Hey guys, I'm sure you get thousands of asks but I'm really in a crunch and I could use your help. I'm a solo cosplayer and I've got a little under two weeks to crank out Cordelia--everything's done but the armor! Not having any trouble with anything except the chest piece. I know you used a plaster cast of your Cordelia's torso, is that the only way to do this? Do you have any tips on asembling the chest piece? This is my first time working with Worbla D:. Thanks so much for your help!!!!
Plaster-cast torsos are definitely not the only way to make a Fire Emblem breastplate. The idea came to me and Jenn when we realized that no found objects could really replicate the shape of a breast if you were to form Worbla directly onto it. Most breastplate tutorials are for low-cut “titty armour” as we Ladies like to call it. Here’s an example from Kamui Cosplay:
^ These typically involve forming breast cups over spherical shapes like
plastic ornaments, and cutting them into a shape resembling a bra cup.
Unfortunately for us, this kind of method really doesn’t apply to any of
the Pegasus Knights, since their breastplates are pretty high-cut.
In the end we found our plaster doubles more useful as round forms to gradually hand-shape the breastplates than for patterning. For most of us, this project was our first time using Worbla too, so we’ve been winging it from the start. As such (and this goes for everyone), you may want to treat our armour posts as ideas or guidelines rather than tutorials. We’re still learning!
^ Accurate depiction of Team Pegasus Knight.
If you have someone who can help you do the cling wrap and tape method of patterning directly on you, that would work just as well. You may want to wear a slightly more padded bra for this just to give yourself some extra room.
^ Cling wrap and tape, for reference.
When you’re dividing your tape pattern into pieces, you’ll want to figure out a) how many pieces of foam you’re going to use, b) how many pieces of Worbla you’re going to use, and c) how you’re going to layer them. Try to plan this out before you cut your tape apart, if possible.
This is how I divided mine.
- Blue: 1 piece of Worbla and two pieces of foam glued together in the centre
- Red arcs: 1 Worbla and 2 foam each (one for the detail layer; the Worbla was formed over both pieces)
- Yellow: 1 Worbla/1 foam
- Green “shield:” 1 Worbla/2 foam.
You can see some photos of how they came together in the initial stages here. In all honesty, the way I divided mine was probably not the best way to do it. The more curves you need to form with a single piece of Worbla, the more you’ll need to stretch it out. This takes a lot of heat and weakens the material, sometimes to the point of tearing it, which happened with mine in one spot. There were so many divots and overheated/overstretched areas that I actually ended up re-covering the whole thing in Worbla scraps and blending it together with wood filler, haha. Unlike Sumia’s armour, Cordelia’s has smaller layered pieces that can’t cover most imperfections in the base of the breastplate.
From my experience working with Worbla in the past few months, I’ve learned that as long as you carefully match seams between two pieces, it’s pretty easy to hide that seam in the smoothing/sealing stages with wood filler and sanding. So as a rule, try not to have too many different shapes competing for the same piece of Worbla. Each piece will be happier if it’s attached to a simpler shape. Here’s how I would do it if I were to remake the whole thing:
Several of the pieces (yellow, green, red) would stay the same, but the blue from the first image would be split into 3 Worbla/3 foam - one completed Worbla/foam piece for each breast, and one for the under/sideboob areas leading to the collar. The pink piece would be a frame for the other two. The red arc pieces can cover a lot of the breasts’ seams, so the only one you’ll need to worry about smoothing out will be the centre seam.
Lastly, when you’re forming really rounded pieces like the breasts, I would advise using a piece of Worbla on the back of each one. You don’t have to do the sandwich method with two full-sized, identical pieces; you just need enough to cover the inside of the curve. Having a Worbla backing will make it a) more stable when you’re forming it so it’s less likely to warp, and b) easier for you to heat and manipulate the shape of the curve from both sides. Also, if you used any seams in your foam pieces like I did, this will help keep them together.
Best of luck finishing your Cordelia!