Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour Tutorial

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by wetcelery, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    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:

    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

    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














    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  2. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build


    Will be scanning these in later!
  3. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

    DAY 1 (27/8/2015)


    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.
    IMG_6463.JPG IMG_6464.JPG IMG_6466.JPG IMG_6465.JPG IMG_6468.JPG IMG_6467.JPG

    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.
    IMG_6461.JPG IMG_6472.JPG IMG_6469.JPG IMG_6470.JPG IMG_6471.JPG IMG_6473.JPG

    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...
  4. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    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!
  5. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    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


    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:

    IMG_1175.JPG IMG_1176.JPG IMG_1177.JPG IMG_1178.JPG

    And the pauldrons:

    IMG_1179.JPG IMG_1180.JPG IMG_1181.JPG IMG_1182.JPG

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

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


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


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


    1 out of 3 or 4 layers!

    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.


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

    IMG_1190.JPG IMG_1196.JPG

    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!

    Attached Files:

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  6. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    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.

    IMG_6531.JPG IMG_6532.JPG

    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.

    IMG_6533.JPG IMG_6534.JPG

    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.

    IMG_6540.JPG IMG_6535.JPG IMG_6537.JPG IMG_6539.JPG

    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.
  7. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    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.

    IMG_6570.JPG IMG_6571.JPG

    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.

    IMG_6572.JPG IMG_6575.JPG

    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.

    IMG_6679.JPG IMG_6681.JPG IMG_6682.JPG IMG_6683.JPG IMG_6684.JPG

    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!
  8. aeonpulse

    aeonpulse Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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!
  9. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    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.


    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!
    IMG_1218.JPG IMG_1219.JPG IMG_1220.JPG IMG_1221.JPG

    Closer look at the light green cotton-linen fabric for the collar and cuffs:
  10. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

    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!
  11. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    DAY 2 (4/9/2015)

    Adding the collar and making a start on the cuffs:

    IMG_6541.JPG IMG_6542.JPG IMG_6543.JPG IMG_6545.JPG IMG_6546.JPG

    IMG_6548.JPG IMG_6549.JPG IMG_6550.JPG
  12. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    DAY 3 (5/9/2015)

    Extending the sleeves with a light green cuff:

    Material for the dark green cuff:

    Neatening the edges:

    Cuff materials:

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

    wetcelery Active Member

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    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.
    IMG_6557.JPG IMG_6558.JPG IMG_6559.JPG IMG_6560.JPG

    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.
    IMG_6671.JPG IMG_6672.JPG IMG_6673.JPG

    Once sewn, trim off the excess:

    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!)
  14. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    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:
    IMG_1245.JPG IMG_1244.JPG

    This is the fabric I'll be using, the dark khaki you may have seen earlier:
    IMG_1248.JPG IMG_1246.JPG

    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
  15. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    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.

    IMG_1252.JPG IMG_1253.JPG IMG_1254.JPG IMG_1255.JPG

    Making the casing for the elastic (mine measures 12mm):

    Thread that through at the waist. I also repeated this for the hems of the trouser legs.

    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:
    IMG_6754.JPG IMG_6755.JPG

    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:

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  16. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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 ;)

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  17. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

    Looking good!
  18. NR16020

    NR16020 Member

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

    wetcelery Active Member

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    DSCF4301.jpg DSCF4303.jpg

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

    Now I need to find a bucket and dragon!

    Thank you!

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

    wetcelery Active Member

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    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...



    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.

    IMG_6790.JPG IMG_6789.JPG

    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.

    IMG_6792.JPG IMG_6795.JPG IMG_6793.JPG
    (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.

    IMG_6796.JPG IMG_6794.JPG

    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.


    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.


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

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Just a bit of context before I carry on, in Day 9's post, the first photo was taken at 3pm (but I most likely started working at 1pm to work out the pattern) and the last one at 3:30am. But it was a Saturday so I was actually working from 5pm-11pm, therefore, although I title it a day, it really was only several hours work for what little I have to show, and not a full 12 hours! Just so you know a gauntlet can be made in a much shorter time frame than a day haha

    DAY 10 (20/9/2015)


    As we saw before, I made the patterns and cut the foam at 3am.


    But of course, I am very, very short on foam and the size I have are not large enough to make the shinguards!! What can I do? Nothing but to just work with it! But it was late and I was knackered and it was far too much thinking - I went to bed. I could work it out tomorrow.

    Next day came and I set myself to it. As you can see on my pattern, I have marked out the half way point. I ended up using two foam mats to one shin guard, and planned to connect it together in the middle. In any case, the pattern on the shinguard might actually be able to hide this, so it seems like a good idea:

    Two mats = one shinguard. I placed both mats in the oven to heat and mould. Again, I had my brother on hand to help, and we held the mats tightly around his leg and pulled them so that they would meet as seamlessly as possible and hold that way when cooled. Repeat for the other leg. After, I hot glued the pieces together:

    IMG_6799.JPG IMG_6800.JPG

    Once glued, I also kept curling it round into a tight cylinder, to make it as rounded as possible.

    Again, retraced the pattern and after a lot of redrawing, I got the right shape for the surface layer. I originally wanted the line in the middle of the shinguard to be the main EVA base showing through, and that the surface pattern was two separate parts of thin craft foam. But now because I have this very telling joint line, I had to cover it up. Oh well, what can you do.
    IMG_6834.JPG IMG_6836.JPG IMG_6801.JPG

    All thin foam was either hot-glued or super glued or spray glued on.

    IMG_6803.JPG IMG_6802.JPG

    And there it is finally done and ready to seal!! I spent a day on each shinguard, between work. So DAY 11 (23/9/2015) I made the other shinguard, which is what actually you see in the photos. I forgot to document my bumbling about the first time round because I was so focussed on getting it done right.
  22. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    DAY 12 (24/9/2015)

    As you can tell by the previous dates, I was sporadically working on the costume due to uni. I was also at the point of panicking and manic working so I didn't take many photos. However, I'm glad to say that there wasn't much missed, that I just did the exact same as the steps shown here.

    The only photo I have from this day is this one:

    After everything was painted, the last thing I had to do before the convention in literally a days' time was to work out how to put it all together and make it wearable.

    Now, even writing it now, in late November, I'm shy to show how I did it just because of how laughable and shoddy and actually uncomfortable it is! When I have the time, I will definitely revamp (and write) how it fits together, for it to be more comfortable and more importantly: to make it easier for me to wear myself!!! It takes me almost an hour to get everything on as flush as I can and to get the sash wrapped around correctly : (

    However, as it stands at this point, everything is basically held together by velcro. Trade secret gone right there. It worked well for the first few times wearing the costume (and when my brother dressed me) but as I keep taking it off, the hot glue off the back of the EVA and velcro is peeling and constantly needs to be glued back on. Furthermore, because the EVA mats for the gauntlets and shinguards were so stretched, they don't exactly enclose my arms and legs neatly. If I've worn it for long enough and it starts to become slack, you can see a gap where it meets and where the velcro holds it together. At times like these, I either hide it conveniently (gauntlets I turn the opening inwards so that only I or anyone standing incredibly close can see it) or deliberately make a point to stand very straight on in front of cameras, or do that walk to detract attention from it lol.

    I will try take and post photographs of the current faults as soon as I have the time, just to give an idea of how bad it is (as an example to avoid lol) and to even, actually, appeal to RPF on how to improve the fastening of the costume. I think I'll need to remake the armour in the future anyway, once I get a better idea of making EVA armour. Maybe invest in some much needed tools like a heat gun.

    DAY 13 (25/9/2015)

    Day before the convention and I was definitely rounding things off, including sewing the ends of a large square of light green fabric for the scarf, and different rectangular fabrics for the sash. No photos but I'll try and get them up as soon as.
  23. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

    Despite how shoddy the fastening might be, and the shaping etc, for my first EVA armour build, I sure am proud. I've managed to tackle another big project, right after Ripley, head on and finished in under two weeks' time (time accumulated). Like my previous thread, I'll give a round up:



    • Sewing Machine and standard sewing equipment: tape, pins, chalk, iron, seam ripper etc
    • EVA foam armour tutorials online left right and centre! But all relevant ones linked according to my progress posts.
    • Oven
    • Hair dryer when it got desperate


    • Hot glue sticks (£11, two packs)
    • Super glue
    • Spray glue (Poundland? £1?)
    • Thick EVA mats left over from previous builds (pack of 6: 400mmx400mm is £9)
    • Thin EVA craft foam, pack of 20 A5 (£2) x2
    • Thin EVA craft foam pack of 10 A4 (£5.99) x2
    • Light Green and Dark Green for the trims, sash and scarf, both at £4.99 p/m. (Total spend £10? Less than that?)
    • Khaki for the trousers at £4.99 p/m (Total spend £8.98)
    • Greyish Cotton for the coat at £6.99 (Total spend £1.40)
    • Poundland black spray paint that ran out on me (£1)
    • KOBRA Matt Black 400ml spray paint (£5.99)
    • 500ml bottle of PVA (£3)
    • Acrylic paint
    • 'Bo' staff, which is actually just a wooden mop handle (£1)
    • Primark white tights (£2)
    • Primark shoes (£3)

    ~£60 Truth be told, even writing this in November, I did not think I had spent this much!! However, I will give myself the benefit of the doubt as a lot of the thin craft foam was left over (for another project ;) ) and I've hardly used any of the PVA, plus a fair bit of the spray paint remaining.

    ~13 days worth of time, from when I started planning right to when the sashes were sewn and everything was finished.
    I'm not even going to attempt to guess the number of hours on this one but certainly not as long as Ripley's!

    HINDSIGHT IS 20/20

    As is customary, or it seems like it is for me: a list of regrets - or nicely put, after thoughts! And some pointers for others to be wary of, or for me in the future!

    1. Buy more packs of the larger foam (safer with excess) than small in good time and not last minute when desperately needed!
    2. Use a heat gun or more reliable/flexible source of heat.
    3. Make the training coat pattern larger than 'just right'. Easier to take in if too baggy than it is to make it look less slutty when it's lacking in material!!
    4. Don't make the trousers as baggy.
    5. Make a foam ruler and don't just rely on clingfilm/masking tape mould patterns!
    6. Velcro can chafe/cut into the skin if worn too long! Armour attachments could just generally be improved - vastly! Think of straps and buckles rather than velcro!

    Now that I've done it once, I'm definitely hoping to remake it in the future. It'll do for now but my aim is to recreate what I've done with a better know how of the techniques, for a better fit and for it to be realistic enough that it still looks true to the cartoon. Maybe in the far future I can attempt a historically accurate one, lol. Regardless of all this, this has also been another incredibly enjoyable project. I made a start towards learning how to make foam armour; another sewing success, this time from scratch with the training uniform; and it's a good 98% accurate, I'd say! Plus, I've ticked off the Disney costume box?!
  24. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

    Complete Costume

    MCM Comic Con Scotland, Day 2 (27/9/2015)

    I'll copy and paste here what I wrote on my Facebook the day after the event:

    Childhood dream fulfilled ✔
    Despite not having a Mushu, crazy how many people recognised the character and asked for photographs - even from behind. Glad to see that Mulan is still remembered even over the many Elsas out there and classics like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White! Think that'll be the closest I'll get to working for Disneyland lmao
    Fun and memorable first convention for sure!

    It was honestly so bizarre to have people calling out Mulan, or seeing surprised and excited faces whenever you walked by, and strangers from kids to adults alike randomly appearing and asking for photos - which I was extremely happy to oblige - even within a minute of finally getting the last of the 'armour' on. I'm sure I had around 20 photos with others or on my own...

    So here are the long anticipated photos of this build! I'm a bit embarrassed that I look rather dishevelled, as this was taken towards the end of the day, after wandering about for a good few hours, and already knackered from the previous day of con and wearing quite dry and uncomfortable contact lenses. However, these were the only good, full on ones from the day, courtesy of the girls at Otakuography!

    Otakuography05.jpg Otakuography03.jpg Otakuography02.jpg

    And my more preferred poses to hide my discomfort but also my awkwardness at being photographed as a new cosplayer/costumer:
    Otakuography04.jpg Otakuography01.jpg

    So yeah, pretty chuffed with this one!





    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
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  25. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: Disney Mulan/Ping Training Costume & Armour build

    Here's a pre-con selfie:

    An actual event photo:

    And more from other con-goers!

    Walked by these ladies and they literally all stood up! So glad to have gotten photographs with other Disney characters!
    Jamie Agnew01.jpg Jamie Agnew02.jpg
    IMG_6942.JPG IMG_6940.JPG IMG_6941.JPG
    Selfies were the way to go as the costume is quite restrictive and incredibly hot once all the layers are on and the sashes are tied tightly.

    IMG_6939.JPG IMG_6938.JPG IMG_6937.JPG

    A very formidable and incredible FNAF working mechanical monster!!

    And some more!

    Sammi Guay.jpg IMG_6954.JPG IMG_6950.JPG IMG_6935.JPG DSCF4312.JPG

    The Lady Loki also got this portrait of me:

    And that's it from the event, and thus concludes this thread!
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  26. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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  27. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Congratulations! That looks quite good all together.

    I'm not quite clear on the dark green / teal trim on the armor – is that painted foam? I thought you mentioned fabric earlier?
  28. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Thanks Mike! : )
    Yes, all of the armour is made from mats and thin craft sheets. I considered fabric but it would have looked inconsistent and odd. The dark green/teal trim is the EVA mat base, and the black part is the thin sheet glued on top.
  29. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    I went to PlayExpo recently and decided to suit up! Joined the Cosplay Masquerade last minute and ended up winning the 'In Character' award for my stage presence and for historical referencing in my materials. And finally some decent photographs taken of me in my costume by PhotoGoku:

    13418391_1103779949645302_739094347736996007_o.jpg 13391412_1103780056311958_8101948014259121716_o.jpg 13412144_1103782476311716_5695323793932586058_o.jpg 13416916_1103782266311737_5463538980837713529_o.jpg 13403324_1103782339645063_4460623117057541875_o.jpg 13442556_1103782332978397_1337453480770623140_o.jpg

    and my favourite by far as it's the most in character photo of me doing Ping's awkward walk:

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  30. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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