Nidalee was a very random character for me to cosplay. A lot of factors led into this decision. Ryan and Collin came up with the idea initially. The other League of Legends characters they suggested were way out of my skill level. Nidalee fell somewhere in the middle. And then, if you remember, I had all that extra material from making my Mad Rabbit ears! ;)
The final decision that pushed Nid from the "ideas" folder to the "in progress" folder, was the upcoming TCEG Con in Edmonton. It was a new convention, it's first year going live, and I wanted to enter the cosplay contest. The only rule was that characters had to be video game related.
First thing I did was pattern out all my pieces and did math so that everything would fit on the material I had. I ended up with a ton of extra material, so I stressed for nothing. I sewed all the pieces together and tried it all on! There's not much material, so it was a short costest...
After it was all together, the material looked too light and I wanted to darken it, to add more contrast. I went out and bought brown, matte fabric paint. I mixed it with water to thin it out and I brushed it over the fabric spreading it evenly. Or so I thought. Apparently the water made it seem like the color was spreading, but it turned into a cool, worn down leather texture! I was really happy with this happy accident.
The next thing I worked on was the teeth, because the material needed a few days to cure. I used Crayola Model Magic because it was a lightweight clay. I didn't want heavy teeth sagging off me at cons or photo shoots, so the lighter material saved me some stress. I shaped 4 teeth for the spear, 9 teeth for the belt, and 9 smaller teeth for the necklace. I was pleased with how these turned out. A few ended up cracking, or losing tips, but I just shrugged it off, telling myself it adds to the magic.
Once they were cured, I strung them along leather lacing and hot glued them in place. I also added a decorative knot around the teeth to make it look lashed to the belt/necklace/spear.
Last, but not least, the spear. This was the most time consuming project I have ever done*. I had decided from the beginning that I would attempt to make a weapon out of spray foam. It's pretty common for cosplay props, so I figured it couldn't be that hard.
*Besides that time I made nine floor length tails out of brushed yarn...
ABSOLUTE DISASTER. Even with my boyfriend's help it was still a total mess. I felt so deflated and had to think of how I could come back from such a wicked blow.
Since I had always planned to wrap the spear head in craft foam, I decided to make it solely from craft foam. I made two patterns for the head that I would duplicate to make 4 sides total. I cut out a bunch of tiny pieces and glued them on to a solid craft foam base. This created an inverted carved look on the spear. I think... in my eyes...
I glued the 4 sides together and I had a spear head!
"Omg it's gigantic and doesn't look right. I hate it."
Sound familiar? I tend to do that a lot on projects... If it doesn't sound familiar, then go back and read my Mad Rabbit post. That whole project was re-do after re-do.
Also, quick note on the feathers in the above picture. They're just made out of white craft foam, bent in the middle around a tiny core, and painted on both sides with black sharpie. Like super easy-pease.
Back to the spear head and my dilemma. I cried, and got mad, and then I cut off one of the four sides. I was so upset that my costume would be that much less accurate. But with one side down, the spear already looked way better and I was smiling again.
I added some battle damage and then primed for days on that spear head. Wood glue. Sand. Glue. Sand. But I got it to a level I could be proud of, and then headed to the painting stage. I used a matte grey spray paint to create a metal/rock texture look. I painted in the cracks with black acryclic paint, which really made it pop.
The stick was found by my boyfriend, because apparently the stick I found wasn't good enough... I went and borrowed a grinder from Dad and we took off the bark layer to make it lighter and way smoother. I was so happy.
I stuffed the spear head with newspaper and shoved the stick into the base of the spear head. I glued the bananas out of it to keep it secure and as non-wobbly as possible. I hot glued the teeth onto the base and admired my work. Nearly 15 hours later I had a spear. A beautiful spear. <3
I put everything together and did one last costest. I was (unreasonably) confident in my makeup ability, so I skipped the body paint and makeup test. But, so far, everything looks pretty good!
Here's a breakdown on Cosplanner. You can see the dramatic time difference in effort put on the costume versus the prop!
Check out next week's post to see how I last minute styled my shitty halloween wig, and did some body painting. I was running very late and I found it so amusing how the boys were being quiet. They know how cranky I can get if they try to help... It will be an entertaining post to say the least! See you next week!
You can now buy Nidalee prints in my Etsy Store!