Introduction: Dragon Costume

About: I'm a graphic designer, costume creator, body painter, and ballroom dancer...and not always in that order.

My Halloween costume this year was a dragon, inspired by Ysera in World of Warcraft. I created all the costume pieces, including the prosthetics. This project definitely consumed all my free time for the past 3 months and it took about 6 hours to get myself ready when I wore it. But it was all worth it just so I could be a dragon!

Step 1: Reference and Sketch

I start all my costumes with reference images and sketching. I took most of my inspiration from Ysera, a dragon in World of Warcraft. I highly recommend doing a quick sketch, even if you think you're bad at drawing. It's amazing how much it helps as a reference while you work.

Step 2: Create Custom Prosthetics

This phase took the longest by far! I opted to make flat moulds instead of building this on a face cast. It was definitely easier when it came to moulding, but I had to do a lot of measuring to make sure it would actually fit my face. 

1. Measure your forehead and create a paper stencil for the area of the prosthetic (Or build it on a facecast of yourself). Trace the stencil onto foam board and sculpt your prosthetic. I used Monster Clay for sculpting
2. Create a box around your sculpt.
3. Pour PlatSil 73-25 into your box to make the mould.
4. Remove the mould from the box.
    - Coat the mould with a release agent, like Vaseline.
    - Brush on 2 thin layers of cap plastic, like Super Baldiez  
    - pour in PlatSil Gel-00 silicone rubber - I mixed in some silicone pigment so that my prosthetics would be green.
    - Brush on 2 more thin layers of cap plastic
5. When set, remove the prosthetic from the mould
6. Apply it with ProsAide prosthetic glue. Since this is an encapsulated silicone prosthetic, you can use ProsAide. If the silicone were going directly onto my skin, I'd need to use a silicone glue, like Telesis.

I HIGHLY recommend checking out the videos by BITY Mold Supply, they have great instructions and more specifics on mold-making. Check out BITY on YouTube:

Step 3: Dye and Paint a Body Suit

1. Start with a plain white body suit. Sew on a tail and pockets for the posts of the wings.
2. Dye the body suit with Jacquard Dye-na-flow dye.
3. Paint on scales with Jacquard Lumiere paints.
4. Create scale "plates" for the back and tail out of craft foam
5. Customize it as you please!

Step 4: Create Dragon Wings

1. Cut out dragon wing frame from open-cell polyethylene foam
2. Glue on a layer of sheer fabric.
3. Cover the foam with strips of the same fabric as your body suit. I used hot glue but you could try other kinds.
4. Dye the fabric with Jacquard Dye-na-flow.
5. Coat the wing posts with resin so they are more rigid.
6. Put the wings into the pockets on your back and fly away!

Step 5: Build a Headpiece

1. Create a helmet with Wonderflex thermoplastic. Worbla would also work for this step. Cut horns out of styrofoam and glue onto helmet.
2. Stuff polyfill into the nooks and crannies, then cover it with paper mache. I used paper towel pieces and white school glue for this part.
3. Cover the styrofoam with Worbla thermoplastic.
4. Prime the Worbla with a plastic primer.
5. Paint the headpiece with acrylic paints.
6. Go wear it!

Step 6: Be a Dragon!

I hope you gained some good ideas from this peek at my process!

Halloween Costume Contest

Fourth Prize in the
Halloween Costume Contest