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MangaChild
Progress

Ive been cosplaying since October London Expo 2006, my friend Tom told me about London Expo so i had a look at it online and seen cosplaying so i thought id give it a go... And ive been hooked ever since..

I have been an anime fan for years and cosplaying for me if bringing the charcters out the page and screens and bringing them to life... Its great cosing as a charcter you like and having other fans recognise you, it makes all the time effort pin pricks and sometimes loss of hair worth while :)

Mind you to begin with i didnt know how to sew or what a sleve edge is or even that patterns exist and how to use them.
Im fortunate enough to have known someone who is extreamly experianced and could teach me and im really thankfull, you dont get the same sense of acheavment when you havnt made the costume your self.

So my greatest acheavment is learning to sew and my proudest moments are seeing everyone at every convention bringing anime & video games to life in a spectular way, and it just keeps getting better with every convention XD

Last online 7 years ago

Bristol

Joined: 4th Oct 2007

Completed costumes: 30

Photos uploaded: 151

Progress journals: 91

Events attended: 22

http://ukmangachild.deviantart.com/

MangaChild_

Realizing making my first full suit of Armour to a standard i'm happy with and in a tight time scale isn't possible, i decided to take a break and continue at a later date.....

Probably after Ame :(

Shin guard constructed and painted :D

Painted boot with studs fitted.
This is layers of Plastazote bonded to a trainer using Evostick and painted in a 10/1 mix of PVA and Acrylic Paint. This needs distressing weathering and lots of blood!!

Made the Knee piece :)
This isn't the final cut but gives me a vague idea for sizing and the shapes required.

Still would like to make some adjustment but you get the rough idea.

I built up on top of a trainer for the shoe part and the shin guard is composed of interlocking segments that support each other and move independently to offer a decent range of movement.

Painting the back... being careful not to glue the Zip shut

Painting Continued.
Forgot to mention the arms are painted separately so they don't end up glued to the torso

The Paint!!
My Mortal Enemy!!
I hate painting!!!
The paint is Acrylic Paint mixed with Liquid Latex mixed in a large volume as paint matching and acrylic latex mix isn't something easily done.
The paint was applied using a house hold paint brush to avoid brush strokes you can use a sponge to dab paint on, if the mix is too runny add Latex thickener to increase the consistency of the mix.

Left and right sides of the back done

Slabs of foam are glued on the torso using evostick or latex.
They are then carved in to shape and layered up if needed.
This pic shows the arms as complete and the back is just starting.

Just found some old images of progress pic's which will hopefully give a better idea of how I construct body suits :D

I guess I didn't have the time to previously upload them then forgot... so sorry but here they are

I made a news paper pattern over a pair of mock converse boots, I then made the actual Boots using blue cotton Drill and for detail Red Bias Binding.
The t-shirt was made from blue jersey I laid out the fabric and cut around an existing t shirt as a pattern and folded over the sleeves, I then repeated specifically for the sleeves as well.
Again I repeated the above technique for the top however I added extra width and an extended shoulder as I wouldn't be adding sleeves, so there wouldn't be any seam lines on the front & shoulders I made the hem using heat'N'bond. I also used heat'N'bond to stick on the Monkey characters on the front and back.
And again it was back to the blue jersey for the wrist bands.

Not bad for 8 hours work :)

Wig styling and back trim and styling done... wig complete

3d felt shapes glued to wig cap and wefts clued to base of shape then sprayed, cut and styled. Additional wefts then added and need to be cut/styled

All wefts unpicked, I had to repair the wig base due to over picking in areas...
Now I am beginning to hot glue the Spikes in place on the wig base ready to have the wefts glued back in and styled.
...
Again sorry no pics atm

Gah Wigs arrived :(
The ebay listing looked like nice quality punky style wigs but I ended up with 2 smithy's wigs :(
I am cutting out the wefts from one wig to have a wig base and extra wefts, when I have the extra wefts I will try to glue them to the Felt spikes and hot glue the spikes to the wig base :S
Again no images for this part :(

Once I have my main felt spike pieces I have pinned them in position on the wig head to see the shape looks okay.
Next up I need to create the fringe pieces

Unfortunately no photos for the next part :(
I used the small cardboard templates and cut out the Ultra Stiff Felt I then hot glued the edges together to create the spiky base for the hair.

Based on the silhouette I made smaller cardboard templates with an additional piece to bake the shape pop out.

I layed down with my head over cardboard and had Amber draw around my head.
Based on my ref I drew and cut out a silhouette and checked it for size.

YAYS!!!

I'm very happy with the finish and made them using the back yoke and everything to make them ultra tidy, all the seam lines match and they look very symmetrical :)

Almost worth all the hours put in to them & going through a whole set of Denim needles due to the thickness of leatherette and uber strength thread :D

Keeping true to the Ref there are no pockets or belt carriers and an ultra high waist line

bought what seemed to be the perfect wig from Eaby about a month ago (no pics) I GUESS THE SELLER HAD DIFFERENT IDEAS AND HAS SENT ME A VERY BADLY BUTCHERED 2ND HAND WIG!!
Now I have to fall to the shitty back up wig :(

Amecon is approaching so bought some FLAME RETARDANT blue leatherette :D

£10 but where else am I going to find blue leatherette this short notice, although I have to say im much happier with the texture of this fabric its much closer to the reference

So I peel away and cut apart the original suit to use as a pattern

the Day before Expo the majority of the costume was finished

I deicide this is a good time to paint the PVC suit this is a seek peek of how it looked before it completely stuck to its self and tore apart :(

Although I do look like Kittan on Steroids which cheerd me up a bit

Once Sewn is carved and heated camping mat foam to fit the trim of the boot, once happy with the fit I covered the foam in No more nails using my finger which left very messy hands but a great brushed metal finish on the boot.
I then Glued them on with Evo stick by pinning them in place once on securely i masked up the boot and spray painted them the base black colour and detailed in 3 types of citadel metallic paints on the Trim and sole of the boot

Modded Pirate boots bought from Ebay to fit tighter and lengthened the top a bit

you can see the Difference between the two boots here

I have painted the base layers of Latex and added top coats mixed with acrylic paint, I have continuously been lightening the mix to add some basic shading but do need an airbrush for more definition.

Unfortunatly due to time constraints i mised taking photos of the foam and cotton covered in Lycra.

The next step is to layer up latex a few base coats then the top coats mixed with paint in different shades to try to add tone

To give a smooth Skin top surface just carving foam wont acheave i guled cotton on top of the foam then stretched and glued Lycra on top of the foam.

The photo shows the completely smoothed right arm and right chest, the Left Bicep in just has cotten strips glued to it.

This is the beginings of the Torso

Basically I have made used an old long sleeve t-shrit put a zip in the back and placed it over a duct tape cast of my torso.

I then cut blocks of Upholstery foam according to a rough template for the base shape of the muscle then pinned and glued them directly to the shirt using evo stick.

Once the evo stock had dried I removed the pins and carved the foam to the basic shape of the muscles, where muscles meet ie Front, Side & Rear Shoulders i cut between them to improve definition when I wrap the Lycra over them.

This isnt the finished product I now need to add the Lycra Skin and lose the rough surface.

about time i did a journal entry

although its a little late :S

I have stripped the 10+ layers of latex from the Vegeta muscle suit of old, layered up more foam and shaped more accuratly to look more like muscles

When i was really struggling with the chest muscles i came across this image whuich helped an unbelieveable amount!!

If only i found it from the start

Yays!!!

Purely by accident i came up with this fixing !!!

I have one Flatened End screwed Against the Frame and the other end is held down by a cable tie :D

This is a solid fixing and solves the problem of the wings breaking again :)

Rods are now inserted in to the existing wing piles and the duct tape between the 2 poles allow a tight fit....

Now to make the fixings for the back pack

After cutting down the wings I returned to B&Q and bought piping the same size and the next size down...

With the under sized piping i wrapped duct tape around the middele and eaither end then stuff the rods in to thie wings...

Not only did i have more screws to deal with than the average worker in amsterdam but they were all hidden under the layers of funfoam Glue and Latex i had applied :D

Needless to say i coudnt locate any of them so took a hammer to the unsupported areas and litterly tore the pannels off, i felt sick and i still had on idea of how to fix the wing problem :S

The wing fell off just before the Masquerade @ Minami :S

Luckily enough Dr Tab was on hane with an amazing emergancy repair :D

So the rebuild was started days before Ayacon 09 :S i forgot how much i had to do, the ic above shows some of thhe screws i had holding the panels in place and ofcoutse the broken wing parts...

The whole Backpack Finished :D

All pannels atttached with Funfoam Glued on topp then all painted in Latex and a top coat latex mixed with acrylic paint glossed with Isoflex

I am now entering new territory....
I have always accepted flaws in costumes, cut corners And general used bodgey cover-ups...

This tme i had no choice...

When ironing on Violene i kinda scorched the top so i first of all tried to cover it up with white fabric paint, it looked really bad....

So having that fail i have had to re do ive never had to restart from scratch before..... now im at the point i was 2 weeks ago :( time is ticking down TBH im worried :S

Spent another £31 on a shopping Spree
40x5mm Eyelets
10x10mm Eyelets
35x11mm Push on Cover buttons
Red Green and Black Fabric paint

Now all i need is Propage, Wig, Possibly more paint and every ladies favourite new shoes

Just spent £30 on
5m of White Cotton Drill
6m of Faded red Bias
3m of White Bias
A Pair of Black Jeans
still lots more to buy but this is enough to get me started

Frame work fuly assemblled and some pannels attached & covered in funfoam...

The most time consuming part by FAR!!!

Painting the boots in a mix of acryllic paint and latex was quick enough....
but the drying times TAKES AGGGGEEESSSSSSSS!!!

Once the paint had finally dried i gave a light coat of clear primer Isoflex to seal the paint :D

Both Boots now have all foam peices Glued in place thanks to the wonders of Evostick

Also they have been treated to 3 layers fo Latex on the outside to prime for painting and add extra stregnth

EVERYTHING Pinned in place

Im happy with the look so move on to pinning and glueing with evostick

Cut various thickness of foams using the templates...

Then realise youve arranged them to make a face :D

I had Alex wear the Allen arm strapped and holding on to the dowel, I then wrapped a single sheet of Lycra fabric around both Alex's and the Allen arm
and pinned the material right the way up to his armpit only mildly stabbing him and sewed it all together.

Once I had a working sleeve I added the armour stripes, I made these by cutting strips 2 inches wide fun foam going down the longest side of the sheet. I then painted the fun foam with PVA and left it to dry. Once dry its out with the Plasticote paint again to paint one side and the edges of the foam strips.

When the paint was dry I pinned the strips to the arm and when I was happy with the positioning I glued them in Place using Laytex. Once all the strips are added you just need to add the stick on velcro in place on the Allen arm and the big sleeve end to hold the sleeve on to the arm.

Job Done

I find its best to use Plasticote spray paint without a primer and then glossing for a top coat. Allow enough time between coats of paint for the paint to dry, also change the spray direction between each coat to ensure an even coat.

The first fixture was the handle handle

The handle is needed within the arm so that the Fibreglass isn't taking all of the strain. I cut to cut away a section where Alex will insert his arm, I used a saw for this. I cut a channel just over half way in to arm and then removed the polystyrene.

I also Scooped out some polystyrene from the sides of the channel for the dowel to slot in and be the handle, I then just screwed it in place fixing it to the fiberglass.

The second fixture was straps.

For the straps i used webbing which i fed through an plastic buckle(like on adjustable back packs) and hemmed it to the webbing at one end.

I then cut two holes parallel in the Arm either side of where the fore arm sits i.e. along the sides of the channel. Then I just fed the webbing through leaving the buckle on the inside of the arm. You'll need to repeat this further down the arm as well...

To make the whole thing more comfortable I cut some Fun Foam to size and lay it along the sides of the channel and around the top and the edges of the channel I then fixed them using double sided carpet tape.

That's The Fixtures done so Alex should now able to comfortably wear the Arm as an extension his fore arm

For the next part i hired me a gopher umm a helper (also in safety gear), I also wearing old clothes.

Firstly i cut the fibreglass cloth to fit the section was about to cover (I always cut a little bigger in case). Starting with the claws and surround, paint the target area with the resin mix then lay the fibreglass cloth on top.

I then paint more mixed resin on to the cloth ensuring there are no bubbles and no dry areas of cloth. Allow to dry (10-15 mins if mixed correctly), and once dry trim off the excess cloth. I repeated this process on each claw until every claw was covered.

Next I painted the Whole of the back hand area of the arm and covered it in a single sheet of fibreglass cloth which is definitely a two-man job using the same techniques as above.

Once the fibreglass had dried i trimmed off the excess using scisors and a stanley knife and repeted the process for the palm section, only this time ensureing that the two peices over lap slightly leaving almost everything covered.

Fiberglassing Done XD

Once you have your safety equipment II Mixed the resin.

If you are using the Plastic Padding hardener (as pictured) you need to mix 8cm of hardner With 50ml of resin, I would use a weaker mix to begin with - maybe 6cm hardener to 50ml resin this will allow more time for the hardener to set.

The hardner ammount will need adjusting according to the temperature of your work space, if it's cold increase hardener, if it's hot decrease it.

The hardener and resin need to be mixed thouroughly till its a clowdy colour, it will let off heat from the mixing pot that's just the reaction happening from this point there is very little working time with the Resin Mix.

!IMPORTANT!

Please before fibreglassing call your local boat builders/repairers, yacht chandlers or autoparts store and ask what safety equipment they use.

I highly recommend you do this and get the right safety equipment for good practice.

Please seek your own advice as I am not a professional and have no qualifications so cannot recommend anything

Next I needed to cut slots for the claws

I had other people hold the claws in place while I had a look to see if I was happy with the positioning. With the claws still held in place I then drew round them on the the arm and cut out the sections for them to sit in to with a Stanley Knife.

I then coated the whole arm, including claws in position, with PVA and covered it with newspaper as pictured. This must be done as fibreglass resin corrodes polystyrene. Layer up adding more coats of PVA and News paper and ensure there are no gaps.

Once this is dry youre ready to fibreglass.

Once I was happy with the shape I glued all the sheets together using PVA (you MUST use PVA, its NON-CORROSIVE to polystyrene unlike other glues), obviously leaving the sheet with markings on top XD

Once the PVA had dried ish(it never really did) I began cutting some of the excess polystyrene away with a saw. Using a saw will save you lots of time just dont cut close to the line - probably just cut 2/3 of the excess polystyrene away.

I then used a Rasp for the rest of the shaping, this took away loads of polystyrene in a short time, was easy to use and got a great result (thanks Dad for suggesting it!). After using the rasp I used the electric sander to finish off the look and smooth down the edges.

The pictures show the arm at different points in the shaping, it doesnt really matter too much if the original shape is rough as you can sand it into shape.

The claws were separately in the same way as above, I drew templates on paper then drew round them on the polystyrene.

I went to my local hardware store and had a look at the polystyrene sheets in person to determine their size and to decide how many I needed.

I bought 2 Sheets of 2400 x 600 x 50mm which is usually sold as insulation, I decided that the sheets were twice the length I needed (plus they wouldnt fit in my car!) so I cut them in half and got them home.

Once at home I layered up the pieces to the thickness I wanted, and then placed my forearm in the middle and drew around it. Then I drew an outline of the shape I wanted for the Allen arm.

I always begin by taking as many screen shots of the character as possible so I know the prop inside out then making sketches of ideas I have on how to build it.

If you look at the pic you can see they dont have to be detailed to gather an idea of how it will work - the red is my friend Alex, the blue is the sleeve which will go over the arm and up to Alex's shoulder allowing him to bend his arm, and the black will be the forearm and claw.vThis will be made out of polystyrene covered with fibreglass.

A list of the tools used again Courtsy of www.animetion.co.uk

Here is the list of materials needed Courtsy of www.animetion.co.uk

For some further "feature" detailing rather than paint directly on to the fabric I've chose to try out embroidery, to do this you will need:
An Embroidery Ring

Embroidery / Cross-stitch fabric
Embroidery thread (Much thicker than regular thread)
A Sharp hand sewing needle
Iron on Violene
Fabric Paint
A lot of patience

For consistency I've drawn out my pattern on a cardboard template & cut it out, I then drew round the template on the loose embroidery fabric. Then place the fabric in the ring and tighten the ring ensuring there is tension on the fabric which will make your hand sewing easier and accurate, then sew just out side of your marked lines and keep sewing lol

Once your Sewing is done remove the fabric from them embroidery ring and iron on the Violene ensuring there no bubbles on the underside of your fabric on the stitching, once this is properly sealed cut out your shape however leave a tiny gap or you could cut your stitching :S

Once your stitching is cut out paint any of the embroidery fabric that's on show and finally sew the embroidery patch to your costume..

I take the pattern Peices and sew them together, once this is done i wear the jacket insde out and have Amber pin the sides to take in the waist coat to give it a tailored look(if no help is avaiable its worth making a ducktape cast of your self).

Once the sides have been sewn i wear the waistcoat hem the front center seam so the left and right sides meet in the middle, I then pin the hem in place and also pin the left and right sides closed.
Then i pin the bottom edge to the shape I need and all of this is now ready to be hemmed by machine, as i will be biasing the jacket afterwards i will be hemming as close to the edge as possiable just in case the bias odesnt cover the stitching.

Once the Waist coat is all hemmed i put it on my cast of my self and make the collar, i began by using a cardboard template cutting it to shape and pinning it on to the waistcoat. Once i found the shape i was after i cut the real thing from sew on voilene, I then make a pocket out of the same waistcoat fabric and sew it to the collar and then the collar to the waistcoat.

With thew collar attached i bias the whole Waistcoat, i use the same technique for the Mini blue waistcoat snt the top white jacket :D

Once the pattern peices have been pinned to the fabric i cut them out and they are ready to be sewn together :)

Next I take my measurements according to the instructions on the pettern and pick the best size for me, once i have all the pattern peices cut to my size i pin them to the fabric which has been folded as per the Pattern instructions.

After finding a close match to the embroided fabric of the waist coat i have had to paint the embroidery by hand to match.
I have painted about 3 meters which should be enough for what i need :s
So far this has taken about 3 weeks on and off and amazingly only 1 pot of fabric paint XD

Once the Plaster head cast was set as per Nerts guide i built up plastercine on top to add the facial features of Tessai.

When i was happy with look of the Plastercine model i painted on top about 10-15 layers of latex, also i added a further 2 or 3 top coat layers of latex mixed with acrylic paint.

Once this has all set peel away the latex mask and the job is done.

To make the mask ive had to make a cast of my head thanks to Nerts great guide found on the articles section of Cosplay Island, and Ambers Wonderful help and patience while i panic'd with my head Sealed in Alginite :D

I was also helped by a few pointers i found:
About 5kg of paster is needed to fill the avreage head cast
The average head cast needs roughly 500-600g of alginite
The slow set alginaite sets very fast
Do not use Hot water with alginaite as it will set instantly
Breathing through a tube isnt fun at all :(

Its worth all the work tho when you have the Result :)

Always try to spray in a clean dust free envirement for a great finish, ALWAYS wear a mask and work in a well ventilated area.

Normally i use Plasticote Primer, Topcoat and Clear Sealant spray paint for a long lasting finish, Use the cans as directed and you cant go wrong :)

Now the most difficult part Bondo..

Bondo is just regular car bodywork filler its a mix this time of paste and hardener, once the Paste and hardener are mixed its pinkish in colour...
Bondo is used to fill the dips and dents on the sword to give it a smoother more level finish.

Once Mixed you spread the paste over the desired area and Skimm off any excess, then allow the mix to harden & sand down the rest for a good finish..

You repeat this over and over untill your satiffied with the finish or ran out of money for more bondo.
To bondo the whole the sword took me 3 evenings to complete (about 6-8 hours of power sanding).

Now its ready for primer and Painting :)

The Beginning of fiberglassing
Okay here comes the science part... lol not really
Basically you roughly trim the glass cloth using a normal pair of scisors to fit the surface area you wish to cover..

Then mix thoroughly the Resin and hardener, 8 seconds worth of Hardener per 50ml of resin, very roughly and this varies with outdoor temperatures....

Then paint the surface area in the Resin/Hardener Mix and lay the Glass cloth on top.
Then paint the same mix on top the glass cloth trying to ensure you create as few bubbles lumps and bumps as possiable...

Now for some sanding down by hand... well about 4-5 hours worth as powertools are too boysterous for Celotex (InsulationFoam) :s

After marking up my base i cut out the shape using a fully extended Stanley knife blade, now its ready for shaping.

After making my template i placed it on my base (Rigid Insulation Foam) and drew round my chosen side, i then flipped over the template and drew on the same side side to have both sides match.

First of all i study the reference from every available angle and Think about the best approach for getting the right shape. I then Drew out this template and cut it out, realizing it wasn't symmetrical i choose one side to use then flip it over.


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