Magical Girl D.Va Cosplay
Last year Jesmine and I decided we would do Magical Girl D.Va and Mercy for BlizzCon, but because her costume didn’t get shipped on time we weren’t able to. She had the wonderful idea to complete the costumes in time for Valentine’s Day and make some cute photos! So here we are, finally getting these complete so we can make some cute prints and cards for you guys.
Original Art & Design (by Shourca)
The design is extremely adorable and ever since I first saw the drawings I had always wanted to bring the wand to life! Sewing isn’t my forte so I was less interested in making the costume at the time (although it’s extremely adorable).
I’ll first go over the wand and headset themselves before I go over reviewing the costume and explaining the modifications I made to make it more comfortable.
As always, I begin all my designs by creating a flat two dimensional Illustrator blueprint to get an idea of the scaling and design; props with rod handles are some of the easiest and most convenient to scale because I can use the rod as a reference for the rest of the prop; comparing it to PVC pipes of various diameters to determine which seems the most comfortable or accurate for the design at hand. In this case I chose to go with 1/2″ PVC Pipe, which has an approximate OD of 0.840 in. The rest of the prop was designed and scaled around that fact.
After the wand is blueprinted, I then begin the 3D modeling process. The original full-scale wand was built in Rhino3D and Zbrush; the base build of it was all done in Rhino, but I had to create the wings in Zbrush (still unfamiliar with creating overly organic forms in Rhino). Whenever I prepare something for 3D modeling, I always split it into parts with connection points for dowels.
I’m always a fan of giving “decals” (the face elements) some dimension because it gives the prop more of a finished look. It’s also much easier to paint!
✨ If you’re interested in purchasing a 3D Printed kit of this prop, it’s available in the store! The kit includes all parts required to build the wand (PVC pipe, dowels, etc). We also have a free PDF of the blueprint available here. ✨
Here’s some shots where you can see the progress taken between raw prints; sanding and filling, and priming to check for imperfections that need further sanding and filling, etc. As always the goal with our prints is to remove all filament texture so it does not appear to be 3D printed at all. If someone has to ask how we made a prop, that means we have succeeded to cleaning it.
My go to for cleaning 3D Prints is:
- First pass of sanding with 60-150 grit sandpaper
- Coat with XTC3D or SEM High Build Filler Primer
- Sand again; lower grit if using XTC3D, higher grit if using the primer
- Rinse and repeat until satisfied with the finish
The headset was actually a hybrid 3D model, using the base 3D model that my friend Sunday Cosplay gave me years ago and adjusting it to have the heart gems and wings instead of the normal D.Va headset elements.
The painting process is always stressful for me because there’s always so many opportunities for something to go wrong. However, I did have a lot of fun working on these these parts as they were relatively simple to paint. As always, I will primarily work with Tamiya paints because they airbrush so nicely; Tamiya sells a reducer, but using 91% Isopropyl alcohol works just as well! I streamed the majority of the airbrushing process on Twitch other than priming and base coats with spray paint. I’ll put together a VOD/time-lapse at a later point showing the process it took me to paint all these parts.
There’s two general rules of thumb for painting:
- Start with the lighter colors and go darker
- Use proper base coats for your colors
I started by airbrushing everything that was going to end up being white, followed by any parts that would be finalized as a pink, light pink, or gold with a base coat of white. This allows the color to pop more and require fewer layers to get full coverage.
Whenever I work on “magical girl” projects, I always have a rule of thumbs for the chunky wings and that’s to add some shading to the wings. It really helps add dimension and give it that extra volume that would otherwise feel extremely flat. I even added shading to the mini wings that go on the headphones! It was also really fun adding subtle gradients to the pink bits on the headphones, I feel like that will really help add some extra pop to the pieces.
Masking the face was surprisingly not that hard; because I always extrude details like this (even if just by .5mm) it really helps with adding tape and trimming it down to shape. I didn’t mention it before, but I always use Tamiya masking tape for my work where the tape directly contacts the piece – it doesn’t rip off tape and it leaves minimal residue. On the middle picture you can see I did use blue tape, but the blue tape was stuck onto the yellow tape just to help mask off the rest of the piece with paper towels (great way to mask a larger area).
I originally didn’t plan on creating resin cast gems for the headphones or wand because this was supposed to be a simple and casual costume, but I ended up deciding that I would regret it if I didn’t. These were cast using SmoothCast 326, with some red transparent pigment to give them a rich color. I backed the gems with some holographic vinyl that I had cut on my Cricut machine!
First off, the biggest reason we decided to put these costumes together is actually because Uwowo cosplay collaborated with Shourca to bring mass produced versions of this costume to the masses.
I need to start off by saying this blog post is in no way sponsored by Uwowo Cosplay; as lovely as it would be to be sponsored, I am not. I purchased this costume on my own. Those are the photos of the suit. There’s a few things I replaced on the suit, but not much!
One of the most important replacements of the costume was changing out the bunny on the collar! I replaced it with an actual D.Va face that I 3D printed, extracted from my wand. I’m sure the main reason this mass produced costume has this embroidered bunny is to avoid copyright issues with Blizzard, but it just looks so… off to me? I couldn’t let it pass to not replace it.
Another funny thing, I had to actually re-position the bow all together because it was slightly off center. Not something that major, but it was enough to bother me.
I also replaced the body suit that came with the costume. Why? It was a bit too short and tight on my body for comfort. The body suit comes with elastic drawn through all of the leg holes as well as the back. In hindsight I might have been able to remove that elastic and it might have worked? But ultimately I wanted the costume to be comfortable (for potential wear at cons and for streaming in) so I bought a one piece swimsuit off of Amazon and replaced it. I simply stitched it in to the costume in the same way the original was implemented.
In the future if/when Jesmine and I decide to wear our costumes to a convention, we may spend some time replacing a few more parts of our costumes to make them even cleaner. I might replace the frills/ruffles and bra-cups to make them more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, for example. It works for the photos for now and that’s what mattered currently!
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