Chapter 12. – Behind the Scenes

The spider chapter used a lot of greenscreen work, as well as having a real submarine set built by Caenaan and Myself. Here are some behind the scenes images of costumes, set-building and models being silly:

Three vital people to the production. Jeremy (Percy), Brin (Philomena) and Lizzie (Hair/make-up, Brunhilde Bamfield)

Costuming Philomena

A few years back Alisa made herself an Asian influenced Steampunk Swimsuit based on the Victorian Style (that’s to say the modesty is entirely covered) which she wore to Steamcon’s Bathing Beauties Contest. We used this adorable costume for our Heroine, Philomena Dashwood, as she battled giant spiders and aggressive sea monsters.

Front and back of Asian inspired steampunk swimsuit by Alisa Kester.

The garment is made mostly out of cotton prints, including a pink/red floral and a red polka dot.

A built-in waist cincher keeps the garment closed.

Four decorative buttons keep the built-in waist cincher closed over the overlapping front of the garment.

The back is pleated.

The back is pleated and you can make out some solid colors as the pleats move during walking.

A swimming bonnet.

The swimsuit also has a swimming bonnet, or swimcap, to keep the hair from unleashing sexily in the dramatic Cornwall winds, or getting wet.

Outtake of Brin in swimsuit.

We thought Brin looked a bit like Strawberry Shortcake.

Brin in Swimsuit.

Costuming Thunderboy

Bert who plays Thunderboy also got a fancy steampunk swimsuit. I created this one based off of Thai dress.

Bert in his natural habitat, checking his phone, and in his steampunk swimsuit.

Originally this Asian influenced costume had two sashes overlapping. When it was meant for the samurai, it featured a geisha print outer-obi.

A Japanese print of ladies covers the obi section.

With some help from my co-costumer Catey, I chose a Native American pattern to make a new outer obi-sash. I also selected a new belt to hold it together, which you can see in the comparison pictures below!

The obi sash was Geisha themed for the Samurai, but was changed out for a Native design for Thunder Boy.

You can see the original above and the native influenced one in the final image below.

Bert Malcom as Thunderboy.

Costuming the Mayor

If you have been following along with my project for a few years, you may have heard that the book used to have a samurai. However, the model didn’t show up. But I made a pretty awesome costume, and I didn’t want to waste it.

When I finally cast the Mayor of Venice, I decided to use the costume on him.

Steampunk Samurai costume.

The Mayor joins the monster hunting tour to learn how to protect his city from monsters. However, he never sees a single one, which is a cause for amusement among the tour members. He considers the spiders mere animals, not monsters. And he has to fight them off to protect the group.

The costume features Hakama, which are full pleated pants that hide the movement of the feet. It also has a Japanese traveling hat, which I purchased while traveling through Japan during my brother’s wedding!

The samurai outfit with sword and traveling hat from front and side.

Samurai carry two swords, and while only one is present here, I have finished building his second sword as well, and will add that when the model wears the outfit.

The thigh or upper leg is covered with an armor piece traditionally called Haidate. Our hero also collects childrens toys and omiyage which are Japanese souvenirs.

Samurai haidate and toy accessories.

He also has a samurai sword.


Building the Samurai Sword

I built on top of, or upcycled, the samurai sword. I added some clockwork features to the hilt.

My steampunk clock sheath for the samurai sword.

I had a anime samurai sword for the base.

Creating the samurai sword by gluing on steampunk bits.

I glued bits onto the hilt.

A look at the hilt.

I painted the sheath maroon and used a maroon fabric for the handle.

The sword in the sheath.

Below you can see the finished product.

Steampunk Samurai Sword

Here’s the badass Mayor:

Final image of Mayor in Samurai outfit.

Building the Submarine Set

The heroes travel below the floating island into the submarine section to defeat the spiders. Caenaan helped me build the set. He did all the carpentry and I did the painting and gluing on of pieces.

Caenaan helped me build a submarine set using insulation boards and wood trim.
The foam was painted and little bits were added.
I added a light and some bottles.
The pieces fit together.
Caenaan attaches rivets.
The paint effects included highlights and tar drippings.
Here the pieces are lined up.
Jeremy and Brin pose in front of the set.
The final submarine shot.

Photographing the Heroes

Brin and Jeremy had a lot of fun doing the spider fighting in the set and in front of the greenscreen.

Jeremy wears the swim bonnet.
Brin and Jeremy fight imaginary spiders.
More spider fighting.
Me trying to solve the greenscreen.
Final image of spider fight.

The Giant Steampunk Spider is made out of styrofoam, wire, craft foam and real crab legs! 😀


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