Psylocke

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Laika

Active Member
I’ve had Essex’s finest telepathic ninja, Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock AKA Psylocke, on my costume to do list for a while, but it was on the back burner...


But last November I took a course on making Latex clothing (I have an interest in the subject OK) with Latex Workshops http://www.latexworkshops.com/ in London, it was a full days course and quite intense, I think I learned a lot, but I mostly learned I really need a lot of practice. If you take the full course like I did you end up creating a full garment, I made a black sleeveless bodysuit with a yellow thunder bolt applique across the front- this was to be a latex version of my Ms Marvel costume. But I was never happy with that garment, it wasn’t very high quality (all my fault cause I made it) and it didn’t fit like I wanted it to (mostly around the chest and armpits).

On the course I bought one of their Complete Latex beginners kit bag with all the tools and enough glue/thinner/shinner/talc etc to make several garments, now all I needed was some sheet latex. Luckily enough I found a supplier in London who sells it to the trade and the general public - Radical Rubber http://www.radicalrubber.co.uk/ and I bought a 5m roll (there's a surcharge if you buy less than 5m) of black .4mm latex suitable for clothing, so I was all set.I took a few goes (OK another 3), redrawing the pattern each time (now up to version 4.5) to get something I felt fitted (I’ve a very odd size BTW, am rather erm Amazonian and nothing 1 piece of the shelf fits me) and looked right. But since I would of had to buy extra yellow latex for a thunderbolt applique on the front and applying it to the resultant very 3 dimensional garment was very tricky (maybe another day), I decided to leave it plain and Ms Marvel became Psylocke – specifically in her black X-Force uniform. I think the particular sheen and fit of latex suits this particular costume very well and IMHO it sort of fits the “X-Force” theme as well.



Sheet latex is an odd material to work with, very different from even stretch fabrics like Lycra, well you have to glue it together (Does that make it more of a build?) instead of sewing for a start and getting neat seams, especially curved ones, (this bodysuit has the princess seam from hell) is an art form (one I haven’t mastered, but the course helped a lot). Also the patterns are more complex than you would think, as it doesn’t stretch as much as you would think it does (no where near what Lycra/spandex can) so to get a really good close fit needs a very 3 dimensional garment tailored exactly to the wearers body. This fit problem and the learning curve is why I needed 4 garments and 2 toiles to even get this far. But since it only takes about 1.1 meters of latex, plus a zip to make a suit like this its actually turns out to be not that expensive.

So I’ve now got the bodysuit, for the rest well I think I’m going to adapt some latex opera gloves and thigh high stockings intoPsylocke’s (basically just cut 2 bands of the top of each) instead of making them (you can’t really make latex gloves anyway they have to be moulded), the belt buckle I’ll make from PVC foam board and the belt, hrm I don’t think latex drapes right for it, so I might just make that out of cotton or spandex.

The shoes, no high heels (relief), she wears split toe Ninja shoe/sock things, it seems you can get these from martial arts suppliers, I’ll have to see what I can find, if I can’t I’ll just wear black flats. For the sword, well I do actually have a steel (blunt though) samurai sword I can use for photo’s, but its not con safe, so I will have to try and make one out of PVC foam board.

For the hair, problem is it varies, looking though an Uncanny X-Force graphic novel some artists have her with black hair, some with purple and some very dark almost black but not quite purple. I don’t want to do black, the costume is to black, think hint of purple is the way to go, so I got a dark purple one off ebay, but I don’t think its dark enough, will have to ponder on this.

Still lots to do then.
 
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Judge Spartan

Sr Member
Re: Pyslocke

This is AWESOME!! Psylocke is one of my favorite female characters, very tough woman!! To be honest I wish they had latex workshops here as well but to no avail. SUBSCRIBED!!
 

Hazmat

Well-Known Member
Awesome, I'm really interested to see this finished. I think that dark purple hair is definitely the way to go.
 

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Strife Delivery

New Member
Her shoes are Japanese tabi boots, they're easy enough to find online but probably not locally. And if you decide your current wig doesn't work for you, might I suggest Arda Wigs' dark purple color? It's so dark it's almost black.
 

Laika

Active Member
Found some time to work on the costume and have a test shoot.


16058537670_0569dc5653_h.jpg



The costume is latex as mentioned in the first post. with the bodysuit and the arm and leg bands homemade from sheet latex, the gloves and stockings where bought from a fetish shop called Honour and modified. The belt buckle was made from PVC foam board and painted it with car touch up paints and the belt was just a strip of fabric from an old fancy dress Greek goddess costume I had lying around.

Still has a fair bit to do, the wig isn’t dark enough as I said, I want it very very dark purple almost black, have found darker on in ebay and ordered it.

The shoes in the photo are high heel court shoes (the only shiny black shoes I had handy), but I’ve found some tabi ninja boots on ebay and ordered them, but they are black canvas, not latex, but if they clash with the stocking to much I’m going to try and paint them with black liquid latex to make them match. If that doesn’t work I might have to try and make a pair myself from rubber.

The sword is actually a steel one (blunt though) so not con safe, I’m going to try and make a copy in PVC foam board.

Also have a couple of ideas to make it a bit more practical for walking around in, such as separating the gloves into 2 pieces, maybe gluing the leg bands to the tights I’m wearing underneath to stop them moving around etc.

16058537670_0569dc5653_h.jpg
 
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Judge Spartan

Sr Member
I think that's a great idea gluing the bands down and the darker wig! My only question is can you buy black liquid latex? trying to make it always seems to turn out dark grey with a purple hue to it.. Really good work on it so far! Oh, when you make a pvc sword, wrap the handle in purple like the sword you have in the pics, it looks really cool with the rest of the outfit:thumbsup
 

Laika

Active Member
Some progress, I’ve made a faux Ninjato Ninja sword, it seems to vary among comic artists, some have Psylocke with a curved katana, some draw her with a straight Ninjato, but I went with a straight one. From the research I’ve done it seems these swords never really existed historically (unlike katanas) but where made up for Ninja movies, Oh well. Its mostly PVC foamboard, with some balsa to thicken the handle and a little craft foam for the bit on the end, it is a bit wobbly but its is con safe and can’t hurt anyone (unlike my steel one) .

After far to much sanding and filling (why does this form the bulk of most cosplay projects?) I painted it with car touch up paints and some brass Humbrol spray I had lying around from a steam punk project. Wapped the grip with synthetic leather (string ray skin is apparently what you are supposed to use but I didn’t have any handy) and then tried to learn the art of Tsuka-Maki (the very specific way wrapping a Japanese sword the grip with little twists to form diamonds) of a from you tube videos, its harder than it looks. I used black polyester 10mm grosgrain ribbon for the wrap, not purple (sorry Judge Spartan) but they only appear purple in that pic above because the sword was being hit by the purple lights I used to light the background.

The result is well erm, a 10ft stunt prop, not a hero prop, but it will do for cons etc.

16337364546_8c152cd90c_o.jpg


The darker wig arrived, yes very dark almost black purple, I like it, but it was a bit to long and curly, I’ve cut it down to the right length and given it a hot water wash to straighten it a bit but its still a bit too curly, maybe needs another wash or two.

Tabi Ninja shoes arrived from Japan, they’re quite cute, but are a very dark blue canvas. I’ve just now had a go in painting with black liquid latex, which hasn’t been 100% successful :( The latex is a bit grey (it might go darker when its fully dry, dunno, I used loads of black latex colouring but you can't tell till its fully dry ) but the finish isn’t up to scratch, loads of brush strokes (I used a foam brush to try and stop this, didn’t work) and the odd lump and air hole or seventeen and so on :( will probably have to abandon that idea.

But i have found surfers where neoprene split toe boots, I’ve found some on ebay that look good, they have quite a large logo on them though I’ll have to try and cover up or just cut off the bit with the logo on it.

16337364546_8c152cd90c_o.jpg
 
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Laika

Active Member
Experiments in tabi boots part 2. Have abandoned the latex painted Tabi boots, latex on thin – loads of brush strokes, latex on thick - loads of air holes and lumps:(
So I got the Neoprene surfer boots via ebay, they fitted quite tight, but that goes with the costume, did have a big logo on the back but a slice with the circular knife got rid of that, that just left the colour, they where supposed to be black, actually but more a dull dark grey, its wetsuit material and always they look like that, but I found if I applied the same polish I used on my latex to make it look shinny to them, they went a lot darker and wetlook, so its a pretty good match to the latex stockings. I cut the toes off the stockings and tried them with the polished shoes




Think that works, the line between the boots and the stocking can be seen, but I guess that can’t be helped, I have to be able to change to and from regular boots to travel to the con and back, also with the amount of WTF I generate, guess not many people will notice my shoes ;) Am slightly worried about the polish eating the neoprene long term, its not designed for them and I don't know the material compatibilities, I just hoping that anything that works on latex should be OK with most stuff, cause latex is rather fussy when it comes to what you can put on it.

That's the costume nearly done, last thing to modify is me, I must loose some weight :(
 

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Laika

Active Member
It's pretty much complete now, all ready for the London Super Comic Con in a couple of weeks



To make the costume more practical I've made the long gloves into 2 pieces, so I can just remove the hand bits if I need to, long latex gloves are bit of a pain to take on and off. Also the stockings are now footless, so I can change into regular boots for traveling to and from the con and spare the split toe ones from having to negotiate London transport.

That lipstick is dark purple, honest, but it always seem to come up red under a flash, maybe I'll look around for a different one.

Only change I'm going to make is to glue down those bands, I've got some water based spirit gum for the arm ones to stick them to my skin, it seems to work OK and washes off afterwards. For the legs I've found my latex glue sticks latex to tights nicely, I was going to do that for this shoot but found I'd laddered my dance tights and have to get a new pair first.
 

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