Fuu Hououji

Final Armor (Manga)

Magic Knight Rayearth

Last Updated: 06-08-2010

I worked pretty steadily on this for 2 months and it was a huge challenge. The hardest part was as you can imagine the sword. It was only my second time making a prop with fiberglass resin.
The wig began as a shoulder length wig. I had to cut in and curl bangs. I trimmed the wig shorter and curled the ends with heavy duty hairspray, curlers, pins, and a blowdryer.
The tiara was made twice. The second, improved version is a headband base covered with a tube of green satin fabric. The gold pieces are sculpted from Paperclay, which was sealed with Mod Podge and sanded before being painted with antique gold Rub 'N Buff. The wings were carefully trimmed into shape and everything was glued with Epoxy to the headband. Tip: Make your feathers more durable by coating them with Mod Podge!
The armor was my first experiment with Fosshape, which is an interesting but not entirely amazing material, considering the high cost. I shaped it around a foam form with a steamer. Then it was covered in a gold metallic spandex fabric. The strips hanging down were made from two layers of upholstery vinyl. It attaches with industrial strength velcro.
The dress took a long time! I began with just a bodice and drafted the pattern myself through trial and error. Many seams were added for the white section and mandarin collar. The gold metallic trim had to be cut and handsewn before being carefully machine sewn. It's made from an emerald green dull satin and white bridal satin. The dress is fully lined in matching broadcloth - much of which had to be handsewn in. The skirt is actually made of 15 pieces sewn together! All the seams were carefully topstitched to lay nice and flat. The back opens with an invisible zipper and hook and eye closures.
The gems on the costume were all made from various plastic shapes I found, cut with a dremel and painted, with the exception of the neck gem, which is metal. There are Christmas ornaments, ping pong balls, earrings, and snack containers in here. I would have liked to cast in resin, but some of the gems were large and irregular and it is costly. Perhaps in a remade version all the gems will be clear resin!
The cape is about 1/3 of a circle, gathered at the top. It hooks into the armor and is fully lined Casa crepe. Horsehair braid is hidden within the bottom hem to help the cape keep its shape more. Only in one illustration is it a lighter color than the dress, but I liked this contrast so I went with it.
The gauntlets are made from craft foam. The method I used involved 3mm foam, backing it with fabric, sealing it with Mod Podge, sanding it smooth with 400 grit sandpaper, and then painting it with Rub 'N Buff. This gives a smooth metallic finish. They are also held onto the storebought gloves with a bit of velcro.
The boots are boot covers built from white vinyl over a pump. Luckily, the artwork has a seam down the middle, so this was perfect!

The sword was the biggest part of the project. I had never made a sword, so my friend Fuu helped me get the project started. First, I did the math to figure out how tall the sword should be in relation to my height. Then I enlarged and printed out a lifesize image of the sword to use as a pattern. It began as a PVC pipe base (I don't recommend this; use wood instead) with insulation foam over it to fill out the bulk of the blade. The foam was then sanded and carved into a rough shape. We used a cheap white foam lying in her garage, again I don't recommend it, because resin may eat it. So, I covered the whole blade in masking tape before covering it in fiberglass cloth and resin. After this were many bouts of filling (with wood filler, body filler, Paperclay...) and sanding until the surface was smooth. The detail on the hilt was done carefully in craftfoam and paperclay. The handle was made thicker with a cardboard tube. Everything was coated in resin for durability before painting. The gold is antique gold Rub 'N buff, and green and grey gloss spray paints were used. Matte grey can be preferable for a blade because metallic coats exacerbate every mistake if the surface isn't perfect. Also, I felt the gold should stand out on the costume and not silver on the sword, so grey was the best choice!


Judge's Award at Phoenix Comicon 2010

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United States


Character Fuu Hououji
Series Magic Knight Rayearth
Costume Views 1443
Favorites 8
Comments 1
Upload Date 05-10-2010
Debuted Phoenix Comicon 2010

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