ArcaneArchery avatar

ArcaneArchery
Progress

My interest in cosplay started when I saw photo galleries of cosplayers appearing on various gaming websites. I was initially more interested in the photography aspect as this is another interest of mine. However, after going to the October 2011 MCM Expo I realised that I had to try making my own costume to wear at the next one. My first costume was the Red Pyro from Team Fortress 2, which I wore to the May 2012 MCM Expo, and I even managed to integrate my camera bag into the costume.

Even before I got into cosplay I could often be found is costume. I had the usual home made super hero costumes when I was very young and the odd fancy dress party. Also I am involved with a historic archery display team and wear full medieval costume for all of the events that we attend. This is where I first realised how fun it was seeing other peoples' reactions to the costumes. Through the archery displays I ended up working as an extra in a few historical documentaries where I got to wear a number of interesting costumes, including a medieval monk and the assistant to the executioner of King Charles. Even though it was always a long days work I still enjoyed doing these - I think there is something about being in a group of people in costume that just makes things more fun.

I love the artistry and skill that goes into cosplay plus I enjoy the challenge and the fact that you end up having to use so many different craft skills to put together a full costume. And finally, I like the friendliness of the cosplay community and the great atmosphere you seem to get at cosplay events.

My proudest moment was walking on stage in my Assassin’s Creed Harlequin costume and hearing a loud cheer during the Saturday Masquerade at the May 2012 London Comic Con – something that I didn’t think I would have the skill or confidence to do. My greatest achievement was receiving a judge’s award for the Harlequin costume at the same event – I really wasn’t expecting it and already had my camera out ready to take photos of the winners as they went on stage.

Last online 7 months ago

Hampshire

Joined: 9th Sep 2012

Completed costumes: 6

Photos uploaded: 49

Progress journals: 125

Events attended: 6

http://arcanearchery.deviantart.com/

I made some Nuka Cola bottle caps to go in my bottle cap pouch (where no one will see all of the effort I put into them). Painting the logo was quite difficult as first I had to find an accurate reference picture (a lot of people seem to use the Coca Cola logo as a base but the cola part is subtlety different). I used red enamel paint over a coat of white gesso followed by white acrylic paint for the logo. I then used some gunmetal acrylic paint around the edge of the bottle caps to create a worn and weathered effect.

I managed to create three quick belt pouches for the costume today as some of the reference images show multiple small pouches on the belt. They would probably be made form leather but as that is expensive and I have a lot of leftover brown fabric form my scarecrow costume I used fabric instead. The pouches should be useful for holding snacks and other small items so hopefully I will not need to carry a separate bag while I'm at the convention.

As the Pipboy turned out to be more of a bronze colour I had to repaint the control dial glove attachment. I think I did a pretty good job of matching the colour schemes. Initially I tried a copper colour but that was too pale so I covered that with a dark metallic brown followed by a dry-brush with a brass colour. I then added a few dry-brushed patches of gunmetal paint along some of the shaper edges and corners to look like damaged/worn areas. The verdigris (green corrosion that you get on copper/bronze) is just watered down jade green paint applied in small patches.

The Pipboy prop is here! Unfortunately it is a very tight fit and does not close up properly when wearing the boiler suit with its leather cuffs, even though I don't have particularly big forearms. I will need to make some elastic loops that hold the Pipboy closed as the magnets don't make contact when I have my arm and sleeve in it.

Also this is a completely different colour to the colour that I used on the hand control dial so that will need repainting.

I made this simple drawstring bag to hold some bottle caps (the currency in Fallout). It is made from some leftover hessian material and some string and is sewn together with jute thread.

Here is the Pipboy control with it's initial coat of paint. I am leaving the rest of the painting until I receive the Pipboy itself so that I can try to match the colour scheme as closely as possible.

Here is the control dial after gluing it together with impact adhesive and sealing with watered down PVA glue.

As I decided to buy the Pipboy without the glove I started making my own control dial to attach to the pair of gloves that I purchased instead. Here are all of the components from left to right: Glove; foam from a camping mat; two pieces of craft foam; bottle top

I purchased some fingerless leather gloves off ebay as it seems that a lot of Fallout cosplayers wear something like this. I will need one of these to attach the Pipboy control dial and the other can be worn when I am not wearing the puppet on that hand.

I started weathering the costume today. Initially I just put the costume on and started scraping myself along the breezeblocks that make up one of my garage walls. This helped me to identify some of the areas the would pick up the most wear and tear, especially the exact points where my elbows and knees were when wearing the costume (which is sometime difficult to judge when the costume is laid out flat). Following this I used some sandpaper to rub at all of the seams and the other areas like knees and elbows that I had identified during the previous stage. This has given the costume a slightly worn look but I think it needs more stages to get the desired effect. I am considering using a cheese grater on it, rubbing clay dust into it, and using paint and inks. I'll take it slow though as I don't want to wreck the costume.

I decided to buy a ready-made Pipboy prop from Airbrushwerks rather than making one myself as it looks too complicated to make one from scratch. It was quite expensive (making this my most expensive costume so far) but several people had these at the Fallout shoot in October and the quality looked good. I chose to buy one without the glove as it would have added another £40 to the price and I am sure I can by a pair of fingerless leather gloves for a lot less than that. I can then try making the control dial attachment for the glove myself as this looks much simpler.

The vault suit now has leather cuffs like the reference image. I have also made minor improvements like belt loops to stop my holster sliding around, and increasing the length of the legs slightly by reducing the amount of roll-up.

One of the completed leather cuffs which will be weathered along with the rest of the costume

It looks like the vault suit has leather cuffs in the reference images so I ordered a piece of bookbinding leather which was just large enough for the job. These two shapes will basically be turned into mini sleeves that go over the end of the boiler suit sleeves. Although it was quite expensive to use real leather I could not use artificial leather because I intend to weather the costume when it is complete and if I weather the fake stuff it will just reveal the fabric underneath the plastic layer.

The bandolier strap complete with plastic bullets and the shoulder armour. Now my bandolier will not look so empty.

Here is one of the bullets from the plastic bandolier. I added duct tape to the bullet to make it slightly fatter in order to stop is sliding out of the fabric loops on my own bandolier.

I purchased a cheap plastic bullet bandolier online. Although it had poor reviews because it falls apart easily I only need it for the plastic bullets that it contains. There are 96 bullet on this in total so I will have a lot of spares as there are only 21 slots on the bandolier that I made.

This is the completed vault suit although I plan to improve this further after taking it to the October MCM

I have glued the three pieces of shoulder armour together and now I just need to add the Velcro to this and the shoulder section of the bandolier strap so that I can join the two parts together.

I know that the Fallout 3 character models don't have the yellow stripe around their waist but the Puppet Man in the comic does (as do the vault suits in the original Fallout games). I wish I had left this part out as it was very hard to sew this onto an existing elasticated waist band, as it was a lot of material to push the needle through each time, and I also had to stretch it out as I was sewing it.

I started painting the shoulder armour by giving it a coat of black acrylic spray paint followed by a coat of pewter silver spray paint. I then repainted the top shoulder pad by hand using black acrylic but I think this will need another coat before it is completed.

To reduce the length of the trouser legs I have added rollups that are held in place with press studs. This seems to match the way the trouser legs look in the reference images.

I have joined the two bandolier sleeves to the should section and checked that I can thread the straps of the camera bag through the completed piece. This part is now completed although I will need to add some Velcro to the shoulder piece to attach the shoulder armour if I complete it in time.

A close up of the underside of the bandolier shoulder section showing how the rubber non-slip part of the camera bag strap is still visible.

I created the shoulder section of the bandolier, which will cover the padded section of my camera bag strap. I have left an open section on the underside so that the rubber non-slip part of the camera bag strap will show through and continue to prevent the strap from slipping even with the bandolier cover over it. This open section will also allow me to thread the straps through the bandolier cover.

I also reduced the width of the boiler suit legs as they were far too baggy and did not seem to be made in the same scale as the body section. The legs now fit more closely and look more like normal trouser legs.

I cut out the shapes for the shoulder armour from a piece of foam camping mat. I then started coating it in watered down PVA glue to seal it before painting. I’m not sure how effective this will look as I have not made any armour before but I can always remake it for a future event if it does not work out this time around.

I altered the collar by adding the vault numbers (using felt as they were so small) and then folding the collar back on itself and sewing it down so that it sticks up like it does in the reference images

I bought a pair of those goggles that most cosplayers seem to end up buying at some point, as I need to have some accessories to enhance the look of the costume

I have started putting together some bandolier ‘sleeves’ that will be used to cover the straps of my over-shoulder camera bag. The back one is just a plain brown tube of fabric while the front one also has the bullet holders sewn on (which took ages). I now need to make the shoulder part that joins them together and then I need to make the armoured shoulder pad which will be attached to it.

Interestingly the bullet holding loops are exactly the right size to hold an AA battery. This means that I could carry around 21 spare batteries for my flashgun if I wanted.

I completed work on the puppet today by attaching the head to the body. The shoulder seam could be better but overall it’s not bad considering this is the first time I have made anything like this.

I created the hair section and quiff using some yellow felt left over from my pyro cosplay, which I then attached to finish off the puppet’s head. I found this quite a challenging task, as I have not made anything quite like this before. It is not as neat as it could be but this costume is not being entered in a masquerade so no one will be looking at the stitching and seams that closely. Overall I am quite please with the effect.

The costume is heading in the right direction now although there is still a lot to do. I would prefer to be ahead of schedule by this point but at least I still have just over a month before I head off to the convention. As long as I don’t lose my head it should all be done in time. Hopefully I won’t be running around like a headless chicken trying to complete this the night before.

Oh yeah, I made the puppet’s head today (minus the hair). I’m really pleased with how the expression turned out but it was a real headache to assemble this …ok I’ll stop now.

I spent a few hours putting together the body section of the puppet today and this proved to be very fiddly. I thought that I would need to add stuffing to the hands but as the felt is a lot thicker than the material that I was using for the practice puppet they seem to keep their shape well enough without it. I now have the body more or less completed and should be able to make the head next week using a newer design that I came up with last week.

Added the linking stripe to the back of the costume. I know the Fallout 3 vault suit doesn’t have this but it looks wrong to me without it so I am taking this feature from the older Fallout games.

I started a test version of the vault boy puppet this week and started putting him together this weekend. I am still trying to work out what shapes to use for the head but I have the body and arms sewn together now. Based on my progress so far I think I need to make the arms of the real puppet slightly shorter but wider.

The yellow stripes have been attached to the front of the boiler suit - these were annoyingly fiddly to sew on as the fabric is quite thick. The stripes will meet up around the back of the neck like they did in the original Fallout games (and the comic that this character is from) as I don’t think the Fallout 3 vault suits look right with the stripes just ending when the reach the shoulder seam.

I stitched down the raw edges of the yellow sections and have started adding the yellow pieces to the boiler suit, starting with the back numbers. Once all of these parts are attached I will work on the patterns for the remaining yellow parts. I also need to start looking into getting the material for the glove puppets soon.

More progress! I created rough patterns for the yellow stripes and numbers and then transferred these shapes to the yellow fabric. It took a while to work out how big the numbers on the back should be and making sure that the number style was correct but at least I only had to do this for a single digit as the character is from vault 77. The pieces have been cut out and are ready for adding to the boiler suit. I still need to do the ‘belt’ stripe and the small vault numbers for the collar but at least it actually looks like I am working on the costume now.

Finally made a start on this costume by altering the sleeves of the boiler suit to make them closer fitting. I might also need to raise the crotch seam and make the legs slightly narrower but this is not essential and I would rather spend time on the more important parts of the costume first

This page of the comic provides references for all of the puppets except for the Vault boy. If I have time I will try making all of these.

I'll be aiming for something like this but I am not intending to make this costume spot on accurate

Today I removed the old EL wire from the gauntlet, which had started randomly shorting out, and replaced it with four new pieces of EL wire. The new stuff seems to be working ok so hopefully it will light up successfully during the masquerade. This time I tried gluing the weak points of the wires in place so that they do not get moved too much when I put the gauntlet on, as I think this is what caused the old wires to start malfunctioning.

I decided to use some of the leftover old wire to enhance the mask with glowing eyes. I did this by adding a figure of eight loop of wire around the eyeholes. The wire will then connect to a spare inverter that I will clip to the neck of my T-shirt which will then be hidden from view by my hood. I just need to remember to avoid using the strobe setting on the eye wire as it is not pleasant with the flickering wire so close to your face.

After ordering another leather strap I have been able to make three more belts, which brings my total up to 20 hand-made belts. I have also added some extra belt loops to the costume to hold these new belts in place.

I will now have 13 belts on the trouser legs plus the standard belt around the waist so there is quite a bit of weight on the trousers now.

I repainted the scratched sections of the gauntlet and then resealed it with lots more coats of PVA glue, as I don’t think I used enough the first time. Hopefully the paint will not be worn away so easily the next time I wear it. Unfortunately the EL wire has become a bit intermittent so I think I will replace it with new wire if I get a place in the masquerade as I don’t want to find out that it no longer lights up when I go on stage.

I cut away some of the plastic around the inside edge of the filter mask so that the complete mask should sit closer to my face and hopefully will not dig into my nose and cheeks so much the next time I wear it.

I ordered two more long leather straps and another pack of buckles so that I can make some more belts for this costume, as I felt that 12 belts was not enough. The reference picture shows a lot of belts on each limb and while I may not end up with exactly the same number of belts, it should hopefully look ok when I enter it in the masquerade.

I managed to finish making the satchel to match the costume today. I will now be able to carry around my camera, food and drink without it drawing attention away from the costume.

The toggles are made out of small pieces of arrow shaft that have been cut and sanded into shape. I then drill holes in the toggles so that I could sew them to the main bag, and then added buttonholes to the flap so that the bag can be fastened. The strap of the bag has a piece of camping mat foam inside it, positioned at the midpoint so that it will be more comfortable on my shoulder.

I tried on the full costume today to get a clearer idea of how long it would take to put on. With all the assorted belts to do up it took around 20 minutes to put on. Once I had the costume on I took some photos so I could see how I looked and work out if anything needed adjusting. Overall I am quite pleased with the result although it is not perfect. The main thing that I could improve is to add some extra holes to the arm and leg belts as a couple of them slipped down during the photoshoot.

Instant muscles

As I don’t really want to walk around bare-chested (especially in October) I bought a natural cotton coloured t-shirt and then drew on the muscle definition using a brown fabric pen. It actually looks a bit too muscled for Scarecrow but it was difficult to work out how to make it look scrawnier.

After putting it off for ages I have finally got around to gluing the Hessian mask over the base mask. I think I was worried that it would not come out correctly but it worked out ok. It may not be 100% accurate but hopefully it is close enough to the source material to be recognised.

I still need to do something with the excess Hessian around the back of the mask. I was thinking of making a cotton lining to keep it from scratching my face but now I think it might be quicker and easier to just cut away all of the excess material and then use some watered down PVA glue around the raw edges to stop it fraying.

Another machine-stitching day today. I stitched some thin tubes of fabric that I will be cutting into small sections and using as belt loops for both the main waist belt and the smaller belts that go around the arms and legs. I will just have a single belt loop for each of the arm and leg belts just to stop them slipping too far during the day and I will try to keep these fairly discreet.

I also stitched together the majority of a kind of hessian satchel, lined with some of the leftover polycotton. If I can get this completed in time I will use it to keep my camera bag, drinks and snacks in as well as using it to store my gauntlet when I am using my camera (I don’t think the syringe fingers will work that well when taking photos).

I completed lots of smaller tasks on various parts of the costume today:

* Finished sewing the remaining 5 arms belts
* Added foam rings around the openings of the gauntlet to hold in place more securely
* Decided there is not enough room for the battery pack in the gauntlet so will be attaching this to one of the arm belts – it makes it easier to turn it on and off as well
* Made the loincloths from two pieces of Hessian with a rolled over part at the top for the belt to go through
* Came up with a pattern for a satchel/bag that will blend in with my costume and then drew pattern onto the fabric and cut the parts out

I cut the hessian for the mask and carefully worked out where the holes for the eyes and filters needed to go. I then added black jute stitches to the face to match the reference pictures. I also sewed some extra folds (I think they are called darts?) into the mask using normal thread to improve the overall shape.

I just spent the best part of an hour trying to tie a hangman’s noose. It took a while to understand what the guides and videos were getting at and then when I thought I had it right I noticed that the noose was far too small to go over my head, so I undid it. My next attempt was the right size but I got the second to last stage wrong and when I tried to tighten the knot at the end I just ended up pulling the loop through and watching it unravel everywhere. I eventually got the hang (ha,ha) of the knot but it took about five more attempts to get the size of the noose correct as it kept on coming out far too big. And I thought that this was going to be one of the quicker jobs of this cosplay.

I spent most of the MCM podcast sewing loops in five of my leather belts to hold the buckles in place. The leather was too thick for my needle to get through and as I did not have an awl I had to use a miniature hand drill to make the holes first. I was then able to get the leather needle through the two layers of leather and used waxed linen cord to hold the pieces together. This was quite painful, especially when I jabbed myself with the leather needle. I still have five more of these loops to sew as well but I will let my fingers recover a bit before I start on those.

I completed the arms by cutting a ragged edge around both openings. I will let this fray naturally although the fabric that I am using does not seem to fray much.

I glued the test tubes and brackets to the main part of the gauntlet and threaded the EL wire through all of the holes that I drilled previously. Now I just need to double check that there is enough wire between the gauntlet and syringes before hot gluing each wire in place. The excess wire will be coiled around the inside of the gauntlet which will then be lined with soft foam to hold it securely in place on my arm (and to hold the battery pack). I’m quite pleased with the way this is progressing as it has been in separate pieces for a long time but now I can finally see the overall effect. Also, I might actually complete this cosplay in time…

Last weekend I stitched the two halves of the trousers together and then during the week I finished adding all of the large jute stitches to the seams. Today I hemmed the waist and fly so I just need to add the buttons to the fly, add the belt loops and cut a ragged edge at the end of the trouser legs.

Finished painting the gauntlet components with silver acrylic paints and then sealed them with watered down PVA glue. They are now ready for the final assembly.

For the needles I cut up some cheap biro refills and removed the ink before sanding and painting them silver. These were then glued into the nozzles that I made from some small pieces of arrow shaft that had been cut to size and drilled out. I used PVA glue for this and added a small drop of glue to the end of each tube to seal in any remaining ink. All I need to do now is add some soft black foam around the opening so that they grip my fingers more securely but I can’t do this until the EL wire has been threaded through.

Last weekend I sprayed expanding foam around the eyes of the theatre mask that I will be using as the base of the Scarecrow’s mask and today I shaped and smoothed this using a hotwire cutter, sandpaper and a curved file. This will need to be sealed and painted and will then be covered in Hessian. The image shows the filter mask placed on top of the base mask but I will eventually be cutting a space in the base mask for the filter mask to slot into.

I finally got around to working on the main gauntlet pieces. I started by cutting the ends off a lemonade bottle and then glued a layer of camping mat around it with impact adhesive. This was then covered with a thinner layer of black craft foam which I had scored grooves into using a pencil. The ends then had another layer of craft foam glued around them. I also created six craft foam brackets to hold the test tubes in place one the gauntlet has been painted up.

Retrospectively adding some information about making the gas tank backpack following a request from another member:

The main tank is made from a thick cardboard poster tube with the top part from a lemonade bottle glued at each end. I glued these to the plastic end caps of the poster tube but only glued the bottom end cap into the tube as this allowed me to remove the top cap so that I could store my drink bottle in the tank (I also lined the tank with some foam to stop things rattling around). It is painted up with Plasticote Acrylic spray paint, apart from the yellow part, which I masked off and then painted with yellow enamel paint after sanding down the lemonade bottles.

The smaller gas tank is made from a piece of plastic pipe with half of a ping-pong ball glued to each end. Before I glued the ends on I drilled two holes in the side of the pipe and the main gas tank so that I could bolt the two together. This was also painted with acrylic paints. The valve on the small tank is made from a red plastic milk bottle top with triangular sections cut out of it to leave spokes. I then attached it with a long brass screw that went through one of the ping-pong balls and into a cork on the other side to hold it in place.

The backpack itself is the remains of an old rucksack- it is just he straps and the back piece with some extra webbing sewed on to attach the tanks to the backpack. To make the join more secure I added bands of sticky Velcro to the main tank and sewed the other side of the Velcro to the webbing. Note that it is very hard work sewing sticky Velcro onto webbing and if I did this costume again I would probably try using pop-rivets to hold the tank directly to the back piece of the rucksack and then just glue two bands of webbing on for show.

After spaying the mask filter holders and the new end caps with two layers of Plasticote paint I glued the end caps into the filter holders and screwed them back onto the mask. They look quite effective and are definitely better than just using the ends of the filter cartridges which have more of a circular grid pattern on them.

This is the progress that I made on the trouser stitches while listening to the MCM Podcast – Yes, it took nearly 2 hours sewing on those 53 stitches…

These are the replacement filter caps for the gas mask as I wanted to make it look more like the reference images than the filters that came with the orignal mask. They were made by cutting out two discs from a thin sheet of black plastic and then carefully measuring out nine equally spaced holes which I then drilled through. The raised circular pieces are made from craft foam (the outer rings were already in the mask to cushion the filter cartridges which I removed to make breathing easier).

I finished sewing the pieces to make the two leg sections today. I now need to sew all of the jute stitches into them before joining the two halves together. This is going to take a while…

I spent the last two evenings sewing the large jute stitches over the seams of the arm pieces. The jute thread is not the easiest material to work with and leaves your fingers feeling rope burned but the finished result is quite effective.

I adjusted the trouser patter, broke it up into the different segments, transferred them to the fabric and finally cut them all out ready for sewing together.

I did some minor painting work on the syringes/test tubes and started making the syringe nozzles out of some small pieces of wooden arrow shaft. These will need to be carefully drilled out so that they can fit over the existing syringe nozzles and to allow the pen refill ‘needles’ to be inserted in the other end.

In addition I have started adding the large jute stitches to the hood which looks quite effective but is painfully slow to do.

The progress on the test tubes that will go on the wrist part of the gauntlet. I still need to sand and paint the transparent bits at the end where the wires will come out

I stitched the two halves of the hood together as well as the test versions of my trouser pattern. The hood is now ready for the large jute stitches to be added while the trouser pattern just needs some minor adjustments before I start on the real trousers.

I also did some more work on the gauntlet test tubes and syringes, cutting more sections of craft foam and attaching them with impact adhesive. The syringe fingers are progressing fairly well but I still need to make the needles and nozzles and then thread the EL wire through the holes that you can see in the sides.

I machine stitched the arms and hood sections together but for now I have left the two halves of the hood separate and the sleeves open so that I can add the large stitches with the Hessian thread more easily. There are a few curved seams that I will need to hand stitch first but the costume is finally starting to show a bit more progress.

I finished drawing and cutting out the pattern pieces for the arms and hood sections. The picture shows the hood pieces all matched up ready for pinning and sewing.

Patterns – one of my least favourite parts of making a cosplay. I spent ages looking at reference images to try to make sure that the joins on ‘patchwork’ pieces of clothing matched the in-game model of the Scarecrow. Trying to find pictures of him from behind was very difficult. I then spent a couple of evenings drawing out the duplicate patterns for the hood and sleeves, as I need 3 versions of each – one for the left hand parts, one for the right hand parts (which will be cut differently form the left) and then a master version of each piece which has the ‘map’ that shows how to stick all of the pieces back together correctly. I made sure that I labelled each piece clearly so that it will make it easier to match the pieces up. I then transferred the patterns to the huge piece of brown fabric (I bought way to much) ready for cutting.

After making paper versions of the patterns I cut out the shapes needed for the craft foam that will be wrapped around the syringe fingers. These are basically just rectangles with a small oblong window cut out of them so that you can see the glowing contents inside. I then painted these with silver acrylic paint, leaving visible brushstrokes for that brushed steel effect. I will create the circular end pieces once the side pieces have been glued around the syringe, to make sure that I get the diameter correct.

I purchased the brown cotton drill fabric that will be used for the majority of the clothing and finished ordering most of the other materials that I need for the costume. The remaining components should be fairly easy to get hold of and will not require much modification so I don’t need to buy them just yet.

I also modified my test patterns made from an old sheet to get the shape of the hood correct and to make the arm fit better.

I started work on the gauntlet by cutting two of the remaining orange plastic test tubes in half and sawing the open ends of the syringes off after removing the plungers. The half test tubes were then hot glued to the inside of the syringes to make it look like they contain something orange. A hole was then drilled in one side of the syringe and test tubes so that the EL wire can be inserted later. I had to re-glue a couple of the test tubes as the force of the drill caused them to become unstuck.

The test tubes will be added to the wrist part of the gauntlet to look like containers for the fear toxins or whatever it is that the scarecrow injects with his gauntlet. I drilled holes in the end of two of the orange plastic test tubes for the EL wire to be threaded through. A third tube had holes drilled through one side and out of the other as one tube has two wires coming out of it. Unfortunately the first time that I tried this the drill pushed through the first side and smashed the second side when it hit. I had to change to using a hand drill to drill the holes in the one spare test tube as I only had six and need two of them for the syringes fingers

I now have most of the components that I need for the costume

I bought the first component for the costume today - nothing too exciting, just a few sheets of craft foam from Hobbycraft for adding detail to the gauntlet. This is the first time I have used this material so it will be interesting to see how I get on with it.

After adding some extra material to the ankle area of the boot covers the costume is now complete. Annoyingly, after making all of the modifications to them, the more expensive deluxe boot cover that I purchased ended up being turned into something that resembled the budget boot covers that I could have bought to start with. I had to shorten the length, make them tighter, remove the eyelets and lacing, remove the gold buttons, remove the elastic ‘stirrups’ and replace them with looser ones, and add extra material to the ankles to cover the join between the shoes and the boot covers.

I actually finished the costume whilst listening to the MCM podcast and I cannot wait to wear it now. Only two weeks to go, which should be enough time for all of the needle related wounds to heal up.

Finished painting the stripes on the dagger handles. This was quite fiddly as looking at the reference pictures you can see that the stripes are not straight – about halfway down the handle they go off at an angle. I had to make a template out of cardboard and used this to mark out the lines in pencil. I then hand painted them with acrylic paint. The edges of the lines are not perfect but most people will not be looking that closely.

A busy weekend working on all of the odds and ends of the costume. I also tried on the nearly completed costume for the first time and, while it looks ok in it’s current state, there is still more work to do on the finishing touches.

I finished sewing the wide leather strip to a piece of brown fabric to form the lower belt. I also added some eyelets to each end so that I can lace this up at the back before wrapping the final belt around it. I hope to decorate this with some cerne relief if I have time but it will not matter too much if I don’t get around to this.

I added an adjustable elastic strap to the mask to make it easier to put on and take off (the ribbons that came attached would be too fiddly to do up and undo especially while wearing gloves). This is fairly essential, as I will need to remove the mask quickly when I want to take photos of other cosplays. I attached the elastic with pop rivets but this did not work that well and the rivets did not flatten themselves out as much as I expected. To reinforce the join I added Araldite around the rivets and between the elastic and mask. I have left the original ribbons wrapped around the elastic so that I have an alternative method for fastening the mask just in case the new strap breaks.

Finally, I cut the boot covers down to size as they went right up to me knees originally and would have hidden the lower leg section of the costume completely. The boot covers will now go just over halfway up my calves. I also made them slightly tighter by re-stitching the back seams, as they were too wide at the top. I now just need to work on the roll-over part at the tops to finish these off.

I managed to add blood channels to the dagger blades by carefully running a rounded file down the centre of the blades. This should hopefully make them look more realistic and less like a piece of wood when they are painted. I then attached them to the dagger handle using a hot glue gun, as this is quite thick glue and should stop the tangs of the blades moving about in the holes that I drilled in the handles. The next step will be to spray the daggers silver.

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These were probably the most challenging part of the costume and I am not completely happy with the way they came out. However this is the best I will be able to achieve at my current skill level and they should look ok to anyone that is not comparing them directly against a reference image.

Completed the trousers by attaching the codpiece, adding the buttons to hold it in place as well as the buttons for attaching the braces (medieval trousers always feel like they are falling down at the back unless you use braces – I learned this from the historical archery displays that I used to do). If I get time I will neaten up the lining but this is not essential, as no one else will see that part.

Started work on the belts and daggers. I am using part of an old brown sheet for the fabric part of the belt. This will be stitched onto the piece of black leather hide that forms the middle part of the belt and then held in place by another belt.

For the daggers, I cut up a broom handle to make the dagger grips and then tried to drill down the length of these pieces to make a hollow section that the tang of the blades will fit in. Unfortunately the broom handle was made of the densest wood I have ever encountered so the hollow part is not as deep as I had planned. It should be deep enough to give a bit of extra support to the blades though. The pommels and hilts are made from discs of balsa wood that I cut and sanded to the right shape. The hilts have a hole drilled in them for the tang of the blades (which are made out of two strips of balsa wood glued together to make the blade thicker). These will be cut and shaped once the glue has had time to dry. The rings on the pommels are made from curtain rings that have been filed down slightly on one edge to make it easier to glue them in place. I used Araldite to glue all of the pieces together except the two parts of the blades, which I used PVA for.

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Trying out the completed jacket with the gloves. I still need to make the belts before the arms/body area is complete.

It has taken about 3 months but the jacket is finally completed after I finished stitching the lining around the collar today (Note that the collar and white ribbon around the edges of the jacket have been added since the previous jacket photo). I am quite pleased with the way this has come out overall, as it is the first time I have made something like this from scratch.

The lower leg pieces have now been attached to the shorts to make the full-length trousers. The top part is not a poofed out as I wanted and the lower legs look like they should be tighter according to the reference pictures but I don’t think I would be able to move my legs properly if I made them much tighter

I attached the zigzag bands to the bottoms of the trouser legs on the ‘baggy shorts’ and carefully gathered the fabric in to create the poofy effect. I had to hand stitch this part using what seems to have been the sharpest needle in the world. I think I will need a few days for my fingers to recover.

The poofy effect came out much better than I expected it to and it looked quite good when I put the trousers on with the lower leg sections held in place. I still need to stitch these on and add other smaller details but I think the hardest part of the costume is now out of the way.

I made the zigzag leg band/garter type things that will join the top part of the trousers to the lower legs. They took ages and have not come out brilliantly but as they are a fairly small part of the costume overall I don’t think it would be worth re-doing them. I also made the codpiece for the front of the trousers.

Added the white stripes to the other trouser leg and then added some thicker lining fabric to the top half of both upper leg pieces to reinforce the waist. The waist will need to be able to support the braces that I will be wearing to hold these up comfortably plus I want something more substantial for the lacing at the front to pull against. The two halves were then stitched together to make something similar to a baggy pair of shorts. At this stage I realised I had forgotten to take progress photos of the upper leg sections but I am not unstitching them at this point.

After cutting out the 18 pieces for the upper legs yesterday I stitched them together today and also had time to add the white ribbon to one of the legs. I will have to do the other leg next weekend though.

Finished the gloves by adding on the new cuffs, which I made from the pieces I cut off the base opera gloves previously. I must have spent over 10 hours on these over the last few weeks as I had to do all of the work by hand and the leather is quite tough to push the needle through. They look quite good though and are fairly close to the reference picture.

I started sewing the jacket lining into the jacket but have left it open at the top so that I can add the collar first. I made version 2 of my collar after the first attempt came out incorrectly.

Still working on the pattern for the upper part of the trousers but it needs further work.

I attached the arms to the jacket and even managed to get them the same length. Its coming together well but I still need to add the collar and the lining.

Completed the lower legs of the costume by stitching the seam at the back. I had to be careful to get the shaping just right as I want these to be quite close fitting but I still need to be able to get my foot through when I put the trousers on.

I also started working on the collar today but I think that this first version will not fit correctly so I may have to try a slightly different shape.

I added the white stripes to the lower legs. The next step is to make the shorts for the upper legs.

I stitched together the blue and green stripes to make the lower legs of the poofy trousers. This weekend I should be able to add the white stripes.

Stitched the shoulder sections together as well as two extra strips of fabric to create the overhanging part of the shoulders

I completed the hat by adding bells to the ends. I removed the metal bead from the bells to silence them as it would be annoying having then jingling next to my ears all day, plus I am meant to be someone that sneaks up and assassinates people and jingling bells would not help much with this. It looks strange when layed out flat like this but when it is worn it looks correct.

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The head area is now complete although I want to add bells to the ends of the hat 'horns' if I have time

I spent several hours today sewing the white ribbon onto the jacket. Once the loose ends have been sewn in I can stitch the shoulder pieces together and then attempt to attach the sleeves.

I hemmed the cuffs and stitched the final seam on the sleeves today. I now have two complete sleeves but still need a jacket to attach them to.

I stitched all of the jacket torso stripes together but left the shoulders unstitched for now so that I can open the jacket out flat. This will make it easier to sew the white ribbon on. I plan to add the white ribbon next weekend.

I spent around 4 hours over the last two days planning out the pattern for the jacket torso and then drawing it out on the fabric. It was quite difficult working out which pattern piece had to be which colour and making sure that I had the pattern pieces the right way up each time. I have chosen to use slightly less stripes than the reference picture (14 stripes rather than 18) to save time and stop me going mad.

I stitched the white ribbon onto the sleeves today as well as stitching the jacket lining together. Now that I know how big the jacket torso will be I can get to work on cutting the green and blue stripes for the jacket.

I copied the jacket lining pattern onto the black cotton (using my new dressmaking pencil) and then cut it out ready for stitching at the weekend.

I sewed together the two halves of the hat and now just need to add the finishing touches like the bells.

I also sewed the blue and green stripes together to make the sleeves today. I still need to add the white ribbon between each band of colour but I will do that next weekend.

I have cut the gloves to the correct length and sewn up the hem to hold the lining in place again. I now need to remove the lining from the off cuts and cut them to the right length and shape before sewing them to the gloves as cuffs.

After checking that my test sleeve was the right size I cut it up into strips to use as the pattern for the real sleeves. I did one set of blue and one set of green stripes and then alternated them to give me the stripy sleeves. They just need to be sewn together and have the white ribbon added. I also realised that I need to get a proper dress making pencil to make drawing on my dark fabric easier.

I stitched the blue stripes onto my green hat pieces and then added the white ribbon between each stripe. I just need to neaten up the loose ends before sewing the two halves together (and hopefully the stripes will line up).

I managed to buy some suede leather opera gloves on ebay. I can cut these to length and then reuse the off cut pieces to make the rolled over cuffs that the harlequin has in the reference images.

These are nice and close fitting so I should still be able to use a camera or hold weapons without removing the gloves.

I cut the blue stripes for the hat, sewed the edges down and then pinned them in place on the green hat halves. This had to be done very carefully to make sure that the stripes will line up when the two halves are sewn together.

I purchased the blue and green fabric for the main part of the costume today, along with some black fabric for lining the jacket to help keep its shape. Hopefully I can make some good progress on the costume over the Christmas break.

I added fake leather straps to the welding gloves so that they can be tightened slightly, as it seems to be impossible to buy small welding gloves.

I made a test version of the hat out of scrap fabric today, to avoid wasting the proper fabric when it arrives. I did not have a clear idea about how to do it but somehow the finished piece was almost spot on, much to my surprise. I might just need to reduce the curve on the ‘horns’ at either side slightly but apart from that, it looks just right. I can now take this test piece apart and use it as the pattern on the proper fabric.

Finished the mask today, using small pieces of net curtain to cover the eye holes.

From left to right: The plain mask with the pattern marked out in pencil; The mask after painting with acrylic paints; The completed mask with pieces of net curtain used for the white eyes.

The plain venetian jester's mask that I ordered arrived from the Netherlands today. Now I can get to work painting it up like the one in Assassin's Creed.

I finished the final part of the costume today - the cigarette packet that goes under the goggle straps

I tried putting together the shaft of the collapsible spear today but the bolt and hinge design was too loose and the finished spear would have looked rubbish. I decided to cut my losses and stop doing any more work on the spear as I still have the dynamite prop. Plus on the brigt side it is one less thing to transport and carry around.

Finished the gaiters today. Sewing the leather straps to the denim took longer than expected as I discovered that I had accidentaly sewn through both parts of the denim on the first gaiter. This meant I had to unpick the stitching and start again, paying more attention to what I was doing.

I finally finsihed modifying the jacket - I hadn't appreciated how slow it would be to sew through multiple layers of Denim by hand. With this part finished I could wear the costume as it is but I still have some smaller components to work on.


ArcaneArchery edited 2 tasks for The Vault Dweller (3 years ago)