Tenka - WIP - Masterpost
I recently finished my Kumo Tenka cosplay from Donten ni warau. I really loved the character design, especially the black hair and black eyes and the beautiful kimono. At first I didn't want to cosplay it, but my girlfriend convinced me to do it in the end. So a long journey consisting of a lot of hurdles began >____<'
This costume consisted of so many things I have never done before, so it was really difficult for me! I took a lot of progress pictures, so maybe they can be of help for anyone trying out something similar on their own. If you have questions, feel free to drop them below! I try to answer them as well as I can :D
First of all it's is important to note, that progress pictures and tutorials from other cosplayers were a big help to me when it came to making the wig. I'd say I'm really good in styling wigs in the first place but I never did anything like a ponytail style or even used glue and stuff on a wig until now. It just wasn't needed for the characters I did up until now.
So first of all - visit this girls tumblr account --> http://anniilaugh.tumblr.com/ She was my inspiration with her Tenka costume. She's a goddess for details and I think my stuff did not even come out half as good as hers. Look at her other works too, she's a real inspiration! Her progress pictures were a life saver for me, even though I didn't do it exactly as she did. But she gave me the right direction :)
Second - I used this artwork as my reference for the whole costume. I loved the color pattern which looks like a dawn and that it used orange colors too, which the anime version did not. Also I liked the design of the fan more, because it was more traditional.
So then I started out with... getting real headaches about how to color my fabrics. I never really dyed fabrics before and I was afraid it would turn out bad and that I needed to buy more fabrics and start all over again. It was a nightmare, because to be honest - I don't have much freetime on my hands for making costumes AND I'm really lazy. So doing something twice was NOT an option. I wanted the gradients to look smooth and like a painting. So I tried out with small fabric leftovers first until I knew how to handle the colors and the amount of water for applying them on the fabric. I used standrd good quality fabric paint from Javana by the way. The one for light fabrics, and a 100% cotton type fabric.
I made the fabric all wet before slowly applying colors and letting them melt into each other with a lof of additional water - like painting with water colors. Afterwards my dear girlfriend sketched the whole cloud pattern on it with pencil so I could start applying black fabric paint with a small brush. This was the stuff which took most of my time. I'm a really impatient person, so maybe you can imagine how devastating this kind of work was for me *laughs* but I did it all on my own! I'm a bit proud, even though it didn't turn out as smooth as I wanted it to be.
In the meantime I also made the remaining stuff of the costume, which was mainly sewing and ironing on stuff and sewing a lof of black lines on it with a zick-zack-stitch :)
So the other challenge would be... the wig. I started out with roughly sperating and cutting the bangs, so I would know which parts of the hair could be put into the ponytail. I used a long black wig with an additional clip on ponytail as a base. The clip - on was completely dismantled to be used as additional hair which as pretty much needed to style that gravity defying ponytail. Kukkii-san'shigh ponytaily tutorial was a big help!
My problem was that I wanted to achieve the style Tenka wears in the manga and has thinner strands of hair. But those thin strands were not large enough to hold themselves up just with the help of Got2be hairglue. So I had to use some hidden wires for the most important strands to make them stand up high enough without coming down too quickly. The tips were dyed with acrylic spray paint. I had so much glue there by that time that I didn't care anymore if the tips were kind of glued together by paint too.
In the end I got a result (a bit sewing provided). So the only thing missing was his ultimate weapon - the fan. I decided to dismantle an antique fan I bought on the internet, because I'm not good at prop making from scratch. So I searched through hundreds and thousands of fans to find one which looked similar to the artwork and had the right color. It cost me 20 EUR but the perfectionist in me didn't care anymore ^^"
So I decided to paint completely new paper with water colors to get a look similar to the kimono. the first attempt failed due to low quality paper and wrong color (I had to use acrylic, but it melted when ironing the paper >__<' ). So I searched for high quality paper which was good for painting with real water colors and started all over again. My girlfriend sketched the design with pencil again. Sadly the black ink I used was absorbed by the paper and overall got a pale look. I didn't care anymore because it was 2 days before the convention. I thought it would be adding to the antique feeling, because the fan's supposed to be a few hundred years old :D
In the end I disassembled the fan and put the new paper on it (spray glue is a nice help). It was a pain in the ass though, like... everything.
The final result
So after a lot of pain and stuff I somehow managed to put the whole costume together *laughs*. Without Kays help it wouldn't have been possible, but I guess it turned out pretty nice (at least concerning the pain and my overall n00b - ness). Wearing it was fun :)
Thank you for visiting!