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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: fire emblem

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.

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.

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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!


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Happy 2019!

Michael MacWolff

Hey everyone, hope you all had a fun and safe time ringing in the new year! Since I still have minimal new projects progress to share (but I will soon, I promise!) I thought I’d take a look back at my 2018 cosplays. This was a big year for me for a couple of reasons, I definitely expanded my horizons this year and I’ve grown a lot as a crafter. 2018 also marked my 10-year cosplay anniversary! That’s right folks, I’ve officially been cosplaying for a whole decade! It’s amazing that you can be doing something for that long and still be learning and growing in your craft.

My first cosplay of the year really highlights that. I’m referring to my favorite member of the Fire Emblem A**hole Archer Squad: Innes.

I really need to do an actual photoshoot in this cosplay because this is the only good photo I have of him where I’m not hunting dinosaurs *facepalm*

I really need to do an actual photoshoot in this cosplay because this is the only good photo I have of him where I’m not hunting dinosaurs *facepalm*

Ohayocon has become kind of a weird convention for me cosplay-wise, because my usual folks who I tend to cosplay with don’t always make many plans for Ohayo, it tends to be our chill con and I’m perfectly happy with that, because it usually means I can work on something personal over the winter that doesn’t rely on anyone else (because we all know how much of a whore I am for cosgroups). Innes was that personal project this year and I have to say, it is probably my most well-made cosplay to date. The amount of time and effort that went into the elaborate applique, the trim that I had to attach entirely by hand, the gold filigree on the belts and breastplate, and of course the construction of Nidhogg, made for a lot of work but I am so pleased with the result. Innes has been a favorite character of mine since playing FE:SS and when he was released in FEH with an even more foppish design I decided it was finally time to make this cosplay a reality. It’s also surprisingly comfy with is great because I can hang out at con in it all day without wanting to die (a sentiment that is not shared with my two other major cosplays from this year).

My second project was a good bit simpler but was also a blast to make and wear: Mordred from Fate/Apocrypha. This cosplay came together kinda last minute when I discovered RiteoftheFrozen was coming up for Colossal and wanted to cosplay Astolfo. Since they don’t live in the area any more I seized my chance to make a good excuse to hang out with them a bunch at the con by making Mordred (who I already kinda wanted to cosplay anyway because a Fate cosplay was way overdue).

RiteoftheFrozen  is the Astolfo we all need in our lives

RiteoftheFrozen is the Astolfo we all need in our lives

The cosplay itself was super simple, and I thrifted everything but the jacket which I had to order online. I even got a prestyled wig because I really don’t enjoy styling wigs and it turned out great! I did have to do some work but I’m gonna do that whenever I can now, assuming I ever pick another character that’s mainstream enough to find one.

The major build for Mordred was of course the sword: Clarent Blodod Arthur. I have a lot of fun making swords, they’re one of my favorite type of prop to make and this one turned out beautifully. I even had the fortune of meeting Erica Lindbeck, who voices Mordred, at Matsuricon later in the year and had her sign the sword! She was super cool and as I was leaving she said Mordred’s opening line from the show and I just about died because I was not at all prepared for it.

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Matsuricon was also a debut for another major cosplay project: Vaida from FE:BS. This was my first attempt at sculpting a breastplate out of EVA foam and it worked out surprisingly well!

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The best part of this was having our huge Blazing Sword Group and getting to work with Cosplay In Black and White, who as you can see take beautiful photos!

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Priscilla:  ollyodd_cosplay  Eliwood:  kobblecosplay  Lloyd:  vmcosplay  Hector: ? Lyn:  dia.dove  Serra:  nekoyasha  Erk:  kazeninja  Florina:  mecchan_chan  Nino:  mint_amethyst   Lucius:  styleshinjuku

Priscilla: ollyodd_cosplay
Eliwood: kobblecosplay
Lloyd: vmcosplay
Hector: ?
Lyn: dia.dove
Serra: nekoyasha
Erk: kazeninja
Florina: mecchan_chan
Nino: mint_amethyst
Lucius: styleshinjuku

This photoshoot was insanely fun and I got to meet a bunch of awesome people who I will hopefully get to cosplay with again in the future!

My last big project for the year was for another big group and it was definitely something different than I’ve constructed in the past. I’m talking about Frankenstein’s Monster from Fate/Apocrypha.
The wedding dress was definitely a first for me but it came out surprisingly well! A lot of trial and error went into the pattern, the crinoline, the giant mace, and pretty much every other aspect of the cosplay, but it came together and I am super happy with the result! This was another great time to hang out with other awesome cosplayers and work with a fantastic photographer (Robert Tate photography)

I still can’t get over how beautiful this photo is

I still can’t get over how beautiful this photo is

Mordred:  candlewaxcosplay  Jack:  holy.grail  Shiro Amakusa:  emma_the_fantastic   Semiramis:  nekoyasha  Seig:  tomoyoichijouji     Astolfo:  nihopalaoa     Seigfried:  fang_soul  

Mordred: candlewaxcosplay
Jack: holy.grail
Shiro Amakusa: emma_the_fantastic 
Semiramis: nekoyasha
Seig: tomoyoichijouji 
Astolfo: nihopalaoa 
Seigfried: fang_soul 

2018 really was a great year for cosgroups, between the ones involving my new cosplays, and even a few involving older cosplays! Tekko had another great FE: Blazing Sword group where I got to dust off Guy and get some lovely photos with the talented Cosfame - Cosplay Photographer.

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Lyn:  chattyanzud  Hector:  marjolycookie  Eliwood & Ninian:  Raptors in Rhythm  Nils  Light Inheritor  Florina:  mecchan_chan

Lyn: chattyanzud
Hector: marjolycookie
Eliwood & Ninian: Raptors in Rhythm
Nils Light Inheritor
Florina: mecchan_chan

I also got to bust out my favorite lazy reaper for a partner duo with SMZeldaRules and do a great photoshoot with Headphone Studios

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And last, but certainly not least, I was involved in yet more Fire Emblem shenanigans with a return of King Ashnard to Youma 2018.

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So all in all I had a lot of fun this year and I hope all of you did too. I’m going to be doing some updating this week, particularly with my con schedule for the year, and I might put together a 2019 cosplans post soon too… not to mention that Ohayocon is next weekend and I have no idea what I’m doing for it yet x_x

Anyway, may your 2019 be blessed, love you all and Happy New Year!!!