Photo by Alessandro Sandman-AC (sandman-ac.deviantart.com/)
Subject: Blood Elf Warrior from World of Warcraft
First picture of me in my new Blood Elf's costume, part of the photoset by the amazing photographer Sandman!! Consider the fact that the whole thing was done inside the contest hall at the con, I still can't believe that he managed to take such a picture in that environment. He did an amazing job!!
This costume's been a dream for months: to cosplay my own WoW character (Imriael - Argent Dawn EU) and build a real scale version of my favorite mount, the Vicious War Wolf. It took nearly seven months to make both the outfit and the wolf, which has been nicknamed "Chanel" (LOL
) by my dad, who helped me with the basic structure. Let's start from the costume itself, though.
CATACLYSMIC GLADIATOR'S BATTLEGEAR: I've decided to go for a sort of "custom" version of the pvp tier 11 itself, cosplaying without the helm (I wanted to try an elf make up) and with the tabard of Orgrimmar instead of the breastplate, which I didn't like as much as the rest of the armor. Now, all the pieces are made with my usual technique, the same I used for Arthas and Edge: plastazote (foam), painted with several layers of colored latex. The horns, both on my and Chanel's armors, are made of polystyrene, covered with a thick layer of a particular kind of resin that made them look like real bone, without even the need of painting them. I must thank my friend Gianluca for advising me on this resin, it was an amazing discovery.
Tabard and cloak (which you can't see very well in this pic) are... well, I just sewed them, there were no particular techniques involved there. The leather parts, though, were completely another thing: I had never tried any kind of leatherworking before and to make my first attempt with this costume was a sort of bet for me, a bet that I only partially won. I'm quite satisfied with the result, but it's only a starting point: I've done only really basic stuff, like cutting and burning drawings and some really simple patterns on rough leather, before attaching them to the rest of the armor pieces. I totally want to learn more about leatherworking (I might visit the trainer in Orgrimmar, lol
As for the sword, it's again made of polystyrene and resin. The handle was a plastic pipe, covered with leather and fake leather. The most difficult thing has been to make the runes glow, for which I asked my dear friend Fabio to help me. I had never had a lighted-up costume before this, so I had never used LEDs of any kind. He taught me how to do so while doing all the connections inside my sword: basically, there's a LED stripe running all along the runes' area, in a sort of chamber carved inside the sword. The cables run through the pipe all the way to the hilt, where there's a battery pack and a switch. After carving the runes on both sides of the sword, I put some red plastic there to reflect the LEDs light and make the runes look as realistic as possible.
VICIOUS WAR WOLF: (a.k.a. Chanel) So, this was the biggest thing I've ever tried and managed to make. The wolf relies on a massive wooden structure to stand: I and my dad used 9 cm thick planks to build it, linking them with metal shafts to keep the thing together. Then we attached a real second-hand saddle to the top of it, using both glue and bolts. To make the mouth open and close, there's a lever, connected to the wolf's jaw by a rope, that I can use from the mount's back quite easily: it's the saddle's pommel
When the structure was completed, I worked on shaping the animal with wire and and papier-maché, before covering it with fake fur. The teeth were made with fimo and again resin, apart from the two biggest fangs, which are again made of polystyrene. The wolf's armor is all foam: some parts (the "metal" ones) are painted with latex as for my own armor, the others are just lined with fabric.
It would take hours to explain every detail of the wolf's making, probably an entire handbook. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me anything here in the comments or privately