Ana Amari Biotic Rifle:Construction

My first ever gun prop was a success! This was made roughly over a two week period using,
EVA Foam (5mm and 2mm) from CosplayShop.
Contact Cement (glue) also from CosplayShop.
Rubber Tubing from B&Q
Blue Clear File Not exact item (example)

I am so happy with how this prop has turned out and its defiantly my best one yet! I’ve learnt a lot through making this and whats really stuck with me is how useful blueprints are in cosplay. I will be using them for every prop I make from on!

Biggest thank you to Cosplay Amino user Beariore for sending me their blue print they made for their Ana cosplay!
I discussed with Beariore and they’re happy for me to give out the final blueprint that they altered from an Original Blueprint made by u/babomazer by adding line-work, scaling it and converting it to PDF.
Below is the blueprint unscaled.
Biotic AnaIf you would like the scaled PDF blueprint that I made/used for my cosplay then please contact me via direct message on either Instagram, Twitter or my Facebook page. You can find me @NiverasWings on all of those sites!
The PDF version I used is scaled to best suit my heigh, I’m 5’5. Another important thing to note is that its made for A4 paper as opposed to American letter paper, please keep that in mind before contacting me. I’m very busy at the moment and don’t have time to custom scale this blueprint on request.
Besides! I have a tutorial for doing exactly that using the Biotic rifle as an example, so Check it out!


Construction

I started by scaling and printing out my blueprinted and then taping it together. I taped it using masking tape on the back as it was stronger and not transparent and then for the front I used cello tape as it was transparent and wouldn’t effect any of the lines.
Ana BlueprintThis was then cut up into separate pieces based on how I had decided to construct it. I did this by laying the full pattern out and with a pencil I drew how many layers I’d need for each piece and then divided up the patterns into manageable sizes that would work and fit together well.
I’ve seen the combination of patterns and their sizes done differently from other cosplayers I looked at for reference but this is how I did mine. The red outlines represent the large patterns I cut out first, these we traced to foam and then cut into smaller patterns for internal details.
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The layering ranged from one to five layers depending on the area and pattern. For example the cover over the top barrel is just one later of 5mm foam while the butt of the gun is five layers of 5mm foam with an additional two layers of 5mm foam detailing the top triangle.
I’m currently painting the gun but once thats complete I’ll try and add an image here that shows how many layers each section was as well as foam thickness. And if I’m feeling extra kind I’ll outline all of the details I put in too which helped me simplify the design.

I then traced my patterns out onto the foam and cut everything out gluing them together with the contact cement. This was my first time using the contact cement and boy dose it have a strong smell to it!
Work in a well ventilated area or open some windows!! The trick with contact cement is to apply a thin even coat on the contact points (marking these out does help), leave it to dry for two or so minutes and then bind it together. If the glue is slippery and the contact points aren’t sticking you haven’t left it to dry long enough!
And soon enough the base gun was there.
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This was when I laid out my mop handles which would form my barrels for the gun later on. This was a huge boost of confidence and gave me an idea of the scale I was working with.
I then drew out an outline of what I wanted dremeled, this was only 0.5cm and I marked along the outside of the foam with a pen to give me an indication of when to stop dremeling. You can vaguely see these markings in the below picture.
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This was all glued together with contact cement, I applied it everywhere there might be contact for these pieces as I wanted no chance of it falling to bits.
Next I started adding details on top of this with the 2mm foam and some 5mm foam in places. I used the blueprint as a guide for this.7b85fc3037d036843d69e2d2a00bdececcd2024d_hq
Next up I added another small layer to the gun extending the pattern down slightly because I trimmed too much earlier in the build:sweat_smile:. You can see this gap in earlier pictures. I had to use a little bit of hot glue in the gap just to firmly hold things in place and also ‘fill’ the gap in where it was exposed on the edge.
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I also swapped out the foam I planed on using as the pipe for some rubber tubing. Which I think is such an improvement!
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Next up I made the canister thing as the bottom of the gun. I used the blue print patterns for this but just made the sides ever so slightly wider so they could be glued at the seams without shrinking in size too much.
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There’s air trapped inside it with the smallest hole in the seam so when you squeeze it it makes a hissing sound, I find it wayyyy too entertaining.
This was followed by another ‘mop-up’ (see what I did there mop-up instead of mock-up, I’m hilarious)
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This made me so happy!! There was light at the end of the tunnel yet!
I also fixed up the lower barrel mop end with some clay as it broke a little when I stomped on it to free it from the mop…
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And somehow it came together and looked pretty damn great!
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Next was putting the gun together, because I knew id have to take the gun on the tube I wanted it to be detachable so that I could take it apart to travel on the tube.
Originally I had wanted the gun to assemble with magnets inlaid into the foam for a seamless and sturdy finish. Unfortunately with the con only being two weeks away at this point and me not being able to find magnets in sizes that would fit/strong enough/reasonable price this changed to a good old friend of mine.
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No magnets? Industrial velcro it is.

So heres how I attached everything with velcro,
I’ve used coloured outlines which will match the opposite sides of the velcro to each other, hopefully this makes understanding how it was put together easier.
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I had a strip of velcro (toothed side) running along the top of the rifle (red). This is where the barrel would connect to.
There was a patch (toothed side) just below that (blue) which is where the cover folds over and connects to.
Then below that on the front of the gun is a circular patch (toothed side) (green) where the lower barrel would attach to.
A close up of the two lower velcro placements can be seen below.
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To put it together I would first get the lower barrel and stick it to the main rifle piece using the green velcro patches. The lower barrel piece also has two support beams(? I have no idea what to call them) which can been seen in pink and yellow (both soft side).
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When connected through the velcro in green the gun now looks like this.
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The next piece is the cover, this is the blue piece that literally just covers part of the barrel which is saw as a great opportunity to use as a weight to keep the barrel in place.
The light blue velcro (soft side) will attach onto the barrel.
The dark blue velcro (soft side) seen previously, will watch onto the base of the gun.
The pink and yellow velcro (toothed side) Which is actually just one strip attach onto the ‘support beams’ mentioned earlier.
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Below is a better picture of how it all attaches before being put together.
Watch was my drawing quality takes a turn for the worse.
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Are we still following?
Ignore the pink line line with the light blue at the bottom it was a mistake. Basically the cover just folds over connecting with the velcro along the way. The light pink line of velcro (toothed side) on top of the barrel is where the scope will attach later on. Theres a line of velcro (soft side) along the bottom of the barrel which attaches to the line of velcro on the base gun, this is seen in red.

The scope then attaches to the top of the barrel seen as the light pink lie in the previous picture.
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Which looks like this! Yay!
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And you’re all done!
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Finish it off with a shoddy paint job and you’re good to go!
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But in all seriousness I love this prop so much its defiantly my favourite to date!
If you want to know how to draw your own prop blueprints (with no fancy photoshop) I have a tutorial all about that Which you can read here!  And if you want to know how to scale and print those blueprints I have a another tutorial for that here!


I haven’t posted in a month and I am so sorry about that, it was such a rush to get all this done then I was away at the con wearing Ana and now work is super crazy every night!

I plan on having the last construction post for Ana to be up for next week maybe earlier and then I can start talking about new projects which I been saying I would do for months .. Ha ha.

Anyway back on board with regular posting! I love you all and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

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Wimbledon College of Art and more Fabric Shopping..

It’s official, I’m a broke student again.

Today I went to Wimbledon College of art for a tour and to get to know the course(s) I am interested in. Those two courses being the ‘BA (Hons) Theatre & Screen: Costume Interpretation’ and ‘BA (Hons) Theatre & Screen: Costume Design’. First and foremost I am most interested in the Costume Interpretation course which like the other course runs for three years. In this course you ‘study the historical and social context of the evolution of costume in Western Europe through independent research’. And because of my love for historical costumes I find that course to be the most accurate to my long term goals in the costume making industry.

The location is lovely as its just far enough out of London that you don’t get the huge amount of people and constant smog but still close enough to central London that it still feels apart of London, not to mention its got a 15 minute walk to the tube which will take you to central London in just under half and hour (on a good service!)
The College its self has amazing facilities such as a fabric dying room that’s also a screen printing room. A small room for first year students to plan and design and then a much larger room for 2nd and 3rd year students to do the same. The sewing facilities are standard with relatively new sewing machines and I believe I saw over-lockers however I’m not sure. Many different dress forms and all shapes and sizes. To my understanding every 2nd and 3rd year student got their own desk and machine to work with as well as a safe to keep their belongings in while away, where 1st year students were left to use the main tables (each had a machine to it) set up like a classroom’s textiles class. In first year, students in the Costume Interpretation course will study and make corsets, make a petticoat and a bum roll.
Overall I really enjoyed my tour of the College, I asked loads of questions and all of them were answered. I got more information about how to put together a portfolio showcasing costumes. The basic concept of a portfolio for an arts school is to obviously show all of your work finished or unfinished. They want to see you fail! You should be able to confidently talk about your costumes, what worked and what didn’t. How did you overcome these situations did you have to alter original ideas and concepts to get you where you are? Ideally they want people who can confidently talk about their costumes and go into in depth discussions about their work, that work of course being to a high standard (this applies to finished costumes I believe un-finished costumes will be more easy going!) Drawings of original designs and of those costumes you are working on are great to add to your portfolio. Fabric samples paired with the costumes that were used for is also a great idea as whoever is looking at your portfolio will be able to tell how hard it was to work with such a fabric/material and judge how much skill was needed to produce an outcome of that standard with such a material (Some fabrics are harder to work with than others so they will make a judgement based on how well you did with that material and the skills used to manipulate it into your costume). And finally they want students with passion!!


And on my second trip to Goldhawk fabrics my grandmother helped pay for me~

3 and a half meters of Satin
dress fabric

And one meter of ornate lace~

These fabrics are of course for my Costume based off the painting Ophelia by Georges-Jules-Victor Clairin (I’ve nicknamed it Ophelia in Blue to avoid confusion with Sir John Everett Millais’s famous painting)
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The main blue fabric is for the dress which I have decided not to line. The lace is for the sleeves which start just above the elbow.
The dress has little to no shape to it apart from the balloon sleeves (Its the best description I can give and its pretty accurate!). Rather than making a secondary garment to go under the dress to produce the sleeves I decided I will end the sleeves above the elbow with a band at which the end of the ‘balloon’ will be gathered. I’ll make the sleeves slightly longer than that so they will have an ‘over-flow’ effect as seen in the painting which in theory will hide the band and the beginning of the lace.  The bottom half of the sleeves (from elbow down) will be made from the lace. Which I really want to finish with a french seam and a slight bit of gathering to give the lace that cup look around the hand seen in the painting.
I’m hoping to make the headdress from thin craft wire and then cover it with Autumn leaves as well as make some vines to curl down the dress from wire and leaves as well.
Ideally this costume will have a photo shoot in Autumn hopefully late May so I can have the orange and some green leaves in the back drop of photos. These are New Zealand seasons keep in mind!


And that was today’s journey into London! Tomorrow I’m heading to the Warner Brothers studio in Watford aka the Harry Potter Studios! This is my second time going and I’ve seen that there are many more exhibits and displays on since I was there two years ago. I can confidently say I have acquired all the fabric I need for my next projects minus the lining materials for dresses, corset, body suit and eventual cape for Celaena which I have decided will be safer to buy in NZ rather than risking my luggage weight for the trip back home anymore. No more fabric shopping or I’ll be in debt!

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

Fabric Shopping Haul London and a trip to the V&A

I had an amazing day in London today taking the tube first to the V&A and then (a few hours later) to Goldhawk road for fabric shopping.

Starting with The Victoria and Albert Museum, it is much much larger than I expected! But I was probably a little too hyped for the historical costumes. A disappointing amount. So in the V&A there is an are called Fashion where they show the progression of fashion from the 17th century to present. It was honestly a small display and I was quite annoyed there was nothing from earlier periods in time on display. Luckily there was a display on the 4th(?) floor on theater and performance which had twice as many costume even if they weren’t historical they were amazing to look at.
Europe Display Photos

This display was really interesting with all of the costume on display being originals except the dress which was a miniature replica. The photo of the room was called a ‘Room of Mirrors’ it looked cute so I snapped a photo of that too.

Fashion Display Photos

I don’t think that last photo was from the fashion display but Oh Well. I think this display has so much potential if they just got rid of half the most recent clothes on display and just filled the museum cases with historical garments. But no lets focus on plain boring clothing. I’m hoping when I visit the Globe theater in a week or so there will be more historical garments on display there. And no I was not able to find the original dress that I’m working on replicating in any displays. It likely got moved to a different site since the first publication of Patterns of Fashion 3.

Theater And Performance Costume Display Photos

That silver dress is just gorgeous and my photos haven’t done the finer details justice. This costume is for an opera called Iolanthe and the character the would have worn it is the Queen of the Fairies. That was the last display I looked at before I decided it was best to go and get my fabric before any stores closed.

Fabric shopping on Goldhawk Road FABRIC HAUL

You only need to go to one store

Goldbrick Fabrics

 

This shop is amazing!!! I didn’t need to go anywhere else! This shop is like descending into heaven if my local fabric store (Spotlight) were hell. The walls are stacked with fabric of all colors, textures and prints. I spent a good 10 minutes just wondering around looking at everything before I started looking at my list. You could say I very quickly made friends with one of the staff members (who is a fellow cosplayer). She was so helpful with deciding what fabrics would work best for my Elizabethan dress. Showing me the most perfect burnt red brocade fabric for the cloak with hanging sleeves matched with a slightly lighter red fabric (I can’t for the life of me remember what it is but it is historically accurate)
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The dress fabric is darker I took these as soon as I got home so the lighting wasn’t that great. 6m of the dress fabric and 4m of the brocade fabric used for the cloak and hanging sleeves.
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Next on the list was the dress fabric for Sansa Stark. The staff member who was helping me squealed when I showed her the photo immediately showing her co-worker who was also just as happy! We weren’t able to find any lilac fabric with a gold pattern on it so we settled on just the lilac fabric. I think it was a silk blend… possibly.
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Again, poor lighting equals shoddy looking fabric. The fabric is a little shiny and a rich lilac in natural lighting. I bought 5m 50cm of this fabric all in one bolt of course.
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I also got fabric for the caped cowl to go with my Demongaze Death Knight armour from WOW. Finding fabric for this at first was difficult as we were just wondering the store looking for the right coloured fabric which was a dirty purple color from photo reference. We then found a heavy weight lining fabric in a dark purple that would drape perfectly.
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I think this is the only photo of my fabrics that the lighting hasn’t effected. It looks amazing and it think it is perfect for the cape and cowl on the Demongaze Death Knight armour. I got 3m of this fabric and it was given to me! I am so thankful for the people at this store they are so lovely and kind!
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And finally I got some black faux leather for my Queen of Midnight cosplay. And its the thin stuff! Not the thick rubbery faux leather you get in NZ. The inside is soft and I don’t think I will need to make a lining for the corset I am making from, unless there are a lot of seams in which case I will. I bought 1m of it and am really hoping that will be all I need..
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Best photos despite the awful lighting I think. Its really nice and lightweight too which means I shouldn’t get too hot wearing it at conventions and for its photo shoot.
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And that concludes my fabric haul, I can not wait to get back to NZ and start on these costumes! I will be ordering my black worbla in the next week or so and hopefully it will have arrived by the time I get home.
I will be buying all my lining material as well as corset material when I arrive back in NZ. And hopefully get some trims for my Elizabethan dress.

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

 

 

 

 

 

Fabric shopping in London: The list

I did attempt to go shopping earlier in the week for the fabrics I need for my upcoming costumes. I wanted to go to Goldhawk Road first but my mother insisted that we go to this in her words ‘really great’ fabric market… that was dodgy as hell. I can’t really remember where it was but basically the town we were in had one of its main roads closed off for this market (it was not just a fabric market) and it stretched off down the road. So we walked down the road looking at all of the stalls selling rip off items, poor replicas and and some items that didn’t look all that legal only to find disappointment. Apart from the fabric being really poor quality, none of the sellers had anyway of measuring or cutting the fabric.  So I decided rather than being ripped off I would promptly leave.

The plan now is to go to Goldhawk road after Christmas possibly the same day I go up to Wimbledon College of arts and if there is enough time to go up to the Victoria and Albert Museum we’ll do that too. If not I will just go another day.

So what am I buying for and what is my list?

Costumes I am buying for

Demongaze Death Knight Armour
(yes I finally worked how to get the hood onto the 3D model)

Sansa Stark
Sansa dress 1

Young girls loose gown (Elizabethan)pretty dfresee

The fabric list

Demongaze armour

  • Bodysuit fabric, dark purple scaled pattern would be ideal in a stretch fabric. For this I will be using Yaya Han’s body suit pattern (previously used in my Dark Brother hood cosplay)
  • Cowl and cape will be made from a midnight blue medium-heavy weight cotton fabric.
  • Cowl accent could possibly be faux leather or craft foam. I will probably make this decision based on what I can find in the fabric stores.

Sansa Stark

  • Iris purple fabric with an ornate pattern
  • Iris purple lining fabric
  • Buttons similar to the ones pictured
  • I will be using the Simplicity pattern 1487 for this dress

 

Young Girls loose gown (Elizabethan)

  • I think the colors of garnet red and mahogany red would look really nice together. I want one of those fabrics to have an ornate pattern. The effect I want is for either the dress to have the ornate patterned red and the cape to just be a simple red with out a pattern or vise versa.
  • I also want to get trims for this costume to go on the dress and the pecks of the shoulders ect.

 

I think that is everything but I’m sure I will add to it if I have forgotten anything.
And that’s what I will be buying in London, I really look forward to making these costume next year and sharing them on this blog.

Thank you for reading
-Nivera