Introduction: Steampunk Pokemon Cosplay (Raikou)

Hello, other internet users, it's been a while but, I am back with another new tutorial. This time I will be showing you how to make a Steampunk Raikou Cosplay! (or I guess with a few small tweaks it could just be a regular Raikou cosplay.)

For some of you who aren't familiar with Pokemon or just need a quick refresher, (Wait we have how many pokemon now?!) Raikou is one of the 2nd generation Legendary Pokemon which often depicted alongside Entei and Suicune as part of a trio sometimes deemed the Legendary Dogs/Legendary Beasts. This legendary electric pokemon has a yellow cat-like appearance and is shown to have several distinct black markings.

To make a steampunk variation of this pokemon I came up with the idea of creating several mechanical gadgets that not only had some of Raikou obvious marking but, to even take it a step further and give some of the gadgets an almost animal-like design. I also decided to switch out some of Raikou's original colors for more metallic looking ones as, I felt that bright yellow would be a perfect choice for a pokemon but, would not make much sense for a steampunk look. All of which you will see in the next few slides anyway enough of that...On with the Instructable!

Step 1: STEAMPUNK RAIKOU : Supplies

  1. Foam....a lot of it ( I used insulation foam from Joann's as well as some of the craft foam you can find in the children's craft section.)
  2. Leggings (This can be an old or a new pair but, just keep in mind your not getting these back.)
  3. Glue Gun and lots of Glue Sticks
  4. Carving Knife...(This will be for your foam.)
  5. Scissors
  6. Measuring Tape
  7. Pattern paper (You can use old wrapping paper construction paper ect.)
  8. Pens/Pencils
  9. Scotch Tape
  10. Duct Tape
  11. Old shirt (Again, you're not getting this back.)
  12. Paintball Helmet ( Nope, still not getting this back. It has become one with the cosplay now.)
  13. Plasti Dip
  14. Spray Paint (gold or yellow if you want to use the OG colors.)
  15. Acrylic Paint (silver, metallic black, flat black, metallic blue, and gold...or white, black, and light blue for the OG.)
  16. Wires (You can get these from either the hardware store or old electronics.)
  17. Simplicity Pattern 8023
  18. Fabric (either gold, black, and purple ..or yellow, black, and purple.)
  19. Suede Fabric
  20. Utility Belt
  21. Velcro
  22. Bow Tie Clips
  23. Metal Clasp for Cumberbatch
  24. Pants (Either black or yellow)
  25. Fancy White Under Shirt.
  26. Wig
  27. Makeup
  28. Sewing Machine
  29. Stich Ripper
  30. Sewing Pins


So, This is the start of the Boots for my Raikou Cosplay! unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of this step because, well me and technology had some disagreements. (Thanks a lot Terminator!)

Err.. Moving On!

To create my boots, I realized I would first need a base to start building off of which, would give me the basic shape I was looking to accomplish. With that in mind, I undertook an epic Journey....(Ok, ok it was just a quick internet search.) to get some ideas as to where to start. What I found was that the digitigrade legs often used by Fur Suitors(Furies for short) would be a perfect starting off point. If you're like me and you never made digitigrade legs before, fear not there are several Fur Suitors out there who have their own tutorials and youtube video's on the subject. The one I ended up using for my base was a YouTube video by Sparky!.(…) Her how-to video was really easy to follow and I would suggest checking out her other stuff if you are interested in learning more about Fursuits.

After, following the tutorial I adjusted the legs by cutting them off just a little above the knee to create boots. Then having accomplished that I wrapped duct tape around both boots and cut a slit going down from the top of my boots all the way down to about my ankles on the inside of the leg. This new slit will be where the laces for the boots will end up being placed.


Speaking of laces.....

To get started on the laces, I first measured out the slit I cut in the boots earlier. Then, taking those measurements (Its ok if they're a little off adjustments can always be made later.) I cut two strips of brown faux suede fabric roughly 4" wide. Taking each strip individually, I folded it in half and sewed down the length of it. Making the fabric strips half as wide and twice as thick. Then becuase, I was feeling fancy I got some metallic gold paint and dry brushed over each of the fabric strips to give them a little extra detail.

After the paint had finally dried I got my measuring tape out again and took a marking pen (I would suggest non-permanent) using it to make a dot toward the edge of my folded fabric about every inch and half. I then used the marks to tell me where to fasten on my grommets.

Next, I took my newly grommeted fabric and glued each strip down to the inside of either slit on my boots; leaving about an inch of the fabric hanging out. (Once, your fabric has been glued down and is secure it would be an ideal time to fold over and glue down any extra length you have left over.)

Finally, I laced up my boots with some cord I had laying around from some other project and stuffed my boots full of fabric, scraps, foam, and whatever else I had on hand. So, the boots would retain their shape while I worked on them.


To create the black triangle shaped symbols that Raikou has on its legs, I experimented with some construction paper. Drawing and cutting out symbols which, I held up to the boots until I found a size and shape I was happy with.

Once satisfied, I took my pattern and traced it out on a piece of foam making one large triangle for each leg as well as one smaller one.

I then took some wires I bought from the hardware store and started hot gluing them to my foam shapes. (Pro tip: To get rid of any extra globs or strings of dried glue take a hair dryer and melt the glue down so you can remove by wiping off the excess.) When I decided my symbols looked about as good they were going to get, I grabbed some black acrylic paint and.. well... painted. Then, I used my trusty glue gun to adhere the symbols on to the boots recreating Raikou's markings.


At this point, It was now time to come up with a pattern the foam details that will embellish the boots. To do this I once again got some paper and started experimenting with different shapes and sizes. Every once in a while holding up various shapes against my boots and adjusting the pieces as needed. (You can do this by either cutting the shapes down or by taping additional paper on to them.) When I felt I was finished, I used tape to secure the pattern pieces down to my boots. (I found this step really helpful to start with because it allowed me to experiment with different ideas and get a good idea of how everything should fit together.)


After, using my pattern pieces to get a basic idea of where everything should go I decided that the best place to start would be on the toes of my boots. (This is due to the toes being one of the more difficult parts to work on because of all the small pieces involved.) I did this by taking the pattern pieces I made and tracing them out on foam. Which, I then cut out and attached to my boots.

Next, starting from the top of my boots I repeated the process slowly moving all the way back down towards the toes that I had already finished.

Additionally, I went back and added some additional foam embellishments to give my boots a unique look and add a few pieces of foam to the bottom of each boot.

(Pro tip: if you don't like how a section of your pattern pieces turn out you can always rip the foam off and glue new pieces over it.)


To create Raikou's face mask, I ripped the visor off of an old paintball helmet and used it for my base.

Then, I cut out various shapes and started layering them one on top of the other to give the helmet a more 3-dimensional look.

Next, for the Nose, I glued the mustache down first and then used some bits of foam to help create the shape I needed before gluing down the main piece.

Then, I finished it up by adding on the ears as well as a few smaller details to give the mask more character.


When Creating a mechanical arm for my cosplay; I grabbed a long-sleeved shirt and a cheap winter glove which, I sewed together to start my base. Also, because I only need the one sleeve I cut away the majority of the shirt to get rid of all the excess fabric. What I was left with looked like a sleeve with sort of a makeshift sling attached to it.

Then, as I did with my boots earlier, I used several layers of foam padding to slowly build up the muscular shape of the arm. This was accomplished by starting out with long strips of foam that I wrapped around my arm in horizontal bands were the largest muscles would be located. Then, to create a larger muscle I simply layered more foam bands over the top of previous ones. These top bands I naturally made slightly thinner and not as wide to mimic the digitigrade effect I learned earlier. After, I was satisfied with the size of the arm muscles I went back over the arm with thinner pieces of foam and placed them vertically going around my arm and covering the horizontal bands I made smoothing over any harsh edges for later.


After padding my arm I repeated the steps for making the black symbols that I used on the boots and covered my mechanical arm in craft foam to give it an armored look. (Pro Tip: make sure not to completely cover the joints of your arm with armor unless you want to render it immobile.)


Next, to create some straps that I could use as a means of securing the mechanical arm to my shoulder I took some faux sued fabric and cut out four long strips of fabric. On two of the long strips, I cut points into the ends similar to the point you might see on the end of a belt. Then I took those two strips and placed them right sides together. Sewing along the outside edges I fastened the two pieces of fabric together but, made sure to leave one end open for later. Then I repeated this process with the other two strips of fabric.

Once I had finished all my sewing I turned each of my new straps inside out and cut them down to the length that I needed. After which, I cut off the last bit of shirt fabric that was still clinging to my mechanical arm and replaced with the straps using a glue gun. Then finally, I used my glue gun to attach Velcro to the ends of each strap thus making them functional!


Now all my foam pieces have been finished!

(Quick side note if you look at the pic you may notice another foam arm piece attached to Raikou's mask. This was intended to be part of the original tutorial but, after wearing it I realized the piece would need to be removed for practical reasons. Thus, I omitted it from the tutorial to save time and avoid confusion.)


Having finished all the foam construction, it was now time for me to add some paint. To start the process, I taped of anything that I didn't want painted and laid out my foam devices to be painted.

Next to keep the foam from absorbing the paint, I began spraying layers of Plasti Dip to create a nice barrier between my foam and the paint.

Then after everything was as evenly coated as possible, I got some gold spray paint and sprayed layers of paint over the foam the same way I did with the Plasti Dip.

(After each layer of Plasti Dip/paint was applied I let the foam dry for an hour or more.)


After my foam was completely covered with an even coat of gold paint, my dad offered to paint on some additional details. He did this by using a sponge, a small paint brush, and a glass of water to help thin down the paint. Starting at harsh edges and corners he used some black paint to create dark shadows and slowly thinned the paint out as he dragged the shading out towards the flatter surfaces of the armor. This gave the armor a more authentic and mechanical feel.


So after my dad added some shading and details on the foam armor it was time to guessed it more details! I took some metallic paint and colored in Raikou's Face. Then I painted some additional metallic black details on the arm and legs as well. Lastly, to make sure the new details matched the rest of the paint I added some shading over the lighter color details.

Step 15: STEAMPUNK RAIKOU : Utility Belt

Now, what better accessory for a steampunk cosplay is there than a utility belt! Utility Belts are more or less a staple for steampunk wardrobes and they have the added benefit of being able to carry stuff. these can easily be bought online or at a hardware store but, I already had one laying around that I got at a Renfaire the only trouble with it was that it was too small. So, these next few steps will talk about how I remedied that problem. (Feel free to skip over this part if it doesn't interest you.)

Anyway, to adjust the belt to fit an adult instead of a child, I first cut off the end of the belt where the buckle was located and set it aside for later.

Then I grabbed the same faux suede fabric I used to make my arm straps earlier and experimented for a bit to see what would work best. Eventually, I came up with the idea of creating two long straps for either end of the utility belt to make it large enough to fit an adult and attaching them to a centerpiece that would act as a sort of embellishment to the original belt.

To accomplish this, I measured out the three sections and cut two fabric strips for each section I needed. After cutting them all out I then, sewed each pair together with right sides facing in; leaving an opening at one end. Now just like I did with the arm straps earlier, I pulled each section inside out so that the right sides were facing outward. (You may need to hand stitch anywhere the seems came undone after doing this.) Finally, I sewed each section together making one long continuous belt.

At this point, however, I still had some work to do. So, continuing on, I took out my trusty glue gun and glued the original belt over this new piece. Next, I took the two of the leather loops that had been attached to the original belt and strung them on to my new belt extension. Then, I grabbed the buckle I had set aside earlier and attached it to one end of my now much bigger utility belt. This was done by threading the edge of the fabric through the buckle and cutting a small hole for the tongue to poke through. After making sure everything was in place I used my sewing machine to stitch across the fold created by the buckle securing the end down.

For the other end of my belt, I grabbed some of the leftover grommets from the boots and added them on to the belt extension for decoration. (PS. remember to punch some notches in your new belt to make it functional.)

.....And that my friends pretty much finishes up the belt!

Step 16: STEAMPUNK RAIKOU : Outfit

For Raikou's outfit, I had decided on sort of an upper-class inventor sort of look. So, with that in mind, I grabbed an old Renfaire shirt I got at a thrift shop some time ago, some generic black pants, and Simplicity pattern 8023.

While I typically do a lot of altering to the sewing patterns I use, this time I more or less followed the instructions (GASP!) with minimal adjustments.

The things I did end up changing, however, were:

  • I used purple fabric for the back of the vest and gold fabric for the front.
  • I also appliqued some of Raikou's markings on to the front of the vest.
  • When I finished stitching the vest, cummerbund, and bow tie I used a stitch ripper to rough up the fabric a bit. Intentionally creating tears and snags.
  • I took some black eye shadow and dusted over some of the more worn parts to create "grease stains".

Step 17: STEAMPUNK RAIKOU : Makeup

Finally, I ordered an awesome silver-grey wig and attempted to do some makeup, since it wasn't realistic to wear my mask the entire time. For the makeup, I contoured along my jawline and darkened the area above my upper lip to get a more masculine look. Then, I used some brown eye shadow to fill in my eyebrows making them appear thicker. To finish off I took a larger makeup brush and used it to spread black eye shadow all over my face to look like I had dirt and grime from working on machines. Overall it turned out okay but, I admit it wasn't the best.

Step 18: STEAMPUNK RAIKOU : Finished!

Now, that everything was finished it was now time put the costume on make some final adjustments and wear it out! Mostly this meant clipping strings, taking pictures, trying out it how it feels and making note of anything that needs to be changed later. I will say that taking the cosplay to con and wearing it around for a few hours as opposed to simply trying it on at home definitely gave me a lot of insight.


Overall, the costume turned out pretty well and the boots I created were not as hard to walk as I would have thought. However, after wearing the costume around for a bit there are a few things I noticed that might need to be looked over and fixed.

The first major thing I noticed is the foam arm piece with the vacuum hose attached to Raikou's helmet. Despite looking like the costume piece the would be least likely to affect mobility it was actually the most irritating. Wearing it made me feel needlessly bulky and slightly claustrophobic. Not to mention the straps on the device did not do a good enough job securing the piece to my arm. Which is why I immediately removed it and omitted it from this tutorial.

Speaking of Arms, Despite for the most part being satisfied with how my mechanical arm turned out, there are some things I should make note of for next time. For instance, I realized too late that my measurements for the digitigrade arm were a bit off. Causing the mobility in it to be slightly decreased, as the arm joints I created did not line up with my actual arm joints. Also, I noticed some problems when crafting the wrist on my arm as well. The area around my wrist where my mechanical arm joins to my gloved hand started to become really tight as I added foam around it. I was able to minimize this issue as I worked on the arm but, In the future, I would like to find a way to avoid this problem altogether.

Next, though not necessarily related to the build itself I forgot to wear a belt with my the utility belt was largely decorative. Needless to say, this was problematic for a lot of reasons I scrambled to hold my pants ups while not having a very good range of motion, to begin with.

Finally, as problems go I noted to distinct issues with the boots I created. The first being that I really should have added much more foam to the bottom of my boots as I still felt more or less barefoot while wearing them. Given I wasn't really planning to be running around through the wilderness in this cosplay it wasn't really a huge problem but still, it could be improved. Then the second thing that I noticed on the boots is that I need to go back and cover the tops of the boots painted craft foam as well, I noticed that in some of the pictures that got taken at the con you can see the original foam base underneath.

As far as, major fixes go that is about it but, there are some other minor improvements I would like to consider if I decide to keep this cosplay around. Such as enhancing the makeup and possibly even look at adding some sort of special effects. In addition, I may also, look at changing up the coloring in the future and possibly adding more small details that I either didn't have time for or wasn't initially sure about.



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