Instructables
Picture of Ryuk Costume
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Everybody's favorite Shinigami.

Ryuk is a death god featured in the manga/anime/live-action-films called Death Note. Have no clue what I'm talking about? It's this guy right here! I based my costume mainly on an image from Takeshi Obata's Blanc et Noir (an art book by the artist of the Death Note manga. See previous link for the particular image I'm talking about).

This costume is made up of a long leather shirt, leather pants, leather boots, a pleather-and-leather belt, leather belt bag, leather notebook, 3 resin rings, 2 bracelets, earring, "arm skull", buckle, belt end, chain connector, pen, belt and notebook cross, shrink-plastic chain, staples and teeth, latex mask, resin eyes, "painted" and styled wig, and a whole lot of feathers. Everything was either made or heavily altered, including the boots.

The leather outfit was made of over 80 pieces of leather patch-worked together. I used an old ill-fitting trenchcoat, bought a few coats from Value Village and was given an old pair of pants from my brother in law. I took them all *completely* apart, so I was left with (mainly) rectangular pieces of leather. Individual pieces were drafted and cut out, given texture with a wood-burning tool and sewn to other pieces. Zippers, grommets, studs and cords adorned the pieces, along with kneepads and a spine (both of which were formed by soaking leather in water and leaving them around light bulbs and an ice cube tray). For the feather epaulettes, I pulled the tips of the feathers through fabric and dabbed a bit of hot glue on them to hold them in place. This feather-adorned fabric was sewing to giant shoulder-pads I had made (that were later sewn onto the shirt). There are over 350 feathers. I lost count.

I made a new head/upper-torso armature to sculpt on. Apparently I can no longer sit still, so when my husband was putting plaster of paris bandages on my back, then front, I kept jerking my head back, so the mold came out a little wonky. It was "good enough" for my purposes, so I cast a wonky copy of myself out of cement. I sculpted Ryuk's head over my armature using sulfur-free oil-based clay. I made a two-piece Ultra Cal 30 mold of the sculpt, then cast a latex positive. The mask was painted with acrylic paints mixed with a latex paint base.  The wig was "painted" black and glued to the mask. The eyes were made by cutting two ping-pong balls in half and pouring resin into the halves. The middle of the eyes were drilled out, then the entire inside of the eyeballs were dremelled down so the pupils would fit inside them. The pupils were from broken sunglasses that I cut and dremelled down to a circle-ish shape. You could see quite clearly out of them - when they didn't fog up. Almost the various accessories (belt parts, rings) were also sculpted out of clay, then cast in either resin or latex. For a complete step-by-step on how I make my latex/resin masks, please take a look at my Terminator and Donnie Darko instructables (for those curious about resin casting) and my Asari Headpiece and Princess Leia Bikini (if you want to know more about latex casting).

This costume would not have been possible without all the Ryuk cosplayers out there; I looked at many-a-photo before I even started mine, and was delighted to see a enthusiastic crowd of people making this costume. On cosplay.com, QueenToast, SuzzyToast and fly_aguilera have some of the best Ryuks I have ever seen. Ryuk could also not have been done without the help of my husband, who helped bandaged me up in plaster-of-paris, and who helped/was *needed* to help get me into costume. Thanks to Marmbo/Clint Hay for some of the photographs. And thanks to my friend Rachel; it took three of us to transport cement back and forth between locations to make my new head armature!


The entire costume took over 2 solid months to make. I'm still recovering.
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DelaneyP8 days ago

What kind of wig did you use? I'm currently in the process of making a Ryuk cosplay and I'm making the mask out of paper mache then just going to paint my neck and chest the same color as the mask.

Tatterhood (author)  DelaneyP8 days ago

This is the wig I got

http://www.maxwigs.com/troll-at6028-widows-peak-by...

I styled it and (gasp) spray painted it black (which worked for Ryuk, but I don't recommend doing that for any other character!)

Jolly Mic12 days ago
Absolutely fantastic work!
sdalle1 month ago

Hi,

How do you mold the latex mask? Do you cast the front and then the back or both at the same time?

Tatterhood (author)  sdalle1 month ago

I made the ultracal mold of the front, then (with the front mold still
on) made the mold of the back. After the pieces have cured, the clay is
cleaned out from the two mold sections, then they are put together. I
then cast the latex mask by pouring slush latex into the mold.

This is amazing!

cakesprite4 months ago

WOW! Amazing! :D

I don't know any words to fully express my envy/coveting of this costume! (and your artistry) :D

Excited squeal maybe? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKK!

rburn5 months ago
hi
Have a question: 'How long did it take you for the cosplay?
Tatterhood (author)  rburn5 months ago

I spent over two months working on it (but not full-time!)

mrowell28 months ago
How much clay / plaster / latex did you need to complete this look?
Tatterhood (author)  mrowell28 months ago
It's a little hard to say, as I buy a lot of my supplies in "bulk", so I'm bad at keeping track of it! For the clay, I'd say I used about 9 pounds of plastercine. For the latex, about a pint.
wusupworld10 months ago
TWO WORDS
DEATH-NOTE RULES
chemicalvamp10 months ago
Best.. Costume.. Ever!
adamyaakov10 months ago
wow that was amazing to read! youre aswome!
pino110 months ago
Marvelous. Amazing job
tzsch10 months ago
This is actually really scary. Awesome work
ktuber11 months ago
Wow...jaw dropping. Apple time.
This is the best Ryuk costume I wil see in all my life TTuTT
It's so perfect and it has all the details.
You should wear it at a con.
nissan071211 months ago
damnit. i must admit. i am so fracking impressed on this DIY costume more than you can imagine. I love the comics and dvds with Ryuk. damn great job. KUDOS indeed. and i hate myself for not being skinny enough for this outfit. hehe
WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
xenor11 months ago
I keep coming back to this one just to admire it again. Best. Costume. Ever.
afcron11 months ago
They should have put YOU in the live-action movies! Lol a lot better than that CG nonsense
bakunin11 months ago
Amazing build!
EET198211 months ago
Very awesome! Nice job!
brightidealita11 months ago
Wow..perfect! The detail and time you must of put in. To do Ryuk, Face Off couldn't even match this. Phenomenal!
mrowell211 months ago
Hey there! Your Ryuk cosplay is nothing less than perfect, it looks SO good. Such dedication and attention to detail is phenomenal. I really hope to make a Ryuk cosplay as well soon and hopefully try to copy some of your methods (but i am a super noob.) I was wondering how long it takes for clay to dry? and if you have to sculpt all in one day? also do you have to use a kiln? but yeah, great cosplay <3
Tatterhood (author)  mrowell211 months ago
The clay doesn't dry - it's sulfur-free oil-based clay aka plasticine! The mask isn't made out of clay, so no kiln needed. I sculpted what I wanted the mask to look like, then made a mold of it, then casted the final mask in latex. Take a look at my other (more in-depth) tutorials to learn more about this process!
XRazorzEdgeX11 months ago
This is absolutely amazing! Ryuk is my favorite from Death Note!! You did great on this costume!(:
elizruge1 year ago
o.m.g. this is AWESOME. I love cosplay though I'm more Viking than anime but...seriously? Ever thought of getting a job in special effects or costume design? This is...well, I just can't say how impressed I am. You are a true artist.
sseagle1 year ago
Wonderful! Are there any pics of the back?
Tatterhood (author)  sseagle1 year ago
I actually did take one fairly recently! It's not the greatest, but it's on here!
sabu.dawdy1 year ago
oh GOD this is an amazing piece of art!
joeey2k1 year ago
nice
dwiley21 year ago
I was curious about how much fabric did you use I'm thinking on making the outfit and I wasn't sure if you had a pattern or just went with it? I don't have the money to have real leather but I'd still like to make it? What material did you use for the shoulder pads to make them so big and poofy?
Tatterhood (author)  dwiley21 year ago
It's hard to say how much fabric I used - I had a leather trenchcoat, two other coats, and a pair of pants that I dismantled and used for 'fabric' the pattern pieces. I probably could have used less than that but I wanted to have big 'whole' pieces so I was selecting the largest pieces of leather.

I made a mockup of both the shirt and pants using Burda 7742 and McCall's M6173. You're supposed to use stretchy material for those patterns, but I used a non-stretch fabric for my mockups, and used less than 4 1/2 yards of fabric for that.

For the shoulder pads...I used shoulder pads! I had all these shoulder pads from old coats so I covered them in black fabric and sewed them under the feathers. I think I used 3 sets.

Hope that helps!
nara961 year ago
This the awesomest costume ever!
I knew you'd win!
Aleator7771 year ago
Glad to see this won! Amazing work. You've earned it.
BreannaC1 year ago
This is absolutely stunning!! Excellent work. What kind of feathers are on the shoulders? And I'm looking forward to reading your latex casting tutorials more thoroughly, I'm excited to make the jump into molding/casting for my next costume. Thanks for sharing!
Tatterhood (author)  BreannaC1 year ago
Lots and lots of black rooster feathers! They were considerably "less poofy" when I first arranged them but after I added some homemade shoulder pads, they really stood out.

(And your phoenix costume is gorgeous!!!)
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