Hypnos Wings Tutorial with Worbla’s Black Art

We partnered with squeakadeekn on their Hypnos build and they created 2 tutorials for us. The second is sharing how to create a simple wing harness to wear under a cape such as Hypnos’ design from Supergiant’s Hades.

A key feature of Hypnos’s design is two sets of gold wings that stick out of his big blanket cape. As cute as this is, it poses quite a rigging challenge when translating this to a cosplay. Without the proper support making something as long and heavy as wings, then attaching them to a blanket is likely to result in them both drooping downwards and flopping back and forth; all the while stretching and warping the blanket.

Luckily, Worbla’s Black Art is a great material to use to circumvent this. If you’re able to make a rigid support for the wings under the blanket, it will prevent the sagging and flopping that would happen if they were only attached to a soft, fabric object. So, to make Hypnos’s wings secure, I created a Worbla frame that attaches onto the wings and sticks through the blanket, that most importantly has structure in the vertical direction along the wings to keep them upright, and in the horizontal direction to keep them from falling forwards.

Materials:
⦁ 6 mm EVA foam
⦁ Worbla’s Black Art
⦁ Hot glue
⦁ Heat gun
⦁ PVA Glue/ Filler Primer/ Foam Priming materials
⦁ Gold Feathers
⦁ Exacto knife
⦁ Rust-oleum Gold Paint
⦁ Velcro

Part One: Base Wings

To start the wings, I took a paper template with the shape I wanted and traced it onto 6 mm EVA foam. The template was made through guess-and-check using paper to be sure the size and shape were nice.

Once the template was traced, I cut out 4 identical wings using an exacto knife and a straight 90 degree angle cut.
I did a quick pass of primer using PVA glues and filler primer spray on them to establish a base gold paint. It really doesn’t need to be pretty since it will be covered by feathers, but the backside should get a little extra attention since it will be bare/unfeathered.
I then took Rust-oleum metallic gold spray paint and painted the base color of gold, using two coats of paint.

With the base color on, I started gluing down gold craft feathers. Typically when I glue feathers down for wings, I like to stub the feathers by cutting the tips off and make sure to only use hot glue on the very very bottom/tips of the feathers, that way they can still have some fluff and bounce to them without looking too flat.


Here’s what the front pair of wings looked like feathered, it’s worth it to pre-plan how you’re going to be laying down your feathers in a neat, organized fashion. It’s also handy to stub your feathers shorter as you get closer to the base of the wing for a more realistic look.


To finish the wings, I added a bulb at the base with the styled swirlies his design has. The bulbs were made out of 6 mm EVA foam, primed and painted using the same rustoleum gold paint as the body of the wings.

Part Two: Worbla’s Black Art Support Structure

To start with the base pieces for the support structure, draw and cut out what are essentially lopsided boomerang shapes onto Worbla’s Black Art. To be specific, there should be a longer strip on top with a smaller strip section below at a shallow angle around ~140 degrees. I highly recommend using your wing pattern and lightly tracing it onto the Worbla, and then making your Worbla supports look like “bones” / run semi-parallel to the top and front of the overall wing. Once drawn and cut, you should have 4 angled Worbla strips, 2 for each side.
To reinforce them, heat the two Worbla pieces for each side and press them together on the adhesive sides, making sure to leave a 2-3 inch section at the bottom/short end below the angle separate/unsandwiched.
With the 2-3 inches of Worbla on the bottom that is still separate/unfused, heat and splay it outwards at a 90 degree angle to form a T-shape.

Since some of the geometry and terms get a little confusing, here’s what the supports should look like, kind of a funky angled T. This is great because the vertical parts provide a backbone for the wings keeping them from flopping all over the place/sagging at the ends, and the T-base gives them something to be anchored to that keeps them from falling over.

To get the supports onto the costume, I tried everything on and marked where the wings sprout out of the blanket. I then (with much agony) cut a 2-3 inch incision all the way through the blanket where the wings should be.


With the incision made, I stuck the top/vertical parts of the Worbla through the blanket; making sure the bottom T-base was flush to the underside of the blanket.
I also recognized that the section of supports that will be on the wings didn’t need to be as long as it was, so I stubbed them down to a slightly shorter length. I also used this as the time to strongly glue down the T-base sections of the supports to the underside of the blanket.


With the Worbla bits sticking out and the bottom parts secure, I hot glued the front of the Worbla supports to the back of the first pair of wings, and then back of the Worbla support to the front of the second pair of wings.


To attach everything to the costume; I mainly used velcro. The blanket itself already attaches using a few velcro patches and magnets, however the Worbla support structure needed its own attachment to keep it really REALLY secure. This was just a velcro patch on the underside of the T-base that hooks onto the neck armor.

And that’s just about all folks, Hypnos’s finished wings were nice, shiny and virtually wiggle-proof! I hope this was informative and can be cross-costume applicable as well :^)

 

Low Profile Worbla Attachments: Using Magnets for Nyx from Hades

Vicious.Frockery recently built Nyx from Supergiant’s game of the year, Hades. She used Worbla’s Black Art and magnets to create a low profile attachment system, and shared her process with us!

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Approaching Nyx from Hades, I wanted to prioritize durability for storing her costume in limited space (like a suitcase for easy travel!) and prevent the build from becoming so heavy that it’s uncomfortable to wear. The first thing that popped into my head was foam clay and Worbla elements- but I’ve had bad luck with foam clay getting crushed/cracked in transport. The solution was Worbla’s Black Art for base pieces, and MAGNETS to attach delicate foam sculpts! Here is a tutorial on how to make her armor specifically, and how to incorporate magnets into low-profile projects that aren’t suited to foam.

Firstly, start your pattern. For Nyx, the elements of the chest piece come up around her neck, so I wanted to create a neck piece that leaves the “choker” part of her armor detached. Wearing a separate choker gives me a full range of motion and prevents me from feeling claustrophobic.

For any character with high-necked armor, I recommend using yourself or a mannequin (like this display mannequin) to check sizing and how close to the neck the armor will be. I patterned the vague shapes for Nyx with just plain drawing paper.

 

The X’s mark where I’ll use magnets to attach the sculpted foam pieces (more on that later). When making your own pattern, make sure to write labels on pieces and mark any attachments beforehand- this can be incredibly helpful down the line and speed up your production. I used a combination of duct tape and plain-old guess and check to create this pattern.

Use drawing paper to test fit and size all armor pieces. This can be a long process to get right, so be patient and make sure that you adjust size in order to be economical with your Worbla in the future!

After patterning, I traced most pieces that needed inner structure (pauldrons, crowns, arm bands) to 2MM craft foam. Trace ONE of each piece needed to foam.

Transfer these same patterns to Worbla with a little seam allowance. Trace TWO of each pattern piece to Worbla so that it creates a “sandwich” around the foam. I use two pencils taped together to get a consistent seam allowance around the pattern.

For striped details, I cut apart my paper patterns as I use them, and trace each section to Worbla. This is totally optional, but helps guide you in the future.

For the pieces that need to stay thin and compact, like the armor over the shoulders and chest, I decided to omit the foam core for strength and to prevent extra bulk. This chest piece is in three pieces: one for each shoulder, and one center “circle” that will serve as a base for a little foam skull.

Here I’ve traced one of my shoulders….

 

And my center circle. Be sure to transfer the X for your magnetic attachment to your Worbla- pencil lines can be erased later or painted over!

After tracing, cut out your designs. Then you can start heating up two pieces of Worbla, and carefully use your hands (I also used the assistance of a rolling pin) to sandwich the two pieces together. STOP when you get to the X.

When you reach the X in your pattern, it’s time to put in your magnetic attachment. Lift up one side of the soft Worbla Sandwich (Black Art is very good at peeling apart without damaging the final product, should you make a mistake) and put down your magnet.

Gently lay down the Worbla on top of the magnet, and heat up the top layer again. For this project I’m using cheap ceramic magnets from the home improvement store, but rare earth magnets would also work great. Once the Worbla is heated through, use your fingers to press around the magnet and seal it between the two layers, then let it completely cool before picking it up. It’s okay if it protrudes from the final a little bit- You can adjust your foam sculpt if you need to in order to get the perfect fit.

Now that the magnet is in place, go ahead and trim off your seam allowance. Use your heat gun to soften sections of the seam, and then cut with scissors, making sure to cut through BOTH layers of Worbla at once. The pressure from your scissors will seal the two layers of Worbla together and leave you with a beautiful clean edge. If you need to, working in small sections works best for me- the goal is not to start shaping JUST yet, but a little heat will make this process ten times faster and cleaner.

Do the same sandwich method for the remaining pieces of armor, using your hands or rolling pin to prevent bubbling and keep things even. Use scissors to trim off all seam allowance as close to the foam core as possible.
Since pauldrons can be rather difficult to shape over a form, I decided to make this moon-shaped pauldron out of two pieces, and use Black Art to join them in the center. Since Worbla’s Black Art is tacky but very smooth, it’s great for hiding seams.

Heat up the edges of your two pieces that you intend to join, and gently press them together with your fingertips, working in small sections at a time.

Do the same sandwich method for the remaining pieces of armor, using your hands or rolling pin to prevent bubbling and keep things even. Use scissors to trim off all seam allowance as close to the foam core as possible.
Since pauldrons can be rather difficult to shape over a form, I decided to make this moon-shaped pauldron out of two pieces, and use Black Art to join them in the center. Since Worbla’s Black Art is tacky but very smooth, it’s great for hiding seams.

Heat up the edges of your two pieces that you intend to join, and gently press them together with your fingertips, working in small sections at a time.

In order to hide the seams further, simply use a little more heat and your fingertips to blend the two armor pieces together, being careful not to over-heat the foam and lose your shape.

 

To create details on top of all my armor pieces, I used all my scrap Worbla and formed it into snakes with my heat gun and hands, being careful not to over- or under-heat the thermoplastic. Since Black Art is already so smooth, it didn’t need much working to create smooth details. If you want your snakes to behave more like smoothed clay, use a piece of 2mm foam on your fingers to roll the clay and flatten the texture. I do all my heating on top of a piece of tin foil since it’s nonstick and can help with keeping things smooth as well.

Back to the chestpiece, I used my pattern to arrange my details before translating them to the final. Since this is a symmetrical design, I wanted to be as careful as possible and make sure everything lines up before attaching the final.

Piece by piece, heat up your pre-assembled sculpts and attach them to the chest/shoulders, sculpting as you go. Keep your work as flat as possible to keep things symmetrical, and check in with your pattern often.

I did the same for the crown, adding a piped edge with the same “snake” technique. Continue building layers of texture to flat pieces until you’re totally happy!

From here, start shaping your pieces. It’s good practice to use your mannequin (or yourself) to check in with other pieces as you shape them- Here, I’ve shaped the shoulder over myself, let it cool, and then checked it on my mannequin with the pauldron and necklace

Once one side is shaped, go ahead and translate to the other side. It’s easy to re-heat sections and make sure that they are even once the initial shape is done!

To connect these two, I held my center magnet (“connector piece”) in the middle and traced any overlap with a pencil. The idea is to make sure that there is plenty of surface area for the worbla to adhere to.

Then, heat up the center piece and attach it, following your pencil lines-

And reinforce the join in the back with scrap pieces of Worbla. The inside of this doesn’t matter much, but extra surface area means a stronger bond.

In order to join the necklace and the rest of the armor, I added a 1” strip of worbla around the neck, curving it with my fingers away from my neck slightly. This step is optional.

Next, it’s time to paint! You can seal your Worbla with 2 layers of wood glue. I used a 60/40 glue-to-water mix and did about 2 coats. Black Art is already smooth, so it needed much less working time than traditional Worbla.

Two coats of wood glue plus one coat of gold spray paint

To weather and bring out the detail, use dark values and a dry brush to rub paint into any recesses. I used a gold/black acrylic mix, and a slightly damp paper towel to wipe away any excess.

In between sculpting and paint steps, I sculpted my skulls. These are 1” balls of tin foil, resin cast gems, and Foam-Mo Foam Clay. The foam clay takes about 2 days to dry, but can easily house magnets in the back as shown below. Make sure that you remove magnets after sculpting in order to let the clay completely dry. They can be glued back in when everything is good and cured (shown).

Once painted, use hot glue or contact cement to re-anchor your magnets.

Now that everything is painted, foam pieces can be easily removed, adjusted, and stored separate from the hard parts!

Try everything on as needed, and adjust your attachments before finalizing them. Pauldrons for this build are easily detached with snaps, as shown.

 

Attach the snaps to the base using strips of twill tape (I used a woven twill ribbon in matching Greek key print, for fun). Hot glue around the edges will help your attachments stay anchored and prevent the edges from catching on anything.

And that’s it! Go forth, and wear your magnetic armor with confidence!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attaching Armor: the Punch/Stud Method

We worked with Kimchi4U Cosplay & Props recently to create a tutorial for how he created this innovative way of attaching his Mordred (Fate/Apocrypha) armor. Take a look!

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In partnership with Cosplay Supplies I was able to make a full armor build for Mordred from the anime Fate Apocrypha.

This is a tutorial for a type of mounting system I have not yet seen before in other cosplay builds. Since I was making most of the armor out of worbla, I knew that I would be needing something substantially durable for fixing parts of the armor to my body.

Seeing as I have not yet seen this before in other projects, I am going to call it the Punch/Stud method. This method of mounting systems uses the expansion of your body to keep armor parts on your person by friction.

The Punch/Stud method is comprised of 2 parts of armor having holes punched into once piece, and studs made of worbla on the other. The sandwich method for both pieces would probably be ideal as this mounting depends on having both pieces of armor fairly resistant to forces in order to perform as intended.

The two pieces of armor is encased around a part of the body and the studs are fitted through the punched holes to lock in place. It should be a fairly tight fit, and if this is done your body trying to expand back into place from the compression will secure your armor in place.

I punched the holes in the armor pieces by taking a power drill to it with a bit intended for putting holes in wood. The studs were made with scrap pieces of worbla and fixed to the surface of the armor. Both stud and punch holes were reheated and smoothed over.

Make sure to do lots of test fits before finalizing the location of the studs. Otherwise you may end up with armor that is either too small or too big to securely fit onto your person.

Mordred on the official art does not show having studs on parts of her armor. I took some creative liberties in order to use this method of mounting by accepting that I would not be able to hide the hole and stud and placed them in areas where it would make sense.

This method was used to fix my chest/back pieces and calf/shin pieces to my body. Its a method of mounting that is deceptively simple, but also depends on being custom fitted to your body to remain effective.
Pros:
– does not take up a lot of space in order to work
– very secure and durable way of mounting armor
– simple in technique. not very complicated to pull off

Cons:
– substantial changes in body dimensions may result in armor no longer fitting as intended
– visible on the finished product. there is no real way of hiding the fact that this exists on your armor. there is a visible hole and a stud protruding (best to use in areas where it makes sense for the armor to have studs or rivets)
– requires sturdy materials. using this with foam alone will probably result in a fit that is not as secure

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Thanks again to Kimchi4U Cosplay & Props for sharing this technique with us!

Attaching Straps for Armor

The awesome Black & Nobo Cosplay shared with us this handy tutorial on how to add straps to your armor for a snug, secure fit. You can find them on Deviantart to see their great work!

Attaching Straps

I really wanted to create this tutorial because after I made the Worbla armor for my Dante’s Inferno Cosplay I had a really hard time figuring out how to attach the straps and I couldn’t find any information out there to help me.

In the end I figured it out and I hope I can save people the trouble that I went through :D

Required Materials

  • wire
  • pliers
  • Worbla
  • heat gun
  • utility knife
  • vinyl faux leather or other fabric for strapping
  • sewing machine
  • belt buckle
  • eyelet gun or tool
  • eyelets

Step 1

Think about how wide you would like your straps to be

Take your pliers and bend a length of wire into a thin rectangular shape. Your straps will be passing through this wire loop, so make sure the inside height is slightly larger than the width of your straps.

Don’t have any wire around the house? I cut up a coat hanger to make my wire loops.

(Worbla.com note: you can also use the D or rectangular rings from the notion section of your local fabric store.)

Step 2

Place your wire loop where you would like to attach your strap

Cut two identical squares of Worbla, making them slightly smaller than the width of your straps. With your heat gun, heat them up and sandwich them together. (Worbla.com note: Worbla’s Mesh Art is especially good for this and can be done with one layer!)

Now place your improved Worbla square over the inside edge of the wire loop. It is best to use your Worbla to cover the seam in your wire loop. Continue to apply heat to the Worbla square and the surrounding area.

On either side, repeatedly sink your utility knife down through your Worbla square and into your armor. This will ensure that the Worbla square won’t pop off. (Worbla.com note: you can also apply heavy pressure and ‘blend’ the Worbla square into the armor if using the utility knife is not an option.)

Step 3

It’s time to start making the straps. For my straps I used a vinyl fake leather that’s made for upholstery, but you can use whatever fabric you wish.

Cut a generous length of fabric that is the desired width of your straps, with an additional ½ added to either side (of width). Fold over the half inch margin on one side and hem the edge. Do this for both sides.

Take the end of your newly created strap and pass it through your wire loop attached to your armor and fold it over itself. Make sure the presentable side of your strap is facing outwards. Now, sew back and forth several times along the dotted line as you see in the picture.

Step 4

Note: this isn’t necessary for your straps to function, but after several days of wearing my armor I found it sliding off and wished I had added an elastic that would make for a nice snug fit.

Cut a length of elastic, then make it bite into your strap, so that it makes an arch like you see in the picture and pin it in place. Give it a test: when you pull on your strap, the arch should flatten while the elastic creates tension that will keep your strap nice and tight

Experiment with the right ratio between the length of your bite and the length of your elastic before you go ahead and stitch along the dotted lines, keep in mind the straps you will be creating are adjustable so you don’t have to be too exact in this step.

Step 5

Note: in this step we are working with your strap with the presentable side facing up

Take some measurements and determine the length of your strap and make a mark but do not cut. Feed the end of your strap through your belt buckle and fold it under as you see in the picture. The mark you made should be at the apex of the fold (the white line in the picture).

Sew back and forth several times along the dotted line, and trim excess.

Step 6

Repeat steps 1 through 5 for the direct opposite side of your armor. After all, what good is one strap?

Before you cut the fabric for your strap, make sure to add a ½” margin on the top, so you can hem the top edge.

Once you’ve created and attached your second strap, feed it through your belt buckle and see how it fits and make some marks where you think you need to create some holes for the buckle.

With an eyelet gun (or tool) punch holes in the desired places and then press your eyelets into place. You can add as many as you need.

There you have it!

I couldn’t find silver eyelets, so I spray painted them before I punched them into place

You can adjust your belt so that it pulls the elastic taught and so that the bite in your strap falls flat

Some belt buckles allow you to pass the loose end through a slot in the buckle itself, others have a built in belt loop. If your belt buckle doesn’t have either of these, then you can create a belt loop for yourself out of Worbla!

Image of finished costume and armor with strapping method
Photo by TheBigTog

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Thanks again to Black & Nobo Cosplay for sharing this with us! We broke this post down from their original giant DeviantArt Image (to make it more accessible to those using screen readers or translation services). You can see their original post here!

How to Attach Your Armor – Video

The Complete Newbie’s Guide to Worbla: Fixing
Pipa Wolf Cosplay talks about attaching belt clips, D-rings, and Elastic to affix her leg armor.

How to fix your Armor to your BodyGerman with English subtitles
Kamui Cosplay shows how several of her costumes are put together (and taken apart) with emphasis on redundancy to make sure everything stays where she needs it.

VertVixen created a video explaining her process for adding D-Rings.