|Chicken? No, no, see, he's a PHOENIX >__>|
Let's start with the helmet, which was probably the most craft intensive part of the costume. I started with a chicken wire base that I molded onto the shape of my head - which is easier said than done. Chicken wire is surprisingly inflexible (or perhaps I am just unaccustomed to using animal enclosure materials), so after wrestling for an hour or two and pulling out far too much hair, I just went ahead and used my head-shaped wig stand. And make sure that you leave a hole in the back of the head- this is necessary for the "hair" that will end up sticking out of the back of it.
|Make sure to tuck in those stray wires..chicken wire cuts hurt|
I used half-gallon milk cartons to stabilize the beak section, and then just masking taped the living daylights out of the whole thing. I used cereal boxes as the weird wrap-around face claws, and stuffed cotton into the open spaces to keep it from falling in on itself. I also did a layer of paper mache, but it quickly became evident that it would not end up being smooth enough. So what did I resort to? My go-to material for everything, stone clay! I also poked four holes in the top to make sure that I had somewhere to stick those floating diamonds. Let it dry, sand the shit out of it, and you've got yourself a giant chicken helmet! Life accomplishments, man.
|Who DOESN'T love shitty quality bathroom mirror pics - This is post paper mache, pre stone clay.|
The floating diamonds (because I really have no better word for the things sticking off the top of his head) are just wire with craft foam glued onto it and painted.
And now for the "hair." Due to its weird-ass gravity-defying anime-tastic shape, I decided to make a giant squiggly thing carved from a two layers of a three-foot roll of black craft foam with wire mod podged in-between the two pieces for malleability and stability. Note to self: make sure the wire is thick and sturdy enough. Thin wire just ends up dragging pathetically behind you, and you want some nice gravity-defying action going on.
|Apply mod podge on the outside for shininess like whoa|
|USE FELT, IT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE MUCH EASIER|
The gloves were equally irritating to make. I ordered shoulder length yellow gloves from WeLoveColors.com - incidentally, the same place I got the matching tights - and I prepared to turn them into claws. So, in a moment of my infinite wisdom, I bought orange fabric dye to color the hand part of the glove. Thing that sounds like a great idea in theory but ends up smelling really dreadful and burning your esophagus: dyeing fabrics. The lines were just drawn on in normal black pen. The claws were easy enough- I just bought long fake fingernails, trimmed them to points and painted them black.
|Why does almost every cosplay I do seem to have claws|
The tail was also made out of two layers of craft foam reinforced with thick wire. Craft foam is your friend...make good use of it.
The pants were fairly simple - I just found some white wide-legged yoga pants online, hand-sewed on some red panels and put elastic into the bottoms so that they would come in at the knees.
As for the tights, I ran out of time to actually paint them properly, and ended up using electrical tape cut into thin strips, which worked to great effect. The downside is that it takes a bit more prep-work every time you want to wear the costume, but it probably looks cleaner in the long run than actually painting them.
And the final product....
|Do I look like a crazy person yet|
And after spending an ungodly amount of time sweating in this heat-absorbing costume, this is how I felt after getting back to the hotel room:
I'll make a separate post for the sword- I think this madness has gone on long enough, as it were. I'll be back with sword construction and photoshoot pictures. Join us next time, on "What the Fuck is That Crazy Person Wearing."
|Minus the whole "being a dude" part|
|Dance, chicken, DANCE|