Greetings from the Dark Side ♥
If you are new to this cosplay series check this post out first:
After I had gathered all (or most) of the materials I needed for this cosplay, the pauldron was the very first item I worked on. A pauldron, if you do not know what it is, is basically a shoulder armor. From the concept art, you can see she has a pauldron on her left shoulder. But, this artwork does not show you if she has one on her right shoulder. From playing this character in-game and looking at other artwork, I know she only has one pauldron. This makes my job a lot easier! Instead of two armors, I only need to make one~ I wanted to make this version of her armor so I studied the artwork closely and determined what I wanted to do. I decided that 1) it was going to be a dark navy blue color, 2)I wanted to have three big spikes on it, and 3)I wanted to make it similar bulky shape to the pauldron on this concept art. So let's go step by step on how I created this pauldron!
-Gesso primer-paint and brushes
1. Learn From Other Cosplayers
Before you begin making anything, I suggest looking for tutorials from other cosplayers. I was able to use Worbla thanks to Kamui's tutorials on using Worbla for cosplaying. Worbla is a thermoplastic material and very odd to use if you have never used it before. If you are going to use Worbla, I highly suggest looking at Kamui's tutorials! They are amazing!
2. Cut Out Craftfoam
Before you start cutting into your sheet of Worbla (or any other material you are using), start by making a draft of your shape. I cut out two different sized pieces on craftfoam to serve as my draft of the pauldron. I labelled the top of each piece as #1 and #2 to know what pieces they were. This is really useful because you get a visual representation of the item you are making. It is also useful when you are using Worbla because you will actually use the craftfoam as a part of your armor.
3. Cut out your Worbla
Using the craftfoam piece as a reference, cut out two similar shaped pieces of Worbla for each piece of craft foam. Below, you can see I have my two pieces of Worbla for my one piece of craftfoam.
4. It's Sandwich Time!
Now, you will sandwich the craftfoam in between the two pieces of Worbla. This method (which I learned from Kamui) makes it so the final result has some weight and width to it. You don't want an armor piece to be flimsy! The craftfoam provides a bit of a "filling" and also makes it a little more comfortable to wear.
5. Heat and Shape!
Once you have your pieces sandwiched, you heat them with a heating tool. When Worbla is hot, you can shape it any way you want. I basically took my two pieces of craftfoam and sandwiched them each with two pieces of Worbla. I then heated the two individually and bent them to fit my shoulder. When Worbla is hot, you can cut off any excess material you desire. Once they were both heated and molded, I put the smaller piece under the bigger piece to create a two-tiered effect. At this point, you can also start to decorate the pauldron. In the photo below, you can see that I added a border on the bigger piece on top. I did this by heating strip of Worbla and stacking them on top of the pauldron. I added a border to the entire thing to make it look like the pauldron in the artwork.
6. Decorate and Prime!
Before you paint or prime, make sure you finish decorating it. Like I metnioned above, I added a border on the entire pauldron. After than, I added some small "bolts" on the side with the two-tiers. I made these little bolts by heating up pieces of Worbla and them balling them up. I squished one side flat and them heated them onto the top of the pauldron. I added five bolts on the bigger piece and three bolts on the smaller piece.
Lastly, I added some spikes on the top of the bigger piece. I made these spikes with frosting tips. Yup, that is right! I used the tips they use to make frosting decorations on cakes and other desserts! How funny! I just filled the tip with Worbla and tried my best to make the pointed tip of the spike with the heated up Worbla. It did come out a bit wonky, but it was the best way to quickly make the spikes.
I attached the spikes onto the pauldron by using a bit of heated up Worbla. I simply filled the end of the spike with a bit of Worbla and heated it up. I then heated up the area of the pauldron I was going to place the spike on, and then stuck the spike on there. Heated up Worbla attaches pretty much to anything, and is specially good at attaching to other pieces of Worbla.
And now that the decorating is complete, I primed the entire thing with Gesso. You can do a bunch of layers of Gesso to get a smoother finish. Ideally, you should also sand the entire thing. I had no time to sand, so I just did like five layers of Gesso.
7. The Bottom of the Pauldron
I wanted to give you all a quick look at the bottom of the pauldron. You can see that the two pieces are attatched together here. I attached the two pieces by sticking a piece of Worbla on top of the edges and then heated the edges of the smaller piece so that it stuck to the bigger piece. Like I said, heated Worbla attaches very easily to itself so attaching two pieces of Worbla is really easy!
I also added two D rings on the bottom. These will be used to attach the pauldron to the rest of my costume later on. I really suggest that you think about how pieces will be attached to you BEFORE you paint it. Trust me on this. Really think it through before you go any further.
Now you can go nuts and paint the pauldron. I honestly just went totally crazy on this. I painted the whole thing first with silver spray paint and then used acrylic paints to do the blue parts. I also used a darker silver to add some dimension. Honestly, I suck at painting so I can't give you much advice on it. The only thing I can say is to use various shades of the same color to add dimension. I still need to work on the paint job for this so it is not 100% complete. Once you are done painting, make sure to use a sealer. I have a spray sealcoat to use on this once I am done painting it. It will help to protect your finished piece.
Hopefully I did not just confuse the hell out of you. It is hard to explain all of this in writing and seeing a video tutorial first might be more helpful. I recommend looking at Worbla tutorials on Youtube if you are confused! But regardless, I hope you might have found this useful in some way xD
Thank you for reading!