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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: fates

They're Outta Here!

Michael MacWolff

Welcome back everyone! Sorry for the hiatus, but I’m currently smack in between two vending events so I’ve not been doing as much cosplay work to focus on having enough inventory for my shows! However, I have finished two major projects and I have some other stuff in the works and I’d like to share all that with you lovely people.


First up we have the finished suit of armor that I’ve been working on! I’m super happy with how this guy turned out and I can’t wait to see Indi in it cause they’re gonna be such a wonderful Silas!


My second finished project is the Dark Magician staff I’ve been working on for a long-time customer of mine! And yes, the orb on the end does in fact glow!

I’m happy to have my first two commissions under my belt for the year and I look forward to seeing both of my customers’ full cosplays when they’re all put together!

Next on the list I have some minor progress on my current personal project which you’ve already seen some work from. That would be Frog from Chrono Trigger, who I’m hoping to debut at Tekko in April. I already have the head 90% done (I just need to add a few small details like barbels and tympanum). so I started working on a few other bits. Thankfully the pants are just plain pants, but I needed a shirt that looks like his skin so I made one with the leftover fleece from the head so it would match.


I did my best to show off all 3 colors here, since the front is all white and the back is all green.

I’ve also started putting together his breastplate, which I’m making out of 3 different types of foam.


The base is a large peice of EVA foam floor mat, with the weird texture facing the inside. The white bubbles are halves of styrofoam balls, and the rounded edge is part of those foam insulation tubes that you get to insulate pipes and things (you can find them at the hardware store. I also have some heavy-gauge galvanized wire on the inside to help it keep its shape since I don’t plan on putting worbla on the outside of this guy, I’m gonna try doing a plasti-dip coating instead. Unfortunately I can’t really do that until it gets a bit warmer, so this is about as far as that part’s gonna get for a bit.

The last project I’ve started is a new commission from a friend of mine who’s a member of my steampunk group, the Cleveland Zeppelin Union. It’s not actually a steampunk project but it seemed like a good reason to plug our club. Anyway, it’s actually a project I’ve had before, but it’s been quite a few years since I had my first go at it. It’s Isabela’s necklace from Dragon Age 2.


This was my first go at this project, which for reference is from 2014. It certainly doesn’t look terrible, but unfortunately my client wasn’t super happy with the way it fit so I ended up having to redo it. Regardless, I think this definitely shows how far I’ve come over the last 5 years.


Between my familiarity with materials, my greater attention to detail, and just having a better feel for how to use what I have to make something look nice, this is going to be a major improvement over the foam pieces I made in 2014. Beyond that, I’ve been a lot more proactive with looking online to see if and how other cosplayers have made their stuff. Much like with constructing Frog’s head, I managed to find an awesome Isabela cosplayer who had a detailed description of how she made the jewelry (and the rest of her cosplay). So a big shout-out to Azzura on RPF for guiding me on this project!

I obviously still have a good bit of work ahead of me, but I probably won’t be doing much more work on this stuff until after my second event (which is the first weekend on March). I may try to crank out Isabela’s necklace though, so I can get it to my friend sooner rather than later.

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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

WIP Wednesday

Michael MacWolff

Hey everyone, I just wanted to share some photos of the stuff I've been working on lately.


First up is this bad boy, the Silenced SMG from that game everyone's crazy about right now, Fortnite. I cranked this thing out so fast that apparently I haven't posted any of it on here, so you've only seen this stuff if you follow my Instagram


The base materials are wood, MDF, and cardboard. I carved the ammo cartridge/trigger/grip section out of 3 layers of MDF, the large cylinder is a heavy duty mailing tube, and the smaller dowels are from an old wooden broom handle.


Most of the details are craft foam, along with some small dome stickers for the one spot. The sight is a slice of rigid plastic tubing (essentially PVC but transparent... PCV would have worked just as well).


Here's the full build! the details on the side are more MDF, and the part that goes against your shoulder to steady the gun is wood.


Here's the fully painted version! I had fun doing the rust details along the metallic parts. Here's a few extra detailed shots. The paint job was pretty easy since most of it is black. I did do some subtle highlighting with dark grey to make it a bit more interesting though.


With that done, I started a few new projects. First up is a personal project for myself, that I was hoping to do for Matsuri but I ran out of time. 


If you've ever played Nier: Gestalt/Replicant then you'll recognize this as the saucy magic book, Grimoire Weiss. And, if you haven't played it... you should cause it's a great game.

I've been wanting to make one for a while and I finally found a good book to use for a base last time I was out thrifting. The proportions were perfect for the design (although the book is a bit slimmer than Weiss is in the game) and it was a cookbook which seemed all too appropriate (for those of you unfamiliar with Nier, Weiss hates cookbooks and tells you about it several times in-game).

I found a lovely illustration of Weiss's front cover on the Nier Wiki, so I resized it and printed several copies on cardstock. Then, much like I do with my MtG life counters, I used an exacto knife to cut out different layers and then layered them together to get the 3D details.


Once the layers were attached to the book, I spray-shellaced the whole thing so that the cardstock wouldn't get all wrinkly when I went to paint it. I also did a few layers of mod podge before I started the painting process.


This is the state he's currently in. I have to touch up the mid-tone in a few spots where I got a little overzealous with the black, and then I need to add some highlights (and probably touch up the midtones again afterwards. Then once all that's done I can add the metallic coat and sealers. It'll be a bit before I can start working on the back yet...


The other project I started is another commission, the bow pictured here from Steve Universe.


The base is all wood, and it's actually two layers glued together to get the thickness I needed. It might not look like much but I've already sunk a LOT of time into this project, most of it spent sanding these thing into the shape they're currently in. The round sections are bits of mailing tube and the bar that will hold them together is going to be part of a broom handle, so that way they can separate for easier transportation. I still have a whole lot left to do for this but at least it's coming along!


Last up is the most elaborate of anything I'm working on, and you guessed it, it's ANOTHER set of Nohrian armor because FML. I guess the nice thing is that I've not had to make the same set twice? Even though it's all very similar? Maybe that's not actually a good thing? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure after I finish this project I'm going to strike full plate armor sets from my repertoire because they're way too much work.


Here's what we have so far: the torso plates and the bracers. This is all craft foam that will eventually have worbla over it. Hopefully by the end of the day I'll have the pattern figured out fro his shoulder pauldrons because they're a very odd shape that I'm still not entirely sure how to achieve. But I'll get there I'm sure.

That's all for now!