From the video game League of Legends. A winter “Snowdown” skin for the character Soraka.
First debut: Anime Los Angeles 2019
Time to create: 5 weeks
Approximate cost: ~$750
Almost immediately after this skin was announced, I got to work. I had a vague idea for how I would do each piece- 3D printing for the majority of the staff, resin casting for the staff ice and horn, craft foam for the crown etc- and I knew it was going to be hard work to get everything done in 5 weeks. So obviously, I chose a really hard and time-consuming way to do the wig.
I started with two Demeters from Epic Cosplay Wigs, one in Natural Blonde and one in the slightly darker Caramel Blonde. This wig is not for the faint of heart, at a very long and easily-tangled 60″. I slowly but surely disassembled the Caramel Blonde, removing each weft and gluing it in its sister place on the Natural Blonde. This added lots of volume to the wig, as well as creating a nice mix of fiber colors to more closely match the reference images.
Once that was out of the way- a good two weeks later- I could get started on the costume itself. I made the skirt by sandwiching a hoop petticoat between a later of blue satin (inner) and a navy suiting fabric (outer). It was edged with some white fur from JoAnn Fabrics, and the gold snowflakes were traced from the model in Photoshop, imported to Cricut Studio, cut on my Cricut Maker from gold foil heat transfer vinyl, and very carefully ironed on. The overskirt was self-patterned out of blue satin, trimmed with matte gold heat transfer vinyl, and the gold diamonds cut from the same vinyl on the Cricut and ironed on. The top was adapted from the Butterick B6129 pattern- I only used the bodice pieces from the A/B configuration, changed the shape and lengthened the torso, and added my own long sleeves. The chest icicles were again cut from heat transfer vinyl and ironed on. (The color and brand escape me, but it may have been Siser EasyWeed Electric Teal.) Fur trim matching the skirt was self-patterned and attached to the top.
The mittens were originally white ski mittens with black accents that I bought on Amazon. I picked off all the black parts with a seam ripper and sewed the mittens back up. Then I made cuffs out of 6mm craft foam, covered them with the same fur from the top and skirt, accessorized with some light blue rickrack trim, and glued them to the mitten base. Finally the gold fleur was traced in Photoshop, popped onto the Cricut, and cut out of the same matte gold as the overskirt’s trim and diamonds. Then ironed on, of course.
Meanwhile, I’d also been working on the accessories. These were all self-patterned by hand. I assembled the crown and chest decoration, which I’d taken to calling “the mustache”, from 3mm craft foam and coated them in several layers of PlastiDip. I also had just purchased an airbrush, so I had a lot of fun airbrushing them poorly as I learned how to use it.
For the horn, I 3D modeled what I wanted it to look like, then printed the model. I sanded and painted it to get it smooth, then cast it in Smooth-On Ooomoo, a silicone mold material. I then tried casting with Castin’ Craft Polyester Resin, only learn that it interacts with the mold to give your piece a sticky finish like it’s been badly wrapped in plastic wrap. So I recast it with Amazing Clear Cast about four times until I felt it had the right blend of glitter, pearlescent pigment, blue and green tint, and the correct transparency.
For the shoes, I started with a pair of definitely-hooker-heels: 3 inch platform, 6 inch heel. I painted the platform with pearl paint tinted slightly aqua to make Soraka’s “hooves”, and added the gold detailing and gems. For all gems, I 3D printed the shapes out of Talman T-glase in Aqua.
For the leggings, I got a pair of teal knee-highs off Amazon but I didn’t like the color, so I dyed them darker anyways with a couple teaspoons of Rit Dyemore on the stovetop.
Now we come to the staff. Oh, the staff. Luckily for me, my boyfriend is a mechanical engineer and a Solidworks Wizard. From references, he 3D modeled the entire thing. We sliced it into a few parts- the hoop (into thirds), the crystals, the part where the hoop attaches to the staff, the staff handle, and the bottom. Everything that was gold, we 3D printed directly. The handle was printed, painted and sanded smooth, then cast into a really big Oomoo mold. This took a couple expensive tries to get right. Then we cast it with Amazing Clear Cast, the same stuff from the horn. This also took a couple expensive tries to get right. For the crystals, we tried an interesting technique of making virtual molds and printing THOSE, then casting directly into the printed mold. This also took a couple expensive tries to get right, but it turns out- don’t use mold wax. Use a couple coats of polyurethane spray, seal your molds with caulk if they leak, and be prepared to do some sanding. Luckily the Castin’ Craft Polyester Resin- not usable in the Oomoo molds- worked great here and sanded to a nice polish.
And finally, the piece de resistance: the center snowflake. Here I bought a 14 inch diameter, 1/4 in thick circle of acrylic (aka Plexiglass). My boyfriend vector modeled the snowflake design, loosely tracing the game model. We then laser engraved it on both sides, being careful to make sure they lined up. The hoop was designed to house a strip of LED lights in the rim, shining into the edges of the acrylic. Acrylic has this neat properly called total internal reflection which basically means if you shine light in the side, it’ll only glow where you’ve frosted or engraved it. The LEDs are just an RGB strip from Amazon, set to blue and powered by a lipstick-shaped phone battery charger that sits just behind the hoop’s gem.