Cosplay, or costume play where people dress up as their favorite game characters, isn’t quite a sport yet. But it’s certainly a form of art, as shown by the entrants in the cosplay contest for the TwitchCon 2018 streamers event in San Jose, California. The finalists put hundreds of hours of work into their creations.
Casey Renee of Casey Renee Cosplay won the categories for the best needlework and best overall cosplay at the event, and she spent more than 550 hours patterning, sewing, and adding details to the Amethyst by the artist Sakizou. For that dedication, she walked away with the $15,000 grand prize.
She sewed her own wig and ventilated it too. On her costume, she hand placed more than 30,000 thousand beads, sequins, and rhinestones on 42 yards of fabric. She also hand made her own appliqué, bias tape, and even foundation garments to create the proper silhouette needed for this costume.
Perhaps the ugliest design that we can’t unsee was the Mother Brain character from Metroid, created by Cig Neutron. One of the judges said the butt was unforgettable. The design of the Nintendo character includes foam latex facial prosthetics, custom made creature teeth, and a full body creature suit. Mother Brain won for best effects.
The “larger than life” category featured Terrible Trio Creations’ Khan Grimblood character from Guild Wars 2. Siblings Hannah, Morgan, and Sarah of Terrible Trio Creations came together to create a life-size charr from Guild Wars 2. They created a replica of Hannah’s in-game character Khan Grimblood. Combining hundreds of hours of meticulous modeling, foam work, leather tooling, furring, and metal work, these three siblings have created a marionette character who is fully suspended around them, transforming a 5-foot-10-inch girl into to a 7-foot tall war beast. Terrible Trio Creations won for the best larger-than-life entry.
The winner in the armor category was AzureProps, dressed as Artorias the Abysswalker from Dark Souls.
The armor is veg tanned leather, ranging from 2 ounces to 8 ounces in thickness. Each piece was patterned out first in thin eva foam, before being transferred to the final leather. After this, each piece was cut out, edged, stamped to create the ‘corrosion,’ wet shaped with water, and then dyed with Fiebing’s USMC Black.
The helmet, sword, and shoulder were modeled in Zbrush and 3D printed. For the elaborate designs on the chest and back, she decided to try embroidery for the first time. Each set of items required different weathering techniques and materials: seam rippers for the fabric, shoe polish and pastels, cooled tea bags, airbrush, acrylic paints, and isopropyl alcohol.
While all of these crazy characters looked funny onstage, they fit well with all of the crowd at TwitchCon 2018.