Here I am back with my costume.
This painting was much more of a challenge. The most peculiar part is the pauldrons on the outside of the coat. There are a couple of ways one can interpret the painting. 1. There is a coat and there are indeed pauldrons on the outside of it (the way I went)., then there is a breastplate under the coat and a gold gambeson under that. 2. It could also be interpreted that that the “coat” is really a long vest, and the paracountess is wearing a red gambeson under her breastplate/pauldrons, and a gold shirt under that. On afterthought, I think the second version would have been a bit easier.
The photo shows the costume well enough. I do need to remember to have my tall husband sit when he takes pictures of me so I’m not looking any more short and squat than needed by the angle 🙂
The pauldrons are also small in the image and for them to stay in place they need to be bigger or have some type of odd harness to get them to be where they are. I had straps under the arms and two across the back.
I bought a jumbo sheet of Worbla for this experiment. I got it at cosplaysupplies.com, it comes with free shipping. This was 100 cm x 150 cm. I had this and a little left of the small sheet that I had initially ordered. At the moment, I probably have about 2 square feet of it left. Out of this I made bracers, a breast plate, pauldrons/spaulders, and a cutlass, plus the staff for Ezren. It cuts with a large pair of scissors (think regular sewing shears), and it is moldable like clay (rather hot clay, since it has to be heated before you can form it).
There is no secret for how any of these were made: it was trial and error. I used thin cardboard (beer boxes) to make patterns. I did reference various armor tutorials online and I’ve seen my share having once been a member of the SCA. Cardboard doesn’t quite move like heated Worbla but it does the trick.
Once I cut out the worbla after finessing the cardboard patterns, I needed to decide how thick it had to be. A tutorial on the worbla website had how to avoid using a complete sandwich of worbla/craft foam/worbla and I was able to cut down on how much I needed. You can see the technique here. You can also see how I rigged the strapping. I used plastic clips to hold the straps where I didn’t use elastic bands.
To heat the Worbla, I used a regular heat gun that you can get at any hardware/home improvement store. I also used the sun, since we had a few 90+ degee (F) days and I just let the Worbla sit in the sun. Small pieces can get too warm, and I literally had to lift some of them up with a spatula. The larger ones just got soft enough for me to only need a few seconds with the heat gun to finish the forming. One tip I have to offer is to use baking parchment (paper infused with silicone) to use under your worbla parts. Then they won’t stick if they get too hot. The paper can also show you when you are getting too enthusiastic with the heat gun since it turns brown at around 400 degrees (F). It *will* burn. Continue reading “What the Boss Likes – Gen Con 2016 and our adventures in cosplay, part 3”