Freya Crescent costume
Created By: Aaron and Shannon Crescent
First Created: September 2011
In August of 2011 I decided to make a Freya Crescent costume. I have loved the character since the first time I played Final Fantasy IX many years ago. My wife and I have been cosplaying since 2006 but a costume such as Freya at first seemed nearly impossible. It meant a lot to me to try to make it happen and so I began learning exotic materials, like foam latex, that would be required to produce the different components of the costume. My wife took on some of the sewing tasks which she had previous experience with from earlier costumes while my main focus was the sculpting and casting that would later become the prosthetic face, hands, and feet. We worked together throughout the process and each time I wear the costume it is a team effort to apply the prosthetics and get in and out of the outfit itself.
Freya was debuted at Otakon 2012. It has since been worn at NYCC 2012, Fur Fright 2012, PAX East 2013, Anime Boston 2013, and Anthrocon 2013. In 2013 it was featured in Breaking All the Rules, Cosplay and the Art of Self Expression by Ger Tysk which was a tremendous honor. I've taken a break from wearing it for the second half of 2013 so that I could attend a few conventions without the burden of traveling with all the supplies and spending hours applying makeup that took away from seeing friends and enjoying the con itself, but rest assured, she will make another appearance in 2014.
How it was made
Hat: The hat was a tough shape to accomplish. The final product is fiberglass with red vinyl over it. It was built by creating a metal armature to define the general shape for the cone and brim parts, those were paper mache’d and then that was used as a base on which to fiberglass. Once the resin pieces were done, we used the same red vinyl from the coat and stretched it tightly over the fiberglass base. The ears are made from heat molded craft foam with small wooden dowels in them for support. The base of the ears are made from Sculpey that was sculpted, cooked and painted. Embedded in the Sculpey are neodymium magnets (of which there are matching sets glued inside the hat) so the ears are held in place but can be removed for transport. The magnet feature also protects the ears from damage if they are struck or caught by strong wind; they will fall off rather than tear.
Tabard: The tabard that she wears is very prominent so it was important to make it look right. It's hard to see from the game the exact shape of those two symbols (especially the top left one), so I had to make my best guess from combining different views from art and in-game pictures. The tabard itself is made from duck cloth; the symbols were painted on using a stencil and black acrylic paint. The straps are leather and are held together by leather glue in some places and screw rivets in others. The shoulder armor is made from Sintra that was cut, sanded, heat shaped and then painted.
Coat: The coat was challenging in numerous ways. The final product was made from red vinyl with white vinyl trim and a few other accessories. Its basic design came from modifying a pattern of a winter coat. From that the sleeves and bottom were extended, the bottom was flared out, and the large collar was added. The detail at the end of the sleeve was accomplished using dyed cotton rope and curtain rod rings. The shape of the jacket's lower half took much trial and error. The structure is made from nylon boning glued between the vinyl and the lining which allowed it to hold its shape but still be flexible enough to sit. The collar has some more nylon boning in it but was mostly shaped with interfacing and careful tacking.
Cravat: Made from sky blue Crepe fabric. Pattern was custom made and pleats are heat pressed in place.
Wig: A white Airily wig imported from Japan. It had to be cut, styled and several extensions were sewn in to it to give it body and length in the right places. To finish the style it also took lots and lots of hair spray.
Leggings: Made from a brown stretch knit with elastic at the top to keep them from slipping down. Very, very tight to keep in place and avoid wrinkles. Accents are made from grey stretch fabric over custom button covers.
Clothing: Yellow shirt and pants are linen. Pants were made from a modified pantaloons pattern and shirt was made from a standard men’s long sleeve shirt pattern.
Tail: The tail is made from twisted aluminum wire covered with quilt batting and sheathed with brown moleskin. The tail is attached to a belt. Bow at the end was made from the same linen used to make the shirt and pants.
Prosthetics: Face, hands/arms, and feet are made of Foam Latex. I decided on foam latex after comparing many other materials. It is one of the most comfortable prosthetics to wear as it is light and breathable plus it captures a lot of detail from the original sculpt. The downside is the complex process by which it’s made and its short lifespan. The process of making the prosthetics was very involved but the basic start to finish comprised of molding each piece out of oil clay (on top of life casts of my hands, feet, and face), making Ultracal molds from the clay, running a batch of foam latex into the molds and cooking them for 3-7 hours (depending on the mold and oven). Once cooked, and checked for no defects, the pieces are cleaned and left to dry and air out. They are painted with PAX paint which is an adhesive/stretchy paint made from mixing ProsAide (a prosthetics adhesive) and Acrylic paint. Not everything is completely painted; the rest of the painting takes place during the application. To put the prosthetics on is an intense process that even after much practice still takes 8-11 hours. The ProsAide is used to carefully adhere the prosthetics in place, once that is done, each piece and any exposed skin must be painted until the edges of the prosthetics have been blended away as much as possible. Due to the time involved in putting the prosthesis on, I usually leave it on for the duration of the convention (which includes sleeping in it). The prosthetics only get a few wears out of them before they have to be replaced so I have to run new castings of them about every other convention.
I am very proud of the end result and have a lot fun when I get to be Freya. It was a tremendous amount of work, but definitely worth it in the end. I will most likely be making further improvements to Freya in the near future and will definitely continue to be her for cons.
All photos have been used with permission.