How I came up with the Red Templar Behemoth for the con… it’s a solid question. I’ve actually been off and on with this project for a year and a half. Making changes, getting frustrated, feeling awesome… why I wanted to make it however, was because I see a lot of my Dragon Age cosplay friends and they all have epic hero builds. Important characters, and beautifully well done at that… and I realized: Dude… there are hardly ever any bad guys! Monsters, creatures, antagonists. I’m going to be that for them! (And me). And thus the concept was born.
How the cosplay was put together involved several steps really. All the way from the start, finding reference art and game models to download and tear apart to see what was feasibly doable, what was possible with thought, and what was impossible.
I made a list, and checked off what I felt was important to keep, or build and then got to work on templating! That process was mostly designing the substructure, or what WOULD have been the armor on the templar, and built it a little larger for scaling and such. Paper cardstock over my duct tape dummy. Don’t have one of those?? Go make one post haste!
After the substructure was complete, I started to put thought into where the crystals would be positioned and started carving and shaping them out of extruded polystyrene. I marked out on the “armor” where the substrate (lumpy rock stuff) would come out to and then dropped down a layer of expanding spray foam to set the base! Everything from there was gluing crystals into place, adding more substrate where needed and repeating the process.
Once that was all completed, I hardened the foam with smooth-on epsilon, and then painted! The mask and helmet, however, were sculpted and fabricated independently from clay, and thermoplastic, then molded in plaster and cast in latex! Paint came out fairly well on it. Always available to answer any more detailed questions though, hit me up!
The response at the convention was AMAZING, Even though I was only out for a short time I had SO many people come up for pictures, and compliment the work, which means the world to me. It’s why I love doing this. The reactions of the people, seeing something come to life that they’ve only seen on screen. I was hiding in the shade as much as possible as it was almost 28 degrees celsius (700 degrees Fahrenheit?! I have no idea…lmao) and I was DYING. But the pictures were not coming out great so I had to step back into that scorching sun. I spent my entire time outside of the main halls however simply due to the reason that even if they let me in, I’d never even fit through the doors!
There was one point where I was standing outside posing for pictures when a superfan came up and just… starred… and starred. Just kept saying, “…wow..” finally I laughed and asked if she was Ok, and apparently she was totally in love with the behemoths from the game so I totally made her day, and as soon as she said that there was a cosplayer in camouflage and a guillie suit on top of the staircase that just started belting out the Phantom of the Opera in a wonderfully impressive operatic voice. It was comedy gold.
Never give up. Ever. This is frustrating stuff and you will experience SO MANY FEELINGS. This is good. This is what love brings you. The creators curse is a real thing, and when you finish your project and you look at it and think, “ugh… This is crap” realize that it is truly not… it’s only that you learned so much on the project that now you know better ways and more efficient ways to do what you just did. Every project will improve your skill. Just know that the one you just finished is amazing. And when it comes down to it… a good mantra I take is ,“finished… not perfect.”
Take it easy everyone, and thank you for reading, and thank YOU for giving me this opportunity to share.