A Lesson in Layers

We often say that it’s important to build your costume in layers- to break down your costume into more manageable pieces to sew or build. Here is an example of how we did that for Jayce!

Jayce, from League of Legends

Jayce, from League of Legends

Here’s Jayce, he’s a pretty cool guy, but he’s got a lot going on. He’s got knee armor, gloves, greaves, a coat, some chest…thing? and this collar that stands up in a way collars really shouldn’t. I’d show you my terrible drawings breaking it down, but I’m not sure you’d be able to really make heads or tails of them, so here’s how we broke down the costume into layers, and the order we put them on!

2013-03-01 14.38.05We started out with a long sleeve under armor shirt, the pants (with a belt holding them up, the belt secured in the back), the shoes, and the shoulder armor strapping.

2013-03-01 14.38.11The strapping was inspired by a side gun holster- front and back both clip on to another strap coming from each side of the shoulder, and the shoulder is held on and supported by the strap going around his arm, and down to his belt.

2013-03-01 14.38.52Next, the coat!

2013-03-01 14.39.46Then the chest armor. These pieces are all glued together but were originally three separate pieces. It’s held on by a strap that goes around his neck, like some weird awesome medallion. The straps on the side are purely cosmetic.

2013-03-01 14.43.48Then the greaves and knee armor! These are held on by snap clips and straps that run around the back of his leg. The armor on the shoes are from worbla and glued on there.

2013-03-01 14.45.39After that, the collar. The front part is tucked in behind the chest piece.

2013-03-01 14.50.37Lastly, the finishing touches! Gloves, bracer, and both shoulder armors are strapped on and ready to go.

 

We’ll probably have a nice tutorial up at some point on the mace and costume, but this post was to demonstrate the importance of layers!

 

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Video Tutorials: Fiberglass Sword Blank, and Shaping a Fiberglass Sword Blank

Just in case you guys are new or don’t watch us on Facebook, Mario and I have put up a few new video tutorials on our Youtube channel. We will be posting a few more: how to make a scabbard, and how to finish the sword. I have also posted a few videos on face and body painting! You can see these below, or go to our Youtube page to check out all of our videos!

Guest Post: Tyrande Process Walkthrough!

(Today’s guest post is by Petrai of Petrai Cosplay! She did an amazing Tyrande cosplay for Blizzcon 2011 that we just loved so much that we asked her to do a guest post for us! You all should definitely go check out her page! As usual, you can click on the photos to see the larger version!)

 

Hey all! I’m happy to be writing a guide for Arms, Armor, and Awesome! Tyrande was definitely a big undertaking but so rewarding. It was a huge learning process as my first cosplay ever and after 6 months, turned out just how I wanted it!

LATEX DETAILING:
So here I’ll basically just focus on the sculpting aspect of the costume, rather than the sewing. This includes all of the silvery dress detailing, as well as armbands and other bits. It was difficult to decide what material I wanted to use, since I knew I needed it to be strong, but also flexible enough to bend with my body, and around my arms with negative space between details. I ended up choosing semi rigid latex, which has basically the consistency of dry hot glue. Clean pulls, no mess, semi rigid and easy to use!

I started off by drawing a to scale blue print of the central detailing on the dress, as well as the bracelets, and then sculpting it in plastalina modeling clay. 

Plastalina clay is the non-hardening clay that they use in Claymation, which is what I needed for the plaster mold. I chose this type of clay so that picking all of the bits out of the mold wouldn’t be overly taxing, plus I could leave my sculpts for days on end and come back to them when I wanted to continue working. The reason I needed a plaster mold vs. a silicone mold is because the final positive would be made of semi-rigid latex, which cannot harden in a silicone mold. I ended up gluing all of the clay parts together with super glue, just to keep it all from rolling around when I moved it or poured plaster. The plaster was very easy, I used normal cardboard boxes as mold boxes and hot glued them to make sure they wouldn’t leak, and poured the liquid plaster over the clay. When my plaster was hard, I removed the mold from the box, let it fully dry for 24/hrs, and poured my latex. The trick with the latex was to make sure it was 100% hard, which took a lot of patience (Days, with multiple pours as it slightly shrinks when it hardens). When it was ready, I pulled it and it was exactly what I wanted! Of course, the first pull was the best, and over time my plaster mold would break down, but I only needed it for essentially 6-8 pulls.This image shows a good progress; from the mold to the painted product. I ended up having to cut off a lot of excess with an exact-o knife, as well as air bubbles. I painted it with metallic acrylic paint, weathered it, and then it was sewed onto the dress (or attached around my arms).

EYEBROWS/WIG:

For the eyebrows, I wanted them to look as naturally night elfish as possible, without looking too glued together. I ended up opting for pheasant feathers which turned out to be pre-dyed the perfect shade of teal. I gently cut the majority of the feather base off, and then on the ends below the wick I cut off the small fibery parts but was careful to keep them clumped together and available for re-use. The hardest part was gluing these cut pieces and a small jewelry wire along the wick, to give them shape and a fuller look. This took a lot of patience, gluey fingers, and frustration, but it ended up coming together in the end. 

For the wig, I had to do seriously no styling beyond sewing in little pearl beads to simulate the dew drops in the reference image. For the leaves I picked real ones, scanned them, printed, decoupaged, cut, and folded them, then sewed them into the wig. Easy!

GEMS:

The gems were sculpted out of extra clay, then I made a silicone mold and casted them out of clear resin (I picked it up from Micheals arts and crafts), and when they were dry I painted the bottoms with varying shades of blue nail polish, and sealed it with the reflective side of tinfoil. Voila!

A full album of photos can be seen on my cosplay page here!

I hope that was helpful! Feel free to message me on my cosplay page if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help. Thanks!

Starcraft Medic Shield Commision

Back in the start of 2011 a friend asked up to help her out with a fan art inspired Terran medic.

I took on the project even though we were knee deep in the Kerrigan build at the time. I have love of prop weapons and accessories making it very hard to turn down the opportunity to make a something as cool as a 4foot shield!! Continue reading

Queen of Blades tutorial Step Ten: shoes, attaching dreads

In this post I’m going to discuss the little things that didn’t really have enough content for a post in itself. One of these items are the heels of the shoes. The first thing I did for the feet after we cast the shoe covers in foam latex, is trim the excess foam off, and have Mario make the seams disappear- we’ll cover seaming shortly. Then, I glued the covers to the shoe using the same rubber cement we used to make the paint. After that, I grabbed some two part epoxy clay (we used Magic Sculpt) and sculpted out the heels.

Now, the Magic Sculpt didn’t take the rubber cement paint very well, so we had to paint them with acrylic paint. Continue reading

Queen of Blades tutorial Step Nine: Painting your pieces (for foam latex!)

For foam latex, there are many ways you can paint it, and each way has significantly different materials and its important to look at the positive and negatives of each method. I’ll list the ways you can paint it first, then detail the way we painted our suit. We decided to airbrush our body suit, due to the fact that paint brushes are poorly suited to the task, and using sponges would take way too long.

Materials to paint foam latex with:

RMG paint Continue reading

Queen of Blades tutorial Step Nine: Casting your pieces

Finally, after you’ve molded your parts, sculpted your pieces, and cast your molds, you can cast them in your material! We used foam latex, so that’s what this tutorial is for.

To bake foam latex, you need an oven that you do not cook food in, that will go as low as 160 degrees Fahrenheit. It must also be able to fit your molds into the oven, which is why we built a huge one, to fit our body mold in there. You also definitely need a scale that measures in grams.  Continue reading