Princess Mononoke Mask & Glass City Con

Princess Mononoke Mask & Glass City Con

This past weekend I went to Glass City Con in Toledo, Ohio. But before I went, I had to finish my Princess Mononoke cosplay that I made for Motor City Con, which was in May. I had everything completed beside the mask, which is the most iconic part of the costume. Of course, I didn’t begin making it until less than a week before the convention, a bad move on my part. But anyway, I’ll explain a bit of my process in making the mask. There’s work to be done to it since it fell apart a lot, but I think I know what I did wrong.

If you want to see how I made the rest of the costume you can read it here.

Mask Materials

  • Styrofoam mannequin head
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tape
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Flour & Water (Papier Mache glue)
  • Mod Podge
  • Red acrylic paint
  • White acrylic paint
  • Yellow acrylic paint
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Air dry clay
  • Hot glue
  • Headband
  • Felt (optional)
  • White faux fur (less than a yard is needed)

Mask Assembly

Yes, it seems like a lot of materials, but it’s really not all that much. Most of these things I had already or will likely use in later projects.

I began with taking the styrofoam head and wrapping it in the plastic wrap, taping the edges to the head. Then I set the cardboard on the table and made little walls to keep the head

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Don’t mind the messy table. I live with two younger brothers and I just didn’t have time to clean.

from rolling to either side. This was a bit annoying to set up, but in the end it worked out.Then, to make the paper mache glue, I put a cup of water and two tablespoons of flour in a small saucepan. I put it on the stove on medium heat, continuously stirred until it began bubbling, then removed the heat. As it cooled, I took newspaper and cut it into strips that would then be dipped in the glue and placed on the head.

So, the way I did this was dipping the paper in, wiping off majority of the glue with my fingers, then laid the strip down. After a layer was down, I took a paintbrush and brushed even more glue off, so it would dry more quickly.

Unfortunately for me, it’s extremely humid during this time of the year in Michigan, so I ended up having to put the head and wet mask in a room with a dehumidifier until it dried. This sped up the drying process by a lot and dried in only a few hours.

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Mask before it dried (feat. polka dot shorts)

After it fully dried, I trimmed the sides so it was more of a mask shape, using the back of my mannequin head as reference still. Once this was done, I painted the top with white paint first, then once that dried, applied the red paint. Since I wasn’t painting on an already white surface, it was necessary I painted it white first, much like you would do to a wall that has been painted previously. Once the red paint dried, though, there were still spots that were not as dark, so another layer was applied.

After this, I added a layer of Mod Podge. This prevents the paint from chipping and somewhat waterproofs it, though I wouldn’t test it out.

With the Mod Podge drying, I shaped my clay into three circles, two wolf ears, and the white designs on the mask. I placed these pieces on the mask to tell where to put the black background on the eyes and mouth. I painted this with the black paint, and then let the the clay sit overnight.

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Red paint done

Again, this was not drying quickly due to humidity, so the next day I put the clay in the same dehumidifier room. After a few hours, it was nearly dry. If it was not the day before the con, I would have let them sit much longer, but I was on a bit of a time restraint. And I would regret my procrastination while at the convention.

I painted the circles yellow, the designs white, and the wolf ears red. Though the backs of the ears needed to be darker, so I mixed red paint with a bit of black to get a bit of a burgundy color.

I glued the eyes and mouth on with my favorite craft glue, and the designs on with hot glue. Once all of this was dry enough, I moved on to the fur. And a tip for all of you wanting to try using faux fur: don’t ever ever wear black pants while working with white fur. This stuff sheds like crazy, and pretty much looks like a cat exploded on the

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Black paint, no yellow or white paint

floor when you are done using it. But, it was necessary for the costume.

I put the mask up to the back of the fur and drew a half circle then cut enough fur that it would go down most of my back. The bottom comes to a point, like a wolf tail, so when cutting I gradually moved to the middle with my scissors. I really didn’t measure for this at all, but in the end it turned out fine.

I attached the half circle top to the forehead of the mask, using hot glue. And then I realized, I forgot to add the ears. So, I cut a slit where the edge of the forehead of the mask was, stuck the ears through and glued them to the underside of the mask. Here’s where the real problem arises. When I glued these on, the base of the ears was not enough to support the rest of the ear’s weight. So they began to rip. So I reinforced

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All painted and Mod Podged

with more glue, attaching them the best I could to the mask.

Then came how I would be keeping the mask on my head. I decided to just wear it like a hat, so I glued a headband to the underside and stuck that on my head. This is where the felt comes in, I wrapped white felt around the headband so it would match the fur a bit better. I put the headband on, and realized the mask was a bit heavy. So, I had to position the front to be a bit on my forehead to keep it in place as I walked. Not a big deal.

So, everything seemed okay, until the day of the convention. We were leaving, and I realized both the ears had practically ripped themselves off the mask. So my mom bought me some small craft sticks and I glued them to the ears to try holding

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With fur, ears all wonky though. (Look at that fur on the floor)

them up.  Seemed like a smart fix, until they fell off three times during the day. I ended up holding the mask and throwing one of the ears in my bag since it had completely snapped off.

This whole ear situation wouldn’t have happened if I let them dry completely. They were still floppy when I glued them on, so I had a feeling they wouldn’t work.

Glass City Con Experiences

This was a small convention, much smaller than the one I’m used to: Youmacon. But it was really fun, with some surprisingly awesome cosplays. There was a giant room with arcade machines, desktops, consoles hooked up to projectors playing Smash Bros and Mario Kart. The arcade machines are what I played mostly. They were majorly rhythm games, which were pretty fun. All in Japanese, though which was a bit annoying since I don’t know a bit of it. But I got to play DDR to the Soul Eater opening and play a rhythm game with the Free! ending and the Death Parade opening, which was something I never expected to do.

I didn’t go to see the voice actors, since both voice actors were people I knew but wasn’t really all that familiar with. Leah Clark and Jad Saxton were the ones there, and I did get to walk by while Jad was doing signings, which was cool enough.

There were tons of cool cosplays as well, much more than I expected of a con that had less than 2,000 attendees. I only have a few pictures, though, since my friend was the one taking pictures and she only came on day two.

 

 

 

Here are my pictures

 

 

 

It’s a bit strange seeing San and Maka with blue/green hair, but I just hate wigs, so I went without. And a wig for my San cosplay would be a nightmare, since my mask already gave me problems. And my Maka cosplay was just reused from last year, since I didn’t feel like messing with my mask when I came home at 9 pm on day one.

So this was a bit of a lengthy post. Sorry for boring you. I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial anyway.

I will be on vacation from the 21st to 27th, so if I do not respond to your comments don’t think I’m ignoring you. I have another post planned to go up on the 28th, and this one is clearly on the 21st. I won’t have hardly any access to internet while I’m gone, but I’ll try to check on things from time to time. Thank you!

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

 

Princess Mononoke Cosplay

Princess Mononoke Cosplay

I wore this cosplay on May 20th, at Detroit’s Motor City Con. It’s not completely done, but this is the base. I’ll be completing the mask and fur cloak for a later con, but this was what I was able to complete for now. I thought it turned out pretty well, and it’s fairly comfortable. The boots I got were a bit small and hurt my feet, but that’s not too hard to avoid. And I made this entirely without other tutorials, which I’m quite proud of.

Clothing20170502_122654

  • White T-shirt
  • Navy blue tank dress, coming to about the knees
  • Tan boots, coming up about mid calf
  • White thread
  • Scissors

I started by going to Goodwill and Salvation Army for these pieces, and I found exactly what I needed, minus the boots and craft materials. The dress I got was not exactly what I’d had in mind, but it worked fairly well and what I didn’t like was covered by the shirt. The dress was easy to 20170517_124415prepare, the only alterations I made was cutting some holes and slits into the bottom. It was kind of fun to do this part, since it didn’t matter what technique you used. As long as it looks tattered, you’re good to go. The shirt, on the other hand, gave me some issues. I started by trimming the collar, hem, and sleeves off. From there, I ran into some troubles, this being my first project I sewed by myself. I had some difficulty pinning the sides together to make it fit me, but with some measurements and marks with a pen, it turned out quite nicely. You want to overlap the front onto the back and sew a small section at about mid-rib. This will give it the look of a tunic. From there, I cut some holes and slits in the side and smudged some red face paint to make it look like blood.

Jewelry

  • Crayola Model Magic clay
  • Earring bases
  • Craft glue (I use Elmer’s stick-all)
  • Ivory acrylic paint
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Silver acrylic paint
  • Mod Podge (I used the glossy kind)
  • Bamboo skewer
  • Leather cord
  • Thick black elastic
  • Dark blue felt
  • Gray craft foam
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrushes

For this cosplay, you need earrings, armbands, a necklace, and a headband. It’s quite jewelry heavy, which was strange for me because I almost never wear any. To make this much jewelry, though, it must be light. The closest craft supply that looks like bone is clay, but you have to get the air-dry kind, or it will be much too heavy and difficult to shape cleanly. I use Crayola Model Magic, which was also used for the eye piece on my 20170423_220010scythe in my Maka Cosplay. I am in love with this product, and has been the biggest help in my cosplay experience.

So, the earrings. You need clay, earring backs (I got a pack of 10 for like a dollar), adhesive, paint, and Mod Podge. For the earring itself I took a small piece of clay, rolled it in a ball, and pushed my thumb in the middle, fanning it out. If you’ve ever made a clay cup in art class in elementary

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This is the ivory paint I used. It’s called Vintage White but looks ivory colored

school, you probably know the technique I’m talking about. Although you only want a slight lip on the edges. If it looks rough, that’s just fine, it is supposed to be made of bone after all. From here, paint the whole piece with some off-white acrylic paint. I used an ivory color. When it dries, coat it in Mod Podge. Though I used glossy Mod Podge, matte would work well also. When that dries, adhere the back to the top of the earrings. If your earrings aren’t completely circles, just pick one of the longer sides. The glue I use is called Elmer’s Stix-All, which has been another miracle. It sticks to nearly anything, much like E 6000, but without the stink.

 

The necklace I also made with clay, and took more time than the earrings, not surprisingly. You will need leather cording, clay, paint, Mod Podge, and a skewer. I ended up making 6 teeth and 5 beads. The teeth I took a medium sized ball of clay, rolled into a sort of snake, pushed one side into a flat surface, and smoothed the rest to a point. From

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Here you can see the difference between the white clay and the ivory painted clay

there, I used the skewer to scratch some cracks into the clay, to make it look more worn and rugged. I then poked holes into the top of each tooth, and then ran a small paintbrush handle through it to enlarge it. I then painted them with ivory acrylic paint and brushed some glossy Mod Podge over them. Again, matte would be fine as well. The beads were much easier. Small balls of clay, pushing each side into a rectangular box. I kept the points smooth because it looked better this way. Used the skewer for holes, then 20170509_170801the paintbrush again. I couldn’t find any black or navy blue paint at the time, and I didn’t have the patience to buy more, so I used dark brown, which worked just as well. After this, Mod Podge again. String them on the leather cording, tooth, bead, tooth, bead, until complete. Make sure three teeth are pointing one way toward the middle, the other three the other way, so all are facing the middle. I tied my necklace rather than adding a clasp, which works just fine.

 

The armbands and headband were a bigger challenge. For me, at least. When beginning them, I wanted to sew them all, but didn’t have the correct needles or thread, so the armbands had velcro on them. For these you will need thick elastic, blue felt, Elmer’s Stix-All, Velcro pieces. Measure the elastic to fit your bicep. I did it close-ish to my

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That translucent piece of plastic is the lid

shoulder. Cut the elastic and apply the Velcro, preferably with the Stic-All. The sticky Velcro does not stay. Make sure it still fits before proceeding. From there, cut three circles from the felt. One will be used for the headband later. To cut the circles, I actually used that little plastic piece that comes on Ramune soda with the little plunger attached. The bottom was the perfect size and I’d just happened to not throw it away haha. When the circles are cut, use the Stix-All again to attach them to the elastic. Armbands done! Now for the headband. When I initially measured the elastic for this, I’d forgotten about my wig which has a much larger circumference. So, I didn’t wear my wig for this cosplay. Luckily, my hair is short and 20170511_183508brown so it wasn’t entirely necessary. So, I sewed the elastic together for the headband, since I was scared the Velcro would get stuck in my hair. The circle in the front at the base is the same as the armbands, but I added a gem. But, I didn’t have any gems at the time so I made my own. I had some gray craft foam, which I cut into a circle using the other side of the Ramune lid, and covered one side in hot glue. I waited for it to dry, then cut off any pointy pieces of glue. I then painted it with silver paint and attached it to the felt once it dried.

 

Spear

  • White craft foam
  • Ivory acrylic paint
  • Red acrylic paint
  • PVC piping (1/2″ diameter)
  • Brown spray paint
  • Mod Podge (Matte)
  • Hot glue
  • Light brown ribbon (thick preferably)
  • Newspaper

This was done last minute, yes. I finished this two days before the con. I would’ve waited longer, but I would be busy that day so I did it the Thursday before. Lucky for me, I had some PVC piping left over from my previous cosplay, and it was 20170518_133749the exact length I needed! I spray painted it with brown, which took nearly 5 coats. (Tip: don’t buy the cheapest spray paint it doesn’t work so nice, it drips like crazy and sticks to the cardboard you’re working on even after it’s dried) Needless to say, it was a nightmare. I did it though,

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Matte Mod Podge

and all was well. When it was ready, I used white craft foam to cut out a spearhead shape. I did this freehand, but I’m sure there’s a template out there. I was on a tight schedule. When they were cut out, I cut four slits in each head. I cut two small, thin rectangles and painted them red. I thread the pieces through the slits, so it looked like a piece of leather thread through. I painted the rest of the head ivory, and coated it all in Mod P20170518_145225odge, matte this time. As before, glossy would also work. I ripped some newspaper up and stuffed it in between the two pieces to form a bubbled out shape. As soon as this was achieved, I hot glued it shut. I painted the hot glue ivory as well, to match the rest of the head. I pushed the bottom through the hole in the PVC piping and hot glued at the base. Taking the light brown ribbon, I wrapped it around the base to cover the hot glue and glued a bit every once in a while until a nice amount had been wrapped. Done! Yeah, it isn’t the greatest, kinda flimsy, but it was alright. I don’t exactly recommend this method if you’re intending to use this cosplay a lot.

Extras

  • Snazaroo red face paint
  • Small concealer brush
  • Bobby pin (optional)
  • Dark brown wig in bob cut with bangs (optional)

The rest it all pretty basic. I got a face paint recommendation from a friend who’s been cosplaying for years and has done full body paint. And I would recomm20170520_082047end this brand to others. I got a large amount of face paint for around $8 on Amazon. All you do is add water and stick your brush in, and have at it. I used a small concealer brush, since it gave me control and even coverage. To draw the triangles, I used parts of my face as markers. The forehead I started by going a bit further from my eyebrows, drew to the middle, and adjusted if I needed more. To remove, just use more water and a Q-tip or tissues. It may smudge, but you’ll get a good amount off. For the cheek ones, I started at my cheekbone at the middle of my eye, then drew out to the edge of my eyebrow, then met it at a point at my lower lip. Again, anything over the line can be wiped away. I didn’t get time to mess with my wig, since I’d never done it and I was a bit rushed for the cosplay. Instead, I used a bobby pin to push my bangs back to make the headband go on smoothly.

 

Sorry for the lengthy post. It took me so long to finish this, I had most of it done a week ago, but I had a busy week last week and had to wait to finish it until I had time. Luckily, it’s now done. Weekends have been hectic the past few weeks, between work and family, so we’ll see how this goes. Thank you for being patient with me!

Follow my twitter: @letstalkanime1

And on tumblr! @eegghhh (I just post some writing stuff and thoughts. You’ll see a lot of likes on Yuri on Ice fanart)

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Me and my friends at Motor City Con. Far left is cosplaying as female Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club, a lot of people thought she was Honey. Also, I made my friend’s Pink Ranger boots and my Tamaki friend is wearing my old cosplay. 

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Bonus picture: My cat really liked lying on my tunic as I was making it.

Top 10 Female Anime Characters

I’m sorry for the long wait (2 months to be exact), I was finishing up classes these past couple weeks so I’ve had other things on my mind. It should be more frequent from now on.

I can always appreciate when an anime can make a female character right. There are too many that use the girls of anime as fanservice or give them a cardboard personality. All of the girls I have chosen for this list are not fanservice characters, and have great character qualities. I tried to get a variety from anime I watched a while ago and more recent ones. I’ve noticed I tend to talk about the same shows constantly, so I’m trying to mix it up a bit if I can.

Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran High School Host Club)

haruhi

Many may know how I feel about this show. As it was my first anime, I will always hold it dear to my heart, and Haruhi was the first character I ever cosplayed as. And although I’ve broadened my anime spectrum, I always fall back to this show. Haruhi is a very strong character, and has dealt with many things going wrong in her life. The loss of her mother at a young age, going to a school knowing nobody, and being practically thrown into a club she had no intention of joining were all things she dealt with, but didn’t let ruin her life. She overcame these obstacles, and made the best of it. Plus she’s very outspoken and doesn’t let other people take advantage of her.

Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket)

tohru

Fruits Basket was one of my very first animes, and I watched most of it at a sleepover with my friends around four years ago. Since then, I’ve gone back to it and rewatched it one or two times, along with reading all of the manga (which is so much better I highly recommend it). Tohru Honda is such a sweet character, it’s hard to not like her. She’s caring and looks out for others even if they don’t ask her to. But the thing that impresses me the most about her is the fact she stays positive no matter what circumstance she’s in. Her father died when she was about two years old, and her mother died about six month before the show takes place, but she continues to see the good in everything, a trait I wish I had.

Maka Albarn (Soul Eater)

Maka4

As many know, I cosplayed as Maka last fall, so that already can tell you how I feel about this character. Before I watched this show, I had many friends who watched it, and they said I was a lot like Maka. They said this because at the time, I was straight-A student, and I loved reading. That’s all I knew about her before I watched it. After watching it, I saw that Maka is much more than a bookworm, but is caring, strong, and determined. She is constantly worried about Soul, since he would take any hit in place of her. She wishes he would let her take care of herself, so he doesn’t get hurt in place of her. She wants to increase her skills so she doesn’t have to rely on him for protection. She always wants to learn more, and to do better than she already is. I’ve heard some people find these things about her annoying, but I think she’s just looking out for her partner.

Shirayuki (Snow White with the Red Hair)

shirayuki

This show doesn’t get enough recognition. As well as the main character, Shirayuki, who is supposed to be a form of Snow White. There are similar traits between Snow White and Shirayuki, but not many. The main one I see is they both are loved by many people. Shirayuki is hard-working, and kind to everyone she meets. She gives people second-chances and believes they can change their ways to make themselves better people. I love how accepting and open-minded she is, as well as being so determined to commit to something, she does everything she can to achieve it.

Celty Sturluson (Durarara!)

celty

Celty is by far my favorite character from Durarara! She’s so unique, and her design was very creative. She initially comes off as being the mysterious dark character, but in the end is very kind and wary of her impact on others. She knows that she can be the cause of trouble at times, and does her best to reduce it. So many people are interested in her (being an Irish fairy without a head and all) but she hates having so much attention on her and wishes to live a peaceful life. It’s cool to see someone who is so different from others still manage to live as a normal person, and it’s very impressive.

Winry Rockbell (Fullmetal Alchemist)

Winry1

I’ve already done a post about Winry, but it was my first one and I doubt anyone has read it. So, I’ll explain myself here instead. Winry is a great character, due to her profession, caring nature, and determination. She’s a mechanic, which at the time period of the show was rare. While it has a World War 2 vibe about it, there are still few women shown with a profession that requires physical strength. Majority of the military were men, and all of the other mechanics excluding her grandmother were also men. Her talent is insane for her age as well, and her determination to make a better piece every time she updates Ed’s automail is admirable. She also is incredibly caring toward the brothers, worrying about them as they leave her behind. Overall, Winry is a sweet mechanic who deserves love.

Ochako Uraraka (My Hero Academia)

uraraka

I’ve seen Uraraka at the very bottom of people’s favorite My Hero Academia character lists, and I’ve never understood why. Sure, there are many other characters that are shown more throughout the show, but I’ve always been fond of Uraraka from the moment she came on the screen. She’s supportive of Izuku always, and will sacrifice herself so others can succeed. She always puts others first, even though she wants to be a hero just as badly as the others. Plus, she’s just a cute, bubbly girl, and who can hate that?

Kaede Kayano (Assassination Classroom)

kayano

Another character that I’ve always been fond of. Though, there was a moment I doubted her, but I won’t get into that for those of you who haven’t watched season two. Kayano was the first one to approach Nagisa during the new school year, and was very open to him. She’s friendly, and makes a good effort to help the others in their goals, even if her ideas fall flat. Though there’s another side to her (which again I won’t get into), I love her all the same. She learns from her mistakes and grows further as a person.

San (Princess Mononoke)

San

I just cosplayed as San on Saturday for Motor City Con in Detroit, so it’s pretty clear that I admire her. Princess Mononoke is my favorite Studio Ghibli film, as I explained in Top 5 Studio Ghibli Films, and though San is technically not the main character and is absent for much of the beginning, her screen time was not wasted. She is firm in her beliefs, and nobody can shake her from them. She lives among wolves, which has made her strong and fierce. Also, results in her hatred for humans, but love for nature. She knows the forest spirits by name, and protects them with her life. I think of her as the Japanese version of Disney’s Pocahontas, but much cooler.

Hiyori Iki (Noragami)

hiyori

I’m also working on a cosplay for Hiyori, though it won’t be ready until the fall. I feel that in the Noragami fandom, Hiyori is often overlooked. Everyone’s favorite tends to be Yato, which I can understand as he is the face of the show. But, Hiyori is really the main character, and much more amazing than most people realize. In her first encounter with a phantom, she didn’t hesitate to attack it before being told that she could be killed easily. And even after that, she still thrust herself in the heat of battle. All while in her school uniform. Her parents are also rich, being doctors and all, but this is easily forgettable because she breaks the rich girl stereotypes.

Honorable Mentions: Sophie Hatter (Howl’s Moving Castle), Riza Hawkeye (Fullmetal Alchemist), Touka Kirishima (Tokyo Ghoul)

I hope you liked my list, it was difficult to narrow it down to just ten. If you think there were others who should have made it on my list, feel free to leave me a comment, I love seeing other people’s opinions.

Again, I apologize for my hiatus. It was never intentional, it just happened. But, I should be back for good, and another post should be up this Friday, the 26th. School was bogging me down, and now that my college classes are over, I have much more free time. Also, I have joined OWLS, which will mean I can participate in the blog tours! I should have one for June’s tour, so look for me.

Remember to follow my Twitter: @letstalkanime1

See you guys later!

Top 5 Studio Ghibli Films

Top 5 Studio Ghibli Films

Ah, the wonderful, mystical, world of Studio Ghibli.  Though most watch these movies for nostalgic purposes, I only began watching these last year, and I quickly realized how amazing they are. I’ve even watched enough to give a top five list!

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