Day 2 of my cosplay construction was fairly productive. This morning I acquired Torf’s hair and beard; the hair is the “surfing dude” wig (a crimped mess that flows to my shoulders and creates a general visibility issue) and the beard is already looking rather authentic since I began braiding sections (pictures to come in later updates). Both of these items were found at the not-so-local Halloween store this morning while I was out picking up my student pilot’s license (yay!)
Bessie also saw a lot of work today – though I can only WISH it was as easy as going to the store and buying something.
While I was out shopping this morning, I stopped by Hobby Lobby looking for craft foam. I wanted something less brittle than Styrofoam, yet dense enough to hold a carved shape. Unfortunately for me, my luck ran out at the door. This mythic “balsa foam” that I’ve read about and sounds awesome, is not to be found. So I rethought my construction plan.
Over lunch I thought about different ways to tackle the “Bessie Problem” until the idea of GreatStuff* insulation came to mind. GreatStuff is expanding foam that comes in spray cans; sticky and tough as hell. My idea was to build a PVC frame and spray on the great stuff in layers; allowing the first layer to expand and dry before applying the second. Not only would this foam meet all my requirements of ruggedness and carvability but I also enjoyed the amusement of it being the manliest way to construct the hammer short of building it with authentic materials.
In practice, the GreatStuff method is still 100% confirmed. After rolling a few natural 1s, cursing Moradin in every language I could think of, making an absolute mess (and no, this was not my first experience with GreatStuff — just my first time NOT insulating a structure), and going redesigning my build plan again, I can give good advice: use a chicken wire frame or you will insulate your floor. Luckily I had thought of that particular possibility beforehand (see, told you I’d used the stuff before) and set out some garbage bags beneath my workspace.
After creating a chicken wire frame, also after rolling some natural 1s and a fresh round of cursing, I ended up with a pretty decent platform on which to spray my foam. So far it appears to be working, though I have gone through 4 cans of the stuff (including the half can that slumped off to the floor), and I’ve covered only the top half of the hammer to a depth of 3 inches (maybe a touch more by tomorrow as it finishes expanding).
Based on that observation, and the weight of the foam, I can project that my finished hammer should have enough clout to roll 3d6 damage dice.
* This is not a paid advertisement for GreatStuff, unless they want to pay me.. I’d be cool with that.