Theorycrafting: Thresh Cosplay 1/26/2013

Hey everyone and welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!

This series features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay.  My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.

As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters (from any series/game, etc) you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^

This week’s character is: Thresh (Classic Skin, League of Legends)

Thresh, the Chain Warden

Thresh, the Chain Warden

Thresh was a jailer in Valoran hundreds of years ago, famed for his sadism and his love of chains. He tormented his prisoners to madness and death for years, until one night when they all broke loose and hanged him from his own chains. He returned as a dark spirit, stalking across the land in search of souls to steal away. No one knows what his new purpose is, or why he’s chosen to join the League of Legends, but everyone remembers the children’s rhyme: Cling clang, go the chains, Someone’s ’bout to find you, Cling clang, oh the chains, The Warden’s right behind you….

Thresh is one of the creepiest champions in League of Legends, and it’s a really important aspect of this costume. How you carry yourself will make or break this costume, but it’s also really important to make sure that the headpiece and scythe are intimidating. The movement of the chains is also a big part of the costume, so make sure that the stiff parts don’t move and the supple parts do. Getting the color scheme right is also important, otherwise the costume will look silly.

Head:

I imagine starting out making a base ski mask-like hood out of a green stretch fabric that covers your head and neck.  You can probably leave the eyes and mouth open so that you can easily see and breathe.  Breathing is a good thing.

Head Reference pic

Head Reference pic

Once you have the hood made, you can create the green particle effect with translucent cellophane, or the clearish stuff they use for gift baskets and flowers.  I would use mostly green cellophane, but also include a little bit of blue, yellow, and clear cellophane and crinkle it a little to create a more dynamic look.  Once the cellophane is attached to the hood, I would rig up some LEDs or EL wire around the base of your neck and perhaps integrate some lights in between the cellophane sheets.  I would also rig up some LED’s around your eyes and mouth to make them glow.  You’ll also want to black out (or green-out, whichever looks better) around your eyes and mouth so that you don’t have your skin color peeking through.

The base mask/face portion could be created out of any number of materials.  You could cast the base with plaster (discussed previously in Nutcracko Theorycraft), or you could use paper mache, clay, fosshape, etc.  It’s entirely up to you.  Since the jaw is not directly attached to the upper portion of the face, you could link it with something like fishing line to keep it in place.

For the head chains (I guess that’s what they’re called?) I would start out with creating a base from segments of PVC pipe.  If you need it to bend, you can use fittings or heat the pipe over an open flame and bend it that way.  Between each of the segments, there is a glowing portion, so I would insert a small section of clear plexiglass pipe with an LED in it!  I think this would make for an awesome effect!

Additionally, once the PVC base is put together, I would apply and carve expanding foam (Tutorial by Kamui) to each segment so that you get a more custom shape to make it look like bone and have flares on each end.

Coat:

For the base fabric, I would go with a heavy, utilitarian material such as canvass or wool.  Basically, something that hangs really well.  Colors would be a really dark grayish-blue and a dark purple.

Reference Pic (from Lolking.net)

Reference Pic (from Lolking.net)

For the edging/chain-like portions, I would do the same pvc-expanding foam segment method as it was for the head, save for the plexiglass pipe, since these bone segments don’t glow.  Instead, I would install links made with either wire, or chain segments between the ends of two segments.  I would not, however, thread them together like beads, since I think the joins would be too loose and floppy.  However, for the coat tails, I may thread the segments together with a stiff wire after they are attached together so that they can hold the semi-suspended curve shape.

Once you have it threaded together and painted, I would finally attach/sew the segments to the coat with fishing line or some other clear thread so that they can shift a bit so you can breathe and so that it moves a bit with the fabric, but does not come loose.

For some of the segments, specifically the one going down the middle of the coat tails, you might want to consider carving/forming them out of sheet insulation foam, cutting them in half, and then sandwiching the fabric between two halves.

Coat Reference Pic (from Lolking.net)

Coat Reference Pic (from Lolking.net)

Likewise, for the skulls, I would recommend either carving them out of insulation foam or forming them with worbla.

Lastly, for the collar of the coat, I would probably form it with fosshape to make it really nice and stiff, then covering it with fabric.  Since the edging is so unique I would use friendly plastic over the fabric to shape it and then paint the friendly plastic.

Boots:

For the boot armor, I would go out and find a pair of black shoes and then build the armor to fit around them and your leg.  For materials, I would probably use either wonderflex or worbla since they are sturdy materials, and will give a really nice finish.  You could also probably use EVA foam, styrene, or fiberglass, but I think the wonderflex/worbla would be easiest to work with and give the nicest results.  I would not use craft foam, as it breaks really easily, especially when it’s close to a joint or other high stress area of the body.

Hands:

The hands appear to be armored, so, as with the boots, I would recommend building them with wonderflex or worbla over a green or black glove.  The painting for the hands will be key, as there’s a lot of gradient color going on and color choice will matter.  Try to keep the colors consistent with the other glowing areas of the costume.

Weapons:

I would use the same pvc-expanding foam and wire/chain joint method as I described above for the flexible chain portions of the scythe and lantern.

Lantern:

For the lantern, itself, I would probably create a pvc pipe base frame and later embellish it with the expanding foam method.

As for the openings/glowing inside, I can’t quite tell if there are supposed to be panes of glass or not.

If you interpret that there is glass, you can probably create a groove in the pvc pipe and slide in panes of plexiglass.  In this case, I would make sure that the top of the lantern could be taken off so that you can access the inside to install and manage lights and cellophane.

If you don’t think there are glass panes, then I would install a plexiglass tube/post down the middle of the lantern and build off of it for your lights and cellophane glow effects.

Scythe:

There are a number of ways to create the scythe depending on your skill set and budget.  I would aim to make it light, since you’ll be carrying it around all the time and the lantern will probably be a bit heavy.  That being said, I would not recommend building it out of wood.  I would probably lean towards a pvc pipe base for the handle with expanding foam over that to get the unique shape, and then sheet insulation foam (or expanding foam) with a supporting core for the blade.

That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Thresh cosplay.  If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, if you want more, check me out online at my Facebook Page or via Twitter.

Theorycrafting: Lulu Cosplay 1/19/2012

Hey everyone and welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!

This series features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay.  My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.

As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters (from any series/game, etc) you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^

This week’s character is: Lulu (Classic Skin, League of Legends)

Lulu, the Fae Sorceress

Lulu, the Fae Sorceress

Intro:

Lulu (3D Model 1, 3D Model 2) is an imaginative young yordle. She spent most of her childhood wandering in the forest around Bandle City, which is how she met her best friend Pix, the faerie. Pix was fascinated by Lulu’s childish imagination, so he invited her to the Glade, the home of faeries. Lulu stayed there with Pix for a long time playing faerie games, until it was time for her to go home. When she got home, however, she found that centuries had passed in Bandle City and, in fact, nobody wanted to play faerie games with her. With nowhere else to go, Lulu decided to join the League of Legends, where her talents would be appreciated.

Personally, Lulu is one of my favorite characters in League of Legends. She’s really fun to play, and I’ve been thinking of how to make a costume of her ever since she came out. Plus, you know…SQUIRREL!!!

With this costume, it’s important to keep the sense of scale without dwarfing yourself. Lulu’s hat and staff are huge compared to her, but she also has a proportionately big head, so try to strike a balance between the two. Coordinating the colors between the hat, robe, wig, and makeup is also really important to make a continuous effect. Smaller people would do really well in this costume, especially if it were paired with a Veigar cosplay. ^_^

Some people have already done Lulu cosplays and it is so fun to see them!  Two Lulu cosplays that I particularly like, are shown below:

Lulu Cosplay by SlaughterTM (http://slaughtertm.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5fqao9)

Lulu Cosplay by SlaughterTM 

I really like SlaugherTM‘s Lulu, because she made very good fabric choices.  I love the texture of the velvet material and it’s nicely offset by the more cotton-like material that she used for the purple stripes.  She also did an excellent job with the hat.  The scale is well thought out so that it is big and maintains the silhouette, but is not so big as to dwarf her features.

Lulu Cosplay by KiraHokuten (http://kirahokuten.deviantart.com/art/Lulu-322706327)

Lulu Cosplay by KiraHokuten

KiraHokuten‘s Lulu is another example of a very well made cosplay.  Her fabric choices, though different from SlaughterTM’s in material and color choice, still come together very well.  Again, the hat is very well made and the scale reads well with Kira Hokuten’s features and the rest of the costume.  All in all, a very well made cosplay.

With these examples in mind, I will now go through how I would approach creating Lulu.

Dress:

Lulu’s dress has a very particular shape, so you’ll want to plan for creating some form of stiffened or hoop skirt.  If you go with a hoop, I would place it at the bottom edge so that you get the swoop and triangle-esque angle of the skirt.  If you can, you may want to install the hoop between the outer layer and an inner lining.

For the hoop, I would consider using a stiff steel wire for it so that it doesn’t create a huge bulge, like pvc pipe or a hula hoop would.

Pants:

Since there is a difference between the splash art and in-game model for the design and look of Lulu’s pants, I think that you could either make your own pantaloons or use leggings.  Either way, I would go for either a dark green or a dark brown, depending on your preference.

Shoes:

Lulu’s shoes have a uniquely shaped upturned toe, so you may want to makeyour own shoes, modify an existing pair, or create boot covers.  I would personally go with one of the first two options.  If you decide to make the shoes from scratch, you could scavenge soles from a pair of flats and build off of that.

For the material, I would go for a soft, dark brown deerskin.  If you want a less expensive material, a dark brown canvas may work well.

Hat:

The hat could possibly be the trickiest thing to construct for this costume because of the odd shape and the issue of scale.  On the one hand, it needs to be big, but you don’t want to dwarf your own features by creating a huge hat.

Lulu Hat Reference Pic (Lolking.net)

Lulu Hat Reference Pic (Lolking.net)

With that said, I would probably use Fosshape to create the base form of the hat since it’s a really light material, which will certainly be nice since the hat is so big!

You could theoretically use other materials, such as insulation foam or just fabric with some interfacing.  The problem is that insulation foam would get a bit too clunky and be heavier than the fosshape, since it won’t be hollow, it will have that extra weight and will also be hotter to wear than the fosshape.  As for using just fabric with wire and interfacing, you could probably do it, but it runs the risk of not being stiff enough and the hat could get crushed and lose its shape.

For the lacing on the front of the hat, I would use a brown leather cord.

Fabrics:

Since most of this costume uses the same fabrics for different items, I’ll write a section on fabric choices!  ^_^

I would ideally use velvet for the reddish portions, but if you look closely, the main reddish fabric is actually a gradient between red and purple and velvet does not dye well.  In the case of including the color gradient, which I think would be really good to include in the costume since it adds another color dimension, you’ll want to go with a rich looking natural fiber fabric (so that you can dye it).

I would make the sleeves custom, either out of a velvet if you went the gradient dying route on the main dress or a knit cotton if you used velvet for the main dress.  This is so that there is another layer and differentiation in texture

I think a gold satin or silk would work well for the detailing and lining.  Be careful with the color choices for the gold, though, since I don’t think just a yellow or a bright gold would give the best effect.  I think a darker, antique gold color would work particularly well.

Staff:

There are a number of different methods and materials you could use for Lulu’s staff.  You could use pvc or a thick wooden dowel (or wooden broom handle!) as a base.  For the bulkier parts, you could use all sorts of materials like paper mache, insulation foam, expanding foam, wood, or you could mold and cast it if you’re feeling brave.  I would personally consider using the expanding foam method (explained in the expanding foam tutorials by Kamui Cosplay) and be sure to incorporate a woody grain, bark texture to the staff.

Pix!

I think you could make Pix out of any number of materials and the decision of how to make Pix is up to you.  You could make a plush or a hard, sculpted form.  As for how to incorporate Pix into the costume, you could perch him on the hat, your shoulder, or staff.  You could also hold him or rig up a clear line or post and attach him to the hat or shoulder, etc so that he appears to be floating.

Body Paint:

There is a lot of discussion and forum posts on sites, such as cosplay.com about body paints, such as which ones to use and how to make sure that they don’t rub off, etc.  I would just make sure to not just paint your face and hands a straight blue.  You’ll want to add in highlights and some other colors, such as purples to help contour your face.

If you want to see some really good League of Legends themed make-up tutorials that address these issues, check out Makeup Disguise’s posts on Glamerous Gamer Girls!

Miscellaneous Suggestions:

I would suggest using a long, wavy purple wig (much like this one from Arda-Wigs) rather than a straight wig.  It will give the costume a little more bouncy, fun movement.

Definitely make the bag!  Not only will it be useful to carry things around in, but you can also put things like glitter and fairy dust in it!

If you don’t have green eyes, you may want to consider obtaining contacts since the extra detail can really help make the character “pop”.  If you don’t need glasses, you can just get them at 0.0 strength so that they’re purely cosmetic.

 

That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Lulu cosplay.  If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, if you want more, check me out online at my Facebook Page or via Twitter.

 

Theorycrafting: Draven Cosplay 1/12/2013

Hey everyone and welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!

This series features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay.  My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.

As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters (from any series/game, etc) you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^

This week’s character is: Draven (Classic Skin, League of Legends)

Draven, the Glorious Executioner

Draven, the Glorious Executioner

 

Draven (3D Model) is the brother of  the Hand of Noxus, the leader of the city-state’s military forces, but Draven never cared for the rigid discipline of the regiments. He craved personal glory and the adoration of the crowds, so he left the  military to become an executioner. He soon turned his prisoners’ deaths into sadistic spectacles, giving them a chance to run before he cut them down with a perfectly thrown axe. The masses of Noxus loved Draven’s shows, which in turn fed his narcissism. Eventually Draven left Noxus to pursue his ultimate goal: turning the League of Legends into the League of Draaaaaaaaaaven.

Draven’s character is flashy and spectacular, so it’s especially important with this costume to have a strong silhouette. You could also add a few details of your own to this costume if you think it would improve the effect–more flair and shine would be in keeping with Draven’s character, as long as you don’t overwhelm the original costume. Here’s some early concept art to give you some ideas:

Draven Concept Art

Draven Concept Art

 

Mantle:

I’ve thought about this part of the costume a fair bit and I think that keeping the stiffness, shape, and thickness are all really important components.  I don’t think you can quite get the right effect with just fabric alone, but it isn’t quite armor.

Thus, I think that I would use EVA foam (Tutorial) to give a base thickness and shape to the mantle.  Once the base form is complete, I would cover it over with fabric and have the main seam/clasp down the center on the chest area.

For the furred portion, I would add in some upholstery foam on top of the EVA foam to create the slight hump and definition that the fur has.

For the belts/straps, I would use a dark brown leather since I think it will create a nice transition from the cool mantle color the the warm reds on the rest of the costume.

Arms:

For the spiky bicep circles and bracers, I would consider mixing materials.  I think I would use EVA foam for the base circle since it’s a thick material.  I would then sculpt the spikes out of clay or some other material that you may be more comfortable with.  The other, more expensive option would be to use Worbla and/or Wonderflex.  The Worbla would make sculpting the spikes fairly easy, but you will have to use more material for the base to make it thicker.  It would be up to you if you prioritize budget or ease and uniformity of material.

I would gravitate towards a stretch maroon fabric that feels fairly sturdy for the fabric portion of the arms.   A stretch knit may work well.  I don’t think that spandex would work well for this character since it tends to have a bit of a weird sparkle to it.  When you purchase this fabric, make sure to account for the belt/waist band as well, since I think they are the same material.

For the gloves, you could make them out of a black leather and white quilted fabric for the palm, or you could try and find similar looking sporting gloves and remove any logos that are on them.  If you aren’t so concerned with accuracy, you can just use a pair of black gloves.

Lastly, I think that I would make the fastening/straps out of leather and install buckles.  If that’s out of your budget, there are other fastening options out there, such as D-rings or velcro.

Pants:

I think that the base pants are a softer, more comfortable fabric and fairly snug (but not quite skinny jeans).  You could either find similar pants or you can make them.  On the thighs, I would use a quilted fabric on top of the base pants so that it gives more dimension to the line of the pants.

The belt buckle could be made of any number materials, depending on what materials you are comfortable working with.  I would personally consider Wonderflex or Worbla.

Boots:

I would start with a base black shoe and then build the armor pieces to cover them and your lower leg.

I would, once again, recommend using Wonderflex or Worbla for this portion (Kamui’s Tutorial and Volpin’s Tutorial on Wonderflex).  You can create sturdy armor pieces and make them segmented so that they flex with your leg.  As a note, the front shin portion of the armor is a separate piece from the back of the calf.

For attachments, you can use buckles for the calf armor.  A strap can also be used for the top of the shin piece, but you can also have velcro on the calf armor’s lower strap to stick to the inside of the shin armor and keep it from sticking out.

Axes:

To make the axes, I would take a stroll through your local hardware store’s plumbing section to find a pvc fitting that spins.  I know that they are out there, I just don’t know what they are called.  Once you find this piece, you will want to install a handle in the center.

After this, you’ll want to install a support post for the blade and then build the blade around it.  Insulation foam (Tutorial) may be the easiest material to create the blade with.

 

That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Draven cosplay.  If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, if you want more, check me out online at my Facebook Page or via Twitter.

Theorycrafting: Veigar Cosplay 1/5/2013

Hey everyone!  Happy New Year and welcome back to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!  I took some time off at the end of 2012 to spend the holidays with family, but now I’m back and will resume weekly updates.

This series features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay.  My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.

As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters (from any series/game, etc) you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^

This week’s character is: Veigar (Classic Skin, League of Legends)

Veigar_Splash_01

Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil

Veigar is a creature whose diminutive stature belies his vast magical power. As a young yordle he was imprisoned for years by the Noxians, whose torments slowly drove him mad. Finally he escaped and fled to the far reaches of Valoran, where he began to study dark magic under any who would accept him as a student. Now he seeks to bring the entire world beneath the heel of his size 2 boot.

The most important aspect of this costume is maintaining the sense of scale about Veigar. He’s a tiny character, so this costume would be perfect for a child or someone who’s naturally very short, but if someone taller wanted to make this costume I would suggest that they pay special attention to keeping the costume properly proportioned.

Main Body:

The main body will probably take the semblance of a robe with a short hoop skirt.  First off, for the hoop, if you wanted, you could just use a hula hoop, but I think I would make a custom hoop out of pvc, since the hem of his robe isn’t quite circular.

Model Reference Pic (Please ignore the upskirt :P )

Model Reference Pic (Please ignore the upskirt :P )

You can create the custom bends in the pvc with fittings  and bending with heat (heat gun or open flame).

Once the hoop is created, you can sew together the rest of the robe.  I would consider using a dark blue velvet and then weathering it a bit.

After the fabric is all put together, I would use EVA foam for the metal detailing/trim, since it’s a thicker material, light, and will give a pretty good finish.

For the spikes, you could make them out of foam, thermoplastics, sculpy, casting, other clays, etc.  Whatever method works for you!  ^_^

You will probably want to use interfacing to stiffen the collar.

Hat:

I think I would use Fosshape to make the base form of the hat since it is a unique shape.  Fosshape can also become quite stiff after shaping, so I think it will hold the shape quite well.  (Fosshape Tutorial [Note: you can also use a heat gun if you don't have a steamer])  You can then cover it over with the blue velvet and do the same kind of detailing for the metal portions as you did for the robe.

Face:

I think I would create a black hood, kind of like a ski mask out of a stretch material (probably spandex).  I would also have yellow tinted goggles (probably with yellow LEDs on the inside of them as well) underneath the spandex so that once the hood is on, they poke out.

Shoes:

I would start with a flat shoe and then build up the rest of the armor over the base shoe.  I think I would consider using wonderflex or fosshape for the shoe since you want some flexibility, but also strength so that they don’t break.

Weapon:

For Veigar’s staff, you would probably use either a wooden rod or pvc pipe as a base.  PVC will be lighter, but it will be easier to carve/shape the taper with wood.  For the bulkier portions, I would use sheet insulation foam (tutorial) as the base material.  I would attach the spikes afterward or have the spikes attached before putting the foam on for a sturdier end product.

Model Reference Pic

Model Reference Pic

I would probably use clear plastic, much like the way I used it for the horn on Sejuani’s helmet, for the yellow crystal.  Here is another tutorial for making hollow, glowing crystals by Kohalu Cosplay.

To make the yellow crystal float, you can have it attached to the main handle with a clear rod to make it look like it floats.

The Gloves:

The larger of the two gloves will be the most difficult part of this costume to build, I think, because the awesome part would be to make it so that you can articulate the fingers!

To start, I would probably make an inner frame for the glove with pulley articulation, much like the one in this video.  You will have to modify the design for 3 fingers instead of 4, but this gives a very base idea.  It is a simple pulley system hooked up to your own fingers.

The next step will be to create an exoskeleton for the hand/fingers and make it big enough for your own hand to fit and move around in the palm area.  You can probably use wonderflex or insulation foam for the exoskeleton.

Once the exoskeleton is built, you can finish it with paint, fabric, and thicker foam/spike detailing.

For the smaller glove, I would start with a black or blue velvet glove that fits your hand and then build the armor plates over it.  You may not want to build armor pieces over the pads of your fingers so that you can still grip your staff, but it’s up to you.

That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Veigar cosplay.  If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, if you want more, check me out online at my Facebook Page or via Twitter.

Theorycrafting: Nutcracko Shaco 12/15/2012

Hey everyone!  Welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!  This series will be updated weekly and features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay.  My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.

As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^

In celebration of the winter holidays,

this week’s character is: Nutcracko Shaco (Holiday Skin, League of Legends)

Shaco, the Demon Jester

Shaco, the Demon Jester

Shaco (3D Model) is an embodiment of madness and dark humor, a jolly assassin without a conscience or a care.  He relies on stealth and deception to sleigh his targets, but he always makes sure his victims get the joke. Those who encounter him had best laugh, or feel his wreath.

Overall, this Shaco skin should be a fairly simple costume to make.  You could go for creating a simple costume, or there is quite a bit of room to add details and embellishments to the design.

The most difficult thing will be patterning, but I think that hurdle can be overcome by customizing already existing patterns and perhaps using the duct tape patterning method (discussed previously in the Fiora Theorycraft).

Coat:

I imagine that the main fabric for the coat would be either a simple medium/heavy cotton, or a low sheen heavy satin, as it is a military uniform.  I would not use a costume satin or velvet because the texture and shine would be too rich, though you could use a shinier fabric for a lining.

For the shoulders of the coat, you could use some interfacing to make the points stiffer and add in some padding so that they keep their shape.  You may also want to think about adding in elastic at the wrists to keep them close, but also elastic so that you can get your hand through.  Or you could just use buttons!  ^_^

For the coat “tails”, I think the important thing is to keep them stiff, but flexible.  Here are a few ways that I can think of to achieve this effect.

The least expensive option would be to use wire  or a combination of wire mesh and batting to stiffen up the coat tails and bend them to the right shape.  The thing is, is that the coat tails will become too easily bent out of shape, and once bent, they will be harder to get back into the proper shape.

Interfacing may also be an option if you layer it thicker at the top of the coat tail and thin it out at the tip.  I don’t know how feasible this option would be, but it may run the risk of not giving you the right starting curve for the coat tail.

Another option would be to reinforce the coat tails with Fosshape (Tutorial).  It would form and harden into the right shape and you could cover it over easily with the coat fabric.  The only thing that I would be worried about would be if it had enough flex and bounce.

The last option that I can think of right now would be using a combination of wonderflex/fosshape and interfacing.  The thermoplastic would be formed up towards the top of the coat tail to add some initial stiffness and shape.  Then, as you continue down the coat tail, you would thin out the plastic reinforcement and shift over to interfacing towards the tip of the coat tail.

I think that the coat would be a wonderful place to add in your own embellishments for the costume through button buttons, cording, edges, etc.  You could even add in little jingle bells at the tips of the coat tails!

Pants:

I would make the pants custom since they have a unique shape and line to them, kind of like the old fashioned riding breeches, but not quite.  I think that a microsuede fabric or a knit fabric might do really well for the pants since it is shorter than velvet but will also give the pants a different texture from the coat.

Although Shaco’s character has really poofy pants, I would go for a slightly baggier or vintage riding pant look.  I think it will look better and a bit less cartoony.  If you wanted to stick to the character, though, you could add in a tighter fit lining and put stuffing between the lining and outer fabric to maintain the poof.

Boots:

There are a few options for the boots, depending on what you want to do or what your budget is.  You could make boot covers (with either faux leather or real leather, depending on budget), modify existing boots, or make your own.   It all depends on how intense you want to go.  I think I would personally either modify existing boots and try to match leather colors as close as I can.

Hat:

I think I would definitely use Fosshape for the hat, since it is a light, easy material to work with, but it will also stiffen up and keep its shape well.

Face:

For the face mask, I would personally start with a plaster base and cast your own face so that you know it will fit well.  Some people have asked me if it’s hard to do, but it is actually really simple!  All you need is plaster cloth, which is gauze with plaster on it, and then cast it to your own face.  You can usually find it at a craft store, such as Michael’s or AC Moore.  It’s safe and really simple to do.  I’ve used this method to cast my face for my GLaDOS and Orianna masks.  Here are the steps.

 What you will need: mirror, plaster cloth, Vaseline, and water.

    1. Cover your hair and coat your face (especially your eyebrows and facial hair) in Vaseline so that the plaster doesn’t stick to it when you take the cast off.
    2. Make the desired face you want to cast (usually your best neutral face)
    3. Cut strips of the plaster cloth
    4. Dip a plaster cloth strip in warm water and apply it to your face (leave holes around your nostrils and/or mouth so that you can breathe)
    5. Repeat steps C and D until your face is covered with 2-4 layers
    6. Wait and don’t move your face for at least 1 hour
    7. Gently pry off the cast and let harden/dry for 24 hours
    8. Rinse off the nasty Vaseline and plaster bits from your face

If you want, you can enlist a friend to help you out, especially if you want the plaster to go over your eyes (so you can drill out eye holes after).

Once you have the starting cast, you can build off of it to create features that you want and smooth out the face.  You can polish up the eyes/insert clear plastic for eye covers if you want.

I usually end up using paper clay for sculpting facial features since you can sand it down to get a nice finish, though you have to be careful not to use too much water, as the plaster will soften. Paper clay can also get heavy, so if you have a particularly large feature (like Shaco’s chin), you may want to think about making a base wire mesh form, putting plaster over that, and then using paper clay as the final detail/finish so that it is hollow.

Weapons:

There are a variety of materials out there that you could make the weapons out of.  If you want them to be light, you could use a wooden dowel and insulation foam (Tutorial) or paper mache.  On the other hand, if you have access to the tools, you could make them out of wood.  It is ultimately up to you to decide what materials fit with your own interests and budget.

That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Nutcracko cosplay.  If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, if you want more, check me out online at my Facebook Page or via Twitter.

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