Something Fishy

The annual Dee-Con is coming up soon, on the 8th April. This year I’ve been putting together my first ‘serious’ cosplay. My girlfriend and I are going as Alphys and Undyne from the video game Undertale. It’s going to be a nice break from more ‘serious’ projects and allows me to practice my practical making skills in a different context. I’m also looking forward to the social aspect of the convention itself.

I worked on the ears first to see if I could really finish off the costume in about three weeks and if the materials I had access too would be suitable. I didn’t really have the time or the money to access fancy prop foam and things so I was facing the prospect of making everything out of rough, pointy cardboard. To get the fidelity I wanted from cardboard I decided that it would be best to laser cut the cardboard and spraypaint the colors onto it. I laser cut the cardboard but spraypaint turned out to be too expensive for my project so I ended up using acrylic paint that I already owned.

First I had to work out the dimensions of the ears and work out how I’d do the makeup, turns out hair nets are amazing for fish scales. I made several different sizes and shapes of ears before deciding on the one that fit my head and face best. I then transferred the physical dimensions to digital dimensions, vectoring the shapes into Illustrator. I did the same for the spear head, I had a lot of creative freedom as the characters from the game are only represented at a low level of detail. I ended up going for something big and geometric as I felt it fit the overall character best.

Once all the individual pieces had been vectored, I laid them out in multiple documents that were the size of the laser cutter bed so I could get them all cut out. I was very pleased with how clean the cardboard pieces were after. I then painted each individual element and mixed my acrylic paints to make the right blue. It was a struggle to keep a consistent blue tone through all the props and I had to guess which color I wanted as I struggled to color match the props to my body paint.

So the day came around of one of Scotland’s biggest anime/comic conventions. We got up at 5am for a 11am start.. After lots of showering, shaving, doing my hair I had the task of not only doing my own makeup and body paint, but also Victoria’s. It was really fun going crazy with makeup and then getting to go crazy on someone elses face. We actually made it on time too! The convention itself was full of amazing costumes and people. I didn’t expect so many small children to be so into us. Children would shout ‘Alphys, Alphys!’ Then they would see me and go crazy ‘Oh my god it’s Undyne!’ and we’d give them hugs. It’s was so heartwarming. I also met a young girl who was also Undyne and she’d made all her costume herself so we got a photo together. It was so inspiring to see people of all ages dress up and get together. I can’t wait for next year!