Sunday, October 2, 2016

Lady Thor Helmet :: Cosplay

When Jason Aaron dropped the new Thor comic about a year ago, featuring a mysterious woman wielding Mjolnir and the name of the Norse God of Thunder, I was PUMPED. While Loki has had his (and her) share of genderbending comic appearances, it was exciting to me that Thor was going to get a makeover and new perspective.

After I read the first comic I was hooked...Lady Thor (I wont spoil her identity for you...but you should totes go read it!) is BA as all get out and I loved her costume so much I knew I wanted to cosplay it. I also liked that it was one of the more 'masculine' female costumes (which sounds backwards, I know) but in the world of tiny spandex body suits and stiletto boots, its nice to have a change of pace from your stereotypical BOOBS IN YO FACE getup.

  Whenever I look into a prospective cosplay, I start with the most difficult part of the costume, so I don't spend a huge chunk of time on other parts of it only to get to the end and not be able to do the more difficult pieces. With this costume, it was definitely the helmet.


I had never made any sort of helmet or armor, so I kinda went in blind on this one. I finally decided I would try paper mache, and try and get it smooth as possible.

The first step was to get the basic helmet shape to have a support base for the paper mache. I tried making a cardboard frame, which failed magnificently. SO magnificently, in fact, that I almost gave up on the whole thing right there.

Later whilst doing some laundry, I noticed that the top half of my bleach jug had the general shape of helmet crown, and I had an epiphany.


So I went to the local Dollar Tree (seriously like my favorite store ever...I can spend ALL THE DOLLAH DOLLAH BILLS at Dollar Tree) and bought THREE more jugs of bleach with the same shape plastic bottle. I also swung by JoAnns (ALSO MY FAVORITE STORE) and picked up a paper masquerade mask that resembled the face portion of the helmet.

When I got home, I emptied the bleach (SAFELY) out of the jugs, rinsed them well, and let them dry. I then chopped them up along the lines in the highly detailed diagram below.

(You see these mad photoshop skillz? If you would like to contact me for business inquires; please use the tab above)

After I cut up the jugs, I glued them together to form the conical shape of the helmet, and glued the mask on the front. I also added a piece of plastic to the back to extend it down and cover more of my head, and some little pieces to the top to make the point. I covered the seams with the only tape I had on hand (lol so FESTIVE) to try and 'smooth' our the joining edges.

I cut a length of 18 gauge wire the circumference of my head and hot glued it inside to help stabilize the thin plastic. I also attached two strips of craft foam crossways to help the helmet fit my head a bit better.

After I had the general shape like I wanted, I covered the entire thing about seven thousand layers of paper mache.  I used news paper and 1 part water to 1 part flour.

After it was completely dry it looked like this!

Then, I painstakingly covered the whole thing with Bondo. When working with bondo, apply in small sections, and get it AS SMOOTH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE THE FIRST TIME AROUND JUST TRUST JORDAN ON THIS. I actually found that the best way to apply it is with a playing card. They're cheap, stiff enough to apply it but flexible enough to go over curves.

After you get your bondo on, gently sand down the rough edges and high points.with a sanding block. For my first sanding (BRACE YOURSELF FOR ALL THE SANDING) I used a 220 grit. ALSO...please wear a respirator...I don't want any of you guys getting black lung or something equally nasty.

After sanding the first layer, you're going to want to go back over it with spot putty to fill in the two million tiny crevices in the first layer of bondo. I let that dry completely, and then added another layer, just to be safe. Then I wet sanded the entire thing with 800 grit sand paper, then 1000 grit.  This was my first time wet sanding and it was super cathartic how smooth it gets the piece!

Two coats of grey primer later, I was getting so excited about how it was looking!
For the 'ear wing' thingies, I cut out the shapes with craft foam and cardboard...I used giant googly eyes for the rounded part...who knew googly eyes were so versatile? I attached them with my trusty E6000 and let them dry completely before giving the whole helmet a few coats of metallic silver spray paint.

I knew I didn't want to risk destroying the entire helmet by trying to etch the W shaped design on it, so I cut it out of craft foam, painted it gold, and glued it to the front. The 'rivet' is another googly eye that I spray painted silver and glued on.

To 'weather' the metal a bit, I rubbed watered down black acrylic paint over the entire surface, let it dry JUST A BIT and then wiped it off with a paper towel. Finally, I went over the helmet with a thousand and one coats of spray acrylic sealer...annnnnnnddd we're done!

Stay tuned for the rest of my posts on this cosplay!

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