Yamuraiha - Magi - ALA 2013

A gnarled wood style staff is something I have always wanted to try making, and with Yamuraiha's staff I finally got my wish. Out of all the Magi weapons I made (dagger, sword and staff) this one took the longest, granted it was only 3 working days, but for the simplicity of the staff I thought it would go by a bit quicker to be honest. Well first off here is the reference.

If you have been reading my other builds long enough you will start to see the pattern and that the first step is to ALWAYS bust out some cardstock and plan it all out. This is when I realized that Yamu's staff looked like a big sperm.

I never unsaw it.

The sphere at in the middle of the staff had to be tough, so I was a bit reluctant to buy a 24" shatterproof Christmas ornament. My doubts were completely shelved when I bounced it around like a basketball and it didn't even dent. Color me surprised.

From the cardstock pattern I cut the wood base, then on this base I applied expanding foam and carved it to a rough shape. The ball was socketed in the staff and held in place by simple hot glue and the expanding foam's adhesive properties. Then since I had it lying around I put duct tape on the entire thing.

You can see the multiple layers here.

So here is the part where the time just flew. I wound up covering the ENTIRE thing in apoxie sculpt. In my brain I thought it would take be one evening... NOPE. Took me an entire day to knock it out. Was one of the most tedious things I've done, and I've done a lot of tedious things... like pepakura.

I won't bother posting the 2 pictures but once I applied the apoxie sculpt I did a bunch of sanding with an orbital sander. You can't see the difference in any of the pictures I took unfortunately. but it was VERY necessary.

I actually documented my paint method again! So happy! Hit the thing with a bright pink, then hit the orb with a much lighter pink.

Small thing that some people forget, and that I had to be reminded about. You can use plastic bags on large surfaces instead of wasting your blue tape.

Once it was painted something seemed...off...it just looked like a sperm still.

I figured it out and I decided to weather the "socket" between the sphere and the staff. It added that much needed layer of depth.

I also painted the shells... that took me about 5 minutes to do, but little did I know that they would dominate pictures instead of the staff I worked so hard on T_T.

Hope people find this useful! Questions, comments, concerns? Give me a shout in the comments, Facebook or dA!


Sharrkan - Magi - ALA 2013

This winter I took a break from heavy armor costumes to focus more on the "bishi" side of cosplay, where makeup and wigs dominate the costume. It was good for growth in costuming, but ultimately not really my thing. In any case Sharrkan was my first super pretty boy costume, and it presented its own set of oddities and challenges. However for the most part it was more a labor of tedious repetition rather than outright skill.

First order of business is the reference art. Nothing is ever consistent with Sharrkan, even in the official art. His green trim is always a bit different, his sword is slightly altered etc etc. Eventually I just picked the nicest fanart I could find that had a nice profile picture of his sword. The second picture I liked because of the raised detail running down the center of the blade. More on that later.

First step is to ALWAYS pattern out what you're making. I printed out the sword from the first picture onto cardstock then broke it up into both the blade and the handle.

First the entire blade and handle were cut from 3/8" thick plywood. From there the rest of the handle (to give it a good thickness) was cut and sanded from MDF. If you notice in the picture the plywood of the sword is a pinkish color. Plywood needs to be sanded not only to get the bevel in the blade edge, but also to smooth it out. Bondo auto body filler is used to fill in any remaining imperfections in the wood itself giving it a very smooth finish.

The sword was essentially completed later that day. The handle was glued to the sword using Heavy Duty Liquid Nails.

I glued on an acrylic triangle strip onto the sword to give it that nice raised detail running the length of the blade. I also actually documented my painting method for once!

Painting is always done in this order 
Primer -> sand -> primer -> color paint -> sand (if necessary) -> color paint -> gloss coat (if time permits). I use Rust-Oleum products for all of my painting also, so spray paints are KING! Just remember that taping everything off and taking your time pays off A LOT in the end, so be patient, let everything dry and you'll get some nice paint.

Total construction time = 12 hours (not including paint drying times)

Swords are easy...Now for things I did not know how to make...

Remember that remark about tedious things? I stayed up for a good long while doing my part in the trim. Black strips of ribbon were glued down to a green strip of fabric using liquid stitch. Later it was handed off to Jen to sew down as well. I don't sew. You kidding me?

I just want to make an important note:


I used L200 foam in these pictures, but the final product was just plain craft foam from Michael's, the super thin kind. Turns out the L200 was too thick and didn't look good.

In any case, gold spandex was covered in Weldwood Contact Cement, then this glue was also applied to the foam. The bond for this is very good, but I highly recommend using the installed brush on the bottle, or if you opt for the big can like I did later on, an acid brush. Spatulas just don't cut it. 

The completed plates were sent to Jen to be sewn to a gold belt. Good thing we didn't wind up using this really thick L200 though, it would have taken her forever to stitch it up.

The completed product with all the silly bishi nonsense that accompanies it. Opted to not use white eyebrows for the photo shoot because it looks AWFUL in pictures. Just believe me on that one. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to drop us a line on Facebook or on the comments!

Don't forget our SUPER GIGANTIC Magi group at ALA 2013!!!