Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sakura - Clow Wand - Cardcaptor Sakura

I'm back from hiatus guys, so let's look at the final part of my Sakura costume series--lets talk about the Clow Wand!

The wand was the only part of the costume that I did not have time to build for the original debut of the Sakura 1st Opening costume at AN 2013. Instead it was built for the Sailor Suit version for Otakon later that summer.

Once again shout-out to EleventhPhotograph for doing both the quick pics at Otakon and the awesome shoot this fall.

You may notice a slight difference between the photos from the school uniform shoot and the 1st opening outfit shoot I did over a year later--I redid the paint-job on the wand. Because the wand was originally painted in the hotel room the night before the con with acrylic paint and no reference picture. And I got the colours (based on the anime and not the manga illustrations) wrong! Yes, this does happen. (The eyes are pink like the handle and not red like the beak--whoops!) So, for subsequent events I had it repainted with spraypaints and finished it with a nice gloss coat to give it some extra shine. The gloss coat looks much better than the flat colours alone.

Also, at AN this past year I dropped the wand and broke it, chipping the beak. After fixing that I had to repaint it a third time.

I haven't built as many prop-heavy costumes in recent times (Splatoon doesn't count because I didn't build the props!). Props is where I started, and I would really like to get back into making more props. But I am always drawn in by more fabric construction heavy costumes I suppose?

Without further ado, lets get started talking about the build. I began by sketching out the wand at full scale based on the reference photos. Once I was satisfied I used my sketch as a template to make the 4 wing pieces out of styrene. Did I mention I am still working on leftover materials from the Asuna armour? Because I am.

I also used this to cut out the basic shape of the bird head in insulation foam. I cut out a place to stick the rod up the center.
I used a dowel for the rod. I suppose the wand could have been lighter if I had used a pvc pipe instead of a dowel, but I totally didn't think about that until way later and by that point it was too late to swap it out without restarting.

I cut 2 more copies of the insulation foam bird head shape and glued these to both sides. Then I started carving.

Then I cut two angled slits in the back to stick the first two wings. These were glued in place.

Then I used apoxie sculpt to add the raised details. I also used apoxie sculpt to make the detail on the bottom end of the rod. I had to do that in 2 stages though because the sculpting material tends to not want to stick to what I want it to. So I made a base layer in the approximate shape and then built up a smooth layer over top.

Once I was satisfied with the sculpt I sanded it down a bit. Then I glued the top wing on and built up the eye detail with more apoxie sculpt.

Then I sanded down the beak and painted over a few layers of gesso.

From this point onwards Clow Wand version 1.0 was finished in poor lighting in a hotel room using acrylic paints. The picture at the top of the article was the resulting paint job. Not terrible, but I was not satisfied.
I sanded off the majority of the original paint job so I could start with a more or less smooth surface. I decided to completely redo the paint job to better match the original Sakura costume.

I carefully used some leftover Shell Shock to paint a thin coat over the unprotected foam beak surface (this is what chipped off when I dropped it a year or so later).
Using copious amounts of painters' tape to mask other areas, I began the paint process first with the gold. Then I hand painted the pink areas with acrylic, before re-masking and moving on the the red areas.

I finished the whole piece with nearly an entire can of gloss coat applied in many thin layers. 

This prop was pretty easy to make, it just took a bit of time with dry times, cure times, and sculpting times. 

And that's it folks! After years of waiting, I finally finished documenting my Sakura costume! Haha

Stay tuned: Vaporeon is coming up next!

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