Rocket’s gun

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I found a toy gun for $4, so my Rocket costume has a prop! Clearly a green shotgun is no weapon for a spacefaring raccoon, so I needed to make some modifications.

First, I added a bunch of cardboard. The second handhold was missing entirely, so that was first. Then I added a scope and bulked up the barrel.



I play a lot of Borderlands, so I decided to paint the gun in the fashion of a Maliwan. If it’s not elemental, it’s not a Maliwan! I mean, yes, Maliwan stopped making shotguns by Borderlans 2, but whatever. I like me some corrosive, incendiary, and shock damage. Here’s the final product!



bird wizard

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bird wizard

Face Off: knights!

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Did you SEE that finale? With the knights? And the fighting? Based on the pure awesomeness, I couldn’t pick the same inspiration object (heraldic shield) as the contestants. I took the leftover one. It featured scorpions and a crystal formation.

So, here’s the backstory for these guys. There was a space mining company that went out exploring extra-solar planets. They found one that looked promising, so they sent enough people down to start a colony. But, there was a huge disaster. Some people got infected by the crystals they were mining. They became a sort of hybrid crystal / human race. It gave them immunity to the toxic gases on the planet. Those who weren’t mutated went completely insane / violent. They started worshiping the scorpion (the company logo) and tipped their weapons with poison. They planned to leave the planet and kill / conquer other human settlements. The mutated crystal people did everything in their power to prevent that. The company cut their losses from the disaster, but never found out about the insane stuff that happened afterward. Fast forward a hundred years and all of the bullets are gone. Even the laser ones. The two sides fight with weapons and armor made from the bits of their original ship and settlements. The crystal knights tend to care for their equipment, so the guy below has some near-mint gear. Space knights!

scorpion knights


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Posted in Creative 2014, Short Stories | No Comments »

It’s another Terribleminds challenge – disease horror! Not sure it’s horrifying, but hopefully at least a little unsettling. Enjoy!

* * *

The first deaths came from a small village. A hunter raved about a plot of government oppression. Nobody believed the old man at first, but there was a growing sense of unease. A few days later, the scenario began to feel likely. Workers came through town the month prior. The taxes had been raised, their crops weren’t growing as fast as they should, and the news spoke of corruption in a nearby region.

They took axes to their homes, searching for surveillance equipment in the walls. When nothing was found, they turned on the hunter. He was hung for working with an enemy nation and forcing his neighbors into ruining their homes. But it was too late. The disease had already taken hold. Within days, the villagers’ symptoms worsened. Someone spotted a handful of large grasshoppers in the field. The citizens burned the land for fear of a pest swarm ruining their livelihood.

The fires drew the attention of the local government, who sent help. The presence of strangers sent the infected villagers into a panic-driven rage. Fire fighters fled after being assaulted. Soldiers marched in next to subdue the villagers. The fighting lasted two days. None of the villagers survived.

Those soldiers that had physical contact with the villagers soon displayed the same symptoms. They refused to leave their bunks. When dragged outside, they lashed out. The medical staff didn’t know what to do with them. It was seen as a psychological issue, so they were eventually diagnosed with PTSD. They were too afraid to go to any hospital for treatment. Instead, the soldiers begged to be allowed to stay in the barracks, where they might be safe.

Two weeks later, they complained of headaches and fever. By then, the virus had blanketed the army base. None of the medical staff would touch their patients for fear of any number of deadly diseases they might contract. Words like Ebola, Smallpox, and Botulism were tossed around. But, paranoia about bioterrorism prevented them from calling for outside help.

When the first soldiers died, nobody dared to speak about it. Many simply abandoned the base, seeking comfort at home. The outside world only worsened their panicking. A few were so desperate to escape their fears that they took the next flight out of the country.

The world news had always been sensationalized, but as the disease spread, even the lightest fluff articles were laced with dread. Medical experts started paying attention when whole populations appeared to be dying for no reason.

Autopsies revealed a virus affecting the brains of sufferers. The CDC and WHO released information on the panic disease. They hoped concrete answers would help those with the virus find the strength to seek out help.

That was when the riots began. Infected people were angry and scared by the news. They razed buildings and attacked any person they saw as a threat – including each other.

Those who remained clean didn’t fare much better. They huddled together in hidden safe areas. Anyone displaying even the slightest paranoid symptoms was thrown out. It was nearly impossible to stay unafraid when a dozen panicking assailants threw Molotov cocktails the next block over.

In one warehouse, days were marked on the wall. If they could hold out, uninfected, for three weeks, there was a chance they would survive. It was the biggest collection of clean people left in the world.

Two and a half weeks of hashes gave the people hope. They went on small supply runs. Very few of the panicked ones were seen lately. A real sense of calm was finally setting in.

That night, a little girl wailed in the corner. She struggled to free herself from her mother’s grip. Her eyes were wide with fear.

robo lady

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robo lady

Face Off: Giant sloth monster

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sloth monsterLast night was the penultimate Face Off this season. That means I won’t be doing these for a while, but also the bottom two designs were still pretty darn good. I just picked the sloth because, well, sloth. It’s a giant mutated monster that topples buildings and eats everything it can reach / stab.


Halloween 2014 – Rocket costume

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It’s my favorite time of the year again! I was stumped on costume ideas, but once this one was floated my way, it seems so obvious. I adored Guardians of the Galaxy. Saw it three times. Already pre-ordered the DVD. So why not be Rocket? Bert can be Groot!

I try to not go overboard on costumes, and spend under $50 as a rule. So, my Rocket costume will include a mask, tail, a BFG (nerf, repainted, might break my budget), and orange clothes with black (electrical tape?) detailing.

First up, the mask. I’ve made a few masks now, so I finally know where to put the eye holes so I still have some depth perception. I drew out the half pattern on folded notepaper to get the whole pattern. The forehead was a little short, and the nose space needed to come up higher, but that was an easy fix when I cut out the cardboard.


I found a piece of cardboard that bent in one direction, but not the other. I made sure I turned it so the mask would bend around my face when I cut it out. After cutting the basic shape of the face piece and a separate nose, I taped the two together. I had been planning on gluing later, but forgot. I hope it stays! Sorry, forgot to take a photo of the cardboard stage.

Gluing down the fur took longer than any other step, because I didn’t want the cardboard to show around the edges. I cut the fur a little bigger and (after the front dried) I went around the edges to glue, fold, and clip each part. I only have seven clips, so it took a while. The eyebrow and nose fur came next.

rocket-mask base

Rocket has some dark patches, too. I have some black fabric paint left over from my Batman hoodie (that silver wasn’t just silver – it would have been way too bright). An oil painting bristle brush worked perfectly for getting the paint deep into the fur fibers. The nose ended up being a scrap of fleece. I was going to do something else, like plastic or paint, but the fleece was easier and looks decent. Now I just need a ribbon around the back and I’m good to go!

rocket-mask finished

Next was the tail. Honestly, I wasn’t too picky here. I had some scrap fur, so I just eyeballed a tail shape. If I had taken the time to plan and cut a brand new piece, it would have been longer and wider. I sewed it up and gave it the same black paint treatment. Once it dries, it’ll get stuffed with some scrap fabric (Stuffing budget is going toward orange leggings). I imagine this tail is versatile enough to save for other costumes. Maybe somebody will be Sly Cooper? or a Nintendo character in a Tanooki suit? Or Rigby (OOOOOOH!)



Now, assuming I can find a nice, cheap Nerf gun, I’ll make another post about painting it.

Face Off: wildfire fairy

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wildfire fairy

This week’s Face Off was a beauty makeup mixing fairies with natural disasters. My take on it is a lot more costuming (fire dress would have lots of wispy ends to sew together) than makeup, but I like to hope it still counts. Her skin’s ash colored, but also glittery. One hand produces the fires, while the other hand rebuilds the forest after the burn. I only showed half the face, but it would likewise be mostly fire, with a tiny touch of green elements rising up to a slightly leafy eyebrow. Oh,, and the hair I would hope to do as a wig, not a sculpted cowl. Much easier to make fire hair if it’s thin and can move.

Almost voting time

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It’s almost election time in the U.S., and though it may not always seem like it, a single vote can matter.