Greetings from the Dark Side!
If you are new to my Mercenary Katarina Cosplay series check out the other posts first:
Hey guys! If you read my first three posts of this series you might have realized that I never finished posting my Work In Progress for this costume. This is because I rushed to finish this costume and I overlooked a lot of things. I was not 100% happy with the result and I have been meaning to fix the costume. I am not planning on attending any anime conventions any time soon, so I have been procrastinating. I though that writing these posts would help me to get my costume finished.
What I want to talk about today is the pauldron (shoulder armor) I made for this costume. If you look at the artwork for the character, you don't actually see a pauldron. However, other artwork and some in-game shots show that she does in fact have pauldrons. There was one major concern for me though: whether she has one or two shoulder pieces. I have seen so many different Katarina cosplays and I see many people who have two shoulder pieces and many who have only one. For the sake of saving time, money, and making my costume easier to wear, I only created one pauldron. I based mine on the pauldrons that this Katarina life-size wax figure has on (photo below). I did not want to make it as intricate as the one she has (I don't have the time or skill!). I really wanted to keep it as simple as I could because I am still a beginner with both Worbla and cosplaying.
-Gesso primer-paint and brushes
1. The first thing I needed to do was to decide how I was going to make my pauldron. I decided the best way to shape the Worbla to fit my shoulder perfectly was to create three different pieces. I would create each piece separately and attach them at the end.
2. Next step is to draw out each individual piece. I used my inspiration pictures as a guide to create the shape of the pieces. I first drew it on cardboard and cut out the shape. Then, I traced that shape onto a piece of craft foam and cut it out again. I repeated this step for all three pieces.
3. Once I had the desired shape for each piece on craft foam, I sandwiched the craft foam in between two pieces of Worbla and heated the entire thing. Worbla is easier to cut when it is warm, so make sure to cut any excess Worbla so that the two pieces of Worbla match the shape of the craft foam. While heating it, I sealed the edges and bent the entire piece to match the shape of my shoulder. The best way to mold Worbla is to heat it up and mold it over the area you are going to wear it on. Be careful, though, the Worbla will be very hot to the touch. I personally just placed the Worbla piece over my shoulder (while wearing a thick t-shirt), and pressed it on and shaped it to fit my shoulder perfectly. Try to leave it on until it cools down.
4. Not only should each piece fit your shoulder perfectly, but each individual piece should also fit with each other. Notice in the photo below how the second Worbla piece lays over the first piece very comfortably.
5. Once you are done layering the craft foam with Worbla, heating and shaping each piece, then it is time to decorate! You should have fun in decorating your pieces and add your own touch. I personally wanted something very simple and easy. I added minimal decoration by layering small strips of Worbla over the surface of each piece.
6. If you are using Worbla you definitely want to prime the surface to make painting easier. I have loved using Gesso with Worbla. It not only makes the surface smoother, but it gives the Worbla a perfect blank canvas to work with.
7. Time to paint! I wanted to keep with the theme of the rest of the armor I create, so I used a base of a silver spray paint and detailing with black and darker silver acrylic paint.
8. I am done with most of the work, but I still have to figure out how to attach the pauldron! The easiest way that I found was by attaching the pauldron to the belt I was going to be using around my chest. Classic Katarina and Mercenary Katarina skins both have a belt that runs across the top part of the chest, goes over one shoulder, and goes around the back. Since the belt goes over one shoulder, the easiest way would be to attach the pauldron here, right? So that is what I did.
This was all for the pauldron piece. I have to say, it was the funnest piece to make out of the entire costume! If I ever decided I wanted to make an additional pauldron for my other shoulder, I can just make another one! I would have to figure out how to attach it since the other should does not have a belt, but that is a problem for future Nancy to solve ^_~
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section :)
Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!