After watching the trailer of Final Fantasy XIII-2 I fell in love with her outfit, and I wanted another challenge:3
I might start on it during the next months during college. Hopefully, I get it done by the summer and bring it to Otakon. In the future I'll remake some parts (now that finally there are better cgi pictures) and add on to this~
I was surprised with the amount of positive feedback for this costume, you're all so kind! The version 1&2 costume has a Daily Deviation here at DA, featured in PSM3 UK Playstation Magazine and Costume Showcased at Cosplay.com. I am really happy that my armor has been an inspiration to others, so I like to share my helpful tips! For more photos of my armor look at my galleries: [link] [link]Updated on September 18, 2012
Please read the journal before asking me questions, you may send me a note and I'll respond asap.
I believe being creative, having motivation, love for the character, and patience makes a great costume. There's no such thing as perfect, so don't take it too hard on yourself when something doesn't look exactly like the character's costume.
I used cheap materials because like many cosplayers I don't have lots of money.
I hope my tips help you all! Most importantly: Have fun!^_^ FAQs
Q: How much money in total it took you to make this?
A: About $100.
Q: What's the armor made out of?
A: Version 1 and 2 armor is made out of craft foam, either use 2mm(Version 1) or 6mm(some armor parts in Version 2). 2mm is easier to bend which I used for version 1 but it's fragile. 6mm at the consumer craft store does not sell by yard while 2mm does. 6mm is harder to bend, it will require more bending, but it's more sturdy.
Q: Where did you buy the craft foam?
Q: Does mode podge help strengthen the craft armor?
A: Not really, it helps with sealing cracks and create smoothness! Look here if you want more information about strengthening your armor project: [link]
Q: How many sheets of craft foam you bought?
A: I'm quite small and I had to make the armor pieces smaller so it'll fit me better, 4 sheets were enough. It all depends on your size, so you choose how many you think you need.
Q: How did you make the craft foam to bend?
A: I heat up the craft foam with the clothes iron or I use my hands to bend. I first draw lines where I'll be folding, sometimes I have to cut edges to be able to fold. And once the shape is there I add hot glue behind it like where you see the crease of the fold. And once I add the hot glue I bend the fold close to the hot glue so it can stick a little but not all the way down.
Q: When are you debuting/did you debut this outfit?
A: My first made armor was at Otakon 2011 with my twin sister as Serah's FFXIII-2 default outfit. The second revamped armor I made will debut at Katsucon 18.
Q: Do you take commissions?
A: I'm not comfortable yet to take commissions, I'm sorry.
Q: Any other site I may ask for help?
A: I like asking questions and answering questions at coscom's Lightning's FFXIII-2 thread: [link] Progress Explanations contains my first (version 1) and remade (version 2) armor
Version 2 was remade with looking at better renders. I left some version 1 methods and added my version 2 methods. You choose which version you like to follow.~(click to enlarge photos)~ Attachment
In case you don't want to read my long explanations about attachment in sections below. I drew on the photo that represents where I used velcro and glue on the armor and straps. Click to enlarge.
Look closer at the non-painted photos and you can see the velcro on my armor:
The straps alone are not attached like that, I drew it this way so it can look clear. But look at the The Roman Skirt & Straps
section for more information. Wig & Feathers
-I bought my first pink unstyled wig at ebay. I can't find the original seller I bought it from.
-My second pink-purple-gray unstyled wig I bought it from here: [link]
It looks like this, before and after:
-The turkey feathers were bought here: [link]
. Recently, I was told the feathers are sold out. I have no idea if the seller will relist it. The Roman Skirt & Straps
I used the backside of a vinyl fabric I had, painted them with acrylic paint, and sand it a lot. You can also see in the picture a sketch I made on how I was planning to attach the straps. They all cross together then I sew them together. You can see a box in the middle of the front strap, that's where they meet. The version 1 gold pieces were made out of a thin cardboard and painted with metallic finish. Version 2 were made out of 6mm and 2mm craft foam.Feathers & Top
-For the feathers on my first try I used a net like fabric, tulle. For version 1 I did my own ghetto way of taping three separate rows for the feathers for the back and front. It depends how tall you are, since I'm short I needed a few rows of feathers. Then I use hot glue to stick the rows to the net. I later added smaller feathers to the top by gluing on to top of the bigger feathers and I added more feathers to stick out in parts that were showing the tulle (not shown in picture).
-The second time, I used a thin white fabric and pasted the feathers onto the fabric. I made sure the feathers were all put on neatly and I bend all the feathers - you'll here it crack. <-You do this if your feathers are all stiff, when I bend them they became straighter. I think it looks better that way:
-My first version, the top was a corset+leotard, the belt/straps I did it the same method as the "Roman Skirt".
-For version 2, I made my own leotard and gloves with Cotton Pique Knit Black fabric.Chest armor
First, use primer paint or mod podge, then spray paint (I suggest Krylon's metallic which I used for v2 or Rust-Oleum's silver I used for v1), weather the armor, and/or add rub 'n buff on rivets and enamel paint in areas needed.
For the chest armor, I used my version 1 half which is 2mm and has two cups to make the shape in front. Lower half is 6mm craft foam. Look here for closer details of mostly the lower half, red are the separate pieces the blue is where I bend the craft foam: How is it attached?
The chest armor (same with the back armor) are attached half way on top of the purple straps by hot glue. The top flaps are velcro.
As shown here circled red: Chain, Belt, & Hip armor
-Chain made of 6mm craft foam. I only cut the shape, hot glue together, use enamel paint, varnish, and I was done! Same with the belt piece but that required some bending work which took me awhile to do with my hands@.@
-The hip armor was able to bend by cutting a triangle in the middle as shown here in green: Attachment:
In the photo the red marks the area where I used velcro for the chain, and hot glue the hip armor to the belt. The backside has one velcro on the hip armor so I can take it off easily.Pauldrons
-Version 2 pauldrons were easier to make than version 1. My sister, *Yuuri-K
help me with the construction. My sis thought up of the idea of using the round mickey mouse globe by heating the back of the already cut out shape of the 6mm craft foam, place it on top of the globe, put it around the globe, and smooth it as hard as possible to get its shape.
She made the patterns with the help of my shoulder, the top one was smaller and the bottom was bigger size.
After all that, I added the little details, mode podge, and spray paint~ Like this:
Mod Podge, paint, then glue smaller pauldron on top of the bigger pauldron. Then we paste it onto the armor, where I can still have room to move my arms. In the end it looks like this:
Notice the pauldrons move forward when my collar is not close to my neck. When the collar is close to my neck, the pauldrons sit back like Lightning's pauldrons. To be honest, her pauldrons look magically placed on her armor. Attachment:
Hot glue, circle velcro(used when my pauldron came off during the con), or better to use gorilla glue in the areas circled here:
-Version 1 pauldrons consist of two craft foam pieces pasted(hot glue) together and stuffed in with fabric (I used stretch spandex). First I iron the top pauldron to get the almost round shape(I failed with that part) then I paste a craft foam(same size) to the bottom. Once that was dry, I stuffed it with the fabric and seal the top and bottom piece. I believe I added another craft foam piece for the bottom and paint that tan. Once I had two of the same size pauldrons, I made the bottom ones that had less fabric stuffed in. Then hot glue the top heavy pauldron to the bottom - this was the most trickiest part. I figured that it stays put when hot glued in the middle and in some edges.Gauntlet & Shield
-Above pictures are from my version 2 shield. Disregard my version 1 shield, I will not post about it because it was poorly made:<
For version 2 I used thin wood that my dad gave me for the base. Cut a bit larger circle for the top, I used leather (which I had to paint black with mixture of silver) for the top. I covered the top of the base with leather and I left an opening to place fabric inside to make the top bumpy. The rest of the details including the silver rim are made out of craft foam. The handle are leather strips and I pasted down to the wood by using gorilla glue (much stronger than hot glue).
Here are images of the shield size and closer look at the shield's design without the Etro script:<
-The arm straps are made out of the backside of vinyl, painted, sanded, and added velcro to the straps' end to hold together. There are tiny straps with two silver rivets, you can't really see it in the photo but it's at the side of my arm:
-Version 1 and 2 contain the same gauntlets except I added an elastic band on version 2 hand piece. The arrow should been a bit thicker, but I have skinny arms so I had to make it that way... I layered and added primer, the spikes at the elbow are different cut triangle pieces. I had 4 pieces in total and pasted together, there are two different designs as the red lines show:
There are some little details I haven't added or may not, they look like tiny pedals that help maintain the spike and armor together. The way I glued the spike was the only way I can be able to move my elbow. Attachment:
I hot glue the gauntlets to the purple arm straps. Thigh armor
The thigh armor is 2mm craft foam including the gold details, I added layers of craft foam on top (I'll draw a picture later how I did it). The back has 2 small elastic band<-Make sure it's tight enough so the thigh armor won't slip down.Lower leg armor
I honestly hated my first version, it was very uncomfortable. But if you wish to make it similar to my first version, it consisted of high-heel shoes and craft foam on top. A longer craft foam piece for the leg was hot glue around the shoe and I added elastic band near the ankle.
My version 2 is more comfortable, I used wedge boots, added craft foam details, paint mod podge and then spray paint. The spike I used 2mm craft foam, made 2 triangles, added creases (bend it!) and paste together. Add 3d painting for the indents on the spike or make your own indentation.GUNBLADE (Untransformed version)
This took me a fewdays to make, actually this was the most fun part! Materials I used:
Cardboard, craftfoam, art paper (thick paper), a playhouse foam from my kid sis, and foamboard.
Paint: Acrylic paint, rub n' buff, and varnish (finish glossy look). Also I used primer to seal.
Here's a picture pointing what material was used on what parts (click to enlarge image):
First one shows the details I did on the hilt before renders were out so there are inaccuracies. The handle was made by layering (3?) cardboard ontop of each other. Hot glued together then I sand the sides. I added primer to cover the holes. Then I added craftfoam for the strips and for the rest of the details.
Second picture shows what I did for the sword part. There are other materials like wood or insulation foam that would make this look more smooth. Basically I cut out what I drew on the board then I sand where the dotted lines are at. The sword needed more sanding>< I added paper on top for the black design. The other designs, I drew on top of the craft foam, added primer, then painted silver, and hot glued on to the sword.
I have a silly drawing to show the inside of the hood - I shaped it first with craft foam and added fabric and craft foam shaped like a long bowl inside to get it bit round on top:
The smaller black sword, is not going to make sense how I made it. I first drew out the shape with that playhouse foam, cut it and covered it with craft foam. I don't remember how I did it, but it's a lot of different cut out craft foam pieces. I sealed it with primer a lot. I'm not totally satisfied with this part, and it's a bit heavy causing it to rip apart many time. Next time it does, gorilla glue would fix that
Here's a closer look at it: GUNBLADE (Transformed version)
I basically used the same weapon I had. I broke in half, stuck the handle to the middle, and added more craft foam! It's like her old weapon from XIII except this transformation doesn't make sense to me. A friend of mine tried to explain it, but it's not really making any sense still. I'll explain more if there are any questions for this part...
Etro script on the gunblade: Gladius in turba aetern a induratus vincula inserepabilia rum. (The blade forged in everlasting chaos shall cleave the unbreakable chain.)
More explanation coming soon for anything that needs to be more clear~
Also check out my twin sis' (featured in this photo with me) tips on Serah's XIII-2 outfit: [link]