This cosplay is a lot to take in, from the long name, to the bright and shiny armour. This was such a challenging cosplay for me, as it was my first armour cosplay, and I didn't have the time or finances to play with worbla.
On one hand, I love the flexibility of the foam on certain parts, but on the other hand, I would love to see a few more ridgid elements. This is all things I can look into when I rebuild the armour.
I'm sorry in advance, because I was super rushed on this cosplay, so I didn't have the luxury of stopping to take progress photos at intervals. I'll try to fake photos where I can to add explanation, and add drawings everywhere photos are missing. Feel free to ask questions if you get confused, but it's best to think of this post as a guideline rather than a tutorial.
The first thing I did was make a paper hat pattern after a few drinks. The second thing I did was panic. I really wanted to finish this cosplay for Edmonton Expo but I only had one month, no materials, and an additional cosplay to finish in the same time frame!
Yes that did happen, but it wasn't as dramatic as I just made it sound. I grabbed some light blue poster paper from the dollar store to test my hat design. Before ruining the big paper, I did a few mini models to test the shape and how it would all fit together.
I copied the shape into the big paper and made something work! I was very happy with the paper pattern so I immediately traced it onto craft foam and assembled it together. The seams were a long and careful process to glue the edges of the foam together, which allows it to keep its round shape. It seemed to assemble super wonky but don't give up hope! It ended up fitting beautifully.
Any glue chunks that settle on the outside of the hat can be carefully cut off with a sharp blade before adding trim. I just added some trim using strips of craft foam to add a bit of depth and the details the hat has.
I wanted to test out some primer and paint flexibility so the next thing I made was the arm bracers. They were small enough and easy enough to make that I could re-do them quickly if something went wrong with my tests.
I measured my forearm and wrist and made a paper pattern with extra room allowance for the velcro closure. I traced the paper pattern to the foam and added extra trim details the same as on the hat.
I used some handy dandy Micheal's coupons to get some spray sealer Mod Podge, and a neutral grey spray paint primer at a discount.
I wasn't a fan of the spray Mod Podge - it took about 5 coats to fully coat the foam, even after heat sealing. The only thing I liked was that it had a smooth finish that brush on mod podge can never seem to even out. It was also faster, but considering dry time between coats, it seemed irrelevant.
Flexibility was good after the Mod Podge. It seemed to wrinkle, but not crack, which would have to work because I had no experience and no new ideas. The paint primer was delightful. It went on matte and only took 1 - 2 coats for a complete cover. It seemed to crack when it bent, but the mod podge held it together so you couldn't even see the small cracks.
Once I did a light spray of the chrome spray paint, the metallic shine hid any and all flaws. Unfortunately, after the chrome was applied, anything put on top - acrylic detail paint and hot glued gems - pulled right off. I guess this means I need to perfect my masking tape game!
Overall, the arm bracers were completed successfully and I could move on to the rest of the armour!
Confident in my painting methods, I went ahead and did the same with my hat. After the chrome was applied, I painted the trim in dark grey, and the lightning bolt on the side the same way I painted my gems. More on this further down.
I added two wig clips near the front of the hat to hold it in place on my wig.
The other armour pieces - the belt and hip guards, knee pads, and ankle bracers - were made the same way as the arm guards and hat.
1. Paper pattern
2. Trace onto foam
3. Cut out, shape with heat, add details and trim
4. Prime and paint
It went fairly quickly, and sadly this is where I don't have much for progress photos.
All of these pieces were fitted with velcro for closure, and the knee pads were wrapped around my leg using a length of elastic.
The chest armour was full of trials, mistakes, frustration and learning. I started with a paper pattern, but it was very hard to make marks on my own, so I got as close as I could and moved the pattern to my dress form. After spending hours making the pattern fit accurately and squarely, on both my body and dress form, I took a deep breathe and cut out the foam pieces.
The foam didn't seem to smooth as easily as the paper, even after heat treatment. It seemed to fit wonky and I was pretty frustrated so I tried cutting a few slits to smooth areas over. The slits just made points in the foam. I decided to completely re-format the "straps" of the armour. They attached where the slits had been, and made it more streamline without the points or ripples or bumps.
It still somehow didn't fit symmetrical, but it looked fine while wearing it. So considering my time crunch, I accepted the fit and moved on to the next step.
Apparently my boobs sit lower on my chest, or my upper chest is longer than my dress form, either way, the straps I had cut out weren't quite long enough, so I decided to attach the pauldrons directly to the chest armour as an extension of the straps.
I like how the pauldrons look on my armour, but they're definitely not accurate to the character. This is definitely one feature I would be modifying on a future version.
I primed the chest armour with brush on mod podge because I wanted to ensure that every crack and crevice was coated in primer before paint. The chest armour took about half a spray can of chrome to cover it completely.
The gems were made out of model magic clay. I made ovals and circles and let them dry for a few days and then cut them in half. I left them to dry for another day or so before priming them with wood glue. Wood glue helps smooth out any bumps and creates a ridgid coat on the soft clay.
I painted the yellow gems with a base color of yellow and blue. The yellow gems got a coat of gold paint, and topped with gold glitter. The blue gems got a light brushing of silver paint for shine, and then topped with blue glitter. All the gems got a gloss top coat to seal the glitter and for extra shine.
They were each attached to their respective armour or weapon with hot glue.... and then peeled off again because of the chrome spray paint! Hahaa! But once I peeled the hot glue and chrome off the back of the gem, I re-applied it the same way and it attached much easier to the raw foam that was exposed after pulling off the paint.
The gloves were made from a pair of leggings. They were the perfect stretch and the material didn't fray easily at the fingertips. If you look closely at the design, she seems to have a gold band on each arm.
I had orginally planned to make a shirt to go under the armour and attach the gloves and the shirt with gold fabric, but I ended up leaving for Edmonton without a proper under shirt. I ended up borrowing the shirt from a friend! This is just another example of modifications I need to make to this costume.
The skirt was basically made from an entire bed sheet. I cut two full circle skirts and sewed them together. It was my first time pleating before and I actually found it very fun! I just eyeballed the pleats, and they were all about 1" thick. The skirt was so floofy! I attached a strap with a hook in the front to be hidden under the armour.
I honestly didn't want to hem the entire skirt. That was so much material. I should just go measure it so I can put a fancy large number here and you'll be like, "whoa!" But seriously. I contemplated just not doing it. But then I sucked it up and told myself to quit whining and hemmed the WHOLE thing!
Now for the super sweet weapon! The sword was cut out of pink insulation board. It's all one piece. It was carved to shape with an exacto knife and smoothed out with a palm sander. I primed with a few layers of wood glue before adding some craft foam trim and details. I smoothed out any holes or rough bumps with some drywall filler. Sanded it down when it was dry, and coated in another layer of wood glue. I did a coat of light grey paint primer before hitting it with the chrome.
I glued the gems on and painted the butt of the sword to match the gem!
The wig was something I didn't really consider.... I ended up stealing my wig from Sailor Moon Knight. I trimmed it to a manageable length and used heat to pull the bangs back and swept to the side. I sewed in two wig clips to hold the wig on, just in case the hat pulled the wig back while wearing it.
For the makeup, I just used some face paint to make really bright anime blush cheeks.
The boots were something I had to sacrifice to be done on time for the Edmonton Expo. I decided to use my grey boots, and cover them from mid foot to knee. This still gave the proper illusion of the boot armour and actually worked out so well! Version 2.0 should have proper boot covers.... if I learn how to make them properly!
So I hope that answers all the questions people asked about this cosplay. It was quite the experience to build my first ever armour build. I quite enjoyed it, and I can only get better from here! Here's my cosplanner breakdown!
Thank you for following my weird cosplay journey. I strive to be better in everything I do, and your support makes that so much easier and enjoyable.
Photos for this post provided by Athane Photography and Kyle Robinson.