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CosBlog #36: Shiva Sisters By Kudrel & Melting Mirror

by Meagan Marie on Dec 01, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Cosplayers Kudrel and Melting Mirror took on an ambitious project in Final Fantasy XIII’s unique interpretation of franchise staple Shiva. More of an architectural endeavor than simple costume design, both translated and built the ornate armor and headpieces from found objects like hula hoops and pixie sticks. Check out their impressive gallery below.

Who: The Character

Shiva Sisters Styria & Nix from Final Fantasy XIII.

Why: The Decision

Kudrel: I like over-the-top challenges and as soon I saw these two, I thought it was a perfect project that the two of us could collaborate on. It proved to be something we would both test ourselves to the limit on, even with our differences in skills and styles. At the same time it would be a team effort. As soon as we saw these, we were both automatically attracted to the opposite twin. It worked out perfectly!

Melting Mirror: Kudrel suggested it and I thought it quite the ambitious project. I like a good challenge so I signed up. I never made a true, armoured cosplay and I wanted to improve my skills.

What: The Process

Kudrel: It was a long, frustrating, and hard process! A lot of the early stages were just a whole bunch of planning things out through sketching and testing materials. Unfortunately, we were not able to work on our respective twin together at any point, but we made it an effort to do our material shopping together and kept in touch through email exchanging ideas and progress.

It took roughly three months to complete everything, working everyday on it nonstop. We came across some amazing stretch pleather in navy blue that we both were able to use for the bodysuits. I used light blue spandex for the rest of it, and a thicker black stretch pleather for overtop. All the armor, including the headdress was made out of foam sheets. For the headdress, I had to spray expanding foam onto a base felt hat which I then carved to the right shape. I then added large foam sheets to create the rest. I used clear plastic wine glasses to build shoulder supports that held the beast on my head. The headdress was the most difficult part, by a long shot!

The tire is also mostly foam, wrapped around two hula hoops, and also consists of drywall anchors, straws, toothpicks, and a wall clock frame to create all the detailing. I didn’t really keep track of costs, but it was roughly between $150-$200 Canadian.

Melting Mirror: It's hard to tell how long it took to make this costume since I worked on it every other weekend throughout the winter and constantly until I wore it at the convention. It took a long time to make.

As for materials I made the jumpsuit in actionwear and attached fleece-backed navy pleather on top. The wings are pleather with a wire frames to make them stand up. The armour pieces are mostly made with styrene and lined with foam, camping/yoga mats. The seat is made entirely of foam and lined with wire. The feet are made with styrene and plastic bottles. The claws are wonderflex. All the small detailing is sculpey and light sculpey. All the chain was made by hand then spray painted gold. The wheel is foam, the spokes are wire, straws, and pixie sticks. The headdress is held on by one black strap under the face.

This was surprisingly one of my cheapest costumes of the year and it cost $140 Canadian to make.

The most difficult part was without a doubt the headdress. Planning it, figuring out how to balance it on my head, getting the proportion right, curving stiff plastic, painting detailing, cut outs and using a lot of hot glue sticks. It was a lot of work.

Where and When: The Debut

We've only had the opportunity to wear these once so far, at Anime North 2010 in Toronto. We had a last minute photoshoot in some greenspace in the middle of the convention area since we finished our costumes and got dressed at the end of the day after holing ourselves in our hotel room. Photos were taken by Sai-kit Chu, a local photographer, along with videographer Ackson filming on the side. Another local photographer Henrickson was also taking photos. The location nothing glamorous, but they made it work!

The Gallery

Links: The Cosplayers

Melting-Mirror: Website, DeviantArt,, Cure, ACP, Cosplay Lab

Kudrel: DeviantArt,, ACP

Miss the past few CosBlogs? Check out the CosBlog Hub for a full archive and information on how to submit a costume of your own.