About Me

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Writer, soldier, thinker, and science fiction lover. I just can't seem to find a way to divide my adventurous self of constant outdoor activity and exercise from my nerdy self playing games and going to conventions. So why not just be both?

 I am a young professional living out of Tallahassee, Florida for the past five years. I have been on a deployment with the United States Army and continue to work outside of my other occupations to better myself mentally and physically. My passion for writing is driven by my passion for everything I find entertaining in life, and of course by my friends and family.

Monday, November 28, 2016

It is done! "American Crime Tale"

November's writing is over for me, and I have completed a second book as promised! It is a crime thriller following the rise of a drug lord in the US.

With that completion I will return to writing more regular blog entries. I hope to have more updates regarding the status of my two books in the coming weeks.



Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Silent Hill cosplays

So I wanted to do a Pyramid Head cosplay for myself and have my girlfriend go as one of the nurses. So for nearly two months I worked to create these two creatures.

I started with a 36' by 48' red cardboard display board (the kind you see at science fairs). I chose red because my two options were white, or red at my local store. I figured red would be easier to cover, and if it did end up chipping some or peeling it wouldn't throw off the look too much. I wish I still had the photos of my early work because it's almost impossible to understand the simple starting platform it all came from.

The first step was to get a shape. I needed three triangles, one for each side of the head, and one to create the back of the helmet. I knew 48 inches was the smallest and for my frame unfortunately, the largest I could go while still getting that look. I worked around getting the angle just right. I can't recall the number that worked, but once I got the first cut, I just used the first cut as a template for the second cut, and done. Now I had to fill the back with the third piece. This was extremely difficult to get right. You could make two pieces as others have done, but I didn't have a clamp soft enough to hold the two I already had, and I'm thankful I didn't try because I spent a good hour just trying to hold it up. I had to do this twice. I messed up once, thinking I could just use the back as a template. I somehow ended up with a piece too small to fill the gap. So I used that piece to create one I knew would be too large, and then shaved it to fit.

This sounds simple, but by the end, just getting it to a point where it was ready to be stuck together took almost four hours by itself. I used painter's tape to hold the form as I went to town on the entire structure with a hot-glue gun. I knew the end product would cover up and make the glue look good so I just filled any edge with glue that I could.  It dried well, and was surprisingly sturdy.

The next step was to cut out eyelets. I am a big fan of being able to see, so I cut massive eyelets which would cause me issues later. I now I had a simple head created.

I knew I wanted to create armor looking plates, like they were welded together, so I used EVA foam strips, cut them into rectangles and spray-painted them black with black textured outdoor Rustolleum. I will admit I also screwed up on the side piping, I should have made it come out on its own, but I just took a pvc pipe and painted it black, and glued it on. Crap work on my part. Now with the EVA strips painted I put a coat of black across the head. With the first coat of everything dry I glued the EVA parts around the edges to do two things. 1) Cover up the carboard sides 2) Create plate like look. Worked great. The foam with glue looked like welded metal. I took bolts and screws and glued them on and it finished the look I wanted. I took copper paint to add to the look, I knew painting wasn't done yet, but wanted to get the base to look solid first.

The next step here that gave me a headache was covering the eyelets. Remember I said I cut them large, I figured I could get a thick screen material that was one way and put that across and it would be dark enough. Wrong, I double layered it and it was still very easy to see through. I had to think of some way to address this, I also needed to add a base trim, more coats of paint, and worse, it wasn't level, I needed a counter weight!

Here is the attempt at the helmet to this point.
 To solve the weight issue, I took real copper water pipes and painted them black. I used them on the back to create the industrial look, and they worked well. Their weight was perfect and kept the helmet centered. I put two more coats of paint on, and began to add brown and red to put in that old blood and rust look. I also cut two strips of cardboard for the trimming and put them along the bottom. I Then took a dremel to shave them to fit right.

I was really upset with how it was looking. Also, I found out that when wearing it the back was showing my hair, and I have short cut hair meaning my head was peaking out. To solve this I ended up taking another piece of cardboard and increasing the length creating a plan like look hanging off the back. I literally screwed it on which helped give it a good look. I also got another dark sheer material which I used to line the inside.
I then decided that shoulder cuts did not look right when I wore it, instead of giving up on the project like I wanted to at this point, I did something similar to what I did to the back. I created armor plate covers.
I needed a break from the head. So I went to work on both his apron and on the nurse outfit. For the apron I bought two white aprons from amazon, a short and a long. The long would be used for the back and the front would be used to cover the front. For the nurse outfit I found a supplier of simple nurse uniforms for nursing graduation and bought a white one. All three items would get three soakings in hot coffee to create an aged look. I also added the first wave of paint coloration on my apron to start creating that grit look. Liking what I saw I took a butane lighter to the edges of both outfits. I then proceeded to mark it with charcoal, paint in both brown, red, black and copper. I used red mixed with brown for old blood, and used special effects blood for fresh smears.


Next was to begin working on the head of the Nurse. I thought at first I would just wrap my girlfriend in bandages and then paint the bandages, but I wanted something that could be kept and reused and have the same look. So I went with plaster. Buying three rolls of thin cut plaster, I then took a plastic bag which I used to cover my girlfriend's head as I dipped the strips in water. I created the base of the mask by putting a X across her face and then simple wrapped her head in haphazard laps to create that bandage look. Carefully pulling the semi dry mask off her face, we placed the mask on a foam head and allowed it to dry over night.

Using a base of black acrylic paint I created dark edges where blood would be added and lots of black around the eyelets to help conceal the eyes when it was finished. I used red mixed with brown to start creating a dried blood look and placed that in areas that I then blackened. I used more black on a brush with light drags to create burn like marks across the plaster. I did attempt to burn the plaster with a lighter, it did not work very well and took too long, so paint was the only way.


 I then bought special effects blood that is made to dry looking wet. I filled in the opening with this gel and made the eyelets darker with red. I let my girlfriend continue to paint and add blood as she wanted since she would be the one wearing it. She added more black, more red, and had fun adding blood across it all.
Now I had to return to the pyramid head. I decided to blast it all with more coats of paint, focused on adding small rust detail with brown and copper. I then took random combinations of red/brown/black and smeared it across the areas with my hands. I then took the special effects blood from the nurse above and just allowed it to be poured across it at random.

I was much happier with it at this point.
Now we needed to add the finishing touches to it all. We took out outfits and using cheap halloween blood in a squirt bottle, we blasted the outfits with blood splatters. I bought a cheap fake spear, and using the bronze paint and blood repainted it from grey to brown. My girlfriend used a halloween hypodermic needle with a glow stick in the middle for her weapon. She also added a nurse hat to the top, she aged it the same method as we did the tops and aprons.

To give our own skin the ghastly look, we used white body paint, a water activated makeup set to make our bodies pale. I soaked one hand in blood and felt good about it. And that's it!