Zagara Costume Break Down

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Photo by Steve Groves of ESI Media


Holy cow you guys, am I in love with this costume. This was the very first costume I’ve ever made that I was just grinning the entire time. I had some issues with the cape and wig, but throughout making the dress, I was just in love!

This costume basically started with me turning to Mario and saying, “I want to wear a big dress to BlizzCon this year.” I’ve always been in love with the Zerg, and thought about doing Kerrigan (this was way back in January before Countess Kerrigan was a thing) so I talked to my amazing friend Carissa (link is to her Facebook page, check out her work!) about helping me figure out the costume and getting my ideas onto paper.

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She blew it out of the water. This is exactly what I had in mind, and I was in love from the beginning! (Warning: Super long post ahead!)

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BlizzCon 2014!

Of course we’re attending BlizzCon this year, and if you haven’t seen or you don’t follow our Facebook page, we’re working on these two costumes for day one:

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Urzael from Diablo III, and Zagara (based off of a few different images, since there are several of her) from Starcraft II and Heroes of the Storm!

 

We’ve both been incredibly busy getting these together for the convention- we’re in the double digits with the countdown, now! Here’s some progress for Urzael!

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Mario first carved the rib structure for the cannon out of pink foam, then got it perfect and smooth and cast it in a quick matrix mold.

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As you can see, the first few (on the right) don’t look quite perfect, but once he switched to the drill squirrel mixer, every batch came out exactly as it should. He used a two part rigid, self skinning polyurethane foam that he tinted black to help him with his painting later.

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This is how the ribs will look on the cannon!

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We also got a male mannequin to sculpt on, since it’s very close to Mario’s size, and we’ll be molding and casting the chest and upper arms for Urzael, since it’s impossible to 1. be as muscular as he is and 2. have orange glowing from under your skin! The Hulk hands will potentially be used for the costume, as well!

 

On day two, I’m going to wear my Lovely Purple Dress from my first year at BlizzCon, 2009, and Mario is still working on his second costume!

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Here’s one of the few photos I have of it- at least I know a good quality wig now!

Oh, and this costume is a great example of finding the right undergarments. I was fully covered under this dress, but it was hidden in a way that it didn’t take away from the costume!

Also, Mario did a Prop: Live with Bill of Punished Props, so if you didn’t get a chance to watch it, you can watch it here!

 

We’re going to try and update more often with tutorials when we have them, so keep an eye out!

 

 

(Way, way late) Blizzcon Recap

I am seriously sorry you guys, I was certain I had posted about Blizzcon and our final costumes here, but apparently not! It was an insanely busy weekend and it passed by too quickly, as most conventions do.

Photo by OTL and MLZ studios

Photo by OTL and MLZ studios

 

Auriel turned out beautifully, it is easily one of my most favorite costumes in terms of aesthetics. It wasn’t exactly fun to wear (the wings were supported by a harness that made them feel like a super heavy backpack on my shoulders, and I’m not known for my strength) but I loved the reaction from it.

Photo by Davann Srey Photography

Photo by Davann Srey Photography

Mario’s costume also turned out beautifully, exactly as we imagined it. For more photos, check out our Facebook page!

We’re also in this amazing video by MLZ and OTL studios! We’ve shot videos with them before, and they are always so amazing to work with and know exactly what needs to be done to showcase the costumes.

Over all, the convention was amazing, we met so many people (we also hosted a cosplay dinner the night before the con) and made a lot of friends! Honestly, Blizzcon is less about seeing the convention and more about cosplay for us. We enjoyed walking around the con on the second day out of costume, but we aren’t the type to try to watch too many panels! Though, there was one on cosplay, which was very informative and helpful. You can see that one below, too! (It’s over an hour long, fair warning!)

Thanks for reading, everyone, and I’m working on some in progress and finished commission posts to be up in the next week or so!

 

 

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!

 

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!

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:

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Queen of Blades Tutorial Step Eight and a Half: finishing the wings

So last week, Mario told you all how he put together the skeleton structure of the wings. We were going to add how we finished the wings but we felt like the post was getting a bit long, so here you go!

Once we had the skeleton of the wings taken care of, we took the wing stand that Mario built using some scrap wood and the base that the body sculpture was on outside so that we could have more space to work on the foam. Continue reading