Wednesday, October 31, 2012

medusas nails and tattoos

this is no real crafting entry.
but this shall show how I do my nails and snake-tattoos for my medusa gorgon cosplay

since medusas fingernails are some kind of trade mark and the rest of the costume is rather simple. me and my friend spend a lot time thinking of how to make the nails looking good without any manicure-skill.

and this is what my friend thought of: simply cut out the yellow arrows out of self-adhesive foil. that was such a good idea I simply copied it.

I prefer to use false nails. that is because I tend to wear my nails pretty short. and once you have prepared them you can put them on after you put in the contacts and the wig without loosing to much time.
you can use all kinds of fake nails but I do recommend not to buy these with a gel-glue-pad to put them on and of, they simply will fall of all the time.

I am no nail-art-pro. I am sure there is an more elegant way to paint the individual nails if they have no application tap, but this is how I mastered this challenge
I used a piece of clay

and put the nail on top

this way, you will not mess up any part of the nail :)

then painted it black and let it dry ( take your time and don't be impatient, if you have to redo it it takes the doubled time )

this is no yellow foil but a white sticky label. I have these at home and didn't want to go out to buy foil for extra money ( haha I am always broke)

this stuff is supercool, I also used it for the lable of the book for maka. it has a paper-like surface and you can put it into your printer or draw with pencils.

then I cut out some arrows with an exactoknife.
of course scissors would have done the same job but I love to work with these scalpel-like things. makes me feel more pro.

took it of the sheet and place it on a free piece of this non-sticky paper.

then I coloured it with a yellow copic marker, but an other yellow pencil would have done the same job.
if you use a felt pen or a marker let it dry first. you may need to add a second layer to intensify the colour (especially with the copics)

then I added the sticker onto the nails.
I tend to make really long arrows, and snip of the piece which is too long.
after you have done that it would be wise to top this sticker with a coat of clear paint. I didn't do that, because I was too lazy but it will prevent your stickers from peeling and falling of

here the finished nails.
and an other advice: prepare more nails then ten. may loose one or two nails on a con, so be prepared and have the nail glue and some extra-nails and stickers with you

this is how my sticker foil looks like, see the arrows are really long. but I use the remaining pieces for my foodnails. there I don't use arrows but stripes only. to much of a hassle to cut out these mini-arrows. and no one would see them anyway...

and here you can see the result. you can also see my toenails :D

as you can see the arrows have all different sizes because I was to lazy to make a special template for each nailsize but you don't notice till someone points it out. in my opinion the nails comes out pretty good :)

I also decided not to choose very long nails. I don't like how it looks and it doesn't matches up to medusas character. she is more pramatic ;)

ok. nails finished, move to the tattoos. sadly I am not able to draw these onto myself, I always have to ask my cosplay-partner to do that for me. thanks nele!!! (she has done it a lot of times already)
since I have two costumes with tattoos I have done a lot of research to archieve the perfect looking tattoo-imitation. and this is the result: a permanent marker. sounds stupid but I like it the best. you can buy tattoo-marker but you don't want to have these weird tattoos on your arms for too long. especially as a cosplayer. maybe you want to wear a sleeveless dress on the next day without these tattoomarks or whatever. there are these bodypainting colours, some kind of grease paint and in the end you fix them with a powder so they won't come of and smear your whole costume. but I don't like them. they are too complicated to apply and smear of and look not like a real tattoo. but this is my personal opinion.
so I have come to the conclusion that this permanent marker is the best for black tattoos. applying is very easy, the marker itself is really cheap and you can simply remove it with make up remover. normally it does not smear if you rub over it, the colour will simply peel of in small pigments. you shall not sprinkle water on it or sweat to much, then the colour will fade and smear a little bit. and what is super important: don't use cream especially suncream. the colour will not stay and completely smear. but I recommend to test is out. if you have sensitive or dry skin I don't know if your skin may bear that. have in mind that it is possible to get tanned weirdly, so if you have the tattoo on, don't stay in the sun too long ;)
I highly recommend this permanent marker! Edding 1455 calligraphy marker.
you can draw freehand or make a template. for the snake had I prepared a template because I want to have the same on each arm. nele has drawn the points freehand. I have seen people who made even a template for this but I was too lazy.
check out my faith connor cosplay to see more of my tattoowork :D

thanks for reading and have a nice day

Monday, October 29, 2012

crafting no 10 - shenhuas weapons and stuff (black lagoon)

the tenth craft entry.

this is something for my shenhua cosplay. other pictures here on cosbase.
shenhua is a supersneaky badass assassin form the series black lagoon. I like her very much: her funny accent and super awesome combat-abilities make her totally my type ;3

although all the other gangsters in this series uses different types of guns she is the only successful character with knives (love her for that!!).

this is an action figure of here but you can see the weapons really well.
she got these two blades which are connected through strings and these small throwing knives.

the pattern for the big knives. I didn't found the pattern for the smaller knives...

I copied the pattern for the twin knives onto a 6mm pine wood plate and cut them out. for the small throwing knives I used a 5mm pine wood plate.

added the details (guard and pommel) by gluing wood pieces on and modelling with smoothing cement.

the smaller throwing knives.
simply cut out and sanded. nothing special.
sewed a holder for them out of elastic band. to fix them on my legs I sewed on some press buttons

you can even take them out :D
but in the end it would have been more clever to made them out of foam rubber. why? because even if you sand the wood it still may rip your stockings...

here are the big cutting knives after sanding, correction with smoothing cement, sanding and colouring.
there are many details missing, but I didn't have the time and the spirit to accomplish the original look.

shenhua does wear golden bracelets on each hand. I couldn't find some with the right thickness so I simply taped two thinner bracelets together with crystal tape.

here you can see how I put the earrings together. a little bit tricky but I like how they came out.

the earrings and the bracelets together.

I really like them :)

my humble self is really thankfull for your reading and wishes you a crafty day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

crafting no 9 - shadow star - third form - severed shadow (soul eater)

the ninth craft entry.

a soul eater weapons again :D
again some weapons for my black star cosplay (spartoi version)

haha tsubaki is a superspecial weapon and can change into many different forms, so there are a lot different weapons to build

so here is a reference picture

so this is my pattern. 
this is a very simple weapon. there is no need for additional pieces or anything

I copied the pattern onto a 6mm pinewood-plate and cut it out. then sanding, bumping correction and shaping with the smoothing cement and sanding again.
here you can see the ring and the grip I moulded with the smoothing cement.

added the colouring and that's it.
pretty easy.

here the finished weapon

and here a link to a supercool photo in action


I really really like the photos of this photograph and I am very happy with this picture, so cool >D

as usual thanks for the reading.
and have a damm good day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

crafting no 8 - shadow star - zero no kata "masamune" (soul eater)

the eighth craft entry.

a weapons again :D
I really crafted a lot of them, till now I didn't realize but, my blogging is mainly about weapon crafting xD

kay, this one is one of the many weapons for my black star cosplay (spartoi version)

here is a reference picture

sadly I don't have any photos of the crafting process, but there are so many crafting tutorials for katana-like swords with a sheath...
bensonders sword tutorial (deutsch)
but anyway I will explain how I personally dealt with this challenge.

I crafted the whole thing out of wood. it is the best material for swords in sheaths and sheaths. I know people who craft these out of paper or modelling clay but it does depend on the skill and kind of sword you want to build. but for these simple swords I prefer simple materials.

first I created a pattern. usually you would draw 4 pieces: the size of the blade + grip (one piece), the extrapieces for the grip, the sword shell, and the lids for the sheath. 
this is a really bad pattern. I made it stupidly.
I simply cut out the blade from the same piece, and didn't considered that the blade need to be smaller than the sheath-piece. and the patterns for the grip are missing and it's not well-though-out at all. so please create smarter patterns if you plan to make a sword like this.

then I did copy the pieces onto the woodplates. and cut out.
the blade is cut out of a 6mm pinewood-plate. bensonders tutorial contains a cut out piece for the sheath, but I think it is difficult to do and the sheath will look very chunky if you don't cut it out very well or the blade will simply not fit in.
I used wooden stripes 1x 0,5 cm the lids of the sheath are cut out of a 3mm thick cottonwoodplate.

next I did the sanding of the blade. I tried to make it all smooth and created the sharp edge of the blade. then I put the pieces of the sheath together but not the second lid. tested first if the blade fits into the sheath, then glued everything together with my beloved contact glue. then I glued the pieces of the sword together: the sword shell and the extra grip-pieces.
then sanding, and correction with smoothing cement and sanding and sanding and sanding till everything is smooth and ready for painting. a super tip for the sanding: use a paper tissue or an old piece of fabric to close the opening of the sheath, it will prevent the whole dust and dirt from gathering in the sheath.

here you can see the the individual pieces. 
the advantage of these thin wooden stripes is its flexibility. you can simply bend it according to the curve of the blade and glue it together.

the picture doesn't show it very well but the sheath is lined with fabric. this protects the colour and the shape of the actual blade, on top of this it looks neat, without painting the inner side of the sheath.
for the the closed end of the sheath I cut out a extra piece to close the end properly, there was a gap but I closed it whit some smoothing cement.
when I am working with wood I always use smoothing cement to fill in the gaps and smooth all the bumps and stuff.

this is the sword shell, it is also made of wood and cut out of the same plate as the blade. used the smoothing cement as modelling clay to give the piece the right shape. but as you can see it breaks easily because it's a non flexible material.

here the finished sword with sheath.

thanks for reading. creativity may be with you young crafter.

Monday, October 22, 2012

sewing thread shelf

this is no cosplay crafting entry :O

but I build something pretty useful for an amateur sewer like me: a sewing thread shelf.
and here is how I did build this
on this photo you can see 3 different kinds of styropor.
the blue one is a very thick plate of styrodur, it is about 12 cm the pink one is also a styrodur plate but its thickness is only 1,8 cm. the white plate is a simple styropor plate with 0,7 cm thickness.
to build this shelf i only needed the white and the pink plates. these are all partly used, so this is a optimal use of leftovers.
check out my styrodur entry, if you want to know more about this material.

started with the white plate and cut out the biggest rectangle which was possible.
mine was about 36,5cm x 54 cm

then I cut out stripes from the pink styrodur. 3cm x 36,5 cm.

then I cut of  an edge of the stripe, the stripes are angled now. you can see it here, then I pushed the 55mm nails trough the stripes.
the gap between the nails is about 5 cm and the distance from the end to the first nail is about 2 cm. so there are nine nails for each stripe.

then I painted the stripes with white liquid acrylic paint, twice ( because the pink was still shimmering trough with the first layer of color) and inserted the nails.

then I took the big white styrodur plate and marked the places where the stripes should be places in the end. the stripes have a thickness of 2 cm each.

calculation of the distance
(total length - thickness of stripes * number of stripes) / (total numbers of stripes - 1)
 in my case 54 cm - 6*2 / 6-1 = 8,4 cm

beautification improved through some stripes of masking tape :)

fixed the nail-stripes with some short nails onto the styrodurboard

turn over and sort your sewing threads :D

also did a little one for the bobbin threads :)

whohow! humble thank you for reading and a really awesome day

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

crafting no 7 an umbrella for medusa (soul eater)

this is the seventh crafting entry

again a rather simple entry. nor progress photos, because there is not a lot to explain anyway...
this is an accessoire for my medusa gorgon cosplay. (here other pictures)
why an umbrella? because I knew the weather would be horrible. the forecast said it would be raining for sure. and a matching one would be much cooler.
my plan was to make 2 spartoi umbrellas and one for medusa. I wanted to paint the spatoi logo on the blue ones, but I was to lazy to make it in the end.
the medusa-umbrella-crafting was tricky enough, and consumed too much time. (haha of course these things were crafted one day before the convention)

how did I do these? spray paint.
I used masking tape to create the pattern on the umbrella and covered the rest with newspapersheets.

sounds easy but was pretty tricky because the cheap masking tape I used didn't stick properly on the water repellent fabric.

thanks for reading and have a crafty day,

and here one picture with the matching cosplay :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

crafting no 6 - water bottles and books for the spartoi members (soul eater)

this is the sixth crafting entry.
it is rather short because this craft was veeeeeeery simple. but I liked my idea so much I want to show of a bit.
I made a matching bag for the spartoi cosplays (black star - spartoi and tsubaki nakatsukasa - spartoi both from soul eater) and became obsessed with the thought of matching accessories.
so here you can see the result.

it is super important do drink enough on a day on the convention. perfect with matching water bottles! with the spartoi uniform logo
the text says "super spartoi mineral water" ;)

and a close up

also made a book for my maka, since she didn't have her scythe with her at the frankfurter bookfair. but all cosplayers need some props to pose with ;)
and a close up of the logo. I had do draw it by hand because I have no printer, but I think it doesn't look to bad :)

thanks for reading, and have a good day!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

crafting no 5 - shadow star - leaf of the moonlit night (soul eater)

the fifth crafting entry

yay an other weapon-crafting-entry. I love to build weapons, posing with them is the best!
this one is for my black star cosplay (spartoi outfit). I really really love this cosplay and made lots of cool weapons and accessory for it. more crafting entries will follow ;)

ok. this is the reference.
looks pretty cool, huh?

I build this weapon in a hurry. it has to be able to disassemble it into smaller pieces for better transport.
otherwise travelling with big weapons is too inconvenient.

I made it out of styrodur.
because it had to be light and quickly made.
and I like styrodur a lot :3

this is the draft, this time I also used it as an pattern for the painting, so all the 8 paints look the same.

 here I actually made a photo of how I have drawn the pieces onto the styrodur-plate. even if the material is very cheap (paid 4€ for this plate and I already made the katars out of this one - one plate. two weapons. good deal) I tried to save material. styrodur is my favourite material  and you can use small pieces for other projects. for example this poison bottle for my assassin cross cosplay. so save material :D

these are the cut-out pieces. sorry the photos are at a bad quality...

this is a thread rod 3mm. it is a 1m rod.

for my project I needed smaller pieces, cut it down to the size of 10 cm. the building supplies store could have cut this for me. but they wanted 1 € for each cut!a super rip-off ! the rod itself was 99 cents.
therefore I decided to cut it myself. for 3 € you can buy a whole metal-cutting-saw. I didn't bought one but used my dremel instead. a dremel is a multi-function device. it has an exchangeable top. and there are lots of different tops for different uses. grinding, sanding, milling, and lots of other things.
you don't need a multi-function device. an all-purpose saw will do a good job as well.
but if you are using a electronic tool like the dremel for sanding or cutting use safety glasses! there are sparks and little pieces of metal and wood, eye-protection is very important! I always use it, so you should do it, too. I also recommend a surgical mask and a cap during sanding - no dust in your nose, mouth and hair.

the finished  pieces with nuts. in the end I didn't need the thread rod, normal long screws would have been enough...

 then I put on the drill top on my dremel and drilled a hole into the center of the stryrodur pieces

 here I am ironing the styrodur pieces, I like ironing it a lot. the edges look so clean and are much more stable.

 I ironed all the surfaces. see the bumps in the material? I tried to be careful not to damage the styrodur but it happens. but no problem ironing helps.

on the left: the piece before ironing. on the right: after ironing. the surface is super smooth and all even.
 here you can see the ironed edges (bottom) and the non-ironed edges.
I highly recommend ironing all edges, the colours will hold better, because the material will not absorb the colours so much any more. 

 these are styropor rings. the one at the back is a full one. if you put the other two together it will become a whole one.
ironed the flat surface of the two half-rings to strengthen the material.

then I put the thread rod into the styrodur. it was pretty difficult. I tried pressing and screwing it in but in the end I needed to use a hammer!

I marked where the pieces had to be fixed on the ring. and cut out till the styrodur-pieces fit into the gap

 because all the pieces are finished, I start the colouring. normally I would use spray paint. but at the moment I am really broke and try so save money. so I spend half the money to buy normal acrylic paint. surprisingly it works pretty well! I used a piece of my dish-washing-sponge to get the paint on the styrodur.

 all the pieces painted on one side. I personally really need time for the painting.
I prefer to do this by easy stages. first one side, let it dry. then the other, let it dry. and so on. I really cannot do it all at once ^^"
I couldn't make photos from all the stages because the battery of my cam was empty

these are elastic bands. I sewed press buttons onto them. to secure the second half of the ring later.

here you can see how I put all the pieces together. put the lid and the elastics on. finished :3

at this time there is need for a little analysis of error:

in the end there was no need for the thread rod. a big would have done the same job. my plan was to fix the pieces with the nut but of course it didn't worked with styrodur...
the syropor rings are rubbish. to unstable and painting them is a real pain in the ass. next time I would use wood or something like this...

thanks for reading and have a crafty day