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Starting a costume

Good evening from Bristol!
Well today, I thought I’d talk about how to start working on a Cosplay of your choice and how I am personally going about working towards it. This site will also be a way for me to post my updates about my next costume and hopefully more, as it’s a great hobby for anyone who’s got any interest in it.

The last costume I made, I rushed. I decided to take my usually lax approach to everything by delaying and delaying. Once I did a day in a costume, I realised how much fun it was. The conversations that are started… The dancing, oh the dancing! Oh and of course, the satisfaction of people recognising you after your hard work. My last costume, because I rushed it, was pretty poor… But people seemed to understand who I was and more importantly, spoke to me about it. This time, I want to make a great, lasting costume.

First off then, how am I beginning? Simple:

Researching your character

The first thing to do is have a character you want to Cosplay. Ideally, you want to pick someone who’s relatively close to your height (if possible) and you want someone who you think you could replicate personality wise as well as a character you enjoy. Enter my character of choice: Edward Elric.

Edward Elric

My character of choice for my next costume.

Now that I’ve got my character in mind, the best start is research. Now, I could spend hours on end watching the manga or reading the anime (… Gotcha! ;)) but instead, I feel the best start is to gather as many resources on the character as possible.

Give yourself plenty of time. I’m not intending on wearing this costume for a good 6 months, yet! This gives me time to do a plethora of things, such as: a few weeks of research (This is now behind me, I’ll explain more shortly), plenty of working out (That’s more for the personal benefits as well as to be closer to the character :P), plenty of material studying and maybe even testing your skills to see what you need to work on before starting your next project.


So before you begin, consider what materials you’ll need. I only know I need the following:

  • Dark red material for the coat, preferably cotton.
  • “Shiny” black trousers. (See why the working out kinda matters for this outfit? :|)
  • Faux leather (Boots)
  • Black linen (for the top underneath the coat)
  • White lining (Again for the top underneath the coat)
  • A blonde wig (I’m a brown haired dude and I won’t be able to grow my hair that long in time. Years ago I could!)
  • White gloves
  • A brown belt with a buckle
  • … Plastic?

Those who know the character will know one thing about him:

He just so happens to have a metal arm and a metal leg.

Metal arm and metal leg.

Disclaimer: I refuse to walk around a convention in just my boxers! So does Ed as this picture shows.

So, I’m no blacksmith (though, I have taken a shining to it in the past. If I lived in the middle of nowhere, I’d have my own forge, darn it). I do have a heat gun, though! As luck would have it, I do know of some websites, such as CosCraft which deliver to the UK free of charge, if you order over £20 worth of stuff. For my first trial of working with thermoplastics, I bought an A4 sheet of Worbla’s Finest Art, got out the heat gun and just played with it. Do you need to do this step? Depends, are you a confident individual who thinks s/he’ll do it first time? If so, go for it and stay positive!

Okay, so now we know (at least most) of the materials and as you see, research on the character will pay off. Granted, if you already know about the character, extreme things such as this should be quite obvious. How many of you who know about Edward Elric know that inside of his coat is a large pocket? Large enough to carry around a brown notebook? Who also remembers the pocket watch? It’s these finer details that can make a good Cosplay into a truly fantastic Cosplay. Is it obsessive detailing? Yup, but again, for a truly spectacular costume, you need this attention to detail.

What’s next?

As time goes on, I’m going to, with pictures, show the process of me making this costume. The first thing I’m going to be working on is the arm and leg, as these parts will take the most time. I’ll also have to make a way to adjust these when being worn. There’s also the question of flexibility, but these are details I’ll be working on over time.

The next Cosplay related post I will make will include my own “artwork” which is to explain to myself as well as to you all how I am going to make these costume parts.

Have I missed a trick? Anything you want to add? Let me know guys. I’m always interested in more ways of working!


4 responses

  1. Reblogged this on anime everyday and commented:


    September 23, 2013 at 8:52 am

  2. Pingback: Starting a costume (pt 2) | GeekOut South-West

  3. Pingback: Making the costume (Pt. 1) | GeekOut South-West

  4. Pingback: Costume Progress – Oscar Kass, Part 1 | GeekOut South-West

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