Last Updated: 04-29-2015
I love Queen's Blade! I love the music, the animation, and most of all the beautiful and diverse collection of ladies! (Yes, I know it's a perverted show, that doesn't bother me.) Leina is my absolute favorite of all of the girls in the show, I love her personality, her design, and I love that even though she doesn't know exactly what she's fighting for at first, she keeps pressing on until she figures it out, making tons of friends in the process. This was also a "supply room explosion!" costume, meaning that I purchased less than a quarter of everything I needed to complete it since I already had everything else on-hand.
The wig is an Arda Le Tigre Long in Ginger Blonde. I cut the length to what it is now, and cut the bangs into it. I went over the ENTIRE wig with a flat-iron, hair spray, and oil sheen; a process that makes the wig much more manageable and less prone to constant tangling. It also makes it look/feel much softer/silkier. I really like Leina with the long hair and I originally had only planned to keep it long for a photoshoot in Georgia, but since genius me lost the rings I'd purchased for putting into the cut version, I kept it long for Otakon as well. Turns out lots of people like her with the long hair!
All of the brown belts/straps are made from brown suede I had lying around in my closet. I decided on suede instead of leather because I didn't want chaffing on my shoulders/chest, and also because I just like the look of suede over vinyl/pleather. The studs are worn-goldish studs I purchased from Tandy and hand-set every single one.
The loin cloth is fabric I also had in my closet, a dark red suiting and some dark blue crepe. I appliqued and satin stitched the blue onto the red and then lined it with more red to make it look nice. The panties/bottoms are a swimsuit bottom I purchased from Target and altered the sizing and straps on the sides. The black glove and the thigh highs were simply purchased.
Now, for all the armor. I've been itching to do another "lots of armor" project, and I've also been itching to use up the leather I've been storing away from sales at our local Tandy store. All of the armor on this outfit is 100% made from veg-tan leather which I sprayed with Nu-Life silver spray, sealed with Saddle-Lac, then weathered with black acrylics and water. Before painting/finishing, all edges on all leather pieces were smoothed and finished with some leather gum and a special plastic wheel made for such.
For the breast plate, I first put a bra on my dressform and stuffed it tight with plastic bags, pinning it in place so it wouldn't go anywhere. Then, to protect it from staining/moisture, I wrapped the dressform in plastic wrap. I let a piece of leather for the boob part soak for about thirty minutes to soften it up, then I pressed and formed it onto the dressform until I got the curve for the chest that I wanted. I secured the piece to the dressform with pins and ribbon and let it dry for a few days while I worked on other pieces. Once it was dry, I removed it from the dressform, trimmed it to the size I wanted, then re-attached it to the form and made another plate on top of it, so that I could have a second plate to cut out the designs I needed for the curved chest. The bottom portion of the chest plate was just a simple curve around the torso of the dressform. I cut the bottom of the breast piece and the top of the torso piece to match up, then stitched them together and covered the stitches with the designs of the chest plate. All of the designs on the chest plate are leather-cemented in place.
The upper arm band and bracer are stitched together on the undersides and their detailings are also leather cemented in place. The hand plate snaps together at the inside of the wrist, and the finger plates are all directly glued onto the black glove for ease of putting it on and taking it off. The finger pieces were wet-formed around some cardboard tubes that I made. The upper arm band was not wet-formed since it keeps its shape relatively well, and the bracer was wet-formed over a form of my arm I made from packing tape.
The knee-pads were wet-formed over some wig heads to get the basic curve, and the extra pieces were leather cemented into place. The shin guards are stitched up the back with the top detail being cemented into place. The bottoms of the shin guards were wet formed to stay round, and the very bottom was curved upward so I could attach the ankle flare things at an angle so they'd stick out the way I wanted.
The shoe armor was build around 4'' heels, since those were the shoes I had lying around, and the extra heel made it much easier to get the weird shape of Leina's shoes. The shoe plates snap together on the insides of the ankles, are stitched shut at the point of the heel (with just enough space for the shoe heel to slip in), and there is elastic on the sides to keep it wrapped around the base shoes.
The sword is a piece of poplar I purchased from Home Depot, sanded down with a belt sander, smoothed out with a mouse sander, then painted the blade black with some textured black paint. The gold piece is Fimo that I build around an aluminum foil base, baked, sanded, then painted. The ball on the hilt is a wooden ball I painted and the wrappings on the hilt are some blue pleather I had lying around.
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