Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wig Review!

So, because I'm in school and it's a short summer semester, I'm not having as much time to do tutorials.  So, I thought I would post a wig review of the wigs I currently own!  Hope you like!

I have this in platinum (I think).  It's from Arda wigs and I got it for my Daenerys cosplay.  When I took it out of the box, I loved it!  It's super soft and the color is fantastic.  Not exactly screen accurate for my Season 2 Daenery's, but I loved it.  Then, I wore it.  I no longer love this wig.  I've worn it exactly 2 times and now I hate it.  The underside is a hot mess now.  It's super tangled and I cannot get the tangles out without frizzing the wig.  No matter what tips I google, it's not working.  Needless to say, this wig is not so good.  I think when it comes to long wigs, you need to spend the extra money to get a good one.  Plus, I really need a lace front for Daenerys.  I have a couple of wigs in mind, and when I choose one, I will review it for you.

I'm not positive where I got this wig from, but I checked all of the sites I buy from, and this wig is not on it.  So, wherever I got it from, they no longer sell it.  Which is a shame, because I LOVE THIS WIG!  Super soft, doesn't tangle, and totally looks real.

This is one of my most recent buys.  I got this in grey from Arda wigs for my Carol Peletier cosplay.  I like it, but I wish it were fuller.  It's a bit difficult to style.  In hindsight, I probably should have gotten a wig slightly too long and then trimmed it, but it works.  And it looks pretty good on.

I got this wig for my Sister Paula and love it!  It's a little thin, but my cosplay has a hood, so you don't notice.  It's Kharma in Chrome from Wowwigs.  It's really soft, looks great on, and is a great color.  The only downside is that the cap is a bit big.  I had to really pin it down, and thankfully, my cosplay had a hood, so you didn't see the gaping so much.

I got this (as well as a tail, which I will review below) from MapofBeauty on amazon.  It's actually a pretty good wig for the price.  It's shiny, but Twilight Sparkle is a cartoon character, so that works.  I've only worn it once, but it had barely any tangles which combed out with my fingers.  Definitely recommend this for a Twilight Sparkle.

This is the tail I got to go with my Twilight Sparkle.  It's from Lemail and is also from amazon.  It worked perfectly, just like the wig.  Soft and shiny, and barely any tangles.  Definitely recommend this.

This is my newest wig.  I haven't worn it to a con yet, but I did try it on and it's short so it won't tangle.  This one is from Epic Cosplay Wigs.  It's their chronos 14" in black. It's very soft and not very shiny.  Looks very real.  I got this for my Mikasa Ackerman cosplay and I think it will work beautifully.  Definitely recommend this wig.  It's a little too flipped out at the bottoms for Mikasa, but that might fall out with wear.  And if not, it's a very minor complaint.

That's it for the wigs I own.  I have 2 or 3 I plan on buying this summer, so I will let you know how those work out!

Sorry for no tutorial. :-(

Until next time, keep cosplaying!  Any questions, comments, or request, leave them below!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SNK Mikasa harness tutorial part three

Sorry it took so long to get part three out!  I had the hardest time finding buckles, of all things!  Anyway, here it is!

Let's start by making the back pieces, and the thigh pieces.  You can use foam or leather for this.  I used some faux leather because I had some lying around and I didn't have any foam on hand.  If you use foam, make sure you seal it, add a fabric backing, prime it, and paint it.  I actually made all the pieces, then decided I'm not going to use the back pieces.  First, because they won't show with the jacket on.  Second, when I tried everything on, it rubbed the back of my neck really badly and I knew I'd be miserable.  Why be miserable for a part of the costume than won't even show??  On to the tutorial!

First, you are going to need a dress form, or a body form that you've made.  Otherwise, you will need a very crafty friend to help you out.  I used a dress form.  Make sure it's set to your size.  Mines a bit dirty from a Daenery's chestplate out of paper mache (that didn't work).  Ignore that :-p

Now, pin some newspaper onto your dress form.

Since this needs to be a mirror image, I recommend putting the fold down the middle and only drawing half.  The next step is to draw your outline.  I free hand drew it with a reference picture up on my phone.

Fold newspaper in half and cut out your pattern.

Now, pin this pattern back onto your dress form, because we need to extend the shoulder straps.

Try it on and make sure it fits.

Now, for the lower back pieces and the thigh pieces, I just kind of eyeballed it.  Cut it out, and just keep trimming until the size looks right.


Now, trace and cut out your patterns.  I used chalk to trace.

Put your harness on the dress form.  Put the back piece over it and see if it fits.  Make sure you try the back piece on yourself as well.  To make the slits for the straps is a little tricky.  What I did was measure to the center (fold in half one way, mark; fold in half the other way and mark; line up marks to find center).

Measure equidistant from the center for your slits.  Mine need to be 2" because that's my strap width.  Don't make it too small, but don't make it too big either.  I kind of just played around with it until it worked.  Use chalk so your marks are easily erasable.  Make your marks for the ends as well.

If it looks like you want it to, cut.  I used an exacto knife.  Now,weave your straps through.

It should look something like this.  Now, as for the lower back ones, I'm not really sure how you would attach those.  Sew them, rivet them?  Not sure.  But I've decided not to do them.  I may add them later on, but I'm not entering a contest and no one's going to photograph my back, so they're not really needed for me.

Now, basically the whole harness is complete except for the two thigh straps.  So let's make those.  You should have 4 short pieces of thin strap.  2 are slightly longer than the other two.  Those are your upper thigh straps.  First, attach your buckles.

Once all four are attached, wrap the straps around your thigh and mark where the hole for the buckle should be.

Using a grommet tool, cut a hole at your mark and install a grommet.

Make sure the finished, nice side is facing up.  Repeat on the other 3 straps.  Next, take the leather or foam thigh piece you made earlier and match it up to see where to cut your slits.  What I did was put the leather straps on, then set the leather over it.  I drew in chalk where the straps needed to enter and exit.  Then, use exacto knife to cut.

Weave your straps through.  And that's basically it.  Personally, if you are not going to attach these thigh pieces to your harness (like me), I highly recommend using either velcro or double sided tape in order to keep the straps up.  Otherwise, they tend to fall down your thigh as you walk.

And now, as promised, here is a link to the tutorial videos for putting your harness on.  This tutorial may not work if you purchased a harness online.  I'm sure there are tutorials specifically for those.  However, if you went through my tutorial and made your harness yourself, this video will definitely help you put it on.  Unfortunately my camera card got full during the first video, so I had to split it up into two.  The first one is the harness, the second is the thigh straps.  Enjoy!

Video One
Video Two

Until next time, keep cosplaying!  Any questions, comments, or request, leave them below!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DIY Sister Paula Cosplay, Blades

This is the final Sister Paula cosplay tutorial!  You have the armor, and the corset piece.  Now, all you need are her wicked blades.  As always, get yourself a bunch of reference pictures.  Try not to use other cosplayers, because they may be doing an artistic take on the character, and you don't want to copy that.  Or, if you do, ignore that last sentence.  Anyway.  There is a tutorial, if you have photoshop, on how to take a picture and resize it and then print it out to use as a template.  I have photoshop elements, therefore, it does not work for me.  But, here is the tutorial, in case it will work for you.

  • foam core board (like what kids use for the science fair)
  • exacto knife
  • sand paper
  • dremel
  • fast mache or paper clay
  • masking tape
  • plastidip
  • paint
  • lots and lots of patience!!!
First, take your foam board and trace out your template, or free hand it like I did.  Now, Her blades curve outward, but I chose to curve mine in for numerous reasons. One, curved out wouldn't have enough room on my foam, and two, I felt it would be easier to contain at a convention (less likely to catch on things).  After tracing, cut it out (use a mat!  Mine's not in the picture, but I have one.)

The handles need to be thicker, so trace just the handle part onto the foam and cut out.  You can do one on each side, if you'd like.  It felt too bulky to me, so I just did one side. 

Repeat for the other blade.  Then, add the edge to the blade portion.  Just carve at it with your exacto knife at an angle to get the desired curve.

Hot glue the handles together for both blades.

Gently sand off an rough edges and torn paper.  Next, wrap the entire thing in masking tape.  Repeat with other blade.

This is to give a base for your fast mache to stick to.  Fast mache is kind of a pain to work with.  I did a short video on what I found to be the best way to work with it.  Click here to watch (sorry it's sideways!  I'm new to the video thing).  Cover once side of each blade with fast mache.  Let dry until hardened, then do the other side.  Allow to completely dry (follow instructions on the box).

Next, have some patience and sand.  I didn't, so my sanding is half assed and you can totally tell in pictures.  However, I already have plans to remake them, as I'm not super fond of this technique for larger items.  Therefore, I didn't care if they were lumpy.  Once you have yours sanded nice and smooth, prime with plastidip (I used white, cause I was out of black).  No picture, sorry.  I took one, but my computer ate it?  It disappeared somehow.  Then, do a solid black coat.  You can spray paint or hand paint.  Just make sure you get all the nooks and crannies.

Now, do a coat of silver.  I wanted mine to be nice and dark, so I did a gun metal gray with a slight metallic sheen.  I chose to not paint the handles silver, but leave them black.  I liked how it looked.  Hers are solid silver, though, so do what you wish with that.

Now, it looks very 2 dimensional and blah at this point.  Using black paint and a dry brush technique, age the silver bits, paying attention to the blade portion.

Now, using the silver paint, use a dry brush technique on the black handles.

Finished!  And now, the finished product:

Hope yours turned out just as great!
Until next time, keep cosplaying!  Any questions, comments, or request, leave them below!