InuyashaOhki

Cosplay builders

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There's talk in a couple places of people cosplaying, so I thought I'd start a discussion about making costumes. Feel free to brag, ask questions on how to do things, or suggest things.

 

Personally, I am trying to play with a little of everything. So far I've done:

- Thermoplastics (Terraflex, which is similar to Worbla)

- Leatherwork (dying, cutting, shaping, sewing, lacing, etc.)

- Leather tooling (pounding designs into leather)

- Leather burning

- Woodwork (cutting, wet shaping, assembling, staining, etc.)

- Sewing

- Metalwork (cutting, riveting, shaping, etc.)

- Etching (both elecrtochemical and motorized)

- Electroplating

- EVA foam (puzzle mats, truck mats, craft foam)

- Camping foam (horrid stuff I don't recommend to anyone)

- Spray foam/expanding foam (absolute most dangerous thing on my list)

- PVC

- Acrylic paint (coloring, layering, texturing, weathering)

- Spray paint (sounds easy, but it ain't)

- Chemical weathering (bluing, vinegar, bleach, etc.)

- 3Doodler (3D printing pen)

- 3D printing (designed my own objects, had them printed by someone with a printer...didn't end up using because they didn't hold paint well in the details)

- Lighting and simple electronics

 

Wanting to try:

- Resin casting (I have a kit to experiment with, but it's too expensive for me to do a lot with.)

- Vacuforming (I'd love suggestions on where to get plastic for it, by the way.)

- Insulation foam (I have some, and a plan...just not time to start on it.)

- More thermoplastics (I have a sample of Kydex to play with, may also try Worbla, Wonderflex, etc.)

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I've done a bit of sewing, is all - but my roommate/friend has gone a little more in-depth. She's planning on trying out worbla for this year's AKon.

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I've done some hot gluing...and sewing...and more hot gluing...

 

I have this weird rule about not cosplaying anyone who doesn't have my natural hair color (black), but I want to get into wigs now. Does anyone have any tips on that? I have medium-length hair (2-3 inches past my shoulder).

 

Also, pictures? I love to see y'alls' cosplays!

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I've done some hot gluing...and sewing...and more hot gluing...

 

I have this weird rule about not cosplaying anyone who doesn't have my natural hair color (black), but I want to get into wigs now. Does anyone have any tips on that? I have medium-length hair (2-3 inches past my shoulder).

 

Also, pictures? I love to see y'alls' cosplays!

I forgot that off my "to learn" list. I have an Arda wig I intend to do something with in the future, but haven't yet. That said, I've attended several panels on it and am friends with the family of Arda employees, so I can point you in the right directions.

 

The big problem with all wig manufacturers are that they are sized for the wrong universe. "Extra Large" is about halfway between what you would want for GI Joe and Barbie sized heads. For those of us who wear a size 8 1/4 hat (also near-impossible to find), it's beyond the limit for what you can expand the wig with wefts. That's part of why I've not started on mine. I'm planning to augment mine with wefts, then flatten it a little so it lays over my hair rather than failing to go around it. I've been told Arda is one of the better ones for adding wefts to. And they have help videos out the wazoo made by Malindachan, who is very, very good at it.

 

What Malindachan advised in the panel I attended in 2013 for most of the shapes was actually glue - getting it on a center clump and bringing in the strands around it to smooth it out for small shapes. Putting similar color felt or paper underneath and gluing strands to it to make spirals or other shapes, and to make large shapes out of cardboard, foam or poster board and glue matching color felt over them, then the strands down over the shape.

 

From several panels I've attended, I've been told never to use hair driers or other heat sources (or hot glue, or glue that heats as it cures), as the wigs are made of thin, drawn plastic that, unlike hair, will melt. You can use some types of hairspray, or clothing starch, essentially treating the hair similar to nylon.

 

Pictures...

PoH from SAO:

860436808.jpg?1405490033&Expires=1440878Br45Td1CYAAKr0n.jpg

Gutsman from Megaman 1:

856914014.jpg?1402796191&Expires=1440878

 

Steampunk Medium Infantry (Original Character). Ignore the time machine behind me, that is unrelated work of other steampunks. The right pauldron had loosened the velcro and migrated forward a bit, which is why it looks askew:

CH-HcFdUYAAnjy1.jpg

Edited by InuyashaOhki

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I've done a lot, a lot, a lot of sewing, some amount of work with feathers (I count them in their own category because feathers are a huge PITA; did you know there are "left" and "right" feathers?! I didn't, not before I started. And no, sellers don't sell you just L/R, you gotta sort your feathers when you get 'em home and then your living room looks like you tried to bake 4 and 20 blackbirds into a pie), some item-making with sculpy/fimo, some laser-cutting-aided crafts, some work with arduinos/etc (not for 'cosplay' so much as a costume/themed project in UG), woodwork, metalwork, a bit of wigwork, and misc. things. 

 

Wigs are also on my to-learn list, as the work I've done is incredibly minor, and I need to stop relying on my mom for help there. :P As I want to do more GoT cosplay I think I'm also going to have to bite the bullet and invest in "real" human hair; the shiny synthetic stuff just isn't cutting it anymore. 

 

What I really want to do now is actually *document* my costume construction; so many con competitions require A. pre-entry to the contest before the con, and, B. documentation of the process, that I can't keep skipping it and then excusing myself from bothering. I also need to learn how to put together a skit. I did a short one for DETCON/NASFiC 2014, but there were all of 2 other people in my 'class' so it hardly counts.

 

Also, sometimes you end up eating pizza in-line at the con. 'cause why not.

 

Anyway, if ya'll wanna see spam 'o my costumes:

 

Porrim Maryam:

Halloween Costume w/Boyfriend in tow as Little Red Riding Hood

 

Melisandre:

First Melisandre Costume

(other Melisandre costume is in 'group shots')

 

Sansa Stark:

Costume

Me In Costume 1

Me In Costume 2

Me In Costume 3, plus some other people

 

Costumes I've Made for Others + Group Shots:

Mom and Dad as Tywin Lannister and Olenna Tyrell

Melisandre, Jon Snow, and Meera Reed

Sansa Stark, Jon Snow, and Meera Reed

 

Edited by Liz

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I have to agree, feathers are their own material science. The shield on my last cosplay is done in faux-silver feathers sculpted from craft foam and painted. I began with real feathers and developed my pattern from them. I cheated a bit and went more stylistic, so mine don't have a left-right to them, even though the heat from the drying paint curled some of them so it looks that way.

 

Do you use the Sculpy/Fimo directly as costume pieces, or do you use them to create molds? If the former, how bad are they on weight? Also, any tips on keeping the heat down with costumes? I know feathers hold in a bit of heat, and it looks like you're using some heavier materials for other things. I'm currently building fans into the helmet of my next costume, but even indoors without a helmet, I find I absolutely bake at summer cons. With helmet on, I've had heat exhaustion at two of them.

 

Oh, also any tips on buying a sewing machine? I've been borrowing Moms, and now I have a 1940's Japanese knock-off of a Singer Model 15, but I'd like something that doesn't require a buttonhole foot larger than a full size electric razor:

RLx20121.2L.jpg?77

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Oh my, that is quite the buttonhole foot.

 

I have a Brother CP 6500 Heavy Duty Computerized Sewing Machine (Refurbished), got it from overstock.com during a sale for $100, but that was a while back. To be honest, as long as there's a majority of metal parts in the guts it's probably OK; costco has some good deals occasionally as does jet.com. Or you can watch amazon and wait for something when the holiday season rolls around.

 

I use sculpy/fimo directly as pieces, mostly as faux-jewelry. Its reasonably light, but I've never done anything bigger so I wouldn't know. Also, finding something to support it on while you bake it can be... tough.

 

For heat: ouch. I don't even pretend to know your pain; the heaviest I do is lined synthetics (compare and contrast to the Jon Snow in those pics; he regularly has *serious* issues at, say, AX, with the heat and the sun) so I sweat but I deal. I've heard of people on /cgl/ stuffing things with ice packs, esp. armor, and also even some liquid-cooled systems for real complex outfits (tho these are usually the sort that require a handler).

 

What are you next constructing? 

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Oh my, that is quite the buttonhole foot.

 

I have a Brother CP 6500 Heavy Duty Computerized Sewing Machine (Refurbished), got it from overstock.com during a sale for $100, but that was a while back. To be honest, as long as there's a majority of metal parts in the guts it's probably OK; costco has some good deals occasionally as does jet.com. Or you can watch amazon and wait for something when the holiday season rolls around.

 

I use sculpy/fimo directly as pieces, mostly as faux-jewelry. Its reasonably light, but I've never done anything bigger so I wouldn't know. Also, finding something to support it on while you bake it can be... tough.

 

For heat: ouch. I don't even pretend to know your pain; the heaviest I do is lined synthetics (compare and contrast to the Jon Snow in those pics; he regularly has *serious* issues at, say, AX, with the heat and the sun) so I sweat but I deal. I've heard of people on /cgl/ stuffing things with ice packs, esp. armor, and also even some liquid-cooled systems for real complex outfits (tho these are usually the sort that require a handler).

 

What are you next constructing? 

Thanks for the tips. That's a heck of a deal on your sewing machine.

 

It regularly gets in the 90-100°F range here during summer cons, and I swear they intentionally schedule to hit the worst days. My body is built for antarctic conditions, so it's particularly bad on me.

 

Right now I'm fixing what the washing machine tore up on my steampunk medium infantry costume. This weekend, I'll hopefully be working with my brother on a Porco Rosso costume for him and a Mamma Aiuto gang leader costume for me. Hopefully after that I can get back to work on the helmet I mentioned, heh. I was approached by Steampunk Vader about my medium infantry uniform and he suggested using the shirt from it as part of an Imperial Guard from Star Wars done in steampunk style. I've drawn up a plan and gathered materials, but I'm not very far into it. I'm making the helmet from Terraflex (Worbla-like thermoplastic) that I'll cover in wine colored upholstery faux-leather with copper mesh in the indentations on the helmet to let air out and a fan built into the top blowing air down through them. I'm also doing the visor part of it in a box-style similar to welding goggles. I hope to make the pants for it, a cape, tooling leather epaulets with Imperial insignia done in oxblood dye, similarly dyed leather bracers, and hand made boots and belt. Still not sure if I'm going to make or buy gloves, as those are a pain to make, but I'm making everything else.

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I'm looking to make a costume. Going to PAX today reminded me of how cosplayers, in general, are hard to approach. Mainly because of many professionals requesting photos, and naturally everyone would want to talk to the guys with the expensive stuff. 10 inch lens yes, that stuff is to die for. Some random guy with a medium size, 0 inch lenses, retractable but cost efficient I should add... cameras.

 

Well, I just wanted to say that you don't need that expensive crap, and that the content quality is the main thing. In other words, It's the heart that matters. On youtube, most users don't even need to go HD. And it's really bad to make people download high resolution pictures. I'm just saying that, yes, its probably ideal to get the best, and editable pictures, but... wait...  I don't really know how to say this.

 

Anyways, the other thing is that cosplayers go in packs, in other words, there's this weird connection between cosplayers that regular non-costume people dont' get to have. It seems like there is almost a superiority, as if, because they are able to dress freely, and express and attract people's eyes, they have some sort of power over ETC. It's like they've become the character they are in costume, or somehow confidence is apparent through disguise. I normally don't approach people, but for the sake of making videos, I had to... and it seems so much easier to approach normal regularly dressed people rather than cosplayers. Maybe it's me, but there's a sort of acceptance if you are one of them, if you know what I mean.

 

That's why I'm thinking, if I dress up, than maybe I will gain that freedom as well as acceptance to make better videos.

 

I have a few ideas, but mainly... A dark hooded character, dark cape, with shoulder pads, gauntlet, boots, and probably brown pants, black long sleeve shirt.... and a LED lit sword diagonal in my back. possibly sequencing the LEDs. My mask can be under the hood, with a skull or something frightening. I know the design, because its one of the characters in a world I'm building... The material I'd like to use is either 3d printed plastic for the armor/mask or some sort of foam. Ideally, the most comfortable set up, and light.

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Foam is great for armor, but terrible for masks. I recommend lightweight plastic or thin paper mache for the base, then coat it in 3-4 layers of plasti-dip, then do your regular paint style over it and finish with clearcoat. Foam insulates far too well, and will trap heat in against your face. It's also thicker so it doesn't have the natural breathing channels plastic or paper shell-style masks make. Some people do make masks out of the craft foam (almost paper thin), but you have to use glue or other sealants fairly heavily on it to make it rigid enough to hold up, and I find that's harder to do since the foam wants to flex on you while you're working with it.

 

As far as photography, you need the courage to ask. Most cosplayers want to be asked because it says you care enough about what they've accomplished to take a picture of it. I'm not part of one of the groups you speak of, though I'm trying to be. It's definitely easier to get out there and act and have fun if you have people supporting you. You'll also find women will be in groups often more for the same reason they are in groups more often for everything else - protection. While the actual cosplay community is very progressive and supportive, a convention is open to the public, and often requires cosplayers to go through public space while in costume. I can't count the number of stories I've read of women being sexually harassed by men off the street or being groped while being photographed, and there have been cases of people trying to get pictures from inappropriate angles as well. If you're respectful, though, you shouldn't have a problem. Being in something that shows you're a geek (wearing either costume or geek-related shirts/hats/buttons/etc) would probably go a long way to making a good first impression, but I can say from experience that it's not really required. Asking is the key. Even in costume, I have trouble finding the courage to ask, particularly if they look busy. I missed my chance to get a picture with Holly Conrad at a local con because someone else asked first and I convinced myself she probably just wanted to leave rather than just asking her.

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I think Inu hit most of the salient points re: cosplay photography. tl;dr, we're putting a ton of effort into our outfits for a public event, we're very unlikely to be *upset* if someone asks to take our photo (as long as you respect any polite 'no's' you may get, no harm, no foul), and most of us are ecstatic to have someone ask! I've gone to cons in crappy costumes (not linked to above), and the few asks I've gotten then were heart-warming; I've gone in group costumes (e.g. my parents, Isaac, and myself), and gotten stopped so many times that people ended up queuing up to take our picture (an amazing feeling!). Ask, be respectful, and have some business cards if you want any hopes of the people later ever *finding* your photos. Even just little bits of paper with a website address or email address are fine. That is my #1 frustration - never being able to find photos after!

 

Anyway, right now I'm mostly here to whine about the fact that by losing weight + gaining muscle, last year's costumes are all too big. :< Time to re-do all the seams before the con, sigh...

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and have some business cards if you want any hopes of the people later ever *finding* your photos. Even just little bits of paper with a website address or email address are fine. That is my #1 frustration - never being able to find photos after!

I'll second this. I usually find a few pics of me at small cons, but I've never seen my pic posted from any of the bigger cons except once when it was by a photography group that organized a fandom meetup (KC Cosplay and Photo did a Star Trek meetup in memory of Leonard Nimoy at Planet Comiccon). Living alone, and with only bathroom mirrors to work with, I can't exactly get good pictures of my cosplay, so the con photos by other people are often all I have. This may be why I have a number of pictures around the time machine above, since the Steamworks & Shadows folks are kind enough to take pictures of me with it with my cell phone.

 

There are "professional photographer" booths that you can pay to be photographed at almost every con, but they are NOT professionals (I say this with an extensive background with professional photographers including some training of my own), the backdrop is exceedingly generic (haze, blank, or just the con logo repeated), they take hours or weeks to get your photos to you, and then you're usually not even allowed to share them online. I think the ones that irk me more, though, are the ones that convince everyone to go through their "free" booth that turns out to just be unwittingly volunteering to let them use you for marketing while not even getting a copy of the picture yourself or getting any credit from them when they use your image.

 

I put my Dalek Twitter account on my badge usually, and this has resulted in a few people tweeting pics at me, but it's not worked at the bigger cons yet.

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Hmm, I'm thinking 3D printing all the way, although I have no experience. There's service out there where you upload your models and they'll ship you it. Not sure on the price for this service, but as a minmum, I would want a mask, at least one shoulder pad and one full gauntlet, one small one. Hopefully that is less than 100$. Good tip on the heating of the face... Airholes... I've worn masks before and most of the time it ended up having a bunch of water vapor on the mask... Well, I guess it can be half a wolf head, with the lower jaw being gone so that, that issue wouldn't matter, but it wouldn't look as nice, maybe.

 

I think I asked up to 30 costumed people. None of them declined. Non-cosplayers declined though. I was going to add small pan-clips of normal people randomly at one point in the video, as if they are in a costume, as a weird joke, but that didn't go anywhere.  There was a handful of cosplayers that saw me and scurried away after they finished up their current request though. Sometimes you just gotta say no otherwise you'd be taking photos forever, I guess. I can tell the difference between those that do it for fun, and those that do it as their career. As far as people's career, I have nothing to help them with my... things. And that's where my previous thought grew...

 

Anyways, There was so  many costumes at PAX this year. The previous year, there was less, and mostly the hardcore cosplayers showed up that time. This year, a lot of casuals... but really good costumes from non-career folks though. The people that don't go looking for professionals, and just go around and play games, actually participate in the convention stuff like various scavenger hunts, raffles, t-shirts, pin collecting. I think the more serious cosplayers forego the convention entirely. Could be a sign that such culture is getting more and more accepted.

 

 

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I can't speak to the 3D printing prices as the 3D printer I have access to can only do a few inches and I'm only paying for the plastic "ink". You might look at openscad for a free program to code your objects in, though I'll say it's definitely not simple (programming based in 3-dimensional geometric formulas and iterations). The plastic might be heavier and more rigid than you want for the shoulder pads and a gauntlet - what I've gotten back has been about the density and rigidity of the plastic in Lego bricks, and indeed people make Lego-like bricks with it. There is an elastic extrudable plastic, but I don't know if works in 3D printers (haven't seen it offered). I've only seen it for 3Doodler, which doesn't have the same limitations as a printer since you can just go back and redraw where you want. Regarding the wolf head, if you give it an overbite (opening between the teeth), a wide neck hole, and channel the ears so they let air out over your head, you should be fine on air flow even with the lower jaw. You basically need space for your exhale to get out of the way, and a top-bottom channel of air to let heat out rather than channeling heat through the eyeholes.

 

I do know people who do commissions, if 3D printing turns out to be too expensive. I don't know their pricing, though. I can also tell you how to make just about anything if you tell me what you want.

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So, I'm in need of some ideas/advice and I don't want to post on my social media because I want it to be a secret. And this seems like the best place to ask.

 

I have decided to be female Chris Pratt's character (Owen) from Jurassic World this year for Halloween. I was going to buy Lego figurines of each of the velociraptors to put on my shoulders, but they were too expensive and then I came across this set at Target and now, I owns them.

 

What is the best way to attach them soundly to my shoulders (2 on each shoulder) without permanently ruining them (so no hot glue)? I want to gift them to my boyfriend's nephew after Halloween, so I want them to not be ruined. I don't mind altering the vest (will likely find it at a thrift shop).

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So, I'm in need of some ideas/advice and I don't want to post on my social media because I want it to be a secret. And this seems like the best place to ask.

 

I have decided to be female Chris Pratt's character (Owen) from Jurassic World this year for Halloween. I was going to buy Lego figurines of each of the velociraptors to put on my shoulders, but they were too expensive and then I came across this set at Target and now, I owns them.

 

What is the best way to attach them soundly to my shoulders (2 on each shoulder) without permanently ruining them (so no hot glue)? I want to gift them to my boyfriend's nephew after Halloween, so I want them to not be ruined. I don't mind altering the vest (will likely find it at a thrift shop).

Well, if you don't mind putting holes in the vest, fishing line. Poke two very small holes through the vest about dino-foot width apart or half an inch (whichever is larger). Put another piece of somewhat rigid material underneath (plastic, or 3 layers of cardstock, or similar) and poke the same holes through it. Run the fishing line in from the outside, down through both layers, and back out the other hole. Tie the loose end around the "ankle" of the dinosaur so that it won't slip down. Cut the other side and tie it at the same place. You'll want to tie a fishing knot as fishing line tends to slip. Do the same for the other foot and make sure that the two feet are balanced so it will stay on your shoulder rather than pulling forward or back. Finally, do a third one in the middle over the small indentation in the middle of their backs, this time tying the two ends together.

 

The fishing line will be somewhat visible, but no one is going to complain about that, given that they're toys.

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I'm putting my first cosplay together for Halloween, and then I plan to use it next year to go to at least one of the cons her in Denver. I have a friend who wants to take me with her next year.

I don't know how to make my weapon, though, without spending a ton of money. I'm moving to a new place next month, so my budget is tight. I'm going to be Blake Belladonna from RWBY. Any advice?

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I don't know how to make my weapon, though, without spending a ton of money. I'm moving to a new place next month, so my budget is tight. I'm going to be Blake Belladonna from RWBY. Any advice?

1. How durable do you want it to be? Ultra-cheap, you're looking at cardboard or foamboard, which both will break pretty easy if you bump into them. Moderately cheap, you're looking at EVA foam, specifically puzzle mats.

CAP-Barbell-Anti-microbial-Puzzle-Mats-P

 

2. Do you have a place you can spray paint? You'll need semi-outdoors with a wind break and eye protection or very ventilated. If not, you'll probably be "coloring" it with black duct tape, as that's about your best non-paint option, and you don't want to do acrylic paint over that much surface area.

For the EVA foam idea -

Shopping list:

1. EVA Foam Puzzle Mat - I find these at Harbor Freight for under $10 for a 4-pack. If you know other cosplayers, you can even split the cost, because you only need about one for this project, though you'll want a second in case something goes wrong.

2. Go shopping right now for a squirt gun or other toy gun that looks like this one. It's loosely based on an Glock. They're on clearance because it's end of summer.

3. Get a snap-blade/disposable-blade knife (eg. http://www.harborfreight.com/snap-blade-utility-knife-97068.html ) and something to put underneath it you don't care about destroying. I also use heavy duty sheers (eg. http://www.harborfreight.com/8-1-4-quarter-inch-multipurpose-stainless-steel-scissors-97049.html ) for large cuts to save my sanity, but you don't need it.

4. 2 cans of black plasti-dip and 1 can of matte clear-coat. If you do not have anywhere you can paint, replace this with 2 rolls of black duct tape and a ton of patience.

5. White electrical tape. Second choice, white masking tape. Third choice, white duct tape. Distant fourth choice...acrylic paint.

6. White foamies / craft foam.

7. Woodweld Contact Cement, Barge Cement, or something similar. Hot glue also works, but I find the cement is a lot easier to use and you don't burn yourself on it. That said, you cannot use the cement after it's been painted as the cement eats right through paint and then doesn't stick. "Low temp" does NOT work. It will seem like it held, then come apart in the car on your way to the con.

8. A large sheet of paper, cardboard, or something else cheap you can make a pattern with. I bought rolls of brown paper at a hardware store for cheap.

9. A wood yardstick and metal straight edge. The yardstick will be the "blade" of your sword, the other will be for making precise cuts.

10. A sharpie.

11. A heat gun or hair drier. Heat gun is awesome, hair drier will work, but is tedious.

12. If you can't find someone to borrow a drill and hole saw from, you'll need those to make the hole in the sheath.

Making it:

0. Watch EvilTed on Youtube to see how to work with the foam.

1. Draw out your shape on the pattern material (paper, cardboard, etc.). Once you like it, cut it out. This does not include the hole in the middle, just the outer outline.

2. Trace the edges of your pattern onto the foam with the sharpie (you'll paint over this with plastidip, so marks don't matter). Then flip it over and trace the edges again for a mirror-image.

3. Cut the edges so you have your two halves. Use the metal straight edge to keep your lines clean and straight. Keep the scrap pieces for practicing with the rotary tool and for a paint test.

4. Lay the yardstick over one of the halves and position it where the blade should be. Trace around it with the sharpie to figure out where the hole should be.

5. Cut the hole with the snap blade knife. Use the metal straight edge to keep your lines clean and straight.

6. Lay the halves together and use your hole you just made to trace onto the rough edge of the other half.

7. Cut the hole in said other half the same way. Do it slower, though, as the rough edge will make the blade want to jump.

8. Stop to play with your rotary tool with the scraps. Learn how to make a beveled edge, a smooth flat edge, and a groove (like the grooves on the sheath). Also, try heat treating pieces with the hair drier or heat gun. The gray will get slightly darker with a faint sheen to it (if you go too far, it will bubble and look melted/corroded). Also take some of the scraps and try bonding the rough edges together with the bonding cement or hot glue to make sure you can get a good edge before you do it to your big pieces.

 

9. Use the yardstick to draw a groove on the rough side of each half of the sheath that lines up with the hole you made in each. Use your rotary tool to route out the channel. It needs to be big enough to easily fit the yardstick with a little bit of wiggle room, and wide enough to fit the yardstick plus the bump on the back of the blade, and it needs to go all the way out the end so that you can slide the yardstick in later. 

10. Lay the halves side by side so that the "grip" sides are next to each other. Use your metal straight edge and sharpie to mark out where the grooves should be. I recommend filling in the grooves with sharpie.

11. Use the rotary tool to channel out the grooves to the same depth. I recommend low-medium speed if yours has variable speed, so that it doesn't get away from you.

12. Flip it around so that the ends are together and mark out where you want the tapering of the "blade" side of the sheath with the sharpie and metal straight edge.

13. Get a scrap piece and practice making the angle cut with the knife OR grinding it down with a rotary tool. Alternatively, if you happen to have access to a belt sander, that will make quicker work of this, but still practice first. Once you are confident, make the angle cut to make the "blade".

14. Heat treat your two foam halves on all sides with the heat gun or hair drier. Make sure to keep them flat while you do so.

15. Cement the two halves together carefully. Follow the cement bottle's instructions, which usually entails a 15 minute wait while it cures. Start at one flat edge and don't let them touch until you're ready, then gradually work down the length, getting it firmly pressed together. You can do this in segments if you like. The foam is flexible enough for that. Use your rotary tool carefully to smooth out any issues at the edges.

16. Use the hole saw/drill to cut out the notch in the end. Alternatively, drill a large hole and use the rotary tool to expand it out until it's the size you want. If disaster happens, cut out a square notch around the disaster and make a replacement with your scrap foam. Use the same heat-then-bond technique to attach the replacement part, then use your rotary tool over the edge to smooth the edge.

17. Take some of the craft foam and make the little "tabs" on the blade side of the sheath. You can make a hidden wedge of EVA foam to make these set better if you like. Again, use the bonding cement or hot glue to attach them carefully, making sure they are flush with the side.

 

18. Take some of your remaining EVA foam and use the same technique to make the "crossguard" that goes over the Glock toy. Again, it will be two halves, and you will again need to channel out the space for the yardstick, but the space will be more snug on this one and will not need space for the bump. As you draw the channel, make sure it lines up with the sheath you already made. Do not bond the halves together yet.

19. Carve it to the shape you want with the rotary tool and knife.

20. Test fit it to the top of the Glock toy. You may need to sand down things on the toy.

21. If your Glock toy does not have the magazine (the rectangle sticking out the bottom) or it's too short, carve and sand a piece of EVA foam to fit. You may need to bond two pieces together to make it the right size. If not, carefully grind off the rough edge to make a smooth edge with your rotary tool or carefully cut off the rough side with the knife. Use the craft foam to make the end-cap shape around the magazine.

22. Use some scrap paper to make a stencil of the white flame icon.

23. Use painters tape to cover the edge where the white flames should be. Use your sharpie to draw the flame shapes with your stencil, then cut out the edges and remove the tape to leave the flames in tape.

24. Flip the stencil and draw them in reverse on one side of the white craft foam. Cut the flame shapes out the white craft foam and make sure they match up with the painters tape. You'll be peeling off the painter's tape later and using either hot glue or VERY CAREFUL bonding cement under them later.

 

25. Cut out the "tip" of the blade with about 3 inches of excess length that you will use later (your yardstick).

26. Use the 3 inch piece you cut off the end of the yardstick to make the triangle bump on the back of the blade. Use bonding cement or hot glue to attach the bump, then use the rotary tool on low speed to sand any rough spots where they meet.

27. Test fit your blade into the sheath. If it doesn't fit, cut the blade down carefully to fit. If it's too wide, cut from the bump.

28. Use the rotary tool to smooth the edge to give the blade tapering along the edge, but don't make it sharp.

29. Bond the two halves of the "crossguard" piece around-and-to the flat end of the yardstick. Bond the result to the top of the Glock toy.

 

Assuming you can paint (try to find someone who will let you do this if you can't at your place):

30. Lay both the Glock-sword and sheath on a paint-proof surface (cardboard works best) with small scrap foam under it out of the way so you can . Following the instructions on the plasti-dip, spray both, giving an even coat. Do 3 coats in total, waiting 45 minutes to an hour between coats, then wait 12 hours to clearcoat. Wait 24 hours, then flip and coat the other side. Another 3 coats and another 12 hours to clearcoat. Wait 24 hours.

 

Assuming you absolutely can't paint:

30. Painstakingly layer everything in black duct tape or black electrical tape. You can also use sharpie, black acrylic paint or black paint pen where you will NOT be touching it or getting it up against anything that it might ruin or rub off on.

 

31. Use the tip of the knife to go around the edge of the painter's tape to cut the plasti-dip there so you don't peel it away when you peel up the tape. Carefully remove the tape, then hot glue or cement the center of each of your white craft foam "flame" logo pieces onto the Glock. I have also had luck with Go2Glue for this particular application, and it can even go up to the edges.

32. Use the white tape to make the two bands on the blade.

33. Make sure it all fits together. If so, you're good to go. Optionally, you might get orange tape to go around the barrel so nobody thinks you have a real...insanely ridiculous sword-gun. Yeah, stupid people have called cops over that. You will definitely need to stop at the security desk at conventions and check if it needs to be peacebound to make them happy.

 

If anything breaks off, use hot glue or Go2Glue to reattach it. Bonding cement will, as mentioned, eat right through the paint and then utterly fail to hold, so now that you've painted, you don't want to use the bonding cement anymore.

 

EDIT: The image I looked at for reference was wrong. It's based on a Glock with an extended magazine, not an Uzi. Incidentally, Rooster Teeth's crew needs to learn some gun safety. Blake has her trigger pulled in every image I've seen of her wielding it as a sword.

Edited by InuyashaOhki

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What is the best way to attach them soundly to my shoulders (2 on each shoulder) without permanently ruining them (so no hot glue)? I want to gift them to my boyfriend's nephew after Halloween, so I want them to not be ruined. I don't mind altering the vest (will likely find it at a thrift shop).

 

I did a gamer-military themed costume for one year of A-kon and amongst my weaponry were such diverse elements as Munchkin cards, one of which is "tiny shoulder dragon." I had a plastic dragon figurine from a little knock-off DnD card game thing to pair with the Munchkin card, but it had a base to it and I just put velcro on the underside of the base and other velcro on my shoulder and it stayed surprisingly well. Granted, my shirt was black, so you couldn't actually tell there was velcro... The velcro removed pretty easily from the plastic of the dragon, though I can't remember if there was sticky residue or not.

 

Also:

 

I have this weird rule about not cosplaying anyone who doesn't have my natural hair color (black), but I want to get into wigs now. Does anyone have any tips on that? I have medium-length hair (2-3 inches past my shoulder). 

 

I'm guessing you just weren't wanting to dye your hair? :) As far as tips, if you're talking about how to make wigs work with long hair, it's really not a problem. Mine is very much past my shoulders at this point and it's usually pretty easy to get a wig to work, even short-haired ones. Honestly, the hardest part of wig wearing is getting it on in the first place until you get the hang of it. And then the other hardest part is how bloody hot it gets when you're wearing one.

 

Maintenance is another important thing. You really want to try and have the dummy heads to put the wig on when you aren't wearing it so it will keep its shape. Which makes travelling with them interesting... You can get dummy heads at like a beautician's store like Sally's or sometimes at a thrift store if you're very lucky. Also, a lot of people will recommend (if you're hardcore) getting some sort of special brush that's made of bone so that you don't make it all static-y, but honestly I use one kind of like the blue-handled one in the picture (main thing is having the teeth fairly wide apart and not like the typical comb where they're very close) and as long as you are brushing it properly, you shouldn't have a problem.

 

 

hair-brush-and-comb-clip-art-691627.jpg

 

 

Things you don't want to do with a wig:

 

1. Full-on wash it unless you've looked it up and feel confident. 

2. Styling it unless you've looked it up and feel confident.

         There are certain types of hair products that will mess a wig up if the wig is made of synthetic hair. Also, using like a hair dryer/straightener can be a bad deal (some wig stylists recommend cutting a chunk of hair off from the underside of the wig and then using a straightener on that part since the heat can melt/ruin the wig)

3. Not start from the ends when you brush it. And if you're using a brush like the one above, you definitely want to take it slow and easy and start from the ends and work your way up. If you hit a rat's nest, you again want to be really gentle and just kind of work at it slowly. Any brushing will always remove a few hairs, so you want to make the brushing as trauma-free as possible.

 

My grandma was a licensed beautician and she had to work with wigs in her training and she helped me the first time. She actually recommended a water-diluted conditioner in a spray bottle and giving the wig a light spritzing when brushing to help prevent the static.

 

In general, you can find a ton of great tips online--and I highly suggest you search things and don't experiment!--specifically YouTube if you're better helped by watching someone else do something (like me).

Edited by TheLastStarMaker

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Anyone know how to deal with cording and washing machines? I have a costume I sewed cording onto (among other alterations) but the cording came apart in the wash along one side. I have removed the ruined section and should have it replaced soon, but it needs to be machine washable.

I am using fray stop, and considering something like a lingerie bag or a pillow case. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

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I know you said machine washing is important, but is hand washing an option at all? I've found that it's easier than it seems if only washing a garment or two. And considering how much effort you've put into creating the costume, it may be worth the effort in the long run. As opposed to trying several failed solutions and having to repair multiple times.

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I finally got around to posting these. I have three current costumes:

 

I made Link quite a few years ago for Halloween. I had the look for it when I made it, but I've let go of accuracy a little bit, obviously, in more than one way. It was Ocarina of Time Link originally, but I really needed a bag, so I added the Spoils Bag from Wind Waker, which turned out great. Despite what the game shows you, making bags narrorwer at the top than the bottom is a bad idea, as you will tear the top of the bag.

 

TnOdAp3.jpg

 

The Saturday night dance party at PCC last year was pajama themed, so I made the only pajamas that I could possibly choose. But I wear this to every convention dance party because the whole thing is light and cool. The shoes are nice loose canvas, nice and comfy.

 

WuNZlpn.jpg

 

And finally, I am a big fan of Princess Bubblegum, sooooo, I give you my favorite picture of the convention, second to the one where I met a Princess Bubblegum also wearing the shirt.

 

Shsfgv3.jpg

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I know you said machine washing is important, but is hand washing an option at all? I've found that it's easier than it seems if only washing a garment or two. And considering how much effort you've put into creating the costume, it may be worth the effort in the long run. As opposed to trying several failed solutions and having to repair multiple times.

I've tried every "hypo-allergenic" detergent on the market, and my only option is to fully rinse it out before I wear anything, and hand washing never accomplishes that. 

 

EDIT: Kirby, you have an awesome beard. Burn at the stake anyone who tells you to shave it.

You also have some great costumes. I'm still working on figuring out something light (the closest I've come is PoH) that I can be less uncomfortable in when it's 110° and 95% humidity as it seems to be every time there's a convention here. I especially like the Link costume. There's a lot of subtle elements that go into making that work.

Edited by InuyashaOhki

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