Hello beautiful people!
So this was my first cosplay attempt EVER, Erza Scarlet’s Heart Kreuz Armor from the anime Fairy Tail. And since I got frustrated searching the internet for tutorials and found nothing useful, I promised myself to share my knowledge with everyone if the armor turned out to be a success!
Before we start I just want to point out that this was all a trial and error process, so there may be a few blunders I fixed along the way. I worked using proportions and not by accurate numbers, so you might have to measure things on yourselves using your own scale as a reference. And speaking of scales, I am 1.53m tall, pretty short! So consider that this armor was made according to my tiny size, and you might have to work out the proportions and make a few adjustments to create your own perfect fit.
I hope this step-by-step tutorial will be useful and help you all make a much better armor than mine.
You can check out my cosplay pictures of this armor here: ( http://smicat.deviantart.com/gallery/45816651 )
And of course if you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to contact me here or email me at ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and I’ll be more than happy to help you with anything!
((DISCLAIMER: All rights to "Fairy Tail" the anime and the manga go to its creator Hiro Mashima and TV Tokio))
In this part we will go through the making of the: Belt.
Materials you will need:
- Butter paper sheets.
- Craft foam sheets size 50x50 cm, preferably white.
- Hot glue gun.
- Brown belt.
- Long brown shoulder strap of an old bag. (Preferably same color as belt) OR you can use another belt, smaller than the first one.
- Metallic Silver & Black spray-paint.
- Thick black markers and paintbrushes.
- Scissors or cutter.
Step 1: The Belt
As the tutorial implies, we need a belt! A brown belt, don't invest in anything expensive since you will be gluing stuff all over it, so you want something that you won't get emotionally attached to. You can use a plain brown belt, but if it had a small print then that's not a problem because it won't show anyway.
This is the belt I used, nothing fancy just a brown belt with some random words printed on it (those aren't showing in this picture). The important thing is the clasp, a simple one, just like Erza's.
Now onto the next step!!
Step 2: A blast from the past
Now if you checked out the chest piece tutorial I made earlier, you should know that there is the bottom layer of the armor, that we should make another one similar to that.
But if you haven't seen that tutorial, I'll go over that again!
The basic shape is just a rectangle that goes around your waist and covers the top of your hips, the bottom of that rectangle is cut into curved shapes.
Now there are 3 curves, one in the center (it's center is on the vertical center line of the armor) and two on the sides, one on each side (their center is on the vertical side line of the armor). The curve in the center is bigger than the two on the sides. So when you look at the front view you should see one big curve between two half curves. Make sure you make the curves identical, and the back view should be identical to the front view, meaning there will be another big curve on the center of the back.
To make it easier for you to figure out the appropriate length of the rectangle and the placement of the curved lines, grab a strip of butter paper, about 15-20cm wide, and wrap it around your waist, covering the top of your hips, then with a pencil or marker, indicate the places where the curves should be, relying on proportions of course, and make out how long it should be, and make a butter paper template out of it. You can cut that out of foam when your template is ready!
This peace will go underneath the belt above the pleated skirt, and will close in a wrap-skirt motion as you close the belt, but you can worry about that after you paint. Here is what this piece should look like after painting.
Step 3: More pieces
We need to make those two pieces that are dangling from Erza's belt. Now this doesn't really need explaining, all you have to do is draw the shape on butter paper, then cut out the template, trace it on foam then cut it out.
I made this in two layers, the first layer is the plain shape, and the second layer is the design drawn on top of it, so it makes kind of a relief there, gives it more definition and a nice 3D effect so it wouldn't look flat.
Now make sure that these are proportional to your size and to the belt size, keep in mind that there will also be 2 straps on each side of each one, so also take that proportion into consideration, you want them all to fit nicely and look relevant, not too big and not too small.
Simple enough? YAY!
After we have all the foam pieces cut out, let's move on to painting!
Step 4: Spray painting tips
So a few important tips for spray painting, keep the object at a distance when you spray it, you don't want it too close otherwise you'll end up with lumpy tear-drop paint that will look terrible. Also, get lots and lots of newspapers to cover the area you'll be painting in, preferably outdoors, since you don't want to inhale all that spray. Don't wear your favorite shirt because there is a big chance you will get dirty, gloves and goggles if it's windy because you will get paint in your eyes if the wind is mean enough!
Also, make sure to test the spray paint out on a small piece of foam just to check if it's safe to use, because some types of paint will just burn through it, and it's also a good idea to test the colors before you actually start to paint the real thing.
The colors I used for the armor are a silver chrome spray paint and a glossy black spray paint, those are the ones on the left and right. the one in the middle is a textured metallic paint which I used for the sword.
So after laying newspapers everywhere, you place the piece on those and you spray it from a distance with the silver paint on one side, you only have to paint one side and no need to paint the other since it will only be on the inside. After you do a coat or two of silver, walk even farther away and spray some black strokes, do NOT color it black.. this will just give the silver paint some darker points and this will give it more definition, try to hit the points where you think should show more shadow like the sides of the curves, where the belt will sit... etc.
The second picture shows a sample of the color on that piece. You can notice the small black dots in the silver and how it shines, it looks beautiful in the sun by the way, sparkles... Edward Cullen armor!
Painting is really fun, and especially when you see that it's all coming along nicely, you start to feel a bit proud!
Step 5: Markers and finishing the side pieces
One thing that separates reality from animation is the outlines. That's my theory on the subject, if you want to make something look cartoon-ish or anime-ish, give it a black outline.
And I swear by black markers. They can instantly make anything, and I mean ANYTHING, look awesome.
So the secret here, is the black outline!
And now that you know the great secret, wield your black markers and start outlining every single line, every single detail on that piece, fill in the thickness of the foam itself, the edges, everything! It will look drastically different once you are done with it, but be slow and be careful, you cannot afford to make mistakes now because one stray line would be fatal... Black marker is permanent, and you will mess up the paint job if it goes wrong.
Check out the pictures and see for yourselves!
After you're done with the markers, put those babies away and grab the long shoulder strap, or you can use a small belt, but I prefer shoulder straps because I find them less rigid than the belt. Cut that into 4 identical strips, and cut the ends into pretty curves, I also painted the thickness of the belt with black markers to give it a more polished look.
Bend those strips into hoop shapes and glue them in place as illustrated in the picture.
A detail I forgot about is the small circles (buttons?) that hold those strips to these two pieces, but you can use thumb tacks (or push pins) and just put those there, they will be only for design purposes and won't have a serious function since the strips will be hot-glued in place.
Now to assemble it all together!
Step 6: Assembling the pieces
This step is very simple!
First, put all the pieces on top of each other and mark the spots where they all should be, you should indicate:
- Location of the belt on the rectangular piece
- Location of side pieces on the rectangular piece
- Location of straps of the side pieces on the belt
Start by hot gluing the side pieces on the belt. Wrap it around you to make sure that it fits you right and the pieces are positioned correctly on your sides.
The way to close that and put it on is by using a wrap-skirt method of closure, to get that right you will have to try it on around you a few times. As shown in the second picture, you will only glue the part behind the clasp of the belt to our little foam skirt, you won't glue the clasp on otherwise you won't be able to close the belt. Also, you won't glue the other end where the adjustment holes are because you also need those to close, you just need to find your perfect fit in order to know where to glue and where not to. As for the wrap skirt part, I left an extra part (to the left of the screen) that will be tucked under the piece as you wrap it around. this should hold it securely in place and shouldn't be problematic when you put it on or off. In fact, the belt is the first piece you put on when you want to wear the full armor, since the belt will go under the chest piece.
After it's all glued together, leave it a bit to dry, make sure all the pieces are secured in place.
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!! Your belt is finished!
Step 7: Try it on
The first thing I did after I finished the belt was try it on with the armor on. It wasn't just because I couldn't contain myself, but because I had to wear them both together and check if it all works out alright and whether I could move comfortably wearing them, luckily it worked!
Try it on with your pleated skirt and boots also, it will give you a feeling that it's all coming together and that the hardest parts are over now! Give yourself a pat on the back and skip twice around the room for doing such a good job!
Step 8: Conclusion
I hope you found this tutorial helpful, it was fun for me to make this armor and I hope it would be the same for all the brave souls who attempt it.
But one last piece of advice, hard work pays off. This will be exhausting and time consuming and at times even frustrating. But if you want it to look perfect you have to give it all the effort and time you can possibly afford, and when you see your final result, you will be blown away!
Again, if you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to contact me here or email me at ( email@example.com )
If you want to check out the pictures for this cosplay you can click on this link right here:
( http://smicat.deviantart.com/gallery/45816651 )
And make sure to check out the other tutorials of all the armor parts!
This part of the armor is done, now let's move on to the next one!
Lots of love,