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Fluttershy (My Little Pony) WIP!

So first things first: I’m a huge fan of the show My Little Pony, and I especially identify with Fluttershy <3.  Around the end of January I was trying to think of a superhero themed costume I could do for ECCC, when I saw the superhero episode of MLP Season 4.  I got really excited about making the Saddle Rager version of Fluttershy, because it would give me a superhero costume for a comic convention and it would be a great excuse to try building a set of wings!  I was thrilled, to say the least.

 

The suit was the first thing I decided to tackle.  I found that I wasn’t a huge fan of the simplicity of the original design for Saddle Rager Fluttershy.  I thought that a plain teal spandex bodysuit wouldn’t read all that well, so I decided to add some lines to help break it up.

 

Saddle Rager Fluttershy Reference

Saddle Rager Fluttershy Reference

Since there were purple elements on other pieces of the costume, I decided to pull more of the purple down through the suit through piping and the tops of the boot covers.  I also wanted to break up the monochromatic features of the suit through the use of different textured fabrics.  I managed to find a stretch neoprene and a non-stretch scale-like fabric at local fabric stores that would go well together.  I took a bit of a risk using the scale textured fabric, but I really liked how it would look since it reminded me of cracking and stretching skin and the way it emphasizes Saddle Rager Fluttershy Hulking out.  With my fabric choices in mind, I drafted my pattern from a duct tape form.  I made my own bias tape for the piping out of the purple fabric I had for the collar.  It took a lot of fiddling to get the suit to fit right since the majority of the suit is made of a completely non-stretch fabric.  Though there is a lot of room for me to improve, I was pretty happy with the end result.

 

Main Portion of the body suit!

Main Portion of the body suit!

The collar was the final touch for the main suit and it took me a while to figure out the right pattern to get the shape I wanted.  Once I draped, hemmed, and attached the lace trim and collar to the suit, I thought it needed a little more detail, so I did some beading along the top edge of the lace to help it pop and lay correctly.

Once the suit was done, it was on to the boots.  I found a pair of white boots at a local thrift store that would work well as my base.  It was very convenient because I was able to use the boots as my base pattern for the covers.  My biggest hangup for the boot covers was how best to attach them to the base shoe.  Gluing seemed the best option, but I wanted to make sure that the glue that I used would have enough flex in it to stand up to walking around a lot.

 

Boot covers WIP

Boot covers WIP

Hot glue and superglue would not work in this case, so I knew some kind of contact cement would be best as such glues have a silicone element giving it pretty good elasticity.  In the end, I used Goop (a high-strength silicone glue) to attach the fabric to the platform and heel portion of the shoe, and then I hand sewed the rest of the boot cover to the glued-on fabric.  I also added beading along the top of the lace for the boot covers for consistency with the collar and as an added detail.

With the fabric portions of the costume pretty much done, I moved on to the wig.  I started out with a 40″ Vanilla Pink curly Hera from Epic Cosplay wigs and a set of 15″ extension wefts of the same color.  Since I wanted to emulate the style of Fluttershy’s mane in the episode, I knew that I would have an exposed hairline.  This meant ventilation!  I go over how I generally do my hairline ventilation in this video of my WIP for Shiro’s wig from Deadman Wonderland.  For styling beyond the hairline, I decided to do something along the lines of a small beehive.  This tutorial from Arda Wigs’ website gives a pretty good overview of the process I used.

 

Fluttershy's wig with a smooth widow's peak and conservative beehive.

Fluttershy’s wig with a smooth widow’s peak and conservative beehive.

After the wig was done, there were a few small accessories I had to make before tackling the wings: bracelets, hair clip, mask, and flower for the collar.  All of these accessories had beading involved and were pretty straight forward.

 

Finished Accessories: hair clip, bracelets, and mask.

Finished Accessories: hair clip, bracelets, and mask.

The mask was probably the most involved piece.  I used a single layer of worbla molded to my face as the base.  After I cut out the shape from the molded piece, I covered it with fabric and adhered the fabric to the worbla with contact cement.  I then added bead work along the outer edges and small flower details as a finishing touch.

 

Mask WIP progression.

Mask WIP progression.

The last and trickiest part of this costume was creating the wings.  When I initially settled on building wings for this costume, I challenged myself to think of ways to push myself and come up with a more interactive wing design.  I decided to make my wings posable for cons and photo shoots.  This ability for the wings to move and collapse meant that they would be easier to store, walk around cons, but also allow for a wide variety of poses to help with composition, movement, and emotion in photos.

Since I have a background in natural sciences, I drew a lot of inspiration from bird wing anatomy.  Think of a chicken wing.  The base bones of a wing (analogous to our own arms) are the humerus connected at the shoulder with a ball and socket joint, the radius and ulna connected by a hinge joint at the elbow, and the carpals (hand bones) connected by a rough ball joint at the wrist.  In addition to the basic bones and joints, the radius and ulna rotate around each other and there is a membrane and tendon between the wrist and shoulder in a bird wing.

 

My goal was to recreate an approximation of each bone and joint movement to create the shape and posability of the wings.  I used an apoxie-fiberglass composite pipe from TAP plastics for the bones as it is much lighter, stiffer, and stronger than PVC.  The ball joints for shoulder and wrist joints are microphone adapters I found at a local music store.  The hinge joint for the elbow was a bolt mechanism that relied on tightening a wing nut.  I added in a radial rotation around the ulna by using a pvc pipe around my bone pipe and added a strut to provide additional surface for feather attachment.  Lastly, after wrapping the bones in a layer of batting, I created a skin of very stretchy knit fabric with the tendon built in to cover for the bones, create the membrane between the shoulder and wrist, and create a surface to attach the feathers.  As this was a prototype skeleton build, I plan to tinker more with the design in the future to allow for bigger wings and smoother, more secure posing.

Tip: It is important to note that music accessories use #27 threading which is only used in the music industry.  I did have to have a #27 threading adapter tube piece custom fabricated for me to connect the hand bone to the wrist joint.  The size of the wing is also pretty much at the capacity for the ball joints I used. Lastly, 5 Minute epoxy adhesive was my best friend for securing the ball joints and bones in place.

 

Wing Skeleton and skin.

Wing Skeleton and skin.

The skeleton and skin looked really silly at this point, so it was definitely time for feathering!  I bought a pound of turkey quills and a bunch of turkey flats from Feather Place.  Before I started attaching any of the feathers, I found that a lot of the feather vanes and barbs were curled up and needed better trimming.  They may look like they are past saving, but I found that an iron on low heat really helped to flatten and relax the barbs back into place.

 

Ironing feathers on low heat makes a difference!

Ironing feathers on low heat makes a difference!

Each feather was ironed, trimmed, and sorted by size and quality.  Once the feathers were ready, I started feathering the wing, starting with the primaries, then continuing on to the secondaries and tertiaries.  Each feather of this first layer is sewn into place to make sure that it will stay in place.  Sewing the feathers on also gave them some degree of flexibility.  Once the first layer was on, I attached the secondaries and coverts with daubs of hot glue.  The last bit of feathering were the small flats to cover the membrane and smooth out the rest of the wing.  Each of the turkey flats was trimmed to minimize extra fluff.

 

Feathering Process: 1. Feather sorting 2. Sewing on primaries, secondaries, and tertiaries 3. Glue on coverts 4.  Trim and glue on flats

Feathering Process:
1. Feather sorting
2. Sewing on primaries, secondaries, and tertiaries
3. Glue on coverts
4. Trim and glue on flats

The final task for the wings was creating a way to attach them to my back.  I was very lucky that my friends at Arms, Armor, and Awesome already had a full body cast of a similar size to myself and knowledge of how to work with fiberglass!  So, I got to have a lesson in fiberglass and got a very sturdy base back plate out of it.

 

Fiberglass process: 1. Cutting the fiberglass sheets and center batting layer 2. Measuring out hardener and mixing resin 3. Applying resin over each layer of fiberglass (6 layers and one center core of batting) 4. Finished applying and now waiting for the piece to cure 5. Base form after it was cut to its final shape.

Fiberglass process:
1. Cutting the fiberglass sheets and center batting layer
2. Measuring out hardener and mixing resin
3. Applying resin over each layer of fiberglass (6 layers and one center core of batting)
4. Finished applying and now waiting for the piece to cure
5. Base form after it was cut to its final shape.

I then sanded the back plate smooth and installed the harness straps and microphone flanges to attach the wings.  We also had to drill a small hole through the threading of the ball joint and flange to allow for a pin to secure the wings in place after they are threaded on.  After all this work, the wings were finally done!

 

Finished wings and harness!

Finished wings and harness!

With the wings finally done and ready for action, I made sure to test them out!  Here’s a demo video of the wings in action!

 

And that’s pretty much everything!  I debuted the costume successfully at ECCC ’14 without a hitch!  The costume was surprisingly comfortable and the wings were super light (3lbs with the back plate) and I could wear them for quite a few hours without much of an issue!  Thank you so much for reading!  I hope this helps and if you have any further questions, feel free to ask!

 

 

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Building Elise’s Cave

Last September, a team of us met up to talk out the feasibility of doing an Elise cave shoot.  We started tossing around ideas about using an existing cave, but as we thought through the logistics, a number of problems arose: finding the right size of cave, access to and setting up equipment, being able to set up and control lighting, and caves just tend to photograph too big no matter their actual size.  There were just too many obstacles surrounding finding an existing cave, so we decided that we should build our own!  In our own setup, we could make sure the feel was correct, we would have access to power for lights and tools, and we could control the lighting.  This left the final hurdle of location.  Lucky for us, The H31p of Area of Defect offered up his garage as a place to build the set over the next months.

Doesn't look very cave-like yet. :P

Doesn’t look very cave-like yet. :P

After cleaning out The H31p’s garage, he and Ian started construction by cutting out two plywood bases for the two side panels,  Once they were secured, they put up and formed chicken wire over the side panels and hung more wire for the front ceiling panel, and back wall.  The chicken wire gave us a good base frame for the general rock shapes we were going for and would remain fairly light and easy to work with.

Ooo look!  The start of our cave walls!  :D

Ooo look! The start of our cave walls! :D

The next step was to cover the wire.  Originally we planned on using paper mache because it is light (after it’s dry) and inexpensive, but there were a number of problems with the idea that didn’t sit well with us.  It would take a long time to lay down and dry, the weight might warp the chicken wire as it was drying (water is heavy), and the texture it would provide wouldn’t be all that interesting.  Thus, we decided to use expanding foam instead.  Though it would be more expensive, it would remain light, give a very interesting texture, and could be applied much faster.

The start of foam!

The start of foam!

Once we finalized our decision to go with spray foam, we tacked muslin to the back of the chicken wire with thread.  We did this because chicken wire alone does not provide enough initial attachment points for the foam to cling to, especially since most of the surfaces were vertical or overhangs.

The H31P double-fisting spray foam!  This stuff is way too much fun. :P

The H31P double-fisting spray foam! This stuff is way too much fun. :P

The mass grave of spray foam cans.  RIP

The mass grave of spray foam cans. RIP

What we made with 60 cans of spray foam!

What we made with 60 cans of spray foam!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Once the muslin was hung, the spray foam worked like a charm!  At the end of it, we used about 60 cans of foam!  We did have to alter our original cave shape for the front ceiling panel when we realized that the cave looked a little too heart-shaped, but that was an easy fix and the only hitch we ran into. :P

Base black layer of paint!  So much hand painting required! -Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Base black layer of paint! So much hand painting required!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

The next step in the process was painting.  Our base color was just water based theater black paint.  By applying our darkest color first, we made sure that anything that wasn’t painted over with the highlight coat would look like a shadow.  This base coat was the longest part of the cave building process because after we used a sprayer to get most of the black on, we had to go back by hand with small brushes to get the countless nooks and crannies. If we hadn’t done this step, any little bit of the cream-colored foam would noticeably pop in the final photo.  After the long and arduous black base coat, it was time to do the highlights.

Cave highlights are done!  Starting to look like an actual set! -Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Cave highlights are done! Starting to look like an actual set!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

We used a blue-grey as our base since the blue tint would help to pop the colors of Elise and separate the blacks of the costume from the cave wall.  Additionally, since we were painting a cave rather than a wall, we mixed white in as we went and weren’t terribly precise with our mixtures because we wanted to give an organic feel to the highlights.  Once we were done with this step, the cave was starting to look pretty cool!

We left the rest of the set dressing for the day of the shoot.

Day of the shoot!  Setting up theater blacks, mulch floor, and dirty webs!

Day of the shoot! Setting up theater blacks, mulch floor, and dirty webs!

We met on set at 9am and all got to work on the various tasks to finish the set.  While I was off doing my make up, everyone else got to hanging theater blacks on the walls and ceiling.  Then they covered the floor with drop cloths and three bags of dark mulch we had picked up at Fred Myers earlier that morning.  The cave was finally ready for the last touch: webs!

Everybody working hard setting up the webs!  They were the final touch the cave needed! -Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Everybody working hard setting up the webs! They were the final touch the cave needed!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Since we had started planning the project back in September, Ian and I looted the local Halloween stores for webbing in October and we were finally able to use them!  It was probably the most exciting moment during the build.  We first took the webs and dirtied them up in the mulch.  Then came the task of setting the webs in a good way for the camera, keeping them taut, getting the right angles, thickness, and shapes took awhile, but when it was done, WOW, the cave felt so homey!  I know that I wanted to just set up a super comfy reading chair in there!

Taking a break on set with Jessica Snow! -Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Taking a break on set with Jessica Snow!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

This entire project took a lot of time, hard work, and effort from everyone involved, but the end result shows how much it paid off.

End result of 6 months of work and planning!  This photo is available as a print in our store! -Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

End result of 6 months of work and planning! This photo is available as a print in our store!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

You can find the gallery from the shoot here.

Photographer: Steve Groves of ESI Media
Production Coordinators: Ian Otto and Jessica Snow
Location Provider and Set Master: Area of Defect‘s TheH31p

 

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Elise Photoshoot Gallery

Here’s the complete photo set of Elise! I felt totally at home as Elise in the cave, and I love the way the colors of the set contrast the costume. Here’s the BTS article about how we built the cave!

Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Optimized-Optimized-Elise-03

Photography by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Location and Set byThe H31P of Area of Defect

Production Coordination by Ian Otto and Jessica Snow

 

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Elise Photoshoot!

I’m incredibly happy to announce the completion of a project we’ve been working on for six months now: the construction of a set for an Elise photoshoot! This project is the result of nights and weekends spent in The H31P’s garage getting covered in paint and spray foam, and the results are AWESOME. A huge thank you to The H31P for providing the location and help building the set, Steve Groves for setting up and taking the photo, and Ian Otto and Jessica Snow for coordinating the whole production! I’m really, really excited about how well these shots came out. We’ll have more photos up tomorrow!

Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

 

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Jinx Photoshoot!

 

I had my first real photo shoot with my Jinx costume last weekend!  I got together with Steve Groves of ESI Media and The H31P of Area of Defect to make these pictures, and we all had a blast.  The Jinx guns aren’t finished yet, but the rest of the costume is done and I wanted to make some art ^_^

I wanted this shoot to focus on Jinx’s character, so we got a little more involved with our props than last time.

Caffine Smile watermark

While we were getting that shot I started making funny faces, and this one really worked well.  I call it “Come and get me, FAT HANDS!”

Caffeine Face-Optimized

The H13P took some…convincing to get this shot, but I think he looks great!

Optimized-AoD Promo

 

And we got some shots to show off the costume from all sides. Jinx Turnaround

A huge thank you to Makeup by Crystal and Miss Rachel Dooley for helping me paint the tattoos and Jessica Snow for production help and touch-ups!!

If you’re interested in how I made the costume, I wrote a WIP article about it.

 

 

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Costume Galleries

Costume Galleries

Come check out galleries of my completed costumes!

Store is now Open!

The White Rabbit store is now open with a limited edition print in stock! We have photos of my Elise, Janna, Chii, Orianna, and Sejuani costumes available as prints, plus a limited edition print of Janna that will never be reprinted again!

Come check it out!

  • Prints Now Available-image

The White Rabbit store is now open! We have photos of my Elise, Janna, Chii, Orianna, and Sejuani costumes available as prints, plus a limited edition print of Janna that will never be reprinted again!

Thank you for your support!

Building Elise’s Cave

Last September, a team of us met up to talk out the feasibility of doing an Elise cave shoot.  We started tossing around ideas about using an existing cave, but as we thought through the logistics, a number of problems arose: finding the right size of cave, access to and setting up equipment, being able to set up and control lighting, and caves just tend to photograph too big no matter their actual size.  There were just too many obstacles surrounding finding an existing cave, so we decided that we should build our own!  In our own setup, we could make sure the feel was correct, we would have access to power for lights and tools, and we could control the lighting.  This left the final hurdle of location.  Lucky for us, The H31p of Area of Defect offered up his garage as a place to build the set over the next months.

Doesn't look very cave-like yet. :P

Doesn’t look very cave-like yet. :P

After cleaning out The H31p’s garage, he and Ian started construction by cutting out two plywood bases for the two side panels,  Once they were secured, they put up and formed chicken wire over the side panels and hung more wire for the front ceiling panel, and back wall.  The chicken wire gave us a good base frame for the general rock shapes we were going for and would remain fairly light and easy to work with.

Ooo look!  The start of our cave walls!  :D

Ooo look! The start of our cave walls! :D

The next step was to cover the wire.  Originally we planned on using paper mache because it is light (after it’s dry) and inexpensive, but there were a number of problems with the idea that didn’t sit well with us.  It would take a long time to lay down and dry, the weight might warp the chicken wire as it was drying (water is heavy), and the texture it would provide wouldn’t be all that interesting.  Thus, we decided to use expanding foam instead.  Though it would be more expensive, it would remain light, give a very interesting texture, and could be applied much faster.

The start of foam!

The start of foam!

Once we finalized our decision to go with spray foam, we tacked muslin to the back of the chicken wire with thread.  We did this because chicken wire alone does not provide enough initial attachment points for the foam to cling to, especially since most of the surfaces were vertical or overhangs.

The H31P double-fisting spray foam!  This stuff is way too much fun. :P

The H31P double-fisting spray foam! This stuff is way too much fun. :P

The mass grave of spray foam cans.  RIP

The mass grave of spray foam cans. RIP

What we made with 60 cans of spray foam!

What we made with 60 cans of spray foam!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Once the muslin was hung, the spray foam worked like a charm!  At the end of it, we used about 60 cans of foam!  We did have to alter our original cave shape for the front ceiling panel when we realized that the cave looked a little too heart-shaped, but that was an easy fix and the only hitch we ran into. :P

Base black layer of paint!  So much hand painting required! -Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Base black layer of paint! So much hand painting required!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

The next step in the process was painting.  Our base color was just water based theater black paint.  By applying our darkest color first, we made sure that anything that wasn’t painted over with the highlight coat would look like a shadow.  This base coat was the longest part of the cave building process because after we used a sprayer to get most of the black on, we had to go back by hand with small brushes to get the countless nooks and crannies. If we hadn’t done this step, any little bit of the cream-colored foam would noticeably pop in the final photo.  After the long and arduous black base coat, it was time to do the highlights.

Cave highlights are done!  Starting to look like an actual set! -Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Cave highlights are done! Starting to look like an actual set!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

We used a blue-grey as our base since the blue tint would help to pop the colors of Elise and separate the blacks of the costume from the cave wall.  Additionally, since we were painting a cave rather than a wall, we mixed white in as we went and weren’t terribly precise with our mixtures because we wanted to give an organic feel to the highlights.  Once we were done with this step, the cave was starting to look pretty cool!

We left the rest of the set dressing for the day of the shoot.

Day of the shoot!  Setting up theater blacks, mulch floor, and dirty webs!

Day of the shoot! Setting up theater blacks, mulch floor, and dirty webs!

We met on set at 9am and all got to work on the various tasks to finish the set.  While I was off doing my make up, everyone else got to hanging theater blacks on the walls and ceiling.  Then they covered the floor with drop cloths and three bags of dark mulch we had picked up at Fred Myers earlier that morning.  The cave was finally ready for the last touch: webs!

Everybody working hard setting up the webs!  They were the final touch the cave needed! -Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Everybody working hard setting up the webs! They were the final touch the cave needed!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Since we had started planning the project back in September, Ian and I looted the local Halloween stores for webbing in October and we were finally able to use them!  It was probably the most exciting moment during the build.  We first took the webs and dirtied them up in the mulch.  Then came the task of setting the webs in a good way for the camera, keeping them taut, getting the right angles, thickness, and shapes took awhile, but when it was done, WOW, the cave felt so homey!  I know that I wanted to just set up a super comfy reading chair in there!

Taking a break on set with Jessica Snow! -Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

Taking a break on set with Jessica Snow!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

This entire project took a lot of time, hard work, and effort from everyone involved, but the end result shows how much it paid off.

End result of 6 months of work and planning!  This photo is available as a print in our store! -Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

End result of 6 months of work and planning! This photo is available as a print in our store!
-Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media

You can find the gallery from the shoot here.

Photographer: Steve Groves of ESI Media
Production Coordinators: Ian Otto and Jessica Snow
Location Provider and Set Master: Area of Defect‘s TheH31p

 

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The Importance of Saying “Thank you”

I would first like to say that this article has been very difficult for me to write.  I have always been shy and extremely self-conscious.  Even when I meet new people and try to be outgoing and bold, I’ve been told that I still come off as shy, and I’ve worked hard to break down the walls I’ve built up over the years.  Even with the explosion of social media I’m still hesitant about sharing my own thoughts and feelings, but this topic is very important to me.

For most of my life I thought that I would go into some kind of scientific field.  Biology, ecology, environmental sciences, agriculture…all of these areas of study were and still are a part of my life and something I love, but there was a creative side of me that never really got the chance to show itself, even though I knew it was there.  I was terrified that if I followed my artistic inclinations, no matter how hard I worked, I would become a starving artist. So throughout my grade school days, I used the work ethic instilled in me by my family and my life growing up on a family owned organic farm to dive into academia and science.  That changed in the summer of 2010, when my best friend proposed that we make some costumes to take to a local Renaissance festival, and after that she started work on a a cosplay of Doll from Kuroshitsugi for Otakon that year. She asked me to help her, and all of her work and the creative release I felt through making our outfits and helping her with her cosplay inspired me to tackle my very first full cosplay project.

Crafting was like a drug.  It was a release of tension that I didn’t even know was there and presented a different kind of puzzle to try my hand at.  With all of my studying and hard work I hadn’t realized how much I missed working with my hands, and it was intoxicating.  I felt like I could actually express myself beyond just geeking out about this species, that bone structure, or how cute soil microbes are. (Btw, go watch Moyashimon!)  I was creating something from a vision I had in my head and bringing it into the world.  Not only that, but when I attended my first few conventions, I enjoyed my time there with friends and it was just fun.  So, between my classes and other extracurricular activities, I worked on my crafting. At the time, it helped me to balance myself out and gave me something fun to look forward to.

By the beginning of my senior year in 2011, I had completed my first cosplay, Chii from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, during the previous summer and had since made Yin from the anime Darker Than Black, and Xianghua’s third outfit from the first Soul Calibur game (yes, the old school one that was made for the Sega Dreamcast).  One day in the middle of microbiology class, it hit me that I should make something from my favorite game series at the time, Portal.  Initially I had a design in mind for a humanoid companion cube, but when I talked about it with my best friend, she suggested GLaDOS instead.  When I had played through the game originally, I hadn’t really paid attention to GLaDOS as a character, but the more I thought about her the more she appealed to me.  After I got my hands on Portal 2, I was dead set on creating a humanoid version of GLaDOS.

At the time, there weren’t that many GLaDOS cosplays out there, and most of the existing ones were based off of a chibi version of her, but my take was different.  I was pulling in inspiration from both games and saw her as someone who was once human (Caroline), melded with and eventually taken over by the machine.  I wanted to show the more human side of her by designing a dress inspired by her end mechanical form and a headpiece that enveloped half of my face.  When I realized that my headpiece design would take away my ability to talk with people (it wraps under my chin), I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate a small speaker hooked up to an mp3 player in the head piece to play her lines and music from the games, thus creating a more complete persona for me to draw upon while interacting with people on the con floor.  At the time, I was actually rather grateful for the design choice of the headpiece, because I was frightened of talking to people at such a big con.  I wouldn’t know anyone there save for my boyfriend and the two other people driving with me, and I knew that we would probably split up once we got to the con floor.

When it came time to go to NYCC, the drive was just awful.  I was the one driving us and we left at 3am.  The GPS worked well for us until it started taking us into the suburbs of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  By the time we got to our hotel, we were already at least an hour late and the hotel wouldn’t let us check in or drop off our bags.  At least they let us park the car at the hotel, and we brought all of our costume pieces on the subway with us to the con to change into in the bathrooms there.  I was running on less than 3 hours of sleep, incredibly nervous, and on the verge of crying when we got to the con, but when I finished getting ready and stepped out of the bathroom, I could hardly move five feet before being stopped and asked for a picture.  The adrenaline rushed through me and powered me for the rest of the day. I stayed in character as best I could and my boyfriend Ian (Tenarius) helped me navigate the crowds.

Photo by Karina Antigua from the NYCC '11 con floor.

Photo by Karina Antigua from the NYCC ’11 floor.

There were phones and camera flashes clicking everywhere and the press of people was constant.  Through it all, there were moments when someone would come up to me, ask for a picture, then pull back in shock and glee when they realized that GLaDOS was whispering her lines into their ear.  At other times, I would end up surrounded by a wall of people just watching as I stayed in character and presented GLaDOS’  lines to them.  I was absolutely blown away by the attention.  I simply wasn’t used to it.  On the one hand, it was just mind boggling and baffled me.  Why would people like what I’m doing right now so much?  On the other hand, it was empowering and intoxicating.  I could bring smiles to people’s faces.  I could make them feel awe, joy, astonishment, and glee.  It was a completely new level of interaction that I hadn’t thought I could possibly achieve before.  I couldn’t believe it.  I’m shy, I’m quiet, I’m self conscious, I’m plain, I’m not some stunning bombshell beauty, but I could bring them an expression, an interpretation of a character that they loved from a 2d screen into real life where they could interact with her and become excited and happy.

To me, this was the value of what I was doing.  I was creating and sharing art.  It wasn’t just a costume, or just hanging out with friends at a con.  I was trying to translate a vision of a character from my head into the real world to share with others.  I didn’t feel like I was cosplaying anymore.  I felt like I was an artist and “cosplay” was a convenient term for me to use.

The rest of the con was just an absolute blur for me.  I can’t remember much of what went on, but when I got back to my college campus, the whole experience started to sink in.  Ian had been smart enough to gather cards from photographers we had met and a week or so after the con I looked up the photographers I had cards for and watched for pictures being uploaded to the internet.  One in particular stood out.

Senen Llanos stuck in my memory, in part because he brought a 3′ octagon soft box with him to the con, but also because his photo gallery appeared on Wired.com covering his experience at NYCC with his beautiful photo gallery.  In the article, he said, “The most interesting subject I saw was a personification of the boss from Portal called GlaDOS.  In the game, this character is a huge computer that menaces the hero with very cruel and sarcastic comments.  A girl made it her own, with a lot of little details and a voice box which repeated phrases from GLaDOS — I never saw her once break character.”

Nothing like this had ever happened to me before.  Never before had I felt so excited to be in the limelight, yet at the same time, I was in complete shock and terrified.  People actually cared about what I had created beyond those that were at the convention interacting with me.  How could I, small, shy, and insignificant, touch someone enough to be considered a highlight of their entire weekend of a gigantic convention?  I just couldn’t (and still can’t) wrap my head around it.  I felt an obligation to express my gratitude because in a place where I knew no one, I had an impact on someone else and in turn, they had an impact upon me.  I decided that I should write Senen a thank you note.

For me, this thank you was important.  A thank you is an acknowledgement of a gift you’ve received or a service that someone has done for you, and while it’s not a repayment, it’s important to recognize what’s been given.  The gift can be something physical, but in this case, it was something more than that; it was an experience, an emotion, a feeling that I still can’t quite describe.  There are different levels of thank you.  It can be as little as holding a door open while you stumble through with grocery bags in your arms to as much as a life changing gift.  In this case, I was saying thank you for opening a door to a new experience, a new side of myself I hadn’t known before.

Photo by Senen Llanos from our shoot in the Columbia University tunnels.

Photo by Senen Llanos from our shoot in the Columbia University tunnels.

So, I sent Senen a note saying thank you and letting him know how grateful I was about being included in his article.  I was nervous about talking to a new person, but Senen responded and asked if I wanted to do a full on photoshoot.  We set up another GLaDOS photoshoot in the Columbia University tunnels, and I worked up the courage to meet and work with other photographers and artists.  The next costume I created was Orianna from League of Legends for the next PAX East.  Through following up with and saying thank you to the people I met there, I was able to receive a scholarship to a video game design school and move from New Hampshire to Seattle with Ian.  Out here I have worked to build the confidence to walk up to people and tell them how much I like their costume, or to ask a photographer if they want to do a shoot outside the con, which has been a huge step for me.

I wouldn’t be where I am, know the people I know, or have grown into the artist I am today without saying thank you and building relationships with all of the amazing and talented people I’ve met.  I’ve learned so much from so many people and developed so much as a person and an artist because of them.  My father has a mantra that he’s applied to his work on the family farm, “Work is love made visible”, and I’ve taken that phrase and made it into, “Art is love made visible.” Without all of you, I would have a much harder time pushing myself to create and grow as an artist and none of this would be possible. I thank each and every one of you.  Anyone who reads this article, thank you.  Anyone who I have met at a convention or by happenstance, thank you.  To all of the artists I have collaborated with, thank you.  To my family and closest friends, thank you.

To anyone and everyone who creates art of their own, thank you.

 

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Janna (League of Legends) WIP Part 2: Construction

I talked about some of the reasons and thought process behind my design of my Janna costume in Part 1 of this article series and now it’s time to discuss construction!  Here goes!

As mentioned in Part 1, I created all of the armor pieces out of a mix of Wonderflex, Worbla, and Friendly Plastic.  I decided to mix them so that I could maximize the strengths of each material for each specific piece.  Since they will all adhere to each other easily, integrating them made sense.  I didn’t use a foam core between my layers, partly because I wanted them to be on the thinner side for a more delicate and organic feel and partly because I was lazy. :P I used Wonderflex as the base of most of the armor pieces because the fabric mesh on the back makes it stronger than Worbla.

Breastplate Base of Wonderflex and Worbla

Breastplate Base of Wonderflex and Worbla

Worbla, on the other hand (since it has no fabric mesh on the back) is able to create compound curves and can be easily mushed together to sculpt into raised detailing, so I decided to use it for compound curves of the breast and hip pieces and for the raised details that would later be painted white.

Hip shaped and detailed with Worbla, Front base of Wonderflex and detailed with Worbla

The armor pieces were looking really great, but I wanted the gold details to be really smooth and organic looking.  Now, it’s awesome that Worbla can be sculpted, but it still retains a grainy texture that’s really annoying to get rid of and I really wanted the gold detailing to be a different texture and super smooth in comparison to the rest of the armor.  Hence, Friendly Plastic was my material of choice for all of the gold detailing.

Wonderflex, Worbla, and Friendly Plastic all used together.   Gems are clear resin cast and painted with nail polish on the back.

Wonderflex, Worbla, and Friendly Plastic all used together.
Gems are clear resin cast and painted with nail polish on the back.

Friendly Plastic starts out as a bunch of little round beads that can then be melted and shaped easily with a heat gun.  I’ve also been able to melt the plastic in boiling water, but I find that it is hotter for my fingers that way and I lose working time because I end up burning my fingers more often.  I usually melt the beads with a heat gun in a small ceramic corning-ware dish and pull off globs and reheat it as I need it.

Useful tip: Dip your fingers in water as you work with Friendly Plastic. With the water, it won’t stick to your fingers and you can rub it really smooth so that you won’t leave any fingerprint wrinkles. For fine details, wait for the plastic to harden a little bit and then dip a toothpick in water and use it to shape the plastic.

The last step was priming and painting.  I used several layers of gesso and sanded it to prime the armor pieces and I found that I had to use additional layers on the Worbla pieces to compensate for its grainier texture.

Useful tip: Never prime friendly plastic with gesso or any primer that requires sanding.  It does not take sanding well at all and it’s already as smooth as it can be.  If you accidentally get some gesso on it, wait for it to dry and then scrape it off.  I found this out the hard way when I was priming and painting my Orianna costume.

Next came the painting!  I used acrylic paints and added in some pearl paint to the white.  Since the armor is supposed to be pristine and white, I decided to shade it with light shades of blue, as adding any black would make it look way to dingy and just plain white and solid gold would look a bit too flat.

All armor painted Close up of Breastplate

All armor painted
Close up of Breastplate

With the last few details and fastenings of the armor pieces getting taken care of, I got to play with pretty fabric!  As mentioned in Part 1, I decided to make the main skirt out of an embroidered organza and chiffon.  I believe I gathered 5 yards of chiffon and 2-3 yards of organza together (I can’t remember exact numbers :P) for the main skirt and then gathered some long rectangles of chiffon for the four hip pieces.

Fabric layers. Edging details.

Fabric layers.
Edging details.

I edged the organza with a satin ribbon folded over the hem.  The main skirt chiffon was edged in a really pretty gold braid folded over the hem.  The four hip pieces of chiffon were edged in the same kind of braid as the main skirt, but in white instead of gold.  All of the edging was hand stitched in place.

The crown and gem pieces were all sculpted and cast in clear resin.  Here’s a quick photo collection of how the crown came together.

1. Sculpted from paper clay, sanded and sealed with modge podge. 2. mold making with Easy Mold Silicone Putty. 3. Cast with Easy Cast Resin and ready to tint with nail polish! 4. Secure pieces to the crown with Friendly Plastic. 5. Paint and done!

1. Sculpted from paper clay, sanded and sealed with modge podge.
2. mold making with Easy Mold Silicone Putty.
3. Cast with Easy Cast Resin, sanded smooth and finished with a clear acrylic spray coat. Ready to tint with nail polish!
4. Secure pieces to the crown with Friendly Plastic.
5. Paint and done!

And now for the staff!  This was actually a really fun project and I made a conscious effort to document my progress. My methods were almost identical to the time I made the ice pieces for my Sejuani costume, but the internal structure this time round was much sturdier.  :P

My base materials were three sections of PVC pipe with two connectors (so the staff could break down), plexiglass, clear plastic, and hot glue.  To start I cut out the overall shape of the top of the staff with a dremel from plexiglass, and then cut two panes to go perpendicular to it to dictate maximum thickness.  I had goggles and a dust mask because inhaling and getting plexiglass in the eye is no fun.  Remember, safety first!

 

Plexiglass in the process of being cut. The base form for the top of the staff.

Plexiglass in the process of being cut.
The base form for the top of the staff.

The plexiglass is held together with industrial strength acrylic glue designed for plexiglass and slotted into the top portion of the PVC pipe.  From this point, I took some clear, fairly flexible plastic that was thin enough to cut with scissors (at the time, it was a dog collar cone that wasn’t as clear as I wanted, but I have since discovered the wonders of TAP Plastics!) and started to cut and glue on some vertical forms for the gold circles.

Just eyeballing and puzzling the circles together. You can see my base paper pattern in the background :P

Just eyeballing and puzzling the circles together.
You can see my base paper pattern in the background :P

Before I closed the circles off over the top, I painted the inside with different colors of nail polish because I really wanted the golds and yellows to pop in the final product.  Once this was done, I started puzzling together the rest of the staff.

Puzzle Puzzle Puzzle :P

Puzzle Puzzle Puzzle :P

I literally just eyeballed the pieces, patterning, gluing, and cutting as I went.  It made for a nice organic feel and the process was really quite cathartic.  Once one side was done, I repeated it the exact same way on the other side.  This wasn’t the only “ice” work I did, though.

Ice build-up at the joins!  Woot woot!

Ice build-up at the joins! Woot woot!

I had split the length of the staff into a total of three pieces for easy break down and transport and I didn’t like how the joins looked for the length of the staff, so I covered them over in ice build-up.

Now came the last step of painting everything!  I wanted something rather translucent and sparkly (Yay sparkles!), so I went with nail polish…a lot of nail polish…but it’s ok because a lot of it was the inexpensive kind. :P

Paint!  Sparkles! :P

Paint! Sparkles!
Close up of the Sparkles. :P

When the painting was all done, I sealed it over with a clear acrylic spray and tada!  The staff also looks really cool when light is shown through it!

Staff Complete. Glow, baby glow. ^_^

Staff Complete.
Glow, baby, glow. ^_^

If I had more time, I would have added in lights to the inside of the staff, but alas, time constraints. :(

The last portions of the costume were mostly put together.  I bought 6″ clear platform heels to create the illusion of floating while on the con floor.  The ears were bought from Adriani Costumes and I bought the gloves and modified the top edge.  Lastly, some henna for the shoulder tattoos.

And with all of this and some collaboration with some amazing friends and photographers, some beautiful art was made. Thank you all so much for reading!  I hope this helps and if you have any further questions, feel free to ask! ^_^

 

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Janna (League of Legends) WIP Part 1: Design and Materials

It’s hard to believe that I started working on Janna about this time last year in preparation for PAX East 2013!  Not only is she a character that I love (my most played champion at the time), but she let me express my inner girlishness, and she was a very satisfying build for me as I incorporated a lot of my own design ideas.  I’ll write this article in two parts, so this section will go over some of the bigger design and material choices I faced and the second part will address construction.

 

I know that a lot of costumers that see a character they want to make start by finding all kinds of references (official art, screen shots, fan art, in-game models), and they spot differences in color, style, patterns, and overall design.  To a lot of people, 100% accuracy is the top priority for their design choices, but I say it doesn’t need to be.  My Janna costume is not 100% accurate to her in-game model or splash art, but I think it demonstrates how you can take multiple versions of the same character design and create your own vision.  In the end, this is how I interpret Janna and I express my vision through my design choices, materials, and collaboration with photographers and I like it.

I started with collecting picture references that included design elements that I liked, and thinking through what elements and characteristics I associated with Janna.  To me, the first five words that come to mind in describing Janna are: ethereal, wind, mage, delicate, and elegance.  I kept these words in mind as I looked through reference images and made design choices.  In this case, my top two references ended up being the North American and Chinese splash art.

 

Duel Reference Pic

Left: North American Splash Art
Right: Chinese Splash Art

I particularly liked the flowing skirt, hip area armor, leg armor, crown, and staff from the Chinese artwork but I wasn’t such a big fan of the chest piece, gloves, or hair color.  For those design elements, I pulled my inspiration from the North American artwork because I liked them better and the intricacies they displayed seemed to fit better with the elements I liked from the Chinese art.

The next big decision I made was to make the chest, hip, and leg pieces into armor.  I got the armor vibe because of the way it felt in the artwork and to maintain a level of consistency throughout the costume.  To me, they look like solid pieces with intricate raised details.

Janna Ref Closeup 1This was especially evident in the chest piece of the North American artwork because of the way the shadows are drawn.  The chest piece looks like it sticks out a little from her torso at the bottom point, indicating it is a solid, stiff piece.  Plus, though Janna is a beautiful, ethereal, sexy elf mage, she is going into battle so some form of armor makes sense to me.

 

From Left to Right: Worbla, Wonderflex, Friendly Plastic

From Left to Right: Worbla, Wonderflex, Friendly Plastic

When I was choosing the materials for the armor, I had a few limitations to keep in mind.  I needed something that was sturdy enough to withstand a lot of travel, but also that I could work with in my living room with the tools I already had.  I ended up choosing three different kinds of thermoplastics: worbla, wonderflex, and friendly plastic.  I had experience working with wonderflex and friendly plastic from my Orianna costume, and I wanted to try working with worbla (especially for compound curves).  I will go more in depth of how I used these materials for constructing the armor pieces in part two of this article.

The next step was determining a fabric choice, especially since I decided to go with the big flowing skirt design.  Since Janna is a wind mage, I knew immediately that whatever fabric I would choose had to be super light and probably sheer, so when I found a chiffon at the fabric store, I knew it was right!

Janna Fabric

Additionally, while I was scouting for fabrics, I stumbled upon a beautiful embroidered organza and I made an entirely original design choice: the main skirt would be made up of two layers of fabric.  It would give additional body to the skirt while keeping it light and airy, and it would add some subtle detail.

The final big decision I had to make would be how to make the staff. I knew that I wanted to make her staff to look more elegant and delicate than it does in either splash art because it fit better with her character and the design I was aiming for.  With that said, I generally liked the shape and feel of the staff in the Chinese artwork.  I also worked under the assumption that the top of the staff is smaller than in the artwork in reality because of perspective, so I used it as a base reference and planned to scale it down a little.

Janna Ref Closeup 2

Since Janna is a wind and weather mage, I particularly liked the idea that the chill of the winds that she controls would freeze the rain in the clouds and build up on her staff as ice.  With ice in mind, I decided I would use the same clear plastic-hot glue technique I used for Sejuani, but I also had some ideas on how to improve upon the technique to make the piece sturdier.

This is just a brief look into how I go about making design choices, especially when there are multiple references to pull from.  I try my best to keep in mind the character I’m trying to create and to think through why I make my decisions for materials and aesthetic.  At the end of the day, a costume should look the way YOU like.

This concludes part one of this article series.  In part two I’ll go into more about the costume construction. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Jinx (League of Legends) WIP!

Since the reveal of League of Legends’ most recent champion, Jinx, about a month ago, I’ve been working on bringing her to life.  So far, I have been able to finish everything except for the guns. A few people have asked me about how I made her costume pieces, so here’s a quick overview of some of my work in progress.

Jinx Teaser 1

(Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media)

I started working on the top and shorts first.  I used two different pink fabrics (silk rayon and denim) to create 1″ stripes.  Once the squares of striped fabric were completed, I used those pieces to create the right breast cover and shorts.  I did not hem the bottom of the shorts and frayed the edges of the fabrics a bit to make them seem like rough, tough cut offs, but sealed the edges with fray check to make sure they wouldn’t fray further.  I quilted lambskin to a lining for the left breast cover.

IMG_0544

The next big thing I worked on was creating the belts and straps.  I purchased some beautiful belt leather from the Tandy Leather Factory, with different widths depending on the belt I was looking to create.  The widest was the belt around the waist and the thinnest was the neck strap and hip holster.  After I secured the buckles/hardware with screw-in rivets and cut the leather to length, I hand stitched the decorative stitching along the edges of each strap, save for the straps that would become bandoliers later on.

IMG_0545

The bandoliers are two 1/2″ wide leather straps.  The bullets are .308 caliber dummy bullets that I got from Dummy Bullet.  There is no primer in the back, the casing is completely empty and a hole is drilled through the side of each of them, rendering them completely inert.

IMG_0561

Here’s the end result of the bandoliers.

IMG_0562

The next project was to create the purple hip cover.  This part of the costume went through two renditions.  I used a purple pigskin suede and quilted it to a back lining.  The edging was lambskin (the same as I used in the top) and had to be hand stitched on. The top edge was then stitched to the bottom edge of the hip holster strap.  The left arm sleeve was also created from the lambskin and the bottom pink portion was the same silk rayon used in the shorts.  The two raised bands I made with some batting.

IMG_0556

The wig started out as a slate blue Delilah from Arda Wigs and an order of short wefts. First I took aluminum wire and threaded it over the crown through the lace of the wig, and made it long enough that it would extend partially down through the braids to give the braids some initial shape. Then I had to criss-cross the part down the back of the wig so that the base of the wefts wouldn’t show through.

Once this was done, I started working on a custom hairline for the wig with some of the hair from the weft I had bought so that the wig would become a lace front.  I used ventilation, which is a technique where you tie hairs onto a fine netting with a small hook tool, onto film quality mesh.

IMG_0546

Once the hairline was ventilated, I sewed it to the wig and started styling the wig with a hair dryer along each weft so that the hair would be pulled straight back.  I added in some extra wefts parallel to those already present to add more thickness, help cover the aluminum wire, and give me more to work with later on for the side bang fwoop.

IMG_0547

Before I started styling the side bangs, I added in a bunch of wefts perpendicular to the ones already present in the general area of the fwoop so that I had more and longer hair to work with.  After that, I separated the hair I would use for the outermost layers and teased the inside layers of hair until it created the general height and shape I wanted the fwoop to be.  It looked really messy, but once that was done, I covered the mess with the outer layers of hair and styled them into place with hair spray and a hair dryer.  Finally, I trimmed and styled the hair into place, redid the two braids, added some wefts around the ties at the ends of the braids, and added wig clips on the underside of the wig to help keep it forward and in place when I wore it.

Here’s a picture of the final wig with Tenarius doing his best Jinx face:

IMG_0549

Here’s a shot of the back where you can see the criss crossed part:

IMG_0551

There are some odds and ends that I worked on as well.  The stockings are actually two different pairs, one fishnet and one regular, that I wear one over the other.  When I got them, the pink was too bright and the purple too dark, so I used some RIT dye remover to tone down the colors a bit.  The necklace was also a fun little project; I played with different cord and textures and tried my hand at a Turk’s head knot to hold the bullet.

IMG_0567

So that’s pretty much everything I’ve done so far for Jinx!  I am still working on figuring out how to do the guns, which will be another huge, fun project!  Stay tuned for more progress and epic photos!

I hope this helps to answer any questions and if you have more, feel free to ask!

In the meantime, GET JINXED!  :D

Jinx Teaser 2 (2)

(Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media)

 

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Theorycrafting: Sandstorm Katarina Cosplay

Hey everyone and welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!

This series features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay.  My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.

As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters (from any series/game, etc) you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^

This week’s character is: Katarina (Sandstorm Katarina Skin, League of Legends)

Katarina, the Sinister Blade (Sandstorm Katarina Skin)

Katarina, the Sinister Blade
(Sandstorm Katarina Skin)

Katarina du Couteau is the daughter of Noxus’ High General, and a skilled warrior in her own right.  From a young age she showed a talent for bladework, and eventually became the preeminent assassin of the Noxian military.  Now she serves as Noxus’ representative in the League of Legends, defending her city-state against their sworn enemy, Demacia.

With this costume, there’s a lot of room for personal expression while still keeping the original feel of the character.   It’s important that you choose a really light gauzy fabric, as well as making sure you have plenty of shiny jewelry. Other than that, feel free to add any personal embellishment that you think would look good.

Very few people have made a Sandstorm Katarina cosplay, despite how popular Kat is as a cosplay character.  Personally, I think this is a really pretty skin and I would love to see someone make a good cosplay of it.

Fabrics:

The fabric choices will have a huge impact in this costume since it is mostly fabric based.  Although there are differences in fabric interpretations between the splash art and the in game model, I would personally opt to follow the splash art since I like the flow, detail, and feel that it gives.  Since this is a desert themed skin, light and flowy fabrics seem to be a really good choice.

With that said, I would go for a sheer, light fabric for the base red/maroon fabric  for the pants and sleeves.   I think that organza or chiffon would work really well because it would give a really flowy, airy feel to the costume.  I might also think about layering two different sheer fabrics to give some added dimension and detail to the costume.  You could also mix two different colors to add in the extra texture.

The main bodice fabric would be the same color maroon but not sheer.  A silk or low sheen satin may work really well.  You could also add in a layer of sheer over the opaque fabric if you wanted, but I don’t think that would be necessary.

For the white head wrapping, I would probably use a mix of a soft cotton or silk with organza or chiffon over it.  This would create a really nice texture and folding potential for the head piece, but you can also extend the chiffon/organza beyond the head piece into the tails to give it light, flowy tails without making it look awkward and tacked on.

Patterning:

For the pants, I would go for a nice, billowy look that will gather just below the knee.  For patterning, you’ll want to allow for extra fabric to gather at the waist and knee to add in the extra “poof” and flowing feel.  I would also probably build in some underwear into the pants for modesty’s sake.

Sandstorm Katarina Reference Pic (http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/katarina_desert?mode=#skin)

Sandstorm Katarina Reference Pic (http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/katarina_desert?mode=#skin)

For the bodice and sleeves, it appears to me to be a halter top that crosses in front of the neck.  the sleeves also look like they are attached to or looped around the halter.  You can either find an existing pattern to modify, or you could use the duct tape method to create a custom form fit pattern, as I have described in the Fiora Theorycraft.

Trims:

Basically everything in this outfit is trimmed in gold.  I would advise going to your local fabric store and just browsing the different trims that are available.  I would personally recommend using lighter, more delicate looking trims for this costume.  Also, it is worth noting that sometimes, just folding a plain satin ribbon over an edge or seam and sewing it on can work really well, giving a simple but really pretty trim.

A lot of this is up to personal taste and choice, as there are a lot of opportunities for embellishment in this costume.

Shoes:

For the leg below the knee, there are a few options that you could go for.  You could create it as a boot or you could go with a base shoe/sandal with a leg armor over it.

Sandstorm Katarina Reference Pic (http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/katarina_desert?mode=#skin)

Sandstorm Katarina Reference Pic (http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/katarina_desert?mode=#skin)

I would personally go with the armor/layering option.  What I would do is take a base sandal and use a soft cotton to create almost a wrapped boot that would go up the leg a good way, perhaps to the middle of the calf.  It would be such that you would wrap it around and up your leg almost like an ace bandage and secure it in place.  The calf armor would be secured over it.

You could make the calf armor out of leather, thermoplastic, or EVA foam.  I would personally move towards using thermoplastic or leather for the bulk of it and only use EVA foam for the bulky gold circlet thing around the calf.  Regardless of what material I end up using, I would make sure that it was layered and had dimension to it.  Additionally, I would take liberty of having it lace up the back of the calf so that you can be sure that it is snug and you can get it on and off, and I think it would fit well with the rest of the costume.

Weapons:

Katarina has four swords with teeth!  I would recommend just creating them mostly out of wood, carving and sanding them to shape.

I wouldn’t about using foams or paper based materials for the swords because I would be worried about breaking the teeth, but it could still be doable with insulation foam coated with crystal sheen or bondo (Awesome 2 part insulation foam tutorial), you would have to be pretty careful with the end result and be sure to have a sturdy core, such as thick wire or wooden dowel, to help reinforce the foam.

You may also want to see about engineering in the two sword sheath/holders on her back into the bodice part, though it may end up resulting in a bit too much weight on the fabric.  If it does become too much weight, you could create a solid sheathe/holder and use clear straps to have them on your back like a backpack.

Miscellaneous:

There is a lot of room for personal taste and embellishment on this costume, especially on the gold portions.  You could probably include wire, beading, trims, and scavenge the jingly things off of a belly dancing skirt.

I would recommend building the girdle and other thick gold bangles out of EVA foam or thermoplastic (wonderflex and/or worbla).  Worbla would do really well for detail work if you go for the thermoplastic route, but it will turn out looking thinner than EVA foam, so it’s ultimately up to you.

For the wig, I would go for a more natural red color, like a dark copper red rather than an obvious red.  I think it would look more natural and blend in better with the desert theme.  You can also probably get away with a pretty short wig for this cosplay since most of her hair is hidden by the head covering.

You will almost definitely want to wear a pair of nylons with this costume because of the amount of leg you could be showing as well.

 

That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Sandstorm Katarina cosplay.  If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, if you want more, check me out online at my Facebook Page or via Twitter.

 

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Theorycrafting: Thresh Cosplay 1/26/2013

Hey everyone and welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!

This series features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay.  My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.

As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters (from any series/game, etc) you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^

This week’s character is: Thresh (Classic Skin, League of Legends)

Thresh, the Chain Warden

Thresh, the Chain Warden

Thresh was a jailer in Valoran hundreds of years ago, famed for his sadism and his love of chains. He tormented his prisoners to madness and death for years, until one night when they all broke loose and hanged him from his own chains. He returned as a dark spirit, stalking across the land in search of souls to steal away. No one knows what his new purpose is, or why he’s chosen to join the League of Legends, but everyone remembers the children’s rhyme: Cling clang, go the chains, Someone’s ’bout to find you, Cling clang, oh the chains, The Warden’s right behind you….

Thresh is one of the creepiest champions in League of Legends, and it’s a really important aspect of this costume. How you carry yourself will make or break this costume, but it’s also really important to make sure that the headpiece and scythe are intimidating. The movement of the chains is also a big part of the costume, so make sure that the stiff parts don’t move and the supple parts do. Getting the color scheme right is also important, otherwise the costume will look silly.

Head:

I imagine starting out making a base ski mask-like hood out of a green stretch fabric that covers your head and neck.  You can probably leave the eyes and mouth open so that you can easily see and breathe.  Breathing is a good thing.

Head Reference pic

Head Reference pic

Once you have the hood made, you can create the green particle effect with translucent cellophane, or the clearish stuff they use for gift baskets and flowers.  I would use mostly green cellophane, but also include a little bit of blue, yellow, and clear cellophane and crinkle it a little to create a more dynamic look.  Once the cellophane is attached to the hood, I would rig up some LEDs or EL wire around the base of your neck and perhaps integrate some lights in between the cellophane sheets.  I would also rig up some LED’s around your eyes and mouth to make them glow.  You’ll also want to black out (or green-out, whichever looks better) around your eyes and mouth so that you don’t have your skin color peeking through.

The base mask/face portion could be created out of any number of materials.  You could cast the base with plaster (discussed previously in Nutcracko Theorycraft), or you could use paper mache, clay, fosshape, etc.  It’s entirely up to you.  Since the jaw is not directly attached to the upper portion of the face, you could link it with something like fishing line to keep it in place.

For the head chains (I guess that’s what they’re called?) I would start out with creating a base from segments of PVC pipe.  If you need it to bend, you can use fittings or heat the pipe over an open flame and bend it that way.  Between each of the segments, there is a glowing portion, so I would insert a small section of clear plexiglass pipe with an LED in it!  I think this would make for an awesome effect!

Additionally, once the PVC base is put together, I would apply and carve expanding foam (Tutorial by Kamui) to each segment so that you get a more custom shape to make it look like bone and have flares on each end.

Coat:

For the base fabric, I would go with a heavy, utilitarian material such as canvass or wool.  Basically, something that hangs really well.  Colors would be a really dark grayish-blue and a dark purple.

Reference Pic (from Lolking.net)

Reference Pic (from Lolking.net)

For the edging/chain-like portions, I would do the same pvc-expanding foam segment method as it was for the head, save for the plexiglass pipe, since these bone segments don’t glow.  Instead, I would install links made with either wire, or chain segments between the ends of two segments.  I would not, however, thread them together like beads, since I think the joins would be too loose and floppy.  However, for the coat tails, I may thread the segments together with a stiff wire after they are attached together so that they can hold the semi-suspended curve shape.

Once you have it threaded together and painted, I would finally attach/sew the segments to the coat with fishing line or some other clear thread so that they can shift a bit so you can breathe and so that it moves a bit with the fabric, but does not come loose.

For some of the segments, specifically the one going down the middle of the coat tails, you might want to consider carving/forming them out of sheet insulation foam, cutting them in half, and then sandwiching the fabric between two halves.

Coat Reference Pic (from Lolking.net)

Coat Reference Pic (from Lolking.net)

Likewise, for the skulls, I would recommend either carving them out of insulation foam or forming them with worbla.

Lastly, for the collar of the coat, I would probably form it with fosshape to make it really nice and stiff, then covering it with fabric.  Since the edging is so unique I would use friendly plastic over the fabric to shape it and then paint the friendly plastic.

Boots:

For the boot armor, I would go out and find a pair of black shoes and then build the armor to fit around them and your leg.  For materials, I would probably use either wonderflex or worbla since they are sturdy materials, and will give a really nice finish.  You could also probably use EVA foam, styrene, or fiberglass, but I think the wonderflex/worbla would be easiest to work with and give the nicest results.  I would not use craft foam, as it breaks really easily, especially when it’s close to a joint or other high stress area of the body.

Hands:

The hands appear to be armored, so, as with the boots, I would recommend building them with wonderflex or worbla over a green or black glove.  The painting for the hands will be key, as there’s a lot of gradient color going on and color choice will matter.  Try to keep the colors consistent with the other glowing areas of the costume.

Weapons:

I would use the same pvc-expanding foam and wire/chain joint method as I described above for the flexible chain portions of the scythe and lantern.

Lantern:

For the lantern, itself, I would probably create a pvc pipe base frame and later embellish it with the expanding foam method.

As for the openings/glowing inside, I can’t quite tell if there are supposed to be panes of glass or not.

If you interpret that there is glass, you can probably create a groove in the pvc pipe and slide in panes of plexiglass.  In this case, I would make sure that the top of the lantern could be taken off so that you can access the inside to install and manage lights and cellophane.

If you don’t think there are glass panes, then I would install a plexiglass tube/post down the middle of the lantern and build off of it for your lights and cellophane glow effects.

Scythe:

There are a number of ways to create the scythe depending on your skill set and budget.  I would aim to make it light, since you’ll be carrying it around all the time and the lantern will probably be a bit heavy.  That being said, I would not recommend building it out of wood.  I would probably lean towards a pvc pipe base for the handle with expanding foam over that to get the unique shape, and then sheet insulation foam (or expanding foam) with a supporting core for the blade.

That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Thresh cosplay.  If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, if you want more, check me out online at my Facebook Page or via Twitter.

 

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Theorycrafting: Lulu Cosplay 1/19/2013

Hey everyone and welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!

This series features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay.  My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.

As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters (from any series/game, etc) you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^

This week’s character is: Lulu (Classic Skin, League of Legends)

Lulu, the Fae Sorceress

Lulu, the Fae Sorceress

Intro:

Lulu (3D Model 1, 3D Model 2) is an imaginative young yordle. She spent most of her childhood wandering in the forest around Bandle City, which is how she met her best friend Pix, the faerie. Pix was fascinated by Lulu’s childish imagination, so he invited her to the Glade, the home of faeries. Lulu stayed there with Pix for a long time playing faerie games, until it was time for her to go home. When she got home, however, she found that centuries had passed in Bandle City and, in fact, nobody wanted to play faerie games with her. With nowhere else to go, Lulu decided to join the League of Legends, where her talents would be appreciated.

Personally, Lulu is one of my favorite characters in League of Legends. She’s really fun to play, and I’ve been thinking of how to make a costume of her ever since she came out. Plus, you know…SQUIRREL!!!

With this costume, it’s important to keep the sense of scale without dwarfing yourself. Lulu’s hat and staff are huge compared to her, but she also has a proportionately big head, so try to strike a balance between the two. Coordinating the colors between the hat, robe, wig, and makeup is also really important to make a continuous effect. Smaller people would do really well in this costume, especially if it were paired with a Veigar cosplay. ^_^

Some people have already done Lulu cosplays and it is so fun to see them!  Two Lulu cosplays that I particularly like, are shown below:

Lulu Cosplay by SlaughterTM (http://slaughtertm.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5fqao9)

Lulu Cosplay by SlaughterTM

I really like SlaugherTM‘s Lulu, because she made very good fabric choices.  I love the texture of the velvet material and it’s nicely offset by the more cotton-like material that she used for the purple stripes.  She also did an excellent job with the hat.  The scale is well thought out so that it is big and maintains the silhouette, but is not so big as to dwarf her features.

Lulu Cosplay by KiraHokuten (http://kirahokuten.deviantart.com/art/Lulu-322706327)

Lulu Cosplay by KiraHokuten

KiraHokuten‘s Lulu is another example of a very well made cosplay.  Her fabric choices, though different from SlaughterTM’s in material and color choice, still come together very well.  Again, the hat is very well made and the scale reads well with Kira Hokuten’s features and the rest of the costume.  All in all, a very well made cosplay.

With these examples in mind, I will now go through how I would approach creating Lulu.

Dress:

Lulu’s dress has a very particular shape, so you’ll want to plan for creating some form of stiffened or hoop skirt.  If you go with a hoop, I would place it at the bottom edge so that you get the swoop and triangle-esque angle of the skirt.  If you can, you may want to install the hoop between the outer layer and an inner lining.

For the hoop, I would consider using a stiff steel wire for it so that it doesn’t create a huge bulge, like pvc pipe or a hula hoop would.

Pants:

Since there is a difference between the splash art and in-game model for the design and look of Lulu’s pants, I think that you could either make your own pantaloons or use leggings.  Either way, I would go for either a dark green or a dark brown, depending on your preference.

Shoes:

Lulu’s shoes have a uniquely shaped upturned toe, so you may want to makeyour own shoes, modify an existing pair, or create boot covers.  I would personally go with one of the first two options.  If you decide to make the shoes from scratch, you could scavenge soles from a pair of flats and build off of that.

For the material, I would go for a soft, dark brown deerskin.  If you want a less expensive material, a dark brown canvas may work well.

Hat:

The hat could possibly be the trickiest thing to construct for this costume because of the odd shape and the issue of scale.  On the one hand, it needs to be big, but you don’t want to dwarf your own features by creating a huge hat.

Lulu Hat Reference Pic (Lolking.net)

Lulu Hat Reference Pic (Lolking.net)

With that said, I would probably use Fosshape to create the base form of the hat since it’s a really light material, which will certainly be nice since the hat is so big!

You could theoretically use other materials, such as insulation foam or just fabric with some interfacing.  The problem is that insulation foam would get a bit too clunky and be heavier than the fosshape, since it won’t be hollow, it will have that extra weight and will also be hotter to wear than the fosshape.  As for using just fabric with wire and interfacing, you could probably do it, but it runs the risk of not being stiff enough and the hat could get crushed and lose its shape.

For the lacing on the front of the hat, I would use a brown leather cord.

Fabrics:

Since most of this costume uses the same fabrics for different items, I’ll write a section on fabric choices!  ^_^

I would ideally use velvet for the reddish portions, but if you look closely, the main reddish fabric is actually a gradient between red and purple and velvet does not dye well.  In the case of including the color gradient, which I think would be really good to include in the costume since it adds another color dimension, you’ll want to go with a rich looking natural fiber fabric (so that you can dye it).

I would make the sleeves custom, either out of a velvet if you went the gradient dying route on the main dress or a knit cotton if you used velvet for the main dress.  This is so that there is another layer and differentiation in texture

I think a gold satin or silk would work well for the detailing and lining.  Be careful with the color choices for the gold, though, since I don’t think just a yellow or a bright gold would give the best effect.  I think a darker, antique gold color would work particularly well.

Staff:

There are a number of different methods and materials you could use for Lulu’s staff.  You could use pvc or a thick wooden dowel (or wooden broom handle!) as a base.  For the bulkier parts, you could use all sorts of materials like paper mache, insulation foam, expanding foam, wood, or you could mold and cast it if you’re feeling brave.  I would personally consider using the expanding foam method (explained in the expanding foam tutorials by Kamui Cosplay) and be sure to incorporate a woody grain, bark texture to the staff.

Pix!

I think you could make Pix out of any number of materials and the decision of how to make Pix is up to you.  You could make a plush or a hard, sculpted form.  As for how to incorporate Pix into the costume, you could perch him on the hat, your shoulder, or staff.  You could also hold him or rig up a clear line or post and attach him to the hat or shoulder, etc so that he appears to be floating.

Body Paint:

There is a lot of discussion and forum posts on sites, such as cosplay.com about body paints, such as which ones to use and how to make sure that they don’t rub off, etc.  I would just make sure to not just paint your face and hands a straight blue.  You’ll want to add in highlights and some other colors, such as purples to help contour your face.

If you want to see some really good League of Legends themed make-up tutorials that address these issues, check out Makeup Disguise’s posts on Glamerous Gamer Girls!

Miscellaneous Suggestions:

I would suggest using a long, wavy purple wig (much like this one from Arda-Wigs) rather than a straight wig.  It will give the costume a little more bouncy, fun movement.

Definitely make the bag!  Not only will it be useful to carry things around in, but you can also put things like glitter and fairy dust in it!

If you don’t have green eyes, you may want to consider obtaining contacts since the extra detail can really help make the character “pop”.  If you don’t need glasses, you can just get them at 0.0 strength so that they’re purely cosmetic.

 

That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Lulu cosplay.  If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, if you want more, check me out online at my Facebook Page or via Twitter.

 

 

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Theorycrafting: Draven Cosplay 1/12/2013

Hey everyone and welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!

This series features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay.  My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.

As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters (from any series/game, etc) you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^

This week’s character is: Draven (Classic Skin, League of Legends)

Draven, the Glorious Executioner

Draven, the Glorious Executioner

 

Draven (3D Model) is the brother of  the Hand of Noxus, the leader of the city-state’s military forces, but Draven never cared for the rigid discipline of the regiments. He craved personal glory and the adoration of the crowds, so he left the  military to become an executioner. He soon turned his prisoners’ deaths into sadistic spectacles, giving them a chance to run before he cut them down with a perfectly thrown axe. The masses of Noxus loved Draven’s shows, which in turn fed his narcissism. Eventually Draven left Noxus to pursue his ultimate goal: turning the League of Legends into the League of Draaaaaaaaaaven.

Draven’s character is flashy and spectacular, so it’s especially important with this costume to have a strong silhouette. You could also add a few details of your own to this costume if you think it would improve the effect–more flair and shine would be in keeping with Draven’s character, as long as you don’t overwhelm the original costume. Here’s some early concept art to give you some ideas:

Draven Concept Art

Draven Concept Art

 

Mantle:

I’ve thought about this part of the costume a fair bit and I think that keeping the stiffness, shape, and thickness are all really important components.  I don’t think you can quite get the right effect with just fabric alone, but it isn’t quite armor.

Reference Picture (http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/draven)

Reference Picture (http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/draven)

Thus, I think that I would use EVA foam (Tutorial) to give a base thickness and shape to the mantle.  Once the base form is complete, I would cover it over with fabric and have the main seam/clasp down the center on the chest area.

For the furred portion, I would add in some upholstery foam on top of the EVA foam to create the slight hump and definition that the fur has.

For the belts/straps, I would use a dark brown leather since I think it will create a nice transition from the cool mantle color the the warm reds on the rest of the costume.

Arms:

For the spiky bicep circles and bracers, I would consider mixing materials.  I think I would use EVA foam for the base circle since it’s a thick material.  I would then sculpt the spikes out of clay or some other material that you may be more comfortable with.  The other, more expensive option would be to use Worbla and/or Wonderflex.  The Worbla would make sculpting the spikes fairly easy, but you will have to use more material for the base to make it thicker.  It would be up to you if you prioritize budget or ease and uniformity of material.

I would gravitate towards a stretch maroon fabric that feels fairly sturdy for the fabric portion of the arms.   A stretch knit may work well.  I don’t think that spandex would work well for this character since it tends to have a bit of a weird sparkle to it.  When you purchase this fabric, make sure to account for the belt/waist band as well, since I think they are the same material.

For the gloves, you could make them out of a black leather and white quilted fabric for the palm, or you could try and find similar looking sporting gloves and remove any logos that are on them.  If you aren’t so concerned with accuracy, you can just use a pair of black gloves.

Lastly, I think that I would make the fastening/straps out of leather and install buckles.  If that’s out of your budget, there are other fastening options out there, such as D-rings or velcro.

Pants:

I think that the base pants are a softer, more comfortable fabric and fairly snug (but not quite skinny jeans).  You could either find similar pants or you can make them.  On the thighs, I would use a quilted fabric on top of the base pants so that it gives more dimension to the line of the pants.

The belt buckle could be made of any number materials, depending on what materials you are comfortable working with.  I would personally consider Wonderflex or Worbla.

Boots:

I would start with a base black shoe and then build the armor pieces to cover them and your lower leg.

Reference Picture (http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/draven)

Reference Picture (http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/draven)

I would, once again, recommend using Wonderflex or Worbla for this portion (Kamui’s Tutorial and Volpin’s Tutorial on Wonderflex).  You can create sturdy armor pieces and make them segmented so that they flex with your leg.  As a note, the front shin portion of the armor is a separate piece from the back of the calf.

For attachments, you can use buckles for the calf armor.  A strap can also be used for the top of the shin piece, but you can also have velcro on the calf armor’s lower strap to stick to the inside of the shin armor and keep it from sticking out.

Axes:

To make the axes, I would take a stroll through your local hardware store’s plumbing section to find a pvc fitting that spins.  I know that they are out there, I just don’t know what they are called.  Once you find this piece, you will want to install a handle in the center.

Reference Picture (http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/draven)

Reference Picture (http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/draven)

After this, you’ll want to install a support post for the blade and then build the blade around it.  Insulation foam (Tutorial) may be the easiest material to create the blade with.

 

That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Draven cosplay.  If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, if you want more, check me out online at my Facebook Page or via Twitter.

 

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Theorycrafting: Veigar Cosplay 1/5/2013

Hey everyone!  Happy New Year and welcome back to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!  I took some time off at the end of 2012 to spend the holidays with family, but now I’m back and will resume weekly updates.

This series features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay.  My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.

As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters (from any series/game, etc) you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^

This week’s character is: Veigar (Classic Skin, League of Legends)

Veigar_Splash_01

Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil

Veigar is a creature whose diminutive stature belies his vast magical power. As a young yordle he was imprisoned for years by the Noxians, whose torments slowly drove him mad. Finally he escaped and fled to the far reaches of Valoran, where he began to study dark magic under any who would accept him as a student. Now he seeks to bring the entire world beneath the heel of his size 2 boot.

The most important aspect of this costume is maintaining the sense of scale about Veigar. He’s a tiny character, so this costume would be perfect for a child or someone who’s naturally very short, but if someone taller wanted to make this costume I would suggest that they pay special attention to keeping the costume properly proportioned.

Main Body:

The main body will probably take the semblance of a robe with a short hoop skirt.  First off, for the hoop, if you wanted, you could just use a hula hoop, but I think I would make a custom hoop out of pvc, since the hem of his robe isn’t quite circular.

Model Reference Pic (Please ignore the upskirt :P )

Model Reference Pic (Please ignore the upskirt :P )

You can create the custom bends in the pvc with fittings  and bending with heat (heat gun or open flame).

Once the hoop is created, you can sew together the rest of the robe.  I would consider using a dark blue velvet and then weathering it a bit.

After the fabric is all put together, I would use EVA foam for the metal detailing/trim, since it’s a thicker material, light, and will give a pretty good finish.

For the spikes, you could make them out of foam, thermoplastics, sculpy, casting, other clays, etc.  Whatever method works for you!  ^_^

You will probably want to use interfacing to stiffen the collar.

Hat:

I think I would use Fosshape to make the base form of the hat since it is a unique shape.  Fosshape can also become quite stiff after shaping, so I think it will hold the shape quite well.  (Fosshape Tutorial [Note: you can also use a heat gun if you don't have a steamer])  You can then cover it over with the blue velvet and do the same kind of detailing for the metal portions as you did for the robe.

Face:

I think I would create a black hood, kind of like a ski mask out of a stretch material (probably spandex).  I would also have yellow tinted goggles (probably with yellow LEDs on the inside of them as well) underneath the spandex so that once the hood is on, they poke out.

Shoes:

I would start with a flat shoe and then build up the rest of the armor over the base shoe.  I think I would consider using wonderflex or fosshape for the shoe since you want some flexibility, but also strength so that they don’t break.

Weapon:

For Veigar’s staff, you would probably use either a wooden rod or pvc pipe as a base.  PVC will be lighter, but it will be easier to carve/shape the taper with wood.  For the bulkier portions, I would use sheet insulation foam (tutorial) as the base material.  I would attach the spikes afterward or have the spikes attached before putting the foam on for a sturdier end product.

Model Reference Pic

Model Reference Pic

I would probably use clear plastic, much like the way I used it for the horn on Sejuani’s helmet, for the yellow crystal.  Here is another tutorial for making hollow, glowing crystals by Kohalu Cosplay.

To make the yellow crystal float, you can have it attached to the main handle with a clear rod to make it look like it floats.

The Gloves:

The larger of the two gloves will be the most difficult part of this costume to build, I think, because the awesome part would be to make it so that you can articulate the fingers!

To start, I would probably make an inner frame for the glove with pulley articulation, much like the one in this video.  You will have to modify the design for 3 fingers instead of 4, but this gives a very base idea.  It is a simple pulley system hooked up to your own fingers.

The next step will be to create an exoskeleton for the hand/fingers and make it big enough for your own hand to fit and move around in the palm area.  You can probably use wonderflex or insulation foam for the exoskeleton.

Once the exoskeleton is built, you can finish it with paint, fabric, and thicker foam/spike detailing.

For the smaller glove, I would start with a black or blue velvet glove that fits your hand and then build the armor plates over it.  You may not want to build armor pieces over the pads of your fingers so that you can still grip your staff, but it’s up to you.

That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Veigar cosplay.  If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, if you want more, check me out online at my Facebook Page or via Twitter.

 

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Area of Defect Collaborations

I've worked with the band Area of Defect several times over the last year as a costume designer for their music videos. Each project has been a lot of fun, and we've even done some original collaborations together!

V-Logs

Bi-Monthly updates on what's going on, thoughts, and tips! ^_^

WIP Videos

A lot of the time, people only get to see the end progress of a project, but there's a lot of work involved to get props and costumes to their finished states. I thought it would be cool to share some time-lapse and work in progress videos of some of my work. ^_^

Hello and welcome to our rabbit hole! My name is Brittany 'Britthebadger' Cox and my partner in life, logistics, and creativity is Ian 'Tenarius' Otto.

I made my first full costume in the summer of 2010. I was in the middle of getting a degree in Natural Resources, and the hand work gave me a creative outlet I hadn't had for a long time. After I completed my first character, I was hooked on the creative challenges and interaction with people I met at events and I dove further into the craft.

Since our start, we've been looking to push the boundaries of our craftsmanship, interact with people as characters they love, and create awesome artwork through photographs and video. We love bringing characters to life and sharing our art. Thank you for visiting, and enjoy our site!

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Contact Us

White Rabbit Costuming is based in Seattle, Washington. If you have any questions or would like to speak with us, please send an email to [email protected]

You can also find us on Facebook and on Twitter.