The Rogue’s Utility Belt

I’m off to a family wedding over the weekend, so I booked myself a couple of days off work to recover enough energy to get through a long drive and a busy day, in the hope that I might not be totally zombified by the time I have to go back to the office on Monday.  So I’ve had a nice, quiet day with my sketch pad.

While at Birmingham last weekend, I really wished I’d had more props with me but I had just completely run out of time.  It got me thinking about how to carry, and display, things like my potions and lockpicking tools, so I spent some time studying my trusty screenshots and sketched out my designs.  I think I’m going to have to stock up on leather and Fimo!  Having trawled through eBay, Amazon and a few LARP merchants for belts that might do the job, I think it’s probably going to be easier to get a few lengths of leather and make my own.

It took me a while to come up with a way to carry my potion bottles that I was happy with, as they materialise from thin air in-game (and I assume Thedas is simply littered with discarded bottles!).  Eventually, I settled on a pouch to carry either two or three to be worn on my right hip, and to hang one or two bottles or grenades either underneath the pouch or off the belt (which will depend, I suppose, on whether I will be on crutches or wheeling – I definitely appreciated having my wheels at Birmingham, in which case I might be able to rig a few to the sides of the chair, as long as they’re well secured).

As and when I get around to fixing up my mobility scooter, I’m intending to make a larger version of the pouch as saddle bags, or to make a harness that I can hang a couple from, but I think much of it will be a case of trial and error, and figuring out the best way to keep them from being knocked or damaged in a crowded convention hall.  The last thing I want is either my own or someone else’s costume covered in coloured dye after a collision!

Potions, Poisons, Tonics and Grenades – Part Three

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to handle the Jar of Bees.  It’s one of my favourite grenades and I really wanted to do it justice.  As well as being a nifty little weapon when required, it has a beautiful image to go with it.

My first couple of bees were made from pipe cleaners.  My first idea was to cut down short lengths and create stripes with a marker pen, then to glue on tissue paper wings, but I really wasn’t very happy with them.  My second attempt, made from a pair of pipe cleaners, was significantly larger, but it still didn’t look the way I wanted it to.

First attempt on the left, second attempt on the right

I picked up a couple of colours of Fimo on my last trip to HobbyCraft with the intention of using it to make latex moulds, and after a couple of false starts, I had my first (wingless) bee!

The wings themselves were something of a nightmare.  I found that the translucent Fimo became ridiculously sticky after very little conditioning, and as the Fimo softens further in the first stages of baking, I thought I’d probably end up with a huge blob adorning the backs of my bees.  I briefly tried using wire to stablilise them with no success, so I ultimately ended up rolling out thin sheets of Fimo, baking it for 25 minutes and then cutting out the wings with a craft knife.  After adhering the wings with a small blob of Fimo, they went back in the oven on the pre-hardened bees for a further five minutes.

And they look fab in their jar!

All I need to do now is to make up a label for it (thoroughly defaced by Sera, of course!) and my bees are good to go.