Things have been pretty dead around these parts for the last... oh... two months. Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo came and went. I managed to get Marius' greaves produced on schedule. When we left them, the poleyns + trim had been cut out but nothing had been sewn yet. Let's tie up that loose end first before we delve into Winkie Country.
Blogger flipped these for some reason but here is the trim going on the edge of the poleyns; you can just see the lettering. I find it helps immensely to contact-cement the trim first and let it dry while you awl the holes, otherwise your pieces will be sliding all over the place. It is attached with the usual saddle stitch deal - wonderfully easy to do and very strong. Then the curved fronts had to be sewn together and voila!
There was some remaining trim to sew on the greaves themselves and what better place to do that than the local tea shop:
What's that, you say? They closed it down to renovate the little downtown mall it was in? Thanks, Calgary. This is why you can't have nice things. Anyway, I'll miss it. It's seen hours and hours of art/writing from the roomie and I, plus a couple of hilarious RPGs with the broader Nerd Posse™.
The actual feet or sabatons were the last pieces to be sewn together before I could start painting and riveting.
Here's the toe piece awled and ready to be stitched to the arch. That seam was the singularly hardest seam I've sewn to date: no matter how carefully I worked the awl, the holes would not line up. Cue bleeding fingers and tears.* But a couple hours and some four hundred expletives saw the job finished and everything was ready for the paint.
Meilhaus is using her dinner as an excuse to photobomb. Greaves and polyens both needed to be dyed and some trim painted before they could be riveted together due to pieces overlapping. As with the rest of Marius' armour, I used Fiebing's USMC Black dye. It took a couple of applications to get even coverage.
The riveting was an adventure unto itself. For some reason, it was impossible to get washers in the right size for the smaller rivets so I had to use the larger, thicker ones. Usually you use a bolt cutter to cut the posts down but - lacking a bolt cutter when I started this madness - I was using a old pair of nippers used for trimming horses which have the comparative bite of a garden slug (do they even have mouths?).
Anyways, here we are, in the woodshop at work over lunch. Between my co-worker and I, we managed to get the posts cut down easily enough but when I resumed riveting after work, things went a bit slower since there was no one to trade off with when my hands got too sore. But again, a few hundred expletives saw the job finished. The rest of the painting went together without a hitch. I saved the toes for last since I thought they would be too garish if I painted them gold.** But a few coats of dry-brushing did the job marvelously!
Before and after! One of the soldier chaps at work referred to them as 'horse boots' - I had intended the toes to look vaguely like hooves so it all worked out. The scrolled leaf motif is repeated on the falds of the pauldrons and on the front/back of the gorget. It was done by dampening the leather and stenciling in the design with a stylus and a template.
Finished the paint job laaaaate Friday night of Calgary Expo, then it was an early, early morning on Saturday to do the makeup and get ready. Got down to the grounds around 11:00 AM, threw the armour on with the help of friends, and then it was show-time!
Thanks to Kardi for the photo! (And for helping me get dressed!)
Wearing this presents certain challenges - the boots add a few pounds to the bottom half and you've got to remember to walk fairly widely otherwise they catch on each other. Not necessarily a bad thing if you want to rock the genderbend. The costume contest started at 7 and ran very smoothly this year. For the skit, our awesome friend Peter and I ran a mocked-up gaming scenario that had a bit of a twist on the end. You can see it here - we are 7:46 - 9:17. I was worried it wouldn't read right to non-gamers but I think we got the point across. People seemed pretty enthused afterwards.
We came away covered in glory - Best in Show! Which was an incredible honour because there was some epic costumery this year - one guy had made a metal replica of the Witch King's armour from Lord of the Rings. Marius' comparative obscurity makes this all the sweeter - I had doubted for years that an obscure character could be successful in a costume contest but apparently that's not the case! Definitely helps when the judges are legitimate craftspeople.*** Marius is, of course, very near and dear to me as well. Funny how it all started back in March 2011 with a couple meters of yellow/purple silk for some ridiculous-looking pants or even earlier when I saw a photo of his miniature in the Warhammer rulebook and thought "... what gives?"
Anyway, I feel like I've got some closure on his gear now (apart from making some pimpin' gauntlets) so now it's full steam ahead with the Vinkus Guard! Like Marius, it's shaping up much more elaborately than planned but hey, it's the details that count, right? #obscurepunthatnobodygets
*Not the first time this has happened.
**Again, with Marius Leitdorf, you're doing it wrong if you're worried about garishness. Nothing is too garish for this guy.
***Read what you want between the lines there...