Saturday, January 07, 2012

Comic Fiesta 2011 Preparations

This year, I started kinda early with my hardcore Comic Fiesta preparations. But unlike previous years, there was so much I needed to do! I was attempting to create Oerba Yun Fang's costume from SCRATCH! So, it's still considered "procrastination", haha... ^^"

This will mostly be a Fang "Work In Progress" post. This is not exactly a tutorial, as everything is not 100% accurate and I'm not a pro. I'm gonna try my best to record everything I did in detail, in hopes that this might help someone out there. (not like I have a lot of blog readers anyway |D)

My crazy ambitious project

I only started buying some of the pieces I needed the Sunday before Comic Fiesta. Some of my friends have already started on their props the previous week! I should've done that too, then it would've saved me more headache as they would be able to assist me a bit on my prop (DAT SPEAR!).

Isaac, Crystal, Alex and I went shopping at the Curve, and later Sunway Pyramid. Curve shopping was not very fruitful. ;w; I managed to buy a pair of big pearl earrings for Mia Fey (because I lost my last ones), along with some hemp cloth (will be seen later) and bobby pins from Daiso. After being in 3 different Daiso's, I finally found some crafting clay in Sunway Pyramid. Bought pipes and spray paint from Ace Hardware too.

The real work started on Monday, which was a public holiday. I had to work at the office on Tuesday, and I took the next three days off from work just to work on my cosplay! So all in all, it was only 5 days of preparation. And thank goodness I did, otherwise I'd never be finished! Even then, I had other things to do other than preparing for Fang. Chia Mei (Serah) came over on Day 3 and Day 4 of preparations, to prepare for our Group Cosplay Competition skit as well. She made her necklace and sewed her blouse at my house too. We did the voice acting, got my brother to voice Snow and collected Celine's (Lightning) voice, then I had to edit the audios. Alex (Snow) came on Day 4 for rehearsals, but Celine couldn't make it! In the end, the four of us only met up during Comic Fiesta itself. (this is a story for later!)

I'll be writing what I did in parts instead of days, so it'll be more helpful. :3 BEWARE. This blogpost is image and text heavy!

The whole photo album of my WIP can be found here, with construction notes too.




Reference for the arm accessories, necklaces and earrings!

Arm Accessories

First thing I completed was all the stuff on her arm. There wasn't much to do actually... |D
For the black arm warmer things, I bought those arm-glove-thingy-to-shade-yourself-from-the-sun-while-driving from Daiso and cut it into the right length. It keeps running down though, but there's nothing much you can do about it, unless you attach more elastic, or use eyelash glue* to hold it up. :P

(* Eyelash glue is useful to be applied to fabric to get them to stick and hold onto your skin. Apparently, it works with wigs too, when you want bangs to hold with a specific style on your face. Can be washed off unlike normal glue so it's good!)

Bracelets. Just buy about 17 of them, whatever colour you want as long as they are abit metallic-ish. Lucky for me, Anthea, my Vanille, is in paddyland where Indian stuff like these are widespread. Woohoo! |D

Brown weaved armband! One of the nice, fun things I made. :D There's a very owhsm tutorial on how to weave this on deviantART! It's tricky at the start, but once you get a hang of it, it's smooth flowing, and results are rather pretty.

I salvaged these foam-like material strips from an old belt (because I has no leather strips). They were mostly in the colours I wanted already. I just had to paint the white ones to match the dark brown and light brown ones.

I weaved the 7 strips together according to the tutorial. Day 1 progress! (I stopped this to do stuff that needed to dry)

TADAH! My strips are a little too short, so the armband couldn't cover my arm. Sewed this onto a black elastic band to extend the armband. Very proud of the results!

Necklaces and Earrings

Necklace #1 a.k.a colourful necklace. Anthea gave me all the colourful beads I needed months back, all I had to make was the pearly beads, the long boney beads and the pendant.

Behold the divine Stone Powder Clay from Daiso! :D Much easier to use than many other clays I've tried. Doesn't dry too fast (can still be rescued if you add water!) and easy to mould! :D

I simply kneaded the clay to shape, then drew the patterns with a toothpick. It was only after I'm done did I realize I was using the wrong reference picture, hence this pendant is actually slightly inaccurate. ;w; Remember to poke a hole horizontally through the top of the pendant (otherwise you can't thread it!). I made another hole in the circular part at the bottom where the red ribbon will go through.

Did the same for the long beads. Kneaded thin worms (you know what I mean xD), cut to right size, poked a hole through with the toothpick. Then I painted everything with plain ol' poster paint!

White pearly beads were made of soft clay months back. TADAH! (red ribbon not attached yet) I would've added 2 more pearl sections, but I didn't have enough beads so I improvised with the rest of the necklace.

Necklace #2 a.k.a choker with amethyst pendant. I really wanted to make the amethyst thing look like a gem. I tried Kaika's gem-making tutorial on YouTube, but I couldn't work it out. I decided I didn't have time to figure it out, so I resorted to stone powder clay again! (that stuff is godsend)

Made it on Day 2! The clay was easy to work with, I made everything in small parts, then you just had to wet the surface and rub the clay together and it'll join together.

I bought this silver powder paint thingy from Liberty House in SS15. It's in powder form, you just add water to it! Better to paint it on something with a base colour already, as the powder itself is not exactly paint. It adds a nice metally shiny touch to stuff! Note that it's not 100% metallic, as the powder gives more of a speckly effect. (it's still owhsm!)

I painted a base gray coat, then painted the silver powder paint thing. (you can see the speckly effect here) Then painted the rest purple. Looky it's my earrings! |D

I couldn't find the right "bell" for the pendant, so I made it from clay as well. Painted silver like the pendant, and linked them together with a screw hook thing I took from an old charm keychain.
(the thing on the right is a cameo, I had time. |D Any guesses what that is? :P)

Attached the top to this black cord I salvaged... from another belt. Both necklaces complete! (I only assembled everything together on Day 5)

Earrings, just like everything else, was made of clay. I paint it the same way I painted the #2 pendant (I made both at the same time actually). I had a problem deciding on what colour to use, as reference pictures vary. I couldn't get a nice gem effect, so I went for an eye-catching dark purple instead.

I used a stud earring that I don't want anymore as the base (hooks don't work as well!). Then threw the clay on it and shaped it from there.


Completed Fang earrings!

Belt and Pouch


Both were made only on Day 5, which was the last day. |D I was very intrigued by the functionality of Fang's spear. One of them was that she carries it on her back while not fighting. So if you note the picture above, the pouch is actually not a pouch, but actually the "spear holder".

So, for the "pouch", I wanted some form of grip on the inside of the pouch so that the spear won't slip. I was thinking of lining the inside with some yoga mat kind of material. But I ended up using sponge and cloth.

Materials for the belt: (salvaged) sponge and cloth.

Went though a lot of trial and error with the shape and size of the "pouch" (it always turned out too small). Had -some- problems with the velcros, and the slit where the belt goes in. The beige lines have the other velcro part sewed on it.

Somewhat thin, but the diameter is almost right to hold the spear pole.

In the end, although I put quite a lot of thought into it, it didn't worked out as well as I hoped, as the spear was kinda heavy (and spear heads threw the weight off balance) so it would twist and turn the cloth around. I'll probably have to fortify the slit part, get a proper belt and think about the weight of the spear again.

2nd pic and 3rd pic was what I wanted to do for the belt. ;w; (this is not my WIP!)

For the belt, as stated in the picture above, I wanted to form it out of 6 cords. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the cords I want, or they were in black and was hard to get and hard to paint. As I was short on time, I had to improvise, but I didn't want to kill accuracy too much too. In the end I made the belt out of cloth and sponge, just like the "pouch". Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to make the buckles. I was thinking of using wires and making the design with clay (since they were decorative buckles), but the clay didn't seem to shape well with the wires and I didn't have time. For the real buckle, I used an old belt buckle. I definitely have to remake the belt because it's the wrong colour, it's not long enough, and not strong enough to hold stuff.

Only picture of the belt. Sewed the cloth on the sponge to give it shape and dimension. Then sewed lines on it so it looks like the real thing. Reminds me of a taekwondo belt... should've used that instead. o_o

Boots, Hair, Top and Fur Pelts


I threw everything in this section because I didn't do much for these stuff... |D

I bought the boots and wig from Taobao, so unfortunately, I can't help you with this. |D The wig wasn't what I hoped it would be as it was messy, but not Fang messy and cool, there were no red highlights, and it was a little too short. Taobao pictures can be deceiving sometimes! I should've bought the Fantasysheep one instead, I guess...

This was after CF Day 1. I "reddened" the wig with some leftover copper/brown colour hairspray. Sprayed it into my hands and grabbed the hair in streaks, instead of spraying it only of the surface of the wig.

For the black top, I just bought a normal tank top from Carrefour. One thing some people were concerned about was how much skin I was going to exposed. I don't have the best figure, so the best way to save people's eyes and for my comfort, is to sacrifice accuracy and leave the tank top as it is. :P I cut some slits (refer to the ref picture under belt and pouch!) on the back, and tied it up first with strings (they came off easily), later with small strips of masking tape.

I made the Fur Pelts only on CF Day 1 itself, haha. I gotten some left over fur from Anthea/Vanille's fur skirt, then just hand sewed it up to form a pelt. Then hung it from a cord.

Sari

FANG'S INSANE SARI. It might just look like a long blue cloth draped over the body, but if you look closely (best seen in the first reference picture, zoomed in), there's a lot of details to take note of. The dark blue tribal patterns, light blue triangle patterns, the gold trimmings at the edge, which I was very adamant on having it being a "second layer" instead of making it like a binding. (abit hard to explain here...) I did quite a bad rush job on the sari... so this is just for documentation purposes, you shouldn't follow what I did. |D

I bought 6 meters of blue cloth, and some gold bias tape because it would save the hassle of cutting the cloth (should've gotten cloth instead) on Day 3. I had leftover white fabric that was used for my Hannah apron (which was meant for my cancelled Kagura costume). Surprisingly, it was hard to find fabric paint, and I only gotten them on Day 4/5. So in the end, I only started on the "actual" costume (the sari) on Day 5.

I made the stencil on a plastic cover

Meanwhile, mum and my aunt helped to sew the blue, white and gold pieces together!

We did everything really quickly, so the frayed edges were still showing, although we tried to burn the edges. In the end, I didn't paint on the design because 1. The fabric paint smears easily, 2. There was too much to stencil, 3. I didn't want to risk smearing the design and letting it turn out bad. So, I didn't paint on the designs. :C The fabric probably affects how the paint sinks into the cloth... Mum insisted that the people online probably made theirs by embroidery because they look so pretty. |D

Sigh... it could've been better. But it'll have to work!

Don't under estimate this!

I was basing my sari on this tutorial. So basically, I made two long pieces of cloth. I had all the measurements as written there, but it seems like it was too much fabric, as I always had excess cloth that I had to stuff into my pants. Gosh, it's not an easy task wearing the sari! It takes me an average of almost 1.5 hours each time I wear the sari! Lots of safety pins and help from friends involved too. And even so, I had to keep pulling the sari up and adjusting it because it'll keep falling after time if you don't wear/secure it properly. I would've never been able to wear everything as quickly and nicely without help from friends. @w@

Spear - Bladed Lance

The crazy spear I was attempting to make.
1. It's a badass spear design.
2. The spear heads can move.
3. It's a 3-section staff as well.
4. It can be held by the pouch and carried on the back
WHAT IS NOT CRAZY ABOUT THIS!
(picture from gerodere)



This is the most challenging prop I had to make. Alone. As everyone else was busy with their own thing, and Anthea who originally promised to help me with the spear since 2010 was in Kedah, and I didn't have time to get out of the house, I had to visualize and make everything, mostly by myself. I'm bad in the "engineering" department, so I wasn't sure how I was going to get the spear to be functional. It's just me being ambitious as usual I guess.

The spear was a gradual work over 5 days. The work was mostly split between the decoration of the pole (which was really fun!) and the blade.

I bought a 2 meter PVC pipe, then cut it into 3 parts in proportion to the spear and my height (I had to shorten the pole a few times)

I started by cutting and painting the hemp cloth from Daiso to get the rough texture in the middle section

Hot glued the cloth on, connected PVC connectors to the sides and spray painted them silver, added black duct tape to the middle (which was sprayed silver later)

Day 2: I attached the chains (from Ace Hardware) to the middle pole. I couldn't drill any holes, so I just stuffed the pipe with small styrofoam pieces to keep the chain inside

Spray painted the side sections red! I duct taped parts that I didn't want to paint. Covering it with newspaper while spraying works well too.

Hot glued blue painted hemp cloth to the side sections, lined with black duct tape (painted gold later)

Stuffed the side sections with styrofoam and the chain. Now it's a 3-section staff! :D

New technique! I had to spray the paint into a container, and paint the gold on the duct tape with a brush because the paint was abit too faint if you just sprayed it on. Had to do a few layers to get a nice solid colour. (this was on Day 4)

The glorious mess outside my house! :D

Day 5: Finished up the gold accents using strings i bought from Mayflower. UHU glued them on. I didn't have time/enough strings to do the triangle-shaped accents.

Day 3: Started on the blades. I sketched the shape of the blades by free-hand. Sketch, cut-out, compare, resketch... MULTIPLE TIMES till I got the right shape!

Cut out the black inner blades! I'm using corrugated boards I came across in Carrefour for the blades because I didn't have time to work with wood or cardboard or styrofoam. Which was good for my last minute work because they were already coloured, and easy to use. (definitely can't kill people with the blade though)

This is how the sketching looks like |D

How the red parts look on the black pieces. I had to make 8 of the red blades, which will be sandwiching the 4 black inner blades I cut out earlier.

I finished cutting everything on Day 4. I really wanted 3D paint to draw the Pulse alphabets, but I couldn't find it. I screwed the blades together onto a hard foamboard (painted red). Because the foamboard was just a rectangular shape, it'll block off the blade designs on the other side. I had to do an odd arrangement with the blades... which is hard to explain at the moment. |D The foamboard sits in a slit through that PVC... thing (that is also painted red)

ZOMG I COMPLETED THE SPEAR. MYSELF! I didn't know how (or have time) to do the grooves and shapes on the edges. But I think it's a pretty good job already! ;w; And not too hard to transport as it's detachable to 5 parts!

The final results! :3

For the tattoos, I used eyeliner or black Sharpie for the fang tattoo, with my friends helping me to draw it everytime. From what I read online, I would spray over the pattern with hairspray, then spread powder over it. It's supposed to help make the tattoo look like it's "underneath" the skin, so it's more real. I didn't have the materials, time or help to do the L'cie mark though. And I definitely can't draw on myself with my left hand! ;w;

I'm not the best Fang out there, but I think I've done the best with what I can. ^^ I really liked how everything turned out, considering my limited skills and time. It was an owhsm cosplay preparation experience for me.

Wooh, that took long to compile. 5 days of work all up there... ;w;


Quote of the Day: "It’s not a question of can or can’t. There are some things in life you just do." - Lightning Farron, Final Fantasy XIII

4 comments:

  1. This is amazing! Thanks for showing me how to cosplay! I am doing a fang cosplay right now and it helped me a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad to find that my very simple Fang cosplay steps helped you out somehow! ^^ All the best with your cosplay! :DD

    ReplyDelete
  3. where you bought daiso stone powder clay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can buy it from any Daiso shops. You can find Daiso in places like 1Utama, Sunway Pyramid, Queensbay Penang... They have slightly different packaging now though! But the iconic beetle is still there. xD

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