CosBlog # 61: Rising Raiden By PhDPepper

by Meagan Marie on Jul 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM

This week’s costume required one cosplayer to get seriously crafty with craft foam, a go-to material for anyone with an interest in armor. PhDPepper’s work takes armor fabrication to another level, with impressive attention to detail and obvious patience in the painting department. Check out Pepper’s gallery below!

Who: The Character
Raiden first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 2 and caught a lot of people by surprise because they were expecting to play Solid Snake, who had quite a legend behind him. This gave Raiden mixed responses, with people either liking or hating him. He also made a return in Metal Gear Solid 4, but altered in that he had become mostly a Cyborg, similar to Grey Fox from Metal Gear Solid 1. It was kind of interesting because in Metal Gear Solid 2, he was very green when it came to his experience, and it was his first infiltration mission. By the time he reappears in Metal Gear Solid 4, you can tell that something in him had changed from his first appearance.

The variation that I’m cosplaying as is from the next game in the Metal Gear Solid series, Metal Gear Solid Rising. This game takes place between Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4, to bridge the story gap between the two series.

Why: The Decision
I was actually kind of interested in Raiden’s character starting from Metal Gear Solid 4 because of the way that he had evolved. Around that time, they were releasing artwork for Metal Gear Solid Rising. His armor in that series was something that I wanted to try crafting because it was something new that I have not tried before, and it seemed like a good armor to experiment using vinyl on. I guess it was kind of interesting watching him transform from his MGS2 self to the MGS4 Raiden.

What: The Process
I decided to make this armor by using craft foam, and adhering it to a gunmetal vinyl. The adhesive I used was 3m Super 77, and it makes a pretty good bond with craft foam, and the fabric side of the vinyl. The armor shapes were created by sandwiching up to 4 layers of craft foam to give it the raised designs and the angles in the armor before the vinyl was adhered to it. Most of the pieces are actually modular, and attached using button snaps, so the armor can snapped off from the undersuit too. The fake fasteners and rivets were actually made by using wonderflex, along with the jaw piece. The sword was also crafted using around 5 strips of wood, cut at various angled, and adhered together using Titebond. This gave the sword a modular designed shape, after this it was just sanding, priming, and painting that was left.

The costume took around 4 weeks to craft, with lots of time dedicated into it. The materials used were around 8 yards of vinyl, 30sqft of craft foam, wonderflex, and 300 yards of hand stitching. The most difficult part was probably figuring out how to make the thigh, kneecaps, and shin connect correctly. Because of the cost of the vinyl, the body suit, and wonderflex, wig, etc, the cosplay easily cost $250 to create.

Where and When: The Debut
The Debut was during a Orange County Anime Group cosplay picnic, which is a local anime group in California. I guess the first major event I wore the cosplay to was Long Beach Comic Con 2010, then again for Anime Los Angeles 2011. I haven't actually had an official photoshoot, but managed to get some nice photo's taken during these events, and also managed to get filmed by Ackson Lee, a convention Videographer, during Anime Los Angeles. I also entered it into a Masquerade at Anime Conji 2011, the 2nd year for the convention, and my friend and I managed to take Most Humorous.

Links: The Cosplayer
I keep accounts on Deviant Art,, and AC Paradise

The Gallery
Photo credits: Big White Bazooka, Kenji Ono, and BlankLogo Photography

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