|Debuted: Katsucon 2010
Worn at: Katsucon 2010, Otakon 2010
Award(s): Best of weekend craftsman at Katsucon 2010
This is basically Ultimecia's ultimate summon "Griever" junctioned to her (making an Ultimecia-Griever Hybrid monster thing, lol). I have always loved Ultimecia and the Griever summon ever since I saw them in Final Fantasy 8 ages ago! I cosplayed as Ultimecia from Final Fantasy 8 in 2006, and really had a lot of fun with it. When I saw a new incredible and more challenging design for this character, I was so excited to try it! I think part of what I love about this costume so much is that I LOVE cats, and I get to basically wear a cat! I also came up with this silly thought of Ultimecia feeding Griever bacon all the time, and it has now become a joke between my friends and I. It all just makes me giggle so much, I love this costume for so many reasons (even if it is painful to wear)!
This costume was fairly difficult, and I am very proud of it. I chose to make this not only for my love of the characters Ultimecia and Griever , but also to learn and use new techniques. I feel that this costume really showcases the skills and abilities I have learned and improved upon throughout the years I have been cosplaying. A costume of this difficulty would not have been possible for me even just a year before making it. I have built upon what I know with each challenging thing that I make, and it's really rewarding to see the improvements in my skill level!
This costume taught me a lot of new techniques such as making a realistic animal face and huge fake arms for the first time. For the face, mask, and wing base shapes, I worked with a lot of upholstery foam, craft foam, wire, chicken wire, and stuffing (see materials 101 for more info on these materials). I then covered them in different types of fur and black velvet (and feathers of course for the wings). The wings fade from white to black feathers on the fronts and backs. I based the look of the Griever mask from actual photos of black panthers, since my ultimate goal was for the most realistic look possible. I was very picky about the eyes and having them looking realistic. They are made of clay and have a shiny-wet look with pink corners like real eyes.
I also had creepy muscle-man photos laying around the house (to help me see how to shape the arms! I finished the arms and mask off wit hand sewn bits of black fur to hide seams and imperfections. The claws are made from Paper clay. I was very happy with how both the arms and face came out looking pretty realistic - the best compliment I kept getting was that people though the black arms were my real arms. They were confused when I moved my actual arms away from my chest- it really made my day!
The dress is dark red velvet, and it was so annoying to get the bottom to stay in the round shape that I wanted! I ended up cutting little strips of thick interfacing, coloring them black, and stitching them around each tattered petal. The fuzzies around the top of the dress are a mixture of extra long pile black fur and various black feather trims taken from my old Ultimecia dress. The feathers on the crotch area (WHY are those there anyways!?) are feather flats attached to a black Foamie/vinyl base and hand stitched on. All of the white hair is mixture of two wigs, and some of it is attached to the mask itself to hide the sides of my face.
I HATE body paint so so much! To avoid the grueling task of painting my legs each time I wear this thing, I made my friend Catsiy suffer through wearing my tights while I painted them - but I fed her tacos, so she was happy! <3 I still didn't get to avoid body painting totally though - I painted most of my upper face black to help hide my eyes under the mask and also painted my hands/forearms purple to match the reference art. Ugh, having body paint on your arms and hands is a pain in the butt!