|Cost :||If I had to guess, I say ~£250|
|Time Taken :||Approximately 3 months|
|This was my first ever hand-made cosplay. I didn't anticipate how much work it would entail, but it was worth it on so many levels. |
I chose this version of Cloud Strife because he's one of my favourite video game characters, and also because I never saw anybody in person attempt it.
Here's the 101 on how I made it. Hopefully these words might help somebody else in their cosplay work.
Wing. This was what I did first, believing it to be the hardest part. In a manner of speaking, it was, as I had no prior knowledge of wing construction. The seleton was made from ploy coil (also known as barrier pipe). I chose to use it because it was flexible, cheap and when heated, could fuse to itself. Slicing up into the right parts, I then heated the joints until they were welded onto each other. For the fabric, I used moleskin leather from Goldhawke Road. That was cut out to shape and glued over the top. The decoration at the top was made by cutting craft foam.
Getting it onto my back was a logistical nightmare. I figured I'd have to use some kind of a mount to integrate it into the costume, so I used a small piece of square wood under my jumper held onto my chest with velcro straps. Onto this piece, I attached 2 talon hooks and 2 pipe brackets with 3/4" screws. The 2 brackets ran vertically, while the hooks went horizontally, making an L-shape - this allowed the wing to slide down through my jumper, and then clip into place on top. That way, you couldn't see what was holding it in place.
The cape and hood were made from maroon cotton that was just burnt at the bottom. I tied it in place around my neck.
The shoulder pauldron was very time-consuming. I used clay to get the basic shape, and placed some plastic screws on top for decoration. Once that dried, I chose a fibreglass cover. For those that have never used fibreglass, it is extremely tough and durable. In order to make it, I had to take a resin, and mix with hardener. This was brushed onto the clay, then the fibreglass was placed on top before brushing on more resin. The only problem with this method is that once the resin mixed with the hardener, I literally had a window of 2-3 minutes to apply it before it went rock-solid. However, that was what gave it its strength. Sanded, primed and spray painted with metallic silver plasti-kote brand paint. I glued an elastic loop underneath it so I could attach it to my neck for added stability. Again, the hood/cape was good for obscuring the excess.
The jumper came from River Island, and the trousers came from ebay - sta prest brand.
So many belts. 5 on the legs bought from Primark and cut to size. Studded belt came from ebay, black leather belt came from Allders, brown leather belts came from T K Maxx. The centre buckle was made by cutting a shape from craft foam, gluing onto cardboard and spray painting. The chest piece was bought from a fabric shop, cut to size, held in place by velcro, and had 3 chrome studs placed on top.
The arm decoration was made from 3 silver sleeve holders and some spare velcro.
The wrist bracer vexed me for weeks until I had a moment of revelation. I shot up one night and realized I could use rolls of masking tape with pritt stick heads glued on top. Not exactly the paradigm of consumate professionalism, but it looked the part and worked a treat. Primed and spray painted metallic silver.
Brown leather gloves and black cotton gloves with the fingers cut off made the hands.
For the fingers, I used wonderflex. Hard to get my hands on in person, I ended up using a builder's merchants near Elephant & Castle called Flints. I made each finger from 4 pieces cut out and kept together by split pins. This allowed movement and flexing of the fingers. Primed and spray painted with metallic gold.
The hip guard was made from a piece of craft foam cut into shape and sandwiched between 2 pieces of wonderflex which were heated into position. Primed and painted metallic silver.
Finally, the boots are steel-capped groundwork boots, and the wig cam from ebay.
And that's pretty much it.
It was definitely a learning curve, and I suspect all my other cosplays will be too.