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The Mysterious Stranger Costume Build, Part 3 Elbow Guards and Gauntlets

Now i went through several versions of these before I settled on what i liked. So you may do the same.

Here’s what I recommend for the elbow guards: make sure the substrate is hard, not flexible like foam, even though foam is lighter. The reason for this is simple, when you bend your elbow, the things will flex and slide down. A hard surace will not do this

My recommendations for the gauntlets: Do NOT use something hard to make these, simply for the opposite reason. You want these to be lexible and light weight, otherwise your gloves will get all jacked up. Believe me! i got so sick of touching up paint!

;

ELBOW GUARDS:

These were really easy, providing of course that you have the right materials. So here’s what you’ll need:

  • sintra or a similar material (This material is largely used by sign makers. I bought a giant sheet of 6’x8′ for like $60 from a sign shop who was willing to sell it to me, and it was more than enough to make this costume and a couple others. however, if you can’t find this, some websites for cos-playing sell a product called wonderflex, though it is much thinner. and more expensive. However, I’ve heard it is easier to work with *shrug* I prefer durable.)
  • a bakeable or dryable clay like sculpy Light Weight
  • Acrylic paint in the color red (I premixed a giant tub of this with an air tight lid, just so I could make certain that the whole costume was the same color) Do NOT use the premixed colors in bottles. They do not work. You MUST buy the squeezy tubes and mix your own color
  • a length of nice red cording or rope, length depends entirely on your elbow circumferance
  • velcro
  • glue
  • sand paper
  • wax paper
  • resin (this is optional, but I find that on armor, it thickens the substrate, keeps everything in place, and preserves the color, and I’ve developed a method of painting that keeps the finished product from being shiny This can be a bit pricey, but if you intend to keep and wear this multiple times, it is so worth it) You can find resin in any craft store like michaels or joanns
  • a box cutting knife or a pair of craft sheers for cutting the sintra
  • mittens or yarn gloves
  1. cut a small piece of sintra in a rectangular shape that measures large enough to cover your elbow and stretch over it a bit. To cut, you will need to be very slow and methodical. You must score the cut first, or when you cut, you will shatter the surface. I typically score the exact line, and then cut outside of that, this seems to be absolutely perfect, and if the shape needs trimming, I just shave the edges with an exacto knife
  2. heat your oven to 250 or 275 F and when it’s up to temp, slip these pieces into it on a cookie sheet. When they become floppy and flexible (you’ll become more adept at handling this, the more you work with it) remove it rom the oven WEARING GLOVES (like standard mitten type gloves)
  3. bend this heated sintra over your elbow (only if wearing long sleeves) or over a cup. i used a plastic glass that had about the right curvature.
  4. sand the edges and the surface to remove the sheen from the sintra so that paint and glue adhere
  5. make four tiny scales out of your clay to embellish the outer surface of the elbow guard. Or if you like, you can try to get a better look at the movie or add your own unique touches!
  6. after baking and cooling these, glue them to the guards.
  7. In order to make the embossed edges of the guards, I covered the edges with foil to make a kind of form, then molded clay over this, removed the form from the guard, and put the clay-covered foil form in the oven and baked it. The clay then slips of the foil and onto the edges of the guards. If you have gaps or whatnot, you can fill it with standard wall plaster filler (for holes in walls, but this is not that important, because when you coat with resin, it smooths everything out.). Glue these in place
  8. Paint the whole guard, except for the back.
  9. Cut the cording to the desired length and attach the velcro to the ends and onto the inside of the guard.
  10. mix your resin (you’ll only need a very small portion- less than a quarter cup) and coat the outside of the guards (with the cording taken off)
  11. set these aside in a well ventilated area to dry for 24 hours
  12. go out and check tackiness every couple hours. When the resin becomes tacky but not enough to leave finger marks, paint it again, being careful of the drying resin (this removes the shiny from the resin)
  13. once the resin is completely set, you can lightly sand and paint, then do more resin if you like.
they should be complete and wearable.
GAUNTLETS:
These are made entirely out of crafting foam.
What you’ll need
  • a large sheet of paper for the pattern piece
  • several sheets of dark brown crafting foam (how many depends on how many scales you need, but one sheet per arm forms the base)
  • paint in the red color of the suit
  • hot glue and hot glue gun
  • white glue
  • varnish
  • wall spackle material
  • masking tape
  • a cup about the size of your arm, or if you cant find one big enough you can always use a poster tube or something like that.
  1. make your pattern. This might take some work, because essentially, you want the gauntlet to look like a cup, not like it’s missing a bit on one side, which is what it will look like if you just draw a curve. I have small orearms, which means I just found a plastic cup that was about the right size and shape, rolled it over the paper and traced its path
  2. use the pattern, now complete and exact, to cut out the foam bases for your gauntlets.
  3. tape the gauntlet skeleton around whatever object is standing in for your arm (to create the rounded curve and form a stand so that you can work) BUT TAPE ON THE INSIDE the reason will become clear
  4. using your scale templates, cut out a bunch of individual scales from your other brown foam sheets. Heat press, prep, and paint these just as you did or the skirt and shirt.
  5. When the scales are all made, begin applying them one by one, gluing them in place with the hot glue. IMPORTANT NOTE: It is esential that you lay a full scale across that gap of the edges. this will seal the arm gauntlet shut and make it just a slip on bracelet type appliance Stagger the scales just as you have done before. make sure their points are pointing toward the elbow, not the wrist. The reason for this is simple, it’s more realistic and it mimics the armor in the movie.
  6. Once you have applied all the scales, you can paint all the gaps and holes.
  7. using wall spackle and hot glue (or whatever other material you like) build up the wrist edge of the gauntlet in order to make it fuller and more sturdy.
  8. You’re almost done! Remove th gauntlet from its form and take the tape from inside. Hot Glue as much of the inside seam as you can and then when it’s dry, paint whatever parts of the inside can be seen.
IMPORTANT NOTE: you will have to stagger the scales in a strange way, because the gauntlet tapers toward the wrist. meaning that you will need to squeeze out a scale on your way toward the wrist.
If you look through this blog, you’ll see i made these first out of clay and sintra. Each one weighed about two pounds. They were bulky, heavy, painful, wrecked my gloves, and made my arm muscles ache. They also were not as cool looking as the foam ones. So i suggest sticking with the foam which is incredibly durable. If you are obsessed with these holding up, you can coat them with a couple layers of resin, but honestly, the thick crat foam, hot glue, and the edge made of plaster is very very sturdy. It feels like wearing a super light tree trunk.
as you can see, you cannot tell the difference between the two materials. There is no diference in color or texture. They both look the same and they both look like clay.

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