Sword Art Online – Silica’s Chest Plate Tutorial

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This is a step by step explanation of how I made my chest plate for the character Silica from the anime Sword Art Online. I used this method was an experimentation I did with Fimo air clay, it has worked really well and I’m here to share my process. There are many other ways to make amour such as using foam, wonderflex etc. but I find that foam tends to crinkle after a while and wonderflex is too pricy. However this method only works well if you have a mannequin that you can adjust the size to fit your measurements.

So what you need:

  • An adjustable dress mannequin and set it to your size
  • Fimo Air light clay. I used 2.5 packets for the front piece for a small build person and I suggest using 3-4 for larger built.
  • Cling wrap
  • Tougher plastic such as a large plastic bag
  • Rolling pin
  • Water spray
  • Container of water
  • Permanent marker
  • Utility knife
  • Sanding paper
  • Spray paint
  • Acrylic paint in a similar colour to the chest plate
  • A gloss or varnish. If not pva glue mixed with some water will work fine
  • Heaps of patience

The clay that I use is:

FIMO Air Light Packaging

STEPS:

  1. Wrap up your mannequin with cling wrap.
  2. Draw on the shape you want for the chest plate onto the plastic with the permanent marker.
  3. Cover a smooth flat surface such as a table or floor with cling wrap. Try to limit the amount of creases as possible as they will show up later.
  4. Open up the desired amount of packets you wish to use and try to mixed them all together first.
  5. Lay it out onto the covered area and try to flatten it is much as you can. This will make it easier for you later.
  6. Place the tougher plastic bag over the clay and use the rolling pin to flatten the clay into a rectangle strip that is slightly larger than the desired size of the chest plate.
  7. Remove the plastic bag and pick up the rolled clay with the bottom cling wrap.
  8. Place the clay facing down onto the dress mannequin so now the cling wrap should be facing towards you.
  9. Adjust the clay and mould it to the body.
  10. Try to remove as much excess clay as possible as it will help you later on. You can also use a water spray to help smooth over the surface with your hands.
  11. When you are happy with the shape and size, remove the plastic and let it dry for 24-48 hrs.
  12. After the time period has pasted gently remove the clay from the mannequin and let it dry on the inside for the same amount of time. Your chest plate should now be dry.20131127_112255
  13. Draw onto the chest plate the right shape with a marker and use a utility knife to cut off the excess. If you make a big mistake you can fix up the area by adding more clay and try to smooth it out as much as possible, let it dry and repeat the cutting process.20131127_115447
  14. Now onto the details. Use the marker and draw on the details you wish to add that come out from the chest plate.
  15. With the addition of the details keep a water spray and container nearby to help you smooth the surface. Pinch off large pieces of clay and roll it into a cylinder. Add these to the edges of your chest plate . Press it down and smooth it out as much as possible. If it does not stick dip the clay into water.20131127_123650
  16. Let it dry completely.
  17.  Once your chest plate is dry, use sanding paper to smooth over the surface.
  18. Now use a gloss or varnish to cover your whole piece. If you don’t have that PVA glue mixed with water will work as well. Let it dry.
  19. Paint the inside of the chest paint with a colour similar to the outside. Or if your clay is already that colour that is fine to leave it as it is.
  20. Finally use spray paint to coat the outside of the chest plate.silica

 

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Cosplay Tips – Expanding Foam

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Photography by George Wong

Vanille Cosplay by DanniTee

This is basic a tutorial on how to use expanding foam on props for those new to prop making or those who want to try out a new medium. Expanding foam is basically foam in a can. It is sprayed out and expands like its name suggests. A can of expanding foam is a very handy material to keep around for cosplayer just as handy as the hot glue gun.

For props that are more curved like such as Vanille’s weapon from Final Fantasy XIII and Soge King’s sling shot from One Piece it is best to use expanding foam for the main part. Expanding foam can be easily cut and carved to the desired shape with a simple cutting knife.

When you decide to use expanding foam as the main medium for your prop the first thing you need to do is draw and cut out your design on to a flat light weighted material such as foam board, corflute, thick cardboard [though thick card board may be difficult to cut normally].

TIP: Draw your design slightly thinner than what is desired. The expanding foam will add to this and make it larger.560867_10151155435742405_997300465_n

 

Once your piece is cut out, lay out some newspaper and spray the expanding foam over the design. Cover as much as you can but remember the foam will expand 3 times its original size. Only work on one side at a time. Don’t forget to wear gloves. Expanding foam is difficult to remove off skin if you do not act quickly.

TIP: Keep a bottle of nail polish remover nearby just in case you get some expanding foam on your skin. Nail polish remover will help remove expanding foam if you act quickly.

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It will take a couple of hours for it to harden but it is best to leave it over night. Once it is completely dried flip it over and spray the other side.

TIP: Lightly spray water over the whole thing. This will make the expanding foam harden faster. It will also give it a smoother surface than usual.

Once both sides have hardened use a utility knife and carve the bumps away for the desired shape. See below for a before and after shot.

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TIP: If you are carving and suddenly see that inside is still gooey and honey-like stop immediately and let the foam completely dry. If you continue to pull away at the piece it will create massive holes.

You will notice that there are small holes all over the foam. If you want to cover these holes for a smooth finish, use another medium such as paper mache or paper clay and completely cover the whole piece. Both paper mache and paper clay can be smoothed out with sanding paper for an even more smooth finish. Once that is done, feel free to paint it over with acrylics, spray paint etc.

 

 

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Tutorial: Vocaloid – Senbonzakura Haraegushi

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 Haraegushi or Onusa is a wooden wand used in Shinto  rituals. It is decorated with many zig-zagging paper streamers it is waved left and right during purification rituals. In Senbonzakura, The Haraegushi uses the shape of cherry blossoms to replace the zigzag streamers.This tutorial will show you how to make Hatsune Miku’s Cherry blossom Haraegushi. For my tutorial I used various types of pink fabrics to create a look with more depth instead of the original with one colour. Feel free to just stick to one colour or experiment with various.

What you need:

  • Various shades of light pink fabric [if you want a dynamic look]
  • Light pink flower petals. This can be purchased off ebay if you can not find it at the stores. You will need over 300 petals
  • Sewing machine
  • White fabric [felt]
  • Red wool
  • Wooden rod around 70-100cm
  • White Ribbon

Steps

  1. If you wish to create the dynamic look start at this step if not continue to step 4. Cut4cm wide and 40-50cm long strips of pink fabric. It is up to you how many strips you want.
  2. Sew a straight line straight down the middle of the stip and cut petal shapes into the strips.

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3. The darker pinks will be on the inside of our wand so sew all the pinks together at the top. When sewing it together lay an extremely long strip of white ribbon under. This will help you hold the strand easier.

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4. Now we sew the petals together. So, start with one petal and overlap it with another at the end. Continue sewing petal after petal until you reach a similar length to your strips or a length of 40-50cm.

5. Once all the petals have been sewed , continue to attach it to the ribbon strip we have above.

6. When all the petal strips have been sewed together they should form an extremely wide curtain of flowers. Wrap the darker end first to the wooden rod. If you don’t have the darker pinks just wrap either end.

7. Cut a small square that will be able to fit around the top of your bundle of petals with extra space to spare.

8. Grab the red wool and tightly coil around under where the ribbon is, this is the thickest part of your bundle and make many knots. And we are done!

Senbonzakura Photography by LMKusanagi

Cosplay by Mixiao

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Easy Cosplay Tutorial – Vocaloid: Poker face Horns

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Here is another simple tutorial to help you create clip on horns for any cosplay, however this tutorial will focus on the Vocaloid Poker Face art.

Photography by LMKusanagi

Miku Cosplay by Springroll

Luka Cosplay by Mixiao

Haku Cosplau by DanniTee

Kaito Cosplay by Kei-U

 What you need:

  •  1x 25mm diameter foam ball
  • Air dry clay. Here I am using Fimo Air Light
  • Pen Knife
  • Cutting Mat
  • Nail polish. It can be any colour (we will use spray paint after) or the colour of your desired horns (if you want to skip spray paint)
  • Spray Paint of desired colour (Spray Paint will help with an even coating)
  • Hot glue
  • 2x Alligator clips
  • Small cup of water

Steps:

  1. Cut the foam ball in half. Using the cross section of the ball will help you keep the horns the same size.
  2. Take a small pinch of clay and cover one half in a layer of the clay. It is best if you keep the remaining clay in a zip lock bag as you work so it does not dry out. IMG_4456
  3. Slowly add a bit of clay at a time and shape it until you reach a desired height. I recommend it be around 3cm in height.
  4. Use water to smooth out the clay to create an even surface.
  5. While it is still moist, bend the horn to create a slight hook.IMG_4459
  6. Repeat the same steps for the other half of the ball.
  7. Let the horns dry out over night.
  8. Once both horns are dry coat the horns in a layer of nail polish as a cheap varnish alternative and let it dry. It is up to you if you want to coat the horns in the colour desired as this will save you the next step of spray paint. However I still advise you use spray paint to get an even coat. You can skip 10 if you do not want to use spray paint.
  9. Now using hotglue, stick you horns onto the alligator clips. Make sure you have the clips reversed when gluing the horns on so that you have a left and right horn.
  10. Now coat the clips and horns in a layer of spray paint and a second layer if desired. Let it dry and we are done!

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Easy Cosplay Tutorial – Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku Clips

This is a super fast and easy tutorial for those who purchase the Hatsune Miku Cosplay Costume or those that have lost their hair clips. If you purchase your costume from Miccostumes you would have notice you received hair clips that are not solid like Miku’s but are made from fabric. This tutorial will help those cosplay perfectionists out there looking for a cheap alternative.
What you need:

  • Black foam board
  • Red 1cm width ribbon
  • Hot glue
  • Alligator clips
  • Pen knife/ utility knife/stanley Knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Steps

  1. Measure out 8 rectangles with width 2.5cm and length 10cm onto the foam board.
  2. Cut out the rectangles with your knife.
  3. Glue the sides as shown with hotglue.
  4. Roughly position your red ribbon in the center and apply hotglue as you go. Wrap the whole clip and cut off the end.
  5. Using hot glue, glue the clip on the side as shown. This way the hairclip holds to your wig hair rather than the pony tails.
  6. Repeat for the other side and you’re done!

Hatsune Miku Sandplay Singing of the Dragon Wig is sponsored by Miccostumes, cut and styled by me.

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