This blog is about the behind-the-scenes aspect of the hobby. The process that makes it happen, tips, tutorials, memorable quotes, and the little moments that make it all worthwhile. Brought to you by mods (Xaynie & ElfGrove) and our cosplaying cohorts.
Aww. I love Syo. I’ve cosplayed a version of him myself! He’s going to be a bit easier than some options out there specifically because he is pretty covered up and likes to wear layers most of the time. His tendency towards jackets and open vests help to disguise your natural curves and thusly does not require you to bind as tightly!
The main thing to remember with binding for crossplay is to remain aware of your comfort level. Many binding methods aren’t really meant to be worn for much more than a couple of hours at a time (let’s say 4 max). Binding methods that are safer for longer amounts of time still tend to max out most people’s safety and comfort range around 8 or 9 hours. If you start hurting or are having difficulty breathing, it is time to take the binder off. No ifs, ands, or buts. Everyone who matters would much rather see you doing a female version of a male cosplay than in pain or passing out. Never bind for more than 8-12 hours even with a high quality binding method.
Methods are below the cut.
This is a quick tip regarding how to start sizing your props: Use the character’s body in reference to the prop and project it onto yours for relatively accurate sizing. Read below for more info.
1) Find reference photos and decide which version you are going to use. I’m currently working on Claves for Eternal Sonata. Here are two reference photos.
Notice in one photo, the rapier is much longer than the other? Yep, often times you’ll find reference photos are not consistent. What should you consider when deciding between which version? The first question is how will you be transporting this weapon? If you are taking it in a car then you can make it as big as you can stuff into your car. If you have to stuff your prop into a suitcase then you will have to think about how you are going to break it down for transporting. The second question is which can I accomplish based on my skill level? A few months ago, I did not know how to make props that broke down so if I were a few months back, I probably would have decided to use the shorter version. But since I’m challenging myself to make sure my weapons always break down, I have decided to go with the reference photo with the longer rapier. Also, the shorter one looks like a magician’s poking stick and rapiers on average are 39” long.
2) Estimate how big it is in relation to the character. For the version I am using, her rapier, if turned completely vertical (I did this using photoshop or you can just eye it), would be about the length of her waist to the floor.
3) Measure your body based on that estimation. I measured my floor to waist length and coincidentally it’s exactly 39”. So I will make my rapier about a meter long.
There you go, simple right? You can do this for anything- wigs, gauntlets, small props, accessories, weapons, 3D Maneuver Gear, etc. Use the character’s body in reference to the prop and project it onto yours for relatively accurate sizing.
I think all you’ll need is hairspray, a blow dryer, and a small curling iron to get her crown / fringe looking good.
supernovadobe created a pretty good video tutorial here: http://supernovadobe.tumblr.com/post/72032925862/elsa-frozen-wig-tutorial-here-elsa-wig (the link is directly below the banner).
At point 4:10 you’ll see how she makes the widow’s peak. At the 10:00 minute mark you’ll start seeing how the rest of the crown is styled. I hope that helps!
OH! This is a fun question.
ElfGrove: I discovered cosplay when I joined an anime club at my university, AUSAM (Auburn University Society of Anime and Manga). Back then, the club made annual trips as a group up to Anime Weekend Atlanta. The club president at the time, in preparation for the trip, told us about cosplay and other things we could expect to see at the con. I ended up doing my first costumes that year, a female Ranma (with no wig, and my hair was not red) and Wizard from Angelic Layer (with a cheap party store wig and painters tape creating the arm stripes). Looking back now, they were pretty terrible costumes, but they were my first attempts, so I’m still fond of them. Everyone starts somewhere, and I find that endearing and encouraging rather than something to be embarrassed of. I’ve only really started amassing a wider array cosplay skills in the last 5 or 6 years. I could not be prouder of the improvements I’ve made to my skill set. I revisited Ranma 1/2 as a Ryoga cosplayer in 2012, and I’d like to do something from Angelic Layer again one day in memoriam of that first costume.
Xaynie: I have always wanted to cosplay ever since I started watching Sailor Moon on t.v. in 1992. I made poor attempts in high school to cosplay Mercury. I wish I had the pictures to show it but I dyed my real hair blue and cut / styled it the way Mercury’s hair was. I no-sewed / hot glued all her pieces of clothing and made a really crappy version of her but I was proud of it because I was able to cosplay one of my favorite characters. Then high school and college took over and I never attempted again. It wasn’t until after college where I had time and money to invest in cosplay. In 2006 I went to my first AX and cosplayed Yoruichi from Bleach. From then on, I just never stopped perfecting my craft and hobby.
Everyone’s first cosplay will be crappy. There are a few of us who are blessed with the skill and talent to get it right the first time. I’m not one of those. Over the years, I’ve gotten better. So if it’s your first time cosplaying, don’t be intimidated! You have to start somewhere like the rest of us!