Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Valkyria Chronicles 3 - Imca

For AnimeNorth 2012 I planned to cosplay Imca of Valkyria Chronicles 3 which would be considered a crossplay for me but she is easily mistaken for a guy which fits nicely in the end. Imca is known as the ace of the "Nameless Unit" in the series and what makes her stand out is her extremely large and epic weapon. It is named "var" and is a mix between a grenade rifle and a two handed sword. 


To begin with the project I decided to first work on the weapon as it would be the highlight of the cosplay. I searched up the net for as many Imca reference pics and luckily there was already detailed concept artwork on the var. Using the images found I decided to make a 2D draft of the weapon to get an idea of how large I wanted the weapon to be so I threw everything into SolidWorks which is an engineering design program I use in my course and made a simple 1:1 scale draft.

SolidWorks isn't necessary but definitely helpful.

Now that I got the 2D draft up to scale I got it printed out thanks to my sister who got her college to do it for cheap. Other local print shops were charging me like 60 bucks for poster quality when I only needed a simple paper print to use as template. Now to actually start working on making the Var, I went out and picked up some supplies in which I'll list in detail below and specifically where I get them.


-EVA Foam rolls/sheets. I have some experience with foam as my last costume, Gilgamesh of Fate Stay Night, was made purely of it. I use to buy the $9 rolls at Micheal's Craft Store that came in about 50x30in or something like that and were incredibly thin but instead I found a better and (possibly) cheaper foam roll. Wall-Mart and Sears sell Best-Step Anti-Fatigue Foam Floor that are 46x93in EVA foam rolls and are lot thicker than the other rolls. These rolls cost about $20-30 but I only found myself needing 1-2 compared to buying multiple amounts of the other roll that were not as thick and stable. In the end it all depends on your wallet and what you're making cause it still worked out fine for my Gilgamesh.

-Heat Gun. This is what I use for bending my foam parts to hold for curve and such. It's not a mandatory tool but will make work much easier in some cases. They are incredibly cheap also, you can pick them up at local tool stores for $19.99 or less.

-Cutting Tools. This is straight forward. You're likely going to need some scissors or precision knife to cut the templates, and exacto/x-acto/utility knife to cut foam and other sorts. I have a table saw also but won't really need that for the foam.

-Sand paper/Grind Tools. Need this for smoothing the foam for flat and even surfaces. Using the template will pretty much reduce the need of excessive sanding but you'll still need to sand down curved parts and mistakes. Use whatever grit paper that won't destroy your foam and having a rotary grinder is nice too.

-Hot Glue Gun/Glue Sticks. I bought a good pack of 50 large sticks including a large glue gun. The reason why i prefer a larger glue gun is because the smaller gun doesn't melt the glue fast enough for me to work on a large scale project. The more watts the gun, the better and faster the progress will go.

-Measuring Tools. I'm not even going to bother with this one.

-Tape. Preferably duct tape, lots and lots of duct tape.

The handle end of the Var
Middle of Var
The front end of the Var
That is approximately how long the Var is going to be.
Mainly what I'm using to build the Var.
Heat Gun and Glue Gun

Now that I've listed most of what I'm going to be using, I am pretty much set to start working on the weapon itself. The deadline for finishing is by May 20th as I don't want to spend my last days before the convention up all night stressing and working to complete everything. I'll make sure to continue posting cosplay progress.