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CosBlog # 82: Shining Blade by Enayla Cosplay

by Meagan Marie on May 09, 2013 at 09:00 AM

Enayla’s elegant Shining Blade cosplay is – without question – one of the most intricate and awe-inspiring costumes I’ve ever come across. Her incredible attention to detail and resourcefulness also resulted in an impressively true-to-source interpretation of the early Guild Wars concept art. I could go on, but this costume speaks volumes for itself.

Who: The Character
The costume is based off of concept art for the Shining Blade from Guild Wars 2, members of the queen's personal guard.  It's also wearable armor for caster classes in-game.

Why: The Decision
I've been an active player of the original Guild Wars game for 5+ years now, and have been looking forward to its sequel since it was announced.  I was browsing concept art for the new game and was blown away by the Shining Blade design - it was so elegant, had a ton of detail, and presented some very interesting engineering challenges (an open-front hoop skirt, armor, an elaborate headdress).  As the game isn't out yet, I wasn't sure of the role she would play, but the Shining Blade was one of my favorite factions in GW1.

What: The Process
This cosplay took me about six months to complete, although university definitely slowed it down! I made the armor out of craft foam and expanding foam, and resin-casted all of the gems (my first time doing so). I spent a long time trying to figure out how to accomplish a huge hoop skirt that's open in the front, and eventually settled on clear plastic rods across the gap. I got a chance to work with some really interesting and new fabrics, and although I've developed a hatred for chiffon after this one (all the purple designs are hand-painted on this very slippery material), I love their textures and movement. The hardest part was easily the headdress - in deciding which materials to use, how to keep it stable and upright on my head, and in trying to match the extensive detail of the artwork. I'm really happy with the way it turned out, though, and it's so dramatic!

Where and When: The Debut
I debuted the costume at PAX East 2012, although (as usual) found quite a few issues to fix up after wearing it for the first time.  I brought the updated version to Fanime 2012 where this shoot took place.  We were looking for an area with interesting architecture and a regal feel to it to match the character's usual environment. 

Links: The Cosplayer

The Gallery
Photography by Darkain Multimedia with

Miss the past few CosBlogs? Check out the CosBlog Hub for a full archive of past costumes.