The Art of Creating a Cosplay


Let me begin by telling you I love anime. I’m legitimately a hardcore fan, from classics to stuff airing as we speak. So, earlier this month, my husband and I took a short trip to St. Charles for the weekend to attend Anime STL, a local anime convention. We had decided months before that we’d like to go, so in that time, I decided to delve back into the world of cosplay.

I had done a few simple cosplays before, school girls and cats, but this time, I had decided I wanted to build some things. The cosplay I ultimately decided on was Roadhog from Overwatch. He’s basically a MAD MAX pig biker, so I thought it would be easy, since I kind of have the same body shape, so I set off. I had a pretty good head start on most of his costume, thanks to my younger, goth-er years — a gas mask and biker boots. Then, I began a process which I assumed was MUCH easier than it is — foamsmithing.

Foamsmithing is taking an impact foam or actual building foam and creating armor with it. The process takes a lot of patience and dedication.


I started with cutting out shapes, taking large pieces of foam and shaping them and then building on top of them. I used duct tape to hold it all together and aluminum foil to help me add dimensions to my work. I deconstructed the old gas mask a bit, taking out filter and lenses (so I could breathe) and I added cans I cut in half to the filters. Next, I filled out the mask shape with aluminum and duct tape, and after everything was where it should be, I sprayed it in three coats of Plasti Dip, so that it would all look uniform. Then, I left it to dry.

By then, I had also managed to create his “Hog” Hook, mostly out of aluminum and duct tape. Wrapped it until it was as smooth as I could get it, shaped the nails in his hook with foam and hot glued everything together. I waited until it was dry and sturdy, and sprayed it down with shiny chrome paint (WITNESS ME).

My next challenge would be his armor and belly tattoo. I had never really made armour before, but I have always been crafty and knew the basics — how to make domed things, how to give things shape and dimension and how to wear them. However, I had never really made anything “people” scaled or gotten or painted a belly tattoo. The armor was painful but easy, and I DO suggest getting work gloves because you’ll need a lot of hot glue. Size, cut, shape, glue. After that, was the task of doing my tattoo.

I had recently contacted another female Roadhog cosplayer and asked her about how she did his tattoo. She was very helpful, and told me to buy cheap tummy control spanx, stretch them over something, paint them and allow them to try overnight. And wouldn’t you know, it was a spectacular solution. I had to dye mine first, being as I’m a dark skinned individual, but it looked great and I was so proud.

I debuted my Roadhog at Anime STL the Saturday morning in a cosplay contest. After two sleepless nights, lots of hot gorilla glue hand blisters and weird sores on my back, once again, ya girl won an award for Judges Choice.