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Dawn from the Joseph M. Linsner comics

Competion Costume

| San Diego Comic Con 2000 Most Beautiful Trophy & Comic Gallery prize

Dawn is the illustrated creation of J. M. Linsner.
This was the first attempt at making armor.
Since it was just for me, it actually went a bit faster than when I was putting together the Angela costume.

I think the hardest part was finding the correct fabric.
I was able to find a real fabric store (not Joannes/Walmart) that had the correct color, type of fabric & the stretch needed to make the main body.
Basically I just altered a workout pattern to suit my needs for a sleeved, full legged outfit.
The puffed sleeves (too bad you can’t see the detail) were easy & the gloves came together quickly.
The under boot pieces took a bit longer & I eventually added more trim to the front of the legs. The back skirt was sewn on while I was wearing the green bodysuit & then trimmed to the correct length.   The skulls had to be hand painted on while I was wearing the center section. A sheer underlayer, painted to mimic me in the buff, was worn under the skull layer giving more depth to the whole costume. Two of the sides had to be sewn onto the green bodysuit while I was wearing it to make sure everything looked smooth.

The armor was all hand sculpted from a dense foam. Each piece was measured to fit my frame. Once that was done, a lightweight layer of clear plastic was vaccuformed over the foam to keep it from breaking. The next step was to vaccucform a thicker layer of plastic over the armor pieces, so that I could pour plaster into these to get my master vaccuform pieces.
With the final bucks in plaster, any imperfections could be easily fixed. Each plaster piece had to have several small holes drilled through them. This allowed the hot abs plastic to correctly vaccuform around each piece. I managed to snap the first drill bit & cut my hand the first night. Luckily it was only a surface cut.
After each piece had been vaccuformed, it had to be cleaned for the detail pieces. The detail piece was actually rubber tubing I found in a auto supply store.
It runs around the edges of all the armor pieces so no sharp edges are seen or felt. Once that was glued on & cleaned up, each piece went into primer. It was easier from there to see where any problem areas were. Once a few coats of primer were added a layer of silver paint was added to mimic real metal.
Here’s where the fun starts: The paint I liked the best is a chrome bumper paint. The only problem is it takes forever to dry, if it dries. But it looks really great!
Once each piece was finished (the last piece had to be redone twice before it took) it was placed in a warm, clean area where it could dry.

My boots were found at a thrift store. They were cut down a bit to accommodate the boot guards. Three layers of leather were added to simulate armor on the toes. A strip of Velcro on the inside fronts of the guards held them in place while I walked. The boots had to be painted w/the same chrome paint to match the armor. I think I still have silver paint in my lungs. *wheeze*
My hair is dyed in the photos.

Testimonials

  • Andrea did an amazing job on my costume for Comic Con. Not only was there fantastic attention to detail it was actually comfortable to wear, which is saying something when it’s 85 degrees and you’re clad in vinyl! Thanks so much!

    - Verona as PANDORA from Guitar Hero
  • Andrea’s designs added enormous visual appeal to my last film, and were a powerful tool for revealing character. But beyond that, her attention to the details of how the costumes would be used –how the actors would need to move in them and in what environments– proved critical when we got around to filming fight scenes in hot weather. I can’t recommend her highly enough.

    - Keith Hartman, Director of REAL HEROES
  • When we needed period costumes for our choir’s Renaissance Christmas pageant, Andrea was our go-to person.  We were pleased with the quality and the quick turn-around time.  Her attention to detail made the costumes pop, and added that “something extra” for our performances.

     

    - Dennis Schamp, Bass Section Leader San Diego Mesa College Chorus
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