Monday, June 29, 2015

My First Cosplay Prop: Amon's Blade (Magi: Kingdom of Magic)

As a kid I always had some chuunibyou. Well, just the part where I pretended to have special powers and imagined various objects as weapons of dark energy or something. So yes, my imagination ran rampant as I was young. It was always awesome to have some kind of wooden sword to swing around. Finally in my first year of college I decided I had the money and time to make my own awesome toys. Originally I saw a video on how to make a simple wooden sword. This looked like a lot of fun and applicable to what I wanted. Although Amon's sword is a curved blade, the beveling (slanted edges) part of the video gave me ideas.

So here I will run you through the process and a couple of WIP (Works in Progress). If you don't care for all that, the final product will be at the bottom.


So first step was to figure out its dimensions. I put a lot of work into finding the right model I wanted. The picture above is actualyl one I never looked at as the anime and manga have variations. I decided on the smaller sword, as many people were telling me that making the large sword out of wood would be too heavy. However, at this point I don't think it would be too bad for me. I decided on the smaller one, and was going to make it to scale for Alibaba. Lucky for me, he and I are actually the same height so calculations were precise. I had a lot of trouble finding a perfect picture with the handle, so I guessed the size on my own.

The calculations became very hectic because I had no idea where to put what. I started to create points of where the arcing began and measured their distances so I could use a protractor to plot specific points.

I took all the calculations on the left and transferred it to some super heavy duty cardboard. This was a huge mistake because it took me forever to cut out. But that chuunibyou got me and when it came out I was swinging it around like a little kid. It would be much more beneficial to me to trace and cut it out on perhaps some solid construction paper since I was just going to trace it on to some wood.

The next step was transferring it all to a piece of wood. I went out and bought some pine wood, which is pretty solid, and traced the design onto it. The piece I got was very cheap, about $3 and probably had enough wood to make 3 swords.

This was the piece all cut out, with the hilt very long so that I had extra space to clean it up later. I used a jigsaw to cut out the shape accurately. Next was to put the details on it. So for the bevels I used a hand sander that I tied down to a bench and went away, kind of like in the video. It was pretty easy to get the edges lined up, except for the part with very sharp turns (bottom front). Because of this, the sword is a little sloppy there.

So the first picture here shows the edges done on it. I applied a little too much pressure on the hilt and it broke, so I just put a nail through the handle and attached them again. I then sanded it smoother and shaped the handle appropriately. I applied about 3 coats of black spray paint and let it dry for a long time. The rings at the bottom of the blade were tough and turned out not smooth. I had to hand file them down after cutting appropriate sized holes.

Finally after it was pretty much done, I smoothed it a little more, and Lilitare helped me apply the white decals on the front. Originally I thought a stencil would do the trick but I was struggling trying to make the right stencil.


And finally the final product!

It went through a bit of damage during the con (drunken swinging) but it survived and looked pretty good for my first prop. It now hangs proudly over my bedside. I know the process was lengthy and maybe a bit boring to read if you did read it.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My First Cosplay: Shiro (No Game No Life) - Rintare

As you may or may not know, in taretaretare, I am the one with the least cosplay experience! I only started cosplaying in 2014 at Otakon. I decided to cosplay Shiro from No Game No Life because I was watching the series and I really loved her and I thought her outfit would be simple enough to do. I asked my aunt to help me because she's a wonderful seamstress. As I'm learning more about sewing, I look back at my Shiro costume in awe because of how beautiful her work is *0* She made the whole thing! I really wanted to help, but I didn't really know anything....

Here I am! I think this was taken by Kuri in the hotel hallway.
A hall shot in better lighting
Here's the whole outfit on the hanger

So I'll walk you guys through her process!
The outfit is a simple dress underneath of a jacket. She used Simplicity 2072 to help her with the sailor collar! All the stripes you see are just different ribbons. The yellow scarf is two separate pieces of fabric that are attached at the shoulders. The small clasp (with the white button) holds the scarf together. I think this is supposed to be just a band?? but mine is attached to the jacket to help keep structure as well.
I got the wig from aliexpress and it was pretty cheap. It got really tangled really quickly...I had to throw it away after the con because it was too crazy. I didn't really style this wig because I didn't think I needed to, oh well!

I had a lot of fun with makeup! I had never done cosplay makeup before so I had quite the adventure figuring out how to cover my eyebrows.

This was a really special cosplay! So many people took pictures of me and it was really overwhelming for a first con. It really makes you feel on top of the world and it's probably why I decided I wanted to cosplay again and again.

I redid this cosplay again for Katsucon 2015 where I bought black loafers, made a crown (my first cosplay project!), and bought a beautiful new wig! I really want to talk about how I made the crown, so I'll get to that in another post!

Let me know if you have any questions about this cosplay or if you have any advice on what else I could talk about!

Until next time!

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Origin of taretaretare

So you may be wondering how taretaretare got together or how we came up with our name...Well this post is dedicated to the origin of taretaretare! (Let's just say ttt for short!)

Where do we begin? The best place to start would probably be Otakon 2014 where we all came together for the first time. Kuritare and Lilitare were friends from school. They planned to cosplay together for the first time at Otakon as Rin and Hanayo from Love Live! Kuritare and Rintare were childhood friends and thought Rintare would like to come to Otakon so he invited her along (for her first con!). Rintare went as Shiro from No Game No Life. During this con, we stayed in Lilitare's tiny nearby dorm and every morning was a hectic struggle to get ready! Lilitare and Rintare became fast friends, it was love at first sight (= 3=) / ♥

"This is where Lili sucked me into the Love Live trash life." -Rintare

After Otakon, we became great friends who had a lot to talk about with each other because of our common interests like anime/manga, videogames, and cosplaying. So later that year, we decided to go to Anime USA together. At this time, we weren't too serious about our cosplaying and just decided to go as Rin, Hanayo, and Maki in practice clothes. We had a lot of fun at this small con and were excited when people recognized us!

A potato quality picture of us with cute paws!
This brings us to the strange picture of chicken nuggets at the top! So, while we were at AUSA we did lots of fun stuff like play all the arcade games, sing karaoke, meet Steve Blum, and go to panels (our favorite was Dansu To Pansu!). We also went to the host club to see what that was all about... We were really hungry so we wanted to order some food, but everything was really expensive so we just ordered some french fries. Turns out these fries came with some godly dipping sauces, so we asked for extra sauces and smuggled them out to use them at McDonald's across the street where we could afford food.

After this con, we decided to stick together and cosplay together so that we would always have each other as support in our cosplay endeavors! Our name comes from a loose translation of "sauce" in Japanese, which is "tare"! Since there's three of us, we went with taretaretare, with each of us being a "sauce". This was the official beginning of taretaretare.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Welcome to our blog!

Photo by: Shifty Cosplay
Hello world! We are taretaretare, welcome to our blog! This is where we hope to share a lot of stuff with you guys like our con stories, works in progress, tutorials, reviews, personal stories, and more. Stay tuned for what we hope to be some awesome content ;))