Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Central Coast Comic Con Cosplay (Whew...alliteration in your face!!!!)

Why hello there dames and gents, I am super excited to say I am working on my third/fourth cosplay of the con season....Black Canary for myself, and the new 52 version of Green Arrow for a friend. Green Arrow has so many fun toys that require plenty of creativity, ingenuity, and tears when trying to make them from scratch, but honestly my fingers have been itching to get into a complicated cosplay for a while. I will make tutorials for this one, who knows...maybe you need to learn how to make cosplay arrows too.

Today's tutorial, which I am super proud of by the by, is the first of several trick arrows from Ollie's quiver.
I looked online for existing tutorials on the subject and found great ones, but none for special arrows. I also looked up how to dye feathers on the cheap since getting custom neon green ones from the internet would cost me a pretty penny. Some plain white quill feathers with a few craft supplies, and tadaaaaa you've got bright green feathers ripe for the pickin'.

So how do you tackle making an arrow from a dowel, string, glue, feathers, and foam? Easy peasy (that was a complete and utter lie). You know that scene in Labyrinth...where all the stones are telling them to Go back, go no further, etc.? I wish I could insert that right here. Instead maybe I can try to help you with what I did/learned in making the first of many trick arrows. How I dyed feathers:
Mix paint, a small drop of dish soap , and water. Brush it lightly over both the front and back of the feathers.

They dry a little darker than they look wet, so the light green turned out neon!

The base of every arrow in Ollie's quiver is a dowel and three feather bits. Cut your dowels down to size (whatever size arrow shaft you want), and cut a groove in the feather end so it can rest on the bow string like a real arrow would.
I apologize for the blurriness and the fact that it is already painted, but you couldn't see the groove on the one pre-paint.

Paint them. Hint: Prime the dowel, or mix your paint with mod podge gloss or else the wood will suck it all in and you will have to put on thirty bazillion coats (yes...thirty bazillion).

Next, determine the size/shape of the feather bits. I chose a sort of leaf like shape that was about 2 inches long, and no wider than 3/4 of an inch which I sketched out on a piece of cardstock and cut out for a template.
I made three templates from card stock. They will bend or get chipped while you use them. It's best to have some just in case.
 I don't have a picture, but I used an X-acto blade to split the feathers right down the middle. This was somewhat difficult and dangerous, until you get a feel for it. If you aren't concerned about archers coming up to you informing you that your feather bits (I'm sure they'd use the correct terminology for them) are from left and right wing feathers you needn't worry about only using right wing feathers for each arrow or visa versa. I was mainly concerned on getting the over all look and color scheme right, and utilizing what I had to get it done.
Place your templates around on the feather, flat side against the middle, to see where you can get a full cut out. I ranged three to five feather bits from each quill (I split the feather down the middle, you can use both sides if you are trying to get all the bang from your buck.)
 Leave an 1/8 of an inch at the end of each feather bit for the string tie. They should look like this:

 Next...hot glue weeeeeee.  I piped hot glue onto the stem edge of the feather, and stuck it directly onto the groove end of the arrow shaft (dowel). Leave up to one and a half inches from the end for your fingers to be able to grip the arrow. Three feather bits per shaft. Then it's just a matter of wrapping the ends of the feather bits in string (ensuring they stay put and adding a nice decorative touch).

Now for this particular arrow I wanted the triple-barbed arrow...you have a ton of options for these trick arrow tips. Spray paint a piece of a toy arrowhead green, make one out of clay, cut it out of card board and duct tape, or like I did...craft foam Christmas tree shapes slid together and glued into the right position.

I will be making many more of Oliver's trick arrow heads which I will be putting on here for you guys. Stay tuned for the C4 cosplay projects, and many others...I swear I will get to those flat shoes!

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