Here's a little bit on how I made Fishbones, Jinx's rocket launcher from the League of Legends video game.
So first I started off by gathering my supplies. I used a lot of different kinds of foam ~craft, EVA, expanding~ and glue ~super, hot~.
I bought EVA foam squares (aka exercising mats) and turned those into the base of Fishbones. Most people used a large pvc pip or one long even strand of foam or something else that's sturdy. But at the time of making this it appeared to me that Fishbones had levels throughout it, although it could've been the different sizes of armor on him.
Either way, in order to achieve this look I took 2 squares and formed a circle with them (just by gluing them together it shaped correctly ~same with the rest) to create the first half. I took 2 and a half for the second piece and for the 3rd used a little more than 1.
Reminder I was basing this off of the music video version of her, and in the exact paused scene I was referencing, Fishbones looked to be about as tall as she is. All the cosplayers of Jinx I've come across go off of the video game model when it's miniaturized on her back, so if mine is looking over-sized, that's why. I wanted to go all out huge. A rocket launcher would be huge in reality anyways xD.
To attach all the pieces together I laid them so that the little "teeth" on the bottom piece of each would lay just after the little "teeth" on the top piece. Basically I just laid them inside each other until it looked about even. Then I placed the bottom two on top of different sized objects (books) to get it so that the piece would lay center with no foam pieces actually touching each other. And then I took a can of expanding foam and foamed all around the lower piece and inside of the large piece (using it like glue but to fill in the gaps as well). Since the foam expanding a lot more in some parts than others, I had to go back through with a knife (or a long bladed box cutter would work) and remove some of the foam (in curved cuts) to let the eva be able to even out and make everything as even as possible. Once I did that I finished it off by removing all the excess foam on the outside (I didn't bother with the inside, that part will be blocked off anyways).
Next, I used craft foam to make the armor pieces. Before cutting anything I laid it out and pinned it (using sewing pins) to the eva foam and drew out a rough sketch of the shape I'd want it at using a pencil (and light pressure!).
For the fins and the handle I took a cardboard outline and covered it in expanding foam, shaped it with a box cutter and steak knife, then paper mache-d those.
I made the handle larger because I've planned to revisit this and alter the prop when I have money for it. I found a small portable fog machine online that has a small switch box for it so the handle is designed for me to be able to cut out and place the switch box inside of it with the flips sticking out and just poke a hole through the bottom (which means wiring has to be detached and reattached but whatevs :P) and it'll be able to be strung through the prop and connect to the fog machine. I also wanted to wire in lights to the switch box as well. But that's for a later date.
In order for that expected mess and the current mess to be nicely hidden I cut out circular shapes out of craft foam, one that'd fully cover the back and fill the hole completely and another for the front that covers most of it but leaves spaces so that the fog could still get through. To attack these I took all the extra teeth that I had cut off of the eva foam from earlier, stacked them up and glued them to be the same height as the 2 different levels and glue them into the props then the circular pieces onto that (it also made the prop sturdier).
So that the tails fins at the back would be sturdy when getting knocked around a bit I took thin wooden sticks/post (circular onces) and attached that to the center underneath/inside of each fin with glue. I also used a knife to cut in ridges every so often so it looked like it'd was metal piping or wiring and fit in with the rest of the prop.
For the outline of the armor I cut thin (maybe an inch or 1/2 an inch) of craft foam and glue it onto the armor pieces.
The teeth where triangle shapes cut from craft foam as well and attached to the head with hot glue.
Before gluing anything onto the base I unpinned it all and took it all off so that the base could be paper mache-d. There's a rough side and a smoother side on this eva foam but I when with the rough side (mostly because for me it didn't matter). In order to paint foam you have to seal with (either with wood glue, or plastic dip I hear works) ~it was out of my budget though either way, but old news paper and .79 cent Elmer's glue mixed with water wasn't!
That's how you paper mache by the way. Take either the more expensive mod podge (which I did once because I didn't know ;-; ) or Elmer's (craft) glue and mix it with equal parts water.
Paper mache will make some areas a little wrinkle-y though. Just as a heads up. In photographs its an easy fix with lighting and smoothing it in editing but it may be noticable especially when close up a conventions.
Once that's dry go ahead and attach all the armor pieces.
Once that was mostly attached I went ahead and used a box cutter to cut out the holes in the armor. Using light pressure and a cardboard sheet underneath, I made sure I didn't cut through the Eva foam.
In order to get even hole sizes I used a spool of thread and traced that lightl with pencil. I eyeball-ed the spacing between each though.
I attached the head pieces on, so that they'd be movable, using nuts and bots. It's easy to just poke a screw through the foam so you're going to need a nut at the end of it so that the screw doesn't just slide out and you can tighten it enough to make the head stay in place and not just easily flop back down or fall off.
Once that was all done I went ahead and painted all the armor pieces with wood glue to seal it.
A smarter quicker (but slightly more expensive way) to coat it is with different sealers (like plastic dip) or spray wood glue ~I already owned lots of wood glue (thanks grandpa!) so I used what I had.
Once that's all dried I took it outside, laid down some new papers and coated it twice with metallic "aluminum" colored spray paint.
For the shading and highlighting I used oil paints I bought from walmart.
Acrylic paints work too but it dries a lot faster and can be more difficult to blend. Oil paints take a day or two until they're completely dry and are easy to smudge out and blend.
I shadowed every ridge, the more underneath something (whether it be a prop or another piece of armor) that more shadow and darker of shadow I made.
For the highlighting, I highlighted just a long, very thinnly, along the corners of the ridge of the different pieces of armor. I also took a small amount and blended, blended, blended it along the top curvatures of the head piece and fins.
Once the highlighting and shadowing was done I coated once more in gloss-y, non-yellowing clear spray paint. I wanted it to still look metallic and oil paints dull out and matte that areas they're in but the gloss paint fixed that.
For the eyes I took a sheet of plastic (a plastic bag jewelry came in ~same material of the bag wigs come in) and painted it. I did this so that the lighting in the future could show through it and make the eyes look like they're glowing that color.
~I actually attached a flashlight (a small one) at the con using duct tape (ghetto??? xD ) and it worked like I wanted :3 Although it wasn't noticeable in the lighting.
If you have a brown belt go ahead and use that for the belt around fishbones. I didn't have one to spare though so I just used some belt-like fabric I had and shaped a belt buckle out of polymer clay. Then glued that all on.
I wasn't 100% happy with this. I could do better, especially if I had better material and the right ones. But for what I had to work with I am happy with the outcome.
Oh and in order to carry it around, at the convention I attached a guitar strap to the underneath using 2 nuts and bolts (same technique as the head).
It turns out this post is a lot more than a little bit? o.O
~Positive outcomes only :)
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