After cosplaying Warden-Commander Mahariel for the fourth time last year, I realised my breastplate was starting to look a bit battered and the paint was beginning to flake on my scales, so I decided it was time for a rebuild.
I didn’t have a heatgun when I built my original breastplate and did the best I could with what I had available to me, but I always knew it was a part that I would want to make again later on.
I actually really liked the way it looked as plain, blue foam, and if it hadn’t been for my visible lines, I would have been sorely tempted to seal it and wear it like that! After sealing and priming, I could get on with my favourite part – painting and weathering.
I was so pleased with how my knitted scales turned out but, aside from cracking and flaking paint, they were bulky and not very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The more I looked at them and the more photographs I saw, the more I kept thinking about getting some decent hardware and seeing how much maille weaving I could remember from my time in re-enactment. Not only was it a much easier process but I’m completely in love with how these scales look against the blue.
The only thing that I’m keeping from version one is my velvet jacket, which has had the straps added to the sleeves and the griffon sigil to the left arm. Next to finish – gauntlets and greaves.
We’ve had a busy start to the year giving our house an overhaul, which means that I finally have space to move my crafts into our now-empty spare bedroom. The room used to be my study, before I realised the guest room had been used twice in the previous twelve months and was twice the size of where I was sitting, squeezed in between art supplies, computers and my extensive collection of books. Since swapping furniture, almost ten years ago, the spare room became the safest place to put things away from cats and dogs, and gradually turned into our dumping ground for anything that didn’t really have another place it belonged. Even with the spare bed folded up into a futon, it was difficult for an able-bodied person to actually get through the door, so other than attempts to squeeze something else in there, it stayed closed up and unused.
After spending most of January clearing out old furniture and finding better places for the things we decided to keep, I was finally able to get in and start planning. I’ve got loads of ideas for my craft room but for now, I’ll leave you with my new door sign!
I was reminded today that I had started a bookbinding project with the short stories for the Dragon Age II companions, but had never gotten around to finishing it.
I was trying to come up with an in-universe reason for the companions to have shared these parts of their backstories and decided that it would be a single volume print as a birthday gift for my canon Hawke, Lyanna.
My husband deserves credit for his suggestions, particularly for inspiring the exchange between Anders, Varric and Bodahn, and for letting me use his own handwriting for Anders.
The plan is to get this printed and hand-bound once I’m done with my prototype, so I may be opening commissions on these eventually, with comments addressed to your own Hawke. But for the time being, the collection can be viewed by clicking on the cover pages below.
With ten days until The Calling, I’ve been buried under piles of fabric and foam to get my cosplays ready. During some downtime, I joined in with a FaceApp thread on a Dragon Age Facebook group and the next thing I knew, I’d lost half the afternoon to it.
Four months in, 2017 has thrown me some real curve balls so far, which has badly depleted a lot of my energy and motivation – but my cosplay builds are still miraculously crawling along. I am going to get around to full posts for each project but for now, here’s a quick update on how things are going.
Celene has fallen onto the back burner a bit recently, as I had to postpone my plans to go and make the ballgown. That said, she now has a mask and a wig is on its way, so I’m going to have to get myself sorted out for dress making and fittings in May, otherwise my brother isn’t going to have an outfit to wear to the ball when The Calling comes around in June!
The other big task is going to be the lion’s head for the back of the dress, so I’ve been doing a few experiments with resin casting and need to find the time to actually sit down and make a clay master.
My Emerald Knight is slowly but surely coming together. I’ve finalised the embroidery design and started drafting patterns for the sewn garments. Her foam armor pieces are pretty much ready for priming and painting – just the sabatons to build and a few tweaks to the breastplate, then I need to settle on which shades of paint I want to use. I decided that I wasn’t happy with the foam scalemaille that I made for Mahariel, so I’ve been busy weaving chainmaille for Lindiranae’s sleeves, which is almost finished, and to remake Mahariel’s Regalia of Weisshaupt.
Other DA-related Stuff
A while back I booked an appointment to get another geeky tattoo and decided to get the Inquisition sigil just above my ankle, to balance out the Stark direwolf on my other leg. I have a couple of other designs pretty much ready to go – I just need the funds and to decide exactly where I want to put them!
Last month we went to MCM Birmingham and (after a few trips back and forth waiting for a quieter moment to queue) I got Gareth David-Lloyd to sign my Inquisition art book. I’ve since started stalking the other voice actors’ Twitter and Facebook pages to see if we’re likely to get any of the others at relatively local conventions so that I can get the other character pages signed.
Our next scheduled event is The Calling in June (UK Dragon Age fans, go check it out!) so I badly need to crack on!
I’ve noticed that one of the most frequent questions, at least in the circles of DA fans that I visit regularly, is either about which order to read the novels in or asking what exactly is out there in terms of Dragon Age media. I put this list together recently, and since no one has corrected me yet, I think it’s current and correct. I go hunting for this at least once a day, and since Facebook groups don’t as yet seem to search the comments, I figured it was easiest to drop a copy here, where I can find the damn thing!
Edit: 28th July 2017 I’ve had a few messages to say that the list format was difficult to read, so I’ve amended it into a table, added the dates from my research and rearranged a couple of items to fit better. I’ve also included my notes to indicate how I’ve dated some of them.
As always, if there are any errors or if anything is missing, please feel free to leave a message below and I’ll credit your addition.
Please note: I’ve noticed a few pages cropping up that have virtually copy-pasted my entire post, including slight rewordings of my introductory paragraph. I don’t mind people sharing the list – the whole reason for writing it was so that people could have access to anything they haven’t yet seen – but I’ve put a lot of effort into tracking some of these things down, figuring out where some of the more obscure things fit into the timeline (to the best of my knowledge) and maintaining the list. I would really appreciate if re-posters would either give me credit for my effort or link back to this page. Thank you!