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KusanIvy
10-01-2003, 11:30 PM
Ok I'm sort of new to Cosplay.com and I would greatly appreciate some opinions on my costumes.

I have four up so far - Zelgadis, Kusanagi, Orochi and Kenshin. Out of the four Zelgadis is my favorite and Kusanagi and Kenshin are probably the ones that need the most work.

Although I have worn most of these to cons, all these pics come out of my cosplaying portfolio (hence the plain background and lack of other people ;) ).

As I said I'm new to navigating this site so please forgive me if things got put in the wrong place. Here' the link to my costume list but there are more pics for each costume (especially Zel and Kusanagi) in their respective albums in my member gallery.

Costume List (http://forums.cosplay.com/costume.php?action=list&userid=10283)

Thanks in advance!

Rosiel
10-02-2003, 08:40 AM
Just a few quick notes since I don't know most of the characters well enough to give specific comments...

1) Kenshin needs to be ironed. ^_^
2) The shape of your breasts shows (it's the bane of every crossplayer, especially at the end of the day when the ace bandages start to sag.)
3) I thought Zel had elf ears... (I think this is my fave costume of yours, it looks great and the "rocks" on his face are perfect!)
4) Some of your wigs look crusty. What did you use on them?

Koumori
10-02-2003, 08:57 AM
I do like your fantasy costumes, but I don't know very much about the series that they're from, so I'll restrict my comments to your Kenshin outfit. (I really like the picture in your avatar, by the way!)

Kenshin's kimono doesn't appear to be styled after an authentic Japanese kimono - I don't know if this is because the photos aren't that sharp, but I don't see a neckband. Also, his kimono is in two layers, a purple outer layer and a white undergarment - it's not a purple garment with white trim, which is a very common mistake a lot of cosplayers make. I've never seen that underlayer faked in a way that I like. (I see this on Vampire Princess Miyu cosplayers all the time, too.) Finally, the shape of a man's kimono sleeve is a large square.. you seem to have a rectangle extending down from the shoulder that then drops into a deeper square somewhere around the elbow, which I'm a little puzzled by. Your pattern might have needed a little more research. I can't make out much of the detail of your hakama, so I can't comment on that.

The problem with making costumes based on historical garments is that there's less leeway to invent your own designs and solutions, as you might more easily be able to do with a fantasy costume, and as such they do require a little more research to look convincing. Luckily, costume research can be a lot of fun! You do specify you're going for a more "anime look," but even the animators/character designers have a specific notion of historical kimono in mind, and many times you'll see details (like the neckband, etc.) in closer shots of the character that you might not catch in a full-length or action shot. Inconsistent animation is a cosplayer's bane.

number18
10-02-2003, 11:21 AM
I can't really say this is much of a critique, but if the kenshin wig is indeed made of cloth, I find that to be quite ingenius.

Hikaruchan
10-02-2003, 12:59 PM
Kenshin - I agree with the ironing comments. Also would have done top in 2 layers. With faking 2 layers, wouldn't have the white trim going all the way down, should stop a little below mid chest. Cels of mine used for reference to compare at http://melissa.rubberslug.com/gallery/inv_info.asp?ItemID=5186 and http://melissa.rubberslug.com/gallery/inv_info.asp?ItemID=24039

Kusanagi - like what you did for the feet. Would have second eyebrows go a little more straight up. Great job, rarely seen character. Cels I used for reference at http://melissa.rubberslug.com/gallery/inv_info.asp?ItemID=31148 and http://melissa.rubberslug.com/gallery/inv_info.asp?ItemID=31195

Zelgadis - really like the wig. I think this costume is really good. Since I have done this costume, have lots of little things to recommend.

Would use a less shiny lipstick, as Zel's lips are not a different color than rest of face except when in drag.
Would add his elf ears.
Brooch rim should be silver (I goofed and made it gold first time around also).
Used 2 different colors of beige for cloak, but cloak and capelet should be same color.
Would get brown boots with no laces
Cape should be lined in blue or slate grey, but looks more black in one pic could see clearly in http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=83284&password=&sort=1&cat=5313&page=1
And a real nitpick - sword belt should go down on opposite side then have it going down on (I goofed on that early on also)

Cels used as reference
http://melissa.rubberslug.com/gallery/inv_info.asp?ItemID=1048
http://melissa.rubberslug.com/gallery/inv_info.asp?ItemID=1050
http://melissa.rubberslug.com/gallery/inv_info.asp?ItemID=24041

KusanIvy
10-02-2003, 01:25 PM
First of all, thanks to everyone who's critiqued so far. The feedback is much appreciated!

Posted by Rosiel
1) Kenshin needs to be ironed. ^_^
I know, my bad. I was in a rush - I don't think I've ever seen a costume wrinkle as quickly as that one. Now I know why Kenshin's always doing laundry. ;)

2) The shape of your breasts shows (it's the bane of every crossplayer, especially at the end of the day when the ace bandages start to sag.)
I will definitely head over to the binding tutorial then. I'd always been told I was rahter um... flat so i never thought it was that much of a problem.

3) I thought Zel had elf ears... (I think this is my fave costume of yours, it looks great and the "rocks" on his face are perfect!)
He does have elf ears - I love his ears. And in fact I did have a set of pointed elf/vulcan ears tthat I got at a costume shop that I put on and covered with the blue make-up. The only problem was that no one ever saw them under all the hair. I think to do the Zel ears properly I would have to find really long, slender ears (like 6 inches) that would be long enough to poke out through the wig. I don't know if it's possible to buy ears like that though. I would probably have to make my own.

But I'd be willing to, that's for sure. I think the long ears are extremely cool.

4) Some of your wigs look crusty. What did you use on them? If it's Zel then it's hair gel. The other thing about the Zel wig is that the 'hair' is not hair, or fake hair at all - it's crochet thread. It was the right colour and I figured it would be thick enough to give a wirey look.
For Kusanagi it's not a wig at all - it's my own hair slicked back and coloured with 'hair paint'. Now that stuff can get thick and crusty. When it dries it's very stiff.

And to answer number18's question - yes the Kenshin wig is cloth.

Posted by Koumori
Kenshin's kimono doesn't appear to be styled after an authentic Japanese kimono

It's not - well as in I didn't use an authentic pattern. I didn't use a pattern at all. I just sort of looked at a whole bunch of Kenshin pics and eps and worked from there. The pants were the same way - I modeled them after a skirt I had (which I had bought because it reminded me of hakama pants :rolleyes: ) and put the slits up the side because a friend pointed out that the pants are supposed to have slits.

Is the white underlayer the same as the purple one, just thinner and white? Could you recommend a good website that details a proper kimono?

Inconsistent animation is a cosplayer's bane.
Oh I totally agree! Hair and clothing changes colour, blades and claws get longer and shorter - it drives you nuts.

Please keep it coming - this is a big help.

Koumori
10-02-2003, 01:37 PM
It's not - well as in I didn't use an authentic pattern. I didn't use a pattern at all. I just sort of looked at a whole bunch of Kenshin pics and eps and worked from there. The pants were the same way - I modeled them after a skirt I had (which I had bought because it reminded me of hakama pants :rolleyes: ) and put the slits up the side because a friend pointed out that the pants are supposed to have slits.

Is the white underlayer the same as the purple one, just thinner and white? Could you recommend a good website that details a proper kimono?


Ahhh, that explains a lot. Historical costumes (which, believe it or not, Kenshin's outfit is) require a little more research just because people *do* have certain expectations for what they are "supposed" to look like. Here are a few sites that cover men's kimono a little bit - information is much more readily available on women's because they're fancier. Some good books to look at are "The Book of Kimono" by Yamanaka (not a great resource, but one of the few practical guides available in English) and "Kimono: Fashioning Culture" by Liza Dalby.

Basic pictures of men's kimono being worn: http://web.mit.edu/jpnet/kimono/kimono-man.html
Sailor Mo's kimono links site: http://www.sailormo.net/kimono/k_links.html

For a little more advanced info, this site is set up with an eye toward SCA costumers, and mainly in the Heian period, but has a lot of very useful historical information: http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/japanese/

Luckily, patterns for kimono are easy to come by. Butterick and Simplicity sell them in their costume sections, and they'll do, although the seaming is not accurate. Folkwear sells an excellent yukata pattern which can be modified to any number of kimono by altering the length of the body and/or sleeves and adding linings where necessary. There have also been LOTS of threads about kimono and hakama on cosplay.com, so you might run a search for those terms.

The white underlayer is called a nagajuban, and in form it can be identical to the outer layer.

KusanIvy
10-02-2003, 04:08 PM
Thanks very much. I will check out those sites. :chatah:

I don't know why I seem to have a thing against using patterns - I think it might be that I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to do it on my own.

But it makes sense to use a pattern for a historical costume because, as you said, people have certain expectations on what it should look like. So I will keep that in mind for the future.

Claireon
10-03-2003, 12:50 AM
I know this isn't the kind of critique you're looking for, but I hadda say... You're the first Zel I've seen who's actually put effort into it. It looks fantastic! The ears would just put it over the top.

KusanIvy
10-03-2003, 05:22 PM
Well that type of critique is appreciated too ;)

Thanks - I'm glad you like it.

I'm actually in the process of seriously pursuing a career as a special effects make-up artist. I'm about to begin training. I was always interested in special effects but cosplaying this last year has simply re-emphasied that fact, as well as help me focus specifically on make-up.

All the costumes I have up though were simply done for the joy of cosplaying.

Brunhilde
10-04-2003, 09:35 AM
Yeah I love the Zell too, I would have had to have glomped you for sure!

Lostboy
10-04-2003, 07:05 PM
I made some comments on your costume posts. I don't really hold people up against the original and say "you should have looked more like them." I just look at the coastume itself and sdecide if it makes you look good and look something like the character. So I didn't pick at little things. Just gave general impressions. And my impression generally was "wow!" :) Zelgadis is especially impressive.

I would also appreciate it if you'd look at my costumes and give me some comments too, btw. ^_^

Hotaru's Sister
10-04-2003, 09:20 PM
I'm just gonna comment on Kusanagi, being the insane Blue Seed fan I am.

-the arm cuffs should be a little bit lower. They actually go to the elbows and depending on how he moves, the cuff overlaps the edge of the bade area a bit: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Flats/7934/kusajump.jpg

-The color of the arm blades could be dulled down a little so that it looks less artificial.

-anyway you could get your hair a little greener? Also, your eyebrows are not really noticable so maybe using two sets of false eyebrowns (one either covering or right about your real ones) would look better.

-lastly, you could try using some makeup to blend to color of the feet covers with your own skin so it's less obvious. Oh, and aren't his pants usually torn on the bottom when his feet are like that? The same way his shirt rips.

Great costume though. I don't mean point out only negative things because you really did a great job with the costume. Most people I've seen do it have treated it as easy ghetto cosplay so they don't bother with the blades, and use cheap painted on eyebrows. You're probably the best Kusanagi I've ever seen.

KusanIvy
10-04-2003, 09:44 PM
Nice to hear from a fellow Blue Seed fan. We Seedlings are sadly rather few in number.

I don't mind you pointing out 'negative things' - that's the reason I posted in this thread - to improve. Glad you did like the costume though. :)

I don't know - my favorite characters have always tended to be the non-human ones so of course when I started to cosplay they were the ones I wanted to do the most (hence Zel and Kusanagi). Hence the reason I made sure to include the blades and claws - I wanted him to look as far from 'normal' as possible.

I see what you mean about the cuffs - you're right they're too short, but that's easily fixed next time I wear the coat.

I've never been totally happy about the arm blades - they're due for a revision. I always wanted to find some way of hiding the black elastics or making them look more veiny (they were originally held on with wire loops but I couldn't keep them in place). So I may play around with the paint job on the blades while I'm at it.

I do need to fix the claws as well but that's because the nylons tend to start to get runs in them after a couple of cosplay sessions. The 'slippers' to which the claws are attached also need to be fixed - one can start to see the duct tape - so perhaps I'll try making them a darker colour this time. Normally it's hard to see the difference from a distance.

The stuff I use for my hair my friends and I have termed 'hair paint' - it's nice and easy to put in (and makes slicking the hair back easier) and it washes out nice and easy the next time I shower, but because I have dark hair it's hard to get the green to really show. I might try some spray on stuff but it can be a real mess. We had a Koume in our BS cosplay who tried using red spray dye on her hair - the stuff got everywhere and smelled atrocious.

Hotaru's Sister
10-05-2003, 10:03 AM
I know they make like skin glue stuff for costuming and makeup but I've never used it so I don't know how well it works. You could always go for clear or skin tone staraps that won't stand out as much.

KusanIvy
10-05-2003, 12:18 PM
I have used spirit gum before - it's how I attached my mitamas and eyebrows as well as my Zel rocks. My friend also suggested using mole-skin tape - it's skin tone so it would hide the elastics.

The one thing I'd like to try is a paint used for making plastic window stickies. When it dries it's basically just a piece of flexible coloured plastic. I've had fairly good results with it (I used it for making my Kenshin scar) and thought it would work well to make the green 'veins' that appear around Kusanagi's blades and his hand mitamas.

Hotaru's Sister
10-05-2003, 12:50 PM
Cool! Where can you get that stuff?

KusanIvy
10-05-2003, 04:36 PM
Spirit gum you can get at a make-up store. This other stuff you can buy at a craft store (I think it's called Rainbow paint).

The only thing I noticed with the window paint is that it looks like it bleeds a little - some of the colour came off on my fingers when I was applying the spirit gum to the back. However it was not uncomfortable and my skin didn't become irritated. I made sure to check and see that the bottles was labelled Non-Toxic before I tried it.

The jury is still out on this stuff. It looked really neat (although with Kenshin things back fired a little - because the paint is shiny and bright red it looked like a fresh cut, not a healed scar) but this bleeding worries me a little.

Firegirl
10-05-2003, 09:02 PM
I took a look at your costumes, as I've only seen a few episodes of those series, I have to commend you. I would recognize you at a con, and I would definitely as for pictures. As for as little details go, I'm not so big on them, but every costume can always be improved upon. I loved your feet! =D Great work, and goodluck with your costumes in the future!

KusanIvy
10-05-2003, 10:42 PM
Thank you! I feel flattered when people ask for pics at cons. And getting glomped is fun too. :p
It blew me away the first time someone asked "Can I give you a hug? I've always wanted to hug Zelgadis"

I love the feet too. Having claws is fun!