Battlecasty Spyro Tutorial (In-Progress)
Battlecast Spyro the Dragon is a current, large scale project I'm creating for use on the Sunday at MCM 2016. All in all it's going to be quite an intricate build and this tutorial will follow the whole thing from start to finish... but here's the progress so far.
Original Rough Sketch Of My Idead For The Cosplay On A Post-It-Note!
I decided to start with the breastplate. I needed to create a pattern piece to help me determine the size of breastplate I needed to make. The good thing about this is that once you have your custom pattern piece you can reuse it to create future projects (and I am doing with my Saiyan armour build!)
In order to do this I put on an old vest top and wrapped my torso and chest in cling film. Once I'd wrapped a few layers around myself I then covered the whole thing in masking tape (I've heard that duck tape works a treat too and is probably more sturdy).
My clingfilm & masking tape vest!
After this, take a marker pen and outline the general, rough shape you want your breastplate to be. Once you're happy with this, chop away! You'll want about 4 pieces in total (2 breast/cup pieces and two torso pieces. I then traced the pattern pieces onto thin craft foam and cut these out.
My cut-out pattern piece (still need to cut off the breast cup pieces though)
Now it's time to move onto the worbla. Trace your 4 pieces onto the worbla (As I used the sandwich method for this I needed a total of 8 worbla pieces - 2 for each pattern piece) and cut the pieces out.
A note on the sandwich method
You've probably heard of this method a lot as It's used often in cosplay armour builds but we'll go over it again for those of you who don't know...
On a heat proof surface, heat up your "bottom" piece of worbla. Once your worbla is softer, more flexible and a little 'tacky/sticky' place your craft foam piece onto the worbla. Following this, use the heat gun to heat up your "top" piece and cover the craft foam. Go round the edges of the "sandwich" with your heat gun, pressing the edges together and making sure the sandwich is formly shut and seamless.
You have no "sandwiched" your craft foam between two worbla pieces.
Tip: Use heat proof gloves/workers gloves if your hands are sensitive to avoid nasty burns (the worbla can get hot!).
Another fantastic method I've learnt recently is the worbla folding method which I discovered thanks to the lovely Honey Boba cosplay. This can save almost 50% of the worbla you would've used with the sandwich method.
Worbla pattern pieces, ready to be heated & attached
Use the sandwich method to create both the left and right sides of your pattern.Once you've got your two separate pieces you'll need to attach these. Heat up the inner seams (where the bodice will meet at your stomach) and place the pieces together. In order to add extra security to this area, take a long strip of worbla (twice the length of your inner seam) and please this over the top of the inner seams, folding the strip over and around. While the worbla is still hot and moveable, wrap the bodice around your body to allow it to take the shape of your figure. Allow to cool while still around you. This will retain the shape.
Once cooled you can add detailing or things to hold the bodice in place. I opted to create loops which I could thread ribbon through in a cross pattern (to ensure the bodice stays tight against me while wearing it and doesn't fall off!). In order to do this I took little strips of worbla, heated them up and created a 'loop' with them. Then I used the tail end of these to stick them to the bodice.
Once dried I threaded some ribbon through them (I only had red at the time but I'll change this to purple soon!). You can also use metal "D-Rings" to achieve the same effect.
A front & back view of my bodice attachment
The breast cups
This particular aspect of the build was a nightmare for me!! Being a larger breasted cosplayer, a lot of the standard breast armour tutorials didn't cut it for me and I struggled for quite a while to get the correct shape for my cups.
A lot of standard tutorials (and this is definitely what I'd recommend if you have a more humble breast size) is to use a polystyrene ball to mould your worbla breast cup shape.
However, for us larger ladies we need something a little bigger. the key is finding something spherical which is a similar size to your cup size. In the end I actually ended up using a bathroom bin lid!! But a much better suggestion offered by Seraphim cosplay is a hamster ball.
Ideally you need to add a slippery layer onto the surface of the item you'll be using - Vaseline works well. You then need to make sure you heat the worbla up well enough that it's really mouldable (again, the gloves come in handy!). Once it's ready, place the worbla over the item and really press it down and stretch it out until it creates a really nice, round shape. You can also trim off any unnecessary stick-y out parts which you don't want here. Let the worbla cool and then slip it off the item. Rinse and repeat for the other side.
Once you've got your two cups, it's time to attach them. It can be rather tricky but all you need to do it head up the bodice on the area where the cups are going to go and the bottom side of the cups. Put the pieces together and hold in place until cool/firm enough that they won't fall apart when you let go.
Initial failed attempt at creating 'cups'! We all make mistakes :)
As spyro is a dragon I'm covering a lot of my armour in 'scale mail'. I want to give that scaly dragon skin effect. In order to do this I created a general shape which I wanted each 'scale' to look like and then traced this onto a rectangular piece of worbla, utilising as much space as possible.
I then cut out all my individual scales (I ended up using just under 100 for the bodice), individually heating them up and sticking them to the bodice (what is it with me creating and sticking/sewing individual scales?! I did this with my River Spirit Nami tail too!!). For anyone who'd like to know I started from the bottom middle and worked my way up. I found that this method worked quite well and I achieved an even result.