How to: Make a helm from fiberglass (Char version)

A good friend of Alice’s asked if we would take on a commission for a rather unique and truly identifiable helmet.

Char Aznable from the Gundam Universe.

Finish product before shipping!!  I am aware that there are a few flaws in the helm that have far more to do with my inexperience, then any thing with my process. The following tutorial will show both how I made this helmet and a few tips to avoid a few mistakes I made along the way. Continue reading

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Axe Cop cosplay commission

A friend of ours wanted to rock an “Axe Cop” cosplay to Wondercon 2011 here in San Francisco. Although he is new to cosplay he does have a good eye for costume creation.

The one thing he lacked was a garage and some pink foam to make an axe, after all an Axe Cop with no axe is just a…… cop?

Ok, on to the crafting. If you have read a few of my other tutorials you know I love this stuff (pink foam, of course!). Because we only had a comic book to work off, I free handed one side of the axe blade and used a stencil to reverse it to the other side to ensure an even look.

Continue reading

Your guide to adhesives for cosplaying

If you build costumes then at some time or another you have had to stick one thing to another thing.  The options for adhesives available to the cosplayer are very diverse, but it’s also important to know the best one for the job.

As cosplayers, a few of the materials we may work with will vary from plastics to cloths, foam, wood, and even metal.

The following list is a short compilation of things that stick stuff to other stuff. Always choose the right adhesive for the job. Reading the directions is very important, and proper safety equipment or well ventilated areas should be used as per directions. Continue reading

Arcanite Reapers and you. Part 3

Time to assemble the Axe and finish out the last detail items. These include cosmetic items on the axe. The shaft of the axe looks like its made from a spine, and I also need to finish casting the skulls that will place on the flat of the axe.  This is a lot of work but most of the steps leading up to it are done.

We start with creating a casting the skulls due to time for the material to set up.

This was a clay sculpt that I knocked out while watching some family guy. I don’t do much sculpting but I though this turned out really well. We had a lot of problems creating a mold for this, but most the problems were outlined in a previous post Do’s and Don’ts. Continue reading

Arcanite Reapers and you: Part 2

We left off and we only had a very general shape of an ax and only a true wow nerd would be able to call this an “Arcanite Reaper”

After some examination of the current project I realized that I had made the center section much too large. I used the computer print out and laid it on top of the ax at this point and used this to find out where I needed to make some corrections. Continue reading

Arcanite Reapers and you. Part 1

From Dec 21 – Jan 21 www.epicweapons.com ran a WOW weapon smithing contest.  I knew I had to enter, but couldn’t decide on which fantastic weapon to make.

At first I wanted to go big, Zin’Rokh

Alice kind of toned me down so I scaled back to Kalimdor’s Revenge

But alas even this was a bit to grand of a project for a limited budget after a great Christmas. A good friend Jenny who runs Fiendle.com wanted to make an Arcanite Reaper for an upcoming costume.  I asked if i could make it for her as both a free commission and an entry in to the weapon smithing contest. Continue reading

How to make horns for Cosplay

Horns are a pain in the butt.  You have only a few good options when you need them for your cosplay. You can buy real horns…. but that’s pricey, or you can make your own but that can be messy….. or is it!!

Quick background on this project. I needed a set of 4 horns for a shield. These needed to be over 12 inches long and pretty thin. I got lucky on this and had a form I could use, but these could easily be done free hand as well.

Materials:Expanding foam and wire mesh, that is all you will need.

Total cost $9.00 on the mesh (enough for 2 big horns)
$4.99 on the foam (still haven’t used it all up)
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Cost per horn…. about $4.00 dollars for me. Price will vary a bit but this is much much cheeper then other methods and the end product is strong and able to take some abuse.

How to do it:
Start with a general idea of how you want this horn to look
Is it wide at the bottom?
Long and Narrow?
Short and thin?

I used a form from another horn I had

I split the mesh in half lengthwise and used it to wrap the horn.

Once its wrapped and you’re happy with the over all look, I recommend a few dobs of hotglue to help it hold its shape. The mesh is very bendable but it will always have a bit of spring to it.

Horn copy is almost done,
You should be asking your self “Where is the spray foam” or at least wondering why you purchased it at this point. This wire form is a great way get the look of a horn but is not very tough.  I have seen many tutorials out there where people start to cover the horn at this point with paper mache or even fiberglass.

Time to fill the form with the spray foam, I left the end open so I could get the nozzle of the spray foam down in to it to help fill the horn.  There are also a few small holes cut in the mesh just to make sure I can get the whole thing filled.

I have also mounted them on a wooden dowel because that’s how my costume needs them :)

I failed to take any good pictures of the process of filling them with foam, but its not really something you should need help with.  Put the can together, stick the straw in to the horn, and fill full of foam.  If some squirts out of the mesh that’s fine. You can wipe it off once you’re done filling it full.

Here are all 4 of the horns I did drying.  The foam will take 8 hours to cure to full strength and will expand through the mesh and look a bit like an alien egg…. or something..

Next day and the foam is dry. Using a sharp knife, cut away the extra foam and don’t worry about being very gentle, the mesh will keep you from cutting too deep and ruining your hard work.

Total weight of the 4 horns and dowel is under 2 pounds.

Prep your horn with a good sanding of 80-120 grit sand paper and finish with your method of choosing.  Paper mache will work very well to help keep it light.

Hope this helps and best of luck with all your cosplay work!