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Migrating!

Moving to a new blog!

Won’t be updating this one anymore (not like I was, previously ^^;), so please follow the new one. Thank you!

Zhen Ji’s Flute

Thought I’d write a bit about this project. I don’t think my work is good enough to write tutorials on, but I’ll just try to explain what I used for this prop and how I used them, and hopefully that might give you guys some ideas that you can use for your own projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This took a way shorter time to complete than I expected. I basically sat down one night and finished it in a sitting, and spraypainted it the next day. The entire thing was made from extremely cheap leftover materials that I had lying around in my workspace – craft foam, foamcore, plastic sheeting (PP board from Daiso), acrylic gems, a length of PVC pipe, and a LOT of hotglue.

It was quite difficult to make out the exact details of the flute, but I was pretty sure the design is supposed to be inspired by a bird of some sort (a phoenix or peacock, perhaps).

The ‘head’ portion of the flute was a sheet of craft foam cut to shape and moulded around the pipe, and the (idk what) designs cut out with a craft knife. The ‘beak’ was carved out of foamcore, primed, and pushed into the mouth of the pipe. The other end of the flute was cut from two pieces of foamcore coated on all sides with PP sheeting, with the pipe sandwiched inbetween and glued into place.

The rest of it was just fine detailing, which I used a combination of acrylic gems, beads, and hotglue for. Be careful when drawing stuff with hotglue. Work very very very very very slowly and don’t be kanchiong (don’t panic). Practice on a scrap piece of foam or plastic before you work on the actual thing.

Spraypainted the entire thing gold, and then painted the handle a dark, dappled blue. I just went over it using a stippling motion with a dry brush, it gives this lovely textured effect, with a little of the gold base showing through. Being the failed loser that I am, I didn’t have sky blue and pink acrylics on me, so I ransacked my store of nail polish and painted the gems with that. Yay.

TIFA

.FINAL FANTASY VII.

.Tifa Lockhart.

.December 2011.Shaw Towers.Singapore.

.Photography.:Ash.Swiftwing.

 So, to redeem myself from that horribly inaccurate FFVII Tifa I did a few years back, I decided I’d redo it as well.

Everything in this cosplay is new, except for the boots and earrings. My fantastic tailor Jessie helped me with the pleather miniskirt and the red gloves, which were made from a two-way stretch pleather with a lovely sheen to it. Instead of the more modern interpretations of her design, I decided to go old-school all the way with the super high-waisted skirt.

 The wind on the rooftop was an absolute nightmare. It blew my wig all over the place and messed it up quite awesomely.

We managed to get some nice hair-in-the-wind shots though.

Sadly though, at the end of the day, I discovered that I lost one of my earrings. 8(

Must’ve blown off in the wind (I wear clip-ons). I’ll have to make another pair before the next shoot!

AFA 2011

AFA. Finally, it came and it went. I’m going to just compress two days of content into one entry, or else I’d just get lazy after writing the first and totally forget about the second.

— — —

On Saturday, I met up with my partner for the day, Kazeki, early in the morning, after which we prepped and headed to the Japanese Gardens for a pre-event shoot. As always, unpredictable weathers follows our every move doggedly and we found ourselves having to take shelter.

Kazeki makes a superduper sexy Kasumi! Check out her dA gallery here for more of her cosplays.

Ayane’s outfit was pretty simple, I managed to finish it quite fast. I wanted to make the sleeves slightly wider for dramatic effect, but I ran out of fabric. 8( Oh well. I cut the dress like a bustier with hidden wire support and padding LOL so it would hold up by itself, which it did, but dayum, did I feel so insecure. Hate strapless dresses. The obi was a bit troublesome because it was really difficult to locate an orange fabric with authentic floral prints, everything was either too red or too yellow. In the end, I decided to just splurge on this eggspensive cotton with hanabi prints. Trimmed it with champagne-gold satin and reinforced it with idk how many layers of interfacing. I was seriously contemplating sewing boning into the bow to make it stand, but I figured it’d be too heavy and I’d be a hunchbacked kunoichi. DNW. The little pink butterfly was drawn on by hand with metallic fabric paint.

— — —

For all you guys who’ve seen my previous blog entries, you’d probably know that I’d been working on Lightning’s FFXIII-2 outfit. I said I probably wouldn’t debut it at AFA because I was too pressed for time, but I made it! It’s a good feeling.

 Truthfully, the day was a whole rollercoaster of ups and downs. I was frustrated in the morning because of a few complications with the wig, frutstrated halfway through the event because of the mad crowd, inconsiderate event-goers, and rude photogs, but ultimately, I’ve never felt so accomplished before.

If I brushed anyone off when asking me for a photo, I really want to apologise for that. I think I may have done that to one or two people while fighting to get from one end of the floor to the next. It was the first time I was cheesed off at an event enough to do that, but regardless of any reason I might’ve had for doing so, it was nasty of me and I apologise.

Unless, of course, you were one of those stupid pricks who just saw fit to spam your camera away while I was adjusting my costume/talking to a friend/resting/eating/drinking/etc.

🙂

I met up with friends and my partner for the day at the event area itself after donning the costume.

Seras as Snow Villiers!

He gave our characters nicknames – Roll-in-the-Dirt-Snow and Ass-Exposure-Lightning.

I also met up with my awesome knight, Odin! Unfortunately it was so late in the day and we didn’t get any shots together. 8(

I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people saying how expensive this must have been. Actually, it didn’t cost much. The most expensive part of the costume was probably all those feathers. I used ten packs of quill feathers for the bottom half of the piece, and they were glued layer by layer to the base which was a long piece of white felt, and attached to the harness via velcro. I chose a nice textured denim for the harness and straps, and dyed them purple by hand. The armor goes over the harness and attaches via velcro as well. I was actually really surprised that the whole set of armor stayed intact throughout the entire event. I was expecting things to fall off here and there, but thankfully that didn’t happen.

The shield was just ridiculous. It seems to just attach to Lightning’s arm by itself with NOTHING holding it in place. Wtf. I was pressed for time, so I just fashioned two ghetto straps and attached them to the shield LOLOL. Sword was made of the usual art board, wood, styrene, craft foam, and a lot of hotglue, which is what the little swirly whirly raised designs are made of.

The wig is new. I bought a generic straight wig for its lovely silver-pink color, which I felt was perfect for Lightning.

There are still a few things missing from the costume – an extra strap on the harness, some small details on the heels of the boots, and the Etro script on the sword and the shield. Also, a shinier coat of color for the gold parts of the armor. I’m planning on finishing up the costume sometime this year and having a proper shoot for it. Pretty hyped up about that, and I’ve a few concepts planned, but that’ll have to wait till time permits.

Armor Progress.

So, nothing much going on recently. Except maybe this.

This is just some super tedious shyt, I swear. I’m not really an armor person so I suffered doing this.

It’s mostly craft foam, and the little rivet details are just tiny acrylic gems sprayed silver together with the rest of the armor. I was seriously lazy rushing for time so I just sealed the foam with random pots of acrylic paint before spraypainting. Usually I’d go with many thin coats, but like I said, I was seriously lazy a little pressed for time so I just sprayed a whole dollop of paint over everything in two or three heavy coats.

Try not to do this if you can, LOL. The paint will crack when you flex the foam.

I kind of intended this for the second day of AFA in November, but it’s kind of like two weeks to the event and I’m not even halfway done. So I’ll probably just take it easy and postpone if I need to.

Day one, however, is a must-do. I will keel myself if I don’t manage to finish it. Nuff said.

the Departure

.FINAL FANTASY VII.ADVENT CHILDREN.

.Tifa Lockhart.

.October 2011.Back Alley.Singapore.

.Photography.:Swiftwing.

 

I always told myself I had to redo my cosplay of Tifa. The one I did back in idk what year ages ago just didn’t quite cut it.

The thing I loved the most about Advent Children was the emotional quality it brought to the world of FFVII (not saying FFVII wasn’t epic shit, because it was).

This shoot is based off Tifa’s case in the novella On the Way to a Smile, which chronicles the days after Meteor and leading up to the events of Advent Children. Read the translation here on theLifestream.net if you haven’t. It’s a deceptively simple story, but it’s raw and emotive, and adds a whole new aspect to Tifa’s character that wasn’t apparent before.

The costume was totally remade. The vest was made from a high quality faux leather imported from the US, courtesy of a friend of mine, and made by my tailor Jessie, who also made the apron and overskirt for me. I butchered a pair of black men’s bermudas to size and length, and took the sleeves off a tiny $2 white cap-sleeved top. I chose to use a pair of heeled sneaker booties this time, which I find to be more accurate than flat sneakers. My old pearl-white teardrop earrings make an appearance again. 8D I omitted the ring on her right hand since I was going to be in gloves most of the time.

The wig is also new, styled with heat to straighten the back and curl the bangs slightly. Zero apply-on styling products were used.

Makeup was pretty heavy. I used a pair of fake lashes and double eyelid tape on the upper lashline, and filled in the bottom lashline with dark brown pencil liner. A copious amount of brown shadow was used on the eyes as well. Unfortunately, no matter how I tried, I couldn’t bully my narrow almond eyes into anything that remotely resembles Tifa’s feminine doe eyes. 8(

8( 8( 8(

Oh well, I tried LOL.

And a few extra shots unrelated to the theme of On the Way to a Smile

And finally, some REALLY unrelated/extra/retarded shots.

The alleyway saw a surprising amount of human traffic. Idk why. But anyway, my attempts to look nonchalantly inconspicuous were total fail, of course.

And cats! Socute.

-終-

I intend to plan and execute a couple more shoots for Tifa, both in this costume and her original FFVII one. And maybe a Wall Market dress LOL. Here’s hoping I have the time to do all of that. For now, I hope these photos are good enough~ Cheers!

Many Apologies T_T

I’ve totally neglected this blog, I’m terrible. I’ll now try my best to revive it and make an effort to update it after each shoot/event or with progress updates. \o\

A few reminders~

Readers can view most of my cosplay work on my DeviantArt gallery, and my FaceBook account. You can add me on Facebook if you want, Just note me telling me you follow my cosplays. Not trying to be all exclusive and elite here, but I just want to be as sure as possible that the people following me aren’t some random tom/dick/harry or epic trolls.

If you’ve been reading my blog and you have questions to ask, fire away!

Send me an email – tachibana.shizuka@hotmail.com

Please also note that I don’t usually check comments on my entries here, so don’t get offended or anything if you don’t get a reply to your comment. Please email me instead.

And as much as I would love to reply to everyone, I really don’t find it in me to entertain questions like “r u girl or boy????” or “how old r u???” or “r u single???”. Don’t take it to heart. 🙂

Finally, thank you so much to the people who’ve been visiting this blog even though it’s been kind of dead. I checked my blog stats just now and I was really surprised to find that there’s still some traffic going on. I’ll do my best to ensure that this place gets some kind of update at least once in a while so that you guys have something new and somewhat interesting to read.

Much love! ❤

Shizuka

AFAX DAY ONE!

..In which an old favourite is revisted, friends come together, and Shizu fangirls terribly.

 

 

Finally, after quite a bit of chionging, I managed to appear at the first day of AFA 2010 as Lightning! Truthfully I take credit for very few things this time, besides the accessories and armor and styling and stuff like that; a LOT of this new costume was commissioned. Thank you Jessie for the awesome new jacket, it’s absolutely PERFECT. I was dissatisfied with the old one so I went shopping for some nice jersey and sent it to the tailor. Stretch fabric works so much better for this garment.

The wig is also new. I wanted this cos to look as natural as possible so instead of spraying the wig to death with gatsby, I just got a heat resistant wig and used a straightener to flip the ends up after cutting it to style. A very small amount of wax was used to bunch the hair to make spikes.

As much as I love the color and texture of this wig, I have issues with it because the back is a bit unruly and the curls are not quite right. But it’s nothing that can’t be fixed before a shoot or something.

Makeup was very very very light, which is unusual for cosplay but it works here. This is the first time I’m cosplaying without eyeliner but I can’t say I dislike the result.

— — —

So. I had very little sleep the previous night because I was anxious OTL

Cosplaying Lightning is very stressful for me. I find that because she’s such an awesome character and she looks so epic and everything, it’s a bit hard for me to match her character.

I was actually supposed to have a partner for this event, but he felt that he wasn’t ready to debut, so I respect his decision. No worries dude, we’ll have an epic shoot with crystals and a storm of rose petals! \o\

When I got there the event space was just packed. Like, totally packed. Luckily though, hall 404 was empty so a lot of cosplayers were able to retreat into that area and seek refuge from the mad crowds of horrible rude jostling people. <_< Unfortunately, I won’t be able to give a very good account of the ideal AFA experience because most of my time was spent in hall 404 running around and meeting friends and posing for pictures.

After a while of running around, things started to fall off my costume. By the time my pauldron came off and refused to go back onto my shoulder, I decided to call it a day and camwhore with friends instead. Didn’t spend very long in costume at all, but it was fun while it lasted.

…And on to more pictures!

^With Rieyn. Pretty, isn’t she! <333

 

^Reiko and Viospace as Alice and Boris from Alice of the Country of Hearts.

Also, it’s at this point that I feel I must warn my readers – I will make the same peace sign in most camwhore shots in the rest of this entry. I apologise for making ya’ll sick of the wonderful universal peace sign but sadly I’m bad at camwhoring so ya’ll have to just DEAL WITH IT. BWAHAHA. (Y)

 

I was so happy to see Kynkyn again! She looked absolutely gorgeous in her Namie Amuro outfit which, incidentally, is my favourite image of Namie. Hope you had fun in SG again, babe!

..and I make the peace sign as she poses glamourously.

 

I met Lina Lau who came for AFA! Doesn’t she look so effing cool. She has awesome cosplays, total respect (Y) And she’s really nice too. Thanks for the very pretty cure cards! ❤

 

Photographer Shiro Ang! And I make my best blowfish impression.

 

Jes! ❤ Super shuai Blood Dupre, I SO approve. And I spy with my little eye, Jojo aka blacklash90 as a very adorable Peter White attempting to photobomb. ❤

Anyway, thanks so much Jesuke for constantly checking the back of my wig and helping me fix it. It would probably have chuied all the way if she hadn’t been helping me <333

 

Shiroin, mad hilarious. (Y)

 

Also met up with Naoko! Hullo! And also, Beckie as Ranka Lee.

Not in picture – Kirisaki’s Sheryl Nome  because she went home early. 8(

 

LOOK. IT’S EFFING BAYONETTA IN THE FLESH. Anubis is totally THE hair witch. Best ever.

 

And I took pictures with the Hakuoki boys! Thank you Daryl, very shuai Saito plz!

 

And Isaac was a very cool Sano, but we made stupid fish faces at my phone. Oh noes.

 

And then there was the very epic Sephiroth that reduced me into a screaming ninny of a fangirl. I fangirled, and the cameras caught it. They also caught Kadaj (Holy) adjusting his hair in the background. I apologise sincerely to Lightning fans for totally disregarding her cool image for a few minutes. However..

AS I’M A SEPHIROTH FANGIRL BEFORE I’M A LIGHTNING COSER, TOO BAD SERIOUSLY. GAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

And that concludes my rather airheaded post. Day 2 entry will be up soon, do continue reading TYVM! <333

and there was LIGHT.

.. Okay, lame title. Sorry.

More progress on the pauldron. I’ve added the raised details and refined the edges of the armor. I think the hanging piece needs to be smaller, shall fix that later on. The slots cut into the raised portions are actually where the el wire is supposed to sit..

…like so. I punched holes into the pauldron and pulled the wire over and under so that it fits nicely in the slots. Though later I’ll probably need to tack it in place with nylon thread or something, I’ll see how it goes. I actually bought two pieces of wire, but it seems I’ll only need one, so there’ll only be one battery pack to fit under the armor. Yay.

So yes. There’s still a bit left to do; need to neaten up everything, add the gay emblem on the hanging piece, add the straps and spraypaint everything before I can finish with the el wire.

I’m a bit panicky now, actually. Pre-event jitters. Cosing Lightning just makes me a nervous wreck. It’s the same kind of feeling as when you have to meet a very famous person and you’re terrified that he/she’ll look down his/her nose at you and not want to talk to you at all. That kinda thing.

…you know.  .___.

Random Update

Dead blog is dead, I’m sorry. This will change soon, I think!

Mostly, I’ve been busying myself with the everyday woes of life, and also preparations for AFA this weekend. I’m almost done. Almost. Well, not quite, actually. 8(

 

Anyway, here are some small updates.

 

(Not so) Tiny Bees are at 95%. I’ve to paint some parts of it navy blue and I’m done.

The new Lightning pauldron was a bit of a happy accident. I wanted it to be thick and heavy but be flexible enough to take a bit of damage without cracking or anything like that. I don’t have an oven to bake sculpey in, so in the end I just moulded the pauldron out of craft foam and stretched a thick sheet of jumping clay over it. I dabbed a bit of metallic paint on the surface to see how it’d take to color. Trying to go for the weathered, beaten metal appearance. Looks quite promising at the moment? I’ve marked out where the raised bits are supposed to go, and I’ll have to cut funnels in the center to slot my el wire through. Hopefully I’ll be done with Lightning’s things by tomorrow night, or Monday. I really don’t fancy chionging last minute again. 8(