For me cosplay is about challenging yourself to create something you're proud of, and Princess Ruto was certainly a challenge! I can sew a ballgown in my sleep but this was my very first prosthetic creation - and of course I chose a pretty difficult one to cut my teeth on. After a lot of research I sculpted the head shape from 15lbs of clay and then created a two part negative mold with Ultracal cement. I then slip cast the prosthetic in mask latex with a small amount of flexfoam on the inside before painting it all in PAX. More or less everything possible went wrong during the casting process, including locking the mold which meant I had to break it apart only to patch all it back together again. On top of that I managed to accidentally thicken my seams and gave myself a minor chemical burn during the mixing process. In fifteen years of cosplaying this is the closest I've ever come to dropping something from my lineup, but never underestimate a stubborn cosplayer in crunch mode.
Compared to the fiasco of the headpiece, the rest of the cosplay was a breeze! I created a bodysuit from stretch tricot and then airbrushed darker shadows in. The fins were constructed from fosshape sandwiched between tricot, and I made the feet from a combination of wedge heels, cardboard, and batting.
I'd picked Ruto to begin with because my cosplay circle had wanted to put together a "Girls of Ocarina of Time" group, and Ruto was the tough nugget that everyone was hesitant to touch. When I broke the news two weeks before Katsucon that my cement mold was in five pieces and odds of me finishing the cosplay were slim, most of my friends (myself included) figured that it was a done deal, and we'd just be down a character. I then switched gears to focus solely on my other cosplay, and once it was finished I re-evaluated if I had time to scramble and finish Ruto before the con. I managed to make it in just under the wire, with two of my friends helping to hand sew different parts of the bodysuit the Wednesday before Katsucon. Without their help, she definitely wouldn't have made it onto the con floor!
Despite all the trouble I'm really glad I pushed it through - I could always spot an Ocarina of Time fan from across the con floor based on their reaction, and more than one person told me that getting to see 'Link's fiancée' in real life made their day. I absolutely plan on making some small improvements and bringing her out again some time in the future.