If you read Part I, you’ll know that having finally acquired the head and body that I wanted for Makoto, the serious job of creating her costume and her weapon was about to begin!
We started with the more straight-forward portions first, so in this entry will be descriptions of the Headgear, Boots and Armour.
My sister, Machiko, made a cosplay of Episode I KOS-MOS many years ago, and in some ways this DD project was an homage to that costume. For making the headpiece I used a few of the techniques that my sister and I came up with to make something lightweight, durable, cost-effective and attractive. Since this was going on a doll, I didn’t have to think about a human person wearing it for hours at a time, and moving around in it all day, so I was able to simplify the construction of the headpiece a bit. ^__^”
First I sketched out the basic shape of the headgear onto paper, and then transferred that onto some pieces of illustration board. (I think these scraps are from Machiko’s original KOS-MOS costume o_0″)
After cutting them out, I taped the pieces together to get the right fit. Then I used Makoto’s head, wrapped in several layers of cling film, with a few wads of cling film strategically placed to account for where her wig would be, and began sculpting. I used Paperclay, and sculpted the headpiece on the the cardboard base. I love Paperclay because it air dries, doesn’t shrink during the drying process, and can be sanded down to a wonderfully smooth finish.
Here’s the basic sculpted form of the headpiece that I made last summer. It’s in 2 pieces because the concept art doesn’t lend itself to have the headpiece made in one piece. The base still very rough, lumpy and uneven, but you get the general idea.
I eventually deferred to my sister’s skills and she completed the rest of the costume. She had to alter the headpiece base that I made because the front pieces were sitting at an awkward angle from the face, and the angle of the plate at the back was wrong. Here’s how the headpiece looked after these modifications, some sanding and a bit of carving.
Next came drilling little holes in the back plate for the gold chains to attach from.
This is the headpiece after first coat of paint (but not varnished yet)
To give the illusion that the headpiece was “floating” on her head, but keep it stable and secure there’s actually an invisible harness that goes over the top of the head. As an additional safety measure, there is an invisible strap that secures under the chin as a safety strap that attaches to the inside of the headgear with a bit of velcro ^__~”
The gold chains were attached using jump ring clasps so that they can be detached and then re-attached around the wig.
Trying to find a pair of thigh-high white PVC boots for a human is difficult enough, but trying to source a pair for a Dollfie Dream was extremely difficult! After lots of searching, Kevin and I found a Japanese seller that made PVC outfits and lingerie for DD’s, but we had to go through a shopping service to buy them because the seller only sold within Japan. They were handmade, but for the price they were I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the boots. There were flaws in the sewing and one of the heels was uneven! However, at least these gave me a base to work with, but they definitely needed to be modified.
Since the boots on the costume are uneven (one comes up higher on the leg than the other), this posed an interesting challenge. Machiko didn’t want to cut up the boots I had bought, so she decided to make boot covers for them – and my sister can make amazing boot covers! My friend, the amazing Sarcasm-Hime, has a very straight-forward tutorial on how to make boot covers for human cosplay. It can be modified for doll purposes too.
DD’s are amazing because you can just pull their limbs off to work with them (as opposed to having to re-string a resin doll to put it back together), and the design of the DD3 body makes this even simpler. It looks quite macabre having random limbs laying around, but it’s much easier for handling. Here are Makoto’s boot-clag legs laying on my sister’s desk… LOL
The top leg has the boot cover already attached onto the boot. It’s sewn in place by hand, but still allows full use of the boot zipper. The bottom leg shows the boot just as-is, and underneath it is the cover that will soon be attached to it.
Here’s are how the completed boot covers look. Machiko built the knee-pad on the right leg into the boot, just like in the figure. In order to keep the PVC fabric smooth it’s quite tight, so I can’t bend the knees too much or it will wrinkle the fabric.
The back looks really cool with the laces on it.
There are several free-floating armour pieces on KOS-MOS’ arms and hips that posed an interesting challenge. Since Machiko was making this for a 1:3 scale doll, it didn’t have to be practical in terms of getting it on and off. Although it would be awesome to try to cast the armour pieces in resin, since neither of us have any experience with resin, and the materials can be quite expensive, she decided to sculpt them out of Paperclay. The advantage of that is that this way they could be sanded and carved into the right shape and fit.
Here are what the arm armour pieces started out looking like. I joked that they looked like weirdly shaped vertebrae bones. To keep the armour pieces lighter, to make them less fragile and also to save clay, the core is made from [xx–censored! Costumer’s secret! –xx]. This was a trick I thought of years ago when I made horns on the headpiece on my Jade Dragon costume and it was extremely effective, and it was just something that everyone has in their house.
It took about 3 hours of grinding and sanding by hand, and with a rotary tool to get the right fit onto the arms, but they will sit unsupported in the right spots on her arms and wrists.
A bit of fine sanding and carving to add details into the wrist armour pieces –
And after painting and varnishing, this is what they look like.
My original plan was to make full-length gloves for KOS-MOS, but she would not have been able to hold a weapon! Instead arm sleeves were made using some stretch jersey fabric and lace, and only come to her wrists. Kevin spray painted the wrist armature and a pair of DD option hands black so that she could still grip her weapon. I’m not entirely satisfied with how they turned out, so in the future I may try to dye a pair of hands so that I don’t have to deal with the possibility of paint chipping when I move the wrist joint. I had to sand down the fingernail beds that are sculpted onto the DD hands so that the painted hands would look like gloves.
April 25, 2012 – Here are what the hip armour pieces look like after being sanded.
After being painted, varnished for shine – here’s what all her body armour pieces look like. in place.
On to Part III –>