Hi! I'm going to Anime Expo this weekend and I wanted to cosplay as an Android from my current favorite game, Detroit: Become Human. It's one of the simplest cosplays to make... or so I thought. You see, I tinker with stuff here and there, but when it came to making literally the one thing I needed in order to start AND complete this cosplay, I thought I was going to have to learn how to code and work an Arduino... but my lazy self found an even better way. I didn't need a 3D printer or any real coding knowledge. Just some stuff I had lying around at home and one order put in. This "external feedback biocomponent" is thin, easy to make, cheap to make, and takes little to no skill. This one can't change color, but it does blink! YOU CAN DO THIS I BELIEVE IN YOU. Anyways, onto how I made it!
First, I ordered the 3in. Circle EL Panel in Light Blue with no backing and a AA battery pack/inverter (I advise purchasing at least two panels just so you have a back up in case of mistakes) and a splitter (only to extend the cord so it reaches my high-waisted pants) from EL Wire Craft. I also went ahead and purchased some Spirit Gum so I can later stick the finished piece to my temple since eyelash glue is unreliable when it comes to a sweaty area like that. Optional items include the fabric medical tape I used for the center dot since you can just use tape... though the texture of the medical tape helps sell the illusion that it's a hole and not just a sticker ya know? Grab some acrylic paint, a pair of scissors, and clear nail polish and you're set to get started!
CHECK THAT YOUR EL PANELS WORK FIRST BEFORE YOU PROCEED. Don't wanna get all the way through just to find out you have a dud.
Step 1: Cutting the EL Panel
The 3in. circle is too large for the size we're going for so we need to cut the EL panel. You have to leave a little tab with a bit of that gray edging otherwise your EL panel won't work! And make sure the panel is unplugged while doing this! I cut out a circle from a post-it note that looked proportional to the size of the LED's in the game, placed that on top of the panel, and caaarefully began cutting out the circle with a sharp pair of scissors. TAKE YOUR TIME AND DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE A LITTLE TAB WITH THE GRAY EDGE. In the photos I have my little tab painted over with a skin tone so it blended easier. All trimmed up into a pretty circle? Great! Check that your EL panel still works by plugging it in really quick. If it doesn't, then that's why we bought multiples! Try again! If it does, then fantastic! Next step!
Step 2: Center Skintone Circle and the Little Division Lines
Now is when we make the little "hole". I just used some washi tape I had lying around and layered it up about 3-4 times just to make sure it was opaque. I then added the final layer of medical tape on top just to help sell the look of a "hole". You should have one side sticky and the other side covered with the medical tape. Cut out a smaller circle from this, one that fits nicely so it looks like the hole in the center of the indicators. Another lil circle! Fantastic! I stuck it down temporarily to a cap of a water bottle and painted it with some acrylic paint so it matched my skin tone. Make sure to get the edges but leave the sticky side alone! Let that dry while we move on to the next step.
For the little dividers(?) within the LED itself, I just used some diluted acrylic paint and a small paint brush. You want these to be faint and somewhat transparent since it's gotta look like the biocomponent is within your head. Just two lines, no big deal. Let that dry for a minute as well and then move on.
Step 3: Sealing the EL Panel
In order to not zap yourself while this is on your temple (I did and it didn't kill me just... not pleasant.), seal up all of the EL panel, especially the cut edges, with clear nail polish. I even stuck down the tape connecting my panel to the cord so it sat flush and flat. I did several coats just in case, but try not to make them too thick. Again, we want this to be thin so it meshes as well as possible with our skin. Let that dry again and fully and then we're almost done, I swear!
Step 4: Final Steps!
You can stick the little skin dot (ew) onto the center of the EL panel now. Plug everything in, keeping the whole unit OFF, and mark out along the cord where your hairline starts. I have short hair so I painted part of the cord my skin tone and part of it black to match my hair, but if you have longer hair you might be able to get away with just the black cord. Don't forget to paint that little tab on the panel so it blends! LAST PART!
Connect everything together and use whatever adhesive you chose to stick the EL panel to your RIGHT temple (I stuck it to my left by accident. Do as I say, not as I do). I used Spirit Gum for a nice strong bond. Run the cord behind your ear and down your back. I plan on wearing a heavy-ish jacket so most of the cord will be covered. Once you're all hooked up, turn it on and check your beautiful android self out! You've done it! You've turned Detroit: Become Human into Detroit: Become Android! Have fun being your badass deviant self wherever you may go~
[Please send me pictures if you do end up making this! My Instagram is @_nietzstar and my Twitter is @nietzstar.]
Step 5: BONUS: Video of the Light Functions
This is what the battery pack that you get with the panel from EL Wire Crafts can do. My hand that I have on my hip is the one pressing the button. Amazon also has compatible ones that can be sound sensitive, though to be honest I like it with just the still constant light on. Thanks for reading and good luck!