Moonpriest Armor

A detour from my usual druid cosplays, I decided to do the Alliance cloth set from Darkshore (World of Warcraft), because I really liked the design of it.

Somehow, though, this ended up being one of those never-ending projects that took me most of a year to finish. Half-way through I tried on what I had so far and hated it. I redid several pieces because they didn’t look right to me the first time around.

Anyways, let’s go through the process together! First, the reference image:

 

The headpiece was one of those pieces where I started over. Initially I tried making it with EVA foam. But I felt like it wasn’t quite the right look, so I started over with foamboard and used EVA foam bevels for the edges and foam clay for the moon. This turned out way more elegant. Below the unfinished foam attempt and the unpainted foamboard piece.

I primed it with flexbond and airbrush painted it with a combination of vallejo air and aloclad air brush paints.

It took me a few attempts before I got it right with the masking – it was a bit hard with all the tiny details. It attaches with a cheap Chinese tiara that I just hot glued the piece onto. Work smart, not hard – the parts I made completely cover the details on the tiara and it cost next to nothing.

 

The next piece I worked on was the top. It took me a few attempts and it’s not entirely perfect, but this is the final version. I started out making the white base – the pattern was a t-shirt pattern that I heavily modified. It still is a bit floppy at the sides, but there’s a “bra”-piece on top of this, which helps hold everything nicely in place. The fabric is some kind of VERY stretchy synthetic, which was moving and sliding everywhere when I added the gold details on top, so they are not 100% symmetric. Those pieces were first glued then stitched in place. The gems are just resin gems I glued on – I cast them a while back for a different project and just painted them with nail polish.

There’s also a magnet snap in the purple area – this is where the waist moon is attached. More on the moons later.

 

The skirt was made with a pattern I had from one of my previous cosplays. It’s a fairly simple skirt with fitted top and some flare towards the bottom. I changed it up a bit by placing the zipper at the front instead of the back, because the back will be visible, but the front is covered by the top. I used bridal satin for the main skirt and a softer satin, which I quilted with a layer of batting for the bottom half of the skirt.

 

I drafted a pattern for the gold edge by first wrapping my mannequin in wrap and tape and transferring that pattern to paper

Then I first glued and then stitched on the gold borders. I use a very thin layer of contact glue very carefully to glue it on.

The rest of the skirt is a separate layer. I first drafted a base layer, then just drew the gold details onto that and cut them out in fabric. It was a bit of a puzzle, which I mostly just free handed.

Once again I carefully glued everything in place before stitching. It’s really important to use the right foot on the sewing machine. I use a teflon coated foot for vinyls, which prevents it from pushing and stretching the vinyl somewhat. It still happens a little bit if it’s not glued down well enough before starting.

The chest piece was originally made as a foam thing with foam clay edges. But the more I worked on it, the more I felt like it looked too big and bulky.

In the end, I scrapped it all together and instead made a new fabric-based one. I used a bra as a base, made a pattern by wrapping myself and the bra in ceran wrap and duct tape and stitched it all up in the same fabrics I used for the skirt. The slightly patted bra helped keep everything in shape without it getting too stiff and bulky.

After the top and skirts, I worked on the vest. I made the pattern by taking a jacket pattern and stitching it up in some cheap fabric, then while wearing it, cutting and pinning until it had the right shape. Then I made a pattern from this. I also quilted the fabric for the vest with batting.

You probably guessed it by now, I made the pattern for the gold border with wrap and tape. 

Then once again, glue and stitch on gold vinyl.

Not shown here is a tiny hook-and-eye at the front that keeps the vest in place.

Next up was the armor parts. I started off with the hip armor, which is a simple to-part pattern. I fixed the middle seam with foam clay and used foam bevels for the edges..

I used the same airbrush colours. I also made feathers from EVA foam in 2mm thickness. I used an xacto knife to cut into the foam for the spine and “hairs” on the feathers. I then heated the foam with a heat gun to make the cuts stand out more. Then I painted with a brush and acrylic colours.

The last step was attaching the feathers to fabric and then to the hip armor. I spent a really long time trying to figure out exactly how to drape it. In the end, I just took a rectangular piece of fabric, tied an elastic around it on each end and used that to make the drape-effect. I stuck a needle through the fabric and into the foam and glued it in place. I don’t have a photo of this, but it was the same method I used for the shoulders later.

The shoulders I also redid, but I don’t have photos of first version, but they were¬† too small. The pattern is simply just drafted from some papers – I made the rough shape and cut and adjusted until it looked right, then used 1 cm EVA foam. I used dremel tool to sand bevels to fit it.

Where the underside of the foam is visible, I glued some thin craft foam on to hide the uneven surface – since I used the floor mat kind of EVA foam that has a texture on one side.

I also made loads of more feathers.

Painted again with the same airbrush colours. I also made the “floating” moon thingies. They’re just EVA foam that I dremeled.

The finished shoulders in all their glory! The “floating” moons just got attached with a big glop of hot glue, which gave them enough of a stand-off from the rest to look the way I wanted them to.

These shoulders are super lightweight and attach to the vest with just two magnet snaps on each side. The reason I use the snaps is that they’re a bit better ensured against just getting pushed off sideways compared to regular magnets, since the magnets lock into each other.

The last bits I made for the costume itself was the moons and the gloves.

I’m not super satisfied with the gloves, so I don’t have photos of that process. The pattern is sort of a trapeze shape. I added the white and gold details on the purple parts, before stitching on the gold base, which is fitted to my wrist and thus creates the bell shape. They attach with a strap that goes around a few times and velcroes in place at the top. The moons are attached with more snap magnets, but I might change that – they tend to fall off a lot, because of where they sit and how much I bump into stuff with them.

The moons are just EVA foam that I sanded before airbrushing. For the waist one, I added more feathers and fabric with same methods as hip and shoulder armors.

And that was it! I will make a separate post later about weapons – I made/am making 2 that matches this armor. I also custom dyed a wig for a gradient, but I won’t show the process, because the colour rubs off and I don’t want anyone repeating my mistake.

Below are photos of the finished cosplay: