can’t wait to see what he vlogs about next.