Dragon Scale Armour: The Elder Scrolls Skyrim

This project was interesting as it was my first time working with EVA Foam. The dress was simple enough to make only taking 3 hours in total. The Velcro was glued onto the dress (I probably should have sewn it but was in a rush as it was the night before). The dress had to be taken up by about 3-4 inches as it was far to long and looked terrible at its length. All Armour was made from EVA Foam varying in sizes from 2mm to 6mm. I really want to challenge myself with foam the next time I use it by making a more fitted Armour set that only has one opening as opposed to two splits down the side.

This cosplay was worn on the Sunday and Monday of Auckland Armageddon Expo 2015. I was privileged enough to have several different photo shoots with photographers, these photos will be used in my portfolio.

Badgerhales 1 Badgerhales 2

Badgerhales 3 Full shot low quality

Portrait low quality Group photo

I will be updating this post as I get the higher quality version of these images.

Onto the next project!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy my first ‘Armored Cosplay’ as much as I do~


Auckland Armageddon Expo 2015

Armageddon was last weekend! And it was great!
This was the first con I’ve attended where I was apart of the cosplay competition (open category).

Day 1 (Saturday): Dark Brotherhood Armour

Saturday morning I got up at 5:45 am to get makeup on, do my hair and put this costume on so that I could make my flight at 7:10 am. Makeup was pretty simple just everyday makeup with medium dark eye shadow. I hardly wear makeup so I wanted to keep everything reasonably simple. So in my Dark Brotherhood Armour I flew to Auckland to attend the first day of Armageddon. I only had one wardrobe malfunction with this cosplay and that was when I got out of the car to go to the supermarket before the event, the body suit decided to split down the seam on the inside of both my thighs making a hole on either side of about one inch. But I had prepared for this to happen. I don’t know what it was but for the whole week before I just thought to bring a spare pair of dark leggings to be on the safe side and I’m so glad I did. I grabbed my leggings from the car and bolted to the nearest public bathroom and put the leggings on underneath the bodysuit. The leggings worked perfectly hiding the holes making them near impossible to see.
As usual the halls were packed with  no limit on door sales on the first day. Saturday is always my shopping day (making sure to have money left over to buy an AP replica). I bought a few things including an Eevee plushie a Madoka Magica key-chain figure and a box of Swedish Fish!! Which are my new favorite candy so feel free to send me a box or two if you’re feeling generous.

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Day 2 (Sunday): Dragon Scale Armour, competition interview day

A later start for me on this day, giving myself an hour for makeup and costume before the 40-60 minute drive (depending on the traffic) into the city for the second day. I wore my red circle lenses and elf ears so they were loads on fun to put on in the morning. I couldn’t wear the lower thigh/hip armour in the car because it was impossible to sit on the car seats while wearing them. I ended up having to sit in the back of the car in the middle because my shoulder armour was so big that they would touch the windows if I sat at the side.  So after one eventful car trip later I arrived at the event and quickly fixed up my makeup in a bathroom before heading to my interview. I have never been so nervous in my life. It wasn’t too bad I was able to talk to another cosplayer before my interview and she gave me a quick run down of what they would ask me.
It was a weird experience being judged, the judges just sort of circle you and ask questions about what materials you used/techniques and time frame for some of the created items and pieces within your cosplay. After the interview you are invited to have a photo shoot with Badgerhales Photography. Which I gladly did.
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I do realize I am in some of these photos an un-photogenic dork but having the photo shoot was really out of the blue for me! These photos will be in my finished costumes category in a later post.

Day 3 (Monday): Dragon Scale Armour, results day

The last day of the convention and the day of the well awaited results from the cosplay competition. I didn’t need to be at the con until 3:30 pm so I decided to sleep in, which was a great idea as my legs were so sore from standing and walking all day. When I when back to the con I quickly sprinted around the halls one last time and unfortunately lost a piece of my cosplay. It must have come off when someone walked past (with force). And then I met with the other cosplayers so we could go on stage. The full video of all the cosplayers is here Cosplay Comp 2015 I’m on at 16:45 looking far too serious for the occasion but there were so many people!
I ended up not getting any prizes but that won’t stop me from entering next year. The judges also described what they look for in costumes so I’m well prepared for next years competitions.

I really enjoyed being a part of the cosplay competition and can’t wait to start work on next years projects for it. I will be updating my list of up coming costumes soon and am really debating doing a time-lapse video for my Lucina cosplay.

Also my new header photo is the group of us cosplayers before going on stage.

Thank you for reading

Finished Dragon Scale Armour

The armour part of this cosplay is officially finished! and everything is attached to the various belts with Velcro and the larger safety buckle at the back of the main belt. There is one more armour piece which fits onto the back of the belt and covers the safety buckle which hasn’t been attached with Velcro yet. It’s not major piece and will be attached this weekend.
I only have a week left to make this as the convention is in a week today and I’m a little stressed. I only have painting and elastic to attach now so I think I have enough time.
Finished Armour with battle dress (Dark lighting)

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Finished Armour with battle dress (Natural lighting)

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The natural lighting makes the dress a lot more vivid in color and brings the original ‘sheen’ from the fabric, which I think is quite neat. The dress has also been shortened in this picture (it was much longer before and looked awful, this can be seen in earlier photos on the dress form) I’m very happy with the new length.

Really happy with the result and am going to be trying to get the whole thing finished this weekend and then just work on my Dark Brotherhood Armour during the week. Just shaping, painting and adding Velcro and elastic to different parts of the costume to go.
Fingers crossed I can get it all done this weekend.

I’ve also got the schedule for the cosplay competition. I’m entered in the open category (as seen below) and have some awesome looking competition. Really excited for my first competition I just wish I had my friends to support me while I am there.

First time seeing my name labeled outside of my official pages and I just about squealed with delight!!

Thank you for reading this very short update

Dragon Scale Armour Progress: Part 6

These school holidays I have been working on my Dragon Scale Armour cosplay as much as I can because the convention I will be wearing it to is in just over two weeks!!
So here’s most of the progress I have made since my last post with only one day left of my holidays.

Boot Covers/Armour
I patterned the boot covers and decided to use thinner foam rather than the 6mm foam I used for the breastplate because I wanted it to be lightweight and not huge/bulky. So I decided on doubling up the thin foam. At the moment its unpainted at the moment but I like it so far.
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I’m thinking about using wire to shape them because I don’t really want to use the heat gun on foam this thin. I will have elastic keeping to my boot, hopefully I will do this better than the awful boot cover I made for my Nightingale cosplay last year.

Shoulder Armour
I have finished one side of the shoulder armour.. And I’m really pleased with it! 6mm foam as a base and the thin foam as a topper. The horns are made from tinfoil as a base and then DAS clay over top of that to smooth it out, I left them for 24 hours and then sanded them which game them a really neat texture that looked sort of like bone.
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Gorget/Neck Armour
Same process as the shoulder armour. I changed the look slightly deciding to just have a flat collar because I don’t have time to make it like the one in-game, Annnd the shoulder armour comes up too far and it would collide with the collar if it wasn’t flat.
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Another thing I still have to paint. Below is a photo of the shoulder armour and the gorget showing how they overlap.

Main belt
This belt was made to hold the hip,thigh and basically all other armour apart from the breastplate to my body. Made from Faux leather, Velcro and a large safety buckle. Now the first one I made was two small which mean that it didn’t sit on my hips, so when the armour was on the belt it skirted outwards rather than being vertical which was the look I wanted to achieve.
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So that’s essentially the belt, the safety buckle is at the back because I can cover it there. I extended the belt so it would sit on my hips and all was well. Below is what it looks like with the armour on the belt.
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It doesn’t actually fit on the dress form as it’s too wide so I just pined it to the dress form at the back so it would stay up. Velcro is a wonderful thing.

Next I decided to glue a piece of armour on that I should have done months ago.
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This took less than five minutes to do and I still can’t understand what I didn’t do it earlier.
So my armour is now even more wearable!
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So happy with how it’s looking now that the armour is no long-held together by string. I just have one more belt to make and attack some more Velcro and then the armour is finished!!

I recently got onto the ‘Cosplay Amino’ app, its amazing! Although some users don’t post cosplay related content its easy to look past and enjoy seeing the content that other cosplayers produce on the app. I have been featured on the app a few times now for both my Dragon Scale Armour and Dark Brotherhood cosplay. But yesterday my tutorial for using the Pepakura program got featured with over 160 likes on it!! Which made me so happy and got me thinking about posting tutorials on here. Of course I already post pictures and work logs of all my costumes but i think making short tutorials on the side could be fun.

And that’s all I have to post today

Thank you for reading

Birthday/ Shopping Haul

Today is my birthday and as usual I went to Spotlight in Nelson to spend all of my birthday money on fabrics and craft supplies for upcoming projects. I didn’t plan out what I needed that well and ended up throwing together a list the night before as well as deciding to make a new costume and buy the fabrics for that. Which meant the awful job of working out how much fabric I needed for that.
Hopefully my working out was correct. Below is what I bought!

Lucina, Fire Emblem Awakening
This was the costume I decided to buy for the night before. It was between her and another character from the series Cordelia (who I mentioned in an earlier post)
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I love her design, the Fire Emblem makers are amazing at designing characters. I think I will make the sword but we’ll just see how that goes.
I bought: Five meters of blue 2-way stretch fabric. Sports Active Pioue Knit Navy is the name I was given. This is for the tunic, cape, sock things and the scarf that comes off the cape (There is a proper name but I can’t find it) Half a meter of white Top Pop Poplin This is for the top of the socks and her gloves. It’s quite thin so I will probably end up doubling it. I bought another three meters of this before leaving to use to draft patterns on my dress form using the draping technique. The fabric was super cheep and only cost me $1 per meter with my VIP card.  I also bought two and a half meters of Broadcloth in the color ruby for the inside lining of the cape. I bought another meter of Broadcloth in the color teastain for the belts, I was going to buy a meter and a half but when the lady at the counter laid out a mater I decided that would be enough. Lets hope that doesn’t backfire on me.
Bias Tape 
Ten meters of 12mm gold/yellow bias tape. This is for the lining of the tunic. Three meters of 25mm dark brown bias tape. This is for the outside of the belt. I decided to make a fabric belt rather than faux leather belt because I’m sick of faux leather at the moment!!
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While in spotlight I found the most perfect fabric for the Angelic pretty Misty Skies dress I want to make. But I spotted it from a far… Upon closer inspection I found that the fabric didn’t have the cloud pattern I thought it had but it was tie dyed In The Perfect Colors For The Dress !!! I didn’t take a picture of the fabric but I found this on google and its pretty similar so you can see why I was so excited.

I decided that its going to be easier to find the fabric I want (or the closest to it I can get) online. I have found a few stores that sell something similar so I’ll just have to compare them all until I officially buy however many meters I need.

My birthday itself was great too by the way! Despite being 17 I feel no different to how I felt yesterday. I’m really happy with the progress I’m making on my costumes and really need to get around to making a proper portfolio but this works for now.

Thank you for reading

Dragon Scale Armour Progress: Part 5

The last two days were my days off as I was very exhausted from my trip to Toi  Whakaari in Wellington. But today I was back to work and started the helmet and made the breastplate wearable!!
Starting with the helmet, this was my third attempt and I’m hopeful that it will be my last.
Materials I used to date

  • Chicken wire (I cut a meter but have only used about half)
  • Styrofoam head (wig head, dummy head… call it what you like!)
  •  Chalk (This was to mark the wire, I couldn’t find anything else)
  • Wire cutters (I don’t know if the pair I used were wire cutters but they worked well so hey!)
  • EVA Foam (This is what I’m using to go around the outside of the wire to smooth it out)
  • And of course reference pictures, not that I needed them because of how many times I have pondered that damn helmet.

I cut the wire out by patterning it over the head, this vaguely followed Evil Ted Smith’s helmet tutorial. I then bent the wires edges inward so that it would connect with another wire pattern piece. I made sure to stretch the side panels of the patterns so I had a bit more room. Once made I very, very carefully put it on my head to shape it to fit.
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The foam head is smaller than mine so that is why it looks oversized. The helmet its self looks oversized too. So there are a few things I have to add and made it larger/smaller in places as well as re shape some things but I think it’s looking promising.
And now for the Armour its self.

I wanted to make the breastplate wearable because I have been promising it for so long. To start off I had to make the buckles for the Armour so it would come together and do up. I made these from thin strips of EVA Foam which I then spray painted black (both sides). The strips then had one side which would be covered with light brown faux leather. This step wasn’t necessary but I just thought it would look nicer with leather. I then put a D-ring through the foam strip and hot glued down the opening. I did this 12 times as I had 3 D-rings on each side of the breastplate/backplate so there would be a full set of 6 on each opening of the plates.
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After making all the buckles I hot glued them onto the breastplate and backplate making sure everything lined up.
Back and front sides Front with buckles

I then added the Velcro so that the buckles could do up. I don’t have photos of this part but it can be seen in later photos. And with everything attached I wanted to try it on! It slips down a little which is unfortunate but that can be fixed. The original design shows two leather straps that come up from the breastplate and go up towards the gorget. Seen below.

I’m going to use faux lather for this and make it a halter neck so that it will hold up the breastplate. The gorget will cover this up. And now photos of me wearing it!
Front Side

I’m wearing my black bodysuit in these photos because the ‘battle dress’ is currently with my textiles teacher over the holidays being marked. I think the Armour looks nice on the black though.
After taking these photos I decided to put the other Armour on too. I used the same string technique I did with my dress form just being careful not to stab myself. And I am so happy with the results !!! I was worried it wouldn’t look as Game-Like as I wanted it too but it does!! The weathering looks great too if I may add.
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The full set !! I am so, so pleased with the results. I just have to have the belt made for the main Armour set to be complete.

I’ll likely have another post up tomorrow on the progress I make then, I’m not going to like what I have to get done I’ll just see what happens tomorrow!

Thank you for reading

Toi Whakaari Costume Design Workshop 2015

Also known as the 3 days I spent in the capital city with no adult supervision with my great friend Eden. I was so happy to go to the workshop at the National Drama School although I must admit the summary of the workshop had me confused. “No traditional sewing techniques would be taught” But this is a costume course what are we going to do all day!!! I thought. But of course Toi Whakaari had it sorted.

When we all arrived at Toi Whakaari we joined in a school Kōiwi with all students and staff. It started with a school ‘sing along’ of sorts where we sung together adding different beats and sounds to it as we went as well as one of the third year students rapping about the school during the song. It was an awesome experience and really showed what a close family the school was and I found that really fun and interesting. After the sing along teachers and students stood up and shared news and experiences they’d had over the holidays. We then split into our workshop groups and went our different ways. My group (costume students) had a tour of the whole school first. And oh my god the school is much larger than I ever expected! Four stories, about three (I think) different preforming stage areas and many large open spaces for the design students to work.There was a basement stage as well as a huge workshop for students working on their life size sets they were to build. We of course got to see a lot of the costume design room where the students work. It was a great space with everything you could ever need!! The students at the time were working on tutus and we got to see some of the tutus made by the previous years students. I want to make one now!!! The school is made out of and old shed (a large one obviously) and the roof is made almost entirely out of opaque corrugated plastic roofing (Pulling out all the technical terms I know). This meant that the school had very little need for lights in the plaza and top level classrooms. Everything was so open and light and it was just a great area to work in. Not to mention the view from the top levels was just stunning.

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After the tour we were introduced to our tutor for the two days and we begun the workshop. The first day was just practicing drawing the body from real life and then drawing dress over top, which wasn’t anything new to me. We also had a discussion about the differences between Costume, Fashion and Wearable Art. Which was interesting as we had a few students in our workshop who participated in WOW and other wearable art shows.  And that was the first day.

The second day was much more interesting. We were taught about how the body can be changed and its relation to how the costume changes around that. We tested this by wrapping each other in quilting batting to create grotesque, unnatural and strange modifications to our bodies and then drew each other with these modifications. Which was fun and interesting.
We then were given a challenge over lunch to buy a garment from a recycled clothing store and make an Alice costume using this sort of technique. We read the first few pages from the novel  ‘Alice in wonderland’ and had to choose ‘a moment of transformation’ within those pages. An example would be where Alice grows or shrinks or when she in soaked by her own puddle of tears. I decided to focus on the change of Alice’s dress when she falls down the rabbit hole (I can’t find my original drawing I did for this, I will post it when I do) I went with the theme of everything being surreal and cartoonish and I had the image in my head of Alice falling down the hole and her dress ballooning up around her, then when she reached the bottom I could see her hastefully trying to pat down this now overly poofy dress to no avail. My design consisted of Alice with her dress puffed up around her in the classic Disney dress. At the end of the day we all shared our designs and our basic mock up on the dress form and then reflected on the workshop.

It was a great two days and I met some awesome people while I was there and I felt really inspired by what I saw. Below are photos of costumes made by the third year students.

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I absolutely adore historical costumes so I was so glade the school put these on show during my time there. Of course all credit goes to the students at Toi Whakaari who made these beautiful costumes. My poor and rushed photography skills don’t do them justice.

In summary the workshop was amazing and I have definitely learnt from it. When ever the next chance comes up to got to Toi Whakaari again I will jump on it. Its a great school with an amazing environment and is the sort of thing that is going to make me miss living in New Zealand.

Thank you for reading