When I made my Moonpriest cosplay, I had every intention of making a nice caster staff to go with it – but the thing is, the weapon that in my opinion fit best with this cloth set was a polearm… Which my druid could’ve wielded, but since Moonpriest is a cloth set, it can’t be a druid cosplay. Really, I love this set, but it just doesn’t make sense who can and can’t wear it and the weapons that look good with it.
Luckily, cosplay is in real life and have different rules that apply – while I can’t make moons float above my shoulders, I can carry any foam weapon I choose, so I made the polearm (and also later a sword, which a mage COULD carry while wearing the armor set… because accuracy).
Anyways, I figured I’d make a little post about how I made it.
I started with the top and the bottom parts of the staff. This was before I figured out that buying actual cosplay foam – although slightly more expensive – is SO much better than buying work mats, because it’s just easier to get a nice, smooth seam when all sides are smooth and don’t have a weird pattern like floor mats do. BUT here you see the results you can get from super cheap materials (the colourful foam was stuff I got for free)
So I layered 3 foam sheets on the thickest parts and left just 1 layer on the side spiky thingies. I cut a hole in the middle of each where I added plastic plumbing pipes – that way it would be able to come apart for transportation. I did a very rough cutting of the edges to get the “sharp” blades – but I used a sanding machine to finish it up. The way I sanded it was with an orbital sander mounted on a vice – kind of hacky, but it did the trick!
I used a thinner 3mm foam for the details on the blade and on the side thingies. Here you also see a few white spots on the place – that’s foam clay, which I used to fix up any mistakes I made where the sander or knife slipped and took off too much material. I had a 1:1 print of the weapon that I used as pattern and reference.
The moon thingies in the center of the top and bottom are made with a 3rd kind of foam – this is so-called cosplay foam from coscraft.be. It’s two layers of I think 5mm thickness. It was so much smoother and nicer to work with than the floor mats I used for the blades. For each piece, I cut two circles, left one untouched (bottom) and cut the details out of the other. I sanded the upper edges of each and then glued it to the bottom, rather than trying to edge the pattern into a whole piece.
Without paint, it’s a bit hard to see, but the blades have some indented pattern in them. I made these by cutting the outlines with a small knife, heating up the foam and then sort of edging the details in with some leatherworking stamps I had. And smooth, small and flat surface could do this, I just had these at hand.
The middle of the polearm is just another plastic pipe. I used velvet fabric scales to cover the entire thing. They’re made of these triangular shapes that I stitched bias tape to. I couldn’t find the right gold colour, so I painted the bias tape before stitching it on. The triangular shape was a bit challenging, so I’ll include an image step-by-step of how to do those corners.
I used wood glue as my primer – I’m not entirely sure why I chose that, but it works fine for things that don’t need to flex a lot. I probably wouldn’t use it for an armor, though – more bending from motion on such things.
I used my airbrush to paint it, starting with a black base for everything, then did the silver and purple parts without masking off.
I masked off everything that wasn’t supposed to be gold and used Alclad gold paint for the golden parts. For masking I used regular masking tape.
Finished paint job!
Not pictured: I made some foam feathers from EVA foam. They have metal hooks glued on the back. I used fabric scraps for the wrap-around thing that they’re attached to.
I don’t have good photos of the prop alone, but check my costume gallery – it also shows the matching sword I made with the exact same techniques.