Sunday, November 29, 2015

Vermintide photos by Christer Gustafsson

Hi guys! Just wanted to show you a few of the awesome photos that photographer Christer Gustafsson took of our Vermintide cosplays during DreamHack!

More photos to come! :D

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Monokuma (CosPicky wig review)

I was given an opportunity to review a wig from CosPicky, namely their Monokuma wig, and since I'm a HUGE Dangan Ronpa fan I was really excited!

The wig is split in two parts; one black and one white. It's made out of high quality fibers and was very easy to style and arrange due to the wig being so thick and the strands flexible. The wig has adjustable hooks on the inside, making it easier for you to adjust the size to your own head.

I have always been a fan of thick wigs, haha, and this one even has some grey strands in the middle to even out the line between the black and white! I barely had to cut it anything because the style it arrived in already fit my take on the character so well. The "ears" styled themselves pretty much, because all I needed to do was pull my fingers through the wig a couple of times and the shape would still stay. I do reccmmend fixing your wig with hairspray though, just in case! 

I love this makeup and would totally want to cosplay Monokuma on a convention one day with a full group! The wig was a bit big, which is perfect for me since I have very long hair that all needs to fit under the wig cap, haha.

Time for some numbers~

Comfort: 5/5 
(Super comfy and well fitting wig!)

Accuracy to picture on website: 4/5 
(The wig looks a bit longer on the wig head used on CosPicky's website, 
but that's probably because the wig head is smaller than my head!)

Accuracy to character: 5/5
(Well, Monokuma is a bear and doesn't have hair in that sense, but color and 
style-wise it's as accurate as it gets.)

Quality: 5/5
(Soft, flexible fibers and really thick in general. Easy to
style and maintain a hair style on.)

Fit: 4/5
(I just have a very small head, hahaha <3)

All in all I'm very happy with the wig and would definitely recommend everyone considering cosplaying Monokuma to get CosPicky's wig for him! This wig actually made me really hyped for finishing a Monokuma cosplay sometime in the future, but I'll need a group first, haha <3

You can find the wig in CosPicky's store here, and if you use the code Mitternacht Cosplay you'll get 10% off all your big orders.

I also made a makeup tutorial on Monokuma's makeup, you'll find it below! It also has some better shots of the wig as a whole!

Thank you so much for reading, take care <33

Friday, November 20, 2015

Muffet - Undertale

Muffet makeup test!

I was actually dared to do this makeup from someone on instagram, haha. I won't make a full cosplay of Muffet because she's pretty much as far from my preferable characters as they come, being all cutsey and loli like. I'll stick with my monster fish waifu.

Quickly sculpted her eyes in doll clay, painted with black nail polish and varnish. They are attached with pros-aide! It's a shame my makeup looks really white in these pics because I tried SO HARD to mix a good violet and it really turned out nice, but the photos ruined it lol.

I made a video makeup tutorial for this lady as well, it will be up in a few days!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sylvari with Snapdragon Armor - Guild Wars 2

Sylvari Tier 1 - Guild Wars 2
Character: Sylvari (Tier 1 Light cultural Snapdragon armor)
Origin: Guild Wars 2
Year constructed: 2013
Debuted at: NärCon Summer 2013

I've been a huge fan of Guild Wars ever since Prophecies came out. GW was my first ever MMORPG and the one game that shaped my interest in  online gaming. Naturally I was more than thrilled for Guild Wars 2 to come out, and when it did, I fell in love at once with the Sylvari race. I loved their color schemes and their nature-like designs. I also saw this as a good opportunity to try out facial prosthetics for the first time, sculpting, molding and casting. I chose to make my own character with an autumn-themed color scheme in orange and yellow colours.

Metallic robo Sylvari lol
I had decided early on that this would be the costume that debuted me into worbla. And so I picked the hardest part first - the flower cowl/headpiece. What I did first was making a mockup in metallic paper to see how it would fit my head. This way I could try out shapes, different sizes of the leaves and fitting without wasting worbla. So I used my plaster mold of my head and started taping like crazy.

This is a good thing to do if you need to try something out without wanting to waste material. Nowadays I always do mockups for pretty much everything I do.

I am so bugged by the small dent right in the middle
of the forhead though.
After I finished the mockup I started cutting out the leaves in worbla. Now remember, this was my first time using worbla and I quickly found out how hard it was to use lol. I had already decided to use only worbla without foam, and also decided against using any form of coating since I wanted to bring out the natural texture of the worbla. Again, this was my first time experience with worbla, haha. Would probably have made it differently today!

The cowl looked way better in worbla than in paper since it got so much more volume. I also spent a lot of time making it durable, so I could basically fling it around the air and it would still hold together haha. I loved this cowl because it was sooo much comfier than a wig lol.

The weirdest photo I've ever taken ever.

I bought a yellow zentai for the bodysuit which I then airbrushed to give a more muscular and natural look, and it worked our great. I decided against using full body paint because ain't nobody got time fo' dat.

Now, I opted for worbla as material for EVERYTHING in this costume. This was a bad idea I realize now. The hip-armor in the picture was a pain in the butt to shape without a foam core for example. Luckily, I wanted to make the leaf armor look organic, natural and plant like which meant it was okay to have it a bit dented and textured in some places (I kept telling myself lol). The hip guard was help up with elastic bands like a skirt, but it kept sliding down anyways on my slippery zentai haha.

Pretty colors <3

After making all the different parts it was time to paint it all. This was the first time ever I used an airbrush and I totally went overboard with it, haha, but I loved the color combinations so much!

The base layer was spray painted with regular spray cans (I use Molotow spray paint which is usually meant for graffitti painters, which makes it super durable and sturdy). I used shades of red and yellow for this. For the second layer I went over it with airbrush paint in yellow, red, orange, sienna, ockra and other shades. For the final touch I used acrylics to make details such as the veins on the flowers stand out. I chose to make the veins on the red leaves on the cowl cartoony to make it look more artificial in contrast to the rest of the armor.

Completely destroyed my dad's lawn while
painting this monse

Now, I had chosen to make the "bra" and the shoulder pads 100% worbla. This was a bad idea. The shoulder joints were so stiff they kept breaking every time a did a big movement with my shoulders. Had I used a softer material like fabric for the joint this wouldn't be a problem.

Also the bra was pretty uncomfortable being only made out of worbla, and since it was held together with velcro it would also open itself whenever I bent my back. Lesson learned; worbla is not always great for everything.

I can't seem to find a picture of my bracers, but I can tell the same about them; having the loop holes for my fingers and wrist guards made out of worbla was really uncomfortable and left scars and marks on my wrists. I learned a lot about worbla with this costume - how to use it and also when NOT to use it.

Not getting into Face Off with those edges.

Now the facial prosthetic I made was the first one I ever made, so I made it very simple for myself. It's only a half mask - once piece - that covers my nose, eyebrows and forehead. Looking back at it, I could have made it so much more detailed haha, but I was a newbie and wanted to play it safe. The edges were horribly thick and I had to incorperate lines and dots into the design just to hide them.

I used latex to cast them and prosaide to attach them. Once again, today I would have made this prosthetic very differently - I would have made several pieces to cover my whole face and not just a mask, and I would definitely have made a more complementing design lol.

Loving the hair net.

The picture to the right is the same prosthetic but with different makeup (you can see it has the same sharp eyebrows, forhead folds and lines under the eyes.

I was so unsatisfied with the first prosthetic I simply had to remakeup it, haha. I skipped the green paint because there is NO green on the rest of her costume. I also bought a gold eyeliner for highlighter, which made it a lot better. The yellow contacts added a lot to the design as well. I really like the butterfly-like design the second mask had!

Lesson learned; less is more when it comes to facial beauty prosthetics.
However I was too scared to glue the edges around the eyes because of the prosaide so it looked really crappy and unrealistic hahaha.
Plot twist; I was just being lazy.

In the end after wearing the costume three times, I just opted for regular makeup instead of the prosthetic. I was so unhappy with the quality of the mask and the rough edges, I just said screw it. This facepaint took about twenty minutes to apply - half time time the prosthetic took - and was way waaaay more comfortable.

As you can see it's way simpler than the prosthetic makeup, but I opted for comfort this time, not looks :P

Aaah look it's my old room before I moved out <3

This is the final progress photo of the costume before the con. The fabric part (the skirt in between the armor) was fake leather with a leaf texture that I found on sale, haha. It was first spray painted and then airbrushed in orange, red, yellow and gold.

After seeing this picture I can honestly say I don't know why I made the fabric flaps hang straight down, when in the reference it clearly has a lot of shape and defies gravity a little. Maybe I just didn't see it, or I was lazy or out of time. As stated before, there are many things I would remake today :P

Quick word about my bow and arrow; they are both made out of tree branches from the forest next to my back yard, haha. I picked fresh sticks so they wouldn't rot or stiffen too much before the con. Naturally I had to wait with the bow until last so the sticks would last longer. Making a bow out of real branches is nothing I recommend, hahaha, but I was short on time and thought it was a great idea. The bow was adorned with fake flowers and leaves from IKEA :D

This was a learning cosplay for me. It was the first time I used worbla, prosthetics and airbrushing. I was not as satisfied with it as I should have been, and looking back at it I see I could have made so many things differently! But I learned a lot and that's what counts. It was also fun to make it as a duo cosplay with my bf. However, it was with this costume I realized how much I dislike making just armor sets and not actualy characters. My sylvari had little to no personality and it was pretty boring to portray her since I didn't know any good poses or anything.

But as stated; this was a learning costume and I had tons of fun wearing it. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color scheme, I felt like a little bolt of sunlight walking around at the con, haha. 

Click for larger versions!

Portrait shot of the costume.

Me and my boyfriend in a hallway shot!

The best full body shot I have of the costume. Actually kinda like the look of it here!

On stage with my boyfriend during the contest!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Photo editing

Let's talk about photo editing!

I love playing around with different lights and hues in my photos. I mainly use Lightroom for photo editing.

However, I have a very strict rule for myself that I can never change things in photoshop that I wouldn't be able to change in real life. Sure, I'm okay with filling in a bit of smudged eyeliner in PS, or fixing some stray wig hair strands, or playing around with light settings - because it's something I could've done for real and then taken a new photo of, it's simply time saving.

But I wouldn't be able to change anything about my physical appearence in photoshop. I know the view on this is very different from cosplayer to cosplayer (and photographer to photographer), but this is just something personal. I feel like in a hobby where everything is fake, glitter and illusions, I have to at least be true enough to myself to trust my own appearence. It's also a confidence thing, haha. My confidence is surprisingly low, so this is a step to perhaps building it up a bit Smiley smile

What's you opinion on photo editing? Where do you draw your line?