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Blog

Here's where the magic happens. I'll be posting about all of my experiences and experiments (both failed and successful ones), introducing you to my costumes, sharing fun stories, linking tutorials and useful products, and who knows what else!

 

Filtering by Tag: commission

Lots o' Commissons

Michael MacWolff

As promised, I’m back with all of the awesome prop work I’ve been doing! Since I’m catching up on posting I’m only going to show off the finished products or we’d both be here forever, but if there’s anything here you want a more detailed look into how it was made, let me know and I’ll do a tutorial (-ish) post about it! Dont’ be shy I’m happy to share I’m just lazy lol

First up is this magnificent sword from Final Fantasy XII, the Treaty Blade. When my friend first requested this I was both excited and terrified because this is one of the most intricate designs of anything I’d ever attempted before. But I had a plan, and I stuck to it and this is how it turned out!

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The base of the sword is MDF, mostly for stability, although that made it a little heavier than I would have preferred. The rest is all foam of various thicknesses that’s been layered and/or dremelled to get the detailed layers of the blade. There’s a bit of worbla on the end of the hilt where that flower-ish-shaped piece is, and the gems are all cast resin.

Needless to say this is one of my favorite things I’ve made to date… but then again I feel like I say that all the time lol. But that’s a good thing because it means I’m constantly pushing myself to grow!


Next up is another pair of blades that I was super excited to work on because it’s from an obscure video game that I absolutely love. I’m referring to the sword and dagger wielded by Kalas in Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and Lost Ocean. The bonus is that I’m eventually going to be cosplaying from it myself when we manage to get our group together, and will likely be making some more stuff for other members. For now, though, we have these.

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Like most of my blades, these are primarily MDF, with additional layers of thin plywood on the sword, to add stability without adding much additional weight. Most of the additional layers/details are craft foam, and the extra details on the knife are worbla. Both of them have actual cotton cording wrapped on their handles. It was a pain in the butt to add that detail but it looks really nice.


Next up on the list is a commission that I kinda got a long while ago, though it was in a slightly different form. Originally it was going to be Genny’s heal staff, from Fire Emblem Echoes. It still ended up being a heal staff, but it’s Elise’s now, from Fire Emblem Fates. Both are cool staffs so I was happy to make either one, and am very happy about how it turned out. And yes, it lights up!

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The miracle here is that I managed to find a cardboard tube that was the perfect size and sturdiness to slide a small flashlight into the end of, which is how I made it light like that. I’m not great with electronics so I usually try to use existing lights for this sort of thing rather than wiring anything myself. Unfortunately it does limit what I can do but it makes me feel a lot better about the end product that it’s not going to fall apart or catch fire or anything…

As for materials on this one, the main shaft is a wood dowel, with a cardboard tube at the top. There’s EVA foam around the tube, which was then dremeled to get the gold details around the rod on the end. The “wings” that make up the bulk of the interesting detailing are EVA foam with worbla, and a number of other details were also done with sculpted worbla scraps including the little claw bits around the glowing end, and the gold details on the bottom end of the staff. The glowing part itself is a plastic translucent christmas ornament, and I used blue translucent sheets over the light to give it the fain blue color. This was definitely had a lot more varied materials than some of my other projects but I have the most fun using weird stuff in my props ^_^


My last commission this round is actually two, it’s a pair of staves from NieR that are weilded by Devola and Popola. My friends have had their cosplays done for a while, but more recently asked me to make these for them to complete the look.

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The handles are stained wood, because I wanted to keep the wood grain look. I actually considered buying axe handles to use for it because they were the right shape and size but it was more expensive than cutting it out of a wooden board myself. The staff ends are two layers of EVA foam that have been dremeled into shape, and then covered in worbla. It was rather time consuming to get the shaping done with that large of pieces but it looks nice so it was worth it.

Eventually I should have photos to share of all of these props in use, because this batch was all for folks who I see at conventions on a semi-regular basis. I’ll be sure to share when I have them. And that’s all for now! I’m busy working on a few other commissions, including some Halloween Costumes, large swords, and a few new cosplays for Jordan and myself as Youmacon approaches. I’ll do my best to not leave a 4-month gap this time, but you can always follow me on Instagram for more regular updates @mikeydoescosply.

I'm Not Dead Yet

Michael MacWolff

Welcome back folks! I know you’re all used to my spastic and inconsistent posting at this point so hopefully anyone who wants to see regular stuff from me knows to follow me on Instagram.

So since it’s been two whole months since I posted anything, lets’ dig right into it! First up, I want to share some awesome photos I got of Frog, thanks to my wonderful husband <3

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I’m so stoked with how he came out!! I had a lot of fun wearing hi at Tekko and was recognized by quite a few people. I even met a guy who had the whole cast of Chrono Trigger tattooed on his arm!! I have a few friends who cosplay some of the other characters so I’m looking forward to eventually having some friends to wear this with.

Since Tekko, I’ve been working on a few commissions, along with another new cosplay for myself. My first commission is one that I put together pretty quickly for a friend of mine to take to Acen last weekend. While I’ve played Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2, I’m not overly familiar with the series, but I had a lot of fun making Saix’s Claymore.

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I made this guy out of layers of foamcore, with a wooden broom handle for the core/handle. Here you can see the central layer and the broom handle, along with the patter I used for it.

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Once all the layers were done, I bevelled the whole thing, which took an exceedingly long time, and then coated the exposed foam layers with spackling paste.

Since the bevel spanned multiple layers, I cut them in tiers so that I could sand the foam into an even bevel.

Since the bevel spanned multiple layers, I cut them in tiers so that I could sand the foam into an even bevel.

Here’s the spackling paste gooped along the edges of exposed foam.

Here’s the spackling paste gooped along the edges of exposed foam.

The rest consisted of a few hours of sandeing, several coats of mod podge, and some paint!

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I don’t often have the opportunity to share photos of the full cosplay with my prop commissions, but fortunately for me, I have this wonderful gem from aprinceforflower’s instagram!

Doesn’t Tobi look badass?!!?!

Doesn’t Tobi look badass?!!?!

With that done, I took my opportunity to finish up another commission that I started quite a while back. From Baten Kaitos, the obscure but asewome Gamecube title, I’m making the main protagonist, Kalas’s, weapons.

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This will be my first of several Baten Kaitos projects as several of my friends and I are planning a group for Youma this year, so I’ll have my own new cosplay to work on, as well as some items for at least one other member of our group.

I don’t have as many progress photos of these that I can find, since I’ve been working on them periodically for the past several months.

The base of both blades are MDF, and there are some wood elements for each one as well. I used a dowel that I split up the middle for the knife handle so that it would be round, and I used thin plywood pieces for details on the sword, to help with stability.

The base of both blades are MDF, and there are some wood elements for each one as well. I used a dowel that I split up the middle for the knife handle so that it would be round, and I used thin plywood pieces for details on the sword, to help with stability.

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For the hand guard on the knife, I used a piece of cereal box with worbla covering both sides. I heated up the whole thing and shaped it around a marker to get the curved bit on the end.

For the hand guard on the knife, I used a piece of cereal box with worbla covering both sides. I heated up the whole thing and shaped it around a marker to get the curved bit on the end.

For the rest of the details on the sword, I used layers of craft foam, and some wooden tokens that I got from my orthodontist as a kid XD

For the rest of the details on the sword, I used layers of craft foam, and some wooden tokens that I got from my orthodontist as a kid XD

As per usual, a lot of sanding and mod-podging ensued, until I could paint these suckers!

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And here we have the finished products!

Along with that, I have another finished project, which is something I’ve made twice before already. I’m referring to Isabela’s Jewelry from Dragon Age 2.

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This was the first time I made this, nearly 5 years ago, as one of my first commissions. It was made out of craft foam, model magic, and cereal boxes. This time around, there’s still some craft foam for the base, but most of it is worbla. The buggest improvement was figuring out how o shape it such that it was less neckbrace-y. The improvement is… stammering, to be honest.

This was an incredible thing to see just how far I’ve come. I mean I know I’ve improved a lot since I started taking commissions, but to have a direct comparison like this really shows it.

And that’s all I have for you guys! I’m working on a new cosplay for Matsuricon, as well as a few other commissions, so don’t forget to follow my Instagram for updates as those projects come together. And eventually I should be posting them here too.

Commission Progress (WIP Wednesday)

Michael MacWolff

Welcome back everyone! I know I’m supper sporadic with posting here but I do have some progress updates on the commissions I’ve been working on that I wanted to share!

Let’s start with the projects you’ve already seen the beginnings of:

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Silas’s armor is coming along nicely, though unfortunately I’ve run out of worbla so I can’t make any more sections until that arrives.

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Next up, Opal’s bow is done with construction and I’ve started painting. The gradient painting is a huge pain in the ass but it does look pretty cool.

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Now, on to new projects which I’ve somehow magically gotten further on than the stuff you’ve already seen! I’ve started working on Yuna’s staff from FFX. It’s the staff you traditionally see her with in all of the official artwork.

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For the head, I used 1/4” MDF and thick craft foam to make the little blue details on the gold head. The shaft is a wooden broom handle I got at Home Depot.

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The blade on my scroll saw broke in the middle of trying to cut the staff head out, which was slightly terrifying. Thankfully neither me nor the prop was hurt, I just had to finish cutting it out with my jigsaw instead.

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Here’s the head all painted! Next step is to paint the shaft blue but I haven’t gotten to that yet.


The last new item on my list is Atalanta’s bow from Fate/Apocrypha! I’m making this for a friend of mine and we’ll be cosplaying together at Youmacon.

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Much like Opal’s bow, the base is wood with a section of broom handle as the grip. Despite the overall shape of the bow being a little more intricate, this actually took way less time to put together than the other bow because it didn’t involve two layers of wood together (which took a LOT of sanding to even out) and the weird round spiral bit that also took a lot of time and work to get fit together and looking right.

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The raised details are all made from either craft foam or cereal box… you can probably tell from the photo above which sections are which ;-)
The bits around the grip are covered with worbla scraps that I heated up and mushed together.

With the details done, all there was left to do was paint and add the bowstring. The simple black & gold color scheme is what really made the difference as far as time spent detailing compared to the other bow I’m working on.

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And that’s all the commission work I’ve gotten done recently. I was out of town all last week visiting friends and going to my brother-in-law’s wedding so I was not as productive as usual. This week I’m aiming to get Yuna’s staff and Opal’s bow done so keep an eye on my instagram to see more progress photos! I’ve also been working on my new cosplay for Youmacon which is mostly done at this point, so I’ll be posting again later this week or some time next week with all the photos and construction notes on that!