Fanboys (and girls) are a special breed in the gaming world. With their zealous enthusiasm they single-handedly have the ability to make or break games, breathe life back into flailing franchises and (if they use their powers for evil) start flame wars across the Internet. Their undying devotion for a developer, game or character has spawned web-rings, epic works of art and the desire to participate in the ultimate fan tribute – cosplay. This weekly blog highlights some of the best cosplay found around the net. These fans put their blood, sweat and tears into their work, and it shows.

I was impressed by Rune’s Tira costume when she submitted it, and even more impressed by her Big Sister tribute when I surfed through her portfolio. As a result, this week you get two awesome video-game inspired costumes. Enjoy!

Who: The Character

Tira from Soulcalibur IV, second player form

Why: The Decision

I chose to do Tira because of her outfit, I loved all of the details put into her outfit. The skulls on the hat, the armor, and of course her weapon Eiserne Drossel is just to best thing ever.  But also I chose to cosplay as her because of her personality in the fourth Soul Calibur game. She'd go from crazy sweet to really pissed in a blink of an eye, which would change her attacks. So what better costume to where to a con than Tira, where you can be crazy happy then really angry. It makes for really awesome photos.

What: The Process

It took me about 6 months to make the whole outfit. What I did to create my outfit was first plan out what each fabric looks like and what I would need to make them. The first thing was the skirt, it looked like it was made out of leather so I bought a nice soft vinyl used for interior furniture. Painted a purple color over the fabric so when the light hit it, the fabric would give off a purple shine. Not too much purple but enough to look like the game. Then I cut strips of the fabric the same amount as Tira's in the game, then cut smaller about half a inch thin pieces to thread through the fabric to give the weave effect.

But in order to do this I had to punch holes into the fabric to thread the thin stripes. Once I had the stripes threaded and spaced right I pinned and cut them, then after cutting I sewed each one on the reverse side of the skirt to keep them in place. After the skirt was finished I then went to my top, which my mother helped with. We bought a swim suit top pattern an altered it.

We pinned the fabric to my body as we sewed that way it would hug my body the right way. Once we had the pieces we took an old bra sewed the pieces onto the bra and worked our way downward. When the whole top was done we then cut the holes needed in the sides and under the chest. Hemmed them and started the tail.

My mom made the back flaps that had to attach to the back while I braided the bottom flaps tail piece which connected too my resin and model magic made thorns and emblem. Once the top was ready I went in and painted the edges with a bright pink fabric paint. After three coats, I ironed the paint to make sure it set, then I went in and sewed the bottom holes which were under the chest with bright pink yarn.

Afterwards I punched holes onto to top so we could attach the real metal chain, which hooks on and off so I can take the top off since there is no zipper. The bra piece also detaches in the middle so I can get it on and off. Which works out because in the game the bra piece overlaps in the middle slightly.

The shoes are made out of old cowboy boots which I chopped off the toe and added a wonderflex curled toe too instead. I made a boot cover out of the same vinyl that the skirt and shoulder pads are made out of. The shoe itself was painted with green fabric paint, The white top of the boot was glued onto the top and hole punched for the wooden skull emblem's chain to go through.

The skull emblems were made out of wood which were hand cut, the skulls were made out of model magic and the outer rim is wonderflex melted on top. Which then the whole piece was spray painted with a dark grey and lightly brushed with black to give it an age effect. The chain attached is real metal chain.
Now to the head pieces, the wig is a short black bob that I attached another half of a purple wig too. The hat was made out of a toy Viking hat that was sanded down so none of the details would show through, then I built a wire frame over in the shape of the horn pieces, which then was covered with soft foam, which I carved into the shape so when the fabric laid over and was sewn it would stay. Once the basic form was built, my mom sewed the black fabric cover over, I then painted each design by hand with gold fabric paint.
For the lace I bought three different laces and dyed each one with a mix of purple, red and violet till I got the color I liked. When the lace was done I sewed the feather like pieces together the threaded a bright pink ribbon through the top border lace like she's got in the game. Once threaded I sewed them all together and sewed them to the bottom of the skirt and top of the vinyl tights. The last thing was rip holes in the tights and sew them up with bright pink yarn and then hem the vinyl shorts which I wore under the skirt and made them look like the ones in the game.

For the shoulder pads me and my mom took a pattern for puffy sleeves and just sliced the sleeve up. Making sure the pieces were spaced enough to not over crowd. Then in between the sewn strips we sewed bright pink yarn, just like Tira's and just like Tira's we added a light grey ruffle to the bottom of each sleeve.
For the skulls that are attached to the hat and white collar I went and bought some old 2 inch high pale white skulls and painted them grey and aged. For the collar I made a pattern from scratch and sewed the right side to the left that way it would have the same seam like the game does. Then I hand painted the pink edge and emblem on the back. The neck was made out of a shiny tinted cotton lace which I cut to look like there was hearts in the middle as well as give it the feathered look.

Now the hula blade was made out of half inch to an inch water piping then covered with a foam water piping cover, then metal taped so when I added the wonderflex it wouldn't melt. For the outside of the blade, I drew up a pattern for my dad to follow so when he cut the wood it would be the right size and thickness. Once our wood model was down we both cut out wonderflex and melted the pieces together over the wooden model so that they would all be the same.

After all three were made we then measured the angle so that the three piece would be equal, that way I could really hula hoop with it. We marked the angle then melted the three blades on, the outer ring was cut and added on based off what room was left. Was the basic sword was melted together and formed I then started the spine and bird skulls.

The spine and skulls are made out of model magic and hand sculpted based off what I could see in the game. They were attached individual and carefully over a course of three days. Once the whole sword was done I then primed it, filled cracks and sanded till my liking. After which I then I spray painted staying true to color of the game, I even went in and painted by hand small details on the blade to make it stand out.
The last things that were made for the cosplay were the armor gauntlets and gloves. The glove was a formal glove I found at a fabric store that I added the same pink thread stitching on the inside and top outside like Tira's. The gauntlets are made out of wonderflex, each piece was first made out of an wooden model like I did with my hula blade. Then I melted wonderflex over the wooden models so each one would be the same.

The fingers were melted onto each others then glued to the glove. The top hand piece was two wonderflex pieces that were melted on top of rope so it would have the ridges needed. The forearm was done in the same way. After all of the armor cooled down I went in and sprayed painted them, then metal brushed them to give a real metal look as well as worn down look.
So with all the work I think the toughest thing was actually the top. The total cost was around $300.

Where and When: The Debut

Sakuracon 2009 in Seattle,Washington

The Gallery
(Photo credits go to Darkain, Eurobeat King and BangBangNeko)

Who: The Character
Big Sister from BioShock 2

What: The Process
Click here for a tutorial on how to make a Big Sister helmet.

The Gallery

Links: The Cosplayer account
Deviantart account
Model Mayhem account

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