This franchise has long since been dear to my heart, and was actually the basis for many of my friendships over a decade ago. Finally, after years of wanting to, I got around to tackling my favorite character from Kingdom Hearts: Master Aqua.
Birth By Sleep Concept Artwork for Aqua
First thing’s first: deciding on fabrics and materials. Early on in this project I bought a 3D printer, so certain pieces of armor and accessories were planned to be modeled and cleaned up that way. But that would come later. Before that, I deliberated over fabric types by comparing concept and promotional artwork to the in game and cut scene models. From there I chose a matte black spandex for the majority of her clothing, while the halter was decided to be a navy mesh; something I hadn’t seen another Aqua cosplayer do before. It would be a long while before I tackled that part, though.
Once I had my materials selected, I began patterning up everything. Because I was working with a stretch material, there were several parts I needn’t worry too closely on being perfect as it would be forgiving once on me.
I made quick work of the stockings, shorts, sleeves and waist pieces. The most time consuming piece was to be the bodice, so of course I delayed that and worked on everything else in the meanwhile.
Draping and inverting the bodice was giving me a headache, so I decided to switch over to the pink harness and accessories for a change of pace.
I modeled the Mark of Mastery in Maya before printing it on my (at the time) XYZ Davinci 3D printer.
The armor was up next. As you can see, they were spliced into 4 pieces for sake of ease and assembly. This is the raw print before being cleaned up with auto-body filler Bondo and sanded up to 400 grit.
Most of the bodice process was streamed online, so there aren’t photos of the ribbon process. I did, however, do my best to document the halter attachment. A lot of it was draping and pinning on the dress form, while afterwards I sewed some fasteners at the back of my neck to keep it all in place.
Once all the sewing was finished, I returned to the 3D printed accessories. Here I used my painting box to coat everything. I used 2 primers before coating them with auto-body aerosol paints. 2 coats of paint were added with drying time between coats.
While I originally planned on making her boots from PVC foam, I quickly realized how painful it would be on my ankles and achilles. I’m hoping to remake these as they were a tad rushed in a couple of hours. I used EVA foam, an angle cutter, a sharp box cutter, a heat gun to shape and barge cement to make the shoes. After that I sealed the foam, primed and painted the same as the rest of the accessories. Velcro holds them onto my shoes and ankles.
Assembling and attaching the armor was an interesting process. The plastic gem has some leftover gold heat transfer vinyl super glued to the back before being set into the hole on the top. Then, I glued some 1″ elastic along the back which is then secured via safety pins to the sleeves. Bending my arm results in the armor moving along with it, which was a happy accident.
This costume was a lot of fun to make, and I can’t wait to do some shoots with the Wayfinder! Perhaps I’ll find sometime to make Rainfell, as well.