Monday, December 20, 2010

FaceSpace and the World Wide Intarwebs

I started a new fan page on facebook for my latest (perhaps greatest?) props.  It's quite a bit easier to update and has a lot more accessability, so check it out for progress shots, and informal proppery. 

I'll still be updating the blog here, but the entries will be more formal documentation of my work, and may appear less frequently.

Check out my Facebook page and chastize me for my shameless self promotion here!  Jarman Props

Click LIKE to have my updates show up in your news feed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Collector Armor Day 7-10

I've been trying to update this build in 3 day increments, but these last couple work days have been few and far between.  I don't expect to be updating much over the holidays and it would be pretty difficult to pass this guy off as a carry-on.  Anywho, here is day 7-10.

Day 7 - Cleaned up the chest a little more and started in on the insectoid legs around the abdomen.

Day 8 - Starting to get a bit of the detail down on the arm

Day 9 - The symmetry on the back is more difficult than I imagined because of the way the mannequin is posed.

Day 10 - I pulled back the shoulder cover in order to more fully sculpt the arm.  Once molded and cast I'll remove the arm to facilitate sculpting the torso.

I'm starting to get the hang of smoothing this clay.  Now my entire apartment smells like isopropyl alcohol.  Phew.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Collector Armor Day 4-6

Wow, it seems like people actually follow my blog.  I guess I owe it to yall to properly skin this page and make something presentable.  But in the meantime, I intend to keep up my chroniclization of the collector.  I'm "technically" on day 7, but my camera batteries died before I could snap any photos of the insectoid tendrils that flank the abs as if to say "YEAH! Check out this 10-pack!"

In other news, it looks as though I'm going to need to drop $Texas on another pallet of clay.  I'm down to my last 3 billets and I'm nowhere near the volume I'll need to finish the back assembly.  I just have to keep telling myself that this is an investment in a reusable resource.  Woof.

Day 4 -  The collar and "neck brace" begin to take shape.  I'm trying to take a Top-Down approach from here and finalize details up top while blocking out shapes and structures below.

Day 5 -  Looks like Carlos lost his mustache.  Eesh, I guess I should rename him Adolf.  Certainly is white enough.  The shoulder straps are reworked for the ump-teenth time.  A couple test details are sculpted into the chest.  The abs are bulked up and worked slightly.  

Day 6 - Focus shifts to the abdominals.  Symmetry still needs work as the basic plates are laid out under the Pecs.  The collar is finely detailed and nearly completed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Collector Armor Day 1-3

Day 1 -  Right out of the gate I started coating the form with clay, not realizing just how much clay it was going to take.

 Day 2 -I've started to block out some of the musculature on the arm. 

At this point I'd used all of my clay and had to order another case of Chavant.   
Surprisingly heavy for how small a box it was.

Day 3 - The collar and back are starting to take shape.  I'm starting to lean more toward the concept art as my main reference (posted on the wall).  It's got a sleeker, more form fitting aesthetic that better conveys the ideals of the Collectors as a species of shadowy nightmares.  The in-game assets make Sheppard look more brutish and tank-like.  Hopefully I'll be in shape to wear this suit by the time I finish it. 

Nice 'stache Carlos

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mass Effect Collector Armor - Ready, Set, GO!

DragonCon has past, Halloween looms, I'm now looking to future costumes I'd to for 2011.  Now I've barely the surface of Mass Effect and I've always wanted to take on a hefty sculpting project, so I've decided to tackle the Collectors Armor from Mass Effect 2, as the N7 has already been so well established. 

Collector Armor, glee!

So after a failed attempted at life casting, I went ahead and bought a full life-sized mannequin that constant scares the crap outta me when I wake up in the middle of the night. 

Good golly that was incredibly painful.  3 full hours of perfect immobility really kills the circulation.

We named him Sanchez. 

Alright sports fans, I'll be updating this blog with what will hopefully be brilliantly penned missives on my progress in the sculpting arts.  I'm shooting for once a week updates to keep me on track to finish this within a year's time and unveil it at DragonCon 2011.  

Here goes nothing!

Monday, September 13, 2010

M7 Rifle Wrapup

It's sad to say but I didn't finish the N7 Mass Effect Armor for DragonCon this year (pictures here).  Here is a shot of it's furthest completion.

But as for the rifle, I did bring it to a point which could be considered "finished", though I'm not at all satisfied with the results.  Be that as it may, I'm going to table the project until later this year, or early 2011 in order to focus on a similar Mass Effect project which I think has much greater potential, as well as quite a bit less propagation in the costuming world.  If you've been following my Flickr feed, you probably already have a good idea of what it is.

Anyway, on to the M7:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mass Effect M7 Assault Rifle update

I have a couple more greebles and detailing bits molded and cast, and the barrel ends nearly done.  Still waiting on a couple lathed pieces to come in, but patience is certainly a virtue.  I'm sure they will turn out awesomely.


Scope Eye piece

The destroyed, but somewhat salvaged mold.  Somehow, I didn't properly apply the mold release and the mold fused into one giant lump of silicone.  Notice the lack of registration keys that help align and secure the two halves of the mold.  To get around this, I cast the rifle in each side of the mold, then taped them together and poured resin in between them to seal the gap.  Jury-rigging to the extreme, but it's better than rebuilding the entire mold.

The scrap cast after seaming up both sides.  I've got a LOT of sanding ahead of me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Halo 3 Assault Rifle

The first cast is out of the mold, cleaned, patched, painted, and weathered.  In all I'm fairly satisfied with the way she turned out.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mass Effect M7 Assault Rifle (Part 1)

I'd been busy working on my armor from the series Mass Effect when I realized, every good solider needs his gun. So I commissioned a friend ( to build me out a 3d model of the M7 Assault Rifle from the first Mass Effect game.  (Armor from ME2, weapon from ME1, I'm building bridges here people)

So after a couple weeks of pestering, I receive this in my email.  A rather accurate and nicely done piece of work.

So along I went to my local workshop, TechShopRDU ( to mill this out on the ShopBot they have there.  4 hours later and I have the first half done, with the second half slated to be milled on Thursday.  If all goes well, the piece may be sealed and under rubber by the first of next week.

The  rough pass to remove as much material as possible, and to get the general shape of the piece cut.

The finishing pass to reveal all the intricate details

Left side after removal and a bit of clean up.  I accidentally broke the stock off while removing it from the main piece of tooling board.  /fail

For the barrels I'd rather not have to laser cut acrylic rings to string on a dowel since I do not have access to a lathe at the moment.  However, I may be able to trade some laser cutting services for these barrels if a certain fellow propmaker is up for it.  *hint hint*

More to come this week: I have laser cutter and shopbot time reserved on Thursday.  Expect a big update by weeks end.  Stay tuned kiddies!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Testing one two three

I'm working on a new style and branding scheme for my blog.

Hopefully I'll start posting on it a bit more often.  Patience is a virtue.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Avatar Life Casting

So I've been working with some of the guys and gals out of the Wolf Pack Elite to develop some prosthetics for a possible 2010 D'con group of Avatars. I finally got a new camera that takes pretty darn good pictures for the price so we have plenty of documentation for this project.

For starters we bought all of our supplies at Michaels with a total cost of about 28 bucks.

This is an alginate analog called "Mold Maker". Pretty standard stuff, if not on the cheap side. The performance of this product leaves quite a bit to be desired, but we made it work for our purposes. I'd highly suggest making it at 1/2 strength and using multiple layers for the best results.

 This is my lovely assistant Bonnie.  Posistioned right off screen is the gun I'm holding to her head.
Step 1 - When prepping the model we used a head band and a release agent to keep the alginate and plaster out of her hair.

Step 2 - This is the alginate layer that I used on her.  This was mixed at full strength and set incredibly quick as noted by the cold oatmeal-like consistency.  It definitely worked a lot better when we back and used a dilluted mixture. 

Step 3 - It's hard to see here, but before the alginate fully sets I pushed several bits of cotton into material so that the plaster bandages would have something to bind to and keep the entire structure together.

Step 4 - We used a prepackaged plaster bandage system to create a mother mold for the alginate.


This is the finished mold after we carefully demolded de-model.  We left the nose section open during molding as this was her first life-casting, but she did awesomely regardless.

The rest of these shots are of me going through the same process.  I tried to get a little better resolution around the nose using the "straw method", but it was uncomfortable as hell and was a bit more difficult to detail in finishing.  Having the straw shoved half way up my nose every time Bonnie would bump it didn't make things too pleasant either.





Next we filled both molds with a craft plaster called "PermaStone." (Hardly)  Then they went into the oven for about an hour and a half at 200 to speed up the cure of the plaster.


These are the rough casts we pulled from the disposable molds.

Chiseling out some basic shnoz shapes.

The cleaned up facial casts.  They still could use a little TLC, but since we're only focusing on the forehead and nose area, these should work just fine.


Since I'm a 1000 miles from home at the moment, I don't have access to any of my tools or supplies, so I grabbed a cheap 3$ block of clay while at Michaels to do some simple visualization of what the prosthetic might look like after final sculpting.  Mine looks okay, but grover on the other hand.  Esh, it'll need a little more work.  The stark contrast of the clay to plaster really throws off the effect as well.  That and someone was feeling awfully creative with their face cast after we got back from seeing Avatar.  

The next step once I get home is to do a proper sculpt on these using Chavant clay.  It's much denser and should adhere quite a bit better to the surface of the plaster.  And it doesn't make my hands look like I've been molesting a smurf.  After that, I'll grab a couple trial kits of Eco-Flex and a tin or two of psycho paint, and see what we can do to pull the wearable prosthetic pieces. 

Onward and upward.