Thanks for taking the time to read my instructable, and I hope you vote for me too!
While intended as a con costume, Midna this would be great for Halloween also. She really is kinda creepy looking.
I used reflective tape to make my glow lines - I don't have many in-progress photos because I hadn't planned on making an Instructable, but I can have a list of materials, approximate costs, and how long it took me. I can also answer any questions you might have - I am always happy to share!
This project was time consuming, but not that hard to do. It requires surface prep, storage space, hot glue and patience.
I've described the following steps as best as I can without progress shots, please ask questions if you have any!!
Step 1: The Bodysuit
-Zentai Suit from ebay
-Paint, there are some options here
-Dress form, if possible, if not, a few sheets of cardboard folded up can work
The Suit -
This was the one place I cheated. I bought a zentai suit off ebay in white. Midna is actually very pale blue - I used this statue here for some referenceshttp://: http://www.first4figures.com/component/option,com_myphp/Itemid,3/product,82/ - luckly, my friend also owns this statue and got me several very good close ups of Midna.
I dyed the suit overall a very pale shade of light blue using poly idye. This stuff can be tricky, and dying polyester usually takes a little bit of time. Read the directions carefully. RIT dyes would probably also work.
7 pots of black fabric ink - heat-setting and opaque, but not thick. If I redo the suit, I may just go with regular fabric paint, but I wanted the body suit to look dyed rather than having a thicker paint layer. I found mine at Jerry's Art-O-Rama for about $3 a pot.
300 inches of reflective bike tape in blue. I started with three packs of this -http://http://www.amazon.com/Lightweights-Reflector-Tape-Deep-100-Inch/dp/B003Z7YJI4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1381069338&sr=8-2&keywords=light+weights+tape+blue and it wasn't quite enough,, so I bought some extra sheets on ebay
The prep work for the suit involved me removing the dress form from the stand, wrapping the whole thing in plastic wrap, and then sliding the suit onto the dress form. It made it easier to figure out how to make the lines, and easier to actually paint. Let the suit dry on the dress form, and you can heat set it on the dress form as well.
Stay flow fabric gel stuff - I can't recall the exact name of it, but it's easy to find in art stores. It makes for clean lines where your black edges stop and will prevent bleeding, You paint it on first roughly where you think the edges will be, then allow to dry. It will be invisible once it dries, so you need to mark where your lines will be first, either in chalk, soft pencil or something else that will wash out later.
Once you paint your bodysuit with black, it MUST be heat set, or when you wash it, i'll just all just flow right out again. I do my heat setting with a heat gun set to low, and waving it back and forth gently. I figured out how long it would take by using a scrap bit of material from the hood of the suit, since I wasn't using it. The hood also was great for dye testing. I only wash the suit gently with a wet/damp cloth and rub it carefully. Zentai suits can come in very thin, and can damage easily.
I had to apply the tape with both hot glue and super glue. In the end, the best thing was a super strong spray adhesive - spray into a separate disposable dish, then apply to the underside of the tape with a q-tip. the tape is sticky, but does not set perfectly. I had to glue down a number of edges and corners after applying. Use chalk to trace where your lines will go before applying, once the tape is down, even if the edges turn up, it will not come up without damaging the suit.
Later, I added bits of worbla covered in leather and fabric to make the spikes on my arms. The collar should also have curled spikes, but I don't really have room for them
My suit cost: around $200. Same thing can be done with a $30 zentai suit and thicker, black fabric paint - or a black zentai suit and paint over in white instead - you will use less paint this way. Instead of reflective tape, simply use blue fabric paint and heat set. Chalk your lines first, if you can, it works better to do it with a friend's help - you pretty much have to be wearing the suit while applying the tape/paint because of stretchiness.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When using the heat gun, you CAN burn the lycra/spandex material of the bodysuit. If you use a heat gun to heat set/dry the paint/ink/whatever, you must use the lowest setting and be very very gentle. Do not let the gun point at any one spot for any length of time, and do not get the business end of the gun too close to the fabric - 2 inches away is plenty close enough. When it's 'done', the fabric will be hot to the touch, but not finger burning. The FIRST indication you get that you are too close/too hot, is that the fabric will visibly flatten, and then it will turn brown and burn. I tried it out on a scrap of hood to see what it would take to ruin it, and it can happen very very fast. After the test scrap, I had no problems heat setting the whole suit.
You can also use the heat gun to dry the ink/paint, and this will further help keep clean lines.
Step 2: The Helmet!
This is where I got sneaky.
I use the papercraft download, blew up the helmet images to be 24" wide and printed them out. Then I cut to shape, taped the pieces together and used them as the template for my foam.
-Fatigue floor foam - http://www.amazon.com/We-Sell-Mats-Interlocking-Anti-Fatigue/dp/B001EJPGG4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381070190&sr=8-1&keywords=fatigue+floor+foam
you can get a set of 4 of these from Harbor Freight for about $10. I used 2 sets, I think.
-20 large sticks of hot glue $15
-Heat gun $20
-Soldering Iron $5
-X-acto knives (around 3 blades)
-Model Magic - http://www.amazon.com/Crayola-Model-Magic-Mylar-Pouch/dp/B00000J0SM/ref=pd_sim_t_2 - I think i used three 4 oz packs. - around $9-$12 at Michaels
-Floral craft wire, foam - http://www.amazon.com/Luster-Leaf-Rapiclip-Foam-835/dp/B0026WGDYW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381087602&sr=8-1&keywords=foam+wire - one pack of this was more than enough. I had lots leftover.
-4 tones of grey spray paint, any type, really, but I used indoor/outdoor matte and metallic
-Silver metallic flake paint, or Silver Rub n' Buff would work too $4
-2/4 sheets of standard craft foam, color doesn't matter. .50 cents
-Black acrylic paint $3
-Mod Podge, matte $8
-Sealer/clear coat - $8
-High temp hot glue gun $15
The helmet is in 3 pieces - the front, slightly curved front piece - 3 layers thick, the bottom half of the crown, 2 layers thick, and the top half of the crown, another 3 layers thick.
I taped the blown up prints to the foam and cut them out, one layer at a time, making the bottom two slightly bigger than the front, since I knew curving it slightly would make for some distortion. Using the very hot glue gun, I quickly put down a base layer of steaming hot glue and pressed the middle layer of foam onto the first one. Because the high heat gun is so much hotter, it will stay liquid longer, and give you time to hold it in a curved shape. After a few minutes, it will form up and hold it's shape. It's only a very slight curve, remember.
Add the third in the same way, then cut off the excess material. Add more glue to the seams and use small clamps as you go, if desired. They aren't necessary, but they can help you work faster.
The crown I build oversized, so the inside is filled with foam padding. If you want something smaller, I would cut the main front printed out piece down to 18" and size down the crown accordingly.
Clamps will be more of a help for the round crown, as well as a large form such as a very thick pipe, to get it circular. you will have to work in stages, wrapping the cut pieces around the previous piece and holding in place while it cools. Fill cracks with more hot glue. If you have any particularly wide cracks, cut a small piece of craft foam and use that to bridge it. On both pieces of the crown, I staggered where the seaming occurred to give a better balance. I cut 2 pieces of foam the same, then cut my printout in half and retaped the previous ends together. The middle piece of foam seams in the front, while the outer pieces seam in the back. This whole assembly process make take a couple of days.
I kept the large print out as a template of where the lines go. Using a hot soldering iron or wood burning tool, I punched shallow holes where the lines go, then removed the printout and connected the lines. USE VENTILATION. AND A MASK.
The thick 'wires' are foam floral wire - it's thicker than the plain green regular wires, and covered in a tube of perfectly circular foam. This stuff will melt when exposed to high heat hot glue, so you can use regular hot glue to attach. The 'snakes' were made with model magic and allowed to dry. The giant 'eye' was made the same way. There are spirals of gently ascending craft foam built on more hot glue on the sides of the lower crown. Some of this part is guess work since the original game model doesn't have all that much dimension, but I knew I wanted it to have more than painted lines.
To save time and money, you are welcome to simply paint the lines rather than construct or melt them.
I started with an overall base layer of black acrylic paint, then dark grey, then random light gray, sprayed from a distance to add to the metallic effect. The snakes I used silver flake on, because they do stand out in graphics, along with the eye in front, and the eye in back.
Before painting, I dug the soldering iron into the bottom of the helmet in a few places to make the broken cracks.
After that, i dry brushed some extra silver flake paint here and there. and painted the burned lines in black. The inside is painted in black, as are some of the other edges around the raised craft foam, around the eyes, and under the rim.
The top 'bumps' of the crown aren't actually supposed to show above the top edge of the front piece, but I wasn't going to cut it apart by the time I realized it wasn't quite right.
Step 3: Last But Not Least
I absolutely wanted to have a giant helmet to make me look 'smaller' in proportion. That required giant hair. And probably the least expensive part of the whole thing.
I used around 2 yards of gold/yellow fleece and sprayed with a mixture of orange ink and rubbing alcohol to make a faded gradient. Then I stitched two large pieces together to make the main pony tail, then used the rest in layers that I hotglued on. The ponytail is lightly stuffed with poly fill
As a final touch, I want to stuff a cord of white LED's in there so it'll glow, but that will add weight to the final piece, and I'm not sure I want to do that yet. But I might.
The final helmet weighs around 4 lbs. It's actually not that bad.
Under the suit I wear a white body stocking and spanx. I have one red contact in, one fang, and use Ben Nye for my face, takes about 20 minutes to apply. Midna wears no other makeup, so that makes it easier - no lipstick, just paint over your lips and lower half of your face with the Ben Nye.
I made the ears out of leather and anchored them to the top inside edge of the crown, but they don't always stand up, so I'll probably remake them with interfacing, and make them a hair smaller.
Step 4: Feet!
Some conventions allow you not to wear shoes, and I prefer not to for Cursed Midna. However, if you'll be walking on the sidewalk or anywhere else that isn't cool linoleum or carpet, I converted 2 pairs of flip flops - I took one each of a black and white set of them, then hot glued on clear plastic straps cut from clear shelf liner. Not really stylish, but they work pretty well.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my Midna!
This costume won Best in Show at ConCarolinas 2013 with the Wolf Link shown below, and my other good friend, Morgan dressed as Telma.
Again, please feel welcome to ask questions - I enjoy helping other cosplayers and costume makers with ideas and techniques!