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11  Assassin Costume for my 12 year old! in Costumes: Completed Projects by ChainCrafts on: December 27, 2011 04:42:07 PM

I made this outfit for one my 12 year old's christmas presents this year. When he moves his thumb in just the right direction, it triggers a spring release and daggers shoot out of the sleeves! Then, when he wants to retract the blades, he raises his arms and cables hidden inside his sleeves attached to a belt pull the blades back into their "loaded" position.

Since I didn't think it would be a very good idea to give sharpened, spring loaded, concealed daggers to a 12 year old... I made the blades out of aluminum and was sure to leave them completely dull Wink

Here's a video of the blades in action:

Now I'll need to be careful to check every dark corner when I walk around our house at night......
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12  Lord Bearington, Duke of Grizzlyshire in CHALLENGE 69 ENTRIES by ChainCrafts on: December 04, 2011 09:51:07 PM

Some of you may remember this little guy. Back in September, he was strapped to my daughter's torso while she was fighting zombies:
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/293695_280803155264726_176049985740044_1225082_726371457_n.jpg [Edited to remove broken image insert]

And at the time I had made him a little helmet. My daughter loved the helmet so much that for Christmas this year I thought I'd go a step further and create an entire suit of armor for her favorite teddy bear. She's had the Bear since she was born and it's one of her most cherished possessions. To create the armor, I had to sneak into her room at night and borrow the bear. To put on the finishing touches tonight, I said I had to borrow him to wash him (now I have to actually wash him otherwise she'll know something's up).

And so, I present to you, Lord Bearington:

His chainmaile is made from 16 gauge, 5/16" Stainless Steel rings woven in a European 4-1 pattern. It includes flaps for the shoulders to support the spaulders(Shoulderplates).

Like the chainmaile, his Spaulders are also made from stainless steel. These are a scale model of a modified style of medieval spaulder and include tiny straps and rivets on the inside for articulation. They are attached to the chainmaile shirt via 2 rings. [after forming the plates, I carefully rounded all of the edges with a fine metal file for safety's sake Wink ]

The trim of his shirt is made from stamped, nickle-plated mild steel scales.

His simple, warrior's circlet(crown) is made from the same material as the spaulders; a strip of stainless steel.

His greaves(shin guards) are made from chunks of a leather belt held together with rivets. (I put my hands in this picture so that you could get a sense of the scale of the bear Smiley )

Finally, when his Lordship grows tired of the burden of his armor, he can remove it and stow it for future use! Cheesy

*a special note* the bear's real name, as given by my daughter, is actually Jinx (formerly just "Bear"). Lord Bearington just felt like a more appropriate thing to call him as I pieced together his armor.
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13  Madman With Mechanical Hands in Halloween Costumes by ChainCrafts on: November 03, 2011 09:04:53 AM

*note* [the photos in this post were taken by a professional photographer, Jen Owen of Jen Martin Studios, and have been used with her explicit permission]

For Halloween this year I got to wear a set of Mechanical hands that I made from scratch! (horrible pun intended) I wore them to work, downtown, a bakery & even to a restaurant. Luckily I had someone with me to take photos and lend me a hand with tasks that required fine motor skills.

Here are some images of our adventures:

Then, as a grand conclusion to the day, we went to a park and made a video of me terrorizing my daughter and her friends:

Monstrous Mechanical Mits and a park full of children... they go together like cake and icecream
[No children were genuinely terrified in the making of this video... except perhaps my nephew who is now questioning his uncle's sanity]
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14  Fun with License Plates!! in Costumes: Completed Projects by ChainCrafts on: October 15, 2011 10:56:51 PM

I've been slowly amassing a collection of license plates.... I now have enough to start playing with them.....

and making..... [bad pun warning]....... Plate-Armor!

I have all sorts of armor projects planned with these things Smiley
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15  Mad Max Costume in Halloween Costumes by ChainCrafts on: October 11, 2011 06:16:05 AM

My most recent custom project for one of my clients was to create some items from Mad Max's outfit in "The Road Warrior" for them to wear on Halloween. The project is now complete! I've created his shoulder armor, leg-brace and knee pad. I've been wanting to do a project like this for a long time and It's been a ton of fun!

For all of the pieces I first made them all shiny and new... and then attempted to subject them to months worth of abuse in just a few minutes to make it look like the outfit's been through the wastes and back. My client found the jacket and sent it to me to be modified. It's an awesome coat and was already perfectly worn and beat up!

My client was kind enough to send me some extra belts to work with, which certainly were handy!

After experimenting with various pre-fabricated bits of sports equipment, I ended up deciding to create the entire knee-pad from scratch. I started with closed cell foam padding, leather and rivets and ended up with this.

This was one of those projects that a part of me wishes I could keep. I'll have to make another one in the future. Before I sent this out to my client, however, I couldn't resist providing a "WTF???" moment to a bunch of people during their morning commute:

"Disabled MFP Officer. Family killed by bandits. Dog killed by Raider with crossbow. Need petrol to get to Bartertown."

Bartertown or Bust!
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16  Re: !!Post-Apocalyptic Street Sign Armor!! in Costumes: Completed Projects by ChainCrafts on: August 04, 2011 12:47:12 PM
I've had a very similiar idea rattling in my brain for a while and you have just given me the gusto to (or at least attempt to) execute this myself. How did you get them so round? This is AMAZING, by the way. Definitely the cream of the crop

That's the tricky part Wink

There's many ways to go about it. I'll detail two of them for you. One requires less setup, but is a more difficult technique to execute. The other requires more setup, but is a far easier technique to execute.

For the first method, youll need:
-   a ball-peen hammer
-   Some sort of sturdy padding. The best is a 6x6 leather bag filled with lead shot, but you can get away with two layers of yoga pads or several layers of carpet padding etc.

For the second method, youll need:
-   A stump or a large chunk of heavy wood
-   Some scrap pieces of plywood
-   Some high durability 1/8 thick plastic (you can usually get awesome high-strength plastic barrels from your local car-wash for cheap or free)

With the plywood, plastic and stump, youll want to make one of these:

Its an Armoring Stump!!!
More pictures of my armor stump can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=260087104002998&set=a.256111591067216.73507.176049985740044&type=1&theater#!/media/set/?set=a.256111591067216.73507.176049985740044&type=1

Once youve built your hammering form, use the technique shown in this video to from your plates: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=260087104002998&set=a.256111591067216.73507.176049985740044&type=1&theater#!/video/video.php?v=247507378601363&oid=176049985740044&comments
(ignore the second half of the video as it shows a technique for rounding the edges)

This hammering technique is the same one that youll need if youre using the padding or leather bag method. The main difference is that using an armoring stump, the hammering form guides the metal into a curve for you, whereas with the bag method you have to carefully place and gauge the strength of your strikes to keep the curve uniform.

I built the sign armor before I had my armoring stump, so its definitely possible to make decent plates with the bag method. If you have the ability, however, I would highly recommend the stump method as it is way easier and faster!
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17  Headbanger doll made with real hair! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by ChainCrafts on: June 26, 2011 07:45:24 PM

Someone asked me if I would shave their mohawk off for them. I asked if I could keep the hair afterward, and they said, "Sure.....?" The end result, a little death-metal loving plastic person with genuine multicolored HUMAN hair! Huzahh!

This is what the little fellow looked like at the beginning.

To start the process, I drilled holes in his head for the hair!

Then, I cut a slit in the back of his head so I could reach in to pull the hair through (when I couldn't get the right angle through the other holes). I added holes on either side of the slit so that I could stitch it back together later.

I fashioned a hook out of a paper clip and used it to pull the tufts of hair through the holes.

Next, I used some left over scraps from armor projects to make a shirt and my wife made some tiny red pants for him!

Finally, I used some yarn to stitch the slit shut on the back of his head.

I was pretty happy with his head-banging abilities. I  posted a video on my blog of the creepy little guy rocking out Cheesy
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18  Angry Birds Table-Top Edition! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by ChainCrafts on: May 17, 2011 10:42:51 PM

My two youngest kids and I built a table-top version of Angry Birds! It's loads of fun and doesn't cost much to make! The materials needed are hard Styrofoam, balsa wood, pingpong balls, paint, Sharpies, rubber bands and a bit of cardboard. Here's a quick how-to on making it:

For the project we purchased a large sheet of about 1" thickness hard Styrofoam and balsa wood boards from a craft store. The first step was to decide on the length of our blocks and how many we wanted to make.

Next the blocks were cut out. I used a hand-held jig saw, but a coping or other hand saw would work just as well (the jig saw just makes the process much faster). After the blocks were cut we set about painting them. We tried to simulate the wood, stone and glass blocks from the game.

And here they are! The blocks finished and *almost* dry! While these were drying, my middle boy took on the task of creating the pigs and birds.

Our pigs and birds were made from pingpong balls. In the first picture of this post, you can see all of the birds/pigs we have so far. In the closeup above, you can see where we hot-glued some black beads to the bottom of the pigs to create their hooves and give them the ability to stay put until they're shot at.

With all of the components made, it could then be enjoyed!!!
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19  !Tutorial link on how to make Soda Tab Chainmaile! in Discussion and Questions by ChainCrafts on: May 04, 2011 10:43:21 PM

a while back I posted over on the clothing forums about a soda tab skirt that I made. I have now written a short tutorial on how to make chainmaile from soda tabs. It can be found here: http://chaincrafts.blogspot.com/2011/05/tabmaile-tutorial.html.

The general structure is the same as European 4 in 1 chainmaile (for those who are familiar with chain already).

I hope that others will find it useful for their creations! Cheesy

Let me know if you need further details and I will be happy to help.
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20  Low-Cost Beetle Costume in Costumes: Completed Projects by ChainCrafts on: April 19, 2011 09:43:29 AM

I made this beetle costume a long while back from recycled materials, most of which I found at a local re-used hardware store. It was a fun project and probably ran less than $25. For anyone else out there needing a bug costume, here's a run-down of what it's made from:

- First off, the shell was made from something called a "fiber-barrel". It's a large storage barrel made from super-dense paper-board. I then cut it into segments and hooked the panels together with nylon straps and rivets on the inside. The shell is supported by backpack straps that are also located on the inside and fit over the wearer's shoulders.

- Next, the head was made from a bicycle helmet, duct tape, respirator covers for the eyes and plumbing parts for the antennae.

- The arms were made from corrugated abs drain pipe and the hands from cardboard

- Finally, the legs were made from a combination of a plastic industrial barrel and more corrugated drain pipe.

Add a little black spray-paint and viola! You're ready to terrorize the town!
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