So in October last year I presented my first attempt at Cosplay armour using foam. It’s been a while since then, and the armour got left to one side for quite some time because I had other projects that I needed to work on.
Then other things got in the way and I simply didn’t have the time or money to complete it. Which is a shame, because I was really excited about this piece. I saw it as the next step in my mission to become “a proper Cosplayer”, because in my eyes, I am still just a dabbler. I have only ever truly finished one costume, and even then it was a rush-job that I wasn’t happy with.
In that time between then and now, I managed to acquire the bits I needed to finish the prop off, almost without even noticing! It wasn’t until I was cleaning up my workspace one day that I realised I was in a position to get it completed. So I did!
For those who couldn’t guess from last time, this prop is Suzumebachi, the Shikai form of SoiFon from Bleach’s Zanpakuto weapon. You can see a picture from the anime here.
Firstly, at the end of the last post I was beginning to seal the foam with a PVA glue and water mix. This helps the paint to adhere to the foam without sinking into it and prevents “bleeding”. I used somewhere in the region of 5-6 coats of glue. This made the armour pretty strong, but still flexible. I then added the first coat of paint to both the gauntlet and the stinger. For this I used a matte black spray paint from the models section of the local Boyes and a gold Rub ‘n’ Buff.
Once the first coat of paint was on I made a small hole in the bottom point of the stinger and attached a gold jump ring. To this, I also attached a length of gold chain. This will be the connecting chain between the gauntlet and the stinger.
Closing the gauntlet was my next conundrum. Suzumebachi doesn’t have any closures or clasps in the anime/manga, because it forms directly around SoiFon’s wrist. It is tight fitting, with no visible seams. I decided to create a lacing for it, so that I could pull the gauntlet tight without bulges from magnets or visible clasps on the outside. To do this I glued a line of picture hanging hooks (the round ones with a screw bottom) to the inside of the gauntlet. Once dry, I ran a line of ribbon through them, simple!
I wasn’t happy with the paint-job. The gold wasn’t rich enough and the lines we so wobbly I could have cried! So I went back over everything. I went over the black with a regular black acrylic paint, while deepening the gold with a Citadel gold paint (sorry, I don’t remember the exact colour!). The gold didn’t want to stick to the Rub ‘n’ Buff at first, so I actually did buff it! That seemed to do the trick, removing the worst of the waxy residue and letting me paint over it properly. I then attached the loose end of the chain to the housing on the top with superglue. I also stuck it to myself, so that was…. interesting….
So there we go, my first attempt at foam prop-making! It’s not perfect, but I am pretty happy with it, considering I have NEVER worked with this stuff before.
Now all I need is to finish the rest of the Cosplay!