M.Kesaiyn avatar


Fantasy author, anime fan and gamer; cosplayer and tall ship sailor.

Last online 3 days ago


Joined: 6th May 2009

Completed costumes: 27

Photos uploaded: 263

Progress journals: 362

Events attended: 19



I wasn't that happy with the trousers I was using for certain self-conscious reasons and them being a bit short in the leg for me (however, they're there as spares and I can mitigate those issues). I managed to find these on Amazon though, which are far more accurate and actually match the cuffs better. I've already added the leather belt poppers to the back and made the tail hole.

Progress on the Mythril Dagger. I'm annoyed that I managed to get the shape a little wrong at the base of the blade, but I'm trying to tell myself "realistic proportions" and I 'was' going off my Kung Fu butterfly swords as templates. There's still a lot of work to do on it, but it's getting there. Overall, decent progress on this one I think. I've started making the standard dagger, and I'm contemplating how best to tackle the steampunk switchblade-style left-hand one.

NOTE: I had to remove the start of the heart pattern as it wasn't going to work out well using the worbla for that part. I'm looking for some appropriate 3D paint to do that with instead.

I haven't sent any progress on weapon props for a while, so here's the progress on the Mythril Dagger (I've been mainly focussing on this and building on one of the thief swords, which is probably going to be the Rune Tooth as it's probably the simplest to do in the time I have). I'll be working on the steampunk dagger shortly, and whatever other one(s) I can. Yes, I started primer before finishing the designs. I needed to see if the primer was going to work well to cover up the imperfections on the intricate bits I've needed to do with the worbla. The heart design needs to be reheated and nudged over a bit more too.

A shot from the back. As aforementioned, the harness leather creases at the back more when it's not on me as the mannequin is quite a bit smaller).

Finally, Zidane's harness is finished (there is velcro under the straps to hold them in place and allows it to be adjusted, so it's actually a semi-functional posture harness - which, as I've mentioned before, is exactly what it is). I decided to put the waistcoat and cravat/bow/brooch on the mannequin to see how those pieces looked all together. Almost finished with the main costume pieces now!

The fabric looks rather creased at the back when it's not on me (the backing is fully sewn on now), and of course doesn't look great on the much smaller sized mannequin. When it's actually sitting on me, the leather fabric is more stretched out and even.

The eyelets and buckle have been added to the harness now, and I've finished up sewing the backing on. Everything is hand sewn, except for the crosses (they're glued on as sewing them on looked awful). Now that's left to do on it is to sew the velcro to make it fit snug to me.

Though I've not quite finished the backing (I'll finish that in the next day or two), I've already started adding the crosses because I'm impatient AF.

The backing on the harness has been a bit of a pain (actually the whole thing has been a pain), and the fabric lays oddly when it's off me as I put the piping on first, which gave it body, and thus made getting the backing on awkward. It's got wadding in it too to make it fit better. Just one more push to get that finished, then I can focus on the decoration.

The belt is finally finished. It's got velcro sewn in two places as it wraps around me so I can do the flip over bit at the front. I've also sewn the white tassels on to the back right side just next to where the right hand belt loop will be. This was irking me for quite some time, but it's finally all done. I also added a loop behind the white buckle as it kept slipping.

These things can only be seen in the cgi cutscenes if you look closely, and I must say they are rather useful for a couple of reasons: They hold the belt in place so it won't move about too much, and having them with poppers (not that easy a find) will make certain manoeuvres easier. I turned the loop over at the top, and added a piece of fabric on the seam of the elasticated trousers. Yes, they do flop around when not in use, so I've safety-pinned them for storage. When wearing the trousers, they don't do this and are even better secured with the belt on.

Here's a shot of the harness so far from the front. The left side is meant to be shorter than the right, and at the moment it's pinned to roughly where it fits comfortably on me. The plan is to use velcro on the straps so I can loosen or tighten it (it IS a posture correction harness by the way - I know, I use one being hypermobile, and so the headcanon is Zidane is as well), and I've already got a buckle ready for the right side. Hopefully I can trim down the piping and use what remains of that for the crosses.

Here's a shot taken of the harness so far from the back. It's still a little flimsy as it needs a bit more body with the interfacing and backing fabrocs. Also, the mannequin it's sitting on is smaller than I am, so it doesn't sit correctly on it.

I've done the piping all the way around the harness now. Unfortunately, now what I've gone and done is made it harder to draw around so I'll be going back to the mock up in order to do the rest of the interfacing and the backing fabrics. It's getting there bit by bit, and it fits like a glove.

A shot of the harness from the front. I made the straps a little longer the front so I had a little extra to make any potential adjustments. I'm just waiting on interfacing and trying to work out what backing fabric I want to put on it. I already have some wadding to pad it out with, and the piping to go around the edges. As for the straps, I'm planning on using eyelets and hopefully I can find a buckle of a suitable size for the right side.

The top layer of the harness is now done. Now to strengthen it with layers/padding before the decorating. Honestly, I was rather worried about getting this right, and making the mock up was a good idea as it came out slightly differently from how I'd drawn it out using the paper template. All in all, it fits well and I think it's looking the part. I'm not so stressed about it now.

I finally got around to acting on getting the harness cut out using the mock up. I'd been procrastinating over it for a while due to not really being sure I had everything drawn out correctly and not wanting to mess up. It wasn't all that different from the paper template, but was different enough to make me glad that I made the mock up first and made the necessary adjustments. Trying to get the measurements to match up correctly was a pain (shown in all the lines drawn), but it finally got done.

I spent a good while deliberating over how best to do the collar "tags" on the waistcoat, and in stumbling upon bamboo silk bridal bias binding, I had an idea. So, I cut out triangles in both that and a thicker cotton/linen fabric, stitched two sides, turned them outside in and then added a piece at the top to stitch on to the underside of the collar. It seems to have worked better than expected as those tags do stick out a bit. That's one more thing done. All that's left really are the white tassels on the right rear side of the belt and the harness (the latter is going to be quite a pain, but we're almost there costume wise).

I'm going with the base and mythril daggers, with a view to possibly doing the mage masher as well if I find time (I also have one of the dual thief swords planned, so we'll see). Given these chunky daggers are about the size and shape of butterfly swords, I decided using my Kung Fu ones to draw around was a good plan.

I've started drawing out the template for some of the daggers. The left one remains consistent when dual-wielding, and it's got an odd sort of mechanical steampunk/flintlock design. This one is going to be the most fiddly to create, but I've got ideas for how I'll be doing it. The blade is actually longer and will need extending when made, but the cardboard sheets I am using were a bit too short for this one.

View of the harness mock up from the front. Getting the shape of the front of the straps right, including the left side being shorter than the right was a bit awkward, as was getting the straps underneath to match up.

I've now made a mock up of Zidane's "posture" harness (it is exactly the shape of a type of posture corrector) from the haphazard pattern I made. It's been quite the pain to sort out, but it's getting there. The fabric I used was a faux leather I'd bought years ago to do a scabbard for Richard (Tales of Graces f), but it turned out to be rather horrible material and was too flimsy; so it's serving another purpose now.

(View from the back).

These are going to be tricky, especially given the trousers have an elasticated waist. They would hang too low as they are, so the metal loop at the top will be folded over the top of the waistband, and sewn with a piece of fabric on to the underside of it. This should hold the belt down, and the poppers mean I can undo them in order to perform... necessary manoeuvres (the tail will also make that 'fun' but hey, cosplay right?).

The belt is almost finished. There are just a few adjustments that need doing. I'm having to use velcro to hold it on in order to wrap it around for the tuck-flip-tuck to be possible at the front. The white buckle also needs to be better secured, and the loops on the back of the trousers should hopefully hold things in place, once those have been sorted. As for the white tassel at the back, I'm working on the best way to keep that in place so it doesn't shift around.

I might need to get a longer cord for this, but tracking down an appropriately shaped and coloured pendant for Adol was easier than I thought it was going to be. Much of the problem with this costume will be the amount of odd fiddly bits and straps he has, which I'll tackle in due course.

This is the leather fabric and piping for the harness held next to the waistcoat for comparison. As the template is more or less finished now, I can finally get started on making it.

I have more or less finished the template/pattern for the harness now. It's a haphazard design, and so any dressmaker would likely have a fit if they knew how I put that together, but it looks and feels like a good enough template for me to work to. Much of the time, whatever I work on has a messy approach to it, but once refined it generally works out. I will definitely have to cut out each of the fabric pieces for the harness as a single unit to ensure it is easier to put together. As the piping needs to go around the entire thing, it would be too problematic to do the layers of fabric all as separate pieces.

Pouncy has very kindly made this tail for me. The intent was to make a couple of spares in case of dirt or any accidents, but due to some personal circumstances this is on hold for a bit. At the very least I have a tail for him. I did have to shorten it slightly as he made it a bit overlong, but at the very least he's now really starting to look the part.

I've started trying to make a pattern for the harness. I was going to try making it in parts, but as there needs to be piping going around all the edges, that would be problematic when trying to pad it and adding a backing fabric as well. Yes, it will mean fabric wastage (though I'd try to make use of that for other things), but it will be easier to make it as one item, which is how it looks to be anyway.

I'm currently trying to figure out how to do the bow which sits above and over the brooch, along with the little collar tips. I've got fabric and some sewing tracing paper to figure out the harness, and bought a precision knife and fabric scissors as part of figuring that out. With the waistcoat on a mannequin (I finally dug it out from the depths of the chaos of the shed where most of my cosplay stuff has been stored for years), I can better work out both of these parts.

Just finished sewing the ribbon in half for the bow and added an image. It's not tied on right but this is the provisional look until I figure that out. I'll need to put loops on the cravat attachment so it can thread around my neck as it's a bit too long otherwise.

Originally I bought a jacket that was already red, but the design at the bottom was frayed, so I decided against it and got this one instead. I have the dye for it, I just need to get on with sorting that out. I also have some brown faux leather binding/tape on the way, so once it's dyed I can add that to it.

I've trained the wig a bit by going over it with the straighteners, then spraying it with water and lightly brushing it. Thankfully there's not much to do for it.

The ponytail on the wig has proven to be a bit of a pain. I have a clip-on extension for it, but it extends a bit lower than the main wig, but starts close to the wig base. It means that it's awkward trying to put my own hair up inside it without it being pushed at a weird angle (I am working on figuring this out). The hair tie has also being a bit of a pain with this, in getting the bow to sit straight. Trial and error! I'm getting there with it.

The cuffs are now finished. It was difficult finding a fabric colour to closely match the trousers; the only one I could find was in a stretch fabric. With mum's help, we put that together with felt, wadding and a backing fabric. And I found those perfect buttons on Etsy.

Well, here's his tail (made by Pouncy, because I have no idea how to make furry things). A big thanks goes to Pouncy for doing this for me. It might look slightly dark due to the lighting, but I did try to up the brightness - and might have brightened too much. I haven't received it as Pouncy is also making a spare, just in case of any mishaps. I just need to figure out how the main belt works (it's rather an awkward design), get the buttons on the cuffs and make the harness. Then, he's pretty much finished, save for his weapons.

It took a while to find some faux leather binding tape that was the right shade and width, because after a long time searching, it became clear I was going to have to make the belt (which, I might add, is rather odd - trying to figure out the length and how it attaches was "fun"). I got some beige linen binding of the same width for the back, and got some white faux leather piping. I don't get on with sewing machines (they confuse my autistic mind), so I resolved myself to sew it by hand. Yes. I am sewing it by hand. All (approximate) 2.5 metres of it... BOTH sides. At the time of writing this I've done one side, and am almost a metre into the second side.

The end tip came from an Etsy seller in Sweden. I had to pay a little extra for the postage, but I think it's worth it. I also searched belt end tips for quite some time and was coming up with pieces for webbing. Decorative belt end tips seem to be only really be a thing in the US and Australia, but I found this Etsy seller and found one that looked appropriate of the right size and it recently turned up. When it's done, I'll post up the finished belt, along with details of how I'm attaching it.

It wasn't too much of an issue finding some gloves that matched the colour of the boots, though there was a bit of faff with sellers sending me the wrong colour. I ended up with two pairs in the end, which is fine as spares are always a good thing. I had got the lace part of the cuffs along with a cravat (the latter of which turned out to be too big) as they came with it. At present, my mother is assisting me with making the cuffs.

The wig, ohh the wig. Aren't these things fun? I've been meticulously cutting the layers into the wig for a while, and I think it's just about there now. It's also been a bit awkward trying to get it to puff out as Zidane has quite "bouffy" looking hair (very nice hair though mind you). The amusing (though irksome) thing that keeps happening though, is that both the wig and the clip-on extension for his ponytail (more often than not it's the extension) like to kink while in storage despite me having tried to avoid this happening. Nothing seems to work. I don't remember other wigs ever doing this to me, so I'm just putting it down to his personality. :-p

The other issue has been trying to sort out the tie for the ponytail. It seems the colour of it changes in different cutscenes, but I chose to go with the brown one we see in the tower cutscene at the beginning. That said, trying to get something that works for the bow in conjunction with an actual tie has been problematic. I wanted to be able to just tie cord around it, but it won't grip well enough, which is why I need a tie. It's a faff in progress, but I'm close to finding a solution.

The waistcoat was a rather difficult find. I was adamant that I wanted to get something that looked and felt close to the fabric in Zidane's cgi render, but finding something with the high collar took hours of trawling eBay. Eventually I found a green velvet bolero jacket with a high collar, but it was a bid item only. I asked the seller if they would consider adding a "make an offer" button, and they agreed, saying they'd accept offers a little way over the bid price, so I made an offer and it was accepted. The sleeves were then removed (with mother's assistance), the arm holes sewn up and I stitched the sage green piping all the way around it. My mother then helped by sewing on some hooks and eyes.

I had meant to start this journal earlier, but mental health and autistic burnout/TMI etc meant my head was too crowded to even think about it. Anyway, I started a few months ago and I can honestly say everything for the main costume is close to being finished.

I found the boots in off-white on eBay, and bought both olive and white leather dye to colour them. I then used white faux leather to make the folds. This makes them a little awkward to get on and off, but it's only a minor irk. The folds are attached with velcro, and I just fold them over after zipping them up. I also painted the wooden soles and heels with white eco-friendly water and chalk-based furniture paint and sealed with clear enamel.

With a lot of thanks to Pouncy, I managed to get Gaius finished for MCM Comic Con (London Expo) for October 2014! The costume held up really well, but it does need numerous repairs now, and it's almost all paintwork.

Photo by Pouncy at MCM London Comic Con (Expo), October 2014.

I've been struggling to get Gaius finished, even with Pouncy's help. We're still working on him as I type this. We're not giving up! Even if we have to take bits to the hotel to finish him off, we will. We just need as much painting done and dried as possible before lunchtime tomorrow - Thursday 23rd October.

This is tricky! BUT, with Plasti-Kote Fast Dry Enamel paint (water-based), it's easier than with acrylics. They're not 100% the right shape but I did the best I could. The pattern-work is a bit difficult in terms of fitting it in though. I think I put the yellow stripes a bit too close to the edges. Oops! I'm working with it though.

I'm not sure how these will be attached so I can actually bend my arms yet, but I'm working on it! These need another coat or two of paint. The other set for the other arm are in progress. They need the strips going on and then painting.

I can't paint the underside of any armour until all attachments are on.

The sword is very nearly ready for painting now. There's just a bit more detail to go on to the hilt design, and a bit more priming. It looks like the sword may be finished before the main costume. There's still a fair bit of fabric painting to do, and armour-painting is in progress.

This is the finished headpiece (save for the attachments). I still don't know exactly how it will be attached, but I'm working on that.

* Craft foam shape
* Worbla covered on top and bottom
* Painted with Plasti-kote fast dry enamel
* Sealed with clear Plasti-kote fast dry enamel.

I've pretty much got the headpiece sorted, the first of the lower pauldrons now has detail going on it, but I still need to paint the silver on the top pauldron.

Today I began work making the diamond shapes for the arms. I've made 4 out of 10 so far. Using Worbla with craft foam cuts down armour-making time considerably, though it does still involve quite a fair amount of shape-cutting. I still need to put the second top and lower pauldrons together though.

I've recently bought rather a lot of paint for both the armour and fabric parts of this costume. Who knows if it's enough until I use though!
I still need to make the rest of the armour but that won't take too long to do.
The paint I've bought consists of posts of Plasti-Kote Fast Dry Enamel and Dylon Fabric.

In any case I hope it'll at least cover the majority of what's left to do.

The blade is about 40 inches long, excluding the handle, so it's a pretty good length for Gaius' sword. It's made from PVC foam board. The handle part was made smaller so the handle could be built around it.

The handle itself is being built up of layers of craft foam and gaffer tape to begin with, and will be finished and decorated with Worbla. I intend to coat the blade with paper mache before painting it.

From Left to Right: top pauldron, headpiece, bottom pauldron.

I still need to make the two for the other side, and all 10 of the arrow shapes that follow down the arms. Each piece has taken me about an hour to put together. They've been coated with car body filler spray, and black gesso so far.
They're made from craft foam and Worbla.

I bought a couple of sheets of PVC foam board at about 1500mm x 500mm. A little pricy on the p&p but it was understandable - the stuff came in a freight lorry!
Anyway, me and my dad traced around a wooden bokken, and then cut the blade shape out three times, with enough room for the handle. It just needs to be altered on the handle part and both filed and sanded into shape.

Again, sorry, no pictures yet.

I have begun work on the armour, though so far I've only done one upper and one lower pauldron and the headpiece. I need to get some car body filler to coat the Worbla before I cover it with gesso though. So far, each part has taken me about an hour to construct just with craft foam and Worbla, so if I keep doing this it shouldn't take all that long to get all the pieces made.

No pictures yet, sorry. Bear with me.

I've started the flame detailing on the boots now, and I'm working with 3D paint for them. I'm starting with the strip of yellow down the middle, and then doing the orange flames either side one side at a time. I'm doing this in stages as I go up the boots as it's a bit too tedious and cumbersome trying to do it all at once, and I don't want to mess them up while I'm working on them.

I painted one of the sleeves black today, and it was quite a nightmare. I tried my best to keep it off the rest of the waistcoat, but no, paint still found its way on to it. I can't take the sleeves off because they're joined with the same seam as the two other parts of the waistcoat.

It's taken two pots of black Dylon fabric paint, and now I need two more pots for the other sleeve.

With the armour still to make, the boots to paint details on, the rest of the paint detailing to finish, and the sword to sort out, will I get this done for expo? No idea, but I'm going to give it a go.

So I got to wear Rufus at Kitacon after all, and a few times at that!
Sadly I couldn't wear him for very long as the trousers were far too tight and made my thighs cramp, but I've asked the seller to remake them.

It still looks good though, I think! :-)

I've now finished the exsphere with spray paint, acrylic varnish, clear enamel spray paint, and blue humbrol enamel model paint. It has just been fixed to the left glove with upholstery spray glue.

Well, Rufus is actually almost sorted now. I can hardly believe that I've done this in just a few days. I need to get started with my Open University assignment due on April 3rd this week, but just a bit more purple paint to go on, a bit of gold to paint on as well, followed by the gold details on some boots to sort, one detail to attach on the back and a gold button to sew on and we're there.

The scabbard is 3/4 finished. It just needs belt loops and the silver at the top and bottom, and it'll be done.

The exsphere is all painted except for the gem - which I will do tomorrow hopefully. I'm considering just sticking it directly on to the glove as I'm not sure that velcro will hold it.

My efforts to turn the grey costume that should have been purple...PURPLE.
The purple has bled into the white on the underside of the cuffs, BUT as long as it stays on the underside, we're good. It's not actually this bold a purple in reality. The iPod camera seems to accentuate it. It's still looking pretty good though.

The trousers I ordered as possible replacements for the tight pair that make me walk like a penguin haven't arrived yet, so, I may have to paint-dye the tight ones purple and just pray to the powers above that they don't split.

There are a few other odds and ends to do on the costume: adding gold to the top of the boots, adding a gold band to the back of the coat, and replacing buttons on the cuffs. Chances of sorting this out for Kitacon has increased from 10%, to 40%, to about 60-70% now.

The costume arrived, and it was done in grey rather than a smoky-lavender purple colour. Drastic measures were taken in endeavouring to get enough purple fabric paint in time to paint the entire thing. It cannot be immersed in dye because of the gold and white detailing, so painting it on was the only option.

Not only that, but the trousers are too small, even though I'd said to use the same measurements as the ones made for the Kratos costume. The trousers for the Kratos costume are very roomy and they actually had to be taken in around the waist. The ones for Rufus are taught around my groin, and my thighs barely fit into them. I can wear them, just, but I walk stiffly and sit down like I'm made of rigid metal. Additionally one of the buttons was broken off the cuffs, and it was definitely not in the packaging when the costume arrived.

Despite this, it is VERY well made. It looks awesome.

Can I save this in time for Kita? Not sure, but I'll try.

Now that the sword is finished, I need to work on the scabbard. Hopefully that won't take too long.

I've painted the jewel on the top with Humbrol model paint (gloss), and wound light blue cotton webbing around the handle.

I know this isn't the best looking sword out there; it was actually my first time making one from scratch as my dad has helped me with swords by making them out of wood in the past. This time, I needed to do this at short notice and I needed practice in doing it myself as my dad isn't a well man and doesn't always have the time to spare to do woodwork with me.

I started making the exsphere today, and it's being made out of Worbla for ease of construction and painting. Generally I've found Worbla very fiddly to work with, but with smaller bits and pieces like this, it's taken a matter of about 20 minutes. I just need to add a bit more of the border around the edges and then I can put the gesso on it.

The boots are finished now as well.

In the photo, the white boot covers look a little slack around the bottom where the stirrups are. I discovered after taking the photo that they actually fit better and look better with the seam sitting at the front - odd, but it works.
Seems they made the boot covers arse about face. Anyway! They're done now.

The sleeves and the gloves are done, though I still need to make and attach the exsphere to the left glove.

The sleeves have has the seams taken in a long way so they'll actually fit and not fall down, and the light blue riding gloves had the fingers chopped off and the gold cabochons glued on this evening.

The teardrop-shaped patches and red buttons have now been added to the cape, so it's all coming together bit by bit!
The half oblong shaped patches and red buttons still need to be added to the top, as does the bias binding.

There are also two gold buttons to go on to the collar of the cape as well.

Following that, the two belts have to be sewn together and painted. Then, I think, the main outfit will be finished.

I must admit, the sword IS a bit wonky. My answer; it's been in battle a lot!
Anyway, I think that if I had more time on this then the result would have been a lot better (smoother anyway). The blade is a bit on the skew. Not much I can do about that now though.

The paintwork seems to be going ok, but it looks a bit...knobbly?
Perhaps I should have sanded the gesso down before painting over it, but it a.) looked smooth enough, and b.) it would have taken up quite a bit of time.

The paintwork is going "ok" on this. It's going to take a bit of time though.
The flame details needed extending and darkening, and that's a bit of a pain.
Another issue is the fact I need to paint the sleeves black, as removing them would make the whole waistcoat fall apart (they joined everything together with one seam).

I've also now bought some boots to paint flame details on to. I'll be using 3D paint for this.

The lash is finished!

I wound purple cotton webbing around the riding crop, and then wound yellow-gold cord around the bottom of the detailed area. The yellow-gold cord and the end of the crop were spray painted a lighter, more metallic gold.

My dad drilled a hole in the end so I could add a screw in eyelet, which I tied the ribbon to.

The sword has been primed with white acrylic gesso now, and is in the process of being decorated. The work on this isn't as good as what my dad could have made out of wood, but I still think it's looking pretty good.

In other news, many other bits on the costume are still being sorted out.
It's mainly all fiddly-faffy little details.

Oh yeah, and I need to make the exsphere somehow...

After putting the blade together on to the base, I began covering it with Worbla.
I must admit, Worbla is awesome stuff, but I've found it to be incredibly fiddly.
I've only done one side of it today though. Covering the blade seems to take a good while.

The blade's "muscle" is made from card, corrugated card, and craft foam. It's stuck together with silver gaffer tape. The support was taped down to one side first as well.

The blade of Kratos' sword has been marked and cut out of both card and corrugated card. I intend to cover both sides with bits of craft foam, and finally a coating of Worbla to make it strong.

There's a little more chance of me being able to do this for Kitacon now.
It's still uncertain, but there's now a 40% chance rather than a 10% chance (or less). That's a significant improvement.

So, I had to go with making it from scratch. There are no swords of the medieval kind of design that I can find that are large enough. They're pretty much all children's toys.

Usually with swords, my dad has helped me construct them out of wood. I've drawn the details out, he's cut them out of wood and put them together, and I've painted them. However, I want to try to avoid asking him whenever possible because of his permanently painful spinal condition. He's generally not well, but he's said he'll help when he can.

I've never actually made a sword from scratch on my own before, and I'm no carpenter. So, I'm going with the support structure method.

The support structure (the skeleton as shown here) is made from thin bamboo cane. The hilt is two lengths tightly bound together. I've already covered the hilt and handle with craft foam (twice for the handle), and wrapped it in gaffer tape. The cross section in the middle still needs a little more binding to stop it waggling about though.

I bought these thick-soled canvas boots/trainers/shoes - whatever they are - from eBay. They were under £10 if I recall correctly. I've painted the rubber soles with acrylic (which seems to work, although it remains slightly tacky), and then painted the rest of the shoes by mixing black and white Dylon fabric paint, followed by the same black Dylon paint mixed with a silver Pebeo Setacolour Opaque paint in silver.

This is the result!
I have some grey shoelaces for them as well.

The light blue paintwork on the main costume for Kratos is almost finished now. Next I need to do the belts and sew those belts together (the ankle ones as well as the waist belt).

This is what the back looks like now.

This is the first stages of the paintwork I am doing on Gaius to increase the accuracy. The flame details are supposed to come up a bit higher, and they're meant to be a rather dark orange or even red colour. So this is only stage one on that front.

I also need to get a few pots of black fabric paint to paint the sleeves with. I would remove them, but if I do, the whole waistcoat will fall apart. It's all to do with the way they made it.

I bought a riding crop to turn into Rufus' weapon. All I need to do is find a way to put the details on the handle. Then it'll be done!

I ordered the costume a short while back. Again, this is a costume that would be impossible for me to put together myself. I knew from just looking at it that the style of coat would be impossible to find anywhere. If it did exist, trust me I'd have bought it and done the amendments myself.

I recently bought the wig, and it's arrived. It just needs styling.

Other than that, I need to do some work on the horse-riding crop that I bought (Rufus uses a lash as a weapon... :-/), and a pair of white boots. I have some white boots somewhere that might be suitable, but I need to find them first. If not, I'll have to get another pair. I'll then need to add the gold band at the top of the boots. There's not a great deal that'll need doing for him. Initially, he's a formal costume intended for cosplay balls, but casual enough otherwise to be an easy wear.

There are several amendments that need to be sorted for Gaius' costume aside from making the armour:

* The flame details need sprucing up

* The GREY sleeves need to be painted BLACK

* The piece that's supposed to be a drape at the front was attached to the top, so it's basically a dress - I'll need mum's assistance on that one!

* The back of the "dress" shows between the split at the back of the coat. There is nothing seen there. That needs covering somehow.

* I need some black harem pants. I was expecting to buy some anyway, but I was interested to discover they made me a pair of trousers anyway. Gaius sits with his legs crossed. I cannot do this with the trousers they made, nor with the way they made the "dress".

I commend them on their efforts. It's a very difficult costume. However, as difficult as it is, I'm still amending it so it's a lot more accurate.

Before the costume arrived, I knew the areas that are supposed to be light blue were not going to be light blue. I didn't mind of course, because some inaccuracies with these commissioned costumes allows me to tinker with them to put my own stamp on them.

I've recently begun adding the light blue (baby blue) paint on to the relevant parts, and it's already starting to look good.


Other update: the sword I'd bought to paint and add detail to turned out to be about half the size it ought to be, so I currently don't have a sword for Kratos for Kitacon. Hopefully I'll get something sorted. If not, I suppose I'll just have to wear him without the prop and try to get it sorted for May Expo.

The wig still needs a bit more styling done to it, but I think this is going pretty well so far. The extra work that needs doing on the costume will mean that he probably won't be finished for Kitacon, but May Expo is almost a certainty.

The costume needs some work done on it to make it more accurate.
It's about 85-90% accurate, which I am very happy with, but yeah...I need to do a few things to it:

* Make the sleeves black
* Make the front a drape (it was made as a dress pretty much)
* Make my own armour and adjust the coat to suit it
* Paint in better flame details.

My main outfit for Gaius has now been dispatched.
After 30 working days and about 43 days in total, I hope this is going to look good.

I am considering Worbla for the armour, but I'll need Coscraft to get more stock in before I can consider that further. If not, I'll just have to go with my usual card, corrugated card, craft foam and paper mache method.

So, I couldn't resist trying the main parts of the costume on with the double wigs - just to see how I looked.
I'm pretty pleased with the result. :-)

Everything that should be light blue on this costume is either white or silver. So, yeah, I need to make them light blue with fabric paint. As aforementioned, I wanted to do this little job myself anyhow.

Other than that, the seams on the arm warmers need taking in, elastic needs to be added to the top so they'll sit on my arms without falling down (or off), and the belts for my waist and ankles will need sewing together.

Well, the costume has arrived and most of it is fine. Where the colours ought to be light blue, they're currently silver or white, but I wanted to have to sort that out myself anyway. It allows me to make the costume more my own and I get to have more involvement with it.

I now need to find a pair of gloves and a pair of shoes to modify.

Everything fits fine apart from the arm warmers. An arm and a half will fit into them right now, so the seam needs to be taken in, and then I'll need some elastic to make them sit on my arms.

The armour will begin construction when the main costume arrives. I can't really start on it until I know where and how it's going to attach. I intend on using my usual methods for this, but if I am able to get a sample of something like worbla, I might give that a go if it's satisfactory.

As for the sword, my dad will be helping me to construct this. I can't find a base sword long enough to modify. There is one option I might try though. I just need to figure out if it's going to work though.

The seller has now dispatched the costume. They agreed to make it navy as per the picture references I gave them as their display of the costume was black.
I damn well hope this is going to be alright!

I have also bid on a sword that I can paint. I don't have the time to make one what with trying to sort Gaius' armour and sword as well, my Open Uni studies, writing my book and doing other bits of writing for a new writing academy that's starting up. I'll be making the scabbard though.

So, Coseyes don't seem to be fond of replying. I've had to press them for messages for about a week before I normally get a reply from them when trying to make enquiries. This leads me on to base commission no.2 - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tales-of-Symphonia-Kratos-Aurion-Cosplay-Costume-/400300292933?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d33c1bb45

I am aware that this is the eBay seller who I bought the parts for Richard from. And I noticed that the fabric seemed a bit...uhh...black. So I made an enquiry. It IS black! However they are willing to make it in the navy as requested, and this one actually looks to be of better quality than the other one I posted. I hope to buy soon.

As for the rest of the costume components, I'll be making those myself.

Ok, so the wig I was styling has somewhat failed in that it looks fairly good on the polystyrene head but does not look at all right on my head. Why? Because it was far too thin for trying to transform into a spiky style.

I have bought this one instead, which should work a damn sight better - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251385568882?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

As I don't have the skills necessary to put this sort of costume together, I searched around for sellers who'd be willing to take it on. I eventually found someone willing to help, because Cosplay-One on eBay were unwilling to make amendments to the way they make this costume in order to make it accurate. They have since removed their listing for it from eBay. It goes without saying really doesn't it?

The setback is that I don't have a sample costume to look at from this seller. I can see the other costumes they've made and the quality of them. I'll be paying enough for this so I'm just hoping it'll be good.

So, I started working on the wig this evening after I discovered I may have found someone to commission the main parts of the outfit for me. Yes, it's going to cost a bit, but I want to try to do him for Kitacon so I'm having to dig a bit.

I have a lot more work to do on this wig of course, but this is what it looks like now. Another 3-4 sessions on it and it should be more or less sorted.

After cutting an old wig shorter and adding layers, I've started to try to add some spikes in with hair spray and spritz spray. This is only stage 2 of at least 3 or 4 though. Right now the back is looking better than the front with those nice layers in there.

I'm looking at getting this as a base commission - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tales-of-Symphonia-Kratos-Aurion-Anime-Cosplay-Costume-/291005537952?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43c1481ea0, though I will need to paint the grey the appropriate pastel blue. I've seen some inaccuracies on other seller's listings, such as black rather than navy blue for the main colour. I will also likely remake the belt as well.

Hopefully soon I'll be able to purchase a suitable wig too!

For Kratos, I WILL have to get a base commission of some kind. I want to do everything I possible can on him myself though, so I'll do things like the wig styling, belt, boot covers (if I can), and the sword and scabbard. It's clothing I have a big problem with. I can modify things, but making them from scratch...? .....No.

I've already been searching for wigs of the right length and colour. That's proving to be a pain in the arse.

So far I've been continually searching for options on how to do this costume. I can do the armour, that's not a problem. I can also do the head piece, and although the attachments for that will be tricky, it's still do-able. I have the wig ready for styling, and I need to look for boots to modify. I am stumped on how to do the sword for the time being though, but that's nothing compared to the rest of the damn costume.

The base commission I was looking at getting and editing is very inaccurate in some places, and so it wouldn't be worth the £155-60 getting it for those reasons. I also don't want the abominable FABRIC armour they've put with it. It's armour! It's not meant to be fabric!

So, at the very least I could work on the wig, armour, headpiece and boots. However, I'd like to try to find an option for the rest of the costume so I know what I'm doing with all of it.

Zagato is now complete!
I 'could' add some details to the drapes but it's not really essential.

See everyone at London Expo - MCM Comic Con.

This is how the drapes are looking now. They're done in theory, but I'm tempted to do the extra squiggle details on them as shown in some of the pictures.

This is what the armour looks like from the back. You won't see the back panel really because of the hood, but it's there in case of movement (as aforementioned in an earlier journal post) because it might show occasionally as I move.

The breastplate is now finished besides a little painting that needs doing on the underside after the remaining attachments have been done. I'll only paint the sections of the underside that might show (like the inside of the collar).

This is the back panel that holds the two pauldrons together. It'll be mostly covered by the hood, but I did a random design on it as a.) you can't see the details of it on any pictures, and b.) if there's movement (ie. the wind) then there's at least a design to look at.

I decided I would try on one of the bracers I wore for Zio along with the talons/gloves and one of the bracelets. I think this adds to the look pretty well, so I'll do things this way.

The talons for Zagato's gloves are now finished!
It's easy getting one glove on, but the other...no. It's hard getting the first glove off too, but the second is easy. And! Picking objects up is a lot like this! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8RyHrTjLns

The breastplate and the pauldrons can now be put together. There was a little tweaking that was needed to make this work, but I'm pleased that it can now be put together and that it does not slip about on my shoulders!

There's still more work to be done on them though. I need to add the attachments for the drapes, hanging tassels, and possibly additional attachments for hanging the cape from the pauldrons.

I'm making progress with the talons now. Five of them are ready for paper mache, but the other five still need to be done. The craft foam doesn't take long to stick on them. They take about 15 minutes to do, including both sticking and trimming.

Once they've been coated with paper, they can then be painted. I'm thinking of sticking these on to the gloves so it'll be easier to remove them and put them back on again. I can't hold anything easily with them on, so putting on and taking off will be quite the repetitive process.

I decided that it would look a lot nicer if I added some 3D paint embellishments on to the armour. In looking at the detailing from Zagato's armour in the manga, there seemed to be quite a bit of it, although seeing clearly was practically impossible. So, I've used some artistic licensing to make it look just that little bit more awesome.

I've begun adding the attachments to the main pieces of armour (the breastplate and pauldrons). I got one side done this evening - for the left pauldron - and it sits fine apart from the back sliding downward because a.) the other side isn't done yet, and b.) the brace panel holding the two together doesn't have all the velcro on yet either. What I have done tonight seems to work though.

Aside from the pauldron attachments I need to make attachments for: the additional velvet drape around the neck, the three drapes (two at the front and one at the back), and the curtain tie-back type drapes that hang from the pauldrons. I THINK that's it for the 'main' armour.

Following that I need to make attachments for the crown and buy long black crococdile hairclips so the damn thing will stay on my head...hopefully.

I've almost finished the silver detailing on the crown (and on most other bits of the armour as well actually), and have started painting in the purple gems. I have some cabochons on order for some of them, but the larger ones need to be painted. I've begun by filling them in with acrylic paints, and will then coat them with Humbrol purple enamel when I'm done. This goes for all other large purple gems on the rest of the armour as well.

Today the following has been accomplished:
* Bracelets almost ready for painting
* Brooch almost ready for painting
* Orbs almost fully coated with paper mache for the drapes
* Talons (finger armour) started.

I need to buy: gloves, tassels for the armour, more silver enamel paint, and some purple Humbrol enamel paint.

Well aside from the layers upon layers upon layers of silver enamel paint going on to the armour, it's looking pretty good now. I decided to start adding a bit of the purple on to make it look a bit more like Zagato (the manga and artwork designs are so much nicer than the anime version, so I worked with those).

I need to buy some purple enamel to go over the top of those gems to make them look more...well...gem-like.

Further to all this detailing, the attachments will need to be done. They shouldn't take too long once I know what works.

I have spray painted most of the armour now, but it needs another coat or two on a couple of pieces. I have also now started to paint the silver on to the crown. Progress is still gradual but it's starting to look a lot more like Zagato now. This project is now leaning a lot more heavily on the artwork/manga. It's much nicer looking than the anime version.

Today Mark and I started work on the brooch and the bracelets. The finger armour (they aren't gauntlets as it's JUST the fingers) is going to be more fiddly, so we settled for getting the brooch and bracelets on the go. So far it's just the gems that we've made the skeletons of.

Today Mark has helped me finish off most of the paper mache work on the armour and I have begun painting it with black enamel. We think the black is going to look better in the long run (the artwork and manga version).

We have also started making the armour for the fingers as well.

Costume now complete! This picture of the shirt is as it was this morning before I put the velcro on. It's finished now though.

The new sword (much lighter and easier to carry around) just needs a coat of gloss polyurethane varnish to make it weatherproof and then have the cabochons glued on.

I knew I had some boots somewhere that would be suitable for Fujin, and I found them in the shed this evening - see picture.

I also finished the chakram. It looks no different to the picture already up really, so there's no point adding another picture until the photoshoot results come through after Ayacon.

Other than that, just the velcro and the fake pockets to do on the shirt and she's done.

My parents have now assisted me in adding a zip to Richard's jacket. This means strangulation is minimised by about two thirds!

Well, tonight I finally discovered the proper word for Fujin's weapon - chakram. I knew there was a name for it but it eluded me, till now. I wasn't thinking.

I just need to put the spokes together for the other side and tidy up the other side of the wheel part, and then it'll be finished. The final challenge will be sorting the shirt out.

I have added the velcro spots on to the wheel and spokes on one side now, and I am currently putting the final six spokes together.

The plan seems to have worked pretty well. I can remove the spokes for easier transport in the suitcase. I just need to paint the spokes I've made, and finish the others, then the weapon will be complete.

Then I'll need to work on the shirt. That's more of the fiddly job requiring attention on bias binding and sew-on velcro.

The pauldron is finished save for a lobster clasp on the back to clip on to the shirt. That's another thing down. Just the wheel and the shirt to go!

The wheel has now caused a bit of a problem. Well, I say the wheel caused it, but actually varnish did. I sprayed one side of it with the varnish and it's gone very yellow. This means I'll have to paint that side again.

I finished painting the kanji? symbol on the pauldron today. It was a bit of a pain to do with a paintbrush, but I sorted it eventually. I had to wipe some of it off at one point, but it was easily amended. :-)

The spokes aren't ready to be added on yet, but the velcro spots have arrived for them. Hurray!
I've been putting the spokes together today. I've only done six so far. I need to do the other six for the other side. Then I need to cut out craft foam versions of them and add the swirling details before I paper mache them.

The painting of the main wheel is almost finished though. Getting there!

Priss is now completely finished and ready for the Ayacon parties.
You can see that I have added the buckles on to the front of the basque. That was ever so slightly tricky, but it's done!

I've not managed to get a great deal done in the last few days, but tonight I discovered that I really don't think I need to lengthen the shirt. There was a slight difference in shade with the additional fabric I'd bought, and I thought it might end up looking silly.

So, tonight I decided I'd put the wig and eye-patch on with the shirt for a little progress picture or two. I also stumbled upon a much better pair of trousers in a drawer than the ones I was going to wear. Score!

I'd thought that the shirt I had bought was a little dark in shade (it was advertised a bit lighter -_-'). However, I put the pictures against the shirt and actually the colours seem to match quite well. It depends on how the light and camera catches it.

Today I've just done the yellow strip on the collar. There's also some extra material pinned on to it for it to be lengthened.

I've now finished the choker! It's loose enough but it still going to take some getting used to. I hate having something so close around my neck. It makes me gag. At least I found some random way of making it though.

Here's the current progress on Fujin's weapon. Right now, its resemblance of a hubcap is quite uncanny.

It's been coated with paper mache both sides (and that was a bit of a pain in the backside), and then sprayed with a grey primer. Next, I need to finish making the blue, snail-shaped spokes for it and get some velcro spots for them. If I make them detachable, the wheel will fit comfortably in my suitcase. ;-)

Not far to go with this now. All the choker needs is the pendant (thing) attached and a clasp. Then that will be complete.

Following that, the only thing left to do will be the buckles on the basque. Then she'll be complete and ready for the Ayacon parties!

I can say that the wheel really is a pain in the arse!
So this time I am going to mainly talk about the pauldron.

I've cut some slits at the sides so I can slide some elastic into them, and now that it's been paper mached on the top side, I thought it would be a good idea to primer it. I'll paper mache the other side shortly. then will set to work painting it. I can't attach anything for the connection on to the shirt until I've actually amended said shirt. This is due to be sorted shortly.

I've done a bit more work to the wheel and the pauldron today. The pauldron is about 1/3 coated in paper mache, and the wheel has some of the design work added. I have yet to do all the spokes on the wheel though, and that's going to be the most tedious job as far as these bits are concerned.

Additionally I need to lengthen the shirt, add the yellow bias binding, and the blue bias binding for the fake pokets.

I have finished the styling of the wig today. It was a rather fiddly job, but then it's an 80s hairstyle and I've never done this before. It looks quite weird on the oddly-shaped wig head (my other wig heads look nice but this one just looks like an elderly Tibetan monk or Abe from Oddworld), but it looks fine when I wear it.

Here's the progress on the new lightweight version of Richard's sword. This will be so much easier to carry around and pose with, especially for on stage posing.

Here's a picture of me with the new wig on with Richard's jacket.
The jacket itself needs a zip attached to it, and the ruffles need a loop attaching to them so they don't fall backwards revealing the underside as well as my arms whenever I raise them. Aside from this, my dad is still helping me by working on a smaller version of his sword. These amendments will be finished for Ayacon 2013.

I have bought and finished styling a brand new wig for Richard that suits him better than the first one. I needed to trim several inches off the bottom first and then worked on the fringe. The previous wig didn't have the fringe on it really, and I also used it for a cosplay of one of my own original characters.

I got my wig from Coscraft, and I must say I am thoroughly impressed with the dispatch and arrival time and the quality of it. I don't really need to do much with it apart from fiddle with it a little when I have it on.

I also made my eye-patch for it today. When the wig arrived I wanted to take a picture, and I thought it was going to be better to do it wearing the eye-patch as well. Besides cutting out the shapes, it must have taken me around an hour to make.

I hope to have this done for the Friday of Ayacon. I know I'm late starting but I just didn't know who I wanted to cosplay on the Friday, and I couldn't decide on any of my completed costumes.

So, let's see what we can do. If I can make the wheel she uses as a weapon, I will. First though, I need the wig, shirt and trousers to arrive. I HOPE the shirt and trousers will be ok. The wig will need styling anyway.

The pauldron shouldn't be much of an issue at all, and neither should the eye-patch. However, even if I do get the wheel made and finished, I'm trying to think on how I'll transport it. >_<'

I've made a little progress on the choker. I need to find some kind of suitable clasp for it though. My fingers got somewhat covered in super glue though. I just need to make the gold part before that. When the clasp is on, it'll be done!

It's taking a bit of time, but some of the detailing is now on the crown!
I'd say just under half of it is done. However, I need to figure out how it will attach to my head on the wig without it falling off.
It looks a fair bit like a Gnome's hat right now, but that should be rectified in due course. I am NOT looking forward to doing the paper mache on this! XD

I've started to paper mache the breastplate now, and will also need to tidy it up and do the underside and collar as well. I also did some spray paint testing on it (one a grey primer, and the other a silver). Even though they're the same brand of spray paint, the silver crackled on top of the primer. Yeah, that makes a damn lot of sense doesn't it? So it means I might need to coat it with glue or an acrylic varnish before spraying it. I'll also do brush paint work on it as well.

I finally got the detailing added to the first of the two rather large pointy pauldrons. That was quite the tedious task, and now I have to do another one as well! Still, one down and ready for paper mache.

So the big sword that dad put together before ended up SO big and VERY heavy around the hilt. He offered to help me make a more lightweight version of the same sword. Here's the progress so far, and hopefully it'll be done for Ayacon.

There are also a few amendments to make on the costume as well so it'll hopefully be easier to wear (like not choking me for example).

Well, the jacket and the gloves arrived this morning and I must say I'm pretty damn pleased with them. Now all I need to do is work on the wig a little more, add the buckles on to the basque, and make the choker. Then this will be finished and ready for the Ayacon parties. ^_^'

I've bought the jacket, the driving gloves, and the bits to make the choker.
I will try everything on when it arrives. All I need to make is the choker, and just a couple of buckle details for the front of the basque. Aside from that, the wig just needs a little more styling. Then she'll be sorted for Ayacon's parties!

I've continued styling the wig a bit, but it still needs some work done on it.
The basque also arrived today, and it's absolutely perfect for the outfit. For that I just need to add two leather strips with buckles to the front.

All that's left to do after that is getting the jacket, the fingerless gloves, and making the choker.

The wig arrived recently and I started to style it today. It needs a bit of touching up and styling a little more, but I think it's already looking a lot like it should.

Hopefully the corset will arrive soon. All I'll need to do with that is make some buckles to add on to the front. Then I'll just need to make the choker, buy a pair of brown fingerless gloves, and a cropped red jacket.

I've just bought the wig and the corset for this now.

Wig - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281020920590?var=580156733565&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

Corset - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281041749416?var=580167508279&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

The wig will need a fair bit of styling, and the corset will need the two buckles added on to the front. That can be done with some black faux leather and a couple of nickel buckles I think.

Costume complete!

I was going to do a costume run for both Yuri and Richard but alas, I didn't get time. Hopefully open chest-binding will work. Not really looking forward to that part. >_<'

Costume complete!

I did make a little bit of a mess up on the sword's blue jewel, but...I can touch that up fairly easily. It's the other side that's going to be seen more.

The scabbard was a right pain in the backside to get done, but it's DONE!
The eyelets are in the back, and there are even eyelets to help keep the sword in place as it likes to fall forwards.

The sword is almost finished now. I just need to do a bit more work on the detailing and then it can be varnished.

With regards to the scabbard, I just need to add the gold details on it and have dad help me put eyelets into it and the belt so it can sit on my hip.

The white overturn trims are now on the boots and they are both finished!
Thanks to mum for giving me a hand with those.

Yuri is finished other than the sword now. That will be finished tomorrow.

The clasp is pretty much finished, but I need to figure out how I'm going to attach it to the cape. I know how I'll hold the cape in place though. That will involve velcro.

I am not sure if this is 100% accurate, but there was a shortage of decent reference pictures that showed all sides. Anyhow, I used some leftover red nail varnish from when I did BloodRayne for the round jewels, and glued on a red cabochon for the front.

1.) The sword and scabbard are almost finished in terms of painting.
2.) The second boot has stripe on it now, and I just need to add the buttons before the white turnover is added at the top.
3.) The bodhi blastia just needs the rest of the paper mache to dry, then that can be painted.
4.) The pattern on the back of the jacket is now fully sewn on.

The sword's scabbard will need the white wrap around added on to it after everything else is finished.

Not much to do on Yuri now!

The sword is fully constructed now, and the painting/details work has begun.
This is going to be a tedious pain in the arse, but it'll be worth it in the end methinks.

I had to nip out to The Range to get some paint markers as I couldn't find the other ones I had. I need to draw the details on this time.

Thanks to mum, we've got this almost sorted now.
To minimise time spend, she's helped me to get this pattern sew on to the back of the jacket. There's just the circle left to go on to it. :-)

The painting of Yuri's sword has now begun. It's a bit fiddly, but it's coming together gradually. The detail separating the blade from the handle was a pain to make, but dad managed to get that sorted out nicely.

The sword is HEAVY still, but the shape is much better now.
Everything is now glued in place, but there's still some more planing and rubbing down to do before the final details can be sorted and then the painting.

I spray painted it gold, but it needs some smoothing out a bit, then re-spraying. The inside still needs to be papermâchéd though.

Well, here's the detail that looks a bit like a door hinge.
I made this with brass-gold coloured leatherette material (sewn on by hand), and then super-glued the buttons on (unused buttons that were bought for Yuri's boots).

The belt is almost finished now. It just needs poppers/velcro on it now really. However, I also may need to add eyelets for the scabbard to attach to the belt underneath.

The first boot is nearing completion now. The other one still needs the black stripe painted and the buttons stuck on. I will probably need to touch up the white on the front and the black stripes too though. After that, the white overturns at the top will be added.

So, there's been a little bit of a fuck up with the sword, and it's my fault. I drew the additional details on too wide. It's also rather heavy on the hilt end, but that can't be helped.

I've been quite upset over it because dad has worked so hard on it already and my blunder means it needs to be adjusted. I need it for Expo, and it's going to be a pain to get it painted in time already on top of my Open Uni assignment. Fingers crossed all will be well.

I have started to paint the front of the boots. They will need another coat or two though. Then I need to add the curved black stripes, the buttons, and the white turnover detail at the top.

Progress with the sword is now starting to pick up a bit. I'm still a bit concerned about it getting finished, but then I'm quite a worrier anyway.
The handle is on, and the main curved details have been cut out and are about to be stuck on.

I asked Cocosilverhk to cut off the strip along the back so I could add the pattern on. If you look at the back of Yuri's outfit, you'll see what I mean. So, I've made the pattern out of the black fabric they sent me. Getting it sewn on is going to be a bit of a bugger methinks.

The stuff arrived this morning. I am SO pleased with it. I am doing the back pattern on the jacket as they wanted $50 extra (wasn't happy about that but the quality of what they did do is BRILLIANT). Everything fits perfectly.

I'd asked for 1/2 metre of the black fabric they use for the details (offering $8 which was accepted), and they sent a whole metre. Bonus!

I put most of the stuff I have on to see how everything looks. Raye-chan put the new ruffles together for me (she also did the cravat but once I had all of this on I couldn't move my arms enough to try to get it on). The elastic in the ruffles is a little tight, but I can at least get them on. Not sure if I'll need to adjust them yet. They should be alright...I think.

There have been a few snags with the sword, in that progress on it was delayed because of the workmen's tools and parts for the bathroom (parents are having the bathroom re-done) were all put in the shed so dad couldn't get to his tools, and then he got a chest infection. He's started working on it again, so hopefully it can be finished and painted in time.

I thought I would show a picture of where we are right now without the jacket, cape and ruffles on first. The belt still needs to be finished, the jacket still needs another layer or two of paint, and the green clasp for the cape needs finishing and attaching.

The shirt was modified by the lovely Raye-chan.

Mark gave me a hand this afternoon to get Yuri's bodhi blastia constructed. It's already constructed! I just need to add the round jewels on the back, paper mache it, paint it, and stick the cabochon on the front. Hopefully it shouldn't take too long to do alongside everything else.

I thought I would pin the belt on to the mannequin to see what it would look like.
The buckle still needs to be stuck on and the rest of the gold detail, and the attachments at the back also need to go on.

I will also need to find a way of attaching the scabbard to it when it's made.

The seller, cocosilverhk on eBay has now finished the parts I asked for.
I asked them to send me some pictures before they sent it out, and now that I have seen those pictures, I can say that it looks satisfactory from what I can see.

I'll need to add the pattern to the back of the sleeveless jacket, add details to the boots, make the bodhi blastia, and modify and paint the sword I bought.
Whether I can combat all that as well as Richard in the next two weeks remains to be seen.

Now that I am back from my tall ship sailing voyage, I need to crack on with Richard for London MCM Expo in two weeks time. I have bought some purple tulip paint and purple pebeo setacolour fabric paint so that I can coat the scabbard of the sword (when I make it soon). The reason for this is that the indigo coloured leather fabric I bought for it turned out to be more of a burgundy kind of purple. How many times can something go wrong with the construction of this costume!?

Anyway, I have also bought some brass-gold leather fabric to do some bits on the belt with, and can also use it to do the gold detailing on the scabbard.

Unfortunately, something else went wrong as well. While I was away, dad was going to get on with making the sword. The workmen who gave been re-vamping our bathroom put all of their stuff in his shed, so he's not been able to get to anything. I have two weeks left, so I'm not happy about that. I'll do what I can though. The costume will be done at the very least.

I am off for a week's tall ship sailing tomorrow. I come back on the 8th, and then I have two weeks until expo.
There will be no more progress shots until at least May 9th.

It's a wonderful experience, and I think everyone should at least give this a go once. I keep going back. However, this is the first time I'll have been in four years.

More Richard progress when I get back, and I'm looking forward to the Tales of Graces f group for both May Expo and Ayacon!

I've started to sew the main part of it together. When this is done and sew on I will add a loop on the underside which the cape itself will slot through.
I need to see if I can add a pale edging around this though.

This is currently how far my dad has got with the sword.
I drew it out on a large piece of paper, he cuts the parts out and attaches them, planes them and such, and I do the painting afterwards. I need to make a scabbard for this as well, but I need to find a way of painting the leatherette material as the purple they sent was more of a reddish purple rather than a bluish purple. Yet another cock-up from a seller. Frustrated about this! I'll sort something out though.

The buckle itself is solid brass, and the zig-zag triangle pattern is done with gold bendy wire. I used two different types of pliers as well as just my bare hands to do this. To squash down the "bends" I used some thin pliers, and to cut the ends off I used a thicker, sharper pair (both borrowed from dad).

Finally! I have some belt progress. I've just spent most of the afternoon and evening putting this together, and I suppose you could say it's about 2/3 complete, but I do need to find a way to add the scabbard when I make that. I'm away next week, so that leaves me with two weeks to make a scabbard, paint the sword (when dad's finished it) and do various bits and pieces for Yuri Lowell as well. Can I get them both done? No idea, but I'll try. However, Richard takes priority as I am part of a group.

So I figured out the shape for the top of the cape which I believe to be a kind of clasp that holds it on. The seller didn't make the cape in the fashion shown on the costume, so yet again I have to be the one to sort this problem out. I DO have a plan. That plan involves cutting an identical shape to this, sewing them together, then adding a "loop" underneath to ensure the cape doesn't go all over the place. The main part of this detailing will be sewn on to the cape on the top side.

Also today, Pouncy has helped me to get the sleeve details attached on to the jacket. The edges still need to be sewn down, but once this is done I can finish painting it all.

It's getting there!

Pouncy helped me to get the cape sewn on to the collar of the cape today. It was the only way that it could be worn without it strangling me in the process, and without having to cut parts of it off. Next, I need to make the green attachment at the top of it.

I've bought the jacket, shirt and belt from a "different" seller from Richard's stuff on eBay, but I've asked them to alter the back a little. They wanted to charge an additional $50 to do the correct pattern...wtf?
Anyway, I asked them to cut the pattern off at the back so it could lead off for me to add it myself. I've bought 1/2 a metre of the black detail fabric so I can do the pattern myself. It doesn't make sense for them to not do the costume as per the accurate details, but hey, it will become more my own if I do it myself.

I'll be modifying a pair of boots myself as well, and hopefully getting a sword to modify as well.

Due to time constraints, Zagato is pushed back to London MCM Expo (October 2013). With my studies and going away, I just don't have the time to complete him within four weeks (away for a week in a couple of week's time).

However, I will still be working on him regularly.

I have the cape pattern sorted now I think. Mum assisted by sewing around the edges after I had cut them out and glued them on. I've already put one coat of paint on them.

I also need to figure out how to do the green clasp on the back of the cape because of the shape of it being incorrect due to the seller not observing this part of the costume either. I also need to find a way of the damn thing not choking me when I tie it on. May need to figure out another attachment method before expo.

Mum helped today by sewing down the edges of the glued on extensions for the cape.

However, there's also another bit that needs to be added on, and that's the green part at the top which is supposed to be holding the cape on. Unfortunately, this is another detail the seller overlooked. They made the cape so that it comes around my neck, when it should sit flat against my shoulders with that green shape with the red jewel in the middle. I'm sure I can figure something out though.

Hopefully we'll be able to sort the sleeve details out in the next couple of days so I can then get everything painted. I'm still working on the belt. I really need to get these bits finished if I want to test run him at the meet next week. I can but try.

The breastplate is now ready for the papermache. However, I won't be doing that until the other pieces of armour are fully made and have all of their details attached as well.

I will tackle the pauldrons next with regards to detail I think. Mark and I are still working on the construction of the crown but should be finished with that soon.

When all parts are made and have the details on, the lot will be coated with papermache. Some time during all that, the spiked fingers will be made, along with the brooch and bracelets.

I started the belt this evening. I have pinned together the first section of it. I had marked out 48 inches for some extra material to work with, but after I pinned it all together it ended up at 35 inches.......I'm not sure how that happened, but at least I can add the wider part on to it where the sword sits that way. It's not really a problem at all.

Mum unpicked the sleeves a bit as well. They just need hemming and then I can start to put the details on there (the bits the seller should have done!)
Once they're on, I can then finish painting the jacket!

The details on the breastplate are going well. I just need to finish the collar and the right hand wing shapes, and then I'll move on to the windy details of the pauldrons. >_<' That'll be fun!

This is the progress Mark and I have made on the crown. We still need to make the front part to stick on before all the detail can go on though. I have sat it on top of the wig and head to give more of an idea of the appearance. I still need to do some more trimming on the wig though I think. It also rests on there better rather than just laying around elsewhere.

The cape pattern extensions are now glued on. They need sewing down into place, and then they can be painted. After that, all that's left (besides the sword) are the sleeves that need to be opened and the details attached, and the belt.

Raye is still working on the sleeve ruffles, cravat and shirt, but they will be completed soon enough. ^_^

The fabric that was used for the detailing (besides the blue) was a gold foil-like fabric. Obviously it was the WRONG colour, but I've been painting over that with fabric/3D paint in the RIGHT colour. So, I thought I'd buy some gold foil fabric to extend the pattern with, which would allow me to hopefully get it as close to the rest of it as possible, hence why I bought the gold. This foil fabric is more coarse than the one used by the eBay seller, but it's pretty much the same colour gold, and hopefully the painting of it will work well enough.

The boots are now finished. I added yellow leatherette for the gold arrows on either side of the buckles and then painted them with Tulip 3D paint. I then had to super-glue them on to the boots as sewing didn't work (it didn't hold them on securely enough). They're fastened tight now though!

Aside from the bits that Raye-chan is doing for me, I have the jacket sleeves to edit, the cape pattern to enlarge and add to, and the belt to make (save for the sword which dad is now going to help me with - we'll be buying some wood shortly and he'll hopefully be able to give me some woodworking lessons).

I have added some of the details on the breastplate today. What I have done there has taken me a good hour. I'm going to try to do more of this on this piece of armour as well as the pauldrons to save some time for when Mark is next over to give me a hand (which also gives him experience in cosplay-making).

I'll try to finish the details on this piece in another two to three sittings, and then tackle the detail on the pauldrons.

I've started adding the gold arrows on to the boot buckles now, but I think I might need something like glass paint or 3D paint to go over them.
I've only done three so far, and they're stuck on with super glue to free up some time.

I've done some more pattern drawing on the armour ready for the detailing to go on. Unfortunately I can't do this with the coronet yet as it's still far from being finished. Mark and I should be working on this very soon though.

I will get some more pictures up very soon, and in the next couple of weeks I hope to also start on the brooch, bracelets and spiked gauntlet fingers.

I thought I'd wear the wig to show what it looks like on me. Hopefully when the crown is done I'll look a lot more like Zagato. I'm pleased with how it looks on me for now though. It was just for a little sneak peak really.

I've started to draw the patterns on to the spike pauldrons of the armour.
This way I'll know what patterns I am going to put on and where.

The crown still needs to be build up with Mark the next time he's over, but it will save time to add at least the drawn details on the rest of what we've made before that time. I also need to make two bracelets, a brooch, and the spiked finger armour on top of all that as well as putting Richard (and his sword) together as well.

The cape and sleeve details turned up, but the pattern on the back sits halfway down my back and is too damn small. This means I have had to purchase "hopefully" matching fabric to extend the top and bottom with. -_-'

I'm getting tired of this. I need to finish my other costume (Zagato - Magic Knight Rayearth) for May Expo (I hope) as well as finish Richard. Thankfully Raye-chan is helping me by putting new sleeve ruffles and cravat together along with adding the zip and stripes to the shirt, but because of the seller's screw ups, I need to: open the sleeves and add the details on, paint the gold the colour it should be (orange) - this is in progress, and now extend the pattern on the cape at the top and the bottom.

The quality is otherwise good and quite well-made despite being in some ways inaccurate.

I just thought I'd put the wig on with the jacket to see how much better it looks with the orange paint over what WAS the gold foil-like fabric.

It looks so much better, and much more accurate! I'm pleased. ^_^

I think it's getting better and better the more layers I add on. The parts that are already painted are almost done. Then I'll focus on the bottom of it. The sleeve cuffs will still have to wait until the details have been added on (thanks to the seller not finishing it correctly in the first place - and the painting needing to be done because they did it in gold rather than orange). -_-'

I have started painting the gold foil fabric on the jacket the burnt orange colour that it should be. The quality of the jacket (and the cape too I assume)is good, it's just the fabric for the detail that should be orange is gold and shiny. It's going well at the moment.

The paints used are a burnt orange metallic fabric paint, and Tulip 3D coral paint. The 3D paint mix is needed because other types of paint do not adhere to that kind of shiny foil-like fabric.

Some progress has been made on the crown, but it is the biggest pain in the arse piece to figure out and put together. I knew this was going to be the case from the start, but it's already been a fiddly one to make the frame for.

The details will go on the rest of the armour shortly as well. Once everything is covered with paper mache, we can work out the attachments and paint it all. It doesn't end there though. A brooch, spiked finger armour, and bracelets need to be made as well. Oh yes, and I also need to buy the shirt with the mandarin collar.

The seller has finally finished the cape and sleeve details for me, and will be sending them off this week. I will wait until they arrive before I start painting the gold the burnt orange colour it should be.

The lovely Raye-chan is helping me with the cravat, sleeve ruffles and shirt.

I still need to make the belt, but all of the buckles are made for the boots and just need the gold trim on the pointed edges to be added before I sew them on.

Following all of that, I'll be moving on to tackle the sword somehow.

Me and Mark got the spikes on the pauldrons today. That was a pain in the backside, but at least it's done. It was mainly getting the angles as correct and matched up as possible. We'll be adding the detailing to most of the armour soon.

Our next moves will be on creating a back panel for the pauldrons to attach to, and making the frame for the crown.

Laid over the boot.
I still need to add the gold on the points before sewing them on. I'll make the other five first though.

I think I know how I'll add the gold on. Most likely yellow faux leather that's been painted gold. It's easier to paint the stuff I already have instead of spending more money on buying straight gold faux leather.

As Zagato has bits of his fringe showing across his face from underneath the crown, I have tried to group sections of it together as shown in the picture. I had to do this, or it would have remained too fluffy and wouldn't have done what I wanted it to do.

The moment of truth will be seen when the crown is made.

I have drawn up plans for how the crown should be able to work and sit in place without interfering too much with the wig. I think this might be the most pain in the arse piece to be made.

It needs a brace to sit on top of my head, and a back brace to secure it around the back of my head under the wig.

I've continued to have trouble with the seller who I bought the jacket and cape from, but I think that those things should be sorted out soon. I got a bit arsey with them, let's put it that way. They said they will finish next week and hopefully the cape and sleeve details should arrive by the beginning of April.

On the other hand, I've made sword plans. Again, no time to make anything from scratch, so I'll be buying another base sword (the first one was...pathetic) and dad said he'd try to help me get all the detailing on.

The plan for modification is as shown on the picture.

Mark and I have made some more good progress on this today. We've made the main part of the pauldrons, and next time we'll be making the spikes that jut up from them. We did have a couple of mishaps, but those have been sorted out and will be touched up on next time as well.

Further to this, we'll be making a start on the base of the coronet.

An option might have been found to sort out the fabric problem with the material that's supposed to be a burnt orange colour on Richard's jacket (and cape/sleeve details when they arrive).

It seems the gold-bronze-foil fabric will take Tulip 3D slick paint mixed with Pebeo Setacolor Opaque paint.

The main breastplate is made. At least the construction of it is done now. The details will need to go on soon, and the spike pauldrons will be made as well.

This is going to be damn uncomfortable to wear, and I might need to have the pauldrons attached outside the hotel room at this rate. It's going to be big, and if I try to walk through the hotel with the entire lot on, I'll probably end up feeling very claustrophobic. My wig will be heavy and I'll have a large coronet/crown on as well.

My friend Zanzibar07 is helping me with this as it needs to be fitted together a certain way, and the method of doing this requires two people to get the proportions right.

We had some great ideas when he came over last, and now that we have plans of action for each piece of armour now, we're going to crack on a lot more shortly (hopefully at the weekend).

It's still going to be intense getting this done, but it's do-able.

I have finished sewing on the turquoise strips on to the boots now. Next on these, there's the buckle detailing to do. It wasn't too hard a job sewing down the boots, but sewing through the actual shoe part was quite a pain.

Left to do on the main costume:
* Wait for the cape and sleeve details (the seller didn't do it right).

* Paint the details that should be burnt orange on the jacket (and the cape and sleeve details when they arrive - the seller didn't do it right).

* Remake the sleeve ruffles and cravat (the sleeve ruffles that turned up were black and the cravat they're now making will probably be black too).

* Modify the shirt.

* Make the belt.

I'll move on to the sword once the main costume is finished.

Firstly, minor setback no.1 is that the seller forgot to send the cape, and didn't finish the sleeves on the jacket properly. So, they are sending me the details so I can alter the sleeves, and are now making me the cape.

Minor setback no.2 is that I'm not sure whether I should paint over the "orange". It's very shiny and more bronze, so I may get some fabric paint to go over it. I'll get a few more opinions before I do this though.

Left to do on the costume myself:
* Boots to finish the turquoise on and then add the buckle details.
* Modify the shirt.
* Make the belt.
* Buy a base sword and build the rest of the sword around it (plus make a scabbard).

I have now started to style the front of the wig for Zagato. I hate brushing this damned thing!

I need to get the fringe to taper from the foreheard down the sides so it will be visible when I make and wear the coronet.

Such length! 60 inches!

As I will be covered from shoulders to feet in cloaks, the armour cannot work the same way it did for Zio. In-fact, the method for Zio didn't work brilliantly either.

I intend to make a main breastplate with a section cut out around the back under the collar so that I can feed the hood of the back cloak through along with the ties. The ties will then come around the front, where another hole will be made either side for them to slip back under and be tied.

I went to leave feedback on a couple of items on eBay (one such item being the buckles for the boots). At the same time I noticed a message from the seller I am getting the jacket and cape from. They said it has been finished and is now on it's way. The package should arrive within 14-21 days. Fingers crossed that all is OK!

I have got one side of the turquoise strip on to one boot now. Trying to sew through the foot part is a pain in the backside though. It seemed to go fairly well, for me being an amateur at sewing still.

The boots arrived this morning, and they're awesome!
I put them on with the leggings I'd bought a while back, and took a picture.

I need to find some buckles for them (the ones I have found so far have been expensive for 10 though - 5 on each boot). I have the turquoise bias binding, so that can go on when I have some time to do it.

Well, the wig arrived recently, and I'm rather pleased with it despite it being a complete and utter bitch to brush. The length is very accurate, but I need to style the front when possible. Perhaps I should make the coronet before I do this though.

I'm considering buying velvet cloaks, though this is still in debate. However, as I have minor sewing skills, making full capes myself would mean more cost and probably MANY mistakes that I cannot afford.

The preparations for the armour are slowly coming together.

Because I can't find a suitable cropped jacket of the same material as a cape lined with lilac fabric, I have to think of other options. I found a cape with lilac lining, but it was all made from satin. The velvet shirt I might have been able to modify would not have looked good against it (sating next to velvet? Only in lining I'm afraid). I lack the necessary skills to make these things from scratch, so it looks like I may have to go down the commission route. HOWEVER! The only things that will be commissioned (if I go down this route) will be the jacket and cape, and probably the scarf too, as it'd then match the ruffled fabric on the inside of the cuffs of the jacket sleeves.

This is the one I'm looking at, and I've already made enquiries - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251199264636?_trksid=p5197.c0.m619

I am going to be making or modifying everything else. Besides, the shirt on that link is incorrect, and both that and the belt, in my opinion, look tacky. It's the jacket and cloak that just look really good.

Well, the wig arrived, and I must say I love it! In terms of suitability it's along the lines of "simply awesome".

However, the blazer I bought didn't live up to my expectations. For a size M/L it felt like a size S. I could get it on, but I have muscular arms and broad shoulders, and am a size 10 (or 12 in jackets, hence the M/L selection). This jacket was...about an 8. I couldn't have modified the collar anyway. However! I did find a velvet shirt that I've not worn for years that would be appropriate if it was shortened and the buttons removed. Plan B wins then!

The shirt I bought was a size 8, when I had thought I'd bought a medium/10-12 in that, but this time it was my mistake. However, I intended to cut up the front of it anyway (I had to in order to get the damn thing on when it arrived today) so I could add the stripes on. Plan B wins again!

The leggings are absolutely fine, they're great. I may end up getting another pair JUST IN CASE. I'm not sure about boots yet, but I'm saving for so many things at once that I'll just have to buy those in the not too distant future.

I have bought a jacket and long white top to modify, and a pair of teal-coloured leggings. I have also included a picture of the wig I have bought (as I have nothing else to show right now!)

As for the boots, I'm still thinking about what ones I should get.

I have started to draw out some more in-depth armour plans for Zagato now. This is only the first set (plans A), as I need to consider how the cloaks will attach over the top and bottom (which will be in plans B and potentially C as well).

In other news, I have bought the wig and it's on its way!

I have bought this wig for Richard, so there shouldn't be much if anything to do with regards to styling (in theory) - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/160874417756?_trksid=p5197.c0.m619

I thought I'd try on the wig today. I meant to do it a while back, but only got around to it today. Methinks I could pull of Yuri alright!

I'm still not convinced that M shape is completely right at the back, but it looks ok on the picture. I'll have to try it on again to see whether it needs any more tweaking. The front is now pretty much finished as well. I might have to use some hair products to get certain bits to stay in place though.

I've started to style the wig now. Just for reference, the wig is a "Ghost Cos Wig" and I've found the quality to be fantastic! They're easy to brush with a good wig brush as well.

The styling itself has been more of a pain than other wigs considering Yuri has a weird shape to his hair. I think it's coming along nicely though, but it may need a few touch ups here and there.

I have bought the wig and the jacket now. The wig is in the post,
and the jacket has already arrived. The jacket itself is beige, but I will be dying it (and hopefully it will take).
It's 97% cotton and 3% spandex, so in theory it should work out alright, even if it needs a couple of tries.

Before I can make this, I need to think about how I'm going to put it together.
I can make the main frame much like I did Zio's one, but I need to be sure that I can get the damned thing in the suitcase along with the other armoured parts, and potentially a spare costume too. That might fail and I may end up having to take an extra suitcase...FUN! Not.

The other problem besides the armour is making or finding suitable cloaks. They need to make me look rather imposing, so this is going to take a lot more thinking to figure it out so it will work effectively and not fall apart.

I managed to finish the day before I went down to London for Expo. It was stressful, but it was done. I'm proud of it. I also did the masquerade on the Sunday, though the third braid down on the front came off (they're on poppers) one side during that. I had put it back in place twice and it still failed. I'm rather unhappy about that, but I got some great photos across the weekend, and looking forward to seeing them all uploaded.

I'm rather pleased with the way it turned out, though I now need to do a few minor repairs before I wear this version again. Great expo this one!

Well, we're getting there. I need to touch up the greaves a little more on the outside and paint the gems on the wing pieces on the bottom, then I can paint the inside quickly and get the whole lot varnished.

The sword and the scabbard are coming along as well. I need to add some more gold to the scabbard at the bottom and the top, and paint the blade of the sword again. THEN the little fine details can be painted on, and in theory, they shouldn't take all that long to do. Then I can varnish those.

The coat is almost finished. Just need the braiding to go across the front between the gold buttons, and paint the swirly patterns on the lining inside.

With regards to the armour, the pauldrons and the belt need the inside painting, and the buckle needs touching up before varnishing. The upper arm guards/lower pauldrons are ready to be varnished.

I still need to make the second set of hanging jewellery to hang from the belt though. As aforementioned, they shouldn't take all that long to do either. They can be done in an evening.

I'm not sure about the boots though. There's an odd detail on those that worries me (the little triangular shape at the front). If I made that, it might get creased and ruin them.....hmm...
That might be a final detail if I find the time.

I am now painting the details on the greaves, and they're currently going quite well. I still need to do the inside of them as well, but it's all coming along nicely now. The sword and scabbard are also starting to look as I want them to.
It's just waiting for the paint to dry that's proving to be the pain in the backside now.

I have got the attachments on to the belt now (thanks to Zanzibar07 for assisting with those while I painted furiously in dad's shed). I still need to make the longer ones for the main belt, but they won't take a great deal of time to do; a couple of hours perhaps.

With regards to the rest, the greaves are being painted, some parts of the armour are just being touched up on before varnishing, and the sword is also being painted. ;-D

I've been making a lot of the jewellery that needs to hang from the belt.
So far, I have:
* 5 small pieces that hang from the buckle.
* 2 small pieces that hang from the main belt.

To do still:
* 4 small pieces to hang from the main belt.
* 2 large pieces to hang from the main belt.

Ohhh this is doing my head in, but OHHHHHHH I'm determined to get it finished!
I've had two dreams where I didn't get this finished...NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

I think I'm now about to enter the 80% bracket for this now...

* The attachments are going on the "arm" sets of armour.

* The detailing is almost finished on the greaves (I then just need to figure out the attachments and then paint them).

* The coat itself is about 85% complete (need to finish collar lining, add buttons and braiding, add loops for attaching pauldrons, and painting the patterns on the lining).

* The sword is still a way off, but it and the scabbard are almost ready for painting. Not sure about the raised detail parts yet.

* The hand covers still need doing, but that's a rather small job considering the rest of it.

* The scarf is more than half way painted (stripes).

* Jewellery for the belt is under way (several bits to make, but they don't take too long to put together).

It's a long slog, but I'm working on everything simultaneously now, so when armour is painted and drying, I'm on to something else.

The greaves are coming along nicely now. I managed to slice the top of my finger with a stanley knife whilst sorting them out, but hey, this is cosplay right? There has to be some pain somewhere!

The three parts are glued together with the craft foam on top now, so I just need to add the detailing and paper mache it for the time being. As for the attachments on those and the rest of the armour.....that's a headache I'm trying to put off, but can't for too much longer.

The belt is getting on for completion now. It needs the jewels painting and the jewellery to be made to hang from it. Oh, and the velcro to be added for attaching it.

The scarf arrived the other day and that needs the gold stripes painted on it.
I bought a fat quarter of fabric for the hand covers under the gauntlets today, along with more polystyrene balls for the wing-like details that will go on the greaves.

As for the greaves, a couple of the shapes have been cut out. I need to cut the rest of them out and then put them together before adding the paper mache. There are a few attachments for the greaves. This might give me a little bit of a headache, but what will make that worse is all the other details I still have to do...including the sword.

>_<' Stress!

Well I've added the majority of the jewels on to the pieces of armour that are nigh on being finished (all that's really left is the attachments and painting/varnishing the underside.

However, it really looks like it's all covered with smarties.....

Anyhow, there are a few jewels like the bright blue ones that I'm not too sure about on a couple of the pieces (the gauntlets and elbow guards). I'm going to have to think about those.

Today the belt and the buckle were fully paper-mached.
The first coat of paint has gone on to the main belt, but I'll be adding a few more bits and pieces of paper to that in certain areas before repainting and painting the jewels.

The rest of the armour that has been made (besides one set) has been repainted today as well! Huzzah! Another panel for the coat lining has gone on as well. Three more to go, then the collar and the remaining ribbon (buttons and such come later).

I have added most of the detailing on the main belt (before the paper mache goes on that is). I need to add a few rings around the jewel detailing though. I might do that before or after the first layer of paper mache.

I only have a few weeks left, and I am starting to get a little on edge over finishing this in time, especially as I have the sword to work on now as well as the rest of the armour and coat. I still need to pace myself though and not rush, as instinct wants me to.

Two out of the five panels for the lining on the bottom half of the coat have been cut out, and they're pinned on. Once all five are pinned on, they will be sewn on. Following that, I'll need to do a small job with the same lining material for the collar.

I've made a bit of progress with the belt. Both the buckle and the main belt are ready for the detailing to go on. I hope to be able to tackle this over the next couple of days alongside finishing an important Open University assignment.

So, I intend to continue making this armour look authentic. It needs to look antique really.

I've used 4B pencil to shade a fair few gold areas and then rubbed it in to make it look a bit more weathered. I've currently done this on the bottom pauldrons, gauntlets and elbow guards. I'll be doing it on the top pauldrons as well, and the belt when it's done.

As for the belt, I put the main part of the buckle together today, so in the next few days I'll get that finished along with the details on the main belt. Attachments for it are still making me 'um and ahh' a bit, but I'm gradually figuring it out. I have keyrings and lobster clasps now, meaning I'll be able to actually wear the armour pretty soon.

The lining of the coat will be going on soon as well. Me and mum cut out patterns for the panels today. We'll be cutting them out in the next day or two.

I hope that sword arrives soon so I can modify it. I'm trying to get a fair bit done on the armour so I can focus more on that really soon.

So, the belt has been started on. I've made the main section, but the buckle part...hmm...that's going to be a pain in the rear end, and so is attaching the two together whilst wearing it.

I've bought beads for the dangling threads at the sides too. I haven't bought the cord and the fastenings yet. I want to make sure I know what size cord to buy! The holes on these pearl beads is supposedly 1.2mm, but considering the size of the pearls (8mm in diameter), I'm not so certain. TBC!

I have bought a wooden sword to modify as I do not have time to make one from scratch before October Expo. As the hilt has additional detailing from how the sword will look in its natural state, dad has agree to help me put the additional detailing on to it.

So much to do, so little time! Work work work!

I have painted the gauntlets, and added the colour detail on the main gems. Once they've been varnished, I'll be able to add the small gems on by using super glue like I will with the rest of the armour.

I've used humbrol model paints for the painting of these gems (and the same goes for the other pieces of armour as well).

Well the gauntlets have now had a couple of base coats of paint now. I'll be working on those and finishing off the painting on the elbow guards shortly.
It's been very hard to see some of the detailing on the gauntlets, so I've made a little bit of it up. ^_^' I'll need to do something like that for the belt as well.

The top and bottom pauldrons are almost finished. I need to varnish them before the small jewels can be stuck on with super glue.

I have added more detailing to the first pieces of armour now. The rest is following suit quite swiftly though! The main large jewels on the top and bottom pauldrons have been painted, and the elbow guards have been painted once now.

I am now working on the gauntlets.

* Detailing and painting on the gauntlets
* The belt
* The greaves.

I have now paper-mached and primed the elbow guards. Once these are fully painted, they will need the varnish and the smaller jewels stuck on.

Remaining armour pieces:
* Gauntlets (in progress)
* Belt
* Greaves.

I have painted both top pauldrons and both bottom pauldrons now. All that's left to do (cosmetically) on these bits:
* The painting of the large jewels either side (top) pauldrons.
* The large jewel on the top of the (bottom) pauldrons.
* Varnish (top and bottom).
* The smaller jewels that need super-gluing on (top and bottom).

These are well on their way to completion now. They still need some paper mache and painting, but they're getting there swiftly. The elbow guards are following suit, and shortly so will the gauntlets, belt (not looking forward to that one), and the greaves.

I've now got the spikes on to one of the elbow guards. I need to make the second spike for the other one now. I started to add a little bit of detail to the first one, but I shall continue with that in the next day or so.

The top and bottom pauldrons have been paper-mached almost completely - as I am still waiting on the polystyrene cones to arrive. Once they arrive, I'll be able to finish off the top pauldrons completely. They're almost ready for painting, and the elbow guards will shortly follow suit.

Then I must tackle the gauntlets, belt and greaves.
I'm still wondering about what I should do for the sword.

I only have one more spike to make from the NewClay. Two spikes need to go on each elbow guard. I'll be working on getting these attached within the next day or two.

As soon as the polystyrene cones turn up (as they should have a few days ago), I'll get the mini spikes on to the top pauldrons and then they can be fully paper mached. One of the bottom pauldrons is mostly paper mached, but I need to do the second one.

After this, three sets of armour still remain:
* The split gauntlets
* The greaves
* The rather intricate looking belt.

With the way things are going, it's looking good. I also have some super glue now, so when the armour is painted, I'll be able to stick the jewels all over it all.

I'm not looking forward to the belt or greaves though really. It'll all be worth it when it's done!

So far, the progress with the armour pieces seems to be going fairly well. I'm still thinking "how the heck will I attach some of the pieces?" though. I already know how to do some of the attachments, but others are going to be more of a pain in the arse due to the 'colour'. Some parts of the attachments will have to show, and I need them to be the right colours in order for them to look like they belong.

I got one of the spikes attached to the first pauldron today, and then managed to drop it. This was a good test, because the clay spike split from its mount. So, now it's been significantly reinforced. It means a little bit more work for the reinforcements on the others, but hopefully it will work out alright (so long as I don't keep dropping them).

I set myself this challenge to see if I could take it up. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
I have come to the conclusion that the large spikes of the pauldrons here aught to be about a foot and a half in length and rise up at somewhat of a 45 degree angle...

No, I'm alright, I can do this. Once Amano Faris is complete, I'm getting down on this. The deadline is May Expo 2013.

Alright, this is my new challenge. I need to make spikes for a few pieces of the armour, and I'm making them out of NewClay (air drying model-making clay). I made one spike today to see if it works, but I also need something to mount them on. I've made a partial clay mount for it, but I'll need something to adhere best to the armour without it being vulnerable to breaking off.

I'll post more pictures as soon as I have a few more bits done.

Now that Amecon is over, I am now getting stuck back into making the armour for this. I've slacked off for too long on it, and if I want her for October Expo, I'm going to have to pull my finger out. I did a little work on pauldron no.1 this afternoon.

I started the pauldrons a while ago, but I had a few things to do before Amecon. Now that Amecon is over, I am now getting stuck back into working on Amano Faris, hopefully for October Expo.

I have bought some air-drying modelling clay for the spikes, so I need to test that out really soon. I'm planning on getting the main structures of a few parts of the armour done in the next few weeks, so then I'll be well on my way with it.

The unofficial debut for this costume was the AniMedia East Cosplay Picnic at Chapelfield Gardens (Norwich) on 21st July 2012.

The full debut will be at Amecon 2012.

I've now finished this outfit. It's taken a lot of fiddly jobs and modifications to get this one done, but done it is and I'm unofficially debuting him at the AniMedia East cosplay picnic, July 21st 2012.

His official debut will be at Amecon 2012.

Well the top is almost done now. Just a finger loop to add on to the end of each sleeve, and the emblem on the front of the top.
It's taken some awkward fiddling with the yellow twill fabric, and my stitching is still what I'd call that of an amateur, but I'm proud of it. ^_^

The top requires just three more parts to the detailing on the front, and flaps for the groin and backside still need to be sewn together. Almost there now.

I have about half of the top's details completed now, and once it's finished I'll be working on the flaps. I've completed one shoulder pad ready to be sewn on to the top this evening, and if all goes as I want it to, I'll have the other done tomorrow. Both then might be sewn on by the end of the day. If there's any motivation time left over, I might tackle the top of the collar.

I've done some work on the collar of the top, and so far it's looking good!
The white boots from China also turned up this morning, and they're a perfect it. ^_^

I recently bought fabric for the burgundy/wine and golden yellow parts of Hayate's top.

Golden yellow - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/260477934919?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

Burgundy/Wine - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/280562231920?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

It has taken quite some time to consider what boots to buy. I searched and searched and searched for a pair of knee high white boots in the UK that didn't have girly/stiletto heels, and all of them came up in China/Hong Kong/Shanghai. Any others were white wellies. So, I have had to go with a pair from Asia. I had to spend more than I wanted to, but the postage was free, so I guess it's worth it.

Now to wait 11-23 days for them to arrive. At least I have bought them in good time.

I have now begun to think about the armour for this. I have made a couple of small templates to see what will/won't work. I am starting with the pauldrons as they appear to be the most fiddly. This should be fun!

I am now adding the remaining details to the armour (namely the pauldrons), and painting them once they are on. I have two more sets of details to add on to the second "top" pauldron, and all the detailing to add on to the second middle pauldron. The rest is being painted gradually.

Once this is done, I will be putting the attachments on to the pauldrons and breastplate.

The short and long leggins have now been sewn up. There are a few more little tweaks to do on them, but once this is finished they will be washed and dyed before the detailing goes on those.

It seems there are just a lot of small fiddly bits to do now. Hopefully I can get this finished for London MCM Expo, May 2012.

Just a few tweaks left to do on the leggings, and then they can go into the dye before the details go on.

Then there's finishing adding the detail to the armour, and painting it.

The final touches will be the attachments on the armour to make it sit on me properly.

I have bought a wig and a metal (silver) circular hair band that are on their way from China. I also bought a top and a gypsy skirt to modify which arrived today.

I have already unpicked the panels on the skirt so I have the front and back flaps in progress already.

I did wear Blaze to a couple of the parties at Ayacon 2011, but quite honestly, I wasn't all that comfortable (everything was rather loose on me and I'm conscious of my shape). Now though, the skirt has been taken in, and I am making new wrist cuffs for Kitacon IV. Her test debut can be said to be Ayacon 2011, but her REAL full debut will be at Kitacon IV (2012)!

I am going to make some new wrist bands for this, as the ones I bought from eBay are incredibly flimsy and almost got ripped apart they were that thin. I should be able to get those done for Kitacon IV (2012) easily if I use the crap ones as templates.

I have repaired what has needed it for Alys, and she's just about ready to be able to attend Kitacon IV (2012). It's been a while since April and May 2011 when she was last worn.

The greaves and pauldrons are almost sorted, the wig has been washed, and the boots have been tidied up.

Rose is now on hold until after Kitacon and possibly May Expo now.
I wasn't able to get her finished in time. This is probably for the best as I don't want to rush and end up making the costume look bad.

I think I am doing well with the pauldrons now. There are just two left to cut out leatherette for (when the new sheet arrives this week). I have dyed the ones I have, and will be putting the details on shortly.

Raye and mum have helped me with the short and long legging-stockings, and they're almost fully shaped now. Before they get washed and go in the dye, I need to get the rest of the skirt made as well. Then into the dye they will all go (besides the armour of course! :-p), and then I shall put the detailing on.


It'll be hit or miss as to whether or not I can finish this remake in time for Kitacon. I'll do my best, but if I can't finish it in time and do a good job, then I'd rather not rush and it look bad.

I have started the front of the collar. It's rather fiddly, but I think I am starting to get it right. I have also had to buy extra navy dye because the TRG stuff is only good for a couple of base coats. When it gets wet it just rubs off again. The Dylon stuff though, WOW! SHINY!

Well, I failed in my first attempt with the fake leather armour. However, I am trying a different method - sewing it! The problem I am having at the moment is the damn leather dye. Hopefully I'll get that sorted out at the moment. The TRG-theone version doesn't seem to want to fully set (if it gets a bit of water on it, it comes off on my fingers). Hopefully it'll work for a couple of base coats. The Dylon version came up all shiny and didn't come off on my hands when dry.

Ok, so I decided to style it right here right now. ;-)
I think this is more Rose than the last one.

Well, the new wig arrived yesterday. It's perfect for the fringe area to be styled, so I will be doing that very soon, along with a make-up test methinks!

I must get on with that armour within the next few days. As soon as that is almost complete, I'll be well on my way to finishing her before Kita...I HOPE!

I have started work on the armour. I am using a fake leather this time that I am painting with navy leather shoe dye. I have made the back and the front (with some help from Pouncy), but I need to make a brace for the shoulders so I can hang both pieces off it.

I have also bought a wig - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190549623287
I had to pay a bit extra for shipping so it will arrive in time for Kitacon should I get the costume sorted.
I will need to style the fringe/bangs when it arrives.

I've done more detailing on the coat, including: gold swirls patterns around the hem (not all the way around yet), ribbon all the way up the left hand side of the opening, and attaching the top part on to the collar.

Lot's more gold swirls around the hem area to do, and a lot more ribbon to sew on as well before adding the lining on.

I bought a clip-on tie (it'll save time and effort), the tie pin (more expensive than I think it's worth, but hey it's required), and lastly I just need to find a suitable pair of white trousers to replace the commissioned ones that DON'T FIT.

Yes, I do recommend 360 Cosplay on eBay because everything else was perfect.
The trousers are only a small mishap as far as I'm concerned.

I also just need to tweak the wig a little more, and then all is finished for Lord Kaname. ^_^'

I intend to buy some of this to re-make the armour with.

And a couple of pairs of these to turn into the new short and long leggings.

As soon as I have a little time to spare in my construction of Amano Faris, I'll try and do some work on the new version of Rose. That includes the skirt part as well.

Indeed, I hope to do more work to the dress this week.
I am also nearly finished modifying the boots.

For the dress (not all this week but some):
* Finish adding the ribbon and stuffing to the hem.
* Add lining to bottom half and paint detailing on.
* Add height to collar, interface, add lining and ribbon, paint detailing on lining.
* Paint gold and black swirl detailing on hem and above.

More gold ribbon has been bought for this, so let's crack on with this.
The weather is now getting better, so the armour and belt will have progress made soon hopefully!

Well, the suit has arrived. There was a slight mishap in that the trousers don't fit, but that's partially been amended already as I found a pair I might be able to use. However, I will still look for something a bit better than those.

Everything besides the trousers is absolutely brilliant! I must recommend 360 Cosplay on eBay for this. I like the quality, and the fabric feels quite durable (although keeping it clean may prove to be a bit of a task).

I have begun stitching gold ribbon to the bottom of the dress for the coat, and started painting the wooden parts of the boots.

I need to stuff the ribbon at the bottom and then decorate it with black and gold paint. I also need to try and find ribbon of the same colour as the one I am putting on the bottom, but with a smaller width so I can do the rest.

I have bought two roses. One for photos in the pocket, and the other to be held.
That is all. Pictures of everything will be posted when the outfit arrives.

I've been fiddling around with the wig trying to style it a bit, but unfortunately getting it exact to the pictures of Faris is practically impossible. I've done my best with it, and quite a few people seem to think it looks appropriate. Thanks to those people for giving me a bit more confidence with it.

As for the dress that is to be turned into the coat, I've dyed it to freshen up the black today, and hopefully it will have worked. Now I'm worrying about how I'm going to do all the detailing on it.

I have had to have it fully commissioned now (as has Raye-chan) because we have other projects on the go and they require more attention. Alas! It must be this way, but at least I'll have styled the wig myself. -_-'

I won some boots and gloves on eBay this evening. The boots I will need to touch up (as they're used and a little faded), and decorate. The gloves are made from chamoise, so they should work alright.

I am hoping they will arrive soon. I'm very keen to get this one completely under way now, especially considering I would like to have her done for the FF Round-up at London MCM Expo in May.

On top of that I've bought three scarves for her as well. A lilac one for the one around her neck, and two of the ones hanging at her waist. I have a few more scarves to buy for the waist area though.... x_x' Too many scarves.

On Saturday I bought some black fabric that is a very close match to the dress I bought to turn into the coat. I also bought some royal blue lining for the inside of the collar and bottom half of the coat.

Soon, I'll be doing the first alterations to that dress, which include:
* Sewing the small slits at the side together
* Making an attaching the collar
* Taking the old buttons off and attaching new ones along with trimmings/embellishments.

I'm thinking about how to do the armour at the moment. It's already making me want to tear my hair out, but once I know what I'm doing, I think I'll be alright. It'll just be one heck of a tedious job doing all of those details.

Buy a commissioned uniform from eBay but without the details attached. The seller is happy to send the detailing separate so I can sew it on myself! Seems like a good way to do it. I don't really have the time to faff around buying other suits and hoping they'll work out. If they don't, it'd be wasting time.

At least I will then have some part in the construction.

I must save up for a few weeks first though.

So, I bought the suit off eBay, the 70s one....
It looked cheap, it was very translucent, and the fabric (100% cheap polyester) felt nasty for a suit.

On the search we go again. Commissioning is the VERY LAST RESORT. I want to avoid that if at all possible because I like to be involved in the making of my costumes.

Hopefully it'll be third time lucky...

Well I got a wig, and I've pretty much styled it already. I think it's looking good now.
However, the suit I bought was a bit small for a size 14. I'm a size 10, so I thought a 14 would give me leeway for alterations...NOPE! The trousers are very tight (they're more like a size 8 than a 14 even though the label says 14 - stupid), and the jacket is too short, showing off my bum...err, no. Not happening.

I hope to buy a fancy dress 70s disco suit. That should work. They're not very expensive and I HOPE I'll be able to work with one of those.

The white suit, as said, has been bought. That is one essential. The other is the wig. Once these two have arrived, I can: a.) put the details on the suit, and b.) style the wig.

"Yuki, the safest place is beside me."

I've bought a suit for Kaname, and I've been waiting anxiously for it to turn up. I hope it will work. It isn't one of those bad standard ones you can buy off cosplay shops on eBay though. I DID buy it off eBay, but it's a standard white suit that I will modify to suit, so it means I can personalise it by adding the detail on it myself.

I'm still learning a lot with fabric, so modification is a good way to do it.

Next, I need to find a wig (either styled right if I can find one, or one that I can style myself), and a black shirt and red tie. Then I'll be about halfway there.

Sadly Sillabub wasn't able to make it to expo, and the day wasn't as epic as it was supposed to be, but we've vowed to have more fun another time...hopefully at Kitacon if we can all make it there.

Still, we had a good photoshoot with Pouncy and the result turned out to be worth the time and effort. ;-)

I have the dress to turn into the coat now, and I have just purchased a long-sleeved red polo neck, and a wavy blonde wig - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GW252-Blonde-Mixed-Long-Curly-Elegant-Cosplay-Party-Wig-/130573114860?_trksid=p5197.m7&_trkparms=algo%3DLVI&itu=UCI&otn=5&po=LVI&ps=63&clkid=3893851293920357582
I already have a pair of white leggings that I have used for her sprite outfit, although I might need to purchase a back-up pair or two later on.

Once I have purchased all of the main parts (and I am getting there already with that), I will begin work on the armour and other intricate details.

It's true, the only thing that's different is the wig. However, this guy is so fantastic that he really deserves another page no matter how little the difference (seeing as CI only allows 12 images per costume page).

In his sprite form, Fou-Lu's hair looks more silvery, but in the manga and artwork it is supposed to be pure white. The new wig I got is a lot better, and better quality too than the first one anyway. The first wig (more true to the sprite of him) was shorter, and his hair is actually supposed to fall to pretty much the base of his spine.

I'm looking forward to doing him again with the group for London MCM Expo, October 2011, with theisaak89 (Ryu), Raye-chan (Deis), Sillabub (Ursula) and Emily Bastian as the Master, Una. We might have a Nina, but we don't know yet.

Beatrix is now complete. I meant to add this journal entry on Friday, but here it is. She will be debuted at London MCM Expo next week on the Friday and Saturday with the FF Round-up group.

The military detailing is done. Now it's just the collar left to finish. ;-)

The military details on the coat are going on tonight, and then there's the collar to finish. Then....Beatrix is complete!

Left to do...
* The bottom right hand side of the collar and the military/button detail on the coat.
* Finish painting Save the Queen and varnishing it.

All of this should be done by the end of the week!

* Still the lining to finish, the military details and rose to add to the coat (in the process).
* The belt details to add (in the process).
* Finishing the painting on Save the Queen (in the process).

The end of the project is in sight. Beatrix will be finished very soon!

Alright, so I am looking for materials for this version of Faris.
I have found a few full-length faux leather coats that I can take the arms off of, but I am not sure if the length is a little short for me. In any case I am sure I can do something with one.

I'm also looking at wigs. If I can get a suitable coat though, I can safely say, YES this can be done.

Left to do...
* The belt details.
* The remainder of the collar, the lower lining, the front military detailing and the rose on the coat.
* Painting the gold on the gauntlets, and then varnishing the rest of the parts for them.
* Paint and varnish Save the Queen.

Also, perhaps a bit of fabric tweaking on the back of the coat as it's bunching up in some areas.

Almost there!

The loops are on the back-left of the coat now for the scabbard to hang on. Now I need to put the belt on, and the scabbard, and see where it sits so I can make that slot on the belt for the scabbard to slide through.

Every part of this costume means I have to do something else first.

However! It's coming along nicely now. All that's left for dad to do on Save the Queen is carve the patterns in - which I drew on this evening!

* Scabbard to just tweak and finish.
* Belt to add scabbard loop and detailing to.
* Armour to finish painting (and then varnishing).
* Buttons/detailing (front), and velveteen lining to finish on the coat.

That's pretty much it I think...

* Finish the scabbard - 90% done.
* Add the detailing and finish the belt - 50% done.
* Varnish the boots as they're now painted - 90% done.
* Add the detailing to the coat, wash it and then line it with red VELVETEEN! - 70% done.
* Finish painting the armour + varnishing - 70% done.

Aside from that, dad just needs to finish making Save the Queen so I can paint and varnish it.

So, all in all, I'm theoretically between 70-80% finished.

Well, the costume is now about 3/5 complete now. The armour needs a little more paper mache after just adding the detail, the scabbard needs finishing, the belt needs decorating, the coat is almost finished but there's a few odd ends to do (like the split in the back, the lining, and the buttons/detailing on the front), the shoe armour - or I'll paint the shoes silver (one or the other), and we're almost there.

This costume is really taking shape now.

I have now made the lower leg attachments (just need to paint them before they're finished), and I have completed stage 1 of the scabbard for Save the Queen.

The hooks and eyes will be sewn on to the coat soon, and the loops on to the left of the back of it so the scabbard can hang from it. Save the Queen itself is in good stead as well. Dad is making good progress on getting that done.

Regarding the shoe armour, that's baffling me a little bit as I am trying to construct it so that I can still walk efficiently. More progress on these will come very soon.

The belt is on hold until the scabbard can hang on the coat as I need to gauge where the patterns will be going on that.

All in all, progress is very swift, and she'll be finished in good time!

I have made much more progress with the armour today (though I suddenly thought that I really should take a crack at the foot/shoe armour as well...damn!) Anyway, I've already started on that.

The gauntlets are ready for paper mache now, and then I'll add the embossed/raised detailing afterwards before I do a second layer.

Well, I've done a make-up test and this has been well-received by others. Result!
Now, the coat is almost there really. It just needs the belt loops on the back for the scabbard (I need dad to plane the blade of Save the Queen so I can make the scabbard, so I can figure out the width, and how it's going to hang and attach on to the coat). Then the coat needs to be washed once the loops are added on, and then finally lined at the bottom and around the collar!

The belt is in progress. I need to work out the pattern and do that, then that will be done. The armour...well that's coming along slowly too.

Finished, debuted properly, and entered into the Ayacon 2011 masquerade.

So I dyed the dress a darker blue...and it's blotchy. FFS! Put it back in the dye. It came out better...but still blotchy in many areas. However it kind of looks interesting...so I'll work with it and put up with it.

Need to "hem" the sides and then put the ribbon on...can I do this before Thursday?

What's left?
* Adjustments around the collar area on the jumpsuit.
* Patterns on the jumpsuit.

Just about finished now!

The coat is now at about 90% completion. All it needs now is a few adjustments and the lining added to it. Pictures will be following soon.

Additionally, the gauntlets are in progress but the progress has been slow. I will be getting on with those this week, and hopefully getting the belt well under way as well.

* Finishing painting/varnishing the cuffs/guards
* Adjusting the collar area on the jumpsuit
* Adding the patterns to the jumpsuit.

Left to do:
* Finish the wrist/ankle cuffs
* Finish the forearm pattern on the left sleeve
* Bondaweb and seal patterns on to the jumpsuit
* Finish decorating the belt
* Adjust the collar and pockets to suit.

All in all, just a few small fiddley jobs left really.

The bottom of the coat is now made, it's glued together and now pinned on to the top half ready for sewing.

Indeed, Fou-Lu is now at about 80%. I have the belt to finish, the jumpsuit collar to tidy a bit, the green patterns to add on to the jumpsuit (and the red criss-cross on the forearms), aaannd the wrist/ankle cuffs to make. Sounds like a lot to do, but it's getting done rather swiftly.

Alright, most of Fou-Lu is already done. I need to add the patterns to the jumpsuit, make the thick wrist/ankle cuffs, make the forearms (these will be gauntlets as it'll be easier to do than trying to manipulate the jumpsuit fabric), and following that, just a few touch-ups and he'll be done.

The top half of Beatrix's coat is almost completely sewn to the waistcoat now. Nearly ready to start the bottom half. Then I need to do the belt (and scabbard when Save the Queen is made), and make the gauntlets. She's at about 40%.

I am now in the midst of finishing of the paint work on the frame. Then I will varnish it, and then it will be 100% complete.

I have also done a couple of costume runs.

Everything is really getting there now. I just hope the attachments will work to add weight on to the front to pull it down, because otherwise I need to think of another alternative to add weight.

I've started the painting on the main frame now though.

Well the main part of the frame is in swift progress now. Just need to build on to it a little more, and then I can begin work on the front attachment and then adding the papiermache.

It'll certainly be finished for the Chapelfield Gardens cosplay picnic on April 16th! It's one of my expo projects, but I'm just wearing it a little earlier as a good test run. Don't tend to get those!

Greaves and boomerangs 90%, just need painting (and I need to make the back of the greaves so they don't flap about), pauldrons about 80%. Afterwards, painting, varnishing and attachments!

Well, I still need a long-sleeved black polo neck top, but in essence all I have to do now is complete the frame and he's done.

I went to B&Q with my father today to buy wood for Save the Queen.
I just need to draw out the blade for him so he can cut it out. I can't do the hilt until some of the wood has been joined to get more width and depth.

I have constructed most of the armour and slashers now, I just need to do a few more bits of craft foam and gaffa tape sticking. Then it's paper mache and painting!

The dress is still in ribbon progress.

I have begun work on the frame for Zio. This is another trial and error movement on my part, but I'll make it work. I'm not sure how, but that's why it's trial and error.

I really want the flashing LED light!

Slow and steady wins the race. zZzZzZzZzZzZzZz

I have bought the dye. Now to dye the top and skirt and hope it all goes alright. >_<

Now that both have turned up I have taken my first progress shots. Now I need to get a grey belt, knee-high boots, and then make the frame for his shoulders.

I've cut through the the bottom of the dress to open it up. Now I have to take the buttons off, hem it up the sides and sew gold ribbon around it.

I have decided not to use the velvet top for the time being.

I have just finished sewing the velcro to the jacket-dress, and also have the belts and pouches in my possession as well!

Now for the long haul of sewing the white ribbon all around that jacket-dress.

I need to dye the top and the skirt. The trademark colour for blaze is supposed to be red, but in many pictures it also looks orange. So, my answer is to use two hand fabric dyes: tulip red and goldfish orange.

This also means I will need to dye the shoes.

All I need now is a belt with some pouches, then there are six things to do: slashers/boomerangs, knee guards and pauldrons to be made, and the hemming, velcro and ribbon of the hunter dress.

I have bought a white crop top and white denim mini skirt to dye for Blaze now.
The wig will be the same one as I will be using for Alys Brangwin.

I've bought a waistcoat for this instead. I am going to add on to the back after I find the right fabric to do so.

The dress turned up today. It needs a lot of work doing to reshape it to fit me first - seeing as it's several sizes too big - and I have already cut through the middle to start it off.

Now, for shaping this, I need to:
1.) Draw the pattern for the tapering on the front.
2.) Cut the pattern out and hem it.
3.) Put some significant darts in the back to bring it in to fit as it should.
4.) Shorten the bottom a little and hem.
5.) Cut the V out of the bottom in the middle.

I've bought the dress I will modify into the coat. However, it's five sizes too big and it'll need a lot of work done to it. As a beginner sewer, I thought it better to buy a dress and modify it than try and make something like this from scratch.

Once I have figured out how I am going to do the sleeveless jacket/coat, I'll be well on my way.

I already know what I am going to do for Save the Queen!

The waist cincher has loops added by Raye&#039;s mum in four places around it to hold the belts in place.

Just the detailing on the sleeves above the cuffs and the gold circles on the leg guards to do (and picking up the cincher from Raye's mum). Then she's pretty much finished.

As the heading says, it's pretty much done. I'm just waiting on the wig and a few other bits to arrive.

I intend to add a sword later on though.

Raye has informed me that her wonderful mum has almost finished making the jacket and is also working on the corset-style waistband.

Additionally, I started the tassels today and they're already half done.

I have almost finished my interpretation of the sprite of Faris from Final Fantasy V. I added a little bit of an Amano effect I think, but as she's a pirate I decided to make the pieces I bought for her "pirate style".

I will get a sword for her eventually, but right now I need to concentrate on the others. I'll add pictures of the sword when I get one.

Finished and debuted at London MCM Expo, May 2010.

What's finished?

* Upper arm guards
* Leg/thigh guards
* Pauldrons
* Skirt
* Gauntlets
* Helmet
* Halberd
* Sword
* Breastplate front and back
* Foot armour
* Scabbard

Just needing to be varnished...
* Greaves

What's finished so far...

* Upper arm guards
* Leg/thigh guards
* Pauldrons
* Skirt

What's nearly finished....

* Gauntlets
* Helmet
* Halberd
* Sword
* Breastplate front and back

What needs the most work....

* Greaves
* Foot armour
* Scabbard

Almost there!

I'm going to have to do some earlier mornings and some later nights now.
It's coming together bit by bit, but heck it's frustrating me so much and actually making me angry. It'll all be worth it in the end - I hope.

And there's still a lot more to do on the rest of it with the decoration!

Yes, that's right. It has all been constructed now.
It's just a case of decorating it all (and doing the skirt, painting the halberd, and making the sword and scabbard).

I am almost finished with making the armour. Then! It's mainly all the cosmetic work on everything to do/finish, and the sword scabbard to make (the sword is half made currently).

This costume is taking it's toll on me and has turned out to be very expensive in the long run. I've spent too much on it to not get it done now, so I'm working on this like MAD!

Ok, so the main bulk of the work is under way. The helmet is almost ready to be painted, the skirt detailing is coming along, and the making of the armour is gradually beginning to show results.

Well it seems I already have some of the necessary materials for this costume.
The peach coloured polo neck jumper is for when it's cold, and if it's warm I have a sleeveless polo neck sweater (though it's polyester).
I already had the black leggings and boots, and I've just bought the bolero jacket and that peach jumper off eBay.

Wonderflex sheet (jumbo) - check.
I've also bought a white skirt to modify, a telescopic landing net handle for the spear, a pack of balloons to get rounded armour effects with, and some spray paint for the spear handle.

I also need to get golden eyelets, gold and purple fabric paint, purple, black, silver and gold acrylic paint, a large batch of funky foam...and an array of other things too...oh yeah, and a HUGE amount of that rare but priceless thing called patience. x_x'

I am currently working on the preparations for this costume.
After the difficulties in making Rose's standard costume from The Legend of Dragoon, I am considering my options for creating this armour which will prove more challenging.

It was really successful. I'm pleased with it, and I intend to cosplay Rayne again in the not so distant future.

There will be more photos to see later when I receive them.

M.Kesaiyn added a progress journal to Zidane Tribal (3 days ago)

M.Kesaiyn edited a progress journal for Zidane Tribal (5 days ago)

M.Kesaiyn added a progress journal to Zidane Tribal (5 days ago)

M.Kesaiyn added a progress journal to Zidane Tribal (2 weeks ago)

M.Kesaiyn added 2 progress journals to Zidane Tribal (3 weeks ago)