I know it’s a little late, but my Protoss Wizard won the 2013 Blizzcon Costume Contest Grand Prize! I am so super happy! Winning the Blizzcon contest was always a big dream of mine and I always though I could not do it because I normally can’t bring my biggest costumes to america on those tiny tiny boeing airplanes!
Congratulations to all the other winners! You guys are amazing! Blizzard said my price is being featured in a future Blizzard game and I still have no idea what it will be. I’m super stocked though!
Here are a few links to see a little bit about the event:
The whole contest: Youtube
Puh, it’s a pretty long time since I started with one of my biggest project so far, but now I’m finally at that point to finish it’s story: Making of the Protoss Wizard – Part II.
Also please notice, you’ll find the first part of the creation process in this post: Blue and Gold
Well, where were we? Ah yes, the Worbla armor was completely done and I started with the painting of the several pieces. So far the upper leg armor, bracers and the helmet were done and most of these parts even got their wiring for the lights inside of the LED gemstones.
Sooooo… after a break of two other costumes (Magna Aegywnn and the Paladin) it was time to finally keep on working on my long, big dream cosplay. At first it was time to finish all the paint jobs. In the past my husband Benni has always been a huge help for me and that hasn’t changed all this much in this project. This time however he was only in charge of the details like the white lines an the runes. It was just such a huge project, that I didn’t want to ask him to support me that much and I also finally wanted to learn painting by myself.
So yeah… painting! Full leg armor got some paint, I’ve create some shoe armor and tested pretty much the whole time if the design fits together. In contrast to all my other costumes this was the very first time I designed something by myself and so I was worried almost every day if the costume will get the look I have in mind. During the whole creating progress I’ve changed the design around 5 times and kept working on it so intense that I also dreamed about the costume and got my inspiration while I was sleeping.
Next part was the breastplate. This piece is always one of the most important armor parts and it’s was very important for me to make it just perfect. You’ll notice that it’s much smaller then all my other breastplates. Since the costume was from the start designed for transportation in a suitcase with a huge prop, I tried to create everything as small as possible.
However the paulrons turned out pretty huge. At this point I already started experimenting to seperate them into smaller parts. You’ll see my solution later in this post.
Hip armor, belt piece and upper arm bangle got also their paint job. At this point everything you see here also got the wiring and all LEDs glowed. These parts had all their own power supply in form of a battery somewhere inside the armor.
Well, and then all the armor was done! You have no idea how wonderful the feeling is to arrange the work of weeks and months at the ground of your flat, your heart full of proudness and relief and you’re finally able to take the photo you’ve waited for so long. It’s just awesome!
Well, and then… I just looked a second time at it and something was wrong. Something was completely wrong. No matter how proud I was of my work, I was not satisfied with it anymore. The dreams I had about the costume before, the image in my head about the final design and the pure obsession with this project were suddenly completely gone. I was lost.
I paused the project immediately. Nothing was right anymore. Nothing was good enough an no matter how much I tried, I was not able to get back all the inspirations I had in my head before. There was no sense to keep on working, I needed a break. It took months and a new costume (the Warrior) until I finally had a free head. And then – finally! – I’ve got a dream of the Protoss Wizard again.
The day that started then was pretty weird. It begun with me ripping off the complete wiring of my armor parts. The work, I spent hours and days for was now just wrong. I’ve also thrown all fabric parts away (which I redid once already!) and began at this point with zero again. Everything was still wrong, but at least I had now finally an idea on how to make it better.
After getting some new fabrics I started to sew everything again. The third time already. But now everything was clear and bright in front of me and when I was done it finally felt right.
Also the fabric was not enough. I also solved all the braids of my wig and started (the third time!) to work on this costume piece. Well, at least it turned out much, much better.
Now it was time to redo the wiring again. I was no longer satisfied with just letting my costume glow. I wanted to make it more… organic, more futuristic, more… well… just cooler. So I did some research and decided to use an Arduino (a micro controller chip), to program my LEDs and let them pulse and do even more. Since I’ve never did something like that before, it was anything but easy for me. Over weeks and months I found out what hardware I needed, how the software works and how to write the controlling program in a way I need it.
The final result was this one. And sorry for the porn music, but it pretty much represents what I’ve felt when I made this video. I had for around one month no progress, had a lot of failures and experimented almost the whole time until I’ve got such a result. To see it finally working was just mindblowing for me! (And if you are one of my Facebook fans and followed the whole story behind this part you know what I mean!)
Now it was time for the prop. My costume is originally the Templar Wizard, just a Battle.net portrait which mixed the Wizard from Dialob III with the Protoss of Starcraft II. I really liked the idea of this crossover and since I’ve been a huge Blizzard fan for years, I wanted to make this mix even better. I wanted to give my Protoss Wizard a weapon from Blizzard’s biggest game: World of Warcraft. My choice was pretty limited since this prop also had to fit into a suitcase. After some search I’ve finally chose Halbert of Desolation, which is a drop in Black Temple.
In my dreams I already had a clear image of this prop: I wanted to give it not only also a Protoss like look, no I wanted to make it something very special. Something I’ve never build before. For that I thought to add a moving, blue light to the blades. It was not easy to find out how to bring this to life, but in the end I tried it with a pretty popular technique: With Pepakura I created the blades and made them competely transparent. I also used Pepakura to build a perfect copy (with a shorter head for the limited size of my suitcase) of the 3D model and filled this thing then with foam.
With glued LED stripes on the back, the resin pieces were connected with one another inside of the prop and the whole piece was covered and detailed with Worbla at the end.
And this was the final head. You’ll notice that I covered the blades also with some stripes of Worbla. Since the resin blades are pretty breakable this was just a good way to protect them without covering them completely.
Well, and then came the painting…
And while I was out of the country for Ayacon, a great event in the UK I was invited to, Benni kept on painting full of joy!
And this thing was huge! 2.10 meters that I wanted to fit into my suitcase!
In addition: This thing is pure technology! (Here you’ll see the “central dogma” of my staff: Some wires still covered with expanding foam, a battery pack and an Arduino for the controlling part.)
And then… after… oh my, months of experimenting, pepakuring, gluing, foaming, primping, sanding, painting, programming, loading, charging and testing it was finally done!
Also the program worked perfectly and my polearm glowed in all it’s glory!
Now some facts about the costume:
– All LEDs are programmed and do not only glow, but pulse over a central controlling and energy source on my back. The programming is not finaly and will still changed until Blizzcon.
– The costume developed during almost 2 years of progress with around 5 different designs.
– I’ve spent around 1500 € and 800 hours of time for it (usually I need 300 hours for a big project).
– The wig weights around 2 kilos and needs a ton of bobby pins and some painkillers to stay on my head for hours.
– I need around 4 hours to get ready since the fixing of the wig and the armor is not only pretty complicated, but also the wiring needs to be plugged together and tested several times.
– Since the costume is designed for the suitcase I’m able to put my 2.10m polearm and also my costume with no problems inside and even have space for a further costume.
Main material of the whole armor is Worbla.
Worldwide you can by it at Mycostumes.de
From the US you can buy it here: Cosplaysupplies.com
And here you’ll find a tutorial which shows how I made a breastplate out of this Breastplate Tutorial
In addition here you’ll find even a painting tutorial from my husband, who supported me in painting during other projects: Painting Tutorial
Well and then… I was finally done! It was really a great feeling, despite of the last weeks before it’s final deadline being anything but nice. I not only tried to finish my costume in time and get it ready for Gamescom, I also helped my cosplay partner Selina with her Protoss Barbarian. (Just check out this awesome Protoss Frostmoure of her!) In the last week I almost didn’t sleep, I had a huge last minute problem with the wiring of the costume and really finished it in the last half our before our car headed to Gamescom in Cologne.
Well, sadly neither I nor my partner Selina scored a place in the costume contest, but now my big goal is Blizzcon 2013! I have no idea if I will have any chance against all the wonderful cosplayers there, but I already know that it will be an awesome feeling to stand on stage with my big dream costume I’ve started with almost 2 years ago.
Well, and if you now want to know how I manage to bring this costume to Los Angeles, check out my new tutorial:
Luckely I also didn’t had to wait for a photoshoot. Just one week later I found a great location and got just the perfect photos of the costume. My goal was not only to show the costume, but much more find a futuristic, cool enviroment which fits to the costume. I guess, this modern museum was the perfect choice for that. And if you like these photos, just check out my store. I’ve added some of my favourite photos as signed prints to it! You’ll also find the full gallery in my costume portfolio.
After so many of my followers on Facebook asked me how I get my photos, I also wanted to help out and created a new tutorial about cosplay photography and photo editing.
Well, well… and that’s all so far! At the moment I’m pretty busy with some commissions for Intel and Newegg.com. For current updates you can like always follow my work on Facebook. You’ll also find me this weekend at the Montreal ComicCon and later at other events I’ve noticed in on my events page. Soooo… thanks to everybody who followed this huge project, cheered much up in all my down times, encouraged me and just was always there for me! Thanks to Benni and Selina and to all my followers for all your awesome support!
And thanks to all of you for reading! It dreamed a pretty long time about to write this post and I’m glad it’s finally done. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! :)