Hello again beautiful people!
So this was my first cosplay attempt EVER, Erza Scarlet’s Heart Kreuz Armor from the anime Fairy Tail. And since I got frustrated searching the internet for tutorials and found nothing useful, I promised myself to share my knowledge with everyone if the armor turned out to be a success!
Before we start I just want to point out that this was all a trial and error process, so there may be a few blunders I fixed along the way. I worked using proportions and not by accurate numbers, so you might have to measure things on yourselves using your own scale as a reference. And speaking of scales, I am 1.53m tall, pretty short! So consider that this armor was made according to my tiny size, and you might have to work out the proportions and make a few adjustments to create your own perfect fit.
I hope this step-by-step tutorial will be useful and help you all make a much better armor than mine.
And of course if you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to contact me here or email me at ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and I’ll be more than happy to help you with anything!
((DISCLAIMER: All rights to "Fairy Tail" the anime and the manga go to its creator Hiro Mashima and TV Tokio))
In this part we will go through the making of the: Couters (Elbow pieces).
Materials you will need:
- Butter paper sheets.
- Craft foam sheets size 50x50 cm, preferably white.
- A pair of long black socks.
- Hot glue gun.
- Metallic Silver & Black spray-paint.
- Thick black markers.
- Scissors or cutter.
Step 1: Making the Template
Now this piece of the armor really isn't so difficult to construct and is actually very fun to make, and pretty sustainable as well!
First, you will take your pair of black socks and cut off the part below the ankle. That will give you something similar to a sleeve which we will use to glue our elbow pieces on. You will also keep those parts you cut off, and cut them from the tip where the toes are to make an opening so now you have a tube shaped thing, we will wear this part underneath the longer tube for protection, since we will also be gluing this while wearing it like we did with the gauntlets. Again, if you happen to have a mannequin arm, that's the time to take it out, but if you don't, you can do it this way, its easy and harmless when you take the right safety precautions!
Now after we've cut our socks, it's time to make the template!
Get a small sheet of butter paper and put it on your elbow, and draw a circle or an oval shape around that area. Thicken the outlines and you have your elbow size! Great! Now divide that round shape into thirds by drawing horizontal lines along the longer axis, that should give you 2 horizontal lines across. You will draw mirrored curves along those lines you just drew (which will become the mirror axis) and there! That is your elbow template! Those curves are there to help us create that dome shape for the couters, similar to what we did to arch the shoulder pieces. The elbow template should look somewhat like a deformed flower when it's cut out.
Next, you will need a set of arrows and wings. This will rely solely on your sense of proportion and artistry! So make sure to make them the right size, according to your elbows and arms and the piece itself.
Here's what your templates should look like.
Now you are ready to cut those out, trace them onto your craft foam sheets and get your foam pieces ready!
Remember, you need 2 elbow pads, 4 wings, and 4 arrows.
Step 2: Making the Wings
The wings are really fun to make and take no time at all.
After you have drawn your template, trace it on foam and cut it out, you will have 4 beautiful tiny wings! Easy!
Then, using your black markers, you will color ONLY the thickness of the foam itself. The wings will remain white so DO NOT color them and be careful, if you miss and get black marker on the wing, you will have to make a new one.
And when you're done with those, you will have those lovely pieces! We will set them aside and attach them later after we've constructed the elbow pieces and painted them.
Step 3: Making the Elbow Pieces
Now this is as simple as the last one, you will trace the template on the craft foam and then cut the pieces out. You should have 2 elbow pads and 4 arrows for both arms.
Starting with the round elbow piece, you will simply glue the curves together from the tip, press them lightly until they dry, then still holding them put some hot glue on the inside of that crease, this will make it even more secure. Do the same thing for all curves and you will end up with a beautiful small dome shaped piece! You want to put it on your elbow just to see if it fits right, just cup the elbow. It should be fine if you took the measurements right when you drew the template.
Next, you will glue two arrows, one on each side. The direction of the arrows will be pointing outwards, and perpendicular to the creases in the dome. They shouldn't be in the center of that line connecting the creases, just a little bit away from that to the inside. Also, you only want to glue them from the center to the outside and keep the end of the arrow sticking out without gluing it, because we will stick the wings inside those parts.
After you've finished that, let's move on to painting!!
You can see the final shape in the pictures, I apologize but I got so excited that I painted them quickly afterwards and forgot to take a picture.
Step 4: Paint and Markers
A few important tips for spray painting, keep the object at a distance when you spray it, you don't want it too close otherwise you'll end up with lumpy tear-drop paint that will look terrible. Also, get lots and lots of newspapers to cover the area you'll be painting in, preferably outdoors, since you don't want to inhale all that spray. Don't wear your favorite shirt because there is a big chance you will get dirty, gloves and goggles if it's windy because you will get paint in your eyes if the wind is mean enough!
Also, make sure to test the spray paint out on a small piece of foam just to check if it's safe to use, because some types of paint will just burn through it, and it's also a good idea to test the colors before you actually start to paint the real thing.
The colors I used for the armor are a silver chrome spray paint and a glossy black spray paint, those are the ones on the left and right. the one in the middle is a textured metallic paint which I used for the sword.
So after laying newspapers everywhere, you place your pieces and you spray it from a distance with the silver paint first on one side, wait a bit till it dries and turn it over to the other side and repeat that until you've painted it completely, you can skip painting the inside because it won't show. After you do a coat or two of silver, walk even farther away and spray some black strokes, do NOT color it black.. this will just give the silver paint some darker points and this will give it more definition.
You've already seen this picture in the step before, but just in case you missed it, here is how it looks like after being left to dry.
Now let's move on to markers. Don't let those small pieces fool you, they are just as tough as the biggest piece there is, so you must give them your undivided attention! Start outlining every single line, every single detail on those beautiful couters, fill in the thickness of the foam itself, the edges, everything! It will look drastically different once you are done with it, but be slow and be careful, you cannot afford to make mistakes now because one stray line would be fatal... Black marker is permanent, and you will mess up the paint job if it goes wrong.
And they will look so pretty when you're done! You should feel proud!!
Step 5: Attaching the Wings
After your pieces have dried up completely and you have finished adding the black marker details and outlines, you want to attach the wings to them, and this is so simple!
You simply grab each wing, and stick it between the elbow piece and the end of the arrow which we left hanging there. After you check the fit and decide where exactly you want the wing to sit, put a little bit of hot glue on the back of the arrow and just stick a wing on it.
Now repeat that on both sides for both pieces, and those pieces are finished!! You now have two beautiful couters!! You can see what the finished result should look like in the pictures.
Time to attach them to our sock-sleeves!!
Step 6: Attaching to Sleeves
Before you put on your sock-sleeves, first you must take those safety precautions in order to protect yourself from getting hurt, since hot glue can give you some very nasty burns. So what you need to do to keep your elbows safe is take those pieces we cut off earlier (below the ankle) and make an opening at the toes on both of them so you'd have something that looks like a tube, put one of those into the other and wear them both covering your elbow. After you put them on, take your bandages and wrap them around that area, but don't wrap too much of that around, you don't want your elbow to be the size of a tennis ball. You want just enough bandages to keep the glue away from the bottom two layers and away from your skin. And you can now wear your long sock-sleeves on top of that. Make sure it's the right length and goes up just as high as it should.
Now that you are all geared up, this step is simply taking the elbow piece, put glue inside all the way around the sides and some in the middle and also on the tip of the arrows, and anywhere else you feel is necessary, then just bend your arm into a 90 degree angle and stick those couters right on your elbow. Make sure they are facing the right direction of course. Keep holding it in place for a few minutes until you make sure it's dry and ready. You should be able to move your arm and bend it normally when you are wearing these.
After the first arm is done, take off your sleeve and pull out the bandages if they got glued on the inside. Take off the rest of the layers you put on that arm and transfer them now to the other arm. Repeat the same safety precautions and gluing process until you glue the second elbow piece in place on your second sleeve.
Look at that! You have your finished couters and sleeves! Now wasn't that easy?
Step 7: Finished Result
This is what your couters and sleeves should look like when they are finished.
Those are super easy to put on and take off, and also very comfortable to move in!
Admire your beautiful craftsmanship, you deserve a trophy!
Step 8: Conclusion
I hope you found this tutorial helpful, it was fun for me to make this armor and I hope it would be the same for all the brave souls who attempt it.
But one last piece of advice, hard work pays off. This will be exhausting and time consuming and at times even frustrating. But if you want it to look perfect you have to give it all the effort and time you can possibly afford, and when you see your final result, you will be blown away!
Again, if you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to contact me here or email me at ( email@example.com )
This part of the armor is done, now let's move on to the next one!
Lots of love,