Cosplay Project: Utena Duelist Epaulets

Over the past few weekends I’ve been working on new epaulets for my utena cosplay. I started making them by heat shaping craft foam using a styrofoam half-sphere and a saucer as forms, then primed the assembled epaulet with acrylic gesso. I did a test run of the paint to see how the assembled piece looks before I plastidip the rest of them. I might need to trim the gold edge a bit, but I think it looks pretty cool so far.


Due to powerful tides, this teeming reef has become a series of shallow tide pools. An Epaulette shark is caught on the reef in the deadly Australian sun. Not to fear, this little shark has evolved ways to survive out of water. By shutting down its organs one by one, it can cope without oxygen sixty times longer than a human. And, if necessary, it can switch to survival tactic number two; it can use its fins as a pair of rudimentary legs to make its way back to the nearest tide pool, and the cool ocean water. This is the only shark that can walk its way out of trouble.


Sharks 101: Epaulette Shark

  • Epaulette Sharks are long tailed carpet sharks found shallow coastal waters.
  • Epaulette Sharks are often found in very shallow waters of coastal reefs and tide pools. 
  • Epaulette Sharks often get stuck in small tidal pools. To deal with oxygen depleted water, Epaulette Sharks can selectively send blood to their brains. They can live for hours in low oxygen water and up to an hour in water with no oxygen in it.
  • Epauletee Sharks “walk” on the bottom rather than swim.They wriggle themselves along the bottom because the water levels are often too low to swim easily in.
  • Epauletee Sharks are harmless to humans. Their max size is 3.5 ft. They eat worms, crustaceans, and small fish.
  • The big black splotch on their side is both the source of their name and a defense mechanism to fool predators into thinking they are larger.