Here’s a little bit more about how I did my Raven and Starfire cosplays!
Raven’s Belt :
Raven’s belt is a series of red gems in gold casings which is strung along a gold rope. To make the best I decided the best method would be to cast both the gems and the gem casings! So I started off by first making a mold for my gems. In order to make a mold you first need something to make a mold of! You can either sculpt gems yourself, have them 3D printed or use items from craft stores like acrylic spheres. I was lucky enough to find a small Acrylic Gem that was the perfect size from a craft store near me, but like I said using an acrylic sphere as your base or even sculpting a gem yourself will do just fine! So to make your mold you need a flat clean surface, I like to use foam core board as my base for casting because if it gets damaged afterwards you can just throw it away. You are then going to take your gem base and make sure it is firmly stuck to the board, if you sculpted the gem directly on the board this will not be a problem but if you are glueing an existing gem down try make sure its as flat as it can be so no silicone leaks underneath while casting. The next step is to build a wall around your object either with clay, foam or more board. This is going to contain the silicone so it doesn’t run everywhere. To make the actual mold I used MoldMax 14NV from smoothon. This Silicone is great to work with because it cures quickly. It will only take about 2 hours to cure properly. This Silicone has a mix ratio of 100 parts A to 10 parts B by weight. So if you have 50g of part A you will need 5g of part B for the mixture to cure correctly! So once I’ve mixed as much silicone as I need to cover my gem I then pour it into my little container I’ve made, slowly covering the gem to make sure there’s no air bubbles on it. Once the gem is completely covered I then let it cure and i can then remove the gem and the walls and I’m left with a one part mold! Now to cast the red gems! To do this I’m using another smoothon product called EpoxAcast 690. EpoxAcast 690 takes very very long to cure, about 24 hours in total and sometimes longer depending on the weather and other factors like the thickness of the cast. However something that is great about it is because it takes so long to cure, there is much less possibility of getting bubbles! So you can easily get bubble free gems without having a compression chamber! This resin also has a very odd mix ration of 100 A to 30B. When mixing the resin try be as gentle as possible so you avoid introducing extra air bubbles into the mixture, once you’ve finished mixing part A and B together you can then add in your pigment. I used so strong red pigment for my raven gems, and this stuff is STRONG. you might only need a pin prick to colour the entire mixture. Now that you have your resin you can slowly pour it into your gem molds! And in 24+ hours you will have some gems. Once you have your gems you can now make your gem casings. I used a gem I cast to sculpt the casing around it so it fits perfectly. Just like before I then built a wall around it, poured in my silicone and waited for it to cure.
Once I can my mold I could now make the casts! The gem casings are much faster to do! I used SmoothCast 300 resin which is a very quick curing resin. It cures completely in about 15 minutes and is very easy to work with. It has a 1 to 1 mix ratio by volume, or 100A to 90B by weight. So mix up your resin, pour it into the mold and pop it out in 10-15 minutes when the mixture has gone white. You can then spray the casings with some Rustoleum primer and I used Rustoleum gold spray paint to give them their nice gold finish.
Starfire’s Armor: To make Starfire’s arm guards and neck piece I decided to use EVA foam for the base structure, EVA foam is cheap and normally easily available so It’s my favourite thing to use for armor. The thickness of the foam I’m using is 5mm. I started by making a pattern for the neck piece by wrapping my mannequin up in cling wrap and tape. I could then draw onto this with a sharpie and get the shape of the neck piece just right.
Once you are happy with how the pattern looks you can cut it out and apply it onto your EVA foam pieces and then cut it out again. For the most symmetrical results I normally only use half of my patter and then mirror it for the other side so that they are even.
Once I’ve cut out all the EVA foam pieces I then use contact glue to stick them all together. I did the same for the arm pieces. I made my pattern from wrapping my arm in cling wrap and tape and then drawing on the shape. I then once again used that pattern to cut the shapes from the EVA foam and glued the seams together with contact glue.
Starfire’s armor has some minimal detail on it, her neck piece has a raised section that goes all the way around the edge and then there are also rolled edges on the neck and arm pieces. To do these details I decided to use Black worbla. Black worbla is slightly smoother than normal worbla so I really like to work with it. I layed a piece of worbla all the way around the edge of the neck piece, and then also rolled out a long strip of worbla to go on the outer edge of the neck piece and arm pieces. This little bit of worbla also helps keep the shape of the neck piece which is great!
To prime my armor I use 6 layers of wood glue. The brand I like the most is called Cold Glue but any PVA based glue should work just fine! You can also use things like plastidip to prime foam but this is my favourite method as I find it gives me the smoothest results! Once everything was primed and smooth I then painted the armor with Rustoleum Aluminum spray paint which gave it a nice shiny finish, and added a little bit of shading and weathering with black oil paint. For the final details on the armor I cast some green Gems using the EpoxAcast 690 resin and so strong green and yellow pigments! I then glued this onto my armor after it was painted to avoid messing on the gems.
So now how do you get into the armor? Its very easy! The arm pieces simply slip on and off, and the neck piece has a seam at the back which is open so you can just gently bend it open enough to go around your neck and then the seam is hidden by your hair.
If you found this helpful share it with your friends! 😀 If you are able to use this tutorial to create your own work please show me! I would love to see it! 😀 For more extensive write ups about how my costumes are made be sure to check out my patreon and store! :3