Thursday, 17 October 2013

Dr Zed Part 5 - Accessories and Finishing the Look!

Rubi Progress!
A LOT of work left, but it's coming!
Hello again ladies and gents! Things are going fast and furious around here - (Canadian) Thanksgiving has already come and gone, and I taught myself how to make PUMPKIN PIE. From scratch. Like, I started with a frikkin' pumpkin. It was delicious. On more important notes, I now have almost everything I could possibly need for my Gaige! I finally found satisfactory shoes for the low, low price of $10 (though there is stitching to be picked, paint to be applied and detail to be added) which is spectacular, as I was close to spending over $40 (including shipping) on internet options on more than one occasion. I also picked up the last few circuit components, found 9v batteries on sale at Costco, and got the blue pleather and black lining for the vest, white pleather for the skull on the back, and the cord I need to make the black piping. Oh, and I spent about an hour and a half dremel-clone in hand last night working on shaping my Rubi, and I must say, she is looking HOT! Can't wait to see what she's like when I'm finished, but there are many steps and a few logic hurdles for me to jump between now and then.

Also, the wonderful Captain Crankypants (aka Tom) and I ROCKED our Robin photoshoot, and I'm up to $95 of my $200 fundraising goal (so far)! I'm pretty stoked with how the pictures turned out (in spite of ripping a solid run in my tights and a hole in one of my shoe covers during my very first "hey, I'm gonna climb on this: moment) and the response from my friends and family has been overwhelmingly positive! If you have any disposable income you don't mind parting with, and would like to support an awesome cause, click over to my fundraising page - Rattle Me Bones Sponsor Page! I'll post more of the pictures later, or if you're feeling impatient, you can pop over to my member gallery!
Action shots of my new Robin costume!!
In anything if you want to go from just a beginner to a pro, you're gonna need a montage! We had too much fun.
Back to work! Two Dr. Zed posts in a row? Who would have thought it possible? Not only that, but this is it, the end of the line, the last pieces of the Zed puzzle - accessories and finishing the look! So to figure out what is needed, we take one last look at the guy himself:

Materials Necessary -
The final pieces!
The final pieces of the Dr. Zed puzzle!

- Light green turtleneck
- Dark gray pants
- Big black boots
- A face mask (I used a cheap one from Home Hardware)
- Eye shadow
- Black marker
- White, black, and red acrylic craft paint
- Red fabric (I used broadcloth)
- Red thread
- A bit of velcro
- White bristol board
- Watercolour pencil crayons
- Safety pin
- Tape
- A band-aid

So let's talk shopping! The last big purchases for Dr. Zed were all clothing pieces.  The boots, Julian already had - we used standard black combat boots (as you can find in any old surplus store). Technically Dr. Zed's are supposed to be strapped and buckled, but I didn't have the time to make boot covers to that effect, and I don't feel it detracted from the overall look. The pants were super simple, from what I can tell they're just boring gray pants, so I picked up a pair of gray jeans from Wal Mart.

Thrift store success.
Turtleneck'd! And crooked.
The shirt was interesting. At first I was going to stick to the standard medical green scrub shirt most Dr. Zed cosplayers go for, but I was planning on making a collar from some of the shirt that wouldn't show under the smock, and maybe extending the sleeves a little to simulate bunching. Until I couldn't find one (in my husband's size). We tried every second hand store, we even tried some specialty shops (one that would have had it was closed when we tried) and every time I found something close, it wasn't quite right, the right size, or close to the right colour, until we lucked out - the light green turtleneck.  We found it at a second hand shop (Value Village) and the blasted thing is PERFECT.  I didn't have to adjust, change or play with it - just put it on, bunch up the sleeves and away you go! Now obviously there won't necessarily be one of these babies sitting in every second hand shop, so here are a few passable ones on Amazon-
Option oneOption two
There are other options, of course, making one, just using a scrub shirt, but for accuracy (especially at thrift store price) this one knocked it out of the park!

Now it's time to get crafty! For the mask, I used a standard particulate filter facemask from Home Hardware. I'm planning on making a better one at some point, but this worked for the time being, looks fine in person, but isn't perfect for photo purposes. At the time, I was worried mostly about breathability, so I figured pre-made was the way to go.  The mask I purchased came with a metal band and a company's stamp on it, both of which I didn't want showing, so I carefully painted over them with acrylic craft paint, which took a few coats. Next, I shaped the mask with scissors to be as close to the shape of Dr. Zed's as possible without compromizing the structure. Then I drew in an outline and the three lines in the center of the mask using black sharpie.  In order to darken the mask, provide some depth, and create some shading without compromizing breathability, I brushed on a few different shades of eye shadow.  And voila! Mask complete!
Zed's Face Mask - Finished!
Paint, shape, cell shade, eyeshadow! Observe the painted parts.

Dr. Zed's Armband!
Aww, Dr. Zed lurves yuuuu! Check the velcro placement.
Next - the arm band!! For this, I got Julian into the turtleneck and bunched up the sleeve, then measured around the bunch to see how long it needed to be. I then took my broad cloth, folded it, and measured and cut a long thin rectangle (4cm folded x 42cm or so).  The band was stitched along the open edge to make a tube, then flipped right side out and ironed flat. I then stitched along the outside of the band, flipping the ends in to seal them in place, and stitched the two halves of the velcro in place at each end (make sure one is on each side so it makes a loop when closed). Voila - band! From there I.... Cell shaded! Black fabric marker, dark red (red and black acrylic craft paint mixed) to shade, white to highlight along the edges of the band (all paint mixed 50/50 with fabric medium). And finally, I painted in the cross and heart design.  It took a few coats of paint to make the white parts solidly white (it soaks into the fabric pretty well) but after a few tries it was perfect!

The final creative piece is the "Hello my name is" tag.  I opted to make this out of bristol board instead of on fabric, as these tags are usually stickers, so cardboard is a closer match. Just like the playing card for Moxxi, I drew the design on in watercolour pencil crayon, then painted over it in water to smooth out the colour. Once the design was complete, I taped a safety pin to the back of the card with a few little strips of packing tape, and pinned it on to the smock. Done and done!
my name is Dr. Zed
Screencap/Drawn in watercolour pencil crayon/Painted with water
The final detail was applied the morning of the convention - a single band-aid (I used one of the fabric ones as I was more confident that it would stick and stay) applied on the "armour" portion under the smock as per in-game Zed. The end! That's everything that went into making Dr. Zed - and doesn't he look so good!
Dr. Zed - Terror!
As seen in the Ottawa Sun Digital Lounge - I LOVE the headline they chose, muahahahaha!
The things I didn't do, or plan to fix before next wear:

The wig: I'm not sure this will ever come to be.  I picked up a relatively cheap "vampire" wig from a costume store in the area, as the hair is already brushed back, and has bits of white on the temples, much like Dr. Zed's peppering of gray. As I may have mentioned, I was in a huge time crunch by the end of the line, and I pulled it out of the bag the night before the con - not only was it a royal mess, in need of drastic cutting and styling, but the underside was super itchy, and I hadn't thought to pick up a wig cap.  The hubby would NOT survive all day in it, and there were other, more likely to succeed matters that needed my attention, so we scrapped it. I may pull it back out before our photoshoot, but for Ottawa Comiccon, he went wigless.

Make-up: I wanted to do a wee bit of cell shading... Maybe draw in some stubble on the face, lines on the arms, you know, add to the authenticity of the look. The hubby said no. Mostly because he was afraid of the looks he might get if he wasn't able to wash it off effectively. If you're more daring - go for it!

The face mask: Now that the time crunch is off, I would like to make a more accurate face mask, and have a few ideas on how I may go about it - namely craft foam and stretch material. Shape the craft foam, fill it with holes, cover with a thin stretch material (as it should be breathable). We'll see if I find the time for it, AND how it works out. If yes, a tutorial will follow.

The buzzaxe: I never made it in time for the convention, but have a general concept, template and a foam sword base I'll be working from. It's going to involve a lot of craft foam, apoxie sculpt if I can get my hands on some for a reasonable price, and if I can find a small enough motor, the blade may even spin! We'll see how it goes, again, if it works out, a tutorial will follow!

(Totally optional) contact lenses: Julian's eyes are just about right for Dr. Zed, so we didn't worry about this, but green/hazel contact lenses would complete the look for anyone not blessed with the right colour. Bonus points if you can get one that enlarges the pupil and one that doesn't!

If you should choose to follow in my footsteps and make yourself (or someone you love) a Dr. Zed costume - drop me a line! Let me know how it goes! Send pictures! And most importantly, feel free to ask questions (in the comment box on any post or by email at if you're trying to follow along and something doesn't make sense - I'm here to help! Good luck! Next time, we'll be back to Moxxi with some shopping and craftiness to finish her last few accessories! Stay tuned!

Following along to make yourself a Dr. Zed? Here's the full list of tutorials!
Part 1 - Smock Basics
Part 2 - Shoulder Armour and Flask Pocket
Part 3 - Buckles, Buckles, Buckles
Part 4 - Blood Spatter and Cell Shading

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