Cosplay resources for South Africans

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We love videogames. A lot. That includes a love of the fringes of videogames and their surrounding culture – so we’ve got a soft spot for game related toys and of course, cosplay. It’s probably worth noting that our own Darryn’s nearly completed life-goal is to assemble a true-to life, authentic Batman suit. We’re not going to judge him though – and rather embrace his kookiness. In that spirit, after the jump you’ll find KomboKitten’sCostuming Resources for South Africans – Part 1” in its entirety; reposted here with permission. It’s a handy guide to making your own nifty costumes.

From KomboKitten:

Hi there! This one is for national citizens interested in cosplay, especially those who want to try their hand at making their own costumes (or part/s thereof).
This post will only include a few local resources I know of and some explanations surrounding those items. Unfortunately it won’t include any sewing related information at this point. I may do a decent sewing related write up in the future.
So let’s get down to the information!

CRAFT FOAM
This is not something you can simply pick up at a supermarket. It may be possible in some cases but craft foam is generally quite rare locally. There are a few places like some craft stores, some fabric stores or even manufacturers that may stock craft foam for sale to the public.
So far I personally only know of 1 fabric store close to my house in Cape Town that stocks the thinner sheets in both the sizes A4 and A3.
So, as mentioned above, you get thinner sheets of craft foam. 

Thicker sheets are also available. Craft foam is easy to cut with a pair of scissors, even the thicker version.

I won’t leave you without some awesome examples of what can be done with craft foam. View the following 2 links to see amazing work done using this handy material!
Craft Foam Construction Link 1
Craft Foam Construction Link 2

Here we have a local example where my friend Naughty_Neko cosplayed a Diablo 3 Demon Hunter ensemble she created herself including the use of craft foam as the main parts of her armor.


 
The very first time I tried my had at using craft foam for armor and detail on a costume was on my Diablo 3 Wizard.


I used craft foam as integral parts of my hair accessory, shoulder piece, gauntlet, details on my belt and of course my staff prop.


The above information should give you a nice idea of what is possible with craft foam. It can be expensive in packs but you can pay less if you are able to buy the sheets separately.

GLUE GUN
I picked a mini glue gun up for myself from Brights Hardware and it cost me like R35. They also sell mini glue sticks for R15 a packet of like 10 sticks.
The bigger guns are more expensive obviously (and use their respective bigger glue sticks), but for costuming and the other crafts I make the mini glue gun does the job.
For those who may not be familiar with this tool, below is an example in the image.

Hot glue sticks to most things and works very very well except on smooth surfaces like pleather or vinyl. When applied to porous materials, this allows the glue to seep into holes and cracks, gaining a firm physical grip on the material. For this reason, hot glue is most effective at bonding woven fabrics, such as fur. The glue permeates the weave of the fibers, ensuring a very secure bond.
When working with hot glue, be sure to set the gun upright over a dropcloth or newspaper. Glue guns slowly drip glue from their tips when not in use. If you want to go top-notch on workspace setup, they make special flexible mats which are impervious to hot glue. These are endlessly reusable and quite handy.

It is a must have for any aspiring costumer. It can be messy to work with those so one needs to make sure you use it with patience and focus so that your work does not end up looking tacky. The lines you see on the armor below were made using hot glue from a glue gun. 


FOAM CLAY
There are some different names for this clay and it comes in different brands. I will be sharing one brand below but I know that the Bostik brand also makes a similar clay.
The reason why I call it foam clay is because it is very light, soft, squishy and it can bounce once dried.  Here is an image of the packet of clay I am referring to. iClay by the AMOS brand.

You can create all kinds of trinkets, armor detail or other costume details with this handy clay. What is also nice about it is the fact that it can be glued (with either hot or a strong cold glue – depending on what you are gluing it to) to other costume/craft pieces.

Here is the list of benefits available on the back of this packet:

  • Soft and light-weight, even after drying. 
  • Nice color mixing and available in different colors. (So just like paint this clay can be mixed with other colors to form new shades) 
  • No cracking after drying. 
  • Air dry. 
  • Bright colors. 
  • Clean handling. 

Before the clay is completely dry you can remodel it by moistening it with water. (This won’t work if the clay has completely dried though, which takes a few hours)
Here is the warning list also displayed on the back:

  • Do not need to bake in the oven to dry. 
  • Keep your unused clay in air-tight tubs when not using. 
  • Keep your works away from open flame. 
  • Store in a cool and dry condition. 
  • If swallowed, just wash your mouth out and brush your teeth. (yay – not toxic!)

Oh one more awesome thing about this clay is the fact that it costs only R23.95 at P&A (should the branch stock it). The prices may differ at other stores but overall it is affordable enough!

Any of the above materials can be covered in paint. Metallic paint is great for helping to create a metal illusion. 

That is it for now! I am glad to have unloaded this information because I am sure more will follow as I learn about more materials that are of use to South African citizens interested in costuming/cosplay.
Following global instructions won’t always work out so well because we don’t have access to all the materials out there, especially when one wants/has to work cost effectively.

I hope you found this informative or useful!

Thanks for your readership! ? Go well and safe!

Reposted from KomboKitten Online.

Last Updated: July 10, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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