Costume Musings

Snow Fawn Poppy Bell Hammer Tutorial using L200 and LED Foam

Tutorial by: Puppichu Cosplay

In this tutorial I will go over how to make Snow Fawn Poppy’s “bell” hammer. This will include making a foam sphere bell, a disassemblable hammer shaft for travel, and animated LED lighting.

Remember to always use proper safety equipment such as safety glasses, respirators, gloves, ear protection, ventilation, and cutting mats while following this tutorial. Also remember to ask for supervision if you are a younger reader. Cosplay can be a fun hobby, but make sure you are safe first!

Pattern:

Download all the patterns you need for the Bell Hammer here: LINK
Print these patterns on a 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper

Bell Hammer Materials
½” L200 foam
¼” L200 foam
¼” LED foam
2” diameter ABS pipe ***will cut 3 pieces at 21” each (63” total) for my height of 5’5”***
2 – 2” diameter ABS male adapters
2 – 2” diameter ABS female adapters
Pipe cutting saw
ABS Glue
2 –  12” diameter styrofoam half balls
Velcro
Transparency Film
Packing Tape
Sandpaper (60 grit, 220 grit, 500 grit)
Rotary tool
Heat gun
Hot knife
Contact cement
Popsicle stick (spreading contact cement)
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Box Cutter
Scissors or exacto knife
Marker or pen
Primer paint, acrylic paint/spray paint (gold), and paint brushes
Red satin fabric

Electronics Materials:
Neopixel strip lighting (79 LEDs total in my setup)
18-24 gauge wire (Red, Green, Black)
5V DC supply
470 ohm resistor
Solder, solder iron
Heat shrink
3 pin JST connectors (male and female)
Microcontroller (arduino)
Patterns – Animation code.txt

Creating the Foam Bell:

Trace the eight “sphere” pattern pieces onto your ½” L200 Foam and cut them out with your exacto knife or scissors. Remember to draw out your guide lines and mark the number of the piece with a directional arrow to the next piece(1 –> 2 –> ). Repeat this again to make another eight sphere pieces for a second dome.

Apply a thin layer of contact cement on two opposite edges of the half sphere piece. Follow the drying time directions for your contact cement, but typically the drying is done when the contact cement becomes “dull” and not sticky to the touch. Once this occurs, stick the two pieces together. Repeat this step with all eight pieces until a half dome is formed. Repeat again with the other eight pieces to make a second half dome.

Use your heat gun to heat up the L200 foam ball. While warm, stretch the foam half over the styrofoam half ball to give it a nice round shape. Make sure the foam has been stretched enough that the edges of the foam meet the edge of the styrofoam half. Repeat for the other dome.

 

Trace the eight “bell decoration” pattern pieces onto your ¼” L200 Foam and cut around the outside (not the “snowflake arms”) with your exacto knife or scissors. These pieces will be for the top of the bell. Apply your contact cement to the bottom of the decoration and to the top of the sphere. Don’t apply contact cement past the bottom of the “snowflake arm” or the bottom inch of the sphere edge. We want this portion not stuck together to place the edge on later.

Take the top foam sphere off of the styrofoam ball and cut the snowflake design out with a box cutter. Take an exacto knife and add a bevel (45 degree cut) around the outside of each of the decoration pieces. This will give a more defined edge between each panel of the decor. You can also add this bevel around the edge of the snowflake design too.

Place the top decoration piece back on the styrofoam half ball. Use your pen to trace or outline the snowflake decoration onto the styrofoam. Make a guide or line on the edge of both the styrofoam and foam. This is so you know which way to place them back together after cutting the styrofoam. Remove the foam top piece again and heat up your hot knife. Use your hot knife to cut out the snowflake design from your styrofoam half ball. Apply contact cement to the bottom edge of both the styrofoam ball and the inside of the foam sphere (be careful to line up your guidelines on the edge for the snowflake design!). Once dry, attach these together. Next apply your contact cement to attach the decoration pieces, being careful to line up the snowflake design’s edge evenly. Take the bottom piece of your sphere and apply contact cement to the bottom edge of both the styrofoam ball and the inside of the foam sphere. Once dry also attach the two together. You should now have two foam half balls attached to the styrofoam.

Cut 4 even strips of velcro about 2” (5 cm) long. Use hot glue to apply one side of the velcro to the bottom half of the sphere, on the styrofoam edge, at each of the four sides (equal distance apart). Stick the other half of the velcro to the portion glued on the half sphere. Apply glue to this half and attach the top half to make a ball. This method will ensure that you velcro is in the right spot on the other half, but make sure your hot glue has dried completely before attempting to take apart.

To make the edge piece, use a measuring tape to find the circumference of your sphere. Cut a strip of ¼” L200 foam that is 1.5” wide (~4cm) and your circumference long. Velcro your foam ball together and hold up your foam edge to the center of the ball. This piece will be used to hide the seam. Draw a line onto each of the decoration pieces and number each leaf with each point. This will be used for when you attach the points back onto the bottom half of the sphere. Cut each point off with your exacto knife and set them aside in a safe area (you’ll need them in the next step).

Use contact cement on the bottom portion of the decoration piece that was left unglued and attach it to the sphere. Then use contact cement to attach the edge piece to the bottom of the top half sphere (this will be easiest to do with the foam ball split in half). Reattach your sphere if needed after all this is glued. Then match your numbered points back up and draw the outlines onto the bottom of the sphere. Apply your contact cement to this and glue down your points to the bottom half.

Lastly, as a final decoration I cut two 1” (2.5 cm) wide by circumference long pieces. Using a rotary tool I sanded down the edges to make a point, mountain shape, or “V”. This piece then was glued to the edge that was used to hide the same. This gives that pointed edge Poppy has on her bell hamer.

 

Creating the Hammer Shaft:

Cut your ABS pipe into three equal 21” (~51 cm) lengths using your pipe cutting hand saw. Use a piece of sandpaper to clean up the edges of the pipe. Also, make sure your pipe is free from any debris before gluing.

Layout your three pipe sections and place your adapters (male and female ends) where they need to go so that they will all link together. Take the time to have this all placed out before you start gluing! This is to ensure you don’t make mistakes in pairing the male and female connectors. Read your gluing instructions for your ABS glue and apply it to the end of the pipes and attach the adapters. Let the glue try the recommended about of time. Now you should have a three pipe section that can attach into a large hammer shaft!.

 

Hammer Pommel:

The pommel of the hammer will take quite a beating on the convention floors all day. To help keep it undamaged I decided to 3D print mine out of ABS plastic. I have provided the .stl file if you wish to print it yourself, or get someone to print it for you. If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, you can also create this piece out of L200 foam. Epoxy glue the pommel to the end (of the opposite end pipe piece) of the hammer shaft. Lastly, paint the pommel gold.

Attaching the Bell and Shaft:

Using one of the end pipe pieces (only has 1 adapter on the end) trace the outline onto the bottom bell sphere. Use your box cutter and hot knife to cut this hole that the pipe will feed into. After cutting, test that your pipe will feed through the hole.

 

Now we will need to make the flange/decoration that holds the two together. Cut out the pattern piece for the bell flange with ¼” L200 foam. Use contact cement to attach both edges into a “cylinder” shape. Then use your heat gun to flair out the larger end (kinda like a trumpet horn). This piece should also be able to slide over your ABS pipe. Cut a strip of ¼” L200 foam that is 1” wide (~2.5cm) and the circumference of your flange piece long. Glue this decoration edge piece to the bottom (small end) of your flange piece.

 

Slide your finished flange piece onto your pipe end. Then attach your bell onto the end of the pipe (make sure the pipe is pushed all the way up to the top of the bell for better support later). Cut four small pieces of velcro and attach them similarly to how you did the foam sphere. You should now have the flange piece attached to the bottom of the bell.

 

Painting:

Start sanding your bell with 60 grit and 200 grit sandpaper. Remove large uneven spots or connecting pieces. Then prep your foam bell for painting by wet sanding it with some water and your 500 grit paper. Smooth down any seams and rough edges. Use your heat gun between layers of sanding to dry up the foam and remove and fuzzy sanded spots. Then apply a few layers of primer spray paint and give it another wet sand. Lastly, apply a thin layer of gold spray paint, or use your acrylic paint to give your bell the right color!

Electronics:

In this tutorial I will not be going over the basic theory behind Ohm’s law. If you want to learn this information yourself I suggest you check out Kamui Cosplay’s books on LED lights or head over to the Adafruit webpage. You will need a firm grasp of these concepts before starting this project. You can use whatever different lighting and resistor combinations you can find available to you, this is just what I used for my setup.

 

Here is a diagram of my circuit for the bell and pommel lights. When you create your circuit, use your JST connectors where you need to be able to disconnect your lights easily. The only JST that is mandatory is for disconnecting the Pommel. This is so you will still be able to take apart the shaft into 3 pieces for travel/storage.

Heat some LED foam and stretch it over a sphere to stretch it into a dome. Then place your pommel over top of it and trace the middle circle out. Cut this piece to make the center “gem” of the pommel. Take the Strip lighting for the pommel and use super glue to the inside of the pommel. Be careful to have the wire go down through the hammer shaft to the top of the bell. Make sure the lights are pointing to the inside of the circle. Use a bit of packing tape to ensure the lights stay in place. Lastly, hot glue your LED foam to the pommel, covering the lights.

Cut the “snowflake” design out of LED foam. Set this LED foam in ¼” deep into the hole and hot glue it in place. For the lights to be an even diffusion of light they will need to be set about an inch from the LED foam. To do this, take your three pieces of strip lights and tape them to strips of overhead transparencies. Then tape this overhead transparency to the inside of the bell so the lights will point down and be suspended over each arm of the snowflake design. Repeat this for the three lights.

 

Finishing Details:

Use your red satin to make a large bow and hot glue/hand stitch it to the “flange” part of the hammer. Don’t know how to make a bow? Try looking for “fabric bow tutorial” online, there are many great options out there!

Take your red satin again and cut it into large strips. Using hot glue, wrap these strips around the bottom pommel shaft and the middle pole section. Be careful not to wrap over your pipe adapters!! Cut another smaller piece of satin to wrap around these sections. Instead of gluing them down, use some velcro to make this piece removable . This way you can pull this piece off so that you disassemble the pole sections for travel or storage.

Lastly, make a painted gold 1” (2.5 cm) by circumference wide, rectangle piece of ¼” L200 foam. Glue this piece to were the pommel and shaft connect to make a clean transition.

Finally, use your ¼” L200 foam to make a tube a bit larger than the 2” abs pipe. The tube should be about 1” (2.5 cm) tall. Hot glue this tube to the inside of the top of the bell. This will make a slot that the tube can slid into to keep it attached at the top. This will help it from shifting around as you move it!

That’s it you’re done! Enjoy your new hammer and “go find that hero!”

 

 


Category: Cosplay, L200, LED Foam, Tutorial | Tags: | leave comment |

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