Tag Archives: Cosplay

Print Transfers onto EVA

23 Oct , 2014,
Crimson
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Update: Due to bandwidth issues, this tutorial has been replicated on Facebook.  You can access the complete tutorial here.

Recently, we discovered a simple method to transfer printed images onto EVA and we’re pretty excited since it makes replicating filigree and complex patterns so much easier. If you’d like to try your hand at it too, here’s a simple tutorial detailing the steps we took.

What you’ll need:

1. Some latex glue and white acrylic paint

2. EVA foam

3. Paper (110 gsm or better stock)

4. A printer (we used a laser printer)

5. Acrylic Gel Medium

6. Water and dish-washing sponge

7. Paper towels

Step 1:

Mix Latex glue and White acrylic paint together. Prime your EVA surface with a single layer this mixture. This is to prepare it for the transfer process.

Let it dry completely.

Step 2:

Create the pattern or graphic you’d like to transfer onto EVA in graphic software.

Don’t forget to flip the image horizontally, because you’re printing the mirror image of this file onto the foam later.

Print the file out on reasonably good quality paper. Also, make sure you’re using a toner based printer (laser printer) rather than an inkjet as ink might not transfer well.

Step 3:

Coat the primed surface of the EVA foam with Acrylic Gel Medium. Gel Medium is what you’ll use to create the transfer, and you can purchase it at most art supply stores (such as Art Friend and Straits Art Co.).

Let the gel set for a little while, and apply your print out to the gel covered foam. You are essentially ‘pasting’ the print out to the foam with the acrylic gel.

Be sure to align your printed image properly, because this is a one-time process. Peeling off the printed image will ruin the process and you’ll have to start over.

Once you’re done, leave the project to dry for a day or so.

Step 4:

Immerse the foam with the print transfer in water. Soak it until the paper begins to fray and dissolve (usually about 15 minutes) and gently rub it off.

This part of the process is the most time consuming, and requires both patience and a steady hand.

Step 5:

Give the surface of the foam a good rinse after you’ve peeled off all the paper to get rid of stubborn fibers.

Pat dry the surface with paper towels, and leave to air dry.

Finally, seal the surface with acrylic lacquer and you’re all set for further crafting and embellishments.

Strife: Crimson’s MidKnight Cosplay

3 Apr , 2014,
Crimson

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When we were invited to help S2 Games bring characters from their second generation MOBA Strife to life through our cosplay,  we were thrilled.

We’d read the Strife comic preview, and while Angelus had gravitated towards Minerva, I’d fallen instantly in love with MidKnight.

The High Marshall from Tempra had made a pretty big impression. Here was a complex character with a villainous streak, and in some really sweet armor, no less. The only catch – he wasn’t a playable character in the Beta yet, so there were no released game assets we could use as a reference.

With the character designer’s blessings though, we got the greenlight to go ahead, using a combination of the comic art, some sketches, and a few concept renders as the inspiration.

MidKnight, as featured on the back page of the Strife preview comic.

MidKnight, as featured on the back page of the Strife preview comic.

Another image of MidKnight, this time from the second chapter of the comic.

Another image of MidKnight, this time from the second chapter of the comic.

With so many references to choose from, we decided that we would aggregate the best elements of each of them, and started working on crafting armor pieces out of foam.

Foam building might seem pretty arcane at first, but a lot of it is really about visualizing, drawing and cutting out the right basic shapes.

Creating curves, details and textures on armor is probably our favorite part. Foam is an incredibly versatile medium, and because it’s so pliable, is capable of forming some really interesting shapes.

We’ll break down the shapes into temporary paper patterns, and replicate them on foam with a highlighter or marker. We then cut them out, and paste them together with contact glue.

The gauntlets were built from EVA foam of varying thickness and a pair of satin gloves.

The gauntlets were built from EVA foam of varying thickness and a pair of satin gloves.

Gauntlets AND bracers. Did you know MidKnight's design is asymmetrical? He wears a different bracer on his other arm. XD

Gauntlets and bracers. Did you know MidKnight’s design is asymmetrical? He wears a different bracer on his other arm. XD

Adding elastic straps to help secure armor pieces in place is a pretty big part too.

Adding elastic straps to help secure armor pieces in place is a pretty big part too.

Creating the individual pieces took the better part of two weeks. Here’s a look at some unassembled armor pieces, placed side by side for comparison.

Various armor pieces. Only the chest piece is painted for now, and even then with only one base layer.

Various armor pieces. Only the chest piece is painted for now, and even then with only one base layer.

Pauldrons for the costume. One's actually longer and curvier than the other.

Pauldrons for the costume. One’s actually longer and curvier than the other.

To simulate MidKnight's eye glow, we incorporated LEDs into the helmet.

To simulate MidKnight’s eye glow, we incorporated LEDs into the helmet.

And here’s how it looks with a proper paint job and embellishments.

Like Minerva, MidKnight is also a pole arm user. We designed his weapon in three parts, so we could dismantle it for easier shipping.

MidKnight's weapon, also made out of foam and rubber.

MidKnight’s weapon, also made out of foam and rubber.

MidKnight’s costume also entails additional cloth portions, such as a tabard, cloak and costume base. Because he’s essentially a medieval knight, we felt that he should wear chain mail beneath the plate armor, and simulated the effect with some mesh cloth.

Mesh fabric - it's a godsend for armored cosplayers who don't really want to forge links the old fashioned way.

Mesh fabric – it’s a godsend for armored cosplayers who don’t really want to forge links the old fashioned way.

We also utilized some really drape-y fabrics for the cloak so we could convey a sense of majesty and volume when the cloak billows.

Here's the costume in action during our studio preview.

Here’s the costume in action during our studio preview.

What do you think? MidKnight will be walking the con floor on Saturday, so if you’d like to trade coscards, be sure to come say ‘Hi!’.

We’ll be at PAX East next weekend to guest-judge the cosplay competition and promote for S2 Games in room 159, so be sure to look for us there too!

More production images of this costume and our other cosplays can be found at: www.facebook.com/neotokyoproject

To register for the S2 Games Open Cosplay Contest, click on the link here

Crafting a Shield

28 Mar , 2014,
Crimson
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With Diablo being one of our favorite series, we were really excited about trying our hands at building something related to the new Crusader class. So when Vaeflare, who also featured our Demon Hunters awhile back put up some incredible visuals by Hungarian digital painter István Dányi, we were sold.

István Dányi's crusader, which was featured on the Blizzard site, became the inspiration for our shield project.

István Dányi’s awesome crusader art, which was featured on the Blizzard site.

This amazing piece, titled ‘Crusader – Unbreakable Warrior’ and the shield that the righteous knight toted soon became the inspiration for Crimson’s Crusader shield, which he lugged to the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls launch on Tuesday.

What you’ll need:

1. A large sheet of PP board (also known as corrugated plastic board)

2. EVA foam rolls

3. Leather belts (for strapping)

4. Drawing implements e.g. markers and tracing paper.

5. Cutting tools (usually a box cutter and sharp nosed scissors) and contact glue

 

Step 1:

Make sure you’ve got a good idea for the shape and design of your shield. First, draw the base shape on a piece of tracing paper, followed by any possible adornments on the shield onto a separate piece. You will need these templates for later.

Replicate the base shape of the shield on a piece of PP board. Cut it out using a box cutter.

Make sure you’re cutting it along, rather than against the grain.

Locate the middle of the shield shape, and crease it in half down the middle. This ensure that your shield is capable of bending and conforming to shape later on.

Finally, cut slits into the PP board approximate to where you intend to mount the shield straps. Make sure you cut three pairs of slits!

The PP board base, after folding and with slits cut from the base form.

The PP board base, after folding and with slits cut from the base form.

Most cosplayers don’t often realize that you don’t just have a pair of straps affixing the shield to your forearm, but also an additional strap that functions as a handle, so you can hold onto your shield firmly and to keep it in place while fighting. It’s incredibly important, especially if you want your shield to be stage ready!

Step 2:

Now, it’s time to incorporate the straps into your shield. Thread the leather belts (Daiso belts are okay) through the slits.

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Make sure the belts loop through the shield like so. The buckle of the belt should be on the lower of the two slits.

Make sure to give it enough allowance so the strap can fit snugly around your forearm. Be sure to leave enough space for any bracers or gauntlets that you might also be wearing with the prop.

Here's how it looks like on the side that's going to be the back of your shield.

Here’s how it looks like on the side that’s going to be the back of your shield.

Trim off any excess lengths from the belts after.

Step 3:

Cut out a large enough piece of foam to cover the front of the shield.

Apply about 1-inch (approx. 2 cm) of contact glue all along the edges of the PP board, and also on the foam cutout.

With the PP board held slightly bent along the middle crease to create an arch, start pasting the foam down. Once the glue is dried, the shield will retain a slightly curved shape.

The thickness of the EVA foam and it's inherent rate of curving will help your shield retain it's shape once it's properly glued on. How cool is that?

The thickness of the EVA foam and it’s inherent tensity will help your shield retain it’s shape once it’s properly glued on. How cool is that?

Cut out any adornments and filigree you may have intended to add to your shield design, and paste them on using contact glue. We also added paper fasteners to create ‘rivets.

We'll normally also duplicate the artwork onto the shield base, so we have handy guides for where to paste individual pieces.

We’ll normally also duplicate the artwork onto the shield base, so we have handy guides for where to paste individual pieces.

Start creating shapes out of foam and pasting them on. You can vary the thickness of the EVA foam you use to create differentiation and add variety to your design.

 

Step 4:

When all the elements of the shield are pasted down, it’s time to prime and paint!

Three coats of PVA should be sufficient.  If you'd like to find out more about priming armor and props, check out this tutorial.

Waiting for glue and paint to dry is always the most boring part. XD
If you’d like to find out more about priming armor and props, check out this tutorial.

We usually coat our props with three layers of PVA. If you expect your shield to see a lot of stage use, consider using five.

And done! A lot of prop-making’s really about the finish and the paintwork. ^^;;

Finally, give it a nice, shiny coat of paint and weathering, and you’re done!

What do you think of our shield tutorial? Be sure to leave us a comment here or on Facebook!

Strife: Angelus’s Minerva Cosplay

22 Mar , 2014,
Crimson
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We’ve been working on new costumes non-stop this year, and two of our most fun and challenging ones are from American developer S2 Games latest 2nd-gen MOBA title, Strife.

The game recently entered Closed Beta, and boasts an array of impressive character designs reflective of it’s meta world – five different planes with varying thematics ranging from the medieval to the technologically advanced.

We were invited to help S2 Games bring some of these characters to life when we won the cosplay competition at Campus Game Fest last year, and these costumes will be making an appearance at PAX East in Boston this April where we’ll be guest-judging the cosplay competition and also participating in a variety of promotional events and activities.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve done for one of the game’s iconic characters – a psychic assassin from the plane of Vorbis named Minerva.

Minerva design by S2 Games.

Minerva design by S2 Games.

The design for the character meant that we had to get creative with not just body paint, but also a different variety of materials and fabrics. We’d also have to utilize LEDs to get the effects with her weapon prop just right.

Because we’re most experienced with foam, we decided to tackle the armor pieces and Minerva’s tail first.

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The tail was segmented out of individually cut foam triangles.

We planned for the tail to be reticulated, so it can move freely and naturally while Angelus moved. The effect was accomplished by having each individual segment slide into each other, and securing with velcro.

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Bracers, Pauldrons, and other assorted portions of the armor. We’ve also painted the tail segments too!

Minerva doesn’t don as much armor as we are normally accustomed to, but that’s also a good thing. It means we can create a more mobile and flexible costume, so Angelus can push her poses.

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A closer look at the headdress.

Like Kerrigan’s wig, Minerva’s hair is a mass of organic tentacles. We decided that we’d build a headdress out of foam tubes layered over one another, joined to a knit mesh that’s normally used for sewing wig wefts.

As for Minerva’s body suit and jacket, they were built as separate pieces. The jacket was crafted from pleather, with additional panels to create the cape-like structure behind her.

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We thought the inspiration for Minerva was a little bit like a manta ray…

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With additional colored panels added.

Then there was Minerva’s polearm. It was made to be detachable so we could ship it over to PAX in a supply case, and LEDs were inserted to give it a cyan glow.

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The base was also crafted from foam to keep it lightweight. XD

Then there’s also the body paint, which we think is probably the hardest part. ^^;;

Getting a finish that doesn’t run in a convention (which requires a lot of dabbing and powdering down) is hard work. The make-up alone takes about an hour! 😮

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Using an airbrush to apply body paint is tricky, but it creates a more even tone compared to hand brushing.

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Here’s a close-up. Getting the right shade also requires blending of multiple different pigments. 😮

And here’s the completed ensemble from our studio preview.

Angelus cosplaying as Minerva in our studio preview.

Angelus’s Minerva cosplay.

Don’t forget to leave a comment so we know what you think of Angelus’s costume.

We’ll also be blogging about our work on Crimson’s MidKnight cosplay, an armored warrior who made his debut in the Strife comic book next week!

More production images of this costume and our other cosplays can be found at: www.facebook.com/neotokyoproject

To register for the S2 Games Open Cosplay Contest, click on the link here

Quick and Easy Tattoo Sleeves

9 Mar , 2014,
Crimson
,
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If you’ve got a hankering to cosplay a character with tats, but don’t want to go with body paint or more painfully, the real thing, we’ve got some news for you.

Angelus was working on some new costumes recently, and chanced upon a pretty quick and easy method for making some fairly credible tattoos out of, get this, old body stockings and permanent markers.

Executive Assistant Iris - Just one of our geeky part-time warrior's newer cosplay projects.

Executive Assistant Iris – Just one of our geeky part-time warrior’s newer cosplay projects.

So if you’re like her and have some tattooed characters planned for an upcoming con, or just want to sport some funky custom tattoos in general, here’s a method you can try:

What you’ll need:

1. Skin-colored stocking material or body stocking (purchasable online)

2. A printout of the artwork/tattoo you want to create

3. Permanent markers

4. A body form or mannequin

5. Hair dryer to accelerate drying of the ink

 

Step 1:

Make sure you have a clear printout of the tattoo you want to replicate for your cosplay. Affix it to your body form so it doesn’t shift or move from where it’s supposed to be.

In this case, we'll be using Shanoa's glyph as a reference. :3

In this case, we’ll be using the glyph on Shanoa’s back as a reference. :3

Step 2:

Stretch your stocking over the body form. Make sure the body form conforms to your relative body size. Be sure to pull it taut so there are no unruly bunches or creases.

Make sure you pull the body stocking taut.

Make sure you pull the body stocking taut.

Make sure you position the stocking over the image, because you’ll be tracing over the image next.

Here's how it looks like.

Here’s how it looks like when you’ve wrestled the body stocking into place.

Step 3:

Using the printout as a guide, draw out the tattoo onto the stocking with a permanent marker. We’ve discovered that both Copic markers and Zebra pens are great for this.

Color in all the areas carefully.

Color in all the areas carefully.

Go over the edges of the artwork first, and then color in the insides. Don’t worry about smears or excessive ink seepage, because the paper printout will absorb most of that.

And we're almost done...

And we’re almost done…

Step 4:

Once you’re done, you can either leave the freshly tattooed stocking to air dry, or speed up the drying process with a hair dryer.

Carefully remove the stocking from the body form, and it’s ready to wear!

How's that for a temporary tattoo? It photographs pretty well too!

How’s that for a temporary tattoo? It photographs pretty well too!

Don’t forget to let Angelus know if you think the tutorial is useful by leaving a comment!

The Red & Black Halloween Masquerade

14 Oct , 2013,
Crimson
,
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halloweenparty

We’ll be organizing a Halloween party at *SCAPE, so do join us if you’re interested!
Be sure to check out our event page on Facebook (just click on the image above)!

AMPLE!

29 Jul , 2013,
Crimson

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So recently, we started looking for a new platform to share our cosplay photos (especially the ones from our League of Legends shoot), and Angelus kinda stumbled upon a Japanese website called AMPLE!

The site quietly made it’s appearance in late 2012, and already boasts a ton of users from 47 countries around the world.

Landing page and interface. It's pretty no-frills, which is great!

Landing page and interface. It’s pretty no-frills, which is great!

The page is pretty simple to navigate, and the minute you sign-up, you’re pretty much good to go.

Searching for cosplay pictures and uploading your own is easy and fuss-free thanks to the interface and search options, which include not just country and series, but also one where you can search for photos thematically by color (hint: photographers might find this useful if you’re looking for lighting and styling ideas).

search_countries

Country search option.

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Color search option – check out the top bar.

Personal pages also feature a handy tracker which keeps tabs and visually represents traffic on your individual cosplay pictures, and it even displays which countries the page views are from. That’s pretty handy, in our opinion.

total page view

Page view tracker. :3 It’s super effective.

We were glad that unlike Cure or World Cosplay (which derives it’s series database from Cure), registering a new title didn’t require you to jump through hoops – all you needed to do was to click on the Contact Us tab, and fill in a simple web form.

Also, the fact that popular Western titles were already part of the database was a definite plus. There’s also a Scrapbook function, which lets you view the images you’ve Bookmarked on one page.

We’ve got a feeling that we’ll be using AMPLE! a lot from now on.

So if you’re interested in exploring this new cosplay photo-sharing platform, be sure to check out their website at http://ample-cosplay.com/ and the AMPLE! Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ample.cosplay!

(Image source: AMPLE! website)

Cosplay, gaming and more at STGCC

25 Jul , 2013,
Crimson
, ,
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Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC) 2013 is certainly upping it’s game this year, with not one, but two awesome cosplayers.

Just this morning, it was announced that Aza, formerly known as SPCats Miyuko, will be coming to this little red dot for the first time.

aza_miyuko_cosplayer

Aza as Bilgewater Katarina. Source: Aza Official Site.

According to STGCC, she’ll be cosplaying a League character at the con as well as Kotori from Love Live!, so if you’re a fan, you know just exactly which costumes to look out for.

We’ve also got wind that our friends at Namco Bandai have a treat for all Tales fans. Tales series general producer Hideo Baba will be on stage this time round, and from what we know, there’s going to be something special for those who come in Tales cosplay.

Of course, there’s also tons in store for comic and toy collectors, and even a music segment! For a full list of guests, check out the STGCC page here!

Vampy at STGCC 2013

17 Jun , 2013,
Crimson
,
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For cosplay fans who’ve been waiting with bated breath for the announcement of this year’s cosplay guests for Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC), here’s your first bit of good news.

In a daring move, the good folks at Reed have decided to bring in Linda Le, better known as Vampy Bit Me.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that she’s an icon in the American cosplay scene, best known for her daring renditions of Psylocke, Morrigan and other awesome characters from both Eastern and Western pop-culture.

STGCC marks her first time in Singapore too (though she’s already been to other parts of Asia), and we’re excited to finally see her.

Media Release - STGCC 2013 returns to galvanise Singapore's pop culture sphere

Source: STGCC 2013 Press Release

We’re also waiting for news about STGCC’s other cosplay guests and cosplay related activities and you can be sure that we’ll keep you updated as soon as we get wind of anything too.

In the mean, be sure to check out the official STGCC website and Facebook page for more information.

An EVA foam Corset

10 Jun , 2013,
Crimson
, ,
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The corset is an indispensable part of a female cosplayer’s wardrobe and it’s perfect for a variety of genres – be it fantasy, steampunk, swashbuckling on the high seas.

In this tutorial, Angelus shows you just how easy it is to craft a corset of your own, out of a single sheet of blue EVA foam.

Stuff you’ll need:

1. Blue EVA foam

2. A pair of sharp nosed scissors

3. Contact glue

4. Cling film or newspaper

5. Masking tape or packing tape

6. A marker

7. Craft foam

8. Soldering tool

Step 1:

We’ll create the base shape first. Wrap a dress form sized for your body and physique, or your own body with cling film (or newspaper).

We’re using an inflatable dress form in this one, but if you want a really snug fit, you’ll have to wrap yourself up instead. Be sure to ask a friend for help!

Next, go over it with a layer of masking tape or packing tape. Make sure the fit’s comfortably tight.

Here’s how it looks when you’re done with the wrapping!

Step 2:

Using the marker, draw out the base panels of your corset. You’ll want to trace around the bust, abdomen and waist areas.

Draw out the approximate shape with a marker.

Next, cut out the panels carefully, one at a time.

Carefully cut out each panel with a pair of sharp-nosed scissors.

You’ll end up with several pieces like these.

Step 3:

It’s time to cut out the foam pieces!

Using the base shapes you’ve created as a template, replicate the shapes onto EVA foam.

Trace out the patterns, and cut them out! ^_^

Your corset's almost ready to be assembled! ^_^

You’ll end up with 11 pieces like so. And this means your corset’s almost ready to be assembled! ^_^

Step 4:

Start joining the pieces together with contact glue.

11poring

Start with the side panels first. ^_^;;

Affix the side panels to the front piece next, and adjust to fit.

Affix the side panels to the front piece next, and adjust to fit.

Finally, attach the breast cups and you're done!

Finally, attach the breast cups.

Step 5:

To add eyelets holes for lacing up your corset, simply reinforce the back panels with craft foam. You can then use a soldering tool to create the eyelet holes.

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Just add craft foam, before punching your eyelets with a heated soldering tool.

You can use either ribbons, shoelaces, leather straps or anything you like to lace up your corset.

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Lace it up, and you’re done!

You can also use a zip at the back of your corset (just contact glue it to the sides of the foam) to hold it together instead of laces, if you prefer.

Step 6:

Now, add detailing, paint and decorate your corset. Be as creative as you want, and you can create a variety of elaborate shapes and designs to suit practically any genre.

This pattern is also suitable for making female chest armor, just like below.

With the right kind of design and treatment, your corset can become a bronze breastplate!

Happy crafting! ^_^