Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mistral [MGR]

Cosplay progress of Mistral- from Metal Gear Rising Revengeance

 The one and only most badass female boss in the game~ <3
Well then, seems like I'm never able to update this blog just when I actually have something to post here.... Oh well, better a year late that absolutely never? : D

Maybe this can be sort of a guide or some help for future Mistral cosplayers out there (if ya should find this, ha~), but I know this could help at least one person, so finally taking the time to write all of this making progress thing up here. 

One hell of a monster post ahead~


I was planning to make a Screaming Mantis cosplay, but... I couldn't really figure out how to make her legs so I could actually walk around too and just then I saw these new Metal Gear Rising boss pics, and.... Wow, just wow... Absolutely love Mistral design and the whole "handy" thing around her, every detail looks so amazingly tempting to make~ <3

So~ Tried sketching a bit just so it would be a bit clearer for myself where and how some straps go or what shape some details are. ...didn't get very far tho and took a couple hundred of snapshots from the game, hah~

 The basic materials for the prop parts are here, loads of plastic tubes, plastic cups, foam camping mats, PVA, filler, makroflex, newspapers and gloves.
 Now I can say the the cost'iest part of this cosplay was the "backpack" construction thingamajig along with the arms just because of all the materials it took to make this... About 4 liters of PVA, 4 cans of black car spray, 2 cans of varnish spray+ some regular brush on floor varnish and acrylics, quite a lot of gloves, tubes, plastic cups and lemonade bottles, about a dosen newspapers, lots of camping mat, clear pvc plastic and used up around a 100 hot glue sticks... Yeah, the bigger ones.

~Let the constructing begin~ 


The backpack thingamajig~
The whole "hand holding construction"  is made of plastic tubes, connected them in a suitable way and then bended them more into shape with a heat gun, taped the bottom part together. The front two tubes are wide enough so I can easily fit my neck through there.
Oooh yes, got to drink all that lemonade first~ 
I was certain that for transports sake I want the hands to be removable from the main back thing, so had this idea that the hands could be connected with bottles and bottlecaps- inside the tubes are bottlecaps and in the end of the upper arms are the bottles. I was walking around the shop specifically looking for bottles that had a long neck and these lemonade ones were perfect~ Shrinked the bottles later to fit better inside the upper arm parts.

I... Also wanted to make the arms movable from elbow joints, had this crazy idea that all the arms have a rope running inside them, each prop arm connected to my own and for example if I would put my arms up or front then the ropes would pull the prop arms together too... The first pic- the holes and straws in the bottlecaps were supposed to be for the ropes channel...
Buuut yeah, now I can say that it didn't work. : / 
Glued the bottlecaps into the tubes with that same glue as visible on the pic, some kind of a.... super glue mix montage glue?...
 But a pretty neat "trick" if I could say that.... When heated with a heat gun, the bottoms of the plastic coffee cups melt almost perfectly into a nice circle (of course, still have to be careful not to overheat it). Snapped off the handles with lil scissors and when heated the holes, put the plastic bottle through it to stretch it out into big enough hole for the bottle necks.

Glued on the teacups with hot glue and continued building on the rest of the shape with foam camping mats. As I did these experimental foam shapes, then also cut out a same shaped pvc clear plastic piece (nope, not rich enough for worbla). The thing with this plastic is that it bends only one way (can't make curvy round shapes with this), but it was good enough for me.

 Continued building with foam and finally first heat formed and then hotglued on the clear plastic coat. For the coffee cups parts- to get the edges a bit thicker, cut half a regular plastic cup, glued on a strip of camping mat at the edge and glued it all inside the coffee cups.

At this point it was nice to see how all of these pieces fit together, like the were meant to be used in this kind of combination... : D

Spray painted the thing black and added some more foam details. The last row of the "hand sockets" is supposed to be a bit movable, so connected it to the rest from the back side with glued on polyester straps. It... worked out surprisingly great and with hot glue it sticked on like magic to the plastic~ 8D 
The rest of the straps that hold it on the body were also just hotglued on polyester straps on the inside.

-The front face cover- As I made the foam and the plastic layer the same size, then after heat bending the plastic part, the foam part clearly didn't match the plastic part anymore, so, just hotglued them together and snipped off the over gone edges.
Wanted to also make Mistrals sliding face cover mask- so made a slidable layer. The bottom part has two hooks underneath it and the main backpack thing has two rings inside the neck opening, so these two parts connect together with hooks. 
The sliding layer "mechanism" is visible on the second pic- two layers of plastic- the top one has a slice where a screw with a washer between the two layers can move- it was screwed in place on the bottom layer (top hole in the middle) and the magnets are there to keep the mask up when it's lifted up.

-The two front prop pieces were also built of foam and pvc plastic, heated and hotglued together.
Photshopped and printed out some suitable numbers, shapes and lil' texts, cut them out, drew the white paper eges over with a black marker, superglued them on the back thing and spray varnished it all over multiple times.

 A couple of views of the finished pieces.
The bottle cap tubes were also painted black, but from all the ~screwing around~ with the bottles, the paint scratched off there... : D



The arms~

 
First made a plaster cast of my hand to use as a mold, as a base for making paper copies on.
 Built the upper arms end with newspapers and then wrapped both arm parts with food film, taped over and then these are ready for some wet-n-glue papier mache action~
 
The arms are made the papier mache way- multiple layers of newspaper strips and PVA. One by one- built a thick enough newspaper version on the plaster arm, cut it open when it was half dry, reshaped the arm and glued the opening back together, let it dry completely and finally added a bit of filler and sanded down the bumps where necessary. 
The other side of arms were made with the same plaster bases- when the paper arm copy was half dry, cut it open and turned the inside of the paper arm out- reversed the shape and then glued the opening back together. Did this only with the upper arm parts tho, since the lower wrist part didn't look much different when reversed and of course it's a lot easier to make them "the right way". ;D

Didn't put too much effort into making these perfectly smooth and bump free as these were all later spray painted black and sewed+glued on a stretchy mesh/lace fabric that made the surface look a lot smoother and even than it was.

The hands are all made the same way, one by one of newspaper strips and PVA. Oh yes, making the right arms was hella fun to glue/put together/cut open with a left hand. : D
So yeah... Glued the bent finger parts first, positioned the hand as I wanted it to be, and glued the rest- the palm and back of the hand with multiple paper strips and lots of PVA. When it was half dry (you can feel it 8D) then carefully cut the palm and the finger open from the side, pulled my hand out and glued all the cuts back together. Finally, when the hand was dry, put on a glove, hot glued the palm of the glove (it kinda held away from the palm awkwardly) and covered the whole glove over with more PVA.

All the hands in different stages. Some just covered with a glove and PVA, but the next step here was to glue the wrist and the hand part together with lots of hotglue, paper mache'd the connection part, painted the glove black with acrylics (saves spray paint and easier to cover every finger with a brush) then spray painted the wrist black. After that made a pattern for the wrist and covered the hands with stretchy mesh lace fabric and hotglued on two red fabric strips on the back of the hand (where also some bar codes and text should be.... *should* be ;D).

This whole *lets make movable hands* plan didn't work out, but still made the arms movable from elbow joints... So just when I walk or bend, then some of the hands move along with the gravity. 

 On the first upper left pic, if you look closely you can see the insides of the two arm parts- for all the arms, glued in a strip of foam and two plastic strips with a hole where I put a screw and a hex nut through- so all the arms from elbow joints were held up by two pieces of plastic and screws. The copper wire loops weren't necessary in the end (they were part of the ~movable hands~ construction).

The plastic bottles were shrinked with a heat gun, then put through another plastic coffee cup, screwed it on the back thing,  then glued the coffee cup in place and added the upper arm part that was already painted black, covered with the mesh lace fabric, had the plastic strips inside and was also filled with makroflex. Then screwed the two hand pieces together and finally sewed a strip of the same mesh lace fabric between the elbow joint.



The shoes~ 



Traced the side view of the shoe on the TV screen, zoomed it about the right size (with PS3 image viewer) and used this as a "shape guide". The heel of the shoe is pretty weird in an awesome way, so... It was a lucky find, got these clear plastic heeled shoes and pretty much just hot glued/built the shoe on with foam and plastic. Again- as I did these foam shapes, then cut out the same shaped plastic layers too.
 On the inside hotglued between every separate piece some more pieces of polyester straps, especially under the toe area and the top and bottom of the blue straws. 
Also... it's a bit hard no notice, but on the second pic, the left shoe- that black part is where I glued a piece of black rubber- the front of the shoe part and the back silver parts (on the next pic) aren't connected- obviously when you walk then shoes have to be bendable/movable too, otherwise it will break if it's all glued together, so~ That silver and the front shoe part are connected with a wider black rubber piece. Theres also one rubber going from behind the silver parts- over the heel- so the shoes actually stay on and don't break when you walk.



 A couple of views of the finished shoes. Painted with acrylics and varnished over a couple of times, also glued on a printed bar code on the black shoe. Some more mini washers and at the back of the heels- between the two plastic and foam layer there is a strip of that plastic cable (seen on the material pic or the... one where the two front props are).



Some knives~ 
Built from foam and plastic as usual, cut through the biggest hole and glued on some different shaped washers. Spray painted the knife part silver and then tried to weather the shiny away... : D
Oh boy, the weathering makes such a huge difference.
 Also glued together a base for knives and glued it all together, behinf the base glued a fabric piece which  I later sewed on the costumes leg.

And finally the main outfit parts...
The fabric/body parts were completed within a week. As usual, for making the patterns covered the mannequin (or myself) with newspapers, taped it over, drew on the patterns with a marker and cut it open. Tadah~ A perfect fitting pattern~
Since I used kind of a double layer polyester non stretch fabric (the bottom layer is just a mesh fabric and top one "holed" as tulle), then figuring out the pattern for the hand/glove part was quite tricky. Yeah, covered my arm with newspapers, taped it over, cut open, drew on the pattern.
The small glove pattern part at the bottom is a piece that went between that white gap at this pic, and since- as mentioned- this fabric doesn't stretch at all, then added a long black zipper between that seam- easier to get this on me and just zip the gloves up.

For the lil' red rings all over Mistrals outfit, used some washers, spray painted red, superglued a piece of black fabric behind them and sew them on the costume.


 The pattern was again made by first covering my leg with newspapers and blablabla, you know how it goes. Tadah~ A pattern~ And this what my pattern looked like.
Traced the Desperado skull emblem on the TV screen (same as the shoes),cut it out of fabric, pinned it on and carefully sewed on all the pieces. Made a cut diagonally between the emblem and leg part because.... that red leg has kind of a gradient thing going on there... So~ It was tricky and airbrush would definitely work out better... but I don't haz that, so made my gradient with acrylics- wet on wet way. Later made the whole leg wet and carefully brushed it over with more thin acrylic layers.

 Some WIP pics here of the main parts on mannequins.
The front tube part  is separatable- it just pops in and out of a half cut plastic cable tube piece that's under the top curved piece (the small part just under the face mask).
Ha~ That skinny mannequin can never fill dem curves~ Ha... ha... ._.
 
And zee wig...
...bought a random pink wig on ebay, it was... a lot cooler and lighter toned that what I saw on my screen.... Hahhh, so googled a bit if there is a way to dye it yourself.... yeah, there is, but.... It's such a hassle... :c
 Gathered all the red, orange and yellow toned markers I could find (Mistral has rather warm red/pink hair), bought some additional orange toned pro markers, destroyed them all and let them sink in a bottle of rubbing alcohol for the night (tho if to directly translate it, then it's written "technical spirit" on the bottle, guess it's the same thing). The next day sprayed all this color mixture on the wig on a plastic bag and let it sit in the plastic bags color puddle for the day, the next day.... most of it came off and faded a lot lighter when the wig dried, so~ Did the same thing again, but this time used a rusty copper toned acrylic ink with the rubbing alcohol mixture, did the same thing and got a much better warm red tone. The wig... did smear for a while and it looked like all of the color was going to wash out... So at some point just stopped the rinsing and didn't touch it with wet hands. 
Styled the wig on a lamp and a plaster head (the very same one used as base in the previous mannequin head post, ha~) oh boy, if you could see how randomly I cut it... 8D
And making all those curls took way too long...


One random pic taken somewhere near the end of compleation.... 
Oh, how I love this -almost-ready-but-not-quite-ohgodtheconisjustafewdaysaway-and-look-how-messy-my-room-is-becuase-of-it- pics~ <3

 But the rest of the costume was done by now.... SO~ 
DUMDURUM~

~PHOTO TIME~


+

(Photos by Ingmar Eriste)

And~  I won the eurocosplay preliminaries at AniMatsuri 2013 and was the EuroCosplay 2013 Estonia representative at the London Comic Con Oct.2013.
 So yeah, a con pic too~ : D London Comic Con October 2013~

And was lucky enough to find a Raiden cosplayer on the one day I was wearing this whole getup-
Nesabi Cosplay <3
Absolutely just love, love, love her Raiden and even tho there's just a few pics with us together, I'm still over the moon about the thought that I got to meet her and be in this costume for the whole con day~ <3



Hopefully this whole thing can help or inspire some peeps out there, so~ 
Stay crafty and happy cosplaying~ <3



Monday, August 4, 2014

Wig Styling Head

 Whoop~ Not even certain if there is a reason to keep this blog up or not, since I don't really have sketches for absolutely everything.... -.- and looking from the dates, my updating is.... like it is.
....well....
An update~ <3


Since I desperately need a mannequin head now, where I could style wigs , then made
one myself. As a base used a years old papier mache head of myself, some failed makroflex horns and a leftover piece of a heavy pressed paper roll.

 Ripped off the experimental paper mask, cut the makroflex into lil' pieces and glued it all together, filled some empty spaces with newspapers.

 Taped the head on the paper roll and papier mache'd most of the thing over several times. Then made a new plaster face of myself, hotglued it on the old base, endlessly covered with latex and sanded, white spray primer, latex, more sanding, dosen more spray primer and varnish layers... Yeah, latex, it's something that looks like gesso, but it was much better to sand it down. All the different white materials and paints actually looked different..... so also added a white acrylic layer, but that made everything worse.... after that the spray primer and varnish combo started cracking off, so its all quite a mix there...

Glued some porolon layers all over the rest of the head, so there would be something to stick the needles in, hotglued a lycra layer on top The back of the head is a bit bigger than my own, but figured that would be exactly the space for hair under the wig anyway. It's not perfectly shaped, but still good enough. ....aaand added fake lashes.... Because.... why not. c:

Nothing super fancy, but got to style a first wig on this thing and it worked out perfectly~

...doesn't it look just like me? Haha~