Status of the Site and Commissions

So, anyone who has tried to access the site in the last couple of weeks probably saw a very nasty warning page from google stating that the site was likely an attack site. This has been fixed! It seems my site was the target of a nasty bit of malicious code insert that tried to install malware whenever anyone visited it. I’ve been working with my hosting provider and the site is now clean again. If you have visited the site in the last 2-3 weeks and ignored the warning page, it wouldn’t hurt to run your favorite malware/virus checker just in case.
On brighter news, I have a few commissions slots open over the summer, but only for things which I already have the molds for. These items include:

I just won’t have time this summer to take on any new, custom commissions with my current workload and preparation for DragonCon. I will have time to prepare things I have already created molds for, however, and may also be able to provide any of the above listed items in kit form. Use the commission inquiry form to inquire.

Commission status and more client photos!

This is a post to explain the status of my commissions in the coming months. I am currently all booked up until August or September for custom commissions. My time will be taken up making gear for Megaman, Edward Elric, Felix Faust, Rosalina and Adam Warlock costumes; quite an eclectic mix, no?

However! I do still have some spare time in my schedule I can devote to filling some additional orders, so long as they require no sculpting, patternmaking and initial fabrication. This means that I can create anything that I already have molds for; jewelry, pauldrons, knives and staves! I have put together a list of what pieces I still have molds in good condition to make, with prices for the simpler things. For the larger pieces, just contact me with all of your particulars and I’ll get you a quote. For certain items, like Lightning’s Pauldron, I would be willing to sell resin kits. You’d get the raw resin casts from me and do the sanding, painting and assembling yourself. This is a good deal for folks with the time and skill to spare to do the finishing work and who’d like to save some money.

Here’s the list!

Quick turnaround pieces (2-3weeks maximum work time):

Final Fantasy 13

Snow’s NORA necklace: $45.00 Image
Snow and Serah’s Engagement Necklace: $45.00 Image
Serah’s Earrings: $15.00 Image
Lightning’s Necklace: $20.00 Image
Lightning’s Coat Hardware: $85.00 Image Image 2(One D buckle, One large slide buckle, four slide buckles, three three point buckles, four square fasteners, four silver “grommets”, six gold disks) I can create just parts of the set as well, contact me for individual prices.
Lightning’s Bullet Holders: $20.00/pair Image

Final Fantasy 6
Terra’s Earrings and Necklace: $50.00 Image


I can also cast colored, foil backed clear gems, including special effects such as opalescence, pearlescence, embedded items and create custom clay settings. Examples Here and Here

Moderate turnaround pieces (2-3 weeks turnaround):
Contact me for prices, as options affect the price.
Lightning’s Pauldron Image
Lightning’s Survival Knife Image
Snow’s Badge/Amband Image
Light Staff from FFXI Image Image

I already have a large stock of small parts, including many necklaces needing only a few days to assemble and complete, a large stockpile of jacket hardware and several cast resin gems which can be sold as-is or foil backed:

Just shoot me an E-mail at joy (at) or use the commissions form!


I also have the pleasure of postinga photo of a really lovely client from France with one of my Survival Knives!

This amazing costumer can be found at her site, HERE, or at her facebook site HERE.

Take care out there, and expect to see a new video documenting a really fantastic process I’ve started using soon!

More props and jewelry in action! And some WIPs!

I have some amazing photos of one of my favorite clients in her Lightning costume! She is sporting one of my pauldrons, bullet holsters, belt buckles, coat grommets and gold circle details. Her Snow is also sporting one of my NORA necklaces! Their group is quite fabulous, and you should definitely check out the rest of their set.


There are quite a few more shots of this amazing group HERE.

And the photographer’s work can be found HERE and HERE, and hey, a fellow prop maker!


And now, what has been keeping me busy:

Growing close to completion on this baby here, and I couldn’t be happier with the way it’s looking.














And here, from a super fun commission, I’ll leave it to you guys to figure out what it is for now!

Been a while, eh? I’ve been busy!

So, Dragon*Con has come and gone, and it was a sad year for us. A few hours Saturday meandering the halls was nowhere near enough! Ah well, there’s always next year.


The bench has been pretty full the last month or so, filling orders for the fall convention scene. Here’s what’s been keeping me busy lately:













Arika’s Blue Sky Sapphire from My-Otome. Used a new technique on the gem in this, added a layer of some color shifting nail enamel to the back, the gem has the super cool aqua to sapphire opalescence. Sculpey, metal findings and a cast resin gem.















Ah, old school. These little earrings are for none other than the Dark Lady from Sailor Moon. Snagged some really awesome AB jet prism drops from an etsy seller, they have a very cool gold to rich purple metallic rainbow finish to them. Those caps were quite a feat to sculpt as well, they’re only 1cm tall! The full earring is about 3.5 cm in length. Sculpey with Swarovski prisms and metal findings.












And here we have Himeno’s tiara from Pretear. Started making my own molds to use with clear resin, and I’m very pleased with the results so far. This piece is attached to a wire headband for ease of wear. Photo taken on top of my Lightning wig, I don’t think she’d be caught dead wearing something so cute and girly! Sculpey, Resin, clear resin and a wire headband.

















A seemingly simple commission, The artwork version of Eclair’s earrings from La Pucelle Tactics. The problem? South Georgia’s summers are pretty much constantly 50% humidity or higher, so the paints I was using on this threw some hissy-fits. A little patience and some time with a heat gun eventually gave me a nice, even, pearly coat. Plastic, faux pearls and metal findings.














Yet another NORA necklace, I wasn’t happy with my old photos of this necklace, so I took a few new shots of my latest commission for one.


Now, I swear I took better photos of these next two commissions before I sent them out, but for the life of me I cannot find them, so a few phone photos will have to do.












Jason Todd’s (The Red Hood) dagger from Batman. This was a learning experience for sure, and I shamelessly pilfered a technique from one of Volpin’s step-by-step posts to create beveled edges without pulling your hair out. A ton of gap filling and wet sanding was also required, but the results were well worth it. The blade is super smooth and very shiny and the whole piece just -feels- right. I tell you, every time I held this thing I couldn’t resist the urge to make dagger fighting poses and slash it around. The dagger is 100% cast in resin, with a central metal post for support.










And here is the final finish on the handle. The comic goes back and forth on color a lot, but the client and I eventually went with a dark wood grain. Been a while since I drybrushed a wood texture, but I’m exceedingly pleased with the result.



















And now..the strangest request I have gotten yet! A nearly life-sized plush sheep! Now, it all makes sense when you know the character this prop will accompany, this sheep is the base for Deadpool’s meadowlands sniper sheep cannon! I don’t normally do sewn commissions, but I have a fair amount of experience sewing plush, and I felt confident I could give my client a quality sheep. The problem? You try finding a realistic sheep pattern. I ended up completely drafting this pattern from scratch, and certainly took some editing, but I’m truly pleased with the results. Hey, maybe I could market these to all the Catherine costumers, what do you think? Faux sheepskin, polyfill, poly-suede, buttons, galvanized steel wire in legs for support.


So! That’s it from me today, but expect more soon, the bench is still inundated with work and I’d like to put up another tutorial soon, so keep an eye out!



Lightning’s Pauldron – With lights!

So, after some help from my husband on the soldering, I’ve finally got the Pauldron glowing!


Lights on in normal lighting:


Lights on in dim lighting:


Lights off:


Love love love this wire! The batterypack/control box is going to go in a pocket inside my vest so I can reach in and shut the lights off as needed. Much love to the guys at for an excellent product.

Personal projects, since sometimes I like to do things for ol’ number one.

So, while commissions are curing/drying, I scrape some time to work on personal projects. I’ve been slowly putting together Lightning, and have an update on the pauldron. The one I did the tutorial on, while an excellent visual tutorial, turned out to be way too small, so I had to sculpt a new one from scratch. I nearly have it done, just need to do the final straps to attach it to the coat (these in the photo are just placeholders) and order some EL wire to rig up and it’ll be ready to wear!

Also, I’ve been working on a costume for Idunn, goddess of immortality, from the Marvel comics series, Thor, since she recently got a new and kick arse outfit:


I’ve got the horns sculpted and three of them cast up, and I started on the center piece. I backed some eva foam in cardstock, engraved in the patterns and added the raised ovals with some carefully applied hot glue blobs and..voila!


Going to re-do the gem in proper resin, that one is just a quick hot glue gem.


Well, that’s it for tonight, But there will certainly be more to show over the next week.

Stay classy

Progress/Tutorial – Sculpting and casting Ligthning’s Pauldron

So, I finally made the jump from small scale bit and pieces for jewelry, up to making armor pieces. I went ahead and took a fair amount of photos during the process so I could make a small tutorial. I am by no means an expert, but have received some very wonderful advice from fellow casters.

First, the Materials List:

  • Plastalina clay (any non-sulfur clay can be used, including kleen clay and chavant)
  • A base to sculpt on, in this case, a paper mache and foil shoulder form
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Sculpting tools, whichever works for you
  • Rebound 25 brush-able mold rubber
  • Thi-vex thickening agent
  • Smooth Cast 321
  • Plaster Cloth
  • Plaster
  • Aluminum foil
  • Disposable chip brushes
  • Loads of mixing cups and stirring sticks

The sculpting:

First, get your plastalina onto your form and into the very basic shape. This stuff is easily hand worked, never dries and very smooth. Once it’s into the basic shape, start forming it into a more refined shape. In this case, since I was making a very smooth sort of pauldron, my first order of business was to get it symmetrical and round.I did so by rolling the form and clay around on my cutting mat, rotating and pressing it until I had a nice, round surface. I also took this time to go ahead and trace the outer edge, ensuring symmetry. Alcohol can also be used to help smooth the surface, just apply some to your finger or the area you’re tooling to help lubricate things.

Now you can start working on details. In this case, I needed a raised edge all around the piece. Sculpting this to be round and smooth all around would have been a nightmare, so instead I rolled out some long, thin rods of plastalina and sliced them in half lengthwise with a hobby blade. These were then applied to the edge I traced earlier and gently pressed into place, taking time to smooth the joints.

Now it was time to start on her rank strips. These were cut from a rolled out sheet of plastalina and applied in the same way as the rim.

After all this working, there will inevitably be a few nick, dents and bumps in the clay, so be sure to deal with those before you’re finished. I also took the time here to press in guide holes for the EL-wire and for mounting to the costume.

Mold-making and casting:

Now, time to mold! Make sure your piece is smooth, free of flaws and the surface clean. Get all of your matierials into your working area, and have more mixing cups, stirring sticks, paint brushes and paper towels than you think you’ll need.Also, ensure you’ve given yourself enough time to finish. Brushable silicone layers need to be applied at a very specific time, and if you stop doing so and go to bed, the next layer is not gonna stick when you come back to it.  I gave myself four hours for this particular silicone.

Before pouring, you’ll have to build a wall around the model, otherwise, the silicone will just run allover your table. I have a bag of plastalina solely for wall building, you can see the ridge I’ve built around the edge here:

Measure and mix your silicone according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to mix until there are no streaks, scrape the side often and mix gently. Don’t whisk, beat or frappe this stuff, you’ll incorporate air bubbles, which are very bad. For the first coat, don’t thicken the rubber, this coat is just to coat it thinly and get every nook and cranny of the prototype. Dab very gently with your brush, trying to not warm your sculpture or incorporate any bubbles.

(now enter the area where I have no photos)

Now, for Rebound 25, you leave this for about an hour, but start checking it at the 50 minute mark. It will be ready for the next coat when it’s tacky. Tacky means that when you touch it with a gloved hand, it’s sticky, but material does not come off onto the glove itself. The next layer can be mixed now, and I added Thi-Vex to this layer to thicken the rubber, since now I need more support. You only need a few drops.This thickened rubber should be the thickness of rich cake frosting, and can go on in a very thick layer compared to the first. Apply with strokes instead of dabs and smooth with a stirring stick if necessary. Allow this to cure for the same amount of time as the first, check for tacky, and repeat until your mold is at least 3/8th of an inch thick. Then allow the mold to cure for it’s full time, which in rebound 25’s case is 6 hours from the time of the final coat. Do -not- remove the mold from your prototype yet!

After it has cured completely, we need to make what’s called a mother mold. This is a rigid shell that will give the floppy rubber the proper support and shape when you cast in it. This is a completely rigid layer, which means on a piece like this pauldron with undercuts and such a deeply round shape, I would never be able to get the casting out if it were a one piece mold, so it must be two part. To do so, simply grab more of your plastalina and make a ridge on top of the cured silicone mold with your prototype still safely inside it. Make sure it is flush to the mold and then cover the ridge on one side with a bit of aluminum foil.

To make this mold, I chose to use a combination of plaster cloth and plaster, but any rigid, sturdy, moldable material is fine. First, I mixed up some plaster and painted a layer onto one side of the mold and up the ridge at least an inch. Once that cured, I wet my plaster cloth and added a layer of cloth atop the now cure plaster, then continued adding layers of plaster and cloth until I was satisfied with the thickness.

To make the other side, remove the plastalina ridge, but not the aluminum foil! This is the barrier between the two side of the mother mold. Now, repeat the process you used on the first side, bringing the plaster up onto the foil, also at least an inch. At the end, it should look a little like this:

Once all that dries/cures, it’s time to de-mold. First, carefully remove your mother mold, one side at a time. Next, grab one edge of the silicone and peel it off your piece. It should come off as easy as a banana peel, and you’ll notice it’s very floppy, this is why that mother mold is so important. Silicone molds do not support themselves. Clean the mold out with mild soap and water and allow to dry. You can see my three pieces here; mother mold, silicone mold and undamaged prototype sculpt.

Before casting, assemble your mother mold pieces together and hold them together either with rubber bands or clips on the ridge, place the silicone mold inside and make sure it fits snugly.

Now, for this piece, I did what’s called slush casting . This means I didn’t just fill the mold up to the brim with resin and let it set. I poured a small amount of resin (less than you think you’d need) and rotate the mold so that the resin rolls around inside and coats all of the edges. This particular casting resin has a pot life (time it remains liquidy) of about 8 minutes, so I sat there, slowly rotating and tilting the mold, making sure all areas were coated over and over, for the entire pot life. This give you a thin coat of resin inside the mold. Simply repeat this process until you have the thickness you’d like. I did there slush casts.

Here is the resin cast, next to the original sculpture in plastalina:

Now, pain, drill and distress to your liking! Here is my first practice piece. I painted it with hobby enamel and distressed it by hand. It’s not perfect (the edge rims aren’t supposed to be light green…whoops!), but everything is a leaning process in this workshop!

I hope this has been helpful to someone out there, and please do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have.