Introduction: Sebastian Michaelis and Grell Sutcliff From Black Butler
About a year ago, my daughter begged me to take her to Rose City Comicon here in Portland. I had never been to one but had always wanted to. We went and she dressed up as RWBY (another instructable on that later). She found a new home in the cosplay community which made me happy to see her so passionate about something so awesome. Now we both share that passion and I'm going to create her outfits and accessories from here on out.
This is my first attempt at doing a complete costume for the both of us and while it was difficult with my limited crafting abilities, I have to say that it was a blast.
She always comes up with the ideas for her costumes, which tend to be anime characters I had never heard of until she showed me who they were. After viewing shows and pictures, I decide whether or not they are appropriate and start to get busy on them.
For Wizard World Comicon this year in Portland, she couldn't decide on either Ciel Phantomhive or Grell Sutcliff for herself, but ultimately decided to go with Grell. I agreed with that choice after watching every episode of Black Butler with her and seeing how cool Grell was. She chose me to go as Sebastian Michaelis which I was cool with because he's just the coolest and his outfit is pretty straight forward.
This is my first instuctable post and I didn't originally intend on making a tutorial so there aren't too many pictures of the process. I've disassembled the chainsaw some so I took pictures after completion to show more steps. During my next cosplay which I will be starting soon, I will be sure to take more pictures during the process. Rose City is coming up again and we are going as characters from one of her favorite video games. Booker Dewitt and Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite.
Here's some mildly informative steps on my Black Butler construction.
Step 1: References
When looking through other tutorials on this site, I noticed most started with references people found to start their build. Glad to see I did the same, since I had never done this before.
Not only did I watch every episode of the show, I tried to find as many detailed images of Grell as I could. Mainly done by the creator Yana Toboso. I try to stay as true to the original as possible. I didn't need a whole lot of pictures of Sebastian since his was pretty straight forward and I wanted to focus more on my daughter looking awesome. Plus the chainsaw is what was going to take me the longest.
Here are some that I found, although a lot were deleted from my computer after completion.
Step 2: Grell and Sebastian Costume Materials
I considered buying the costume on a cosplay site or on Ebay, however after looking at their prices and the materials involved in making it, I decided to have a go at it myself. I'm glad I did because not only was it about a quarter of the price, it was a lot more fun!
1. Kid size black dress pants found at a thriftshop ($3)
2. Kid size black vest and white shirt found at Goodwill ($6 for both)
3. Black boots found at Goodwill ($8)
4. Kid size red trench coat. Again, Goodwill ($10)
5. Red and white stripped bow tie material. Found at Michael's ($3)
6. Black trim and Bow material found at Michael's ($5)
7. Grell glasses. I was going to make my own, however my girlfriend was a manager at Hot Topic at the time and they got some in and bought them for super cheap. Not exactly sure of the price, but with her discount, around $5.
8. Long red wig. This was the most expensive part of the costume and this and the glasses were the only pieces I had no part in altering. Found a cheap wig on Ebay for $15.
1. Black tux I was lucky enough to find at a thrift shop for $20. It was about 3 sizes larger than me, however the coat fit enough that I figured I could attempt an alteration. It came with only the jacket and pants.
2. White dress shirt. This was from my wardrobe. Every man should have at least one white dress shirt.
3. Black tie. Again, every man should have one.
4. Black dress shoes. Should I repeat myself?
5. Gray vest. Sadly, this I didn't have. Goodwill for $5.
6. Silver chain. Got some cool stuff from Michael's for around $6. Which really came in handy at the con. More on that later. I had bought a Black Butler pocket watch from Ebay like the one he uses on the show, but it wasn't going to arrive until after the con so I just bought some chain material and kept the pocket watch after it arrived for my daughter's mini Black Butler collection.
If you don't have any of the clothing in your closet for Sebastian's get up, remember that thrift stores and Goodwill are your friends.
Step 3: Grell's Jacket
This was really easy and straight forward.
Luckily I found a red trench that fit my kid at Goodwill so I just used that and sewed on the black trim and created the bow out of the material specified. It was hard finding the coat, but once I did, it was perfect. I had to teach myself to use a sewing machine since I had never sewed before and it was interesting to say the least.
As you can see from the reference pictures, there's trim along the cuffs, back, and around the waist. as well as around the coat itself
Step 4: Boots
For Grell's shoes, I found a black pair that were the same shape at Goodwill. After making sure they fit the kid, her and I taped them off and painted them the correct colors and then sealed them so the paint wouldn't come off too quickly. I wasn't looking for too much durability since I was only intending these to be used for one day.
However, my daughter ended up wanting to wear them all of the time so I had to seal them a little better in order to make them last a little longer. Simple!
Step 5: Chainsaw Plans
My main concern when starting to build the chainsaw was not making it too big that a 9 year old couldn't carry around Comicon with her all day. All of the rest were done while building. I know they are hard to see, but a lot of the build was from an individual by the name of Tsukilon from cosplaygen.com
His tutorial was very detailed and well done. I've modified the size and some of the materials used to fit more with my limited budget, but his instructions are far more detailed than mine.
Step 6: Chainsaw Materials
I went as cheap as possible. Here's what I used:
1. cardboard box. About 8x12x6
2. 2 sheets of 24x36" red poster board
3. 2 sheets of 24x36" black poster board
4. 2 24x36" sheets of black foam board
(2,3, and 4 all acquired at the dollar store)
5. Hot glue gun
6. Various acrylic paints. Black, Red, Silver, and Gold
7. Drywall screws and screwdriver
8. Miscellaneous other parts I will specify in the building steps
Step 7: Creating the Chainsaw Steps
My apologies again for the rough plans. As you can see though, I started with a basic cardboard box that I thought would work as far as size is concerned. Then I started measuring out all of the individual pieces. Starting with the silver stand looking things. You can make them using a full sheet vs. having it 1x1 all the way around with the feet. It might even be a little sturdier. Those were made with foam board.
Step 8: Chainsaw Sides
The base of the sides are made with poster board. the initial shape was cut to size in comparison to the main box and those were made with 2 pieces for each side. Basically a front and a back. I used 1 inch strips of the same material and color for the middle pieces.
Using reference photos, I used various pieces of colored poster board to create the details. I also used foam board that was cut to make look like vents with black paint behind it. This is on the same side as the big black circle piece that actually sticks out which was used with poster board. All were attached with hot glue.
For the other side, I used poster board to draw and cut out the shapes that were needed for the detail. The black circle does not stick out of the side like the other side of the chainsaw. This side was simply a black circle. The detailed gold pieces and border were drawn out, cut with an exacto knife, and painted.
Step 9: Zee Blade!
The chainsaw blade was actually my favorite part of the build and was what I was looking forward to the most. I used foam board for the big pieces of the blade (not the chainsaw teeth. I cut 2 pieces of the exact same size and dimensions. i made the 2 main pieces long enough to come out about 24" from the main box and go inside the length of the box. So roughly 36" in total depending on the box you use. This was for structural support.
The chainsaw teeth were kind of a tedious task. Using a large piece of poster board, I drew out the teeth in one large piece. Not individually. the length was the same as the main blade and used an exacto to cut all of the teeth out. After painting the teeth, I sandwiched it in between the large blade pieces to make it all one. Then you have your little circle detail made of poster board, but you can paint it on if you want.
When putting the whole blade and main box together, it wasn't very strong. I will show you in the next couple of steps how I fixed that.
Step 10: Chainsaw Handles
For the Top handle, I measured how large I wanted in comparison to the rest of the chainsaw. If you look closely at my rough drawn plans, you can see at the measurements I used. I would recommend measuring it out yourself so that you get the size correct for your build.
The way I made it was I used all foam board, but I wanted it as strong as possible. I don't know how to do woodworking, nor do I have the tools to do so. I figured layering the foam board would suffice. And it actually did for the most part.
I believe I made the whole thing 3 layers thick. That meant measuring out every piece I was going to need, using that as a template and cutting out 2 more. Putting every layer on top of the other was easy with hot glue, but connecting them to the other pieces wasn't working as well as I wanted. I wanted more strength so I used 1 inch nails. If you look at the first picture on this step, you can see where I stuck the nail and that really helped make it sturdier. I also made it piece connect to the other with a notch and hole type system if that's what you call it. This was done by making each piece and then cutting the ends to kind look like this: _|-|_. Then after making a slit in the other piece, they connected kind of like a puzzle. The little white lines you see in some of the pictures are the other pieces fitting into it.
Attaching the top handle to the main box, I used drywall screws diagonally screwed into the box from the handle. I also used hot glue, but it wasn't enough. The screws helped attach it so that it wasn't going to easily slip off of the box.
For the back handle, I was going to fashion a piece that looked exactly like handle on Grell's, however I was starting to run out of time and found a gray plastic handle that I was able to attach to the back of the box with super glue. I also used 1/4" strips of foam board to make it a little more structurally stable and stronger. After fashioning that out and letting it dry overnight, it was pretty solid and my daughter was able to wield it around like she was about to take out some demons. (picture above)
Step 11: Misc. Details
Next to the chainsaw blade on the very front of the set up are some vents that I made using foam board. using 1/4" strips of varying size, I painted and glued them onto a tunnel like shape piece and glued it onto the main box. It looks cool and I saw something to that effect on Grell's scythe.
Also, when connecting the chainsaw blade to the main box, it was moving around too much and wasn't sturdy enough for me. I found some small square wooden dowels laying around and cut 2 holes all the way through the bottom of the box and blade and then stuck the dowels through so that it kept it securely in place. you can see them on the second picture under the chainsaw.
I wanted to have some sort of holding mechanism for my daughter so that she wouldn't have to hold it the whole time we were walking around comicon. I found an old laptop bag and removed the large main over the shoulder strap and the parts that connect it to the bag. I was able to rig it to the box so that she could carry it over her shoulder to make it comfortable for her.
if you look at the Sebastian costume, you can see the silver chain hanging from the jacket. This really came in handy during the con. While we were walking around, a piece of the chainsaw's top handle came off which had the shoulder strap connected to it. My daughter was nearly in tears so I had to think quick. I pulled off that chain and used it to tie it all together and that was enough to secure it to the way it was. Except now it had a killer silver chain on it which looked pretty cool.