Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Two Cardassians are Better than One

The cuirass is completely finished! I finally got the paint to cooperate with me, and once the painting was finished, I made the 'name tag'. I found a Cardassian font online somewhere (came across it randomly), which was derived from the actual characters used in the show. So, using that, I wrote out the name "Malek" (Iliana Malek is my chosen Cardassian name) in gold, and detailed it with black.

Once the name plate was on, I declared it finished! Sure, I still have to add the velcro to the closure, but otherwise, it's finished!

Now that that's finished, it's time to move on to the sleeves. I cut out two sleeves from the fun foam roll and started adding the detailing to one of them. Unfortunately, I ran completely out of dimensional paint, so I had to stop halfway through. :-/

So, since I couldn't work on it anymore, I decided to work on my civilian outfit. I'd bought some velvet ribbon earlier in the day, and I started to apply it to the edges where the patterned fabric met the plain fabric. Of course, this was easier said than done, since I had to completely take out the side seams and the underarm seams. :-/ But, doing that made it much easier to apply the ribbon. Unfortunately, the store only had 2 1/3 yards, so, of course, I ran out before I finished the bodice. Sigh! Still, I'm pleased with how it's looking.

I'm going to hit the fabric store tomorrow and see if they have some more ribbon somewhere, and I'm going to spend the bulk of my work time on a First Contact/Nemesis era uniform for a customer, so I should have some pics of that to share soon. I've actually already started work on it, but I'm rather unhappy with the jacket, so I'm just going to make a whole new one. I'll have more updates in a day or two!


  1. Absolutely amazing! I am blown away by how this turned out!

  2. That turned out amazing!

    And I was so trying to figure out what a Civilian Cardassian outfit would look like until I saw the photo and was like duh! Of course!

  3. Hello there, I've been following your method for this costume to build one for a friend who is going to Vegas, I have a question. What kind of Epoxy did you use? Asking around on hardware stores has not been helpful since there's a kind of epoxy for almost everything.

  4. Hey there, Zed! The epoxy I used was called "Super Glaze". It's used to finish counters and tabletops. I think it was in the paint section of Lowes. :)
    Are you shooting to have it done for this year's Vegas convention? It took me quite a while to work on this uniform, so I hope you can get it done in time! I'd love to see another Cardassian in Vegas!

  5. Thank you, that will be most helpful. at present I have the advantage of being un-employed and having some experience from studying theatre production in college. that and I'm most probably insane. but it must be done, my friend who I'm making it for has already found himself the exact type of bottle used in the show for kanare (probably spelling that wrong) $2 at a thrift store, found practically randomly by his mother. he needs the costume and I need the money.

  6. Aah! Do you know what thrift store he found it at??? I've been searching for a kanar bottle for ages!

  7. a value village in the greater Toronto area

  8. Ah, blarg, that's quite a distance. :p Ah, well, the hunt continues!

  9. Greetings,

    I'm the friend Zed is making the costume for. I'd like to say first and foremost thank you for posting this blog! It's been vital to creating the Cardassian costume in time for the convention!

    I couldn't believe that we found the bottle at a thrift store right by my house for $1.99 - it looks IDENTICAL to the Kanar bottle used in the show!! I did some research and it seems there are a number of Italian wine bottles of that shape/design, so that's probably what the DS9 crew used for the props. Considering mine was found at a thrift store, you might be able to find one just like it at a thrift store or flea market in your area. If you manage to find one, you can get a graphic of the sticker used on the actual prop here:

    I had a couple of questions about the costume:
    -First, how long did it take you in total to complete the Cardassian officer costume?
    -Second, for the arm sleeves, how are you attaching them to the main body armour (assuming you're attaching them)?
    -Third and final, are you planning to do anything for the boots? Zed and I are thinking of using the 3D paint and other foam bits to produce the designs on top of other sheets of fun foam, applying the epoxy + plasti-drip spray + paint to them, then wrapping them around regular rubber boots. What do you think?

    Maybe I'll see you at the convention. :) I doubt there will be many Cardassians around.

  10. Greetings, fellow Cardassian! I'm glad my blog turned out to be useful for you!
    As for the kanar bottle, I've tried finding the original chianti bottle that they used on the set, but the company stopped producing them some years ago. :-/ Every once in a while they pop up on eBay, but since the people selling them -know- that collectors are looking for them, they're pretty expensive. There's actually a green version of the kanar bottle on eBay right now, but they want $30 in shipping alone! Buh.
    Anyway, as for the costume questions...
    1) I'm actually still working on it. It's definitely pre-con crunch time! I had allot of commissions to finish, and some display pieces for the dealer's room, so I've been working on those first, and will finish the Cardassian uniform once everything else is packed up and ready to go.
    2)I attached the armour sleeves to the body using industrial strength velcro, since I found it's a bit difficult to crawl in and out of the cuirass with the sleeves on it. This way I can get the body armour on first, then attach the sleeves once I'm settled in. The velcro comes with adhesive on the back already, but it's really not strong enough. If you decide to use velcro, definitely secure it with a strong glue, like Loctite, e6000, or Gorilla glue. (I personally like e6000. I use it when I mod keyboards and such, and holds really well.)
    3)I'm actually working on the boots right now. :D I was going to do the same thing you were thinking of doing with the rubber boots, but I ended up finding a pair of comfy flats for $5 at the store, so I've been building my boots on top of those. Otherwise, I would definitely have gone the way of modding a pair of rubber boots. I'm using the same foam as the armour, but after seeing how stiff the body armour turned out, I decided to forgo the epoxy and have just plasti-dipped them. I may end up regretting that, but it's all trial and error right now. :)

    I hope we do see each other at the convention! I'll be in my Cardassian outfits all day Saturday, and will be in the costume contest in my Cardassian uniform that night! :D Are you going to participate in the World Record attempt?

  11. Yeah I figured around this time people selling bottles similar to the Kanar ones would jack up the prices. I really just lucked out with mine.

    Given what you mentioned about the epoxy I'll probably skip spraying the boot sleeves with it, since I'll want them to be flexible like the rest of the boots. But I'll probably still spray it on the rest of the armour just to make sure it doesn't get squished or warped while in flight luggage. I figured using Velcro to attach the sleeves was probably the best way to go about it. Thanks for the instructions on how to go about doing that!

    So far the under-costume (pants/shirt) is complete, now all that remains is the armour (and printing + putting the sticker on the Kanar bottle, hehe). Do you think it'll be possible to attach a pin to the armour after it's been epoxied? I have the Cardassian Union logo as a pin and I'd like to attach it to the armour.

    I will most likely be participating in the World Record attempt along with fellow Cardassian comrades I'm going with. Maybe we can find a way to meet up somewhere at the convention.

    I'm really looking forward to meeting Casey Biggs while dressed in full Cardassian attire. It's really too bad though that neither Andrew J. Robinson nor Marc Alaimo will be attending the convention - Garak and Dukat were some of the best Trek characters of all time.

  12. Yeah, that's my concern with the flight, too, is whether or not the armour will get squished. I'm going to stuff the inside with the rest of my clothes to help it keep its shape, so that, if it is squished in transit, it shouldn't bend or anything.
    I don't think attaching the pin should be a problem. If all else fails, you can always put a dab of hot glue on the back and glue it to the front of the armour, just in case.
    I'm so glad you'll have other Cardassians with you! I'll be in my civilian garb then, so if you see a Cardassian in a red and gold dress and big hair, that would be me. :D
    I'm looking forward to meeting Casey Biggs too. I was a bit disappointed that neither Alaimo nor Robinson would be there, but from what I gather, they don't really frequent the convention circuit. I know that Robinson is teaching out in California, so I'm sure that keeps him busy. Garak and Dukat are probably two of my all-time favourite charcters, I'd love to meet the actors someday.
    We should definitely try to, at the very least, get a photo together at some point. :) I'll be changing into my uniform after the World Record, so if we don't catch each other, then I shouldn't be hard to spot then.

  13. I wasn't able to find the Super Glaze epoxy anywhere here, so I'm guessing the stores in Canada don't have it. Are there any other brands of epoxy you'd recommend?

  14. Also, is this the epoxy you were talking about?

  15. Yup, that's the one! I don't know any other epoxies, this was my first time using one, so I'm not familiar with how other brands would do. :-/ I'd say to just ask the people at the home store what they'd recommend for stiffening a 2mm foam, they should have an idea of what would work best. :D

  16. Your costuming skills are just amazing! I've always wanted to be a Cardassian, but alas, I've only been able to be a mere Klingon, and a Bajoran Dabo girl. I bought my Klingon top from someone who was getting out of doing Star Trek stuff. I designed my boots, and bought different props along the way. A wonderful man named Ron Silver made me a really graceful Batleth and a cool Mekleth out of aluminum. I made my gloves with resin claws made by Mark, aka Trek Tech. Got a disruptor and several pins made by him as well. Over the years I have made several headpieces with hair, buying the forehead and then finishing them off myself. I never could find a way to be a Cardassian. :-(