Monday, April 18, 2011

Update: Lugia Mascot Cosplay

Hi guys! It's been a cosplay whirlwind around here lately...I signed up to be in a cosplay skit for Nihon Matsuri (Japan Festival) in Salt Lake City at the end of the month (I will be Super Sailor Moon and I have someone to be my Chibi!!), I was in a photoshoot for my friend's photography class as Sora from Kingdom Hearts II (one of my fave costumes to wear!) and I got some stuff done on Lugia while finishing up watching FullMetal Alchemist all the way through for the first time. Whee! The nerdiness has definitely made me feel like myself again :)

Here are some new pieces I've worked on for Lugia:

These are the inner foam pieces for the legs. The darts were then glued together and the calf pieces also, making just one seam along the back of the leg. I will be covering these pieces with fabric shaped to look like "digitigrade" legs, so it looks like Lugia is standing on his toes like a bird would. It doesn't look like much now but there will be flexibility in the knees since I didn't use foam in that area.

 I cut a bit more foam out of the arm pieces to lessen the weight even more. Next to the arm/wing, we have the inner skeleton of the tail! I used the same principle that is used in those wooden toy snakes that you wiggle back and forth on one axis but the vertical axis stays rigid. So there is one long solid piece vertically, and circular pieces that maintain the tail shape but allow it to move horizontally. This serves the purpose of 1) keeping the tail off the ground (it's gonna be covered in white fleece--easily soiled) and 2) giving the character some personality and realism with a moving tail. I only hope that the fabric covering will not hinder the movement too much.

And lastly here is a photo of the neck, wing and tail just to give you some idea of the scale:

This next part was whipped out in about an hour. I cut out ten pieces of foam in a rectangle/trapezoidal shape, made some fabric covers for them and voila! Lugia's back "spikes" are done. Easy Peasy.

Next part of the costume is figuring out the BODY. This is crucial because it connects all the pieces together. It needs to be the right size and shape, and I have to make some kind of pattern to cover it with the fabric.

ANGST. I hate making patterns XD

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lugia "Mascot" Type Cosplay Progress

Hello people of the interwebs!! I've had quite the hiatus but I'm back and ready to show you my current project:

lugia pokemon soul silver

I'm making a Lugia cosplay!

Lugia holds a special place in my heart. I remember taking my little brother to Pokemon the Movie 2000, probably at the tail end of junior high school. I like anything that remotely resembles a dragon and Lugia is basically a giant dragon bird that swims AND flies! Best of both worlds! Around that time I also got my hands on Pokemon Silver which will forever be my favorite game of the series (of course, SoulSilver is its souped-up, super-awesome descendant, but you gotta go with nostalgia, right?).

Since I worked on the NinjaBee mascot (long future blog post pending on that one), I felt fully prepared to tackle this monster using more AstroFoam from the hundred-foot roll I bought. Basically you create the shape of the whole creature using foam, then glue fabric onto it. Pretty simple, although I'll admit I have a hard time coming up with 3D patterns. I have to really think about the shape I want to make, and what smaller flat shapes make up that 3D shape. Boggles the mind, it does.

I started with the most important part: the head.

I worked up a drawing of how I want the costume to work and the approximate proportions I want it to have on the wearer. Lugia's big, so we need to make it an impressive size while maintaining a light weight and easy wearability.

I basically tape a bunch of pieces of paper together and draw all over them once I figure out the size I need everything to be. I know how to do math, yay! Proportions are easy to figure out once you've remembered how to do fractions from grade school. XD

The neck is just two flat pieces of foam glued at the back. The head is two flat pieces glued at the top, with the "eyeshields" sticking into the head via tabs/slots. The jaw is 3 pieces glued together.

This is how the final product should look. There is a place for the ensemble to rest on the wearer's shoulders. The wearer's head will be in the neck, looking forward through thin mesh fabric. I am working out how to attach the head and jaw in order to give the wearer the ability to do some puppetry, moving the head up and down, and the jaw also.

Mouth open would look like this.

Next I worked on the wings. I made them jointed so that the wearer can fold them up to get through doors and to allow for some dynamic poses. This is AstroFoam with batting glued between.

This shows the wing proportions with the head. I like how big everything looks!

This the wing with elastic added for the wearer. I am a little worried about it cutting off circulation though, and I might try velcro instead so it's more adjustable.

I cut into the wing to lighten the weight somewhat. The biggest piece relies on the wearer's wrist only to keep it up so it needs to be as light as possible. No droopy Pokemans!!

What a fun material I've found! Just a clear plastic tube that served as packaging for ornaments.

This is quarter-inch FunFoam from the craft store. The black piece is a sunglasses lens, popped out and hot-glued to the foam. Can you guess what this might be??

I glued fabric around the AstroFoam eyeshield, then placed the FunFoam and sunglasses lens on top of that, and glued a small white paper highlight onto the lens. Looking good, but there's something that would make it even better! (Also, please disregard the 25-year old carpet...what a lovely, earthy color...)

Here's the back of the eyeshield with the fabric glued around the edges, to be cleaned up later.

That clear plastic from the aforementioned tube became the "cornea" for Lugia's cartoony eye! It was already curved so it gives this awesome, glossy 3D appearance. So cool!

Here is a composition shot of the eye work in progress! He's looking more like Lugia by the minute!!

Stay tuned for future posts on Lugia's progress. My next items of business will be the legs and tail, followed by the body. I am so excited for this project!