Cosplay has changed my life entirely and pretty much become the center of me as a person. I owe so much of the happiness and fulfillment in my life right now to cosplay to be honest. Not to get all emotional, but cosplay really came at a time in my life when I needed it. Life has it hardships and everyone deals with tough experiences and cosplay was there when I was feeling kind of lost. Cosplay became for me something I could really wholeheartedly just pour myself into and become truly passionate about without holding anything back. I picked myself up and dove right in and instantly fell in love with it and its become such an important part of my life now. Most of the happiest experiences in my life are connected in some way to cosplay. Every time I finish a new cosplay, I’m left with such a feeling of accomplishment, fulfillment, pride and happiness that I can’t wait to get started on a new one and keep trying my best. By going to different conventions, I’ve traveled and experienced new places that I might not have thought of visiting and made such amazing and lasting memories.
I have a friend that got me into Fate and when he found out that Fate/Apocrypha was getting animated he urged me to watch it saying that there was a character I would really like. Within a minute of seeing Astolfo on screen I fell in love with his character. His quirky and nonchalant personality coupled with his steadfast self pride were all traits that made him such a unique and great part of the story. Plus he’s just a really fun character in general. He lives life by his own rules and doesn’t let others stop him from doing what he likes. When asked why he dresses in a girlish manner (he is a trap character) he simply states that he likes cute things and wears them simply for that purpose regardless of what others thought of him. As someone who cosplays trap characters and does crossplay that was something I kind of admired and knew I had to cosplay him.
This cosplay took me about 5 months to complete and it was quite the process. First I started with the sword as I thought that was the easiest part. It is made up of a wood base and then all the details are done in rigid pvc sheet commonly known as sintra. Once all put together I used a wax based paint called rub and buff to get the metallic look. The sword itself actually breaks down into 3 separate pieces for travel using a threaded rod inside the handle. After that were the armor pieces including the bracers, gloves and hip armor. The bracers and hip pieces were made using sintra as well. The pieces were patterned details were added and then the shapes were achieved through heat forming the plastic. The gloves were made using black worbla. I used several layers of filler primer and glazing putting to get a really smooth finish, shiny finish. Then came the sewing, which was definitely the hardest part because I am by no means a talented seamstress haha. I definitely had to remake the tunic part during the process to get it to look right. One part I am really proud of though is the gold crest on the leather chest piece. I cut a stencil out by hand for that and was so nervous it wouldn’t look good but it ended up coming out perfectly!
During the crafting process I actually kept pushing the debut of the cosplay back a couple of times. I was supposed to take him to two other conventions that year but decided not to because I really didn’t want to rush it. The character meant alot to me and I wanted it to be perfect when I finally showed it off. I actually didn’t finish the cosplay until the night before leaving for the convention so I had not even tried on the cosplay in its entirety yet. I’ll never forget the first time I did though. The first time I saw myself in the mirror with the full cosplay on I literally started tearing up. Seeing all the hard work I had put into the costume finally coming to fruition and on top of that it being exactly how I wanted it to look, gave me such a feeling of joy and accomplishment and it was hard to contain all those feelings. I actually had to touch up parts of my make up before I could even go down to the convention.
Once I got down there, I was almost overwhelmed with all the people giving me so much praise and admiring the craftsmanship of the cosplay. I don’t think many things can top the feeling of showing off a new cosplay you poured your heart and soul into and having so many people admire your hard work at once.
One of the funniest things was people trying to determine whether or not I was a guy or girl. With it being a trap character, the character is meant to look very much like a girl but is in fact a guy. Alot of the times that leads to a majority of girls cosplaying that character rather than guys. In order to pull it off, I taught myself how to do feminine looking make up and spent two hours the day of applying it to get the look. I felt kind of proud because so many people legitimately thought I was a female at a glance. Once they found out I was a guy, the reactions were priceless. Some guys had this look of their mind just being blown due to them thinking I was a cute girl and then coming to the realization I was not. When girls found out, they would ask me if I did my own make up and some were even asking me for make up advice. I never thought I would have people asking me for make up advice.
Through cosplay I have met so many passionate and great people that have changed my life. If not for cosplay, I would not have met so many of the friends I have now and I am not sure where I would be right now without all these wonderful people in my life. I got all of this from just deciding to take a shot at cosplay and apply myself to it. Some people may see cosplay as just people dressing up in costumes and being nerdy but its so much more than that in my opinion. It has really been a life changing and defining experience for me and I do not regret it for a single moment.
Photo : ROXAS Studios