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I started cosplaying with a group of friends when we heard about anime cons in 2001, and went to my first convention (Minamicon 8) dressed up with no idea what to expect. Needless to say, I was hooked on the hobby as soon as I started. I love being creative, and above all I love problem solving - cosplay fits these both perfectly, especially when it comes to working out how on earth you are going to make such extreme costume designs come to life.

Last online 20 hours ago


Joined: 22nd Mar 2007

Completed costumes: 56

Photos uploaded: 142

Progress journals: 70

Events attended: 36



All of her beads are now done, I've temporarily strung them up and now they're put aside until I've done the fur collar that they attach to. (Will sit lower than pictured, as they'll start from a bit lower). Also made the beads for her braids and lower leg straps. Not sure if the blue is a bit bright, but I'll decide once I have all the colours and top put together, can always tone down / weather a bit if so! All the beads are resin clay from Coscraft, painted with acrylic inks with a varnish coat to hopefully protect them a bit.

So Aloy's outfit is mostly made out of animal pelts and skins, which for sake of cost and ethics I've replaced with synthetic versions. Mostly synthetics are easier to work with, however trying to get a raw edge that you see on hides is a bit tricky with woven materials mostly because they fray like hell. For the test piece below, I've backed the faux suede with light iron on interfacing, giving it a bit more structure and helping keep the threads together. That wasn't quite enough when I did some rough edge cutting though, and it started fraying - so I coated the back around a 1cm of the edge with PVA glue. Once that had dried, I could easily cut jagged edges in and fine-grit sand the very edge for a faded / weathered look. No fraying woo! Underneath the test piece is the blue material I'm going to edge it with (that the fake hide sits on top), but it needs some fading and weathering to match the colours right.

For the ‘wooden’ ones, I found a wood texture imprint that you can use for icing, which works pretty well to get some texture! The paint marbling effect doesn’t work as well for these ones, so I’m going to have to spray a flat colour then do a black wash to try and highlight the grain detail. Annoying there’s twice as many of these ones, I’m about half way through moulding at the moment...

Made a start on her many beads for various necklaces and decorations. From the slightly different rendering I’ve decided the pale smooth necklace is meant to be stones, and the slightly texturised red/brown is carved wood. Started with the ‘stone’ one, where I’ve used acrylic ink to marble some resin clay from coscraft, and kept them smooth but slightly wonky looking as in the reference. Because none of them need to be the exact same shape, size or colour they’re quite relaxing to make. Once dry I’ll give them a coat of varnish to get that polished look.

At her back she has a decorated knife pouch, which I’ve made out of leatherette. I backed the top layer onto a thin piece of foam to give it a thicker feel and to give it more structure for the embroidery. Annoyingly the cord I have that matches super well was too thick and solid for any needles, so I had to punch holes in advance and then poke it through with a tool, making it take so much longer ;_;
Once the main pattern was done I sewed it onto a matching back piece and turned inside out so it’s nice either side.

I need some slightly lighter embroidery thread to finish off the edge detailing, then I can stick some studs on it. I’ll do the weathering all at once when I’ve made all the other pouches.

Added the colours and dry brushed battle damage and shading, then added the rope! I’ll add weathering to the rope, but will do it when I have all the armour pieces done so it’s consistently coloured and I can do them all at once saving time.

Started on some of the decorative bits as they’re fun and fairly simple!
I’m waiting on materials to make the beads, but I’ve done her other necklaces. The bright blue is a mini hose spray painted metallic, the other two are cord dyed with silk paints and the same hose as the bright blue but with bias binding wrapped around it. The belt I already had a brown heavy duty webbing thing, so I painted on the pattern with acrylic.

I’m not sure the hose is thick enough for the ‘cable’ but going to see how it all looks with the fur & beads before I change it.

Finalised the paper templates and the layers! Chose to use 5mm foam, which I scored on the back to make the shape/curves. Decided to try and make the texture straight onto the foam, so I heated up the foam and pressed a variety of things onto it. Cheese grater, sieve and extractor fan mesh - the mesh gave the closest effect! I’ll dry brush it to make it stand out more once it’s painted. Added the details with extra bits of foam, drilled the holes and tidied up with sanding where I could. Now it’s just at the boring ‘many coats of primer’ stage :(

It’ll be attached to the leg wraps by Velcro which I’ll glue onto the back. In theory.

Starting with something small but fun and crafty - bits of the armour! Going to use layers of EVA foam for this, but first is mocking up the templates. From the intial few I've done here, I need to make some slight tweaks around the scaling of some parts (making the middle top bit wider, etc), but nearly there. I am SO happy that none of her armour or indeed outfit is symmetrical, makes things so much easier :D

So I mucked up the wig getting it even, so it ended up too short - but luckily Coscraft have their new range in which is perfect for her~ Also need to sort out how the belt/skirt is sitting, as it's pulling a bit in photos. The collar annoys me no end - I might stick it to my neck next time!

So running out of time for Hibana and unsuccessful with EBay, I've done her default casual outfit instead. Mostly a Primark special, but she'll be comfy to hang around in at least!

Bought socks, black top, white top to modify and a parka jacket. Already had shorts and some boots that'll have to do for now. Made a fake belt, sprayed some cheap glasses and popped the lenses out, and cut & painted the top. I'm borrowing a wig from Amy-Lou because she's awesome, so the first time I'll see it all on is at the convention!

Modified the boots so they are a bit better - I'll hunt better bases and make covers for the next wear, but these will do for Hibana!

I'm not sure why I've gone for a corset, seeing as I'll be hiding a chunk of it, but at least it's a sturdy base and tbh I've made a few similar shapes so it was something quick to do without a proper pattern. I've got plastic boning in the seams to help the shape as I didn't have any interfacing, and I'll be edging it in bias (either the gold in the pic or a satin brown I have) once I've finished adding on any further details. Probably will go for some straps as I don't like strapless tops, or hide them under some kinda bolero. Anything can go at this stage!

Trim finally arrived so I've added that, made the blue belt on top and the weird flap she has underneath. Also added cuffs to the bottom of the trousers so they gather nicer. Belt buckle is a paper placeholder as the proper one is drying.

These are backup boots - I think I'm gonna have to make boot covers, though depending on time before Hibana I might just add the straps and be done for the first wear~

So with the fabric off cuts I've got, I knew I wouldn't have enough for a full length skirt or trousers, so I looked at how to make a pleated skirt. The fawn coloured suede was the perfect amount to make a box pleat skirt (a rectangle 3x your waist in length and how ever long you want it) and a waistband, so that made that decision for me! Then I can use the green and brown for some kinda corset/jacket/waistcoat thing. I imagine I'll add trim or bias onto the edge of this, but want to get a better feel for the design and colours before I do so.

So rummaging through my leftover fabric, here's the samples that are decent enough in size and all vaguely go together in terms of colour scheme. Elfy, foresty theme then I guess! There's not enough of any of the fabrics to do a full big dress, so gonna have to look at some kinda top/skirt combo

So this weekend I got the trousers & the base of the arm sleeves done, and started the brown skirt thing she has. Now waiting on the fur trim & elastic so I can carry on. Pretty much figured out the pattern for the top, but eh..procrastination :D

Okay, all fabric got apart from the fur! I've faffed enough trying to get the right colours but I think I'm having to settle else I'll never get on with it.. time to sew!

Also major props to past-Kat who for some reason bought some stretch white bias! Perfect for what I need~

Ellie's top, before and after!
What I did:
Bleach via spray bottle for uneven finish (more at bottom, etc to match her ref).
Sandpaper, trample on it, basically punch/rub it a lot.
Silk paints in brown/black sprayed all over to give a full mottled dull effect.
Acrylic brown/black in splodges to give the appearance of mud.

All in all, solid good fun of an evening! Though I swear I got more paint on my hands/clothes than the tshirt...

Hopefully this will show up well in photos! Definitely didn't look dirty enough last time for her concept outfit.

So, I was faffing in my wardrobe for inspiration, and found an old military shirt which I think works quite well! it's got a high collar and lace and shit, so I'm going to cut & sew it into a V-neck and remove the lace. There's a button missing at the bottom, but when I remove the top few fasteners I can nick one of the ones from there.

Feels like I'm cheating a huge amount here, but why sew something I already have!

So eventually I decided the black boots were way too harsh, and managed to find some nice brown ones in the sale - so picked them up! Put simple decorations on the heel, as I think I have enough bling everywhere else on this costume.

Did a test run of the main bits together (top was a placeholder, I think it looks cool but the common consensus is that it's really not smart! Update on top in the next post…

Everything vaguely fits together okay, just need to sort out something to keep the belt in place on the the trousers.

I wanted a short wig to not have to deal with tangles and such, and found my old Shin wig - fits in with the colour scheme!

Left to do - cuffs on jacket, gloves/arm wraps/whatever I decide, top and any other random bling.

Angle is a bit odd, but here's the shoulder detail with various bling made out of ribbon, buttons, spare metal ring and beads. I think I might sew the braid down that's threaded through the rivets to make sure it always sits flat.

Added extra sections to the shoulders, and decorative bling - I've been waiting to use that necklace on something for ages, and it seemed to fit on the back! Just the cuffs to go on the jacket now, and then that's 100% complete.

Spliced together sleeves from an old jacket pattern onto my sleeveless waistcoat shape, and it mostly worked! I remember now what I hated about these sleeves when I used them for Utena - they are cut straight down to look super smart, but when you raise your arm there's not much give. Thank god it's an open jacket! I copied the same pattern from the side belt skirt thing to match the two pieces up. Wanted to try and get the black bias edging on to finish everything off tonight, but think it's a bit late and I'd just screw it up! Next time: bias & shoulder decorations.

I'm still making up bits on this, need to add the bias before finishing the bottom bits that'll go 'underneath'. I make no sense, but I know what I mean….

And now with added trim that took too long, and the collar! I was going to sort the sleeves out, but I think I might chuck the bias on the edges & collar first to finish that off to stop bits fraying.

So I liked the fishbone effect I did on small sections of the belt with bias, so I thought, "Hey, why not make a simpler version for the jacket trim and other bits?" Queue several hours of sewing diagonal pieces of bias binding that would not stay still. Urgh! Next time I'll consider how long it might take before getting committed!

Proof I've actually finally started the jacket. Having an issue with one of the seams not sitting flat which is really bugging me, I think I'll unpick and redo. Need to do all the extra lines/details on this before I can add the sleeves & collar. I think I'll add some silver ribbon/bias onto this for some of the details, as the black on dark blue suede is hard to see. Either that or bling it up with rivets/buttons/some form of coloured cord.

Raided my bead/bling box and played around with some beads and cord. The under top is going to be a v-neck, and the jacket is an open collar, so this should be visible on the costume.

So the split rings arrived, so I attacked the tails with my rivet guns and had some fun. Here's the bottom half of the costume mostly complete! Boots are just ones I had lying around, but now I'm thinking brown ones almost suit the design more than the black ones I've ordered. HRRRRMMM.

Had to adjust the design of this as it was supposed to be much wider, but I just ran out of torso really! So I've made a smaller belt, with a few details. Once I've got the jacket, I'll look at adding extra bits to hang off this to balance the design.

Got the tails lined & edged in bias, so the bottom half is nearing completion. They will have rivets & rings down each of the outer edges, but I'm waiting for the split rings I ordered to arrive. They are just pinned in place at the moment so a bit wonky, and that's a placeholder belt.

Probably the plainest bit on the outfit, but they took SO long - was up at 9am and pretty much took the entire day. I had an old pair of work trousers that were falling apart so I took the pattern from them, then added an extra strip down the side for decorations and to make them a bit baggier. The only thing I haven't done is the cuffs at the bottom, as I need to decide what I'm doing with the boots first, which will decide whether I'll just shove elastic in them, or do something more elaborate.

I was supposed to be doing the jacket, but then realised I really need to get the lower half sorted first (as that's the bit I can't really edit) before I crop the jacket to the right height. Made a start on the top belt, that's next to finish.

Amy-Lou and I hit up Tooting for sewing supplies, then had a productive day! Alas Tooting let me down for the studs I wanted, but I had a bag of old used ones, so spent an hour or so straightening all the legs and picking out any usable ones. The main thing I did get from there though was interfacing, which meant I could start on the actual clothes. I actually bought a pattern to try and make the jacket from, so we'll see how that goes...

Most of the progress today was on the side belt/skirt thing & tails - I finished the main bits that hang off the belt, pictured. I need to add bias to the tails and then they'll be done also. I'm going to hang bits off the rivets, but haven't decided what yet, I'll continue with the rest of the costume and then see what I have left at the end to make it all fit in :)

Tomorrow I think I'll have a crack at the jacket.

I'm putting off actual sewing tonight, so I've started making some of the danglies and bits for the belt and armour. I SUCK at knots, I really do, and it takes me forever. I don't have the patience, and I don't think I'll be making the long chains I was planning on! Think I'll just stick with small bits here and there, and think of something else for the long braids. Might be able to buy something pre-braided that I like :)

So I finished the detail work I wanted to put on, now it's time to spend many hours putting gesso on this thing, then sanding. Sanding some of this is going to be a bitch, now I look at it. Hindsight.

While I'm still deciding the exact colour scheme, I started on the one bit I had mostly sorted in terms of design - the shoulder pauldron. Deciding to finally try out worbla for armour purposes, I've had a lot of fun with this using different methods. I think if I was making a set of matching armour though with this stuff I'd go crazy - at least a one-off piece doesn't have to be made the same a second time!

I need a lot of practise with shaping, but happy with my work seeing as it's my first go, and getting better at the fiddly bits. Here's a part way through picture (gems are removable, just checking they fit) - I still need to work out the design for the top bit properly. There will be various material & dangly things off this once it's done. Well, that's the plan.

So, these are the scribbles of the design I'm going with - none of them are the *actual* design as I keep on liking various different parts, so it's a mesh of all of them together. Which means I'm pretty much making it up as I go along!

All the fabric is stuff I have left over, and I'm going with dark blue, brown and sand suede for the main colours, with black and silver embellishments. Trying to only use stuff I already own, but I think I'm gonna have to cave and buy more interfacing because I'm actually nearly out of that.

Anyway, this is mostly so people can possibly see what I'm working towards. Erm, if it ends up looking anything like this!

So, finally getting around to trying out worbla! Making Chloe's compass out of it as I couldn't find anything similar to buy. I think I would have been better making the raised bit out of foam as that's gonna be annoying to sand, but we learn!

Just lots of coats of paint and sanding to go on this, then to make the strap to attach it to the belt.

Final things to do - get a wig, find a watch and resize the belt.

Still working out how to do all the black and white edging, so I've started with the easier bits, socks! The manga really isn't clear what she has but it looks floral, so I made it up from a flower reference. I need to do a bit of tidying up once it's fully dry, but it's mostly there. Shoes are also done! (that was a simple design on the heel, so not exactly a lot of work…)

Always starting with the small bits, I made his wrist...wrap..thing and worked on the various clasps he has around the outfit. I combined a few buckles and decorative 'bling' items I have to try and replicate the designs he has, and painted them all with gold leaf for a slightly darker gold. Though they are pretty shiny in this pic! Next I actually have to sew some clothes!

Now we've moved house and unpacked most of the sewing bits, I cracked on with getting a few of the more simple costumes I have planned. I did a bit on May Lee but then got into doing a few crafty bits on Syaoran!

Clockwise from top left, we have my test 'cog' applique work - where I discovered simply sewing along the lines of the leatherette worked better and looked neater than an actual applique stitch. Leatherette doesn't fray (unless you really pull at it) so it should stay pretty neat. Then we have fingerless gloves I made for his right hand (hidden in the image, but totally something he'd have) and the orange 'sleeve' for his right arm also. I've been creative with this side as you can't see much with the image. In the centre are his tiny beads for the headscarf that I've painted orange/yellow, and then my awful felt-tip drawing of what his overall outfit will look like :P

Clothes sewn! Fitting was less of a pain than I thought (I've made quite a few of these shaped jackets now!) but the collar was a royal pain in the arse. Working out how to do the zip, outside white and inside green with it all looking neat and not really using a pattern - took a lot of work. By work, I mean guesswork, winging it and just hoping for the best :P

Quite happy with how the collar stands up and the fake lining piece (would not stand up to a Dez inspection :P) but unfortunately when measuring I made it a little bit too long in the body so the zip goes lower than I wanted by a few inches. It's not enough to make me want to re-do all the collar bits again so I'll live with it!

Nagase is now nearly done, with just small hand sewing and gluing parts left on her accessories really!

I'm sad I've actually finished all the pandas on the outfit, means I have to go back to boring sewing :(

Anyway, boots 90% done! I realised I didn't have any white lacing other than a tiny scrap, and I need to add a star onto the black bit - so I should be able to finish very quickly.

These were cheap Ugg style boots I picked up from the market and massacred and made a bit more fitting. I then created a sleeve of the green material, and added the white details on in fleece. Pretty much everything on this is glued in place, as I found it far to fiddly to try and sew. I went around the very bottom with thin black bias (doubled over) to hide all the messy edges. Worked out okay and saved hours of pinning and hemming to make everything line up!

I've cheated for the lace-up side and made a false panel instead, mainly for the essence of time and because I couldn't get my head around how I'd do it easily ;) Looks obvious up close, but hopefully should give the right impression in photos!

Aside from little details here and there, the only thing I have left now is her waistcoat. *Really* should get onto that properly...

I has a hat. It's a rather silly hat too...

I took the same pattern I made for the gloves, and added a middle portion to give the elongated shape for this one, and added a zip on the black bit. I decided to bias the edges of the fleece first around the zip as I didn't think the fleece would hold its shape very well, and I'm glad I did in the end!

The base is actually an old hat I never wore, I amended the back removing the elastic that was there to make it a larger fit (seeing as I'll be wearing a wig as well under this) and used the size of the hat to draw a hole in the bottom of the panda 'cushion' I made. It was then fiddly hand sewing and such turning it inside out (thank god for that zip) and trying to sew the edges of the panda to the hat.

Stuffing was just a case of shoving bits in and punching it in the face until it was vaguely the right size. Like the gloves, the details are a mix of fleece and funky foam and I biased the brim to give the line there.

Amy-Lou and I spent this weekend doing a sewing marathon, the main thing I got finished (nearly) were the hand pandas. I just need to buy some pink fleece to do the inside of the mouth and do a bit of hand sewing, then done :D

The main part of them is polystyrene balls, cut in half, with a plastic sheet (taken the backing from a bookcase) folded in half to make the 'mouth'. I then covered it in fleece and glued the details on (made out of fleece and funky foam.) The sleeve bits which you can't really see in this photo were fiddly, but vaguely worked in the end.

If *anyone* can keep a straight face while talking to me at Minami, I'll be impressed :P

Next is finishing the hat and tailoring her white jacket/waistcoat thing.

Must...not...forget to order some glasses for her!

Started small (and easiest) with the pandas, tackling the arm belts & attachments. I've got the shirt also, but not attached them onto it. The mini pandas are just funky foam glued onto the end of the straps. They all look fairly stoned...

So, my cute puppet panda in progress now looks like a fluffy reject from Hellraiser.

The wigs! They have been merged!

This was actually easier than I thought it would be, as I hate anything to do with wigs. I bought one short choppy wig for the volume of her short hair, then a long one to do her three hair tails with, which I intended to cut up.

Hilariously, the long with was so unbelievably thick, that I gave a chunk to Amy-Lou to make her Cesia fringe, cut loads out and discarded bits, and still have loads spare, even with 3 tails. Once cut into strips, I just bundled it all up into small sections and hand-sewed it into the inside of the short wig. It's pretty sturdy and can survive heavy brushing.

I'll braid the two side ones properly to keep them neater, I just only have on hair tie! I'm going to leave the back one lose unless it gets too tangled. Need to volumise the short wig a fair bit, but will save that for the hotel room! It's actually a fair bit brighter than this, my phone seems to dull down colours a lot!

Really, this shouldn't have taken as long as it did. But I decided that I wanted to be a picky sod and match up the number or stripes and such with the reference, and make sure everything lined up etc, so it was lots of maths...combined with lots of pinning, stabbing and praying to the cosplay gods. Somehow worked out, so woo tie! It's not a proper one, I did the large flat striped bit separate, and then made the white 'knot' and bits to go around the neck separately. I'll either velcro it to the underside of the collar or attach elastic to the two ends and use it that way.

Annoyingly when starting to make this I realised I've used all the zips I originally bought for her (about 2/3 years back) on other projects! I managed to find a good length one to use for the tie from bits I'd salvaged off old clothes, but I'll need to go shopping for the others on the costume.

I also made a start on the boots, removing all the fur and extra bits I didn't need off the base of them, and drawing the pattern for them. We're getting there, slowly!

So, back onto project Lim Kaana, I've still got a lot of fiddling to do (a lot of this is pinned) but I'm taking a bit of a shortcut with the stockings! Found mock-stockings on ebay which are tights made to look like hold-ups. Seeing as I'll be hanging around a bar in this, I really can't be bothered fussing with hold-ups which never stay up on my legs. The design is fairly close, and I bought two pairs to see if I can add a few details while still having a back-up if it all goes wrong!

Otherwise, getting there - the fitting of the dress is mostly done, it's just a case of hemming the front and top (that's why it's a bit messy!) and then sorting the straps. After that, it's the sleeves, wings and merging the two wigs I have :)

Trousers done! Progress on this started aaaaages ago, but tonight I finished the waistband and bottom cuffs so I consider this major progress ;) Side stripes were repetitive but *mostly* equal, and I have another bunch done for the tie.

I've had to reorder the fleece for her as I used my previous load up on other costumes, but have the material to start on her white vest at least! Need to find some boots to customise, hopefully there will be some cheap in the sale at the moment :)

I hope people going to Minami realise I'm going to terrorise them with panda hand puppets all day? Good :P

Bonus point of a costume - being covered :P Got the trousers done tonight after a mishap the evening before! Also added the cape to the top for superhero fun time. Finally got me some converses which make perfect shoes for her also, so that's an easy bit out of the way.

I'll hem up the bottom of the t-shirt once I know how high the belt will sit on my waist. Left to do - gloves, belt and glasses. Go Go Go Go! I will have something new made for Expo for once :P

Why do I always pick the retarded characters? Because sewing a angry frog face is fun, that's why!

I'm running real late on this 'sewing a costume for Expo' thing, but finally got the cosplay bug this evening and made a start on May Lee. Seeing as I've flaked at least two times on her, I need to at least have a go :P

So, top 90% done! I just need to sew the last line of applique around the frog (you can see that's a bit messy still as it's just tacked on) then woot, half the clothing is there! The t-shirt is a really nice soft dark blue jersey I found, and the frog is made from left over scraps of various materials I had. Budget cosplay go ;)

I don't think I'll get her 100% finished for Expo, but should be enough to wear her and muck around a bit with the rest of the KOF crew :D

Finally, some progress that looks like I've made progress! These were made from hacked up knee high boots, with black leatherette sleeves added on the top. The cuff is detachable via velcro so it can sit wider than the top of the boot (stupid anime physics) and so I can get the boots on and off easily.

For Expo I've decided to finish off my Magpie outfit, and complete her to the original design I drew which is a bit less ball-worthy. So far I have the gloves nearly finished, boots started and added a bit more bling. Main new addition is the headdress which I finally did yesterday, see pic! It's basically funky foam, feathers, gems and a decorative flower piece I found, all hot glued and attached to a headband. It's not rocket science, but felt good to be crafty again :)

I managed to wear her for Minami in a pretty-much-completed state.

I wasn't happy with the fit or state of the kimono, even for my bodged together standards! I'm happy I wore it and managed to complete the duo with Amy-Lou, but I don't think I'll be finishing her off (arm bands/shoes) so this is as complete as she's getting. I have too many other costumes that I'm excited about, that the idea of remaking her doesn't appeal >.< And more X1999 costumes too...

Knowing I wouldn't have time to make a new dress for the Amecon ball I decided to take the time to finish my original design I did for the last Grand Cosplay Ball.

The main outfit wasn't changed much at all really, but I had time to add embellishments, finish the necklace and add details such as the sleeves and head pieces. In my mind the bits on her bunches were going to have the blue fabric draping from them, but in practice it just looked odd so I went with something simpler. It was only when I finished that I realised it looked like cat ears :P

Finally picked a comfy outfit from the manga, just normal modded clothes (as usual, just shredded and studs added!)

Only thing is that there's been a muck-up with my wigs, so slim chances of it arriving before Amecon. So, probably gonna be an easy costume for Minami then, unless the postal gods smile upon me!

I'll probably have to make the clothes depending on which outfit I choose, but I ordered the staple bits of his outfit off Ebay - they came surprisingly quickly!

Yeah, wish I could afford the real version of the lighter - but £3 off Ebay was easier than getting a small mortgage ;)

I bought the boot version of the rocking horse as I'm way more likely to wear them normally - will add the fringe bit depending on what outfit I do of his and the rest would be hidden by the trousers.

Okay yes, It's a year later than planned, and very rushed :P
Due to unexpected changes with my life I didn't have time to plan for this year's Minami at all - but once everything was sorted I decided "Hey, surely there's time to finish something!" So, Yuzuriha is the first thing I'm trying to finish!

She's nearly done, I had made a start on the Kimono and done a lot of the material painting which was the time consuming part - just needed to sew all the bits together! (Which yes..I know if pretty much the whole thing of making a costume :P)

I'll have everything done bar her arm guards, and a stand-in wig for Minami - after the con I intend to finish her properly and get some nice photos with Amy-Lou's Arashi costume somewhere.

Not having anywhere to spray paint, I chose to use enamel to paint it. Now, I find enamel a bitch to work with, but it does give a really nice covering after 4-5 layers, and is far more durable than acrylic I've found. And wahey, finished gun!

Total materials used for the gun - foamboard sheets (about 2-3mm thick?), PVA glue, filler, pen lid (RIP), metal studs, enamel pant & gesso. Tools used were a generic Stanley knife, and sandpaper/glasspaper for gentle shaping.

This has just taken me a long time to resize everything, so I'll continue with the backpack later...unfortunately have less photos of that!

Many layers later, it looked a bit more substantial! And then many more layers as I got a little perfectionist...

I alternated layers of the filler with layers of black gesso, which helped to highlight any bits that weren't very smooth. I also added in the little details such as the gun point (a cut off pen lid) and the bolts (small metal studs)

Once all together, the longest process of all started - sanding bit by bit and filling in the gaps. I used a pre-mixed filler called Onetime by Red Devil, dries really quickly and sands really smooth. Also non-toxic! I swapped between using really really fine sand/glass paper and a metal file to get into the corners. I tried using my dremel but it was a bit too violent for it. It became therapeutic after a while...

I cut the templates out of card, cut the right numbers out of the foamboard and stuck them together with PVA glue. I normally use hardcore stuff to stick things together as I'm paranoid, but PVA works perfectly well, is lightweight and sands down fairly easily. Just have to be patient while it dries...

Once cut out I checked to see if it actually fit me when I held it, as drawing it was a bit of guestimation! I decided the easiest way to make the gun with the materials I had was out of layers of foamboard glued together - it would be easy to make in my room and light to carry. Sitting down, I worked out how many layers I'd need, and color coded them on the drawing to make it easier for me to work out which layers needed to be what shape.

Okay, so as I actually took some crappy phone photos of the progress on this, I thought I should try and document how I made things! So here's a vague, sketchy plan of how to make a prop in your bedroom with no powertools & no spraypaint! Oh how I pray for a garage one day.... I may have missed out a few steps now and then as I got over-excited with progress and forgot to take photos.... Right - starting with the gun! I thought I had to use the model gun as reference at first (teeeny tiny red thing, nightmare) but then found some awesome blueprints for the gun someone had scanned in. So I copied that and drew it out on card as something to start with.

to see if I can get that stupid error....

delusional commented on chatter: New site! New bugs? (2 months ago)

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