Arcade Miss Fortune Write-Up
Arcade Miss Fortune is the most recently costume project that I have completed and I’ll be sharing some of my construction details here about the costume, accessories, and props. Just a heads up though, I don’t specialize in seamstress work so I’ll only be covering prop/accessory details.
I unfortunately don’t have a lot of process photos for Arcade Miss Fortune because half the time I was really trying to rush to make multiple deadlines, but I do have some!
Creating the Hat
The hat was the part I was dreading the most (I have a weird trend of choosing costumes with hats and then dreading it… why do I do this to myself?) but because of some of my recent contract jobs at Total Fabrication Inc. I learned a little bit about L200 and was able to use that to my benefit.
Patterning is actually one of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to building anything based on fabrics/soft goods. My solution? Build a wireform structure to pattern off of! This is the same technique that’s covered in my Giant Hat tutorial, so if you’re interested in that go check it out.
Using this technique I was able to create a three dimensional form that I can visually see and decide whether I want any major changes, such as size or curvature.
The next step was obtaining the pattern from this wireframe structure so I started taping on pieces of cardstock paper (firmer, allowing it to form to the curve) which created a solid outer shell. I only needed to cover half of it since the hat is supposed to be mirrored anyways.
Once everything was taped in place and fully covered I was able to draw the panels that I would be using for my L200 pieces. I probably could have designed the pattern differently, but I’m still pretty new to working with L200. Albeit messy, it worked out in the end!
Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of the L200 form before I sanded it, but you can kind of see how the whole surface is pretty rough. I cut all the patterned pieces out of 1/2″ L200 foam and glued them together with barge. Once everything was dry I attacked the hat with low grit sandpaper to smooth out all the hard edges (seams) of the foam, followed by higher grit sanding to smooth it out furthermore. I chose a thicker foam to work with so that I have more leeway with sanding it down. If I had used a thinner foam, I wouldn’t have been able to sand away so much of the material.
After sanding there were some areas that clearly had small gaps, those were filled with caulking. This is a great way to smooth out foam surfaces (post wet-sanding if you plan on doing that), it’s like bondo for foam! I wasn’t too concerned with how perfect the surface was though because I knew I would eventually be covering the entire thing with fabric anyways, so it didn’t completely matter how clean the form was.
I sewed some felt together to further hide the seams of the foam and added worbla (GASP) to the brim, this was actually my first time ever working with worbla. I’ve never been a fan of the material, but I didn’t want to seem biased without ever touching it. So now that I’ve played with it, I can officially say I am not a fan of it. I can see the benefits of the material, but it’s just not my thing. (Also, it looks like a duck with Oreos!)
But I digress.
Afterwards I simply sewed together a vinyl casing for the hat and added it on top. The heart on the front of the hat was laser cut out of two different kinds of vinyls and glued together.
Feel free to use these for your own project. I’ll have a digital kit available for purchase on my shop with actual Illustrator vector files available, but if you want to trace it yourself you can just use the image from this post.
Creating the Wig
This was actually the first time I had to modify a wig on my own. In the past, such as Miss Fortune, I would have a friend help me modify it because I have absolutely no patience for wig work, but this time I decided to do the work myself.
I purchased two 38″ Hera white curly wigs from Epic Cosplay and spliced the wefts together to create one volumous wig (I’ve always considered Miss Fortune’s hair to have more volume than a normal wig). The photo above is just ONE Hera wig, it looks so empty! Adding the second wig does so much to give it more of a Miss Fortune feel. Afterwards I used the FW Ink method to dye my wig, I used my friend, Vickybunnyangel’s, tutorial on YouTube to achieve the gradient.
I was pretty satisfied with the result I obtained, especially for my first shot at dying a wig! It doesn’t rub off too much, but it does slightly get on the white of my corset.
Creating the Skirt
I’ve seen a lot of people wondering about the Arcade Miss Fortune skirt pattern, and there’s actually a a few different methods of doing it:
- Sewing squares together
- Painting the squares on
- Custom ordering fabric with a pre-designed pattern
I went the custom fabric route because I have never had an excuse to use that technique for any project previously. I ordered swatches from Spoon Flower and Fabric on Demand, but I only received my swatches from Spoon Flower so they got my business.
After some scale tests (with the belt width) I decided that I liked the squares on the skirt being 2×2″ each.
This is the file I used for printing my skirt, but I even made it publicly available for anyone to purchase if they want to use the same exact file/design that I used:
If you follow this item, you can order the same exact fabric I used for my costume, the DPI is set properly and everything. Click to purchase the fabric on SpoonFlower!
I used a store bought pattern for the skirt and simply modified it to add the pleated bottom to it. Patterning is not my forte! I fully lined my skirt because custom printed fabric has a boring white backing, but that’s completely optional.
Creating the Headset
I originally planned on 3D printing the entire headset piece, but I ended up only 3D printing the star and building the base of the headset on the lathe.
These are the 3D printed stars for the belt buckle and headset piece, straight from the printer without any cleaning done yet (the roughness of the shape is more visibly noticeable on the smaller star).
I decided to turn the base headset shape on my lathe using resin bucks. I created my buck by pouring some resin into paper drinking cups and then tossing that onto the lathe and adding the details that way. The left piece in the photo was a test with some bad resin and the right piece was the final form used for my headset.
Afterwards I molded and casted the star, pulling it out before it fully cured and shaping it to the curve of the turned piece. After that was all filler work.
Creating the Belt + Belt Accessories
The belt was pretty simple, I took the waistband pattern from my skirt pattern, imported it into Illustrator, and added the zig-zag pattern onto it, which I then got laser cut/engraved on vegetable tanned leather. I used leather paint to make it white and carefully painted in the zig-zag with grey leather paint using the engraving as a guide.
The pattern for my belt was split in two because it would not fit in the laser cut bed otherwise, and also if I were to cut it in one long strip that would waste a lot of leather.
The star belt buckle was 3D printed and molded/casted (previously shown).
I have raw casted belt buckle stars available in the Vensy Props store if anyone is interested. I might make painted versions available in the future, but for now it’s just the raw castings.
The Gameboy hanging off of the belt is actually a real Gameboy that I purchased off of eBay – don’t worry, it was already broken when I bought it! I opened it and took out all the hardware so that it would be lighter and I removed the buttons, molded, and casted them in their proper colors to replace inside of the console.
Casted GameBoy buttons are also available through the Vensy Props store if you’re interested in purple/blue buttons.
I purchased a replacement screen because the one that game with the broken GameBoy was completely trashed! These are readily available on eBay, and if you’re opening up your GameBoy to hollow it out you might as well replace the screen considering how inexpensive they are.
Creating the Boots
The boots were pretty simple, I just ordered some wedged heeled boots from eBay and used Meltonian Nu-Life Color Spray (in purple) for the base color and mixed some Angelus leather paint to paint all of the purple details. I purchased some neon pink shoelaces from Amazon and glued/sewed them to the boot. The upper flap and straps are pieces of vegetable tanned leather sewn/glued onto the boots, painted with their respective paints.
Creating the Guns
Normally I would create a separate post for how I fabricated the props for a costume, but I unfortunately have very few photos I can publicly share of the process. I was working on these guns at the same time as the Overwatch guns for BlizzCon 2014 and a lot of the photos featuring Arcade Miss Fortune’s Shock and Awe progress also have Overwatch guns in progress and Blizzard has been strict about not allowing us to show progress. Sorry!
As always, I begin my project with a digital blueprint created in Illustrator to fully design the project. This allows me to be fully prepared for the build, as well as print the prop in various scales to determine what the final scale should be. My digital blueprint for Arcade Miss Fortune’s guns are available for purchase at the Vensy Props shop.
I used the Illustrator file to laser cut the sides of the guns in 1mm Sintra, 1/4″ and 1/8″ MDF. The 1mm Sintra layer was the very top layer, creating the depth for the three circles; the 1/4″ MDF layer was directly under that, creating the depth of the bevel; and the final 1/8″ MDF layer was the bottom-most layer with the exterior of the bevel included.
With these all glued and layered together I was able to add Apoxie Sculpt to create a perfect bevel around the outside perimeter of the form.
In this photo I had already cut out the “body” of the gun with layers of MDF and was just seeing how all the pieces looked when layered together. This was before I actually went back and sanded the bevels furthermore.
Doing another test fit with more of the pieces cut out. No buttons yet in this stage and the ABS pipe was too long still, but I just wanted to see how everything looked together.
This was also before I sanded the handle, and I’d like to mention a rule for prop handles that I have. When creating a prop, I will make sure that the handle is comfortable for the user, even if that means it’s slightly inaccurate. For example, my default Miss Fortune’s Shock and Awe was scaled down a good amount so that it would be comfortable to hold as well as capable of pulling the trigger/cocking the gun all with one hand (especially considering Miss Fortune holds two guns, no hands free). Arcade Miss Fortune was no different, when shaping/sanding the handle part I made sure it was comfortable.
At this point I was creating the inset for the ABS pipe to slide into seamlessly. Lots and lots of bondo to make this perfect! My goal with this build was to have as minimum post work after casting as possible, so I just wanted it to be as seamless a fit as possible.
This was one of the final fittings, making sure the area below the ABS pipe fit seamlessly, as well as adding the buttons and button stand on the backside of the gun. I decided to mold the gun body and handle separately so that it would be easier to cast (and also to save on material).
Here’s the gun when it was finally 100% ready for molding. You can also see the headset and star piece being molded in this shot! The body of the gun was huge and required nearly a whole gallon of Smooth-On’s Mold Max 40.
I don’t have any photos of the gun post casting, but I do plan on selling raw castings as well as a limited number of finished gun sets in the very near future, and at that point I will take more photos and possibly separate the gun into its own post. But for now this is all I can share, sorry guys!
Hope this post was relatively helpful, even if I lacked a lot of photos. If you have any questions feel free to drop them below in a comment or contact me on Facebook.
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