Saturday, August 15, 2015

Superman Returns Costume - Belt and Cape

As always, work on the Superman Returns costume continues, though as of late, at a brisk pace.

Recently I sat down with my trusty Dremel tool with a sanding drum attachment and cleaned up the two belts I had cast up the other week. (Also, for reference, "Casted" is not a real word. Don't use that word when talking about molding and casting things. It makes you sound like an idiot. Just saying.)

I cleaned up the flash from behind the "S" symbol, and also along the edges. These turned out great.

On the screen used belts, there would be a little segment of fabric behind the buckle, and behind that a piece of velcro. The fabric is the same stuff that the briefs were made of. Yay costume trivia!

I am once again back on the experimentation train with the cape. I keep coming up with new ideas that I want to try, based on old ideas that I had previously messed around with. The other thing on my mind right now is the ultimate fragility of the silicone mold I made of the cape. That cape mold is about seven years old right now, and frankly, silicone doesn't last forever. The last pour I did of urethane ended up doing a TINY bit of damage to the mold, as mentioned in a previous post. It happened when I was doing some color tests, and the damage was done to the edge of the mold, where there wasn't even a diamond pattern. But the fact is, the mold is getting old and I fear that my next coat of urethane on it could end up doing some damage.

What I'm in the process of doing now, in conjunction with some color and process experimentation, is doing a preservation pull of the cape. I want to get a top quality pull out of the mold, so that if for some reason it dies, I have a copy of it available for making another mold. I know this may sound like overkill, but honestly if that mold gives out in the middle of a pull now, the project is pretty much cancelled.

Here's where the mold stands as of the last round of applications.

I really should have reviewed some older blog posts before taking on this task, as I had to re-learn my process for applying the latex to the mold. It's not as easy as you might think, and there is some mystery to the technique necessary to get a good surface out of this. Though the color in this photo is not at all representative of the actual color, you get the general idea. This is three coats of latex.

For reference, this is the color I am using. If you took this color and painted it on a white wall, it would be exactly the color I want my cape outer shell to be. However, when this paint is mixed with the latex that I am using, the stuff from Motion Picture FX Company, it lightens it up a little. Heck for all I know the only reason it appears lighter is because it's still pretty thin. Maybe I just need to add more paint to the latex.

At this point, it's still just an assumption that this process of mixing off the shelf paint with latex rubber is even going to work. It might not. The paint may very well not bond properly with the latex rubber. Who knows. Hence the experiment.

Kind of funny that this is paint I purchased when I was living in Ohio. Sheesh, that was like four years ago. What a wreck.

Here's the stuff.

I think the plan is to mix up one more serving of this latex, apply it to the cape, and then apply a fabric backing to it. Honestly, I don't even think this will be a usable cape, as the first layer of latex was a real mess, due to me forgetting my application technique. But as with every time I do anything on this project, it's a learning experience.

I don't remember if I posted this before, but it seems relevant given that my post began with the belt. Check it out and let me know what you think!

No comments: