Silent Hill: Origins
DescriptionThis costume was made for a Silent Hill group cosplay during Anime Revolution 2013 and the 2013 Vancouver Zombie Walk. My friend had already had a Pyramid Head cosplay on stilts built, and a couple of friends joined us as Memory of Alessa (you can see her in some of the pics, I did her makeup at the con on the day of in under an hour) and as nurses.
Butcher was the last of three cosplays created during the 2013 con season so it was a bit of a rush job.
The cosplay is composed of four primary pieces: the apron, the mask, the helmet and the Great Cleaver.
I'll try to address each separately:
[1. THE APRON]
The apron was a twin sized bed sheet purchased from Value Village thrift store for about $6. I laid it out flat on the carpet of my living room and then measured out the half-way point. I took an existing apron I had and used it to approximate the width of the top of the apron and the length of the straps, as well as the curve that forms beneath the arms. Afterward I laid a tank top for further comparison points. Once I had drawn out the rough shape of my apron on the fabric, I use a sharp pair of scissors to carefully cut out the apron. The next step was to sew the apron together, this was done with a sewing machine. The straps on the back-piece and front-piece of the apron were stitched together with the excess cut off, and the sides of the apron were straight-stitched with the machine with enough space that it would be able to be slipped into loosely and then pinned tighter at the sides upon use. Next I took black embroidery thread and began stitching the approximate pattern of the stitching from reference pictures. There are two lines of stitching on Butcher's apron and they are rather haywire/jerky looking. The first one starts around the top of the chest and slants downward. The other one starts below the end point of the first one and slants downward in the opposite direction.
At this point the apron was soaked in a big bucket of water which I poured several pots of tea into to stain it and left overnight. Then it was dried out, and I splashed some soy sauce on it for further dark stains. Finally the apron was laid out in the yard and spray painted with brown, gray and black Krylon spray paint. For finishing touches, the apron was spattered and painted with a mixture of fake blood and liquid latex (to get it to harden/give it some permanency. If I was not in such a rush I would probably have used acrylic medium instead of liquid latex).
[2. THE HELMET]
The helmet for Butcher could have been made from a plastic work helmet, but I had EVA Foam handy from some other previous cosplays, and the pepakura file sitting out for a Dr. Doom helmet. So I made the upper half of a Dr. Doom helmet and then began working from there. After that, I flipped the Dr. Doom helmet piece upside down (this piece would eventually not even be visible) on top of another piece of EVA foam that was much larger. This piece served as the base for the helmet which is visible. It was glue gunned down, but because I didn't have a heat gun, to get the rounded piece I created some horizontal strips and glue gunned the rounded parts of the foam to the sides of the ribbed strips of foam to keep it in place. Afterward I cut a slightly smaller piece of foam and cut out the skewed rectangular shape out of it. This second piece was glue gunned atop the first piece (which sat upon the original helmet piece). Finally, the EVA Foam was sealed with a mixture of white glue and water, and then spray painted first silver, then gray. Finally it was weathered with a series of different tools including an exacto knife to get some of the silver and gray detailing coming through. Real bolts were purchased from the hardware store, where the clerk sawed off the bolt heads. The bolt heads were affixed to the helmet with a glue gun and the whole thing was spattered with the mixture of blood and liquid latex. I was then faced with the difficult of how to wear the helmet (because it's a half a helmet) without resorting to a strap (which I think looks stupid) or trying to glue hair clips to it or something. I will get into this after I finish the mask section which follows this.
[3. THE MASK]
The mask was relatively simple and based on what I had seen other people doing combined with my knowledge of basic SFX Makeup. I bought a queen sized women's stocking from Dollarama for $1.50. I measured the line around my neck when my head was in one of the legs, and then cut it to about the right length (you can save the other leg for another project). Before I began applying the liquid latex, I put a bald cap over my head to protect as much of my hair as possible, then pulled the cut stocking over my head with the bald cap still on. After this I began dabbing on liquid latex (except around my eyes/nose/mouth). After I had enough build up, I began adding tissue paper/toilet paper to create some build up and get that raw fleshy mutilated texture that Butcher (and many Silent Hill characters) exhibit. I let this dry for some time before removing to give it a bit more hardening time. After it was completely dry, I returned to it and used Ben Nye grease paint to colour it, the colours used were mostly white, off-white, skin tone, red and bruise coloured. To finish the mask I cut out the eye hole(s).
[3b. ATTACHING HELMET TO MASK]
Now I was left with the problem of attaching the helmet to the mask. Since I was short on time and needed a quick fix to secure the two pieces together, I wore the completed mask and placed the completed helmet atop my head. It already fit nicely because the Dr. Doom Pepakura file (or if you're using a plastic helmet) is made to fit atop one's head, plus the longer piece of EVA Foam that I used which juts out sits nicely around my shoulder area, but this alone does not secure it. With the mask on and the helmet atop my head, I plugged a glue gun into my bathroom socket and began glue gunning the helmet to the places where it meets the mask atop my head. This seemed to hold up pretty well for an entire convention day and Zombie Walk, including taking it on and off completely several times and I had no issues with it coming apart. I suggest loading up the underside of the helmet where it contacts the mask with as much glue gun glue as possible and letting it dry for as long as you can before removal. You don't want the glue gun glue to be still hot/liquid before you remove the mask from your head or it won't stay on properly.
[4. BUTCHER'S CLEAVER]
One of the most iconic and important parts of Butcher is the gigantic cleaver. This was another rush job, but I think it turned out decently. It was also one of my first times constructing a weapon from scratch, and a giant weapon at that. Based on the recommendations of more experienced prop makers on the forum here, I bought a huge sheet of cardboard from Deserres art store for about $5 (too rushed to go hunting for huge sheets of cardboard) and used EVA Foam I had handy from other cosplay. First I traced out a general shape of the cleaver on the cardboard from reference pictures of the character's weapon. Then I cut out the cardboard shape and traced it facing backwards onto the cardboard to form the opposite site. The cardboard pieces were each traced onto pieces of foam and the foam was then cut out. A wooden dowel was purchased from Home Depot and run down the middle of the cardboard to create a structure for the cleaver and glue gunned in place. The cardboard was then glue gunned together. On each side, the corresponding EVA Foam piece was glue gunned to the cardboard pieces. The EVA foam was then sealed with the mix of white glue and water. Finally the entire blade was spray painted with a base of silver spray paint as well as black spray paint for details and weathering. The handle was spray painted brown and then with some black spray paint for weathering. The whole blade was scratched up with an exacto knife and other tools to give it scratches and damage. Finally the mix of liquid latex and blood was spattered and painted along the blade of the cleaver.
I wore a white contact which I already owned (from 22/7 contacts) and genuine Canadian issue combat boots which I also already owned (from a military surplus store).
[CONVENTIONS & EVENTS]
• Anime Revolution 2013
• Vancouver Zombie Walk 2013
• Geekenders: Star Trek-Themed
Cosplay Nation: http://cosplaynation.net/2013/09/19/inuki1-the-butcher/