A new trend is sweeping the cosplay community across the internet, its called the #CosplayImprovementChallenge! The basis of this challenge is to show the before and after of one of your cosplays and show what changes you have made to improve your cosplay. When I started reading others posts I knew that this was something I could write about and participate in. I chose to write about one cosplay that has changed the most since I first started it.
This is one of my all time favorite cosplays I have done to date and has been something I have worked to improve since day one. After purchasing my Captain America Stealth Suit from CosplaySky.com they approached me about being sponsored by them. It was an incredible honor and the first thing I was sent was their CW Arrow Suit. From the pictures on their site it looked amazing and I could not wait to get my hands on it even though I knew there was probably some work that needed to be done to the suit.
I was really impressed by the quality and fit of the suit and for a while I wore the suit as it came out of the box! I didn’t have an accurate bow and the only thing I had I could use was my Assassins Creed III bow. I also set out to purchase a Tiger Stone Fx mask which in my opinion is one of the best masks you can get! Buying that mask was the first steps along my #CosplayImprovement because the mask that came with the suit was not good and had to be replaced! After a lot of research in an Arrow group on facebook I quickly learned about the correct color of the suit, hood, and about an accurate bow! I had a lot of work cut out for me but after seeing others finished results I knew what must be done.
First up, Angelus Midnight Green Acrylic Leather paint! This is what the suit looked like before I started using the Angelus.
I was told that it’s best to use a sponge brush to paint the suit and then a smaller regular brush to do details. This took a lot of time but didn’t take as much leather paint as I thought. I did the entire jacket and pants and maybe used a third of the bottle! It only took one coat and a hour or two to dry but once it did it looked incredible! It was amazing how this changed the look of the suit, the problem that popped up next was that now the jacket and pants were the correct color the hood now looked terrible!
The hood was easy, a bucket, a thing of bleach, a dowel rod to stir and mix and some RIT Dye!
Here is how it looked at the different steps in the process.
Next thing was the bow!
I found out the bow used on the show for season one was a Ragim Matrix Jr so I went to eBay and bought one. The bow showed up and was like a purple color with black risers so I had to hand sand the entire bow. Several hours later… After my hand was sore and the bow was sanded down to its natural wood grain I had to stain the wood. Using three tea bags and several coats I got the bow looking a more accurate color. Next was the symbols…I drew them with pencil and then used a wood burner built in the 40’s to burn the symbols into the wood. After that it came down to adding the hinges, handle and the sinew. The rest went easy and quickly!
Last big project I wanted to tackle was a more accurate quiver and to get some con safe arrows. You can see from the above picture that the quiver was way to round and that caused it to roll around on my back when I would go to reach for arrows! Frustrating!
The arrows were simple, I just bought some youth arrows, cut off the metal tips, painted over the logos and used yellow spray paint and my green leather paint to paint the fletchings! I think it turned out great! Of course I also made one of my personal all time favorite trick arrows too, the boxing glove arrow.
It was a long process but I feel like it’s really improved the quality and look of my Arrow cosplay. I’m still working on making accurate boots and I recently purchased accurate gloves. I hope you guys enjoyed reading how I have improved my cosplay and hopefully it can be used to help others who are looking to improve theirs! This was my #CosplayImprovementChallenge but now its time for you to do yours.
If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below!