It was pointed out to me recently that if you type “Kleese Cosplay” into Google, this thread is the first result, and pictures from this thread are among the first offered in the Image Search. I am greatly amused by this.
Right! I promised you guys an update and then I was late with that update. I’m sorry. But I have an update nonetheless! And pictures!
First up, 86ing the prosthetics. The mold of my face went fine. (It was a little challenging because I had to go without oxygen and sit still, but it wasn’t bad.) Sculpting the nose and forehead wrinkles was difficult, but I thought I’d achieved success anyway. Then I started to paint on the layers of latex. First of all, one of the intended “wrinkles” broke off before I could start painting on the latex, because I hadn’t smoothed the clay down enough. But I was like, “Okay, no big deal. I can do this.”
And it went fine! At first. But I was noticing that the latex wasn’t exactly going on smoothly as it probably should have been. (Mistake No. 1: I didn’t sand down the clay after it dried, like I had with the initial lifecast.) But I was like, “No big deal. He’s old. I can work with this in makeup!”
I have a natural talent for picking difficult/challenging projects and throwing myself at them, and I am also naturally stubborn. Always have been. I have learned, albeit slowly and over many situations, to know when to call it and let go–and that was several dry layers and a day or so later:
It just. It’s not good, guys. It’s not to my standards. So I’m going to blow the dust off what I learned about contouring in stage makeup and maybe I’ll scale it down and focus on making Kleese’s eyebrows and facial hair via a combination of latex, cotton balls, some extra wefts of white hair that I bought from Arda, and that amazing Got2B hair glue I have in the house. So even though the initial plan didn’t work, this isn’t a setback.
Meanwhile, there’s progress on the shirt! While Kleese’s outfit is likely multiple pieces, I’m making life easier on myself and making his top just two pieces. I love technology because it means my friends can be at the fabric store and send me multiple potential fabrics (there are so many lovely shades of purple!), which I can then immediately reimburse them for buying it on my behalf. This is the fabric that will make up a majority of Kleese’s vest:
^ This is how it photographs without flash. And this one is with:
It’s pretty close to perfect, no?:
We also picked a really lovely-feeling fabric for the sleeves. It’s got the right sort of airy movement that you’d expect from how they look, but it also just feels really smooth and comfortable against the skin. The plan is to use pleather for the little bolero/shoulder portion, and bias tape will take care of the black outlining. We’ve done a prototype:
It’s missing the collar and sleeves, but it fits where it should, so that’s good, right?
Also! This project is doubling as a lesson in working with patterns and sewing for me; I have a basic knowledge and my own machine, but a lot of what I wear in cosplay is clothing modified from stuff I get from thrift stores or already own and I would really love to construct more of my own things from scratch. My friends who bought the fabric for me are a pair of sisters with an impressive knowledge on the subject and a willingness to share what they know! (They cosplayed as Maya and Nina along with my Claptrap during PAX South 2015, and I’ve known them almost a decade now.) Tori, the younger of the two sisters, worked with me to get the prototype sewn; she did all the cutting while explaining things to me but left the sewing in my hands.
And I mean that literally. I don’t have the proper ankle rotation to work the pedal, so I hold the fabric with my left hand and push the pedal with my right! It makes curves a little tricky, but I think I did alright.