San - Princess Mononoke


London MCM Expo October '06: Third Place in the Anime, Manga and Videogames category on Saturday's Masquerade




This was my first costume, and I still haven't retired it. I first wore it back in October 2006 at my second ever event - London Expo.

I remember watching Princess Mononoke one day and having this really strong urge to make San's original costume - the original mask that she wears during her attack on Tatara Ba (Irontown).

The mask was made out of about 20 layers of newspaper papier maché moulded over one of my dad's American World War Two helmets - a perfect mould shape! There were a couple of false starts before I really got going with it, but once I had the basics worked out the rest followed naturally. I kept building up layers and occasionally taking it off when dry to see if it was thick enough, and eventually it was. Then I painted it with white emulsion, sanded the rough bits down and carefully drew on the design based on a screenshot found in the Princess Mononoke Art Book (an invaluable resource!). The design was built up using air-hardening clay (not fimo/sculpey) and painted with several coats of acrylic paint. The finishing touches were cutting out the eye holes (believe me, after so many hours of work this was a scary operation!) and covering them from the inside with squares of black material from a pair of tights - an effective eye screen which I could *just* see through!

The rest of the costume was easy compared to making the mask, but several things helped in the making - finding a really nice quality fake fur from a seller on eBay, material for the dress in just the right colour, and studying reference images closely. The trick with the mask is patience - lots of it - and sandpaper!!


Cosplex posted on 29 August, 2007 - 22:21
Ahhh I remeber this cosplay, I was in the tsubasa group at the very same expo! Me and my friends where all very impressed as you look alot like san as well as having an amazing costume!

Delusional posted on 15 September, 2007 - 14:49
I still cant believe this was your first costume, I was in awe of the mask when I saw it! You got really into character as well, which I think helps so much. You cosplay her brilliantly, and your prize showed that - More Miyazaki cosplay, I demand it :D

MangaChild posted on 2 November, 2007 - 22:32
Made of win end of XD What an amazing cos and your first time :) You pull her off really well this cos really does suit you This is cosplay i will never forget

Adziu posted on 10 January, 2008 - 00:58
Awesome costume - it was great to see a San at the Expo. I have a vague recollection of you posting about this in an LJ Ghibli community when you were just starting it, and I have to say it turned out great. Nicely done.

Heero Masaki posted on 13 April, 2008 - 00:27
This was your fist cosplay!? Holy Hell! you did an amazing job. Rosie you were born for this hobby! :D