Sunday, January 1, 2012

Tutorial - Rat Claws: Emilie Autumn Style

A while back on Twitter, Emilie Autumn posted a picture of some Rat Claws that she made, along with the tweet “I sculpted new rat claws for the show. Make your own & come raise your paws, bare your claws, & toss your bras!!!” So, not to disappoint, I made some. Even though she isn’t coming to New Zealand, and there is approximately 0% chance of me seeing her live in America. Ah well.

For any Plague Rats lucky enough to be going to a show, or who just want to make some, here is a handy tutorial on how I made mine. Enjoy ^^

First, you need some bake-in-the-oven modeling clay, such as Fimo or a similar brand. These claws take up less than half a 50g pack per hand, so one 50g pack should be enough for two hands worth of claws. (I’m basing this on the pack I bought, results may vary).

Now, take a chunk, and flatten it out into a very rough elongated triangle shape.

This is the main part of the claw, so the length will vary depending on what finger you are doing. Your thumb should be the shortest claw, your middle finger the longest etc.

Then place it on your finger, making sure the proportions are OK. Now, start to sculpt it. I made my claws with a prominent ridge down the centre, but you don’t have to.

The claws should end up in an inverted triangle shape. If there’s one thing I learnt in school, it’s that triangles are a very structurally strong shape. Taper the end of your claws, but don’t be too fussy about having a sharp point. Also, the more ‘handmade’ and twisted these claws look, the better.

With the claw still on your finger, make a thin band to go around the rest of your finger, and attach it to the body of the claw. Smooth down the joins, and just generally neaten it up.

After making 5 or 10 of them (your choice) follow the instructions that came with your modeling clay to bake and harden them.

After you’ve baked them (and they’ve cooled down!), they’re ready to paint.

Unless, of course, you used black modeling clay. I recommend using acrylic paint. Warning: they are hard to paint. They have a lot of odd angles, but if you’re patient (unlike me) you’ll be fine. I painted mine black, but grey or even red could work too. Once the paint is dry, it would also be a good idea to varnish them. After that you’ll be ready to wear your shiny new rat claws!

Warning: They are quite fragile.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rat Queen Costume - Photoshoot

These aren't all of the pictures, just a few. I might upload some more later on, when I edit them and such. The last on is my favourite <3
A big thanks to my photographer Charlotte for doing this!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rat Queen Costume - The Finished Pieces

Finally. Four months and a whole load of rhinestones later, it's finished! These are just photos of the finished pieces, an actual photoshoot will follow soon...hopefully.
First up, the choker. I was having a hard time finding a brooch for the middle of this, as nowhere sells them these days. I eventually found this in Spotlight (a sewing store). It was meant to be a pendant, but I just glued a badge back onto it. It turned out really well, (I think I prefer this to Emilie's original one!)

Next up, the ears. These were a nightmare to make, since I HATE superglue. I always end up with it all over my fingers, and it hurts *sob*. I have discovered (a little late) that nail varnish remover gets some of it off. But now everything smells like nail varnish remover. Anyway, the ears turned out quite well, and I love how the feathers look, even if they aren't exactly grey. It used hairgel to get them non-fluffy. It was the only time i've said "Where do you keep the hairgel? I need some for my ears." Good times.

Now, the corset. It hasn't changed dramatically since my last W.I.P, but still. I've added the chains ($2 shop and old necklaces! Whoop!) and i've beaded the bottom. So much handsewing went into this, more than i've ever done before. I didn't mind it that much, though. I could sit and watch television or a movie or something, instead of being stuck behind a sewing machine. Many episodes of Downton Abbey, Child Of Our Time and Ace Of Cakes went into the making of this corset. Many thanks to all involved in making those shows.

Onto the bustle. This is quite hard to photograph without it just looking like a pile of random fabric, but believe me, it looks good. There aren't many pictures (that I could find) of the original bustle, so I just made most of this up. Because of this there are hardly any rhinestones on it, for the sake of my sanity. I'm really happy with how the distressing turned out. I used a stick of incense to burn the holes, but it only worked on the really fine chiffon. For everything else, I just attacked it with scissors and my nails. Take my word for it that it looks awesome when worn...

And finally the boots. As soon as I saw these I fell in love with them, and spent a rather ridiculous amount of money on them in the name of cosplay. Just to continue the theme, I added some rhinestones to the heels (they're not permanent!). Also, here is the finished sign from earlier.

So, that's the Rat Queen costume finished. What will I tackle next, I wonder...?