Last Updated: 01-10-2012
I love Mulan. I love the music, I love the characters, I love the story, I love Ping. I feel like a lot of people, myself included, can relate to Mulan and her struggles to show her love for her family by keeping them happy, while trying to be true to herself. She has been my role model for a long time, and possibly even more so these past few years, and I wanted to pay her homage.
The armor was always drawn simply in the Disney movie, and I wanted to go for a more authentic look while still trying to maintain the cartoonish Disney feel. After doing some research, I found that traditional Chinese armor is made with scales, and often strung or riveted together. I decided to compromise between authentic detail and the Disney look by making scales but ditching the rivets. I also didn't make scales for the chest piece, but instead tried went for some breastplate detail that I found in some reference photos of Chinese armor. The scales were made by heat-molding craft foam, held together with superglue, and coated with a mixture of glue and water to make them stiff and shiny. It took about three months working on and off to complete, and I really like how it turned out. I hope to acquire some floor polish to seal it, and perhaps weather it a bit, although I'm still debating on that point, since making it too gritty might make the cosplay unrecognizable as a Disney character, so wel'l see.
Wearing this to ALA 2012 was awesome. I had a friend with me as Matchmaker Mulan, and we were very well received! A lot of people "d'aww"ed at us, and for a while I wondered why, but I soon figured out that several people were mistaking me for Li Shang, and thought we were doing a couple cosplay. Oh well! I had a great time doing the man-strut, whistling along as people sang songs from the movie, and being as manly as I could muster. I even won my first Hall Costume Award! THANKS ALA HALL COSPLAY JUDGES AND EVERYBODY AT THE CON! So much love for you all.
I hope to make the sword and do some more shoots with this costume! My dream would be able to do a shoot with a Khan (the horse). But yeah, I'm really proud of how this turned out, and I would definitely wear it again.
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