April 20, 2010

Random Imagehosting :P

Vincent: Boots

I'm currently planning and trying to get ideas of how to make his boots.. What seemed easy and just hotgluing reinforced craft foam armor to the boot turned out to be a nightmare. My first attempt to recreate the boots, shown above, broke horribly and is torn to pieces now. Why?

I made a quick diagram of how a boot would act when walking.

The two red lines represents how the upper part of the boot will work when you take a step with the other foot and move your body forward. Without allowing for this kind of movement, you will not be able to walk at all. This also causes creases roughly where the yellow line, this will cause the boot part marked with the yellow line to become shorter, hence the armor part attached there have to be able to follow that movement somehow. It means you can't just hot glue it there.

The pink line represents the part of the boot that is bent when you take a step with the other foot again. The green lines indicates roughly how much movement that has to be allowed, roughly. A bit less might be possible but not much.

Another problem is the actual armor in front of the toes. For 20 years I've learnt how to walk in a specific way. When I walk normally, my toes does not hit the ground while the foot moves to take a new step. The problem is that in Advent Children, Vincent's boots are so long that it would add around 15cm spikey armor in front of his foot which causes a lot more trouble while walking than you'd think.

This piece of armor will not be made out of metal as I cannot work with it. I don't have any materials, tools or experience for working with sheet metal.. I'll somehow have to attach it to the boot so strongly that light hits won't cause it to fall off and also so sturdy to resist breaking if hit by something. I'll obviously not be able to kick a wall with it or so but at a con things gets hit a little bit regardless how careful you are.

Strength and decreased flimsyness at the price of lowered accuracy, but adapted to be working for human anatomy as opposed to a game's/movies' noneexistant rules for physics.

"Toe armor": To even nearly work the toe have to be decreased in length by a lot. It can be a maximum of 5cm in front of the boot for me, and atleast 1cm above the ground, preferably 2cm. This would allow for almost normal movements. To retain some of the correct dimensions the toe armor will have to be moved further in on the foot.

Mid foot armor: I'm thinking of modifying the pattern a bit here and move the middle armor further up the foot, as the toearmor was moved.

Ankle armor: This will be moved a bit further up the foot and be attached higher up, where the boot doesn't crease as much as it does where it's normally attached (see the yellow line on the reference picture way earlier).

Golden ring armor: If I can't find a sane way to do this... I'll just ignore it. It's impossible. That's right. The ring is whole, in 1 piece that goes all the way around the foot. It's also perfect fit against the skin. Now imagine trying to get that ring there. Your ankles are about twice as thick. It would have to be made in 2 separate parts, which I might just skip, but we'll see.

Attaching it all to the boot: I'm thinking of attaching the 3 armor pieces to a thin leather strap and then attach it to the boot with quite hard elastic bands.. perhaps this (not attaching them to the boot, but indirectly to the boot, and then the elasticity of the bands allowing the foot to move a bit. This could go horribly wrong but I'll give it a shot. Making new craft foam armor will take roughly one and a half week (~4-5 layers glue and 4-5 layers reinforcement on it's back, then 3-4 layers color and then polish on top...). Thinking of doing a quick guide on craftfoam armor but I'll decide that on a later date as I currently have a lot to do.

April 16, 2010

Vincent: Results&repair

A lot of the stuff I made was way to flimsy and not comfortable and sturdy enough to wear for a day at a con. I've planned a lot of changes, I've also ordered a pair of contact lenses. Dark red/orange with some black details on it. I hope they'll look alright but we'll see!

First of all the boots I made were completely destroyed by walking in them. I should have foreseen this, what a stupid thing to do. Oh well, trial and error. I'm going to make a version of that armor that is much more sturdy but at the cost of a bit of accuracy. Because of the way a real foot moves, as opposed to a foot in a game, you have to make certain adjustments.. But I'll think of a solution this weekend.

So far I'm really pleased with the results, and I have many things yet to perfect.

A picture of the finished claw. The armor on the back of the hand will be remade as it's not what I want it to be, the rest of it is good in my opinion. A fine piece of craftsmanship that took a lot of planning and effort

While there is a bunch of things left to do, that somewhat resembles Vincent so I'm satisfied. I'll work a lot on perfecting it but I'm proud of it, especially as it's my first costume.

Now to work on those boots again! I'm sure I'll find a way to sort it out.

April 11, 2010

Uppcon 2010

While the last day before "Uppcon10" was a nightmare, I finally got to go to the convent I had been waiting for. When I got there about 2000 people were in queue to enter and there were some technical issues with the tickets. I met a lot of nice nice cosplayers on the way in, among others I met a Reno and a Squall who are also from the Final Fantasy series which made it even more interesting.

Mistake #1: If you are worried if your cosplay will survive for long time at a con.. Don't wear it in the queue. Get the badge/armband/thing that gets you in without having to queue and THEN get it on. What a mistake. My bracer which was shining gold is now matte brown and the color has come off on a couple of places, but nothing you cannot repair. I'll just repaint it after sanding it down a little bit.

Mistake #2: Only considering appearance and not how comfortable/practical/sturdy the materials would be. I'll have to make several repairs, reinforcements and redesigning a couple of parts.

Mistake #3: Why the hell didn't I start a bit earlier and applied to join the cosplay competition.. It would have been a lot of fun!

But enough of mistakes! What about the success? The con overall was amazing and the people who were there were the best. I got so many compliments, ideas, dreams and inspirations on that one convent. I just can't believe how good some cosplayers there were. Beautiful wigs, wonderful props and perfect costumes.

I want to become one of the best and I really think I have a chance to create something others will be amazed of. Or I hope I do, I should say. After seeing so many others craft wonderful things, I can't wait to give it my all and try :)

I was not only inspired by other people but it appeared like others actually enjoyed my cosplay, even though it was my first time. Not only did they openly show their affection for the same character I like and cosplayed but they also gave me compliments, ideas and tips.

I got to speak to some of the best in swedish cosplay and have made several new friends that I'll be sure to meet again at some point! There is so much more to cons than just cosplay and the actual activities.. I like it.

Something I need though.. A really good less complicated outfit to wear as everyday wear.. I'm thinking of:

Syaoran from Tsubasa Chronicles. With a mokona on the shoulder, and perhaps a katana.. the one he got in episode 20, "Hien" or (red) flame. I could manage to do that.

Trying to think of other more everyday cosplays. Fairly easy to make, relatively light clothing (not naked nor 4 layers of clothes). Something you can wear a day at a con.

I'm also starting to think about other future cosplays.. If I was a girl I'd have cosplayed Sabre because she's just so awesome. That royal blue outfit, the silver armor, the excalibur he "traces" for her. Nah, I'm not going to crossplay. Hmmm. Which character to pick, among so many good ones.

I'm also thinking of a cool twin cosplay. As I'm a twin there are a bunch of interesting cosplays. Normal cosplays turns abnormal and cool when there are 2 twins cosplaying them. For example a Sora and and anti-Sora, or an Ichigo and a Hollow Ichigo.. or why not Syaoran and the dark Syaoran. Trying to think of a good one :I

April 8, 2010

The last day

Last day before the con, things are almost done now but it's really hectic.. Maybe it's always like this? I don't know ^^

The gloves are almost completed, 1 more layer of gold on the large armor plate on the back of your hand, as you can see it's not as shiny. It's taken in a weird perspective and the fingers appear longer in reality.

The glove is made from craft foam, glue and gold spray color. Quite flexible and allows for some movement though I'll find eating with it quite impossible. Everything now is basically done. Basically :I

I'll post some pictures of it all after this weekends convent I hope :)

It's not all quite finished and polished but it'll do.

April 5, 2010

Vincent: Capelet&bracer

I can't believe it.. From wonderful late spring back to mid-winter in one day? Yes, it's snowing AGAIN

Atleast it means I have a lot of time to finish my Vincent costume today. I made some progress on the "capelet", all the belts are now attached and all that's left is the claw, boots and holster.

That's the capelet.. But it gets all creasy and strange shaped when flattened against the table. The collar usually gets a rounder shape, like this:

Not that satisfied with how the belt decorations turned out, but they definately somewhat resemble vincents, although I should have done them differently with the cross being the highest part and the edges just highlighted with color and not built up with craftfoam. Overall it's still recognizable as Vincents clothing. It's not the little red riding hood, it's not Little My either, but definately Vincent!

That's the golden bracer I've been working on for some time now, many layers of glue, couple of layers of color. All that's left is a shining finish.. if I can find a good one. The one I had caused more of a matte finish for some reason. Why would that be? It made the gold look like a pale beige with a shining finish, not gold.

April 4, 2010

Vincent: Progress

Today have been such a fantastic day. It was the first really hot spring day, with the sun shining bright and warming, birds making sure it's never quiet and a glass of coke with a slice of lemon and plenty of ice. Imagining the 1 meter snow there was a week ago... nah, that must have been another country.

I spent all day "painting" glue again. The craftfoam armors glue is finally done! The boots and the claws layers of glue are thick and shiny. Hoping to spray paint them in gold tomorrow and another layer of gold the day after, not many days to Uppcon actually... It's so much still to do!
Craft foam is a wonderful material but I wish I had some practice with it before I started crafting these as they now are quite rough and some parts are far off what I wanted them to be... The worst surprise I got was when the first layer of glue shrunk the size of my perfect piece of armor I had made. Like 3-4h spent on modelling the craftfoam and then the glue which aparently shrinks when it hardens deformed the entire piece of armor. So for the rest of the pieces I used things to mold them on and made sure they stayed in shape by first reinforcing them while on the mold and THEN painting with glue. So many things to learn :O

The capelet is the second thing I worked on today, a lot of sewing and folding was done and I have settled on how to do with the belts. The decorations are almost fully painted and I did a first test of layout with half of the belts.
The belts are just lying on top of it and the decorations to be glued over the ends. It looks alright actually, the shoulders obviously looks bit weird as they are supposed to be on a person and not be flattened against a table and the collar looks a bit off when not circling a neck, but still it gives a decent overview! Note that the photo is taken with a poor cellphone camera that complete distorts all colors and lighting.. I really have to get a proper camera with a lense greater than 2mm.

One things I noticed in after is that the belts are a bit too thick, they should be around 1.5mml thick, and perhaps 18-20mm wide, not 2.5mm thick and 24mm wide. But oh well.

For tomorrow.. Time to paint some claws!

April 2, 2010

Vincent: Planning

Just like I said before, I'm currently working on a cosplay: Vincent Valentine, from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.I picked the movie Advent Children for it's huge sources of high definition images of Vincent's clothes and armaments.

I started last fall with closely watching the movie's every scene one by one and drawing concept art of all his clothes and wrote a list of all problems to solve. Here is one of the pictures I drew as concept art:

I faced many problem for one thing his left bracer (the gold one) would be impossible to put you hand through as your hand is wider than your forearm. So I'd have to make that a bit wider. Not only that but vincents legs are often shown completely out of scale compared to his upper body. But those kinds of issues are always hard to solve I suppose. So I'm not 6' tall no (that's 2m). Obviously my cosplay will be a shorter vincent, but by making the capelet and pants relatively tightly fitting to the body I can still achieve a reasonable Vincent I think :)

Vincent's costume is quite complex, including:
Poots: Black leather, golden armor (4 separate pieces)
Pants: Black leather, 2 belts, quite slim fit
Vest: Black leather, 3 belts (6 decorations), high collar (~8cm)
Left Claw+Bracer: Golden armor & claws attached to a black leather glove
Right Bracer+glove: Black Leather bracer with 3 belts attached, 3 decorations.
Cloak: A red long cloak, not that wide, roughly 3 times is shoulderwidth in the bottom of it. About 1 shoulderwidth at the top of the cloak.
Capelet: Red, high collar (14-15cm), reinforced to be a bit harder, 6 belts (2 collar, 4 chest, 12 decorations).
Cerberus: 3 barreled revolver, 1 hanging "cerberus" pendant.
Holster: Black leather, can see the barrel through the bottom end of it, in the Advent Children movie, the scene where he throws Cloud towards the nasty demon.
Wig: Long (just past shoulderblades), straightened. Relatively rough, to avoid female look. But still straight, absolutely not curly.
Bandana: 4 laps around the head + 20-25cm to tie it in the back. Might sew it :I

Now most of these are sorted, with the exception of:
- Styling the wig
- Sorting the bandana
- Sewing the holster
- Attaching belts to capelet
- Painting and attaching the last parts of armor for boots and claw

So like 3-4 days of work I guess. After that I'm done! Can't wait for Uppcon.

Couple of pics of the progress so far:

The right glove and bracer, the bracer made out of 3mm fake leather, and the belts out of 2mm real leather. The belt fasteners are bought but were painted silver, instead of golden like they originally were.

An early test of the craft foam claw, just layed out on top of the glove to see lengths. Will glue all parts on top of a thin leather strap which I then attach to the to the glove, to reduce the strain on it and ease movement. The parts are now painted in shining gold and are waiting to be attached to the glove, pictures of that later. Not that pleased with the finish but oh well, trial and error!

A picture of my try to recreate the "Cerberus", his threebarelled revolver. The triggers are outright bad andsome other things are inacurate, but overall.. There's no doubt about that it's the cerberus. This piece is also painted as of a few weeks back, dark silver body, golden triggers and dark brown sides to the handle.


It's my first blog and I don't have any experience at all at blogging but I'll try to keep it from being boring. A lot of pictures, and a lot of what I like and don't like.

This blog will mostly be about cosplay and what I currently want to do, is doing and is going to do. Some of my experiences, goals and dreams are also stories to be told. I'll mostly stay on topic (cosplay) but will sometimes deviate from this and talk about some of my other hobbies and ofc things closely related to cosplay like movies, anime and manga. Or anything else I feel like at the time really ^^

But who are YOU? (Sigh, lifestories..)
I am born, and currently living, in Sweden and I'm 20 years old. Currently only working part-time which is perfect for such a time consuming hobby as cosplay. Wouldn't mind a full-time job but for now this'll do..

I'm currently living with my mother and twin brother but will move out eventually, I'm considering going to a university though and saving money for it as being in depth is just not my thing.. If I get a fulltime job I'm definately moving to an apartment though, and possibly sharing it with my twin brother for the first year or so but we'll see. It all depends on the money, as usual.

Moving on from boring lifestories
My favorite game series is Final Fantasy and as such my first cosplay will be Vincent Valentine. I'm in the process of crafting everything right now and will be done in about a week, more on that later! I'm also watching quite a bit of anime and some of my favorites are Vampire Knight, Tsubasa Chronicles, Fate/stay night, Wolfs Rain, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ouran Host Club and a few others :)

I'm also listening to a lot of music. It varies a lot.. Everything from Original Soundtracks from Lord of the Rings, Naruto and Final Fantasy to Queen, Iron Maiden and a variety of musicals like "Chess". I basically always listen to music, especially if I'm working on my costumes or working at home.

Another thing I love to do, however masculine it might be.. Cooking. I just love cooking. If there is one thing I could not live without, its got to be good food. The best thing with cooking is that you can cook whatever you want and change the flavor to how your mood is today. I really enjoy contrasts, like a really hot curry with mild banana in it or why not a mexican taco pie with sour cream? I also make delicious desserts, here are a couple of my favorites that I've cooked myself:

Crème Brûlée, french dessert. Amazing. An awesome vanilla flavored cream, with a touch of the flavor you got by melting the thin layer of sugar on top of it. My favorite desert by MILES. It's amazing. If you havn't done it right or have eaten some half assed crap at a supposed luxury restaurant, it's nothing like this.

White chocolate Mousse? Cream and white chocolate. Couldn't be easier. You do it the day before, put it in the fridge. When it's supposed to be eaten, just whip the cream fluffier and it's ready. Serve with raspberry sauce (home made, be sure to remove the stone-line seeds in them if you can).

No idea what the english word for this would be, but a direct translation would make it "Toffee cookies". Basically it's cookies that are made from syrup, flour, sugar, vanilla and butter! They are just so good.

These are just some of the many good things I make and I truly enjoy it. One of the best things there are is when someone complements what you are proud of, for me.. That's my cooking. When someone you know or like sais that they really like the food you made.. it's just so satisfying and comforting :)

But enough of food, I'm getting hungry now. Time to go downstairs and make something for dinner!