Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Box File Spellbooks!

So here I am, being more Chinese than usual, cosplaying a character from a China mobile MOBA and whatnot.

安琪拉 is my favourite hero from 王者荣耀. When I first started playing the game, I had no idea who to pick and didn't notice that the timer has finished ticking. I was then given a random hero. Guess who I got? ;)

Photo by Uncredited

Then I fell in love immediately.

Long story short, I spam pick her whenever I can. I yolo-ed and decided to cosplay her. Yes, I absolutely have to cosplay all my waifus.

ANYWAY. This blog spot isn't to tell you how much I love 安琪拉 or how I came to deciding on cosplaying her (though I think I did just that XD), it is to show you how to turn an old box file, into a spellbook for 安琪拉!

You can make this for your own 安琪拉 cosplay, make it for keepsakes if you're a fan of 王者荣耀, or simply use it as a reference to make a spellbook for another character.

- Box file
- 1mm/2mm EVA foam
- Hot glue, super glue
- Acrylic paint *you'll need to paint each part before assembly
- Primer / lacquer (depending on your propmaking habit/preference)

Firstly, you'll need an old file, where you need to strip off / tear off / cut off this part:

...Leaving you with this sad shell... hahaha.

Measure your box file, trace your measurements onto your EVA foam. Using hot glue (or whatever glue you prefer to work with), cover your box file with the EVA foam. Cut strips of EVA foam to cover all sides.

Paint the base red and the edges black.

You'll then need to make 2 shuriken-looking thing that looks like this:

Paint the base black and the sides silver. Stick it on both sides of the book. Add the book borders by cutting a piece of foam that looks like this: 

Make sure it fits and covers both sides nicely! Then, paint it black, weather it and give it some depth, before attaching it to the book.

Add 2 silver rectangles on the spine.

Didn't take a photo of the parts before they were painted :( but this photo should give you an idea of how it is supposed to look like.

Then, let the Eye of Sauron gaze upon your soul.

No? Ok.

Measure a circle with diameter of approximately 13cm. Paint it. 

Start with yellow, start from the center, paint the entire piece. Next, with orange, paint a ring with inner diameter of approximately 6cm, and outer diameter of approximately 10cm. Make sure all the shades blend together well so they don't look like a lollipop (?) //wut.

Paint a slit of approximately 1~1.5cm thick, with the 2 edges slowly becoming sharper and fading out slightly. Outline it slightly with black paint. Blend it so it is almost unnoticeable.

Make a dorayaki because you must be hungry by now!

Cut another piece of foam of the same diameter as the first. Wedge a piece of foam of approximately 1~1.5cm thick in the center and stick the edges of the 2 circles together with super glue.

What kind of dorayaki has foam filling??

Cut a long strip of foam and stick it along the sides. I cut mine about 1cm thick. The length should be the circumference of your dorayaki circle.

Paint it silver, weather with black paint, and you'll get something like this:

Make spears out of foam! Make 2 large spears and 2 small spears, once again, paint them before attaching. Don't really know how to put it in words but I hope the pictures below help.

Stick that speared eye of Sauron onto your spell book. Coat the entire book with clear lacquer or whatever you use to coat your props normally. And you're done~

You can use this guide aptly to recreate other spellbooks by changing out the details. Of course, there are many other ways to make a spellbook props. But if you ever need a large one, or running short on time, this is a simple way that you can refer to.

Hope it was helpful to you~ :D

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The making of Windranger's Bow of the Sun Vine

First of all, this is not a detailed tutorial. It's just a very simple guide. If you already have basic knowledge in prop-making this should be a piece of cake for you. It should be helpful in giving you an idea of how to form your bow (regardless of whether it's this bow or some other bows) especially if you plan to make it travel-friendly.

Can't make this a very detailed guide cause I didn't really take enough photos. Plus, this was a very rushed work for a cosplay appearance job recently so I would say it's not exactly my best work (don't wanna teach you crappy work hehe). I completed this whole bow from planning to finished product in 2 nights (collectively probably 7-8 hours). Only had time to do it after I get home from my day job.

So. First of all...
To make awesome props, you need a Propmaker Dog.

My very own Propmaker Dog, Mystie. Here you can see her tracing the pattern onto EVA foam.
*She the one who makes all my cosplay props!

Okay just kidding.

First you'll need to construct both sides of the bow.

I made both sides separately so that it is easier to pack for conventions/travelling. They are connected by a pipe connector in the center.

Paint them, shade them.. don't forget the details!

Assemble it and wrap brown PU leather around the handle.


Thursday, 30 March 2017

Making Fake Blood

Ever needed to make fake blood for your cosplays, parties or whatever reason? (For making a dead chicken, check out this tutorial!) Here's a recipe I'd like to share!

Short backstory: I actually looked up the internet for recipes but a lot of the ingredients cannot be easily found in Malaysia. I was rushing for time as this dead chicken was an event prop that I needed the next day. Gathering whatever info there was on the internet and after identifying a few key ingredients, I came up with this! Super cheap and easy to make!

What you'll need:
- red food colouring
- cocoa powder
- water

First, get a container (disposable cause I don't think it will be sunshine and butterflies to wash this thing after lol) and a plastic spoon (disposable preferably, for the same reason).

Scoop about 3-4 spoonfuls of cocoa powder into the container. Pour the entire bottle (25ml) of red food colouring into the mix, and add 1.5 parts of water.

Mix gently with the spoon. It might be hard to melt the cocoa powder so you can choose to use warm water instead of regular tap water.

 Adjust according to your needs. If you need more diluted blood, put more water. If you need more concentrated blood, put less water. If you need clumpy blood, you can try adding corn starch. :D

Once it's well mixed, you should see something like the above. Now you can paint it onto your props and/or costumes. It's perfectly safe and edible too, since ingredients used are all food items.

That's all~ Have fun!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Dead chicken and how to get one

Inside a crocodile cage...

Have you ever needed a dead chicken that doesn't smell, doesn't rot and doesn't attract flies? Probably not. But well, I'm gonna teach you how to get (make) one anyway. XD

*I'm too lazy to adjust the lightings/crop and add watermark for every please bear with me if the pictures aren't as nice as you'd expect.. and please do not steal the pics! If you do use it/share this guide, do credit me by linking back to my blog or FB page: Catnipx

You'll need
- Newspaper
- Tape
- Hot glue stick
- Hot glue gun
- Feathers
- Paint
- Fake blood

Get old newspaper. Roll them into 1 large ball (body), 1 medium ball (cut-off head), and 1 small ball (tail). Tape them together in place, Wrap the connecting areas with newspaper until you get this chicken shape:

Broken neck
This is just the base coat before attaching the feathers (you'll need to add more details later on).
Paint the 'broken neck' area using red acrylic paint. Make sure the paint is thick and consistent, and the newspaper printings are properly covered. Using brown and black acrylic, shade the rim of the circle. With white, paint a small circle in the center of the neck area. Allow it to dry.

Get your hands on some good ol' feather dusters! This part is fun because you will need to pull out all the feathers. XD Depending on how big you made your chicken body to be, prepare enough loose feathers to be stuck onto the chicken. Try to stick them in rows - you can arrange and stick them on a long piece of tape before securing it onto the base.

Stick feathers all the way up to the neck area. Arrange them as closely as possible and you should have something like this:

Bloody details
Draw blood! Here's where we make things gory. 

Apply fake blood gently with a brush onto the stems of the feathers, all around the neck area. Acrylic is not recommended here as its consistency will make it look less like real, fresh blood.

Chicken feet
*This was where I started realizing that I need to take more photos if I were to make a tutorial. So from here on, more visuals! :D

First, you'll need to bend a few pieces of wire like so, to make the structure of the feet.

Stick them together and wrap stone clay/paper clay around them. Be generous! Make sure all edges (especially sharp points) are properly wrapped in clay.

Once you're done, leave them to dry. You can add on details like the claws/nails by using a toothpick to lightly scratch a line slightly below the tip.

Paint them!

Shade them so that they look more convincing! Then, leave them to dry.

Attach the feet onto the body of the chicken by poking them into the body (LOL sounds cruel). Secure it with hot glue. And ta-da!!!

Alternatively, you can add extra details like injured patches on other parts of the body.

 And that's it! A dead chicken that doesn't smell, doesn't rot and doesn't attract flies ;)

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial you'll probably never ever use.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

On my way to be the very best!

I've been a Pokemon fan since I was young (pretty obvious with all the Pokemon plushies I hoard and all the amigurumi and plushies I make lol). Recently I got myself back into playing Pokemon games actively, and am currently hooked beyond control. I thought back on those days when I first started on my journey, when I first wanted to be, the very best. And I think, I'd like to write about something close to heart this time, about how it all began and where I am heading now on my Pokemon journey, instead of another gaming/prop-making tutorial (of course they will come later!).

My first exposure to Pokemon? It was the anime series. I started watching Pokemon on CDs when I was around 9 or 10 with my cousins. That was when I first fell in love with Bulbasaur, when I watched episode 10 "Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village". And Bulbasaur has been my favourite Pokemon ever since. He's always my #001!

Best Pokemon ever.

During those times, there wasn't strong internet connection for us to stream videos seamlessly like now. Plus, where in the world would you find sites like back then? The only one I remembered from my younger days was Crunchyroll. Even so, that was much later on and I somehow recall having to pay to watch anime on that site.

A few years later, my brother got his GBA as his birthday gift, along with Pokemon Ruby awhile after it was released. That GBA was also the first ever handheld console we had in our family. My brother started playing Ruby, and having no GBA myself and the inability to create 2 separate saves, I watched. Once in awhile, I would borrow his game and play a little without saving. I never finished Ruby, obviously. In fact, I don't think I ever got past the 2nd gym cause I can't be hogging someone else's game right? A little later on when Emerald was released, we got it too and he was nice enough to let me create a save on that as he was still on Ruby.
*We might have had Sapphire too, I can't remember. But my brother said he remembered having all 3rd gen titles and I played Sapphire for awhile before switching to Emerald.

So I guess I'd say that my first Pokemon game was Emerald, also the title that left me the deepest impression. (Not including Ruby cause I only watched, mostly. And not including Sapphire because, why don't I remember playing it? ^^") And no, we both didn't know back then that Emerald was the director's cut of Ruby and Sapphire.

We've had a bootleg title in our possession too. Chaos Black, anyone? XD Somehow I don't remember playing it ever, and I think my brother didn't play it for long too. But yes, we didn't know it was bootleg back then when we bought it. A few years later, my brother got his PSP and stopped playing the GBA. It was old and dying, and it was cracked till we could see the components inside if we bend it enough. But I wanted to keep it so we went to a shop and changed the shell and I took over the console. Started off playing Pokemon Ruby, stopped very early in the story and switched to Emerald once again. Then the GBA died.

I was playing many different games so it wasn't an immediate crave or need for a new console. I guess you could say I didn't bother because I was busy with PC games (like Maple Story owo) and PS games then, LOL. Plus, all my peers weren't into Pokemon games.. so I stopped playing Pokemon games when the GBA died.

Though through the years, we continued watching Pokemon movies, but discontinued on following the series. (Though I was still pretty much a Pokemon fan throughout so I still follow up on new Pokemon and characters by stalking other people's fan art.) Later on I got my own PSP. I played a lot of Tekken, everyday. (I play it on my PSP, I play it on our PS2, and I play it in the arcade. I've made a guy in the arcade upset too, because he lost to me lol.) I then somehow started reminiscing the old games I used to play, and so got my PSP hacked and installed PS1 and GBA emulators on it.

Do you recognize this town? :D

And thus, I downloaded Pokemon Emerald and Leaf Green roms and played them on my PSP! (Nintendo fans and SONY fans, here's your cue to get triggered. :P)

It was also during those times that I started playing PokeMMO with my cousins. We were super casual and my only wish was to have a team made up of Pokemon I liked, regardless of their typing coverage or how well they fared competitively. And mostly, I just wanted to have Bulbasaur (Venusaur later) by my side at all times (they had an update where you could use HeartGold/SoulSilver roms to make Pokemon trail behind you).

The moment when my life is complete.

Speaking of casual, in all my past Pokemon games, I have never played competitively. For one, when I finally started understanding shit, I couldn't (with my hacked PSP and game being pirated and all lolol), and also, I didn't know how. It was only towards later stage of me playing PokeMMO with my best friend (now boyfriend ) that I started having proper knowledge about natures, IVs and EVs. Even then, I did not really read much into details. All I knew was how natures affected each stat, the need for perfect IVs, perfect IV = 31, and how fighting certain Pokemon gave different EVs.

After stopping PokeMMO, I returned to my hacked PSP and played Emerald again (now you see why this title has the longest lasting impression on me LOL). This time, I knew more, and started doing what almost every non-casual player does: spam reset for a good starter. XD I started building a team with more knowledge in mind on type coverage and effectiveness. Since I couldn't trade or battle with anyone, it was still extremely limited on the things I could accomplish. After many times of playing the same title, I finally started using the daycare for breeding. Though, it was all casual because I never get Pokemon with nice stats (pfft) and I had no access to trading. :| So I never did try hard on this. Only did it cause it was cute to have an egg and well, most pre-evolves are cute af.

Then, hiatus again.

Fast forward, my boyfriend got himself back into Pokemon TCG. I started collecting with him. I grew fond of Pokemon once again, feeling nostalgic and all. So I played a bit of the Pokemon titles I had on my PSP once again, feeling somewhat imcomplete like something was missing. Boyfriend was playing Pokemon X on his sister's 3DS so I watched. The urge to get a 3DS for myself began. I played a little of Pokemon X using his save to try out the feel of playing legit Pokemon game on a legit device. I realised I need a 3DS. Boyfriend told me to wait it out and see if I really want it before spending any money because I have the tendency to get distracted by different games on different platforms all the time (somewhat true.. to a certain extend).

And then came the hype on Pokemon GO. To be honest, I no longer play it actively. I hardly log in anymore after the Halloween event ended last year. Still, it brought so much Pokemon hype and memories back, somehow. It reminded me of my childhood dream of going on adventures and capturing Pokemon!

Then came the announcement of Pokemon Sun and Moon launch. Looking at the starters, the trailers, etc., I decided that I really, absolutely need to play it. I actually bought Pokemon Sun first, and borrowed my boyfriend's sister's 3DS to play it on, while I continued contemplating, researching and sourcing for my own 3DS. Finally, I came across someone selling his less-than-a-week old New Nintendo 3DS XL at RM200 cheaper than retail price. So I bought it almost immediately. No, wait. I bought it immediately.

Been playing extremely a lot since. Finished the game end of last year and started actively trading and breeding. Caught my first shiny too! I've also been studying all the technical stuff and I am now building my team for competitive play! Following the VGC scene bit by bit and learning new things everyday. I will be sharing some tips and guides very soon too! (As usual when I am extremely hooked on a certain game.. previous example: Don't Starve :P)

Oh, I am also currently playing Omega Ruby. Feeling very nostalgic while playing it too since it's actually a remake of Ruby. And I am now tempted to purchase one of the Gen 1 titles to play, since I've only seen videos of it and have never actually watch someone play it or play it myself IRL. Currently considering Pokemon Yellow where I can get all the other 3 Gen 1 starters later on in the game. :D

I'm now truly on the way to achieving my dream...

★ I will catch 'em all, and one day I will be, the very best.