Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour Tutorial

wetcelery

Active Member
This has long been a dream of mine and it's another ambitious project for my second costume! I am aiming to try and create Mulan/Ping's training outfit and military armour all before the end of September! This will most likely be my last big project as summer comes to an end and art school starts up again. This time round, I'm hoping to make everything from scratch. I'll try and make it as cartoon accurate as possible, hence why I'm opting for a more simple look for the armour, than what several cosplayers have done to try and recreate the look of historical Chinese military wear of the dynasty. Maybe I'll get there at some point but for now, I'd like to try my hand at EVA foam armour! So here's a thread of my progress. As always, suggestions are more than welcome!

Undershirt and trouser:
mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-4140.jpg

Training uniform:
mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-4217.jpg mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-4222.jpg mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-4465.jpg mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-4513.jpg

Military armour:
mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-2214.jpg mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-2212.jpg mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-2198.jpg mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-3524.jpg mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-5806.jpg mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-5815.jpg

Detailed Costume References:
mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-8287.jpg mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-8285.jpg mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-8289.jpg

INDEX
Probably best to view it in this order if you're following this as a guide. Posting order is more how I worked and it's a little bit all over the place.


1. References
i. Personal Notes
2. Training Uniform
i. Coat
ii. Collar
iii. Cuffs: part one, part two
iv. Finishing the Coat
v. Trousers: part one, part two
vi. Hair tie
3. Armour Base
i. Chest piece: part one, part two
ii. Skirt pieces
iii. Pauldrons
iv. Gauntlets
v. Shinguards: part one, part two
vi. Hand guards
4. Detailing the Armour
i. Cutting Thin EVA foam
ii. Sealing with PVA/Water
iii. Spray painting: part one, part two
iv. Detailing with Acrylic Paint
5. Summary
6. Complete Costume

mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-4140.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-4217.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-4222.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-4465.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-4513.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-2198.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-2212.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-2214.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-3524.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-5806.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-5815.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-8285.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-8287.jpg


mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-8289.jpg
 
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wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

DAY 1 (27/8/2015)

Pauldrons:

Made them at about 8" x 8 1/2". Used a hair dryer to form them but because I found it very slow and lost patience quickly, I put it in the oven for about 15 seconds until they were hot and soft and rounded them against my shoulder. Will be using nylon webbing strapping to attach them together because I bought a pack of them for another project and have lots left over. Using masking tape for the time being to work out where they'll be going. For the final attachment, they'll be hot glued on.
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Hand covers:

3 1/2" x 4 1/2" - just whichever seemed to cover the back of my hand and up to my knuckles from the wrist up. Again, in the oven and held against the shape of my hand whilst it set. I then used elastic chord (also left over from another project) and added two loops so that it could be worn easily and held in place comfortably and discreetly: one for the middle finger and the wrist. Also hot glued on.
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Body piece:

Definitely the hardest part because I had to work out how it would fit together without being too awkward and difficult for one person to manage, also had to be reconstructible for storage purposes; and actually moulding it around my body. Luckily I have a younger brother who is very similar in body shape to me (taller of course) so I used him as the model as I shaped the foam. I used one full size EVA mat for the front, and cut out the sides from the sheets left over from the pauldrons. Then, all in the oven individually and moulded - first the chest piece, then the shoulders. The back is basically the same.

IMG_6475.JPG IMG_6476.JPG IMG_6477.JPG

I originally thought of making it all strapped together but felt that it would be too clunky on the shoulder (and awkward to adjust) so have decided to hot glue that instead. I'm thinking of using velcro to attach the back and shoulder, and webbing strapping/sliders for the sides to come together.

Now to actually do that and make the 'skirt' of the armour, if you will...
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

DAY 2 (31/8/2015)

There was an event on Sunday and I work during weekends so this had to wait. I also had to buy some bit and bobs and materials for the rest of the costume (i.e. the training outfit).

With most of the main armour formed, it was time to figure out how to piece it all together. I've gone for velcro on the shoulders and adjustable slider straps on the sides (in case i lose weight ;) )

IMG_6516.JPG IMG_6520.JPG IMG_6518.JPG IMG_6519.JPG IMG_6521.JPG

I was busy the entire day so only got this much done that late evening!

DAY 3 (1/9/2015)

I had another day out but had some time in the evening to think about what I'm doing and to carry on. Time to make the 'skirt'. Done in the same method as the chest pieces - oven for 10 seconds then moulded around the leg/bum area (featuring my brother as the model)! Like the chest armour, these pieces were an entire EVA foam mat square, each measuring around 400mm x 400mm.

IMG_6528.JPG IMG_6529.JPG IMG_6530.JPG

Tomorrow I will definitely try and get most (if not all) of the armour done and dusted!
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

DAY 4 (2/9/2015)

I say that I will try and get most of this done but I unfortunately came down with a bit of a temperature last night before which has pretty much affected me the whole of today. I'm generally sluggish, tired and a experiencing a bit of dizziness from time to time, not to mention too hot or cold... so progress is slow. However, it's my first time at home with a whole day on this project so I've gotten quite a bit done while marathoning Archer... though not as much as I would have if I were well. Anyway, I'm hoping these symptoms leave by tomorrow or the very latest Friday...

Adding detail to the armour

IMG_1174.JPG

I initially thought of using the thin EVA craft foam (pack of 20 A5 sheets bought from The Works for £2) to create a border around the pieces, as you can see in Mulan's armour there's a differentiation in colour. I didn't want to just paint it as I felt it would be far too flat and major risk of squiggly lines so the thin foam would have been nice for detail. However, I felt it was a bit awkward if the border was raised so settled for raising the main part instead (it seems to make sense to me?). When I come to finishing it, my plan is to spray paint everything black, then go over the border with a coat of dark grey/blueish acrylic paint.

So here's what I've done to the hands:

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And the pauldrons:

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I also used the hair dryer on them to shape them a little so it was easier to glue on top.

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Afterwards, I also corrected the length of the middle plate as part of the 'skirt'. Also added foam detailing:

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Hot glued webbing loops on the skirt pieces so that a belt can go through:

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Most of the armour done and ready to be sealed with a mixture of PVA and some water!

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1 out of 3 or 4 layers!
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I debated for a while whether to bother detailing the chest piece at all, considering it would be covered by a sash anyway. However, I am concerned that parts of the chest piece may be exposed and it'll be far too plain in comparison to the rest of the costume; and since it's quite a centre piece, it'll be quite noticeable. Again, I thought of just using whatever scrap strips of EVA I had left over from the other pieces (I still have foam sheets but want to save this for another ongoing project) to create the borders and lines on the armour but when thinking twice about it, I felt it would look a little odd if the rest of the armour had reverse detailing.

So, I have decided to just do it and buy another pack of craft foam for my other project over the weekend. Turns out I need it anyway to finish of detailing the back piece and larger A4 sized sheets for the skirt.

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As of tonight, I have done 3 layers on the smaller pieces and 2 on the chest.

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Hoping to get another 1 on the smaller parts and 2 on the chest tomorrow, and the first layer of either grey or black spray paint. I'll work on the belt and start on the kimono top to keep things going as I can't finish off the armour until the base of the armour is complete.

For now, goodnight!
 

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wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

DAY 5 (3/9/2015)

So glad to be feeling a lot better than yesterday! The dizziness and aching has left so I've just got a blocked nose is all! Anyway, all PVA sealing done for the chest piece, pauldrons, hand covers and the smallest skirt part. Onto spray painting as I wait to buy foam and finish off the other parts.

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I did a grey coat first (with PlastiKote bought from Hobbycraft at £7.99) because I wanted to see how light it was on the foam.

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It's far too light from what the grey border is in the cartoon so I will just spray paint black (Poundland's finest auto vehicle gloss black spray at £1) all over as it's second layer and paint it to finish.

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Went to go back over the black with a second layer only to find that the Poundland spray was disappointingly empty already. I will therefore need to hold off on a final layer until I go and invest in a proper can of black spray paint - probably the matt type as gloss looks far too shiny for my liking.

So for now, I'll move onto a bit of planning for my other project and make a start on the kimono top later tonight.
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

Apologies for the lack of news! I've just been busy finishing this costume off, amongst enjoying the remainder of my summer holidays! So here's a much needed update:

DAY 6 (6/9/2015)

Work over the weekend and the lack of thin EVA foam sheets to finish off the back of the chest piece and black spray paint led me to postpone until Sunday. Visited the Art Store and got myself a 400ml can of Matt Black KOBRA spray paint (£5.99) and a 10 pack of A4 sized foam (£5.99). Also bought a 20 pack of A5 sized foam from The Works (£2). Finished off the chest piece and skirt pieces.

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DAY 7 (8/9/2015)

Ended up postponing the skirt as well due to other commitments. Didn't take long at all though, just had to wait for drying times.

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DAY 8 (13/9/2015)

All of the armour finished and ready for paint! However, this excludes the gauntlets and shin guards because I had originally planned to make them out of fabric. But I'm having a change of plans and will make them out of EVA foam mats too, considering it would look out of place if everything else is made out of that. For now, I will need to finish this off, as well as the training outfit as I wait until my mats arrive.

In the film, the colour of Mulan's armour changes from grey, to a grey-blue to grey-green. I went for the more commonly seen grey-navy. I used System3's Acrylic Prussian Blue (Hue) and Emerald, as well as standard White and Black to achieve the colour.

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Now that that's done, all I can do really is to finish off the training outfit and wait for the mats to arrive - hopefully that will be soon!
 

aeonpulse

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

great foam work, everything looks awesome and well constructed! if you want to avoid having to use an oven to heat your foam, i'd suggest buying a heat gun from your local Home Depot or Lowes, you can typically find them in the paint department (they're usually used for heating/stripping paint). I got one that has several different heat settings, for 40 bucks. works great, and it heats foam FAST. much easier!
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

TRAINING OUTFIT - COAT

DAY 1 (3/9/2015)

For this part, I wanted to go as 'authentic' looking as possible, so therefore have chosen cottons/linens rather than cheap cotton poplin. Luckily, there was a sale on at the fabric store so I got these 'Cotton Linen-Look' fabrics for a pretty good price.

IMG_1214.JPG

In the order as seen:
Light Green and Dark Green for the trims both at £4.99 p/m. (Total spend £3.49)
Khaki for the trousers at £4.99 p/m (Total spend £8.98)
Greyish Cotton at £6.99 (Total spend £1.40)

As for pattern, I will be using a patternless project provided by Simplicity's Simply the Best Sewing Book. I reckon any patternless kimono should do the trick. I may upload my measurements later.

Closer look at the fabric:
IMG_1215.JPG IMG_1216.JPG

Cutting the fabric and onto making the basic shape!
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Closer look at the light green cotton-linen fabric for the collar and cuffs:
IMG_1222.JPG
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

great foam work, everything looks awesome and well constructed! if you want to avoid having to use an oven to heat your foam, i'd suggest buying a heat gun from your local Home Depot or Lowes, you can typically find them in the paint department (they're usually used for heating/stripping paint). I got one that has several different heat settings, for 40 bucks. works great, and it heats foam FAST. much easier!

Thank you! I'm really pleased to hear it looks good considering it's my first build! Yes, I may invest in a heat gun for the long run. I have a feeling it'll get more accurate curves in comparison to the oven, and be less risky!
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

DAY 3 (5/9/2015)

Extending the sleeves with a light green cuff:
IMG_6551.JPG

Material for the dark green cuff:
IMG_6552.JPG

Neatening the edges:
IMG_6553.JPG

Cuff materials:
IMG_6554.JPG

Adding on top of the kimono coat:
IMG_6555.JPG IMG_6556.JPG
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

DAY 4 (6/9/2015)

Once the cuffs are on, now to take the sleeves in so that they are a tighter fit but baggy enough at the elbow and upper arms. I first tried this out by pinning it on the outside. When I got a rough idea of how I wanted it to look, I turned it inside out and pinned it in place again.
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DAY 5 (11/9/2015)

Pinned and ready to sew. I did it at an angle, going from slim around the wrist to gradually getting wider.
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Once sewn, trim off the excess:
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I've forgotten to take images of this part but it's easy enough: afterwards, I then made the belt out of the dark green fabric, using two pieces of 8" x 40" fabric. I connected these two by the short side, then pressed it in half, right sides facing. Sew along the long edges save for 4" in the middle, so that it allows me to turn it inside out, then closed the opening. And that's the coat for the training uniform complete! (You can see it in the fourth photograph!)
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

DAY 6 (15/9/2015)

For the trousers, I followed this really simple tutorial that basically teaches you how to recreate a pair of existing pyjama trousers you may have. Luckily for me, I already have a pair of baggy 3/4 lengths that I thought worked well with the costume, and all I needed to do was remake that with the fabric I bought. If you don't have 3/4 lengths, just knock off some inches to make it about that. You'll be adding elasticated hems anyway so it doesn't matter too much if it's not exact.

I don't have pattern paper so I just used the roll of sugar paper I had lol:
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This is the fabric I'll be using, the dark khaki you may have seen earlier:
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Unfortunately the fabric I bought was not large enough to give me two individual shapes but it doesn't matter all too much. You can still connect the two pieces quite easily and subtle enough that it won't be very noticeable:
IMG_1250.JPG IMG_1251.JPG
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

DAY 7 (16/9/2015)

So continuing on from the last post, I basically followed that tutorial from start to end. There's not much else I can add here but I hope the photos can act as some sort of aid.

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Making the casing for the elastic (mine measures 12mm):
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Thread that through at the waist. I also repeated this for the hems of the trouser legs.
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And that's the trousers done! Mine are super baggy (perhaps a little too much) but that's probably because I gave a lot of extra on my measurements because I was worried I'd made it too tight. Any who, it looks good so I'm pretty pleased that I've managed to sew my first pair (albeit super simple) trousers!

I later very quickly made the hair tie out of left over light green fabric:
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And a very, very rough costume fitting to see it all together, minus the sash, scarf, gauntlets and shin guards! I will post separate, more detailed photographs soon:

IMG_6750.JPG
 

Mike J.

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

Looks ready to defeat some Huns!

...I'm trying to find a way to make a "let's get down to business" joke, but I can't...

Still needed: bo, wooden bucket, wise-cracking dragon ;)


-MJ
 

NR16020

Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

I was just wondering if someone had attempted this. Looking great so far, and good luck!
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

TRAINING OUTFIT

DSCF4301.jpg DSCF4303.jpg

White tights (£2) and shoes (£3) courtesy of Primark!



Looks ready to defeat some Huns!

...I'm trying to find a way to make a "let's get down to business" joke, but I can't...

Still needed: bo, wooden bucket, wise-cracking dragon ;)


-MJ

Now I need to find a bucket and dragon!

Looking good!

Thank you!

I was just wondering if someone had attempted this. Looking great so far, and good luck!

There needs to be more Mulan cosplayers or love in general! And thank you too!
 

wetcelery

Active Member
Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

Long overdue update! There is an incentive for this, which I'll explain later but also of course this thread needed to be finished anyway! Whilst I am motivated, I'll try have it written up as quickly as possible!!

---

DAY 9 (19/9/2015)

MCM Comic Con was fast approaching, with less than a week to go and having the first week back at uni, I already had a lot to juggle. To add to those pressures, I ran out of EVA foam mats, as I had decided quite late on that I felt it was necessary for the gauntlets and shinguards to be made from foam too for the sake of consistency. Plus, I wasn't sure how I'd go about making them with fabric anyway...

So to eBay I went and hastily ordered more. This time, I thought I'd order a larger quantity of the small size (300mmx300mm), since gauntlets and shinguards for me weren't exactly going to be large considering my size, and I pondered about making the helmet too. It seemed more logical to build from small than to cut from large and have wasted foam... oh how I was so wrong...

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Gauntlets

First off, gauntlets. I sort of followed this handy tutorial. Had I stuck by it strictly from start to end, it probably would have been a lot better but I was desperate and in a hurry. I was already/planning to take one or two afternoons off uni at this point. I remembered reading somewhere that you could make a rough pattern from clingfilm and masking tape. So I gave that a shot: wrapped my arm fairly tightly (but not enough to cut off circulation!! be wary of this!!) and sealed it with masking tape. then carefully cut the tape mould out.

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Once cut, I laid it out on some sugar paper I had (ran out of newsprint sadly) and traced out the rough shape. I had to keep refining it as the masking tape mould was so rough it was all squeggy and inaccurate. So after wrapping it round my arm a couple more times and redefining the shape, I finally felt I got it 'right'. The other issue I faced was that it had to fit the foam mat. So again, had to shrink and redefine the gauntlet pattern.

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(left and right respectively. you'll notice that i had to fit it to one side and let it curve round because i was really tight on foam)

Next up, I had to make the surface pattern, if you will, basically the main part of the gauntlet so that it remained black and the edge would be a little sunken and have that blue/green/grey colour painted later. You'll get what I mean if you look at the previous photos of armour. This involved shrinking the gauntlet pattern itself, done on thinner EVA sheets, the kids craft foam type.

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Like before, once I had all the foam cut out, I stuck each thick EVA piece in the oven for a good 20 seconds, watching it expand and flatten and not catching fire; held it around my brother's arm until it cooled and held shape. I then hot glued the thin pieces on; and plastered a good three or four layers of PVA/water. I waited until the shinguards were done too before spray painting.

Shinguards

Now, I pretty much worked on the shinguards simultaneously; again following the exact same method. Clingfilm/masking tape pattern. This time round, I put my brother at risk of losing a leg and wrapped him up because he's got longer legs and thicker calves than I have and this costume had to fit him as well.

IMG_6797.JPG

I then bumbled my way through the shinguards as I did the gauntlets, which you'll see next.
 
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