Project Cosplay

Project Cosplay

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.

Common Tags

Posts tagged "steampunk"


Mechanical Steampunk Arm made for Gaslight Gathering. I used the automail designs for inspiration. While it looks gold in the pictures due to the reflection, in person it looks copper similar to the materials picture.

Method: Copper Spandex over craft foam using this process. My advice is to coat only the craft foam, not the fabric as it makes it wrinkle and pucker so stretching it over the foam is a pain. Also, use metal spatulas and wipe them often because cleaning the glue gunk from them is almost impossible.



So here is what I worked on this weekend. It’s always great to do photos with people who do great things and know what they want!

I’ll tag those I know have Tumblrs:

Elfgrove as Merida

Xaynie as Mulan

Will tag as I find out if the others have tumblrs. Otherwise, the rest of this set can be viewed here.

My cosplay ladies and I looking fabulous in the lens of one of my favorite photogs. Thank you so much, Darryl!

Just had to share more photos from our Steampunk Disney Princesses photoshoot with Mike Rollerson and WhiteDarryl

You can check out more photos in White Darryl’s Prodigious Machinations gallery, Mike’s Non-Convention 2, and Costume Details galleries.

Thank you for the fabulous shoot, gentlemen!


Steampunk Disney Princesses photos by Mike Rollerson [link]

  • Xaynie as Mulan
  • ElfGrove as Merida
  • Jaime as Belle
  • Christina as Snow White
  • Tara as Ariel
  • Jru as Tinkerbell

If you ever wanted to know what your mods looked like (Xaynie & Elfgrove), here is our latest getup at Gaslight Gathering, a steampunk convention. 

(via xaynie)

Cage acquired at Micheal’s, a steampunk automaton version of Mulan’s Cri-Kee made out of wire, sculpy, and translucent folder material.


Steampunk Cricket

It’s not as nice as I had hoped, and every attempt turned out larger assembled than I intended. But I’m out of gold and silver sculpy  now, so this may be the best I can manage.

Excuse the cell-phone snaps.

"That awkward moment when you go to the PMX website and see your face on their homepage"

Doesn’t Xaynie look lovely there in the center graphic?

Cosplay Tip #008: Antique Your Steampunk or “Antiquated” Weapons!

When creating “antique” looking weapons for either historical accuracy or for your own fantastic creations, one thing we recommend is to antique your weapon. It will give your weapon a wear & tear look that makes it appear quite real! Here are some tips:

  1. Get a key and start making small scratch marks all over your prop. Since this rifle was so big, you can’t see the small marks I made on it but they are there!
  2. Use black acrylic paint and mix a 3:1 ratio of black paint to water. You will only need a little. For the gun above I mixed 2 teaspoons of paint and 2/3 teaspoon water into it. 
  3. Use any bristled paintbrush and dip it into the mixture.
  4. For the next step, there are 2 ways of doing it and it will give you different effects. You can either squeeze the paint out of the paintbrush and start “dry brushing” the prop to give you light streaks, OR, keep the brush wet, paint it all over an area, and use a rag cloth to wipe up or blot the prop in different areas. If using the rag cloth method, make sure you wait about 30 seconds before wiping to allow the paint to set for a little bit. For the gun above, I used a combination of both methods to give it more texture.
  5. Make sure to get deep into the cracks. Cracks will be the dirtiest so antique that area very well! You might even just want to leave the cracks black and not wipe anything away.
  6. Beveled / raised / elevated areas of the prop will be lightest so don’t antique that area too much. Focus on edges, sides, cracks.

Have fun with it. There is no right or wrong. This is part of the creative process so just run with it, even if you made a “mistake.” No one can or will tell. It’s old and busted up anyway so who cares if there are cracks, dents, etc. Right?

For anyone curious, these are the two mods behind Project Cosplay at San Diego Comic Con 2011.

  • Xaynie as a Steampunk Lolita
  • ElfGrove as Zinda Blake a.k.a. Lady Blackhawk

SDCC is a pretty laid-back convention in our cosplay season as we are local to SD and not big fans of this particular con. We usually only bring out either what is easy to wear or was already sitting in the costume closet.

Often times the character you’re portraying may wear glasses. The glasses are usually a specific design, and this design is rarely going to match a set of frames you already wear (if you wear glasses at all).

Personally, I don’t wear glasses, and popping the lens out of a pair of frames is usually pretty obvious. So here are some solutions for cheap (usually less than $16) costume-accurate glasses.

01. Ebay. The almighty realm of internet trade. Type in a search for “fake”, “non-prescription" or "clear lens" glasses. Add further specifiers as you go, like color or frame shape. You can often find glasses this way for under $10.

02. Claire’s. Yes, the mall-based mecca of overpriced teen and costume jewelry. Due to the recent popularity of the “Hipster” fashion, Claire’s stores currently carry a small variety of “vanity glasses” (clear lens) that may be worth a check.

Then, although more expensive, there are a trio websites I regularly check when on the hunt.

03. Goggles and Glasses. This is a great shop for cheap sunglasses in a wide variety of designs, as well as a variety of safety glasses in multiple colors for characters with those one-piece colorful tech visors, and actual goggles for you steampunkers and Digimon leaders. They have the best shipping notices I’ve ever had the entertainment to receive (I’ll post one later). They also carry a small number or fake glasses, try searching for “fake” and for “clear”. Their internal search engine is kind of horrible though, so do just browse the shop, try different keywords, and try the shop by color.

04. Zenni Optical. A bit more expensive than Ebay, but around the same (or less) price range as G&G if you shop carefully. They have the best search options I’ve found, and any frame you pick can be customized with clear, prescription, and even a limited variety of colored lenses. When searching, after filling out your options on the side-bar, make sure to sort by price, as there are a lot of similar-looking frames, and you’ll want the least expensive for a costume.

When buying at ZO, do NOT buy “just the frame” even though it is half the price. The glasses may come without clear/demo lenses, or more-often, the demo lenses will have the manufacturer’s logo printed on the glass. You don’t want that.

Instead, if you wish to order glasses with non-prescription lenses:

  • Select “Single Vision” for the prescription type.
  • Select any PD number that works for the frames selected. This has no effect on the visual quality of the lens, as no prescription will be entered, but a PD is needed to pass through the system. If you get an error stating the PD is too small or big, simply choose one that works.
  • Select “1.57 Mid-Index Single Vision” for the lens, which has no extra charge.*Select any extra options desired such as tint (we recommend a value of 80% for sunglasses).
  • Leave all the prescription information at “0” and click “add to cart”.

05. Dino-Direct. This is usually a last-ditch check for me as their offerings are pretty inconsistent and you must watch the photos like a hawk for those manufacturers logos on the clear lenses. Ultimately, they cost you around the same as buying from G&G or ZO, but it never hurts to shop around. Just be cautious about your clear lenses.