Twenty Nine

Kyla Is Inspired | 29

Yep, today I turn 29…last year in my twenties! I usually don’t post personal items on my blog, but as I was digging through some old posts I found this list from when I turned 25…a list of things I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to share how I’ve accomplished these over the years as I enter the last year being a 20-something :)

Take a vacation
I went to Tokyo when I was 27. I doubt any vacation I take after that will be as good…though Disney last year was pretty great :>

Kyla Is Inspired | 29

Finish five cosplay costumes
I’ve probably made over 30 costumes since I turned 25. So yeah…I definitely accomplished this! Some of my favorites have been Princess Peach, Anna, Viktor & McCree.

Kyla Is Inspired | 29

  • Buy a new couch
  • Nailed it.

  • Don’t be afraid to go out after work
  • I’m not afraid; I just prefer staying in and having a lazy time :)

    Grow my bangs out
    Nope. I’ve tried many times but…I’m a bangs girl :) One of my goals when I was 24 was to dye my hair purple, and I think I managed that with my pink & purple ombre!

    Kyla Is Inspired | 29

  • Create video content
  • I may not make a lot, but I created a YouTube channel!

    I don’t have any goals for this year; I just want to enjoy the last year in my twenties. To my fellow blog friends: If you’re 30, do you really feel any different? And if you’re like me and you’re still in your 20s, do you feel like you need to accomplish big things before you hit the big 3-0?

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    McCree Cosplay Work Log | Part II

    I’m back with Part II of my McCree work log! Part I featured his hat, gun, and serape. Now we’ll tackle his arm!

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 2

    I was really nervous to start this project, but it was actually easier than I thought (but still difficult!), especially since I’ve never created something like this. It’s in 2 parts; the arm itself, and a glove.

    Let’s get into it!

    GLOVE
    I used Kamui’s tutorial as a guide for doing the glove. I bought these gloves on Amazon to use as a base, since they’re thick and black. I cut off the bow.

    Each finger has 3 foam sections (the thumb has 2) that are glued completely around the finger, allowing for movement of the joints. There are thicker foam layers on the back of the hand with knuckle joints cut out.

    The back of the hand, and center of the hand, each got foam glued to it. For the front, I layered 2 pieces of foam with cutouts at the knuckles, and added ovals where the knuckles go.

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 2

    ARM
    The arm portion was completed in one day while marathoning Altered Carbon on Netflix :) The base is a foam trapezoid shape which I layered four pieces of foam over to create a “staircase” effect. To make sure the foam layers stuck closely together, I used superglue and a hairdryer to shape the foam.

    I made sure that I was able to slip my arm and hand inside since I didn’t want to have to worry about closures and opening/closing the arm. It’s duct taped inside (high tech!) Sometimes it’s best to go simple and effective, especially since it won’t be seen.

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 2

    Then I stated working on details…since this was a more feminine version of McCree, I went a bit more stylized (and to help keep mobility at the elbow!) At the back “seam” of the arm, I added foam squares in 2 layers with a small triangle painted on in puff paint.

    The top of the arm (elbow area) is a rectangular piece of foam with a circle piece on top with dremmeled edges for a clean look. There are a few cutouts in the circle to give it a multi-dimensional look.

    The little knob on side of arm is actually a twist LED light (battery dead) that was already a circular shape with a little circle at the top. I glued it to the side and primed and painted it along with the arm. Gives a nice detail!

    The skull is a thin piece of foam layered over the top of the arm, layered on top of a thicker piece of foam (that covers up quite a bit of the mess underneath it with duct tape). Really, the entire arm is all based on layering of foam :P I free handed the shape based on reference pictures; I made it quite slim compared to his actual arm so that it takes up about 1/3 of the entire arm.

    [Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 2

    FINISHING
    I’ve never made anything so foam-heavy before, so I read a lot of tutorials on how to seal the foam before painting. I ended up using grey plasti-dip, which is like a spray paint. I then primed it white (so the color of the plasti-dip never really mattered) and sprayed it silver.

    The entire arm is weathered with black paint on a flat brush. I dip the brush in the paint then dab most of it off on a rag before applying it to the foam; I start light then build it more into cracks and brush it on larger surfaces to look like dirt. If anyone wants a more detailed tutorial on weathering, let me know!

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 2

    FINISHING
    The are a few finishing details to the arm that I think make it stand out, even without fancy LED lighting:

    • Knuckles: I hot glued some silver dots (not sure what they are, but they’re flat little round silver ‘dots’) to each of the 4 knuckles
    • Silver edging: To add depth to the skull, I painted a thin line of silver around the edges. This both acts as weathering (where the actual arm may have “chipped”) and as an added reflective surface to catch light. On any of the raised edges I also applied this technique.
    • Blue paint: In lieu of using LEDs, I mimicked the look of the blue lights by edging some of the pieces with a teal paint – obviously not the same effect, but it gives it depth. The triangle pieces in the back and the circle at the top of the arm both have this effect

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 2

    Phew! I was so pleased with this result. The fingers move and I have mobility in the elbow – not a ton, but enough to be able to navigate a con.

    As always, I hope this helps you in some way! And if you’re working on a McCree cosplay and have specific questions, just let me know :)

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    McCree Cosplay Work Log | Part I

    Hi everyone! So usually when I post cosplay-related posts, I’m posting the finished costume PLUS all the work involved. This year I want to step back and really break out the costume process into parts, and focus on sharing in small parts how I make costumes. Because honestly, it usually takes months and I tackle separate pieces individually.

    So! McCree is my first project of 2018. Part I will cover: Gun, Hat, and Serape. Lets go!

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 1

    GUN
    This was pretty straight-forward. The raw 3d print was a gift for Christmas, so I didn’t print it myself. It’s pieced together using screws provided from the etsy seller. The barrel actually twists out, which is a neat feature.

    All pieces were primed and sprayed silver, then individually painted with acrylics before assembling together with the screws and a generous amount of epoxy.

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 1

    HAT
    I bought this hat from Amazon and immediately removed the ribbon around it. I replaced it with a thicker band of upholstery faux leather from Jo-Anns and hot glued it down.

    The emblem on the front was also purchased before my 3D printer, and was found on etsy. After being painted and weathered, it was glued on.

    The gold eyelets were painted over with brown, and I attached bullets I bought on etsy (bullets were painted and weathered at the same time as the emblem). Everything is hot-glued on this hat…watch out for glue strings!

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 1

    BAMF BUCKLE
    I was REALLY excited about this belt buckle, since I was going to design and 3d print it.

    The print itself was first drawn in illustrator. The design of the buckle was fairly simple, and didn’t have a lot of raised edges. The rectangle shape, letters, and outer “lip” were all exported separately as .svg files. They were uploaded into tinkercad (which was a process to learn, let me tell you) and shaped into the correct size. Once that was complete, I printed it on my NEVA 3d printer!

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 1

    Once it was printed, I filled in the small gaps the printer left with gesso, primed, and painted it gold. I weathered it with some black paint. I haven’t actually added it to his belt yet :)

    SERAPE
    Despite a serape literally being one piece of fabric, the pattern for this was quite hard and took over half a day to get right. It ended up being 2 pieces; a square with a neck hole and a taped cowl neck that goes over the larger piece. Doing it this way made it more accurate to the drape McCree actually has. (I want to be completely honest here; I went through 4 yards of muslin and 4 patterns before I was happy with this).

    The fabric is a bright red, stiff fabric that I found in the bargain loft of my local fabric store…I wish I knew exactly what it was. It could almost be an outdoor upholstery fabric.

    I finished the bottom edges with gold edging that I had leftover from a previous project…it’s actually the “wrong” side of the fabric.

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 1

    The pattern stumped me more…and required a lot of math. I measured one side of the serape and left ~2″ off each end for the weird spacing on the pattern. I divided that by 5 (the number of shapes on each side) and drew out a pattern piece. It’s a little over 1″ wide. That was chalked onto the serape and taped over.

    I used a regular gold fabric paint for the “hexagons” and mixed white and gold for the triangles.

    For weathering, I sat with brown paint and water and hand added in spots to make the serape feel used/like McCree was actually using it in fights.

    Kyla Is Inspired | McCree Cosplay Work Log Pt 1

    So that’s part 1 of McCree, done! I hope this helps you out…keep your eyes out for part 2, which will be his mechanical arm!

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    NEVA 3D Printer Review

    Hey everyone! If you’ve been following me on instagram and twitter, you’ll know that for the past 6 weeks or so I’ve been testing out the NEVA 3d printer by Dagoma.

    Kyla Is Inspired | NEVA 3D Printer Review

    The folks at Dagoma were kind enough to send me this printer to try out and use for cosplay – and I’m so excited to share my review with you! You can watch my progress on the below video, or you can read a bit more about the NEVA and my progress below.



    About the NEVA

    The NEVA is an easy-to-use, plug and play printer that’s small and quiet – perfect for families. It’s quick to set up and perfect for people who have no prior knowledge of 3d printing. It comes with free software, already configured. The print size is 7″ wide x 8″ tall.

    Setting the NEVA up

    Setting up my NEVA was SO easy – it really does come almost ready to go out-of-the-box. The main body of the printer was all put together and all I had to do was attach the magnetic arms to the printer head and supports. It took around 30 minutes total for me to set up.

    Kyla Is Inspired | NEVA 3D Printer Review

    Using the Cura software

    Kyla Is Inspired | NEVA 3D Printer Review

    The Cura software does exactly what I need, no frills attached. I’ve never had any problems figuring out the settings or not knowing what something does. For my first test print I imported a .stl I exported from Tinkercad and that was it. It was automatically placed in Cura in the center, but I could move the object, scale it, rotate it and even mirror it. Once I selected the filament type from a drop down list, the temperature automatically was automatically selected. If I wanted to change the temp higher or lower, I simply selected “other filament type”.

    Kyla Is Inspired | NEVA 3D Printer Review

    The NEVA comes with an SD card and when you “prepare the print” from Cura, it will automatically re-write over the file on the card (don’t change the name of your file!). This file is already prepped and ready to pop into the NEVA.

    Printing & Troubleshooting

    I want to be honest here: my journey with the NEVA was less than perfect. I’m very happy with it now that I’ve figured out my issues, but I want to go through each as they may be more common than I think.

    Faulty Printer #1: First of all, the people that work at Dagoma are AMAZING and so kind. I was having issues getting good prints when I first got my NEVA and they invited me to a video call with them to troubleshoot. When some of their tips didn’t work they decided I had a faulty printer and actually replaced it with a new one.

    Kyla Is Inspired | NEVA 3D Printer Review

    Vibrations: I live in an old apartment and have downstairs neighbors. Unfortunately they complained about the vibrations from the printer traveling through the floor (I heard it and yeah, it was bad). So I had to think about padding the printer – I achieved a happy balance by adding a thick layer of EVA foam under the desk holding the NEVA. Similar to this, I had to move the NEVA to a sturdier table – any wiggle in the platform holding the NEVA will cause more vibration.

    Kyla Is Inspired | NEVA 3D Printer Review

    Calibration & Adhesion: One of the great features of the NEVA is that it self-calibrates each time before a print, and there’s no need to do anything after you insert the SD card. Unfortunately I kept having issues during calibration – the printer would stall at one of its checkpoints, the printer would calibrate outside of the build deck, and twice the printer head actually dented into the surface.

    Kyla Is Inspired | NEVA 3D Printer Review

    I was using blue tape over the build deck to improve adhesion (per the recommendation of the folks at Dagoma from my video call). I just folded the tape over the sides…don’t do this! I strongly believe the printer was registering these tape edges as a larger surface than it actually was. Once I trimmed the tape to the edge, my calibration issues were fixed! I only wish I knew that sooner :)

    Kyla Is Inspired | NEVA 3D Printer Review

    Print quality

    Once I was able to nail down and fix the issues I was having, I was beyond thrilled with the results. The prints are smooth, easy to attach together and look amazing. I’ve tried hollow prints all the way through .1mm and all the settings yield great prints. Honestly, I’m upset that I haven’t been using a 3D printer sooner than this!

    Kyla Is Inspired | NEVA 3D Printer Review

    The bottom line

    I HIGHLY recommend the NEVA printer, whether you’re a first-time 3D printer or not; the NEVA creates easy and high-quality prints and at a budget cost, too. I have to admit, it was pretty amazing that I could literally just head to my printer and make DVa’s gun when they announced her new skin, instead of having to purchase something on etsy. Plus, I’ve printed all kinds of non-cosplay items already too, like a stand for my PS4! The possibilities are endless,

    I’m so excited to use this printer more and see what kinds of cool cosplay accessories I can create! If you’ve ever thought about 3D printing…the NEVA is right for you. Be sure to check out their website!

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