Saturday, 26 October 2013

Moxxi Part 13 - Makeup and Hair (and Last Minute Batman)

Cheap-ass Batman Cowl
Running... In this.
As if.
Happy Robin!
Love those scales!
So my big race is tomorrow, and I'm happy to say I made my fundraising goal! Well, really, after my half marathon, a 10k doesn't feel that big, I'm just jazzed I get to run it in costume! Speaking of which, guess what the hubby decided YESTERDAY. Yes, the man who saw me busting my butt getting Robin together at the beginning of the month decided he was going to wear his half-assed Batman costume that was put together for the same Superhero Scavenger Hunt that the first version of my Robin costume was for. "Maybe I'll wear my apron over the technical shirt... I have the cowl too." Yes, husband, I'm sure you'll happily run 10 km with a kid's cheap plastic Batman cowl strapped to your face. As if.

So I sprung into action and started work on a cowl (Adam West style). Really, they're quite a bit more complicated than I had imagined, but I think I can pull off a modified version! Last night I made the face plate out of craft foam, then patterned the main hood out using the fabric from an orange shirt that I had picked up at the Salvation Army Thrift Store ages ago for another project (for which it was wholly unsuited and made a big mess of
Orange Derpman!
Almost finished mock-up (fits him better) - Next, in black!
orange lint everywhere). I put together my dummy cowl, and tailored it (to the best of my ability) to the hubby's head - a process he did not enjoy both because it distracted him from playing Batman: Arkham Origins, and because he apparently doesn't trust me with pins - I promise, I didn't prick him! Tonight, I will be ripping my tailored orange cowl apart and using the pieces as a pattern for the final version! Luckily, I just happened to have some black spandex hanging around (which was going to become my arm-glove for Gaige).  If I have any time left, I'll make a bat logo for him to pin onto his shirt instead of having to run in an apron. Easy peasy (I hope)!

Check me out, getting all distracted again! My masterpiece, she was almost complete! Really, putting the costume pieces together is the hard part, but I was really worried about the makeup as it's REALLY not something I have all that much experience with. The hair, on the other hand, I wasn't too fussed about, I asked my hairdresser for advice, and knew what I had to do.  Funny how the little ironies of life work, as I was totally happy with my makeup, but thanks to the rain and high humidity the day of the convention, my hair was pretty well ruined by the time I ended up inside. 

Moxxi's Makeups!
The LAST step! MAKEUPS and HAIR!
Materials needed (I listed the exact makeups I used, but use what you can find) - 

-White water based face paint (I used Craftobian Disguise Stix in Clown White)
-Makeup sponges
-Makeup brushes
-Pink blush (I used Hard Candy's Fox in a Box Truth or Dare)
-Peachy pink eye shadow (I used CoverGirl 274 Fairytail)
-Black eye shadow (also in Covergirl 274 Fairytail)
-Bright red lipstick (I used Rimmel 180 Jet Set Red)
-Black WATERPROOF liquid eyeliner (I used H2O Proof 881 Ultra-Black)
-Black volumizing mascara (or fake eyelashes)
-Black, red, and white acrylic craft paint
-Brown wig (or brown hair... I just used my own)
-Hair straightener and/or curling iron
-Lots of hairspray!
-Black nail polish (I used Sally Hansen Diamond Strength 480 Black Diamonds)
Makeup-less Moxxi? For shame!
No makeup? How plain!

So on to what I did well! The makeup! Welcome crappy lineart Moxxi (I pushed that pesky hair out of the way so we can see both eyes), who I put together in Paint Shop Pro for this guide because I totally forgot to take pictures as I was doing all this at approximately 6:00am the morning of the convention. I'll try to remember to take some step by steppictures next time I wear Moxxi (maybe even Halloween? We'll see)!

Step One!
Step One - Full face white waterbased makeup
Starting with the face - first layer is a nice even layer of white face paint ALLLL over the face, right up to the hair line at the top, to the ears on the side, following the jaw line, and covering the eyebrows. I used a water based paint as it dries nicely, doesn't smudge like oil based face paint, and I needed to apply more makeup over top of it. Now I went and forgot to pick up makeup sponges and ended up needing to use a kitchen sponge instead (oops). It worked well enough, but took a lot of work to get smooth and even.

Step Two!
Step Two: Light pink blush/eyeshadow

Next up, I applied the light pink blush.  Two nice pink circles on the apples of the cheeks, I didn't go as dark as I should have, but I was trying to be delicate. Then I also used the blush as the "shading" around the edges of the face, and under the nose. Also, as it was just the right shade of pink, I applied it using an eye shadow brush directly on my eyelids.

Step Three!
Step Three: Peachy-pink eyeshadow
The peachy pink eye shadow then went over top of the eyelids, and around the perimeter of the eye.

The black eye shadow went slightly tighter around the eye.  I also put on my lipstick at this point, nice bright red.
Step Four!
Step Four (and Four point Five): Bright red lipstick and black eyeshadow

Then came the fun part - the liquid eyeliner.  Did I mention the part where I don't really use makeup all that often? Well, liquid eyeliner is a bit of an advanced tool in makeup, and while it worked, I definitely ended up dabbing it off my eye with a q-tip more than once.  Icky. I made sure to get waterproof as I needed to put some on the underside of my upper lip, and didn't want it smudging and spreading. It still did a touch, didn't make a mess or anything.

Step Five!
Step Five: Waterproof liquid eyeliner EVERYWHERE!

Okay, so the eyeliner went first where eyeliner usually goes (the hard part). The edges of the eye were extended just a bit on the right eye, then a little further on the left where the "tears" come down. I went a little conservative on the black tears, I only drew on three, and ensured that there would be a little "web" at the top where the drops come down. I used just a little on my eyebrows to draw them back in, but tried not to go overboard. Then the rest of the cell shading came in! I did lines around and on the button of the nose, and over the top of the chin just under the lip. The lips are a little complicated - a very thin line on top, then a thick line around the bottom of the bottom lip.  I also shaded under the top lip, and had to stand around with my mouth open for a bit to ensure it was COMPLETELY dry.  Aaand the little curve out to the right of the lip, of course.  The final touch was the beauty mark.

Step Six!
Step Six: Pick your own eyelashes
I didn't bother trying to draw this stage, but I applied the black volumizing mascara at this point. I had planned on picking up fake eyelashes to give that extra little emphasis, but they didn't have any to my liking at Wal Mart when I was picking up all of my makeup and hairstyling goods. You can't really see Moxxi's eyelashes in detail in Borderlands 2, but in the first Borderlands she appears to have eyelashes that are very long on the outside of the eye, and pretty well unnoticeable on the inside. I'll look for them again beofre next wear.
Step Seven!
Step Seven: White paint. On your lip.
Not bad! Speedy PSP sketching win!

Finally, I highlighted the lips with white acrylic craft paint - a thin line along the top of the top lip, a thin line along the top of the bottom lip, and little dashes and lines down from there as necessary. Again, I stood around with my mouth open to allow the paint to dry. Face finished!

Introducing crappy lineart Moxxi chest, here to help with the rest of the makeup! For the chest, I started out with the liquid eyeliner, making the marks as per the reference - collarbones, cleavage, and little dashes where necessary. I painted the heart on in red acrylic craft paint, then once it was dry, outlined it in black acrylic craft paint, and painted on the "shine" in white. In putting this guide together, I noticed that I applied the shine on the wrong side of the heart - oops! And with that, my makeup was complete! I then coated my face and chest with a thin layer of hairspray to help seal all the makeup in, carefully closing my mouth and eyes so as not to poison or blind myself.

Chest Makeups!
Blank| Step One: Liquid Eyeliner Cell Shading| Step Two: Red acrylic heart| Step Three: Acrylic black outline, white shine
Don't forget to bring your makeup with you to the con! I needed to touch up a few times over the day!

On stage during the Masquerade!
Poofy, wavy, messy hair.
Photo from Just Push Play Ottawa
On to the hair! So as I said, this was pretty well a disaster in the end, in part due to the weather, and also because I wasn't willing to cut my hair as short as would have made my life easier (I grow and donate my hair every few years, so I don't tend to take all that much off if I don't have to). Okay, so first things first, I straightened the whole head so it would be nice and smooth, and gave an overall coat of hairspray. Now, the theory for the curls is that to get them to curl UP instead of corkscrewing, it needs to be pinched (in either a hair straightener OR a curling iron) then pressure needs to be applies as the tool is pulled downward, then start twisting slowly upward when you reach the point where you would like your curl to start, and keep turning until you're out of hair.  Keep to smallish chunks of hair, and hairspray each one as you go along.  Once it's all done, give a final decently heavy coat of hairspray over the whole mess. And it was almost perfect!! Uuuuuntil the rain and humidity and whatnot, after which the curls released, and my hair went right back to its standard wavy, poofy self. 

Nail polish!
The very last bit, the nail polish! Easy peasy, black nail polish, and I painted it on standing in line because (if it isn't obvious) I ran out of time! So there we were, standing outside in the line up, Julian holding the little bottle of black nailpolish while I painted my nails. It was a moment to be sure! 

And that is it! She was finished! I have a bunch of work to do before I wear her again, but I'm a wee bit preoccupied with Rubi at the moment, and have Gaige to worry about when I finish Rubi.  I have everything that I believe I need for the moment (though as you know, there's always more to buy, no matter how prepared you think you are) and I'm really looking forward to seeing her come together! That said, when I DO fix Moxxi, I'll be sure to keep you updated on the progress, and if I come up with any new and exciting ways to do things, I'll be sure to post all about it! If you find yourself trying to follow along and have any questions, feel free to let me know, and I'll be happy to help shed some light on my methods of madness!

INVINCIBLE! Muahahaha!
My cover shot from the Ottawa Sun's Digital Lounge - I'm Invincible!!
So next time, my first non-tutorial post! Shock! I'll be talking about my experience as Moxxi at Ottawa Comiccon, and sharing some pictures of our costumes, video from the masquerade, and, of course, sharing the latest progress from my Rubi! She's getting there I tell you! Oh, and I'll report back on how the Batman experiment went, and give you a Race Report - until then!

Every single Moxxi cosplay tutorial you could possibly need to make your very own Moxxi! (Or so I would like to think!)

Part 1 - Spats
Part 2 - Finding Fabric and Starting the Jacket
Part 3 - Jacket continued, Stripes and Zipper
Part 4 - Cuffs and Collar
Part 5 - The Button Solution
Part 6 - The Patches!
Part 7 - Belt and Buckle!
Part 8 - Rubi's Holster and Garter 
Part 9 - Finishing the Jacket, Piping, Rick-Rack, and Curly Tails!
Part 10 - The Hat, Card and Feathers!
Part 11 - Cell Shading and Blood Spatter
Part 12 - Shopping and Accessories to Complete the Look!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Moxxi Part 12 - Shopping and Accessories!

Hello world, I just CAN'T say enough about the progress I am making on Rubi! With this whole cosplay thing, there are times when I'm working on something and I say something along the lines of "God damn it, I've spent two hours working on this stupid little detail of this stupid little thing that no one will notice when I could have been doing so many other things"... but when I see results like this - 
More Rubi Progress!
I can't help but say "Hot damn this is awesome!" Which makes putting many more hours into it that much easier! At this point, I just need to shave down the handle again (it hadn't been quite wide enough), make a new trigger out of sintra, install the switch so the trigger controls the lights, re-install the lights, then find a way to fill, seal, and paint it with the LEDs in (without painting over them). It's going to be a challenge to say the least, but I'm sure I'll figure something out! I ALSO finished picking all the stitches out of my new shoes, and I'm up to $135 out of my $200 fundraising goal for Rattle Me Bones, which is coming up on Sunday! Only a week to go! In honour of that, have another Robin pic!
Ready to give crime a big ol' POW in the face!

Just bits and bobs, almost there!
This and that, all that's left!
*cough* Back to business! So we're tying up the rest of Moxxi's outfit today! There's a LOT of little thises, thats and details left to be take care of, so it's time for some shopping!

Materials Needed:

-Gray Bra (preferably with a little built in va-va-voom)
-35cm Thin black lace with scalloped edge
-Black and white acrylic craft paint
-Acrylic fabric medium
-Turquoise panties
-Black and white striped thigh-highs
-Fishnet thigh highs
-Semi-opaque black thigh highs
-1.5m Black velvet ribbon 1" wide
-Black velcro
-Black fingerless gloves

Trying to pin down the bra design
Not the breasts - the BRA people! Hard to tell the design...
 So the first challenge (and the craftiest part of this entry) is the bra! As always, I wanted to be as accurate as possible, the more authentic the bust the better! I searched EVERYWHERE for something that might even come close to Moxxi's bra. Any time there was anything even close (semi lacy with gray snakeskin print) the bra wasn't even made in my size (one of the many trials of being well endowed).  I ended up picking up a decent silver push-up with matching lace at the bottom of the cup where it wouldn't be seen. Once I had it, the challenge was deciding on a pattern - as most of the bra is covered, it's difficult to see exactly what's there aside from variations of gray, so I went for something very Moxxi - stripes and swirls. I tested a few different shades on the back of the bra, and actually ended up using just fabric medium for the stripes, and dark gray mixed with fabric medium for the swirls. Once the paint had dried, I sewed on the lace! Since I hadn't been able to find a thin enough lace (let alone one with scalloping only on one side) I opted for one with scalloping on both sides, then sewed down the center of the lace, then folded it over and sewed it along the top of the cup. Perfect!
Moxxi's bra!
Stripes and swirls - very Moxxi-esque!
Moxxi's chokerNext up was the choker and waist tie! Both were made out of 1" wide velvet ribbon, and while I had been planning on picking up black, all Fabricland had was dark brown, which worked out as looking at the 
references, they do actually appear a little brownish, and the velvet napping provided the same kind of variation as the cell shading in the game. For the waist tie, I figured out how much I needed by wrapping my measuring tape around my hips as though it were the tie, and picked up that much ribbon. It needed no modification other than cutting, then it wraps around the hips twice before tying in the front. The choker was super simple, much like Dr. Zed's armband, just wrapped it around my neck to figure out how long it needed to be, then sewed the two halves of the velcro on the ends - one on the top side, one on the bottom side. Easy peasy!

From there on out, it was shopping, shopping, shopping! Next up were the panties! There's not much to see of them in the game, but they're definitely turquoise, and seem to have a little scalloped edge on the top and bottom.  They appear a little plain, so I searched for a lacier variety, and ended up finding just the thing at La Vie en Rose - a two-tone "Brazilian" thong, white underneath and turquoise over top.  They sit nice and low on the hips so I didn't have to take the thigh of the jacket up quite so high in order for them to be visible (have I mentioned that I don't like revealing clothes? I know, a bit rich from a Moxxi cosplayer). For comfort AND so I could keep them low on the hip without having them out of place elsewhere, I wore them over other underwear.

Stripy leggings!
Next up is the legwear! For the stripy leg, I picked up black and white "Music Legs" footless tights on ebay as the stripes appeared to be approximately the correct thickness.  For the other leg, in the reference it appears that there's a fishnet pattern ON a black pantyhose, but as I couldn't find one, I picked up a black thigh high at the dollar store, and put a random fishnet I happened to have at home over top. Once they were on, I ripped the holes in it as per the reference. That said, the fishnet I had, the diamonds were too small, so before next wear, I'll be picking up a more accurate set, and getting some better black thigh highs that will actually stay up (fingers crossed).

Cheap ass workout gloves
Finally, the last piece - the gloves! I got frustrated looking for these, just no luck online or in local stores, so I ended up picking up the cheapest pair of plain black workout gloves that SportChek had to offer and called it a day. I'm not entirely satisfied with them, so I'll be making new ones sooner or later out of pleather with the holes in the knuckles, but they worked well enough! If you're looking to buy something better, year-round costume stores or those stores that pop up around Halloween might have some (I spotted something similar at Spirit Halloween the other day while looking for plastic bolts).

And, if I'm not much mistaken - that is IT! Every piece of Moxxi's costume! It took a heck of a long time to put everything together, but it was so rewarding to see it all come together! The only things left now are hair and make-up! I'll give a full description for make-up at least, but my hair was a bit of a disaster, we'll go over why... Next time!

Everything else you need to make your very own Moxxi costume:

Part 1 - Spats
Part 2 - Finding Fabric and Starting the Jacket
Part 3 - Jacket continued, Stripes and Zipper
Part 4 - Cuffs and Collar
Part 5 - The Button Solution
Part 6 - The Patches!
Part 7 - Belt and Buckle!
Part 8 - Rubi's Holster and Garter 
Part 9 - Finishing the Jacket, Piping, Rick-Rack, and Curly Tails!
Part 10 - The Hat, Card and Feathers!
Part 11 - Cell Shading and Blood Spatter

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Dr Zed Part 5 - Accessories and Finishing the Look!

Rubi Progress!
A LOT of work left, but it's coming!
Hello again ladies and gents! Things are going fast and furious around here - (Canadian) Thanksgiving has already come and gone, and I taught myself how to make PUMPKIN PIE. From scratch. Like, I started with a frikkin' pumpkin. It was delicious. On more important notes, I now have almost everything I could possibly need for my Gaige! I finally found satisfactory shoes for the low, low price of $10 (though there is stitching to be picked, paint to be applied and detail to be added) which is spectacular, as I was close to spending over $40 (including shipping) on internet options on more than one occasion. I also picked up the last few circuit components, found 9v batteries on sale at Costco, and got the blue pleather and black lining for the vest, white pleather for the skull on the back, and the cord I need to make the black piping. Oh, and I spent about an hour and a half dremel-clone in hand last night working on shaping my Rubi, and I must say, she is looking HOT! Can't wait to see what she's like when I'm finished, but there are many steps and a few logic hurdles for me to jump between now and then.

Also, the wonderful Captain Crankypants (aka Tom) and I ROCKED our Robin photoshoot, and I'm up to $95 of my $200 fundraising goal (so far)! I'm pretty stoked with how the pictures turned out (in spite of ripping a solid run in my tights and a hole in one of my shoe covers during my very first "hey, I'm gonna climb on this: moment) and the response from my friends and family has been overwhelmingly positive! If you have any disposable income you don't mind parting with, and would like to support an awesome cause, click over to my fundraising page - Rattle Me Bones Sponsor Page! I'll post more of the pictures later, or if you're feeling impatient, you can pop over to my member gallery!
Action shots of my new Robin costume!!
In anything if you want to go from just a beginner to a pro, you're gonna need a montage! We had too much fun.
Back to work! Two Dr. Zed posts in a row? Who would have thought it possible? Not only that, but this is it, the end of the line, the last pieces of the Zed puzzle - accessories and finishing the look! So to figure out what is needed, we take one last look at the guy himself:

Materials Necessary -
The final pieces!
The final pieces of the Dr. Zed puzzle!

- Light green turtleneck
- Dark gray pants
- Big black boots
- A face mask (I used a cheap one from Home Hardware)
- Eye shadow
- Black marker
- White, black, and red acrylic craft paint
- Red fabric (I used broadcloth)
- Red thread
- A bit of velcro
- White bristol board
- Watercolour pencil crayons
- Safety pin
- Tape
- A band-aid

So let's talk shopping! The last big purchases for Dr. Zed were all clothing pieces.  The boots, Julian already had - we used standard black combat boots (as you can find in any old surplus store). Technically Dr. Zed's are supposed to be strapped and buckled, but I didn't have the time to make boot covers to that effect, and I don't feel it detracted from the overall look. The pants were super simple, from what I can tell they're just boring gray pants, so I picked up a pair of gray jeans from Wal Mart.

Thrift store success.
Turtleneck'd! And crooked.
The shirt was interesting. At first I was going to stick to the standard medical green scrub shirt most Dr. Zed cosplayers go for, but I was planning on making a collar from some of the shirt that wouldn't show under the smock, and maybe extending the sleeves a little to simulate bunching. Until I couldn't find one (in my husband's size). We tried every second hand store, we even tried some specialty shops (one that would have had it was closed when we tried) and every time I found something close, it wasn't quite right, the right size, or close to the right colour, until we lucked out - the light green turtleneck.  We found it at a second hand shop (Value Village) and the blasted thing is PERFECT.  I didn't have to adjust, change or play with it - just put it on, bunch up the sleeves and away you go! Now obviously there won't necessarily be one of these babies sitting in every second hand shop, so here are a few passable ones on Amazon-
Option oneOption two
There are other options, of course, making one, just using a scrub shirt, but for accuracy (especially at thrift store price) this one knocked it out of the park!

Now it's time to get crafty! For the mask, I used a standard particulate filter facemask from Home Hardware. I'm planning on making a better one at some point, but this worked for the time being, looks fine in person, but isn't perfect for photo purposes. At the time, I was worried mostly about breathability, so I figured pre-made was the way to go.  The mask I purchased came with a metal band and a company's stamp on it, both of which I didn't want showing, so I carefully painted over them with acrylic craft paint, which took a few coats. Next, I shaped the mask with scissors to be as close to the shape of Dr. Zed's as possible without compromizing the structure. Then I drew in an outline and the three lines in the center of the mask using black sharpie.  In order to darken the mask, provide some depth, and create some shading without compromizing breathability, I brushed on a few different shades of eye shadow.  And voila! Mask complete!
Zed's Face Mask - Finished!
Paint, shape, cell shade, eyeshadow! Observe the painted parts.

Dr. Zed's Armband!
Aww, Dr. Zed lurves yuuuu! Check the velcro placement.
Next - the arm band!! For this, I got Julian into the turtleneck and bunched up the sleeve, then measured around the bunch to see how long it needed to be. I then took my broad cloth, folded it, and measured and cut a long thin rectangle (4cm folded x 42cm or so).  The band was stitched along the open edge to make a tube, then flipped right side out and ironed flat. I then stitched along the outside of the band, flipping the ends in to seal them in place, and stitched the two halves of the velcro in place at each end (make sure one is on each side so it makes a loop when closed). Voila - band! From there I.... Cell shaded! Black fabric marker, dark red (red and black acrylic craft paint mixed) to shade, white to highlight along the edges of the band (all paint mixed 50/50 with fabric medium). And finally, I painted in the cross and heart design.  It took a few coats of paint to make the white parts solidly white (it soaks into the fabric pretty well) but after a few tries it was perfect!

The final creative piece is the "Hello my name is" tag.  I opted to make this out of bristol board instead of on fabric, as these tags are usually stickers, so cardboard is a closer match. Just like the playing card for Moxxi, I drew the design on in watercolour pencil crayon, then painted over it in water to smooth out the colour. Once the design was complete, I taped a safety pin to the back of the card with a few little strips of packing tape, and pinned it on to the smock. Done and done!
my name is Dr. Zed
Screencap/Drawn in watercolour pencil crayon/Painted with water
The final detail was applied the morning of the convention - a single band-aid (I used one of the fabric ones as I was more confident that it would stick and stay) applied on the "armour" portion under the smock as per in-game Zed. The end! That's everything that went into making Dr. Zed - and doesn't he look so good!
Dr. Zed - Terror!
As seen in the Ottawa Sun Digital Lounge - I LOVE the headline they chose, muahahahaha!
The things I didn't do, or plan to fix before next wear:

The wig: I'm not sure this will ever come to be.  I picked up a relatively cheap "vampire" wig from a costume store in the area, as the hair is already brushed back, and has bits of white on the temples, much like Dr. Zed's peppering of gray. As I may have mentioned, I was in a huge time crunch by the end of the line, and I pulled it out of the bag the night before the con - not only was it a royal mess, in need of drastic cutting and styling, but the underside was super itchy, and I hadn't thought to pick up a wig cap.  The hubby would NOT survive all day in it, and there were other, more likely to succeed matters that needed my attention, so we scrapped it. I may pull it back out before our photoshoot, but for Ottawa Comiccon, he went wigless.

Make-up: I wanted to do a wee bit of cell shading... Maybe draw in some stubble on the face, lines on the arms, you know, add to the authenticity of the look. The hubby said no. Mostly because he was afraid of the looks he might get if he wasn't able to wash it off effectively. If you're more daring - go for it!

The face mask: Now that the time crunch is off, I would like to make a more accurate face mask, and have a few ideas on how I may go about it - namely craft foam and stretch material. Shape the craft foam, fill it with holes, cover with a thin stretch material (as it should be breathable). We'll see if I find the time for it, AND how it works out. If yes, a tutorial will follow.

The buzzaxe: I never made it in time for the convention, but have a general concept, template and a foam sword base I'll be working from. It's going to involve a lot of craft foam, apoxie sculpt if I can get my hands on some for a reasonable price, and if I can find a small enough motor, the blade may even spin! We'll see how it goes, again, if it works out, a tutorial will follow!

(Totally optional) contact lenses: Julian's eyes are just about right for Dr. Zed, so we didn't worry about this, but green/hazel contact lenses would complete the look for anyone not blessed with the right colour. Bonus points if you can get one that enlarges the pupil and one that doesn't!

If you should choose to follow in my footsteps and make yourself (or someone you love) a Dr. Zed costume - drop me a line! Let me know how it goes! Send pictures! And most importantly, feel free to ask questions (in the comment box on any post or by email at if you're trying to follow along and something doesn't make sense - I'm here to help! Good luck! Next time, we'll be back to Moxxi with some shopping and craftiness to finish her last few accessories! Stay tuned!

Following along to make yourself a Dr. Zed? Here's the full list of tutorials!
Part 1 - Smock Basics
Part 2 - Shoulder Armour and Flask Pocket
Part 3 - Buckles, Buckles, Buckles
Part 4 - Blood Spatter and Cell Shading

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Dr. Zed 4 and Moxxi 11 - Blood Spatter and Cell Shading!

Hello again ladies and gents! First I just need to say THANK YOU for reading! I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm starting to get regular traffic, people posting my page on Facebook, and a lot of Google traffic too - awesome! Feel free to leave a shout out if you're working on a costume, if you've rocked out a Moxxi or Dr. Zed using any of my tutorials (I wanna see!) or ask questions if my explanations are missing anything you were wondering about - and seriously, thanks for stopping by!
It's all falling into place - muahahahaha!
Second, things are coming together for my Gaige! There's still a tonne of work left to be done, but my Rubi is starting to look awesome, everything I've ordered online - my wig, mini-lunchbox to make the class mod, and LEDs for the shield and grenade mod - are IN, and I picked up all the paint and primers I should need to do the base coat for the gun and possibly the other props as well! I ended up postponing my Robin photoshoot, first because it took TWO DAYS of searching to find green spandex, and again when it was raining on Sunday, but everything is together now, and we've rescheduled for Friday afternoon - I can't wait to see how it turns out!! That said, I probably won't be tutorializing Robin, as it was rushed, and certainly not perfect - that said, if anyone WANTS it let me know, and I can try to put something together that might help others learn from my mistakes!
My Robin costume!
My Robin costume - ready to go for Friday!

Alright, so back on track with one of my favorite parts - blood spatter and cell shading! We all know Dr. Zed sees a lot of blood in his line of work, and I like to think Moxxi's spats earned their stains while she was curb stomping bandits in the Underdome - either way, we're going to need fake blood, and lots of it! I researched various methods, but this is what I found worked best for me!

Smock spatter reference!
Spatter and shading, front and back
Materials needed:
 -Red, green, and orange acrylic craft paint (for the blood)
-Black, white, and beige acrylic craft paint (for cell shading)
-Acrylic fabric medium
-Black fabric marker
-Various paint brushes, toothbrushes, sponges and anything else that can spatter blood
-Gloves and protective material for your area

Mixing up some fake blood!
Fake Blood Mixing!
As the spatter had to be OVER everything else, I had to take care of the cell shading first. For the spats, I just laid them out, and did my best to emulate the in-game colouring. Black fabric marker for the black lines, varying shades of gray for the shaded areas.  As always, I mixed the paint 50/50 with fabric medium. Next up was the smock - if you look at it in game, there are a LOT of grungy little shaded details, little lines, big swaths of shading, highlights, lowlights - I didn't want to go overboard and make it look like a big ol' mess, but I did want some of that detail in there. I started with the fabric marker, adding the little details on and around the bias tape - little lines, loops, squares, cross hatching and the like. I also outlined the flask pocket as per the in-game images. Then I mixed up a few different shades of beige with the fabric medium, shaded in the necessary areas on the main body of the smock, and finally, I mixed up some light gray to make the highlights on the bias tape.  Done! I think I may add a bit more before next wear, but we'll see!

Next, it was time to get messy! I had way too much fun with this part. So the first step was finding a blood formula that worked. I really wanted the rusty colour that dried blood brings  so I tried various amounts of red, black, brown etc. As you can see, I tested out multiple different mixes and tested them on a scrap of Dr. Zed's smock material. I found that red, orange and green worked best together (I can't say the exact proportions, it was five months ago at this point)  mixed with a bit of fabric medium and  water to thin it out enough to splash, spatter and spread as necessary.
Blood spattering set-up!
Blood Spatter Set-Up! Note the saran-wrapped laptop.
Then on to the fun stuff! The first step was to set up my messy studio (also known as my balcony) - cheap old vynil tablecloth on the table, a variety of paint brushes, tooth brushes and implements, and my laptop for reference (as always, I wanted to be as true to the game as possible). To keep the laptop safe, I placed a layer of saran wrap over it so I could see my images, but any wayward spatter wouldn't become a permanent addition. Also, I ensured I was wearing my painting duds so as not to ruin anything I cared about, and wore little nitrile gloves to keep me from feeling like Lady McBeth.

Dr. Zed's smock was up first - just like when I was painting the stripes on the jacket, I placed the smock over a dry cleaning bag on a hangar to prevent any paint from seeping through to the back of the garment, then lay it out on the table. Next I kind of blocked out the main areas I needed to focus the spatter on as an attempt to stick to the pattern as much as possible.  From there, I went to town! Really, this was RIDICULOUS amounts of fun - toothbrushes and thick paintbrushes were dipped and flicked, a fan paintbrush was great for spreading, and I even just dipped my gloved fingers in the blood and splashes and flicked drops everywhere from there. Once I was satisfied with the level of bloodiness, I hanged it in a safe place to dry.
Before and after spattering!
Up next were the gloves - I picked up Dr. Zed's gloves at Canadian Tire (after trying everywhere I could think of... Zellers, Wal Mart, Dollarama...), just non-exciting turquoise dish gloves.  As with all things, they weren't the perfect shade, but I had a heck of a time finding anything other than yellow, and almost ended up having to go with blue! Oh well, turquoise worked! Same idea, flicked and splashed with my paint/blood, then allowed to dry. (I neglected to photograph this stage, but will try to take a picture of the finished product and post it in the next few days)

Last but not least, the spats.  I brushed most of the spatter on for the spats, as the drips and drops are spread out in a slightly less chaotic fashion.  I still did some flicking, but making defined drops was easier with the brush - the only struggle was to ensure the drops weren't too evenly spaced or sized, as I didn't want it to look like a pattern.
Before and after the cell shading and blood spattering! Please disregard the wrinkles, this is after months of storage.
And that's it! The smock, spats, and Dr. Zed's gloves all finished off in one fell swoop! Next time we'll be finishing up Dr. Zed with his accessories, and completing the look!

All my Borderlands cosplay tutorials so far!

Part 1 - Spats
Part 2 - Finding Fabric and Starting the Jacket
Part 3 - Jacket continued, Stripes and Zipper
Part 4 - Cuffs and Collar
Part 5 - The Button Solution
Part 6 - The Patches!
Part 7 - Belt and Buckle!
Part 8 - Rubi's Holster and Garter 
Part 9 - Finishing the Jacket, Piping, Rick-Rack, and Curly Tails!
Part 10 - The Hat, Card, and Feathers!

Dr. Zed:
Part 1 - Smock Basics
Part 2 - Shoulder Armour and Flask Pocket
Part 3 - Buckles, Buckles, Buckles!