Intro to Weapon Building

On October 21, 2014, in Other Props, by Toast

So I wrote this post on September 13th, then promptly forgot about it until October 21st… I sometimes wonder how I manage to build cosplays.  Anyhow.

As it seems most of you just can’t get enough of my lame sense of humour… another panel write up!

Weapon making Intro

Written by Toast Cosplay & TinyChampion Cosplay

Original Panel hosted by Toast Cosplay, TinyChampion Cosplay and Featherstone Cosplay

Planning:

Templating/Sizing:

So this one had a fun animation too, just like my armour one. However because this is my blog, you just get images. Cry, it’s okay baby.

This is Cloud:

1Now although this is a nice picture of Cloud, it is bad for measuring his weapon size and figuring out your prop’s size.

Why?

Cloud isn’t standing up straight, nor is the blade displayed flat to the viewer, it’s at an angle.  This picture isn’t usable as a sizing reference, but it may be fine for colours/other details.

Although not as pretty, this picture will let us better size out the buster sword:

2

The lines are drawn in to show what I normally do when I’m trying to take these measurements since often your two “max” areas on items do not directly line up.  I do this in photoshop, but most programs will work.

So anyone remember my height?

I’m 168 cm, on screen cloud is 8.4 cm

So we calculate our real life to on screen conversion factor like so;

168/8.4 = 20

Then we measure the blade, is it 8.7cm

So we multiple this by the factor;

8.7 x 20 = 174 cm.

So our rough size for the buster sword built for me is 174cm.  From here you can use this conversion factor to size each part of the sword (example the blade, pomel and handle size).

I build a sheet in excel using the conversion factor to figure out many areas.  They look like so;

Sizing-excel

I forget what my transition to this area was… who knows!  Though I think someone was filming me blather and half fall asleep since I hadn’t eaten a lot that day and it was 7pm, so perhaps they know.

I believe this was about the point that people began to laugh at how I had to drink water in my Tera armour.  Due to how the arms were done I only could bend my arm to half, so guiding a water glass to my mouth took sliding my fingers to the very very bottom of the glass and carefully tipping it into my mouth.  TinyChampion, whom sat next to me, had the same issue so we would sit there while Featherstone spoke and try to drink our water…. pathetically.

Wasn’t that a great transition?

Once you have these rough numbers for your prop/weapon you will want to make a full size sketch before creating the weapon.  I find these are best because it lets me understand the size of the prop (if it needs to break down for transportation) and to adjust bits to make it suit me.

5

This is the pomel of Kirito’s main sword, which I often forget the name of.  I believe during the panel I began calling it the realistator.

Elucidator just so you don’t all think poorly of me.

4

This is the real life sketch of Victoria, my Axe for my Tera cosplay.

Two 30cm rulers and a surface pro 2 (you can see my excel and ref picture on there) for sizing.  Also my kitchen table.

3

Once your base build is done on an item it is also wise to “template” out your details. (Ft. Victoria again)

If you are doing a two sided item this will assure it is identical, or roughly identical, on both sides.

Tracking:

Toast:

If you read my armour tutorial, skip this as I copy and pasted it from there.  With the word “armour” replaced with “weapon”

Untitled-5

If you build large weapons you will want to track and plan your tasks so you aren’t up until 3am the night before your con. I build a sheet like this to plan each task for each weapon, and often sub-parts of the weapon if it is large, then track how done I am. It helps me to understand how much of my project I have left and also helps keep me motivated to get to write just how much I finished in a day/work period.

TinyChampion:

As for me, what I like doing for tracking my progress is making a comprehensive checklist on a sheet of paper and sticking it to my fridge, along with milestones I wanna be at overall (i.e. have all the base pieces of a weapon made by X date.) When I finish a task, I get to cross it off the list with a sharpie. Sometimes the list is very long, and sometimes it’s not, depending on how big of a project it is, if I’ve encountered anything new I didn’t notice before, or if any problems have arisen. Trust me, problems are more than likely going to occur, no matter how long you’ve been at it. Just give yourself plenty of buffer before a convention to get your stuff done, just in case.

Materials:

Wow!  The meat of the matter!

But seriously plan your shit well or no matter your material it may look like poop.

In other news I just discovered how to add “title” setting to wordpress – woo!

Wood:

For wood I’ll just direct you over to these blog posts of mine:

Wooden Sword Tutorial

Homura’s Bow Tutorial also contains a bit of speaking to wood.

Aside from that, dowels are your friends, buy some dowels, they help other things.

I don’t have much more to say to wood than that.

Foamboard:

Foamboard is cheap, widely available, comes smooth… I enjoy it.

For those of us who work in an office, your office likely has foam board they throw out – grab it.  My old office ended up providing all the foamboard that went inside Victoria.

Both: Foamboard Sword Tutorial and Homura’s Bow Tutorial contain a bit of foamboard weaponry.

My sheath technique post also features the use of foamboard to build a sword sheath.

Those three posts cover most of my ramblings about raw foamboard as a material.  It will also be talked about as a filler or base material in the Worbla section.

Foam:

Foam can be used as a filler for Worbla based weapons, or firmer foam can be shaped into weapons on its own.  I have no expertise in using it raw, however may other cosplayers have tutorials about this around.  So please go check them out.

As a filler it is used in a similar manner to foamboard, and how it is used in armour.  Shape the base of your weapon out of foam and cover it in Worbla (or wonderflex) for strength/protections.  I’m a fan of this method as I’ve had many people at conventions walk into me over the years and break parts of my armour and/or props due to them being made out of softer materials.  Instead now they just get hurt, which I must admit I take mild enjoyment in and hope to teaches them to look where they are walking.

Worbla:

As above in the foam section, Worbla is used to cover other materials to create a hard surface.   It is also great for detailing.

If you read the armouring tutorial, the majority of this will be pasted in from over there.

This is my giant collection of scraps:

Worbladrawer

Why do I have a giant drawer of scraps?

No not to cry over it.

Worbla scraps are very useful for detailing your weapons. They can be used to add depth or do small pieces. Even the smallest Worbla piece can be re-heated and used to add details.

These details on Victoria were all done using Worbla scraps:

This is one of the main reasons I like Worbla, it makes detailing easier.  You can combine this external detailing with internal detailing through what you use for build you base, which you can see with different depth in the photo above.  The worbla will press perfectly into these details, I use a little plastic tool made for modeling clay to do this.  However anything with a reasonable flat edge will work.

Wonderflex & other thermoplastics:

Wonderflex is another thermoplastic, similar to Worbla. It was on the market before worbla and was the first thermoplastic I worked with. I have worked with other thermoplastics (friendly plastic), but I don’t recommend even thinking about them with Worbla now on the market.

Wonderflex can be more useful than Worbla at times and I recommend all Worbla crafters have a small amount of it around. If you are ordering Worbla off of cosplaysupplies.com order a small or medium sheet of wonderflex as well. Where wonderflex is more useful is for its strength. Wonderflex has a fabric integrated into it so it will not stretch like Worbla will. As a result this means that it’s small scraps are not as useful, but it can strengthen your projects in weak or thin areas (or when you mess up and have to shrink/re-attach some parts like I do) and for holding fixing pieces like snaps, clips and d-rings into Worbla armour pieces. As Wonderflex is also a thermoplastic is stays very well inside Worbla and integrates with it.

It can also be useful on its own for building long and thin pieces or weapons that need a lot of support.

Other materials worth mentioning:

–          Styrene; this is a thin modeling plastic which has slight thermoplastic properties but tends to just give right out under heat and isn’t ideal for complex curves. Can be useful for detailing and straight pieces. Thin pieces can be found at local model shops and I’ve found thicker pieces at plastic shops in my city

–          Sintra; This is a plastic commonly used in sign making. It also has some thermoplastic properties but is more ideal for simply being glued together. Good for making very straight pieces.

–          Cardboard; Yes, cardboard.  Cardboard is a cheap and easy to find material, however it can get heavy.  If you are unable to get other materials to work with, it will do, as long as you put love and care into both smoothing and painting it.  Here’s an old tutorial on a prop I built using cardboard, which mentions the changes I would make looking back nowadays http://toast.picobin.com/?p=81

That’s all for this tutorial, I will cover painting, resin casting and electronics in a different tutorial.  Let’s all hope I don’t complete forget about that one too.

Tiny Champion cosplay on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/tinychampion

Featherstone cosplay on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FeatherstoneCos

Myself on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ToastCosplay

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Beginner’s Armour Making Tutorial

On September 11, 2014, in Uncategorized, by Toast

At Anime Revolution this year (2014) myself and two of my cosplayer friends decided to take on a challenge, running beginner aimed armour and weapon making panels. We had mixed opinions on who they were aimed at, but generally came to the conclusion that we just wanted to improve the general level and props and weapons that we saw around our local conventions. After sharing a few horror stories of things we had seen (eg. a single cardboard layer scythe and things made out of raw styrofoam) we put together our panel.

During the panel we were asked as to if we would be willing to post our slides or notes online. For anyone who saw our panels, the slide show was just a bunch of pictures and that was us naturally spewing shit about our hobby for an hour without any notes. The slide show was there to make you all think we were super pro.

As a result, I’ll do my best to do a write up of the information we covered in our Armour panel and Weapons panel over my next two blog posts.

As an amusing side note before I begin this tutorial, when the three of us ventured to the panel room to do set up, myself in my Male Castanic Alliance Zerker armour, Tiny Champion in their Dragon Age armour for Lady Hawke and Featherstone in their plug suit for Rei one person in the line up went “Why are you guys here? You don’t belong at this panel!” I responded with “I’m your panelist.” All I got was an “Oh…” Flattering and amusing to say the least.

Armouring for Beginners

Written by Toast Cosplay & TinyChampion Cosplay

Original Panel hosted by Toast Cosplay, TinyChampion Cosplay and Featherstone Cosplay

Planning:

Templating free-hand:

Originally I had a funky little animation, but it won’t translate well on my blog. So you’ll have to make due with just the ending photo from it.

This is Kirito:

KiritosizingpicKirito’s on screen height was 20cm for me with this photo. The size of the small orange line, the size of the piece we are trying to figure out, is 0.8cm.

My height is about 168cm.

Therefore this gives us a conversation ratio of;

168/20 = 8.4

So the size of this piece is 0.8 x 8.4 = 6.8cm.

From here you can continue to figure out the sizing of things. I use these to size out small detail pieces on my armours. Here is an example of one of these sheets for a weapon I built. I like to include a conversion to ft/in because my brain finds that easier to estimate most of the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sizing-excel

No, my weapon was not 9’4” in the end. I believe it was about 8’6”.

I’ll make a mini-tutorial, which I will post at a later time, with the specifications on how I build these sheets, for the excel impaired.

From here you end up with an item like this:

Kiriotthingy

Templating off the body:

For templating you are often best to start off with templating your body, if the armour is going to be fitted to you. To do this wrap saran wrap around the body part like so;

Then cover this saran wrap with painter’s tape or scotch tape, any kind of paper tape.

Never under any circumstance use a duct-tape or anything similar. You will sweat to death.

As was included in our panel;

image (3)

I actually have no photos of my armour templating, just a photo of my cat sitting on top of my templating. This is a common issue in my house.

So please have a cat on a template of mine:

Cat

Tracking:

Untitled-5

If you build large armour sets you will want to track and plan your tasks so you aren’t up until 3am the night before your con. I build a sheet like this to plan each task for each piece of armour, then track how done I am. It helps me to understand how much of my project I have left and also helps keep me motivated to get to write just how much I finished in a day/work period.

TinyChampion: As for me, what I like doing for tracking my progress is making a comprehensive checklist on a sheet of paper and sticking it to my fridge, along with milestones I wanna be at overall (i.e. have all the base pieces of an armor made by X date.) When I finish a task, I get to cross it off the list with a sharpie. Sometimes the list is very long, and sometimes it’s not, depending on how big of a project it is, if I’ve encountered anything new I didn’t notice before, or if any problems have arisen. Trust me, problems are more than likely going to occur, no matter how long you’ve been at it. Just give yourself plenty of buffer before a convention to get your stuff done, just in case.

Materials:

Foam – Written By TinyChampion

Foam is really great if you’re looking for a really cost effective way to make armor, if you don’t mind having your armour in florescent colours before painting. It’s super cheap, and you can find it at most craft stores. You can hot glue it, heat shape it, basically it’ll take whatever you have to throw at it. It’s also pretty durable and lightweight, so it’s pretty ideal.

I personally like it because it’s incredibly easy to work with and easy to get a hold of.

It’s really great for making general armor shapes, or the overall base of an armour piece. Make sure you mark it out on the foam with a pen before you cut it, because foam tends to be unforgiving in this way, and the scraps, most of the time (depending on the overall size of the piece and what you intend to do with it), will be scraps. You can attempt to patch it by gluing in some pieces of foam, but you’ll probably wanna spackle over it so it’s smooth, and not do what I did and just dump copious amounts of hot glue over it, as seen here (I’ll put up a better picture when I get around to taking a higher res one):

292092_463214653700884_1570868749_nEDITS

One thing I forgot to touch upon in the panel we did was that the thinner pieces are going to be a little more bendy than the thicker pieces, even once you’ve finished shaping, sealing, etc. One thing you can do to help eliminate this, is to hot glue a piece of thin fabric on the underside of the foam (the part that will not be seen) to give it some stability. The glue will help retain the shape of the thinner foam and keep it from bending.

Worbla:

I am a Worbla builder. This shit is wonderful, it is costly, but it is wonderful. If you can afford it Worbla is very much worth it for armouring.

This is my giant collection of scraps:

Worbladrawer

Why do I have a giant drawer of scraps?

No not to cry over it.

Worbla scraps are very useful for detailing your armour. They can be used to add depth or do small pieces. Even the smallest Worbla piece can be re-heated and used to add details.

These details were all done using Worbla scraps:

 

Untitled-3Untitled-6

Untitled-10

Once your template is complete you will cut your foam pieces from there.  I generally check the fit by taping these pieces together with a painter’s tape (causes little to no damage to the foam) then test the piece by roughly placing it as it would be when it is fully shaped and bent.  This will prevent you from having to do adjustments once you have applied your worbla and is good practice in my opinion.

To add small details you can layer foam on your base layer.  Once this is completed cut Worbla pieces about 2 cm bigger than your foam piece, one for each side of the piece, and cover it.  Once you have smooshed the sides together re-heat the edges and clip them with scissors.  If the cutting is done while the edges are heated you will come away with clean edges.  I often do not cut the edges on pieces where I am going to be placing them together with another piece.

Your pieces will look like so;

In each image the foam is on the right and the covered is on the left.

Untitled-2 Untitled-3-2Once you’ve covered your pieces, shape them.  For pieces that will be tight to my body I often just let the worbla cool a bit then press it against my body until it cools.  This often takes some tape to force it to shape or stay together.  In the summer warm worbla on your body isn’t fun, but I find it highly effective for getting it to fit tightly to your body.

Once your base piece is done you can add pieces to it for more effect, or detail as above.  A mix of under-worbla foam details, plus worbla scrap and additional foam covered in worbla for detailing works well.

Wonderflex:

Wonderflex is another thermoplastic, similar to Worbla. It was on the market before worbla and was the first thermoplastic I worked with. I have worked with other thermoplastics (friendly plastic), but I don’t recommend even thinking about them with Worbla now on the market.

Wonderflex can be more useful than Worbla at times and I recommend all Worbla crafters have a small amount of it around. If you are ordering Worbla off of cosplaysupplies.com order a small or medium sheet of wonderflex as well. Where wonderflex is more useful is for its strength. Wonderflex has a fabric integrated into it so it will not stretch like Worbla will. As a result this means that it’s small scraps are not as useful, but it can strengthen your projects in weak or thin areas (or when you mess up and have to shrink/re-attach some parts like I do) and for holding fixing pieces like snaps, clips and d-rings into Worbla armour pieces. As Wonderflex is also a thermoplastic is stays very well inside Worbla and integrates with it.

It can also be useful on its own for building long and thin pieces or weapons that need a lot of support.

Other materials:

There is a long, long list of other materials you can build armour out of. I’m just going to mention a few others that are not bad for a beginner to start with:

–          Styrene; this is a thin modeling plastic which has slight thermoplastic properties but tends to just give right out under heat and isn’t ideal for complex curves. Can be useful for detailing and straight pieces. Thin pieces can be found at local model shops and I’ve found thicker pieces at plastic shops in my city.

–          Sintra; This is a plastic commonly used in sign making. It also has some thermoplastic properties but is more ideal for simply being glued together. Good for making very straight pieces, likely good for props as well.

–          Can tops; Tiny Champion has done two cosplays which took making chainmail. To quote them “you can make chain mail this way, or you can make chainmail and everyone anywhere around you will hate you”. Photos below of their lovely chain mail;

image[2] (2) image[7] (2)

That’s all for this tutorial, I will cover painting, resin casting and electronics in a different tutorial from either my weapons or armouring one as my advice for both is identical.

Tiny Champion cosplay on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/tinychampion

Featherstone cosplay on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FeatherstoneCos

Myself on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ToastCosplay

You can check out some lovely photos of all of us from Anime Revolution on our facebook pages

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Haseo, Part 5

On October 13, 2012, in .Hack//G.U. / Haseo, by Toast

Last post for Haseo, at least until I decide to build a few more pieces for the costume.  I have started on another project and will post some updates on that in little while.  In the mean time I may discuss some tools or materials.

I still have to build the weapons (the guns) or another of his weapons (Twin blades, scythe or chainsaw sword).  Although I have built the twin blades in the past for my Haseo first form cosplay, and did still own them when I wore this cosplay, they were some of my learning props and didn’t fit with the rest of the Xth form cosplay’s quality/look.  I may consider the scythe just to try out a different scythe building technique (I’m interested in trying expanding foam out for a prop and having a staff the breaks into pieces), but that won’t be for a little while!  I don’t have a workshop or workshop space in my current home so many large projects will have to wait.

For anyone interested.  This  was my Haseo first form cosplay.  I’ve learned a lot about cosplay since I did this, changed many methods I use (and gotten the cash to pay for some better tools and materials).

Knee armour:

This was some of the more challenging armour to think through making.  The basic shape of it is a cylinder which slowly expands outwards, then with a second cylinder attached below.  At this point in my process I was also running out of wonderflex (and time) so I made do with friendly plastic for a few parts.

I, sadly, have no progress pictures for this piece so I can only really discuss the theory of how they were built.

The base was created out of a few pieces of foam, covered in wonderflex and placed around a pot to assure that they would be round.  The edges that stick out are foam covered in friendly plastic.  The bottom part was done in the same manner and attached to the top portion.

Wiring was very simple for this piece as there was only two LEDs.

These stayed on using an elastic which went just under my knee (over the muscle right there) and attached onto velcro on the front of my black tights.

Collar:

Originally I believed that this would be the single least comfortable piece of the armour, it was sadly beaten by the sunflower.  Although the theory of this piece was good it felt like it just stood on my body and didn’t really fit as well as it should have.  I may rebuild this at some point.  To anyone else building this piece I would suggest attempting to shape it to your neck area a bit better.

The base of the collar was foam, to create the soft appearance of the piping instead of adding wonderflex on top of the base I stacked the foam, then wonderflexed it.  I did like this effect for this piece in the end and felt it was effective.

The two pictures below show the wonderflexed and shaped foam (and my lovely socks).

From here I did the normal wonderflex prep (gesso, lots of sanding).  The painted the item.

I blended the rub’n’buff with a bit of satin gloss to thin it out so I could treat it as paint, this worked really well and didn’t change the colour or effect of the rub’n’buff.

And the final item:

My painting is still a bit shaky, I am looking to improve this in the future :)

Shirt armour:

This was built in the same way the belt armour was; foam, mod podge, paint and wiring.  There is some wire in the piece that I used to keep it stiff and shaped, it helped it sit better.

As this was my first time using just foam for armour (no wonderflex, no styrene) I was very happy with the result.  It took paint well and came out smooth.  These two pieces have opened by eyes to foam armour a bit more, I may end up using it in a few more project going forward.

The wiring ran along the entire piece and the battery clipped into the opposite side of the thigh armour from the belt armour.

This wasn’t attached to this shirt direction to make washing the shirt easier (washing cosplay clothing is wise, this shirt did not smell great!).

Shirt:

The shirt, this was my sewing pride and joy of this costume.

I am not really a sewer, I tend not to sew with patterns and I’m not particularly confident in my sewing skills.  I managed through making the pants for this costume but the shirt was a different story, at least at first.

The shirt started as a near dress.  The base of the shirt came off of one of my fitted T-shirts then was significantly lengthened, originally it was to just above my knees, rather silly looking.

The front was cut in half to allow for the centre zipped, as I wanted the neck to come in very tight I wouldn’t be able to pull it on/off.  It also made it so I could walk to the convention in a different shirt, I take transit to my local conventions so I try to wear as little of my costume while transporting as possible.

Once the zipped was installed and the base shirt was somewhat fitted I had to create the lines down the shirt.  I spent a lot of time milling over different versions I had seen of this cosplay, most had simply chosen to draw on the lines.  I didn’t like this effect it tended to look too bold against the shirt and the lines of the character’s shirt look more like texture than drawn on lines.

I resolved to sewing them in.

After measuring the total I determined that the space between each line needed to be 4cm.  For each line  I pinched a bit of fabric, pinned it, ironed it (ironing was very key to keep these lines from puckering), stitched it then ironed it while it was folded, then while it was flat.  There was no puckering in the lines as a result of all the ironing.  These lines were put in all around the shirt.

Once the lines were done I cut out the black fabric.  Black fabric #1, the base, is shiny, black fabric #2 is dull black bias tape.  I liked the effect of the lining this created (and it was accurate to Haseo’s shirt, hooray!).  The bias tape was also used to line the arm holes.

The shoulder pieces were foam covered in fabric and glue.  The glue created an interesting effect on the fabric, which I rather liked.  They don’t show in any of the photos I have, but there are lines stitched into these with my sewing machine at 1cm intervals.  These are stitched onto the shirt, with some velcro to allow the collar to slide under certain parts.

The velcro on the bottom of the shirt is to hold the shirt armour, described above.  Around the neck there is velcro to hold on a leather collar that snaps around the back.  There are a few pieces of velcro to hold the collar in the correct position as well.

These photos are just of the shirt on the floor, not super attractive, but it shows all the sewing/velcro well.

Upper arm armour:

I hated this piece, with a passion as well.  In fact I dislike this piece so much I don’t even have direct picture of it to provide!  It broke both days I wore the cosplay, was very uncomfortable and further restricted my movement (which the other parts of the cosplay had done plenty already!).  I will be re-doing this piece with craft/eva foam in the future.

How this was built (again, I do not suggest following this!):

Wire was formed for each piece, glued together with a dab of hot glue.  A 1 cm piece of craft foam was slit in the middle and one was added to each side of the wire.  At this point the piece would fit my arm, but wasn’t tight.  These were covered in a thin layer of air dry clay.  These pieces were connected using a thin piece of balsa wood (likely my biggest error) then the shape on the connector was built up on top of the balsa wood.

These were then painted and finished.

Again, I do not suggest this method.  I think I will aim for shaped thick foam next time, connected by foam.  This would give a bit more flexibility and would not break as easily!

And that’s it for Haseo!

Here are a few more photos of the costume, but we’re done with this guy for now.

This was my largest, longest and most challenging project to date.  My next one is a bit easier but I certainly look forward to attempting another one like this!

Will post about my new project/some other tutorials in a bit :)

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Haseo, Part 4

On September 20, 2012, in .Hack//G.U. / Haseo, by Toast

Anther multi-part post!  Trying to finish up the Haseo posts so I can get to slowly posting newer things :)

The wig:

I have always been a little afraid of wigs, my wig for my first form Haseo cosplay did not go over well.  I didn’t like the pure white colour of it, it was too thin and it wasn’t long enough to do all the spikes.  On top of all that, the back part didn’t even stay up correctly.  However it had been a few years since that wig and I’ve learned a fair amount since then.  I picked a non-white colour this time as I find it a bit more flattering and the Xth form has slightly darker hair than the other Haseo forms anyhow!

I do not have any progress photos of this, just some (after the con) completed photos.

I used a Magnum from Arda Wigs in Light grey (107) then some extra sort wefts in the same colour.

I have to say this is the nicest short wig I have ever purchased, I had heard good things about Arda and they certainly lived up to everything I had read.

Extra wefts were added to the side of the wig right at the ears to allow slightly longer side spikes and to allow a bit more detail in those spikes.

For spiking I used got2b glued and got2b freezing spray.  This was where I had made my mistake last time.  Most gels and hair sprays do not work on wigs due to the lack of hair oils however these two products work extremely well on wigs.

After clipping the front hair away from the back I built up the large back spike, thinning a lot of hair away as I went.  The magnum is an amazingly thick wig, I would estimate I removed 1/4th of the fiber that was on the wig.  Once the back was built up I slowly worked on spikes, using thinning scissors and a hair razor (both purchased at daiso) to cut them.

And here are the end results:

Wave Tattoos:

(Can be seen in the wig photos on Haseo’s face/upper arm)

The wave tattoos on the cosplay were done with Alcohol Activated Makeup, Dura in 302 red.  This stuff was wonderful.  Once it was drawn on well it looked great all day – I had a few cosplayers ask how my make up wasn’t smudging.  This stuff is easily found online through many makeup retailers and cosplaysupplies.com.  I purchased mine in person at Studio FX in Vancouver, great place for cosplay makeup for those of us in the lower mainland.

The only down side to it is taking it off involves rubbing a lot of 99% alcohol on wherever you had the makeup, in my case my cheeks, and that can dry out your skin or make it very angry.

I can’t recommend this stuff enough for doing tattoos/marks in cosplays!

Back Piece aka “The Sunflower”

This piece got it’s nick name of the Sunflower from my significant other and it stuck, it really suits the piece and I will refer to it as such from here on.

The sunflower was the least comfortable piece of the costume, it forced me to stand in a certain position and disabled my ability to lean against walls for a quick break. It also prevented my arms from sitting against my sides, combined with the upper arm armour (which I will be re-designing, I was unhappy with it in the end) I ended up having to walk in a very funny fashion.

To start this piece was based around a thin PVC pipe which was cut and bent to shape.  It broke at the middle to allow me to easily take it on and off, it was held together by a doweling inside the pipes and a velcro strap on the outside.  This pipe was covered in foam pipe covers (the black ones), this was covered in wonderflex to give it a stronger base then that was covered in light-weight air dry clay to smooth it out.  Although it seems like a lot of layers, there was little weight to this piece and there were no issues with it breaking.

The spikes were created with floral foam as a base then covered in wonderflex.  To hold them in a hole was cut into the pipe cover to fit each spike, then each spike had a balsa wood doweling that inserted into a hole in the PVC pipe it self.  I had no issues with these either, they lived through many bumps by many people (always try to look out for people, especially cosplayers, at conventions!).

And the final sunflower (bottom part not shown);

Thanks for reading :)

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Haseo, Part 3

On September 13, 2012, in .Hack//G.U. / Haseo, by Toast

All of the previous pieces had much better build process/detail photos than all the remainders.  For the most part I was either rushing these parts as the convention was racing up in me or they were done earlier in the process when I wasn’t taking as many photos.

Next up, shoes!

Reference photo, this time from the .Hack//Trilogy movie.

These cannibalized a pair of boots that I didn’t like all that much, they were clipped down to fit the height of the shoe.  I added a bit of pleather to the top to hide the edges caused by cutting the boot down, however most of this is hidden by the shoe armour.

The front is very similar to the bracers (Part 2), shape and piping wise.  I do not suggest using pen marks on wonderflex, the gesso didn’t cover it for many layers.  The back is a simple loop with little arms that extend down, edging went down on the back part after this photo was taken.

Gessoed + painted. Acrylic paint for the back part, then rub n’ buff for the front again.  These are not glued to the shoes, they clip on with a series of elastics and velcro.

Completed shoe armour, glowing gem and all.

A quick picture showing where each battery pack (9V) was hidden.  each shoe had its own.  The gems certainly look funny from this angle when not lit up.

Shoes: Done! :)

Additional piece: Belt

Reference photo.  The design was edited a bit to compensate for the size of my gems.

Photos of this piece are after the con, so they do display the wear created during the convention.

Due to the placement of this piece (and the fact that I was out of wonderflex by this point) this was built out of foam.  The foam was covered in three layers of mod podge to seal it then painted in the same fashion as the other pieces.

Front and back respectively.

The bends in the ‘legs’ are from the convention, not too bad for a piece in such an area.

The circuit for this clipped into one of the battery packs hidden in the thigh pieces (Part 1).  It velcroed on to the belt to keep it flat against my body and strapped around it with some elastic and velcro.  Simple enough design.

All done :)

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Haseo, Part 2

On August 31, 2012, in .Hack//G.U. / Haseo, by Toast

Next up, bracers!

These were the first piece I worked on, my first time ever using wonderflex to build anything.  I didn’t include the red floating circle due to a time restriction.

Again, a quick reference photo.

Starting with the base of the piece.  The middle is foam fit to just slide over my hand with two layers of wonderflex on the outside.  As the shape was odd I used Model Magic to build up the base shape of it.  Although super light weight model magic doesn’t hold up well on its own and will crack when drying since it shrinks, it is also not sandable.

The model magic was covered in wood glue to help harden it up and cover some of the cracks, then covered in friendly plastic (a gum-like thermoplastic).

Top of the bracer, foam base.  This was wonderflexed and all piping/details were done in wonderflex as well.

The bracer was then bent into its circle shape, the top pieces given slight curves.

Gesso and white acrylic paint done as paint prep, sanded then painted with more white acrylic paint.  Silver is done with rub n’ buff in silver leaf.

Done! :)

Haseo, Part 1

On August 28, 2012, in .Hack//G.U. / Haseo, by Toast

Worn to Anime Revolution 2012, Haseo Xth Form

There was far too much work on this cosplay to written up into one post so I’ll be posting a few pieces as at time.  First, the cuisses (thigh armour).

Quick reference of the piece, I mostly used references from the .Hack//G.U. Trilogy movie.

Base piece patterns on wonderflex.  A side note this is the size of a “Jumbo” or full sheet of wonderflex.

All pieces cut then wonderflexed.  One piece of foam to two pieces of wonderflex, double wonderflex containing a foam core to make the pieces solid.

Top of the piece coming together, bottom was built in a similar fashion,

Completed pieces, aside from the centre piece.  The stick out edges are a separate piece, attached to the main pieces same for the end tabs.  All piping is done with small bits of wonderflex.   Holes are to accommodate wiring.

Painting.    Yellow is delicate  painter’s tape, almost looked like I had switched to making iron man armour in the first picture.

Silver colour was an error and was later corrected to white.

Wiring and fixing.  Wiring goes through the piece to connect the bottom gem to the rest of the circuit.  There are two nine volts on each thigh piece, one for either a belt piece or shirt piece and one for the lights on the armour itself.

The velcro straps onto the belt and the three loops go around the belt to provide a second set of fasteners.

Glowy & done :)

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