|Time Taken :||44 hours|
|I LOVED wearing this costume! :D|
So my friends said they were going to run an Avengers group for MCM. I thought that was great, but I hate making obvious cosplay choices. For a while I thought I'd go as Howard the Duck, though I don't believe he was ever an Avenger, and then I toyed with Stephen Strange, but in the end it had to be Val. I've wanted to cosplay her since before I knew what cosplay was! And she's actually an Avenger, of sorts!
It took me hours (which I haven't added to my count) to scour my family's old Defenders comics to find a really good range of references. Embelishments like the little armoured patches below her belt are almost never drawn, but the fact that they pop up dozens of books apart makes me think they were always meant to be there. I had to make a bunch of executive decisions - I appear to be the only Valkyrie cosplayer who went with square cloak pins, but she definitely has them a bunch of times, and I thought they'd match the belt nicely.
The wig was pretty expensive, but I'd decided I wanted to go with a nice, natural wig, and it was really hard to find one without a fringe. It's a lovely heavy piece, and it took me quite a while to style on my Ant-Man's head - because the wig is set with a parting, it was really tricky to make the plaits lopsided, and even harder to keep the width and height of the plaits more or less matched after doing so. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out, though!
The sword is Dragonfang, which apparently is wielded by Sif these days. It was an old one which Dr Strange gave her to cheer her up on a rubbish day back in the 1970s. The first thing she did with it was to slice a truck in half, if I recall correctly. It's made out of a crap cheap plastic sword with a remoulded pommel made of papier mache. The whole lot was primed, hand painted, and accented with black boot polish. To go from a silly shiny gold sword to a silly shiny gold sword.
The shoes are daft and don't really work without the straps being made of elastic, which I doubt hers were ever supposed to be. I had to be sewn into them, and one leg was already slopping a bit by the time I had these photos taken. They weren't particularly uncomfortable though - I'll give them that.
The cloak was a bugger! I'd always figured it would be rectangular, but the back of the neck was a nightmare, because I didn't want a hood. I ended up ordering more fabric online, getting sent the wrong stuff, having a huge fight with my suppliers and reporting them to trading standards, and then salvaging the original cloak after all. I think it came out okay, considering!
The flat armour pieces, including the belt embelishments and buckle, are all made from craft foam. There was an amazing tutorial on an old, abandoned LOTR fanpage. It was SO useful. Some of the products were pretty hard to get in the UK, but I thought it was worth following the original recipe for the first batch, as it were. They were really fun to make, but time consuming. If my family didn't have an aga, I wouldn't have been able to get them all done within a week as I did. The belt in particular is magnificently flexible, and I can't believe how well-integrated the embelishments and the original belt now look. :) I had real trouble with the dimensions of the necklace, and so Ant-Man came to my rescue again - what a legend.
The bodysuit was actually a morphsuit which I picked up at cost. Took the head, arms and legs off, and cut holes for the breastplate. Took quite a while to hand-sew every seam, but I wasn't about to sew anything that fine with stretch fabric, on a machine. It wasn't too hard, but god, I really didn't need to still be working on that on the final night.
I've save the best 'till last - the boobies. They're made out of a coconut! We had one of those cheap crappy coconut bikinis as a base, and I cut the cups out and covered them in pre-mixed papier machie, then engraved ridges into them freehand, using a toothpick. Primed them, covered them in many thick layers of acrylic paint, then sanded the acrylic layers. Sprayed them with a couple of coats of chrome, then inked them. They were a little uneven, because I'd had to change the brand of papier machie due to supply issues, so I glitzed them up again with some silver leaf wax rub. Then I got an old moth-eaten (literally) vest, which was free in Elle magazine ten years ago, and used carpet fixing glue to stick them straight onto the vest, with a piece of a plastic bag behind each one so it wouldn't stick to my actual bra, because that stuff stays tacky. Can you believe it worked? They didn't slip at all - it was magnificent!