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The Journey to MAGFest: Part 4

We’re almost out of time in the Tanooki Den. There’s only two weeks left until I leave the country, and while I’m getting unbelievably pumped to get to National Harbor, there’s still quite a bit to be done here. You’ve seen it progress in bits and pieces, you’re finally going to start seeing it take shape.

The BlackArts has been thoroughly co-operative and quick to manipulate, maintaining its given shape with ease. The forearm armour base is completed and currently waiting for detailing. The boot armour is basically complete as well and awaiting detailing.
The helmet is beginning to take shape as well. Foam is a better option for the helmet, as it will give the thicker look that the BlackArts cannot, as well as provide a form-fitting, lightweight fit. The base of the helmet has completed and I’m just waiting for my wig to come in to do a final test fit before proceeding with finishing details and a visor.
I also finally received another crucial part of my cosplay in the mail. I had to order a very specific suit for this cosplay. Being that I’m still learning as a seamstress and I also don’t have the equipment necessary to work with the material I needed, I ordered a custom fitted, transparent black body suit to wear underneath everything to tint my skin.

Now, you might be wondering, “Why wouldn’t you just paint your skin?” And you’re absolutely right in thinking of that as an option. Honestly, it was moreso personal preference, once I weighed the pros and cons. I haven’t had any experience as of yet with painting my skin, and I don’t really want to be painting almost literally my entire body in a hotel where I’m sharing a room with three other people. I also want the look of the cosplay to be consistent every time I wear it, and I want it to be convenient for me to bring on the road this year. Needless to say, a transparent black suit fit the bill for what I was looking for.
I’ve also started working on a tail. Yes, you read that right. A tail. I spent the better part of my Friday evening cutting triangles out of EVA foam tiles and slicing out notches from the flat edge so they can interlock around a long wire to make the tail flexible and malleable.
It’s unfortunately been a very busy week outside of the workshop, so there isn’t as much done as I would have hoped. Plus there was a bit of a setback as supplies were depleting and I waited for a few things to arrive in the mail. But now that everything is basically here, it’s full speed ahead, because that deadline is approaching mighty fast.

I’ve had a few interesting guesses about the inspiration for this cosplay, but no-one has figured it out yet. I’ve been fairly secretive in divulging what my cosplay is. Sure, I like surprises as much as the next guy. But I’m also trying to hold on to this one as long as I can as, from all the Google searches I’ve done, it’s never been attempted. The idea of being the first just sounds really cool to me, as I generally like to think outside the box with the designs I choose. Or I go a little further and create brand new designs inspired by existing characters.
I’ve only got two more parts left in this series, so be prepared for the next part to have a ton of progress updates. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to fit everything into a reasonable article, so if you want to see more of what’s going on, you can also check out my Facebook page linked down below. The last part in the series will be an overview of the completed cosplay with comparative shots of the character.

The big secret will be revealed on February 17th. Mark your calendars!

J. Tanooki is a Contributor for She has been a lover of cosplay for over 10 years and regularly works on new and exciting cosplay projects. She actively posts about her cosplay plans, progress, and random shenanigans on her Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram. Her opinion is her own.

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