Crafting

How to get started with 3D printing for cosplay

shmunatri-1Aside from Mass Effect, Aree, Nathan and I share a love for 3D printing!
Photographed by Theorem Productions

I’ve decided to write this short guide for my friends (and strangers) who are curious about 3D printing but have no idea where to start. I’m writing this to answer the most frequent question I get these days:

“How do I get a cosplay prop 3D printed?”

I will spare you the “when I started 3D printing, barely anyone was” story and we’ll get right to what you need to know and do.

First, you need a model. Not the Victoria Secret kind but the 3D kind. If you are able to model things yourself – amazing! I envy you… I will not go into the details of that because I only did a 3-hour course on Blender and lost patience… But yeah, you need something like this:

img_0042Tali’s helmet, modelled by Wilbert Pierce Design

If it is something common or popular, you might be able to find it on: Thingiverse, TF3DM, Pinshape, Yeggi, MyMiniFactory, Autodesk123D, Sketchfab… there are dozens more so here is a convenient list from ALL3DP!

Pay attention to the licence details – if you intend to use someone else’s model, to print it and to use it for cosplay, make sure you are crediting the original modeller. If you intend to use a 3D printed object for commercial use, such as guest appearances, print sales and more, make sure the licence allows for commercial use! If you are not sure, get in touch with the modeller – they are nice people.

Now, sometimes you can’t find the model that you need, with the licence that you would like. In that case, you need something custom! I’ve only ever dealt with Wilbert Pierce Design for my cosplay needs but there are thousands of modellers out there available for commission work. A lot of 3D printing hubs will also do modelling work. Make sure you supply your modeller with as many reference pictures as possible.

img_2097The second time Katniss’s breastplate was printed – Made in 3D

Once you’ve secured your model, preferably an STL file format, you want to print it! If you know someone with a 3D printer, ask them nicely. If not, this is what 3DHubs is for! It allows you to upload your model and find print bureaus near you. 3DHubs will show you quote for various bureaus as well as printing with different materials.

  • ABS: generally the cheapest, you can use acetone on it to get rid of the lines. It has a tendency to warp or curl.
  • PLA: generally a little pricier than ABS (but not a lot). You can’t use acetone to get rid of the lines. However, it is more accurate when printing things have a lot of details or sharp corners since it has no warping or curling issues.

There are a lot of fun materials in 3D printing but trust me, for cosplay, ABS and PLA are the ones you will most likely stick to.

img_0629Hold up – did you think there was no sanding with 3D printing?

Once you have your print (woohoo!), your work is not done yet. Unfortunately, there are still lot of people who believe 3D printed parts are perfect the moment they come out of the printer. For the most part, that is not accurate. Until recently, 3D printing was used as a prototyping technique. Applying it for cosplay requires a little bit of adjustments and love.

And by love I mean priming and sanding. You want to get rid of those layer lines as much as possible. If you printed with ABS, you can also use acetone to smooth everything out.

img_1208A print of a M-6 Carniflex after a bath of cold acetone vapour.

And voila! This is what you need to know when you start 3D printing. We could go on about filament choices, nozzles sizes and priming techniques… however when you are starting out – this is what you need to know.

Models pictured by Wilbert Pierce Design and Jessthemullet

Drakenguard Zero Sword – Construction Notes


It’s no secret that at Otakuthon, I was part of a great Drakenguard 3 group. My friend Geraldine (Gebgeb Cosplay), who was cosplaying Zero, had her work cut out for her: not only was she cosplaying Zero, she was also part of our Eternal Sailor Moon… as Eternal Sailor Moon. In July, it was clear that time was running and that she was likely not going to be able to make the sword so I decided to make it for her. I wanted our Zero to have a sword… and I like making things! I had all the materials on hand so why not, right? That’s the spirit of cosplay group!


I first printed out a template that we of the sword and discussed with Papaberry how we could realistically do this in wood. Since Geraldine is quite short, we decided that the finished sword should not be longer than 100cm : 70cm for the blade, 30 cm for the handle. My father cut out the blade and out of spare wood we had. The handle was cut out of my Janna staff (sorry Janna lovers!) . We had a bit of am unspoken rule my family – all the wood cutting is done by my father. It’s fine by me since he’s enjoying helping me with cosplay prop making lately!

Once he was done assembling the blade to the handle, I got to work! I initilally thought I wanted to sculpt the round handle out of expanding foam… big mistake. After fighting  with it for 3 days… I realized it was simply not the right material for want I wanted to it and I ripped it all apart to replace it with EVA foam. For the detailing on the blade, I used good ol’ craft foam and plastic pearls.

Once the blade was painted, I had the idea to had blood to it. In the game, whenever Zero is in battle, she is always covered in blood. Obviously, we were not about to cover Geraldine and her brand new cosplay in fake blood but I thought it would be cool to make her sword stand out!

and it was a lot of fun 8D

The last thing I did was applied worbla details: the pommel, the vine strips on the handle and the cross. The flowers were made Géraldine: some are in craft foam and some are in fabric! We added the matching velvet ribbon at the same time too 🙂

Looking back, I’m satisfied with how this sword turned out! There definitely things I would love to improve… like the pommel – I’m not happy how it turned out >> and the handle… in some reference it’s white and in some others it’s black! Oh, the ever changing references game~ But overall, I think we were able to make a pretty cool prop… in like… no time!

And then, we had a Drakenguard 3 group <3

Images by Novii photograhy

Cosplay by Shmuberry, Gebgeb, Mao-chan & Vickybunnyangel Cosplay

Three Construction Notes (Ver. 1)

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Three, from the video-game Drakenguard 3, is my most ambitious cosplay. The idea of cosplaying this came from Mao-chan, last year. She is a BIG FAN of the series for a long time. When the new game was announced and the character design was slowly revealed, she started lookling into forming a group. I jumped on the occasion: it looked complicated and I wanted a challenge!

The dress itself is rather simple. I completed this with the help of my mother in a week-end; my sewing machine was in repair so we sewed at her place in Sutton. We used a prom dress pattern. The black corsage is made out of black peau de soie I bought in Toronto and the lilac damask pattern fabric was actually custom design with the help of my friend Eru. If you would like to buy this fabric for your own Three cosplay, I’ve made it available  on Spoonflower (you’re welcome! :D)

The challenging part of this cosplay was the ARMOUR. OH MY GOD.

I am quite confident in my armour making skills but making a full leg armor that doesn’t hinder movement *too much* is challenging. The knee cover were easy to make but were a challenge to attach to my legs. Having worn the costume once, I want to revisit those again.

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Once my patterns were completed, I assembled everything using worbla and foam. For the leg armor, I insisted on hiding the seams, inspired by Coregeek. Using wood filler, I covered the seam and sanded it down before  covering the whole thing with black gesso, sanded again, then applied wood glue — before more sanding. Once I was satisfied with the smoothness, I applied half beads and covered them with one last layers of wood glue. Three’s armor is covered in rivets so I used fake pearls stickers that I found at Dollorama.

I chose to paint the whole armor using spray paint to avoid brush strokes and painted the silver details with a small brush. I tried adding some dark grey shadows on some parts of the armour but it barely made a difference… haha black armours are so flat!!

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In the end, I’m very happy with the way this costume turned out for Anime North. I’m definitely going to redo my whole straps system tho: by the end of the day, some of my armor where falling out (but that’s my fault, I was out of D-rings so I experimented… didn’t work out so well XD). Also one thing I learned: black armour… don’t do in the sun.

Anime North is a convention where most people hang outside… heck I didn’t even have a badge this year. It was incredibly hot and some part of my armour ended up heating up and somewhat melting! ahhh! This is worbla we are talking about so I can reheat it and give it the shape I want but it was quite surprising! I definitely plan on staying inside at Otakuthon… it’s not like I can really walk a lot in this armour anyway ^^”

In any case! I have quite a bit of work before Otakuthon! On top of reworking Three, I working on completing both Eternal Sailor Venus, Miki Hoshii Luxury costume and maybe one secret cosplay~ Wish me luck!

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Daenerys Targaryen: Qarth dress

photo by Martin Wong

Katsucon was a dream and I have never been this happy with a cosplay before. I started planning this dress in November; I actually dreamed about it and the next day, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I had been watching Game of Thrones but I hadn’t seen The Ghost of Harrenhal yet (I watch series VERY slowly…) so I started looking at reference pictures… I simply couldn’t get this damn dress out of my head!

Later that month, Mao-chan and I visited Vickybunnyangel in Toronto and went fabric shopping. I found the perfect light blue silk Georgette and from there, it was decided! I was going to cosplay Daenerys!

I started putting the whole costume together during my Christmas vacation and completed it in 5 days. I first started by cutting my fabric, using Sonia’s pattern from I Do Things I Love, and then painted the gold pattern using sea sponges. I have to say, this was my favourite part, it was so relaxing and fun to do! I then tied my beautiful Silk Georgette in knots and rolled it balls, wet them and threw them in my drying machine so the fabric would crinkle! Also a lot of fun!

Once crinkled, I focused on assembling the dress together. It was particularly easy since the dress is made out of 4 large rectangles but having a new dress form sure made the whole process even easier!

Once the dress was mostly assembled, I focused on the filigrees and the belt. I had started with the filigrees first since they were required for me to assemble the dress. Of course, my focus was the Qarth belt and I chose my favourite thermoplastic: worbla! Using Kudrel’s pattern, the whole belt took about 16 hours to make 🙂

Finally, I attached the shoulder filigree to the dress simply by hand sewing them (I know, revolutionary!) and shopped for semi-precious stones with Deltaree and GiH5 to complete the belt.

I would have the say that my choice of pearl/stones and the belt would have to be my favourite part of this costume. All so shiny <3 In the future, I am considering getting a lace front wig; not that I wasn’t happy with how my hair turned out but I don’t know how long I can keep this white/blonde hair… and I don’t want it to dictate my ability to be the mother of dragons! As for my circle lenses, I was very satisfied with my choice of a light purple lens (Dueba Puffy 3 Tone Violet for the curious) since they looked natural but striking~

Not a very Khaleesi pose but – Barney Stinson! 😀 and you can somewhat see the nice semi precious stones~ Photo by Patrick Sun

And finally, here’s a lovely video by OTL Productions and MLZ Studios! I can’t believe we filmed in the snow O.O

Much cosplay

Happy new year everyone! I hope you all celebrated in a fun way! I did 🙂 I’ve also been keeping myself busy since the end of the Fall semester with all my cosplay projects! I’ve turned my house in a full blown cosplay atelier — I kind of feel sorry for my brothers who are stuck with fabrics and thermoplastics everywhere… whoops.

This week, I finished my Daenerys Qarth dress cosplay and I am so happy with the result. I had picked the fabric when I was visiting my friend Vickybunnyangel in Toronto back in November and I started working on it just before Christmas. All in all, completeting this costume took less than 5 days of work 🙂

For anyone interested, I followed Sonia‘s pattern and tutorial 🙂 The dress is very easy to make and for people who are new to cosplay, it is a great beginner project!

So here are a few progress pictures!

I also recorded a video of me making the belt, which took 2 days. It wasn’t really a hard pieces to make but it was really detailed so I wanted it to be perfect. I’m really happy with the results and seeing the feed back, I’m thinking of offering commissions of this piece 🙂

Now, I’m done with Daenerys and I’ve been working on my next project, Tiki from Fire Emblem! A lot of sewing skils are involved so I’m hoping I can do everything right ;___;

DIY; Turn a shirt into a necklace!

Hi everyone! I spent the week-end studying and before I go crazy… I decided to do something creative! I don’t know about you but I have WAY too many tops and t-shirts and a lot of them end up being worn once or twice then they are destined to sit at the bottom for my drawer until I decide to donate my clothes…

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So I decided to use some old t-shirts and turn them into something completely different!! First, I started off with an old Sushi Shop uniform t-shirt… since I don’t plan in working there for the rest of my life… this was the first one to go!

IMG_0096Bye bye Sushi Shop memorabilia (I actually have 2 more left… oups!)

You will need:

  • An old T-shirt (clean, please)
  • A pair of fabric scissors
  • A needle and a thread
  • Decorative elements (chains, charms, etc.)

Let’s get started!

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First, you want to cut the collar and the hem. Then, cut the sleeves off but do not throw them away; you will need them later! From then, you want to cut fabric stripes betwenn 3/4 of an inch to an inch. Make sure you have a good pair of scissors; as silly as it sounds, this is going to make the whole process a lot easy ( I had to borrow my mom’s left handed scissor for this tutorial and it was VERY hard to cut haha)

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You’re going to have a lot of strips and now the fun begins: pull each strips in order to make it longer and roll on itself, forming a rope! Once you are done, you can start designing your scarf. From there, I used Heckahaute’s tutorial and made my own necklace!

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Instead of making mine all loose ropes on the top part, I decided to braid them instead. I also used less ropes at the bottom and added a few chains.

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There you have it; a nice and easy way to transform a t-shirt into a bold accessory that can make a nice statement on any outfit!

Let me know if you try this out, I would love to see pictures! 😀

Decoden; Ipod 4 case

Yay! I finally got around to decorate my ugly 1$ iPod case that I got from eBay and I’m REALLY happy with the result. It’s really pink, with a lot of sweets and flowers 🙂 It reminds me a little bit of a cake!

All the plastic parts are from Fullmoon except the large gem; that’s something I got a while ago from a plastic parts factory haha. The clay flowers are from Strapya, and the rhinestones from Artbeads!

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To be honest, this design was a pain to make… mainly because I decided to try a different epoxy glue. Before, I had always used a 5 minutes glue which was very troublesome since it would become tacky quickly and I always had to remix more glue and ended up wasting a lot of it! So I got 60 minutes glue instead but that was NOT a good idea at all!

The parts kept moving and it was especially hard to make the bunny and large pink bow stay angled since the glue took so much time to become tacky! I like to work fast; usually when I start a deco project, I don’t stop until I’m completely done so this glue problem really slowed me down. Lesson learned: I need to find an in-between glue! haha

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I think my next deco project is going to be my earphones! I need something cute to match my cute iPod~

Decoden; Ria’s phone

Last month, Ria and I ordered a bunch a stuff from Fullmoon and promised each other we would hang out one day and I would help her decorating her phone. She came over today and I decoed her phone for about 4 hours 🙂

It was a lot of fun decorating her phone; Ria pretty much let me create the design but added her touch here and there. She mainly wanted to use sweets and pearls and we went ahead with that theme.

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I wish her phone had been white or pink because the blue gaps still kind of bugs me and I didn’t have any pears (anyway, Ria wanted pink and white).

It’s been a while since I decoed anything! What should I deco next?

Montreal; I love you!

It’s so nice and hot lately, I love the weather!

My friend Katt came over yesterday and we made matcha cupcakes! I forgot to to take pictures and my family is already done eating them! Instead.. I took a few pictures while waiting for Katt at the bus stop~

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Today, I somehow woke up early and worked on my first cosplay project; Gypsy from Ragnarok Online. It is a well known fact that I’ve been in love with Dancers and Gypsies from RO for a long time and my friend Aya asked me to join a RO cosplay group for the upcoming Otakuthon~ I haven’t cosplayed in a while so I’m really happy! I spent the day shopping for materials and it was a lot of fun to walk downtown since it was so nice!

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1. what I wore 2. Walking in the Village; they have those roses everywhere!

Since it was announced that HIMEKA will be performing at Otakuthon… I’m considering adding Alicia from Valkyria Chronicles to my line-up… but I’ll start by finishing my Gypsy costume first.

rogypsy_2This is a Gypsy^^

The thing about cosplay is… you have to adapt the costume to real life. The is no way a top like the above would hold up an entire day plus… it’s a bit too revealing! So I decided to use a lace bra, spray paint it gold and add beading details on it. I was inspired to do so by another cosplayer =) I’ve worked in the beading for 6 hours today and this is what it looks likes so far!

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The picture is horrible… my cellphone camera can’t handle the gold so it really looks bleh here but irl, it’s really shiny. Since I took the picture, I added more red beads to the left. I should be done with the beading tomorow and hopefully the whole top will be finish as well! I’m really excited about this costume, so far, it’s coming out so nicely!

Crafty saturday: accessories holder thingie!

Rainy week-ends are a total social life killer for me! Yesterday, Charlie convinced me to go out by going to eat yummy dumplings!

Sadly it was still raining today so I decided to try out one of Violet’s tutorials~ But deciding to do this last minute… my materials are quite limited… but everyone has toilet paper and wool at home right?

Violet had this brilliant idea to use these two to transform it into a scarf holder! Inspired by her idea, I decided to make my own in the shape of a heart~

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It’s quite easy to make! Once you are done scotching the rolls together, take your wool and start wrapping until the paper roll is covered. You can also add cute decorations like flowers and bows, just like Violet did on hers~ I kept mine au naturel!

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and TA-DAAAA~ Final result! now all my jewellery is kept in a safe and cute place! It was time for my hand sculpture to retire… It’s now in my little brother’s room: I guess it suits his room more then mine!

090830_174907see the hand? haha it was sculpted by my older brother
a long time ago. He tried to throw it away but my
mom saved it~ I’ve been using it ever since!

Make sure you stop by Violet’s blog to check out her tutorial in details and her other creative projects!