Greetings from the Dark Side!
The first part I began to make for my Mercenary Katarina costume is her breastplate. I should begin by saying that I've never seen anyone actually make an armor piece for this costume. All the cosplays I've seen use a black corset or something made out of fabric. I'm pretty sure it is a breastplate though! But whatever, I decided it is indeed a breastplate xD
Keep reading for more~
1. I used Kamui's tutorial on how she makes patterns and breastplate armors. She is an amazing cosplayer and her videos are really helpful!!
Basically she uses Worbla, craft foam, and a heating tool. I have never used Worbla before this, but she made it look so easy! Well, I had no idea what I was getting myself into! This is NOT as easy as it looks. It definitely takes practice. But I went into anyways. Armed with a sheet of Worbla, some craft foam and a heating tool, I started to make my breastplate.
2. If you watch the first video, you can see what I did here. I wrapped myself with plastic wrap and tape and then drew on the pattern on the tape. Then I removed it and cut up my pattern. I transferred the pattern to the craft foam and them sandwiched it between two pieces of Worbla. I thus created the bottom portion of my breastplate! And yay for Food 4 Less bag!
3. Then I made the, as Kamui likes to call them, boobie bags! xD
In the video, Kamui uses a PVC globe to shape the breast circles, but I could not find anything like it. So I used the closest thing that I had that was round: a sturdy food strainer. Yup, I used a kitchen item! Haha. But it worked alright. It definitely was not the best thing to use, so for future armors I will need to get a sphere that has a smooth surface. I heated up a double layer of Worbla and stretched it over the round strainer to get the desired shape. It was really annoying and difficult D:< Breastplates are definitely hard to make (well mostly just the boobie bags!)
4. After I was done with the breast circle things I put everything together. Worbla is awesome because you can just connect pieces by heating them up! I also added some details, although to be honest I messed up a lot. I learned a lot about using Worbla from making this. There are a lot of things I would do differently next time!
5. Worbla has a rough texture, so it is best to prime it very well and sand it. I used 3 coats of Gesso to prime my armor.
6. After the primer is dried and you have sanded (actually I was too excited and forgot to sand >_<), you can get to painting! I first used a flat black spray paint to create a base color. I then used Martha Stewart Acrylic paints in a metallic silver and satin black to give it a bit of detail. I mentioned in my Intro that I have absolutely no experience in painting. ZERO! This was my first time using any kind of paints outside of my kindergarten class xD If any of you have any painting advice for me, please let me know ^_^ I would be eternally grateful!
6. I'm still not done painting; I am not content with how it looks yet. But, I decided to go ahead and figure out how I'm going to secure this breastplate. I decided to use D rings secured with pieces of Worbla to make a corset-type closure. I will be adding some transparent bra straps to the top of the armor to support my chest up as well.
So I'm still not done! I need to finish painting the armor (the inside as well) and once I'm done I will use a gloss seal to protect it. I also still need to attach the bra straps for better support. My first experience with Worbla has overall been really great. It has been a learning process that only comes with physically working with the material. It does not matter how many tutorials you watch, you will absolutely learn the most from hands-on experience. I'm having so much fun though and I can't wait to show you all more!!