Theorycrafting: Ezreal Cosplay 12/8/2012

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. ^_^

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

Ezreal, the Prodigal Explorer

Ezreal, the Prodigal Explorer

A genius gifted with latent magical abilities, Ezreal (3d model) always loved exploration and discovery, though his expeditions often led him into trouble. Eventually he was hired as the official explorer of his city-state, so he could continue his dream job with official permission. On one of his expeditions into a long-forgotten tomb, he discovered a mystical gauntlet which let him tap into his magical ability, but at the cost of being summoned to the Fields of Justice. Now he spends his time enthusiastically delving into ancient ruins and reluctantly fighting as a champion in the League of Legends.

I have gotten a few requests to tackle how I would go about making Ezreal, so here it is!

Thoughts on Existing Ezreal Cosplays:

A lot of people have created Ezreal fairly well from articles of clothing that they already own, made, or scrounged, so Ezreal has the potential to be a fairly easy, inexpensive costume to make.  One of the versions of Ezreal that I have seen and particularly like this one by Kohalu Cosplay:

Ezreal Cosplay by Kohalu Cosplay

Ezreal Cosplay by Kohalu Cosplay

I think that Kohalu, particularly, was able to get the silhouette and pants right, which really helped with the overall feel of the costume.  Also, can you believe that he made the gauntlet out of paper?!?

Here is another example of a very well done Ezreal  (I wish I knew who the cosplayer is!):

Ezreal cosplay: Cosplayer  Unknown

Ezreal cosplay: Cosplayer Unknown

In this version, the cosplayer did a good job with the jacket and glove, in particular.  The detail really helps to make the costume pop and seem real.

There are already a lot of good Ezreal cosplays out there.  The following would be my approach to take creating Ezreal a step further and to make him really come to life, so this way will be more expensive and time consuming than most Ezreal cosplays.

Pants:

The material of choice for the pants would be denim or a sturdy canvas-like material.  Since Ezreal is an explorer, it would make sense that his pants are made from a very durable, rough and tumble material.   I would make sure to go for a darker blue material.

I think that getting the line and shape of the pants is important since they aren’t just a regular flared leg.  I would create the entire pant leg as a whole and then add the calf belts afterwards, and securing them to the pant leg along the inside seam so that they don’t slip.

Ezreal Pants Ref from Lolking.net

Ezreal Pants Ref from Lolking.net

Including the patches/rips and mends are important to include as well to visually relate Ezreal’s character and personality.  If you wanted to, you could also add in some weathering and dirt/grunge.

Shirt/neck warmer:

There is a discrepancy in the color of Ezreal’s between the available artwork and his in-game model.

For the shirt, I would personally go for a steel grey-blue, a little lighter than his pants so that there is some differentiation between the color.  I think that a knit, soft wool (like a wool undershirt) would work well as a material choice.

The neck warmer/scarf thing may work well as a cream or beige color rather than a stark white or a dark blue.  I think going for a blue would make the costume a bit too monochromatic, but pure white would be too stark of a contrast and wouldn’t quite work for an explorer mapping out underground tunnels.  I would think of using a thicker, soft fabric, like flannel, but not quite.  A soft wool may work well.

Hair:

Although Ezreal’s hair in the in-game model is bright yellow, I would go for a natural blonde because, in my opinion, bright yellow hair is a bit off-putting.  I think that the Derek wig from Arda Wigs would work really well as a starting style in Ash, Platinum, or Light blonde.

That being said, if you already have blonde hair at about the right length, style and work with it!  It will be awesome.

Goggles:

There are a number of options for the goggles.  If you wanted, you could purchase some steampunk goggles in a similar style or make your own.  If you start with a base of swimming goggles or similar shaped safety or welding goggles and then build/sculpt off of them.  I think welding goggles will give you the closest base shape and you can probably switch out the lenses so that you can actually see out of them.

Jacket and Belts:

Leather.  I would definitely use leather to custom make the belts and jacket for this project as it allows for a sturdy feel and you can emboss the leather to create rich details.  I also think that it would be awesome to include blue EL sheeting to make the pattern on the back of the jacket glow!

As a warning, this would be the most expensive portion of the costume as leather can get pricey for the materials.

Since I don’t have the time or space to describe all aspects of leather working in this article, I will leave you some really useful links for tutorials and materials.

Materials and Tools: Tandy Leather Factory

Hand Stitching: Tutorial 

Embossing/Tooling: Info and Tutorials

Leather Dying: Tutorial

Ok, so I would use tooling leather (probably economy for budget).  Once you have the leather cut and sewn together, you would tool/emboss it.  Since tooling leather comes in its natural color, you would then dye it to the desired color using a water based leather dye (water based dyes leave the leather more supple than other dyes).  I would add in the buckles, studs, and grommets/rivets at the end.

To care for the leather, there are quite a few leather cleaning products out there.  If you want to keep the leather supple, use neatsfoot oil.

Glove:

I have seen the glove made a number of different ways, from paper, to leather, to armor!  It’s ultimately up to you to decide what you think the glove is actually made of, but I think I would go for a base of leather with an armor feel.

Basically, what I would do is take two layers of leather and sandwich a layer of formed wonderflex between the two (much like how I made the arm brace for Sejuani) for the top of the hand and the wrist flares.  This would help keep the shape and keep the leather stiff.

If you made the glove this way, you could also cast the glowing dome in resin (tutorial by Kamui Cosplay) and attach it to the wonderflex before the layer of leather is put on.  You would cut a hole in the leather for the gem to come through and it would look like the gem was set into the glove rather than just resting on top of it.

That pretty much sums up how I would go about creating an Ezreal 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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Theorycrafting: Irelia Cosplay 12/1/2012

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. ^_^

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

irelia

Irelia, the Will of the Blades

Irelia (3d Model) is the daughter of a master swordsman and a citizen of the besieged city-state of Ionia.  In a desperate last stand against invaders from the city-state Noxus, Irelia was mortally wounded and collapsed. Another champion, Soraka, managed to heal her, and when she stood up her father’s mystical blades began floating next to her. She won the battle for Ionia, and afterward was awarded her floating headdress, which is Ionia’s highest military decoration.

I believe the 3D detail of this costume is the most important thing to make this costume really pop out, because there are so many armor pieces with intricate detailing. If you can get the silhouette and the detailing, this costume will really come to life.

Leg Armor:

Since Irelia’s leg armor is segmented, I would start with a pair of black or very dark grey spandex leggings and then build the armor off of that. I would use Wonderflex since her leg armor looks on the thinner side (Wonderflex tutorial by Kamui Cosplay).  For patterning, I would create each segment seperately and then space them so that the legging shows through.  This would create more dimension for the leg.

Even though Wonderflex tends to be on the more expensive side, I think it would work really well as you can easily mold it to your leg to a tight fit, is a sturdy material, and it gives a very good finish.  If money is an issue, I would perhaps thinkabout using styrene instead of wonderflex, but I think it is harder to work with since you need a higher heat to mold it (aka: an oven).

If you use velcro on the leggings and the underside of the armor you can attach the pieces separately and keep them from slipping (it’s how I put on the leg pieces for my Orianna costume).  If you find that the segments are slipping too far apart, then you can rig fishing line to join the segments together at the correct spacing.

Once you have the segments made, you can create some details and whorls (which are hinted at in the splash art) with acrylic paint.

Boots:

For the boots, I would start with red knee-high platform boots.  I would then use EVA foam (good EVA foam tutorial) to make the armor segments around the calves since the segments look a bit thicker.  EVA foam will also allow for a bit more flexibility than Wonderflex.

Reference Pic from Splash Art

Reference Pic from Splash Art

Again, as with the leg armor, the base red boot would show through the segments, creating the 3D look.

Torso Armor:

For the torso, I would probably use a base of worbla (a new thermoplastic that came out recently in Europe: Kamui Cosplay’s Worbla Tutorial).  Worbla would be very useful since you can not only create domes with it, but you can also lump it together to sculpt the details.

For the hip armor, I can’t determine if it is actual armor or just a really stiff fabric.  I would consider using EVA foam for it since it is fairly thick, but another material option that I have yet to work with is Fossshape (Video Tutorial).  It is a light, fabric based, felt-like thermoplastic, which has some give to it and you can sew it.  The only thing that I have noticed (via the tutorial) is that it shrinks as you form it, so if you use it, be sure to account for that.

For the sleeves, you can probably use fabrics and attach them to the top of the bodice with fishing line or a clear strap to keep them up.  You may want to include interfacing to stiffen up the sleeves so that they keep shape.  Just be sure to match your color choice for the red.

Floating Back Piece:

For this portion of the costume, I would rig up a small back pack first (with clear materials) as a base.  Then I would attach a couple of clear pvc tubes from the back piece to the actual seal so that it is held out behind you and appears to float.

The actual floating piece would probably work well as a curved EVA piece.  You could also possibly create a curved form out of wonderflex and sandwich it with EVA foam to make it thicker.  You could then either carve the details into the EVA foam or build them up as needed.

Weapon:

I would use sheet Insulation foam for the base of the blades.  I would probably sandwich the Insulation foam around a base of plywood, cardboard, or a dowel so that the foam won’t snap as easily.  Here is an excellent tutorial on working with insulation foam: Part 1 and Part 2

To make the blades move, I would start with a clear plastic sphere (which would become the red glowing gem in the center of the blades) and cut it in half.  Then, I would take two sheets of plexiglass, put them together so they lay flat, then drill a hole through both sheets and run a post through them. I would put the plastic sphere over the sheets of plexiglass (after I painted it translucent red) to hold them in place, then secure the sphere to the central post.

Weapon Idea Sketch

Weapon Idea Sketch

This way you can make the blades open and close like scissors by having the plexiglass sheets rotating against each other.  To make sure the plexiglass sheets wouldn’t rotate too far when I spun the blades, I would drill little posts into the plexiglass, so that when the blades were opened the posts would keep them from opening too far.

That pretty much sums up how I would go about creating an Irelia 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: Headless Hecarim Cosplay 11/23/2012

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. ^_^

This week’s character is: Hecarim (Headless Hecarim Skin, League of Legends)

Hecarim: the Shadow of War, Headless Hecarim Skin

A terrifying spectral commander with a legion of ghostly cavalrymen at his back, Hecarim (3D Model) strikes fear in the hearts of his mortal opponents.  I think that this haunting skin would make for a very impressive cosplay and I would love to see someone tackle it!

First off, this costume would not be for the faint of pocketbook due to the sheer amount of materials that its creation would require.  Also if you wanted to take it to an event, you would most likely require a handler for this costume (aka: someone to help you navigate and make sure you’re ok).  However, all  of these things are easily overcome with a little foresight and planning.  Let’s get to the design!

Back Legs and Body:

The decisions regarding how to do Hecarim’s horse body are probably the most important in this costume as they will affect all other aspects of designing and construction.  With any of these potential designs, you will want to consider weight and try to keep the hindquarters as light as possible.

Snapshot from the model viewer on Lolking.net

First off, would you like the hind feet to move or be static?

Static option:

If you go for the static option, the easiest way would probably be installing wheels at the base of the hind hooves.  That way you can rig up the hindquarters around your waist like a belt.  For building the horse body this way I would consider using a wire or plastic frame with upholstery foam or just building up and carving insulation foam.

The upside of this route would also allow you to build the front legs into the rest of the horse body so that the front legs are like pants.  This would make getting in and out of costume pretty easy, so it’s a good option if you think you might want to go off and explore the venue without being a landmark at the same time.

Moving option:

If you really wanted to go all in on this cosplay though there is no substitute for a horse body with hind leg articulation and movement.  I, personally, would opt for as it would bring a whole new level of realism and depth to the character.  Rigging legs, tails, and the like to move independently is not as difficult as most people think.

 Off the top of my head here are two ways that I can think of to go about making the hind legs move.  One is where you rig up strings to the hind legs that you can pull with your hands.  Another more sophisticated method would be to tether the hind legs with a clear cord to your front legs so that they move with your own feet. In either case, I would make be sure to have the joints of the hind legs operational, and I would try to incorporate a hinge for the hoof so that it “drops” when it is lifted to make it more life-like.

Getting in and out of either of these setups would be more tricky than the static option.  I would possibly engineer it so that the horse portion of the costume was rigged up like a backpack (over the shoulders) to deal with any extra weight that might be put on giving the back legs motion. In theory you could still make the waist/belt option work, I just think this would be better.

For materials, I would probably move towards using an internal pvc frame with a wire mesh frame around that (much like my idea for Ahri’s tails) and upholstery foam to define the muscles.

Note: Before committing to any construction of the horse portion of the body, I would highly recommend spending some time researching and just looking at horse anatomy. This will help you get oriented towards what you want to create especially in regard to proportion and muscle groups.  This is important because while I was browsing image search for centaur costumes, I noticed that on a lot of them, the back is really long and the hindquarters were a bit too small in proportion.

The Coat:

I would go for a short, sleek fur for the majority of the body.  For the fetlocks/feathers (aka: the foot area), I would probably use a combination of long, shaggy fur and make some wefts out of wig extensions (or horse hair if I can afford it).

The Hooves:

Lastly, for the front hooves, I would probably build the hoof out of clear (soon to be painted translucent) plastic around a black shoe and then install either electroluminescent sheeting or LEDs between the shoe and the hoof so that it will glow.  The hind hooves would have a similar build.

The Tail:

I would make sure to build out the tail bone first.  If you’re feeling ambitious, you could probably rig in a pivot joint and controls so that you could flick the tail, or just have a joint at the base of the tail so that it moves as you walk.

Anyway, once I have the tailbone set, I would treat the tail much like I would a wig.  I would obtain either black wig extensions or horse hair tail extensions (which are much more expensive, but would look better than wig extensions) and build the tail over a general frame.

Here is a really good tutorial by Ryoki-Demon on how she made her Jessie wig: Jessie Wig Tutorial.  Even though the tutorial doesn’t directly relate to building Hecarim’s tail, I think that it gives some really good advice for techniques and general ideas about how to go about building the tail.

Some modifications that I would have would be to have the bottom third of the tail just hang free from the frame, rather than making it all rigid.  The frame would mostly be for creating the general shape of the tail.  Just having the frame would also allow for adding in fire effects, like I explored in my Foxfire Ahri post.

Human Portion:

Probably the first thing to address is the fact that Hecarim’s pumpkin head floats and has no neck.  To make this effect, I would probably make the head separate, probably out of insulation foam or expandable foam and have it secured on top of a clear post.  The post would then be attached to a bike helmet (or something similar), which you would wear.  This would give you the floating effect and you could build fire effects around the pumpkin head and off of the bike helmet.

Potential design sketch

This solution, though, would create issues of scale, as you wouldn’t want your own head showing.  Thus, you would build up your shoulders with either insulation foam or upholstery foam and you would have your own head at Hecarim’s chest area.  You can incorporate eye holes or a sheer portion into the chest area of the clothing so that you can see.

I think that this would work out for the costume’s scale as well, since Hecarim is imposing and the extra height would help with that.

The Coat:

For the outermost layer of the coat, I would do choose a heavier weight fabric, like wool.  When I think of the tale of Ichabod Crane (and the Headless Horseman), I think of colonial clothing styles and the most commonplace fabric back then was wool, so I think it would give a really nice feel to the costume.

For the collar, I would incorporate a silkier lining and interfacing to keep it stiff.  Also, for the other layers of clothing, like the vest and shirt, etc, I would opt for a richer feeling fabric, like a nice cotton and his neck ribbon would probably work best as either a silk or satin.

I would, personally, use leather for the belts and bandolier, and I would carve the skulls out of insulation foam.  Don’t forget lights for the eyes!

Weapon:

I think that PVC pipe would be a really good choice of material for the handle of Hecarim’s scythe.  I would probably use heat to bend and squish the PVC a bit so that it has a bit of a curve and doesn’t look so perfectly circular.

Reference pic from Lolking.net model viewer

For the blade, i would use pink insulation foam and carve it.  Here’s a really good tutorial on creating weapons and props out of pink insulation foam: Part 1 of tutorial (be sure to also check out Part 2!).

For the bulkier portions of the weapon, like at the bottom, I would probably use expanding foam and carve it down to get the flare.

That pretty much sums up how I would go about Creating a Headless Horseman Hecarim 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: Rumble Cosplay 11/16/2012

Hey everyone!  Welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!  This series will be updated weekly and features a discussion on potential ideas for the creation of a character for cosplay.  This is a fairly quick look into what I might think of doing and what materials I may use when considering building a character.

If you have any requests of characters you would like to see, feel free to let me know who in the comments, on my facebook page, or via Twitter!

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

Rumble, the Mechanized Menace

A gifted yordle mechanic, Rumble compensates for his small size and physical shortcomings with a massive suit of fire spitting robotic armor.  His inventions are held together with spit and duct tape, which is mirrored in his gameplay: his abilities generate heat, which make them more powerful, but if he overheats he can’t use any abilities for a short time.

As a warning, this would not be a costume for casual cosplayers. It would require a lot of fabrication and clever engineering, and wearing it would definitely require a handler. The tricky part of this cosplay would be integrating Rumble himself into the armor, while engineering the armor suit to go around yourself, and still keeping the right sense of proportion.

With that said, let’s get ready to rumb–er, get started!

Armor Suit:

So the basic structure of this costume is like so: the cosplayer’s head will be Rumble’s head, then Rumble’s body will be strapped to their chest like a papoose, then the armor suit is built around their body. I would wear a black bodysuit to hide the human parts of me. Here’s a sketch of how the armor would fit around the cosplayer:

Rumble Body sketch (Ref pic from http://lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin_view/rumble)

For the cockpit of the armor, where the seat is, I would start with a frame of something light, flexible, and durable, like PVC sheeting or styrene, and mold it into the right shape. You should incorporate seams into the frame so that it can be broken down for transport, otherwise the armor will be ridiculously big.

Once you have the frame, use spray foam over it to provide bulk while keeping it light, and then coat it in sandable paper mache to smooth it out. If you want to sculpt over the mache I would recommend Apoxie Sculpt or paper clay, as they’re both sandable and easily molded with little chance of cracking.

I would then attach the cockpit to myself with a belt at the bottom, so some of the weight is resting on my hips, and then clear straps attached to the seat and the back of the cockpit, going over my shoulders. I’m not one hundred percent sure that this specific design would work, but this is how I would make my first attempt.

Sketch of interior cockpit harness

Arms:

The right arm is an interesting challenge, because it’s straight and rigid, so we’ll want to build in some kind of support for comfort. I would build half of the shoulder joint directly onto the cockpit, and then put a seam in the middle so you could fit the other half of the joint over your shoulder after you’d gotten your arm through.

I would build the rest of the flamethrower arm out of a piece of PVC tubing  that could fit over your arm, so you’d get the rigid effect, and then put an LED at the end for the pilot light of the flamethrower. If I could, I’d also build a cradle coming from the shoulder joint under the arm so you wouldn’t have to hold it out the whole time.

Additionally, I think it would be super cool to incorporate  dry ice into the end of the flamethrower for a smoke effect!

For the left arm, I’d say take something round and inflatable, like a beach ball, and then cover it in paper mache, leaving a space somewhere for your hand to fit through. Then I’d build the spikes coming out of the ball (they should be hollow–you could probably get away with a cardboard base here) and cover the entire thing with sandable paper mache and sand it smooth.  It would probably be a good idea to incorporate a handle of some kind inside the spikey ball for comfort’s sake.

The rest of the arm could probably be built with a base of PVC tubing if you cut it at the joints to allow movement. Make sure to cut the PVC to allow for your elbow movement as well as to extend to elbow a bit going back.

Legs:

The legs of the armor suit would only be attached to your real legs at the hips and feet. I’d build the gear beneath the cockpit out of something light, such as insulation foam, and then build the legs coming out of the hips at an angle, going out to the side.

Then at the knee the legs bend back inwards, and attach again at your feet. I’d have some clear plastic, flexible/stretchy tubing going from your knees to the knees of the suit, so that the legs don’t wobble outwards completely independently of your movements.

Rumble Sketch: Leg construction

The difficult part here is engineering the joints of the legs to allow movement, and don’t have the space or time to do that in this post.  I’ll have to leave that up to anyone brave enough to attempt this cosplay.

Rockets, etc:

For the rockets on the back, it really depends on what you have the time and budget for. A good, cost-effective way to build the rockets would be to use empty two-liter soda bottles as a base, and then build up off of those with papercraft and cover the result with resin. Make sure to keep whatever you do light, since otherwise you’ll be falling over backwards.

For the power-pack/fan thing beneath the rockets, I don’t have any specific suggestions at this time except to make sure it glows.

Rumble:

For Rumble’s head, unless you’re interested in doing a fur prosthetic/hair makeup, you’ll want to go with a mascot style head. I’d make the head out of upholstery foam, and cover it in faux fur (similar to what I suggested for Volibear’s head). For the mohawk, I’d probably use wig extensions over a cardboard base, and then a lot of hairspray! Build and style the mohawk before you put the fur on, so you avoid stray hairs at the base of the mohawk.

For the body, you’re basically going to make a plush doll that will attach to the head. I’d make the clothing out of a padded vinyl for his retro sci-fi look. The chair would be strapped to your chest like a reverse backpack, and the plush’s hands would be attached to the control levers. If you were truly ambitious you could make the Rumble animatronic, but I don’t have the knowledge of robotics to talk about that yet.

With all of this said, do you have any ideas or methods that you would rather employ?  Do  you have any dream costumes or methods you wish you could try?  This was a pretty general overview of how I would address the big engineering problems for Rumble.  Do you have ideas on more of the specifics?

Leave your questions and/or comments below!  I’d love to hear what everyone else’s thoughts are!

Also, feel free to let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions on how to make this better!

Theorycrafting: Xerath Cosplay 11/9/2012

Hey everyone!  Welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!  This series will be updated weekly and features a discussion on potential ideas for the creation of a character for cosplay.  This is a fairly quick look into what I might think of doing and what materials I may use when considering building a character.

If you have any requests of characters you would like to see, feel free to let me know who in the comments, on my facebook page, or via Twitter!

This week’s character is: Xerath (Classic skin, League of Legends)

Xerath, the Magus Ascendant

Xerath was once a mage of the ancient city-state of Shurima. His lust for power was so great, he sought immortality by turning himself into a being of pure magical energy. Fearing his new-found power, Xerath’s former peers sealed him away in a coffin. Despite their best efforts, Xerath eventually broke partially free and now seeks the power of the nexii of Runeterra to rid himself of his former prison.

I have yet to see anyone attempt a Xerath cosplay, possibly because Xerath (3D Model) has no feet, but that’s beside the point. I think with the proper engineering and thought behind the effects, creating Xerath is doable and would be awesome to see!

Lighting/Body:

First off, the main body for Xerath will probably require a lot of EL (Electroluminescent) Sheeting, Tape, and Wire.  Here is a good website for information and ordering EL wire, tape, and sheets: http://electroluminescence-inc.com/customPattern.htm.  For the patterning and use of the lighting, I will leave it up to you, but I know that I would try and have larger sheets around the torso and other large coverage areas, then add in tendrils of EL wire and tape.

I would probably start out with a black bodysuit as a base, then I would sew a layer of sheer light blue fabric over the body suit and insert and sew the EL light sources in between the two layers so that you will still appear blue in daylight, but glow awesomely!  If you have the electronic know-how, I bet you could also get the lights to pulse!

Armor:

I think my material of choice for this armor set would be EVA foam, as it is thicker than wonderflex and will give a better effect.  EVA foam can also be used for the 3D detailing on the armor, as I think it would work well for the more geometric patterns of this costume.  You can then attach the armor pieces directly to the body portion with straps or velcro.

Though the armor is curved, I believe there are a couple of ways to mold the EVA foam into curves.  The main way I have heard of is to cut  a groove partway through the foam with a utility or hot knife and use the groove as a flexing point and then use hot glue to keep its shape.  You can also apply heat to the foam via oven or heat gun (for more localized heat) and then shape the dome that way, though the grooves may still be useful for this method as well.  In any case, here is a decent tutorial that I found on making EVA foam armor: http://www.schenz.com/fm_eva.html.

If you are feeling particularly ambitious and want to have the armor pieces suspended away from your body, I think you could rig up straps to go on underneath the body suit with clear posts/pegs that can stick out through the body suit that the armor can be attached to.

Potential design sketch for suspended armor pieces

You could then theoretically build lighting effects off of the clear posts (if you wanted) to create some of the tendrils of energy that extend beyond Xerath’s body.

Feet:

Ok, so Xerath doesn’t really have feet, so in order to make the foot-less effect, I would probably make a clear platform shoe from plexiglass.  The bottom-most armor piece would then be built around the platform so that your foot would not be poking out beyond the armor, but the effect would still work.  Just remember to extend the lighting effects down through the clear platform!

Here’s a quick sketch of a possible plan.

Shoe/foot armor sketch

You would want to glue/fasten some form of flat shoe onto the top of the platform and then cover it over to look the same as the rest of the body.

With that said, do you have any ideas or methods that you would think of using?

Leave your questions and/or comments below!  I’d love to hear what everyone else’s thoughts are!

Also, feel free to let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions for future posts and/or how to make this better!