Art Nouveau Meg: making Worbla armour

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Artwork by Hannah Alexander

I’ve made a start on my cosplay! I am so excited for this project. I love Hannah Alexander’s redesigns, particularly the Disney ones. I’m also making an effort to document my way through this, maybe it’ll help another cosplayer at some point! I would also like to particularly thank Ginger Liz, who has already made an amazing Megara cosplay and has been so patient and helpful with all my questions; everyone at the Hannah Alexander Cosplay group, and also Kayoss Cosplay for all their advice as well.

So this is my first time using Worbla and I was a bit daunted by it. I’ve seen so many amazing results in terms of armour for cosplay, so I had high expectations and no skill at all. But I want this cosplay really bad, so I tried it anyway, and it’s not really that bad! My first stop was Google and Youtube and thankfully there are plenty of talented cosplayers sharing their wisdom. So with their advice in mind, I set off!

Worbla is a bit of an investment. It’s expensive (I got a large sheet for £26 with a student discount at Flint’s Chandeliers, down in Elephant and Castle), and you need a heat gun. I started by putting all this together and making a pattern. I did this by wrapping myself in clingfilm and then masking tape. I then used the mirror to draw on the rough guideline shapes. I cut off the weird plastic corset off and drew the details onto it, and then cut it out of the Worbla.

I ended up with this!

I cut off the breast bits separately because they need to be shaped into a round form, so they need to then be melted and blended into the rest of the piece. Most of the tutorials I saw used a plastic round mould for this, but I didn’t have any nor did I know where to get any, so I used an old bra instead. I used duct tape to secure clingfilm over it, and made sure the Worbla was already cooled a little bit before draping it over the cup and shaping it. Then I let it harden into position. I then used the sandwich method (one layer of craft foam between two layers of Worbla). I put the wrong sides together, so make sure that the shiny side of Worbla is the one facing the foam! Also make sure that the foam bit is smaller than the Worbla, so that it sandwiches around it.


Then I heated up the edges of the breastplate and the cups and very carefully patched it together. Now, I didn’t use two sheets for the cups, as most tutorials suggest (because I’m an idiot), and so the Worbla started tearing once I put pressure to fit it into the round edges. I would recommend using two layers of Worbla for this as well! Once that was done, I traced the detail patterns onto craft foam and used my glue gun to stick them to the breastplate. Then I heated up the whole thing and awkwardly wrapped it around myself so that it would get the round shape.

I fiddled with it some more after thus photo, popping air bubbles with a pin and trying to smooth it out (mostly unsuccessfully)

I was really unhappy with the uneven, messy aspect of it, but the more I reheat it and tried to fix it, the more it started crumbling and tearing. So I gave up and called it finished. Then two layers of craft glue for priming! And on to painting. I started with a base layer of  black, and then gold. I also used a little bit of black again to try and give it a used/ old vibe but I’m not very good at painting so… yeah. Then I added trims and then varnished it.

I also made a pauldron (or shoulder thingy, as I’ve been calling it!). I didn’t take many photos of this because the process was the same, except I didn’t sandwich the foam in two Worbla pieces. Instead, I cut a big oval like shape out of foam and then one out of Worbla, but I did something like a half inch in allowance. Then I heated it up and wrapped it over the foam, turning the excess allowance inward. Then I cut details out of foam, glued everything on and painted it.

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It’s pretty much done at this point! I’m having some trouble finding rhinestones or jewels big enough for the eyes on the shoulder thingy, but after I sorted that out, the amour for this Megara cosplay will be done. Not really looking forwards to working with more Worbla, but I still have a belt and bracelet to do, eck.

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