Monday, January 5, 2009

Cape Prep

There's a lot of exciting news going on with the Superman costume, though you would never know it based on frequency of blog entries. The long story short is that I've been very focused on one of my OTHER projects, which I am working on in secret at the moment. But more on that eventually.

The mold for the belt is complete and cleaned up, though I don't have a picture to post yet. I will attend to that shortly. I'm still searching for a good source of opaque urethene. If you happen to know of one, please post something here, or shoot me an email.

But right now, I'm working on the cape! A friend of mine has offered to lend me his made-for-production cape, and it should be in my hands shortly. To this end, I've done some prep work.

A while back, I acquired a very tiny swatch of the fabric used to make the cape. I got it on ebay. It was an auction for one of those topps cards where the card is a mount for bit of fabric. Shame that they chopped up costumes, though I cannot say I actually believe they did. More likely would be that they had some leftover fabric that they contributed or sold to the cause. But I digress. So I have a bit of the cape fabric. Here it is.

This is immensely helpful to own, as it allows me to test various substances on it, and make sure it will not hurt the FULL cape. The first thing I did was pour some RTV on it, which did not stick at all. Whew. I have no idea what the outer surface of the cape is, though an online interview with the costuming team from the movie state that it is latex.

What concerns me is the fabric underneath. If I pour rubber on top of the cape, and some seeps under it and into the fabric, will that mess it up?? Messing up the cape is simply not an option. If I am not 100% comfortable that I can mold it without damaging it, I simply will not mold it. That would suck, but it's just not worth the risk.

I hatched a plan to use my silicone putty around the edges of the cape, and then pour liquid RTV over the top of it. That way, I could eliminate the threat of RTV seeping under it and into the fabric. So today, I wanted to test how the silicone putty interacts with the fabric. Here's the stuff I'm using:

It's the same stuff I used to take that quick mold of the belt a couple months ago. I know it works great. The two things I need to test are:
1. does it bond with the fabric too tightly - hopefully no.
2. Will it bond with RTV - hopefully yes.

I mixed up a little tiny bit. I pressed some of it directly into the fabric. I pressed the rest of it around the edge, as I expect I would on the real cape.

Now all I need to do is let that cure for a few hours, and I'll have some results.

In completely unrelated news, I think it's very cool that the found item used to make the communicators in the classic Star Trek series was recently identified and confirmed. Totally nerdy, but very cool. Read all about it here, at

And while you're at it, live long and prosper

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