The Millennium Earl
Last Updated: 11-06-2012
I finally did it... So much blood, sweat and tears, so many headaches and long nights. DX I'm quite happy with how the costume turned out, but if I had had more time it would certainly be better... I finished it in only a month, maybe even less. But I think it's good for a rushed job. XD
I made my boyfriend wear it and while our costumes were quite popular and loved, I'm not sure what he thought about it for real. XD First of all, he refused to ever wear the three-dimensional eyes I made for the mask, haha. But still, it was very kind of him to wear it for me. DX For his first costume it was probably a little too rough but he survived. XD
I wanted to create this costume because I love the Earl for real... He's such an interesting character, and super hot, too. I also think the story of him and the Fourteenth was very touching.
This is the Earl's second outfit, that he wears for the first time in chapter 188. I only found one official colored reference for it (which was hard), and even that had a different hat... I had a friend help me with the colors of it, and we decided for red and white for the balls, like peppermint candies. X) I love how he's drawn in the latest chapters of the manga, the design is much more detailed and realistic.
I love the fabric I found for the coat... I wanted a creamy color, not a greyish beige but a yellowish one. It's exactly the color I had in mind and worked perfectly. I crafted my own patterns and sewed most of it in one day. The coat does have lots of buttonholes, and buttonholes are my worst nightmare when it comes to sewing and crafting... I'm not perfectly happy with how they turned out but they'll do. They're not that horrible. XD I did totally mess up the collar though, due to the rushing, lol. The buttons were originally a cream color but I wanted gold ones, so I painted them.
I knew from the start that I wouldn't find a fabric I like for the shirt, so I made it from white cotton and painted the stripes on. It was surprisingly difficult, actually, to figure out how to get the best result. I ended up using masking tape. It took much longer than I had thought which was another reason for me to fall behind schedule. But, I like how it looks. I had no time to add wire to the collar to make it stand up as planned, but I'll fix it if he ever ends up re-wearing the costume.
I made the Earl's white tie from a nice quality shiny fabric. It was my first time making a tie and I screwed up while making the patterns which resulted in it looking a bit funny in the sides, but it does look fine while worn. (He hates wearing it though. XD)
The pants are very basic, made from cotton, with a lapped zipper. They were one of the easiest parts to make and took only one day. But they refuse to stay up well on the under suit so I pin them on him, haha.
Under the costume he wears a lightly stuffed fat suit, that was rather simple to make but I got very nervous with it, as it's the part that gives him the shape of the character. It turned out rather well anyway. DX
The hat is stretchy fabric over a posterboard and cardboard base. The balls are styrofoam, and painted by hand. They attach to the hat with a piece of wire poked through, and glued in place.
Now to the most important part of the costume, the head... I stressed my butt off figuring out how to make it. I knew the perfect material to use was wire mesh but it just seems to not exist. I couldn't find it in any construction, art, crafts, or sculpture shop, so I gave up and went with different materials. It's a full head mask so I had to also think about the back, and careful fitting. I got the main idea from Dhilokee, but had to go a completely different route to make it. So, the base for the front is upholstery foam, and the back is duct tape. (Yeah, not the best things to use for it but I just couldn't figure out what would be better for functionality.) They were reinforced with layers of papier mache and connected in the middle. I made the ears and horns from separate pieces that I then attached onto the base. I defined the features with Paper Clay paper pulp, that he fortunately helped me with because I'm not very good at sculpting faces. XD Everything was then sanded, covered with layers of gesso, and painted with acrylics. The mask has eye holes that can either be used by themselves or you can insert 3D follow-me eyes that have small eye holes in the middle. I made the eyes from Fanta bottles (nom) by first cutting them to shape and then heating the pieces with a hair dryer until they could be bent to a smaller curve. Then I painted the back and poked small holes with a pin. I think they turned out perfect and are super creepy as they seem to follow anyone looking at them. But he didn't want to wear them, haha. Oh well.
The glasses on the mask have medium thickness clear plastic lenses, that I cut from a bucket of peanuts, and rims from craft foam. I painted them with gold acrylic and glued them on. Most cosplayers I've seen use sunglasses for him but he actually wears normal glasses. I suppose it's to cover their own eyes. But as my original plan was to have the plastic eyes in the mask I went for clear glasses.
The cane also didn't appear in any colored reference, so I decided to match it with the shoes I had for the costume and make it dark brown. I had the perfect base cane already in my closet from an old Halloween costume, so I just gessoed and painted it with acrylics, and it was done.
I didn't even try to fit making the gloves into my schedule, so I decided to buy and alter a pair instead. I sewed on the three lines and that was it.
The shoes are an old pair we got to borrow, that just happened to be an accurate shape and fit him perfectly.
The costume was worn to Expomanga 2012 in Madrid on Saturday and Sunday, accompanied by my Allen Walker cosplay. He also took part in the contest. I wish we had gotten more photos but the heat was so agonizing!!
I've been planning to remake parts of the costume because I know I could've made it better with more time and money. I'll remake the mask using a wire mesh base (I'll order it from abroad if needed), which will help me get the shape more realistic, and I want to spend more time making it smooth. I also want to make a fitted coat from a thicker material and fix the shirt a bit. I want more photos of this with me as Allen, so till then. DX
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