Queen Ariel has been a cosplay I’ve been wanting to tackle for about a year now. As a huge fan of Disney and their Princesses, I have this goal to recreate each one of their stories to having some badass, alternate ending. Ariel was actually the first concept that my boyfriend, Tony, and I thought up. The second was Jasmine, but since she was a lot easier to create, she was made first.
This is what Ariel started out as: a sketch (and no, I’m not a good artist :P)
I knew the design would consist of armor, so a crapton of worbla was needed. I used 2 1/2 jumbo sheets for this cosplay
The breastplate was first. I used Paperclay to make the seashell shape on the bust, draped the worbla to make the seashell shape, and then removed the clay to reduce weight.
What was great about this costume was that I have complete creative freedom. The design started out pristine and pretty, but I realized that metal armor underwater would most definitely be gritty and gross, and I quickly started changing the design to match that, with barnacles, gruesome shark teeth, and even “live” creatures! The octopus is made out of Model Magic and covered in resin.
This was originally supposed to be my right and only bracer, but once I made the conch shell, I felt that my right arm was much too “heavy” looking, so I ended up making a simpler bracer for my right arm and using the octopus one for my left. I’m still quite saddened by this, because the octopus is kind of on the wrong side, and it’s hard to see in shots.
The conch shell was actually not as hard as it looks — It took A LOT of worbla, but I made a craft foam version of the shell the best I could, and then draped the worbla over it to get the basic shape. I then added all of the spikes afterwards, and then attached giant D-rings to sew the straps onto.
The next details ended up being more time-consuming than I originally thought: The trident, webbed fingers, crown and tail(s).
The trident consists of pvc piping, a crappy cheapo trident from the halloween store, worbla and Model Magic. I needed my trident to be collapsible so I could fit it in my suitcase, so I hid the twist-y on divider thingies with elaborate-looking worbla cylinders. It’s not the ideal look, but it was the best I could come up with. I then used the plastic trident as a base, and used Model Magic to shape the trident into the shape I wanted. I waited for it to dry, did probably five layers of paper mache, and then about five layers of wood glue, and although it’s a little lumpy, I like it’s finished look enough! I’m quite inexperienced and crappy at props, so my thought is “good enough”!
I used this tutorial to create the webbed fingers: http://www.cosplaytipsandtricks.tumblr.com/post/27917780278
Ended up being really easy, I just needed to redo them a few times because I’m dumb :P
My mermaid tail is made out of rubber-coated spandex and looked like this originally
My awesome friend, Kiki Snell (http://kikicraft.tumblr.com/), went above and beyond when I asked her for help with the airbrushing. She made it look like this:
She used silicone latex to get the cool effect on the tail, but sadly the paint she used didn’t stretch, so when it came time for me to put it on, it peeled off :( I ended up doing a really quick paint job the day before I left for Katsucon (which I sadly never ended up at), and the finished tail looked like this:
Oh how I wish I could have one of those gorgeous, uber-expensive full silicone tails, but this served it’s purpose so well, and Kiki made it crazily more beautiful than anything I could’ve created! ^_^
I wasn’t going to be able to handle the whole convention without walking around, so I made myself a ballgown “tail” to wear around the convention! It was a quick, slightly-rushed project, so it wouldn’t be horrible to redo it someday!
I sadly didn’t make it to Katsucon, but the next week I was invited out to California to join Martin Wong and Meagan Marie for a trip to Yosemite National Park, so I went down a day early, and we shot photos of Ariel at the ocean near Highway 1. Seriously a dream come true, and Martin captured this cosplay so beautifully.
The first convention Ariel will be seeing is Wondercon in Anaheim, CA, on April 18th!