WWWIP Week 6 Crimsyn
Posted on 26 January 2018
Installing LED’s and the Lantern
This week I am working on installing LEDs into my cosplay. Fiddlesticks has two major places where LEDs can be placed: in the eyes and in the lantern he carries. To start off, I bought a pack of green LEDs that already had a built in resistor to make things easier on my end. Along with that, I purchased a faux leather battery socket with a 9v battery.
To wire these together, you start by stripping a half inch of casing off of each wire, then separate the red and black wires. In these pictures you can see I have stripped and separated the red wires. I have placed the LED wires on the bottom and the battery wire on the top. Typically you would use solder to connect all the wires together, and use a plastic safety cap for protection. Do this to both the red and black lights.
Next you will want to test everything to make sure all of your lights are working by plugging in the 9v battery. If they are not, check the tip of the LED to make sure it hasn’t disconnected itself or check the connection joint. After that, I like to tape every bit of my wiring with electrical tape just to give extra protection and sturdiness. This also makes the wires black and easy to hide within the costume.
Before moving onto the lantern, I installed the lights into the helmet. The easy part is gluing them in with hot glue, however the hard part is the placement. I wanted to place them in a spots where you wouldn’t be able to see those strong green bulbs from the outside. So, I decided to place them on top of a thibra section and about ½ inch away from the actual eye hole to prevent those concentrated light spots. The trick is to place the LEDs facing away from the eyes, toward the head. This method works great because the lights shine towards the head and act like a backlighting effect for the eyes. Doing this creates the illusion of more depth in the eye, making the character look more alive, rather than having a more flat 2-dimension eye.
Next, I moved onto the creation of the lantern. I started by mapping out a simple pattern with paper and cutting it out of chipboard. I taped the pattern together to make sure the pieces all fit and that they were the right size I needed for the lantern. I mainly worked on creating the basic shapes - later I would go in an add all the details.
Once the pattern was perfect, I wrapped everything in Thibra to keep it sturdy and protected. This also helped prevent any light leaking through the chipboard in the end.
One thing I needed was a way to access the lights and electrics within the lantern for any maintenance or battery issues. I wanted to add a door or some way to access the inside, but I was not sure how I was going to do that. I was at my desk and literally looked up, and my lamp shined a light onto some binder clips I had - suddenly I had an idea! I could just cut the binder clip and half and use them as mini door hinges! IT WORKED WONDERFULLY
The last thing I did was put some L200 foam on the insides to diffuse the light sources.
The final step was to add all of the lights into the lantern! I rigged up two sets of lights (repeated steps 1 and 2) and glued them to the tops and bottoms of the inside of the lantern, facing the lights away from the windows of the lantern. Now I just need to add detail and paint!