Be it the Archangel of Hope, Valor, Fate, Wisdom, or Justice, each angel has their own unique personality, armor, and arsenal of weapons. But it takes a certain individual to be willing to step into the wings of an Archangel, and to just as fluidly harness the brazen power of a cunning Demon Hunter.
This week’s community spotlight showcases cosplayer Crimson and his incredible renditions of a Diablo III Demon Hunter as well as Tyrael and his sword, El’druin. Crimson was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding his experience with cosplays and the hard work that goes into pulling off a great costume and props. Read on for the full interview and photographs of his cosplay process and the stunning final results below. You can even learn how to craft your very own stage-friendly cosplay sword!
Q. How long have you been cosplaying?
I've been cosplaying for just a little more than a decade now, and it's been a constant journey of growth and self-discovery!
Q. What made you decide to cosplay Tyrael and the Demon Hunter from Diablo III?
Diablo was one of the first Blizzard games I played, and as a fan, what better way to pay homage to the awesome setting that was Sanctuary and the amazing characters I encountered while playing the game than to cosplay as them? I main a Demon Hunter on D3, and the class is just so badass.
Tyrael was also a really compelling choice, something of a "misunderstood hero" since D2, and it was really nice to see the character develop as D3's storyline unfolded. I just hope I did him justice (hurhur) with my cosplay.
Q. How long did it take you to complete your cosplays?
Typically, my girlfriend and partner-in-crime Angelus and I would take anywhere from two weeks to three months to put our costumes together.
We'll usually begin with the sourcing and drafting phase, where we put together materials, patterns, and costume references, which takes about a week. The rest of the time's pretty much just spent crafting and working on the costumes with our hands. Our Demon Hunter costumes took about a month and a half in man hours because we wanted to get the look perfect, while Tyrael was a little more than three weeks in man hours.
Q. What was the most challenging part of designing and creating your costumes and props?
I have an odd quirk when it comes to costume creation, and that's how fussy I am about measurements and symmetry. It usually takes awhile before I get my patterns drafted and armor pieces cut just right. I also like building my costumes with stage performances and fight choreography in mind, so we tend to modify some armor pieces a fair bit for mobility.
Q. We know that a lot of time and love goes into creating epic costumes, so what’s your favorite detail of each of your cosplays?
Man, that's actually a really tough question!
Every individual element of a costume comes together to enhance the overall look and presentation. I did have the most fun building the Demon Hunter armor pieces, especially the lower torso area (it was a challenge trying to build a corset of leather bands using craft foam), and also Tyrael's El'druin, because it's the first time I messed around with LEDs and wiring all on my own.
Q. What materials did you use?
I work primarily with EVA foam of varying thickness since we don't get the fancy stuff like Wonderflex or Worbla here. It's a material that's readily available in Singapore, super malleable and quite affordable, making it ideal for costumes.
This impressive replica of Tyrael’s sword, El’druin, was created by hand out of simple household materials, EVA foam, craft foarm, and LED gems. Crimson also shared a tutorial on how to craft your very own stage friendly cosplay sword here!
Q. How long does it take you to get ready for a photo shoot? What aspect takes the longest?
Typically, preparing for a shoot takes just a few days. A lot of it is about negotiating the look and feel with photographer friends (it kinda helps because I'm also photography trained), maybe coming up with a mood board or storyboard, and making sure the costume's in top shape a day or so before the shoot. That usually means touching up the paint job, making sure the LEDs and gimmicks are functional.
Oh, and for characters like the Demon Hunter, some work goes into doing a character study of the face for make-up, and character's facial expressions so I can get it all down perfect on the set. This usually takes a bit more effort on my part 'cos my make-up skills aren't all that good.
Q. Do you have any other Diablo III cosplays in the works?
I MIGHT put out a Diablo II Necromancer with the works sometime, since the Necromancer was probably my all-time favorite class. But right now, I'm working with Angelus on Deathwing from WOW for a convention I'll be running in August. So uhhh... that's on the backburner for now.
Q. What tips and advice do you have for aspiring cosplayers out there, particularly those that are just getting started?
I'd say nothing beats actually going out there and doing it! Cosplay's all about demonstrating your love for a character or series (in my case, it's games), and the best way to get better at it is to keep cosplaying. Don't be afraid of criticism, because everyone's been a n00b once (myself included). You'll get better as you level up!
Oh, and be sure to brave the stage! Joining competitions builds confidence, and with constructive criticism and feedback from the judges, you'll soon discover where you did good, and where you fell short. That way, you'll improve.
Also, check out tutorials online! Tutorials helped me a ton when I was starting out (and that's why Angelus and I also post our own tutorials on www.neotokyoproject.com and on DeviantArt), so do read 'em if you're ever stuck!
Most importantly, make sure you have fun! If you're enjoying yourself, everything, even the trickiest parts of putting a costume together, becomes less of a chore.