Kilik from Soul Calibur IV

edited April 2017 in Cosplay Contest
Entry number two!

This costume was constructed in 2013, from the end of August to the last day of October, being worked on for a few hours every day while two other costumes were being built, and a commission! 

Growing up, Soul Calibur was one of my favorite video games and I'd constantly play it on the Xbox with my dad. So when deciding on a new costume to construct, I went down a list of the Soul Calibur boys and thought of Kilik.
He has a very interesting design that involved prop work, armor building (which I was new to and all my costumes around that time were armor suits), fabric alterations and sewing, and some simple make up work. 

Luckily for this project, since he's from a game, I could find 3D models, videos of him fighting and, very high definition photos to get a better look at the construction of his clothes. Upon further inspection, I noticed the fabric of his jacket wasn't just blue but had a print to it. I bought a dark blue brocade, making sure the fabric would photograph well in flash and natural lighting without additional shine, that had a beautiful flower pattern. The fabric also had a good weight to it, so the tails would have a nice flow to them when they were spun.

Everything on this costume had been constructed from scratch, from altering the wig (which was once chest length and full of curls) to creating my own shoes. The jacket was fully lined and I had wired a blue LED light into the top belt with a convenient battery pack. 

(Photo by TK-8919 Photography at Youmacon 2013)

Constructing the jacket and pants, I directly cut out the pieces without drafting a pattern or using a storebought one.
The jacket's shape was simple, with two shorter tails in the front and a tailored fit but loose enough to breathe and be sinched by the belts at the waist. I used a metal separating dark pink / purple zipper that matched the color of the inner sleeve cuffs, noticing that the color of his zipper really contrasted from the rest of his jacket, a detail I wanted to keep.

The pants were quite fun to create too with their parachute like shape, gathered at the shin and waistband.
All seams were finished with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying (and I didn't have a serger yet :p ). 

(Photo by TK-8919 Photography at Youmacon 2013)

Without the ombre paintings, his jacket was just, well, a pretty blue number with raw edges.
I laid the jacket flat on the floor of my workspace, lining on one side of the room and shell on the other so paint wouldn't cross contaminate. I took Gesso and layered it on the fabric until it created a canvas that I could begin painting on, sealing up the fabric so it would really take to the colors of my acrylics and not bleed through.

I set up my laptop and for each tail, kept a photo open of his jacket and tried to copy the same gradients, colors, tones and ombres that are featured on his clothing. I sketched out loose ideas in pencil for the shapes and where I wanted to sew the bias tape later on so I didn't cross my colors or go out of line. The painting process itself took over a week, covering the majority of the back in a mahogany, bottom of the tails on the shell and lining, sleeve cuffs with a base color and detailing, across the chest, collar and tops of the leg covers. All of the paint was sealed when finished and before sewing the bias tape on.

To give extra depth to the back, I hand cut seventy or so pieces of foam in feather like shapes, adding details with hot glue. Heat sealing them first, I primed with two layers of Mod Podge and added my gradients and gold accents.

Stiffness of the sleeve cuffs was created using painted craft foam pieces. Interfacing was also sewn into the collar.

(Photo by TK-8919 Photography at Youmacon 2013) 

Not having any gold fabric that I liked to create bias tape with, I purchased a handful of packs of double folded orange bias tape (and once again, bought all of the packs JoAnns had in their store, haha) and painted them gold myself. Painting in the summer in Michigan is always a challenge in itself, as the terrible humidity here makes a short drying time last hours and even worse problems, like paint peeling right off the material or staying sticky... forever. So, painting always had to be planned accordingly with the weather. 

Bias tape was cut and folded on itself to create narrow, thin strips to outline all of the painted shapes, sewn carefully and very, very slowly. Finally, the lining could be attached and the final bias binding was added to the sides with fringe trims sandwiched in between. 

When constructing the shoes, I wanted to make them based off of traditional martial arts shoes, and make sure they were form fitting and had firm soles so a martial arts routine actually could be preformed while wearing this costume. I took apart foam sandals from the craft store and then using the fabric, patterned around my feet to create a sock that could be attached around the foam sole. Craft foam pieces with Model Magic jewels were added to the tops. 

(Lining is featured here.) 

And adding to the fact that I wanted to be able to move in this costume, I knew the staff for sure would be going through a lot of wear from hitting the concrete ground and being gripped all day. I coated a wooden dowel in layers of black Plastidip before using a glossy red paint and primer so no paint would come off on my hands or in general, be able to withstand abuse and keep a nice shine to it. The detailing on the gold ends was painted by hand with metallic acrylics and the 3D effect was created with hot glue. 

(Construction progress.) 

Whenever I do projects that involve armor, I like everything to be detachable in some way or another. The shoulder piece slides on with two elastic pieces to hold it in place and the bicep cuffs also attach to the jacket with the use of velcro. The triangle armors around the legs have elastic attached around them, so they can be taken off and add extra support to the fabric leg covers. 

Before painting the armor, everything was heat sealed and then primed so the spray paint would not eat into the foam and it would keep a true gold metal appearance. All of the small details were done with a hot glue gun and all jewels are made with Model Magic, which was a fun material to work with! 

The belts are closed with Velcro and have another piece to hide the closings. The panels hanging from the belts are attached with the rope also used for the necklace. The feathers hanging from the shoulder armor are attached with fish wire so movement is not restricted, and the foam was carved into for small detailings. The belt panels all have a layer of clear PVC glued to them for an added shine and protection. 

The shoulder piece was constructed first with a base of .5mm craft foam, cut and sculpted into a loose idea of the shape, of an eagle. Then, wood filler was added to the foam to fill in the shape before the final sculpting phase. The wood glue was given three days to cure. Lastly, the piece was covered in a thin layer Model Magic, building up shapes and depth within time, sculpting designs as the piece was created. The sculpting process took about four hours and then the Model Magic was given a week to fully harden, and was watched carefully to avoid any cracks, as that's a very common downside to the material, which was luckily avoided! The reason I wanted to use Model Magic was for its lightness but durable finish. No one wants sore shoulders after wearing a costume all day.

The shoulder piece was sealed with a semi-gloss glaze. 

Everything was weathered with a paper towel, dry brushing lightly with black paints. 

(Photo by TK-8919 Photography at Youmacon 2013.)

The wig had originally been very long, reaching the chest, and very, very curly. Since Kilik's hair is a lot shorter than that, I took a day to carefully cut away the extra length, style pieces with Got2B Glued and hairspray, pulling the back into a small ponytail. 

(Photo by TK-8919 Photography at Youmacon 2013.) 

The make up was simple for this costume but of course, not forgotten! Bronzer was applied lightly to just create a slightly tanner look, and so skin would not be so washed out during the photo shoot. Brown contacts were also worn for accuracy. For the scar on the cheek, I used an Elf eye shadow palette that I love to use for creating non-raised bruises, cuts and wounds. Eyebrows were darkened to compliment the color of the wig. 

*ADDED one more photograph. 

(Photo by TK-8919 Photography at Youmacon 2013.) 
Post edited by Hazel-Grey Kenny on
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