SOLDIER Schemata: Lightning Returns

posted in: Cosplay | 0

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII’s SOLDIER Schemata based off of the iconic uniform from Final Fantasy VII. Giant sword and fierce savior? Hell yeah. Costume and Buster Sword made by me; here’s how!


SOLDIER and Miqo’te, the two Schemas I used the most during my play through and further proving I have an unhealthy obsession with both giant weapons and cats.


Sewing for this project was hardly much of a challenge, the trickiest being adding in some pockets and gathering the pant cuffs at the bottom. I also made the mistake of kneeling onto my fabric at one point, losing all feeling in my leg below my knee before realizing I’d just lodged a 2″ pin into it.

Don’t do that.


Using a similar pattern to Lightning’s original Gaurdian Corps. top, I lay out some darts and zipper guides before trucking through it in 2 hours. The gloves were simply modded with brown fabric glued over an old pair of black ones, with some fashion studs to finish off the details.


A trip to home depot left me picking through the nuts and bolts until I found a middle-ground. In the end I had to glue some pieces together, and smooth out the tops with some clay, but the masters for my silicone mold were not very complicated. From there I mixed a plastic cast that was simultaneously coated with silver powder pigment. No painting required! You can also see a couple failed gems for Cinder in here.


I ended up using a child’s bouncy ball as a base for the pauldron, as it’s a much larger fit than my actual shoulder. Everything was patterned out, cut and treated with a heat gun. The trimming was actually several long strips of craft foam that I sandwiched between worbla, and then carefully snipped into more pliable, finished strips ready for adhesion. Marks were made to drill through, allowing for the removal of the “screws.” The surface was filled in with some layers of a 1:1 wood glue-water mix, and dried with a portable heater because the apartment was freezing.

Using a styrofoam ball and some wire, I made a makeshift prop to hold the pauldron up while I primed and spray painted the base coats. I liked the look of the Martha Stewart Stormcloud paint, so I mixed it with some dollar store acrylic silver to gain a thicker viscosity before applying it to more weathered areas of the armor, armlet and bracer included. Velcro was then glued along the inside to later on affix the piece to my shoulder harness, which was then also velcroed to my shirt for more security.



Armor!! Sintra was used for the armlet and bracer, and the holes were drilled before affixing screws into them. Same idea for the pauldron; drill, prime, paint, weather. In the end the small armlet never really needed the bolts removed, but I felt better knowing if needed to, I could.

And then it was onto the sword from here!

Soulfire Photography

Soulfire Photography


[espro-slider id=1667]



Liked it? Take a second to support Sheena Duquette on Patreon!