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Unread 09-23-2008, 03:09 PM   #1
_Kumi-chan_
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Ashitaka

Ashitaka from Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke).
References:
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w...Ashitaka03.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w...Ashitaka07.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w...Ashitaka11.jpg

I'm about 80% done with the outfit, if I consider everything done so far to be "final" version. What remains: fur/leather riding gear (the pants) and a small knife which is only seen a couple times in the movie. I have the materials for both.

Outfit as it stands now:
Full view
Detail: pouch, quiver
Detail: sword, sheath
Detail: boots
Detail: sword and arrow

Worn at con:
With rain cloak on and hood/face cover up
Side view with quiver, bow
Larger view of avatar picture
Hood off, with sword in sheath


I've got about six weeks until the next convention I'll be wearing this to, which means I have time to both finish the riding gear/knife and make any upgrades and repairs. I've already put a lot of work into this and I don't mind putting in more. I love the character and I want to do him justice.

This is my first serious crossplay so I have some issues with posing, posture, makeup, etc. that I'd like to improve. One thing I'm missing in the makeup department is the cut on his face, which I'd like to do next time.

Other parts that bother me on the existing costume, and which I would appreciate suggestions on:
- The hood. I want to replace it as soon as I find fabric in the proper weight and color. I used really good fabric for the rest of the outfit but had trouble locating something similar in his salmony-pinky-red. The majority of the outfit is made from linen/linen-look fabric or upholstry suede, and I've got a preference for those.
- The boots. The biggest flaw is that they're too large and lack structure or a proper sole. I would not mind totally remaking them out of different material.
- Quiver needs a bracer, visible in the 3rd reference image. I'm planning on using a dowel but I'm having trouble figuring out the attaching points (making the suede loops fitted to the bracer).
- Bow was just borrowed from my Kagome costume and re-wrapped, so I have no problem replacing it. I'm not very experienced with wooden props. (Sword was my first.)
- Rain cloak needs to be layered.
- Wig needs to be trimmed more.

About the only things I'm against are remaking the sword--I put in way too much work to ditch the existing one--and redoing the tunic, though I wouldn't mind tailoring it further.
Anything that can help me make this better, I would really appreciate. Thank you!
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Unread 09-23-2008, 08:39 PM   #2
ChibiTenshi
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Wow! This is seriously the best Ashitaka cosplay I've seen in a while! *claps*

I just got one question: What fabric is the hood made of? It looks great, but I agree that it should be replaced with lighter fabric.

Oh, and you mentioned everything that needs to be fixed in your costume, so.. good luck! It looks great so far!
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Unread 09-24-2008, 01:55 AM   #3
_Kumi-chan_
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The hood is made of quilting cotton. That's the major reason why I want to replace it. It's too lightweight: the face cover won't stay up without major starching and the hood itself can't really support the weight of the white ornaments. Plus I really dislike using quilting cotton unless it's for accents or designs on a garment. It just feels out of place with all the other materials I used. The color's also an issue, but I had trouble finding any fabric at all in that color, even in the quilting section.

Thank you. I really do want to improve this as much as possible, and at this point I think it's more about construction quality than anything else. I feel pretty confident about my material choices (hood notwithstanding). I know what I want to improve for the most part, but I'm not 100% sure how to do so.
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Unread 09-24-2008, 07:32 AM   #4
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If you get into a bind and need to use that hood anyways, you may want to consider putting some interfacing inside of it. That will stiffen it up for you. I personally think it looks great though.
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Unread 09-25-2008, 12:03 PM   #5
_Kumi-chan_
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I've thought about that, at least for the face cover around the nose. That's the area that's driving me nuts. I guess I'm just kind of reluctant to put the effort in to fix it when my plan is to replace it as soon as possible. Fabric's flimsy, and I used hot glue to attach the white ornaments. ^^'

It's something to consider if I still can't find anything to replace it by the next con. If I could just figure out what his hood's actually supposed to be made from, that might give me a hint what to look for, weight and texture-wise. I work in a fabric store so it's not like I lack access, but I'm not seeing that color so far.
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Conquering Ranma 1/2 one costume at a time.
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Unread 09-27-2008, 03:51 PM   #6
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Holy bujeezus!!! Are you kiddin' me?!??!! Where'd your get the forest spirit plushie?!? I've been trying to find one since I watched the movie [about a month ago] and I couldn't find one anywhere!!! :O Please tell me!!!

On another note... I love your Ashitaka cosplay. One thing, though.... It was hard to tell if it was just the pictures or not but... it looks kinda like your bangs go off the one side or the other. I couldn't really tell but if you were to do the cosplay again, you might want to brush your bangs into the middle. Sorry if that's how it is and it just looks weird in the pics, but... yeah. Anyway, I love it.
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Unread 09-29-2008, 11:13 PM   #7
_Kumi-chan_
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Kodama? A table in the dealers hall was selling him. You might be able to find one on a site that sells official Ghibli merchandise, or an anime shop in your area if they carry it. (I'm lucky enough to live near a shop that has a whole display case of Ghibli.) Keep in mind that it's expensive though, more so than equivalant merchandise. Kodama was $26, and the Jiji for my Kiki costume was $38; for more than you'd generally pay for plushies of that size.
Think official Disney merch vs. other character goods.

I tried checking my references again, and Ashitaka's bangs kind of move all over the place depending on what he's doing and what mood he's in. I think they may have been parted somewhat in my pictures just because I kept pushing them out of my eyes. Hard to tell. I think they're still too long, so I might be able to fix the problem once I trim them.
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Conquering Ranma 1/2 one costume at a time.
Next up...
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The Mirror Card Captor Sakura Rapunzel Tangled EVE WALL-E
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Unread 09-30-2008, 09:34 PM   #8
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sweet! amazing a lot of hard i can tell. AMAZiNG arrows!
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Unread 10-13-2008, 12:24 AM   #9
Phelitcite
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Hope this is useful

I've just started on my Ashitaka costume, and while I lack the skill to make anything of quality, I have studied a good 100 frames and have made quite a few sketches so...I have a pretty good understanding of this outfit.
As far as the hood goes, I would say it's the hardest to recreate accurately. It has to be form fitting and should be relatively snug; the face opening starts at the bangs, opens to the eyebrows, rides the cheeks and the settles on the shoulder. The hood also covers the shoulders and shoulder blades in a semi circle.
How to make this..I have absolutely no idea (maybe you can help me xD), but double-layering cotton seems to be the best aesthetic material, my first experiments on sewing were trying to make the hood from polyester, but I don't think it's the right material for the hood at all. Maybe a cotton-polyester blend?
I'm not very experienced with fabrics, but I think I can help with the functional aspect of the hood. As for the face cover, Do you tie it around your head, letting the cloth settle between the ridges of your ear? It's not suggested in the film whether it's a simple matter of tying it to one's head or something more complicated.
Tailoring the head section maybe a good idea too.
For the boots, yeah, a good leather sole and some double layering of breathy material was what I was thinking...but they're last on my "to do" list
The Quiver is really a great construction. A 1/4 inch dowel seems like the correct size. Making loops and attaching them to the quiver and then sticking the bracer (which is actually there to make the quiver hang off the body instead of being tightly strapped on) through them is the best idea. The after that, sew the cloth strap onto the loops in such a way that is tightens the loops simultaneously (or you can do it separately :P). In case you are wondering, the top loop is sewed onto the top on the quiver, and the bottom is about 4-5 inch from the bottom of the quiver.
As for the bow, I can tell you how to make a replica model by cutting and fletching a stave. But it's a little lengthy to type down in this message, so let me know if you think you'd like to do that.
I know you said that you weren't going to redo your sword, and I don't think you should; you did a wonderful job. I can't tell the measurements of the sword you made, but in case you're interested in editing the size the specs of the sword that I figured were: 24 inch overall length, 17 inch blade- 2 7/8(or 2 3/4) inch wide tapering to 2 5/8(or 2 1/2) inch and 45 degree angled edge, 5 inch handle, and 2 inch ring.
Well, sorry for the long post and the wall of text, you kinda caught me between an episode of DBZ and a caffeine boost. I hope something I said helps , and if you need me to clarify anything just let me know.
Also, I don't know if those three pictures are the only reference you have, but I'll post up some that I found particularly helpful when I get the chance.
Oh yeah, and fantastic job!
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Unread 10-13-2008, 09:02 PM   #10
_Kumi-chan_
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I've got a lot more references on my computer, I just didn't think I needed to post any more (just enough for comparison with my pictures). I usually watch the movie/episode I'm basing my costume on a few times through, remote in hand, for the purpose of pausing and sketching/taking notes. Par for the course in costume planning, though in this case I had to rent the movie because the version I have is a raw Japanese VHS (doesn't like to pause properly).

For my hood I laid a hoodie sweatshirt down flat on newspaper and traced around it to give myself an idea of size, then sketched out a new pattern with shape and size adjustments. I don't have issues with the size or fit, it's just that it's not heavy enough to weigh itself down properly; for instance, the point at which it starts to spread out over the shoulders (under the chin) has a tendency to splay out too much, instead of sticking close to the neck. I'm almost certain this has to do with the fabric, not the design itself.
The face cover is currently pinned to the hood at two points, just about at the tops of the ears. When I redo it I'll probably tack it in place with a few stitches. If I feel like wearing it without the cover, I take off the hood and push the cover back so it's resting against the inside back of the hood (against the back of my neck when I put it back on.)

I think the boots are supposed to be short-pile fur or possibly leather, based on some of the texture detailing. Short strokes at the toe in the crouching reference shot makes it look like the surface of the boot has "nap" (took me a while to realize the riding gear has similar detailing, indicating it's actually all supposed to be made from fur; I'm going with my original idea, which is suede with fur trim and accents). Faux fur is a pain in the butt to work with, and it's difficult to find short-pile that actually looks good and un-cheap (and in the proper color). I think I just need to spend more time on shaping the pattern so it's more closely fitted to my foot.

The loops on the quiver will have to be hand-sewn to get them tight enough, I know that much, and they'll probably have to be sewn around the dowel itself to get the fit right. I forsee it being a project that will give me cramped fingers.

Need to replace the cord on the red drawstring pouch, I've noticed. All the reference images indicate it needs to be similar in color to his boots and quiver. Time to look for light tan leather lacing. Which I suppose will have less of a tendency to unravel than the red cord I'm currently using.

I would appreciate tips on making the bow, thank you.
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Over Ten Years in Cosplay!
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Conquering Ranma 1/2 one costume at a time.
Next up...
In Prog./Upcoming: Various groups/projects/upgrades Ranma 1/2
The Mirror Card Captor Sakura Rapunzel Tangled EVE WALL-E
Tenchi & Ryoko Tenchi Muyo! Parn & Deedlit Record of Lodoss War
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Unread 10-14-2008, 04:25 PM   #11
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WOW DUDE YOU HAVE SOME SKILLS WITH THE PROPS.
Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen anyone put that much work into props before.
This is one of the best Ashitaka cosplays I've ever seen. (And don't feel bad about coming second, the other one was featured in an anime magazine and had the whole 'demon arm' thing going on)
I just watched Mononoke-hime on Sunday, so I think I kinda know what I'm talking about.
Damn. Good.
Anyway, my suggestion? You may want to make somethings with different fabric and whatnot. Also the quiver doesn't look so goo made of fabric alone.
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Unread 10-15-2008, 12:08 AM   #12
Phelitcite
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I see what you mean about the hood. If you're anything like me using velcro or weighing the shoulders down artificially is unacceptable so I guess heavier fabric is the way to go.
If we look at the hood practically, it would be made of wool or some like material that protects against rain and cold.
Perhaps sewing the hood in such a way that the shoulders are formed to stay in their intended position? Like at the creases where the neck meets the shoulder?
I've actually decided to use leather for my boots. I'm worried that the friction from the heel will cause problems, are you aware of anything like that? Also, I'm completely new to fabrics and all that jazz...so I don't really understand what you mean by "nap", but I can infer, and I see what you mean through inference. The laces at the ankle are the only real way to adjust their fit, so the boots have to be a relatively tight around the foot. I agree, that's top priority.
I think using a some type of paste would be best for the the quiver/loops. Anything to help it bond; I don't think a tight sew would last long against gravity and bouncing.
I've decidedly decided that the pouch will be the first serious attempt at making this costume..so far I've been unable to figure out how to make a circular bag without cutting and sewing my square piece of fabric and the cord has been the last thing on my mind lol. And I can't find the beads at any store; I'll have to make them myself. Oh! and you know those leather strips that dangle off of cowgirl purses? Maybe you can find a tan one that's the proper length for the bag...so I guess bring some scissors and head to wal-mart?
And are you making the crystal dagger? I can't find anything suitable to buy, so I figured I'd make a clay model...yet another skill I will be learning xD
About the bow, I was trying to come up with a series of steps that would help, but I realized that I don't have pictures to make them effective...
..so I found an excellent site!This is easily the best guide I've seen for making your own bow:
http://www.freewebs.com/traditionalb...yourownbow.htm
The thing about ashitaka's bow is that it's circular-limbed, which has very different properties from a flat-limbed bow (longbow, flatbow, etc.).The circular limbed bow is much harder to make, is harder to pull back ( thus more poundage per inch drawn), and is stronger.
This, in case you are wondering, is why Ashitaka didn't need to (or couldn't) draw back his bow very far for his shot to be powerful, and why drawing full length could cut someone's limbs off.
This is really just me rationalizing a fantasy movie..I get carried away sometimes...
Anyways!
that tutorial is for making flat-limbed bows, but if you want to get something that looks more like ashitaka's bow (wouldn't be usable) you can follow these instructions:
Use the height side (the 3/4inch to 1 inch side) as the side where you grip it (erm, the height side will be facing you and facing away from you), instead of the width side (the 1.5 inch side). Yeah, the limbs won't bend or be usable this way, but all you'll have to do is cut the stave to the measurements of ashitaka's bow and use the rasp, file, and sandpaper to make it look alike. Though with more effort you can get the usable side looking like ashitaka's bow ( but the bow will probably become unusable or easily broken anyway)
Either way, the measurements that I figured for ashitaka's bow are: length- 44 inches,width 1 1/4 inches (at handle), height 1 inch (at handle).
Woodworking is hard without certain tools -you'll definitely want a rasp, file, circular saw, and sand paper. But making clothes are like...a billion times more complex, what with the wrinkles and ridges and needing it to fit and yada yada yada.....
....
.....back to the pouch!

Last edited by Phelitcite : 10-15-2008 at 12:25 AM. Reason: my original post....wouldn't post? it kept saying it needed to be approved a mod...so I edited this quick reply
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Unread 08-13-2009, 12:56 AM   #13
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HEY YOU WERE AT K-con last year, I'm attemping to cosplay Ashitaka this year with my girlfriend as San
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