|Time Taken :||One month|
|Yes, this was my super secret cosplay for Amecon 2008. I fell in love with Orpheus' design a while back and decided to aim for my most ambitious cosplay yet. A lot of this involved experimentation and trying out a *lot* of things I had never done before. If there's a moral to this tale, it's that you can accomplish anything with enough craft foam and a cool glue gun.|
The armour is made out of A3 sheets of craft foam glued together with a cool glue gun. The front of the armour was painted turquoise, but after doing the front I decided that the colour was so similar to the actual colour of the craft foam I had gotten that I didn't really need to do more. As for the painting itself, instead of using PVA glue mix to seal the foam I tried another technique that I had found on a website: you paint a layer of normal acrylic paint (I got mine for £1.20 from a local art store) on the armour and only leave it to dry for 10-15 minutes before immediately painting on another layer. By doing four or five layers like this, the drying paint acts as the sealer.
The armour is fastened with stick-on Velcro, and the metallic trim is cardboard painted silver then glued on. It looked pretty good but sustained quite a bit of wear-and-tear in transit
The midsection was a leotard ordered from a dancewear store. The "speaker" is craft-foam and some material found in a remnants bin, then attached with silver brads. In fact, all the "bolts" of the costume- on the shoulders, arms, shorts and legs- were silver brads. I used just under one hundred of them in total.
The cloth parts- the shoulders, shorts and legs- was made of ivory satin turned inside out so that the shiny part was on the inside. This was the closest material I could find to the texture and colour that I wanted. The padding on the shoulders gave me a lot of trouble, but on the advice of my friends Raine and Sin, we improvised some padding out of some plastic cups and masking tape. As for the legs, those were two sheets of A1 cardboard wrapped around a pair of £2 sandals from Primark and glued into submission. I also attached a strip of craft foam to the underside to strength it.
The gloves were a pair of second-hand leather work gloves that I got off of eBay. I had to attach a strip of satin on the palms to hide a brown strip sewn into the glove. The arm parts were made by rolling up an A3 sheet of craft foam, taping it into a tube then pulling a "sock" of satin over it. I removed the tape then forced the craft foam into as wide a circle as I could- this meant that the arm part kept its circular shape perfectly, and was light to boot.
The metallic parts were polyester spandex that were supposed to be skin tight. Unfortunately they kept falling down. I pinned the shoulder parts successfully but the single pin I used for each leg wasn't enough and one of them kept slipping down slightly (which is what happened during the Masquerade, to my embarrassment afterwards).
The hood took me a while to figure out. It's made of red satin with a hairband glued underneath to keep it in place. The design on the top was made from remnants found in a fabric store.
My face is actually a half-mask, with the bottom half of my face being covered in black make-up. This allows me to talk and breathe freely- without being muffled by the mask- and eliminated the problem of finding a mask that fit my head perfectly. The eyes are buckram coloured red with a common felt pen (and black on the back). This is the same technique used by a lot of fursuit masks and gave me an excellent field of vision at the cost of distinguishing detail. You'll also notice that it gave my eyes an almost glow-like effect, which I'm quite happy with. The "tears" were added with a normal pencil. Overall the mask cost me around £5 because all the materials were dirt cheap: the mask itself was a "Make Your Own Mask" kit bought from a joke shop for £1; it even came with the paint and brush to cover it!
Now the harp was an ambitious project; I had never attempted such a big prop before. I made a base out of foamboard and, after chatting with prop veteran Nert, decided to join him in his experimentations with expanding foam. I installed a carrying strap to the base then applied half a can to it. After it dried, I cut it flat with a knife and sanded off some of the edges. After that I went back to my primary school days, mixing up a bowl of PVA glue mix- one part PVA, three parts water- then tearing up newspaper to apply. I applied two layers, covered it in some gesso, then spray-painted it matte white. I would have liked to have used modelling clay to add raised details but I had no time so I applied the remaining details with a particularly thick art pencil. The strings were made from eyehole pins and some string that had a bit of stretch to it so I could pull them taut. The result was a featherweight prop that breezed past the checks at OPs and let me manipulate it with ease.
Overall, I'm pleased with how the costume came out, though it has taught me that I need a second person to help me put it on properly. I *can* put it on myself, but I had a lot of trouble pinning it properly and I can't check my reflection in a mirror once the mask is on. This is why one of my leggings was loose during the Masquerade, and why my wig looked like crap on Sunday. I didn't expect it to be quite as hot to wear, but it was very comfortable to wear once it was all on, if you discount the fact that it was much harder to walk without tearing the costume apart.