Introduction: Hinamatsuri Anime Manga Cosplay - Ikura!
What better for Hinamatsuri cosplay than a big bowl of giant ikura and wearable chopsticks?! Here's the defining prop for for one of my favorite comedy anime shows!
Note: This is primarily a resin project, so be prepared for some mess and long waiting times.
Step 1: Supplies
Your favorite resin, mixing cups, stirrers etc.
Resin dyes - orange, yellow, and red, or yellow and red
Sphere resin mold - to make 5-15mm spheres. I used bead molds.
At least one sphere mold with holes.
Coaster mold, if you have. Otherwise, you can work directly in the ikura bowl.
Fishing line, clear strong string
A bowl for the ikura. Preferably clear, but unbreakable. At least a wide as your coaster mold. Glass is fine if you won't be carrying it around a lot. But be careful about plastics - some will melt when you add resin.
3 screw eyes, if you want to make a handle for the bowl.
Something to protect your work surface.
Step 2: The Thing About Ikura
The thing about Ikura is that it is a beautiful jewel-like translucent orange. We're about to replicate that in resin.
Get your resin supplies and dyes. Mix up about 3-4 ounces of resin according to the package directions. If you need more on resin basics, go to the website of the brand you're using. Epoxy resin and polyester resin both work great for this project, but mix up differently.
Add a drop or two of orange or red dye to the resin and mix slowly and well so you don't make bubbles.
Now assess the color. Is it too light? Too yellow? Too red?
Add a drop of yellow if it's too red. Add red if it's too yellow. Add more dye if it's too light.
The color in the cup will look darker than your molded pieces. Check the actual color by lifting your stirring stick and letting the resin drip. When you see a beautiful ikura orange, it's time to make eggs.
Step 3: Make Fish Eggs!
Get out your sphere mold(s). If you don't have a bunch like I do, You'll just need to make eggs in batches as the molds free up. You can always make more.
If your resin cup bends make a pouring spout by pinching an edge. Not necessary, but it makes pouring easier.
Carefully start pouring the resin into one mold at a time, but don't fill all the way yet.
As the resin thickens go back and fill each mold to the top. Ugly tops won't show, so no need to be perfect.
It's better to underfill than overfill.
If you run out of resin, mix another batch and try to match the color, though it doesn't need to be exact.
When all the spheres are full, leave undisturbed to set. At least overnight, often longer.
Step 4: Unmold
The eggs should pop out with no stickiness. If they seem firm, but tacky, leave them alone another day. If you ruin any, save them - they'll have a use later.
After unmolding set all the eggs aside and let them cure a little longer.
This is the time to make additional batches of eggs until you have enough to make a thick layer in your ikura bowl.
I needed a couple of batches.
Step 5: Interlude - About the Bowl
This is what I wish I'd done differently. I used a plastic bowl that didn't hold up well to the resin, so I had to repair it at the end. What I would do next time is coat the inside of the bowl with at least 2 coats of school glue. This is not necessary with glass, silicon, or plastic you know won't dissolve in resin.
You can test your bowl while waiting for the resin to cure.
Step 6: Plan Your Bowl
The coaster mold will help you form the base of a mound of ikura without needing dozens more spheres and extra resin. If you don't have one, you can fill the bowl partway (leave at least a half inch to the top) with orange resin and work directly on that after it sets.
Add eggs to the coaster (or set bowl) to plan how you'll fill the mold (or bowl). Save your most perfect eggs for the top layers.
If any eggs have bead holes, save the nicest 1-3 of these for the chopsticks.
Step 7: What's That Goo Around the Eggs?
To make the ikura realistic, you'll have to make the gooey part as well.
Get your resin supplies back out and mix a batch of orange that's much lighter than the eggs.
Pour about 1/4 inch of resin into the mold (or bowl with already set resin).
Start adding eggs.
Begin with the worst ones and put the unfinished sides down.
Step 8: Layer 1 & Chopsticks
Fill the first layer with eggs. This is the time to use up your defective spheres.
When the resin starts to thicken - time will vary depending on the resin you're using and the temperature - you'll do 2 things:
1: Add the screw eyes to the egg goo. (My photo shows different hardware, but screw eyes are a better choice). If the eye don't stay upright, you can prop them with toothpicks.
Step 9: 2:
2: Dip the ends of the chopsticks in the thickened resin so it looks like they've been in the ikura.
Prop them in a piece of foam or hang the drip over the edge of a table with paper underneath. They will dry like this.
Step 10: Wearing Chopsticks
If you want to keep the chopsticks around your neck, first drill holes in the top and bottom of each chopstick as shown. You'll probably need the smallest drill bit you own.
Step 11: Add Ikura
Grab those perfect eggs with holes and string them on a 1 foot length of fishing line or nylon string
String the line through each chopstick point with the ikura in the middle.
Knot each side. Cut the extra line.
Take a 2 foot piece of line and string it through the top chopstick holes.
Tie one side onto it's stick.
Then decide how you'll wear the chopsticks and adjust the length of the line.
Tie the other side.
Trim the extra line on both sides.
Chopsticks with ikura are ready to go!
Step 12: Back to the Ikura Bowl
When the first layer is cured, decide how big a mound of eggs you want.
You'll need at least one more layer, but after that it's up to you.
Add more eggs to start a new layer.
Step 13: More Goo
Mix a small amount of very light orange resin, only an ounce or two. Pour it over and around the eggs you just added. Make sure the resin touches each egg since this is the glue that holds them in place. Let the resin cure.
After this layer dries, add more eggs and resin if you want. You can be done, or add as many layers as you want.
Cure the resin between each layer.
When you have the pile of ikura you want, let everything cure really well. At least overnight.
Step 14: Unmold
Take the ikura out of your mold.
Trim edges with scissors.
Step 15: The Bowl
Fit the ikura into your bowl.
Mix up some more orange resin and fill in the gaps. This may take more than one pass.
Note: This is when I discovered my bowl didn't like resin.
You can add more eggs if you want - I didn't.
Let the resin cure fully.
Add fishing line to the screw eyes to make a handle and your bowl is ready!
Step 16: Ikura Bowl and Chopsticks
The one thing I wish I'd added, and will add later, is wasabi.
You can make a dollop of wasabi with ball of green polymer clay, air dry clay, or even green tissue paper.
I hope you enjoyed this cosplay tutorial!
Participated in the