Ash-Sama Cosplay and Design is a wickedly talented cosplayer who, after only a few costumes, has made some beautiful armoured costumes and has great photos to go with them. Take a look through this article then go and like her page!
Location: Kent, UK
What is your favourite food?
Tough one, though probably anything with tuna. Tuna sandwiches, jacket potato with tuna, spaghetti and tuna, pasta with tuna, tuna on its own, tuna on pizza … you get the idea! Though I couldn’t live without some milka chocolate!
You do a fair amount of armour work but you also have some great sewing skills, what do you prefer doing and why?
Thank you! I actually only learnt to sew very recently and I am still trying to get the hang of things there, with making patterns and such, so for now I prefer armour making. I especially like to take designs and add my own quirks here and there, such as with my Queen Vegeta. I wanted to make it more realistic and detailed. I really like armour builds because they make me feel really badass and cool and I feel really accomplished after finishing a piece, despite always burning myself on the worbla! I made my first cosplay for October 2014 and got so much amazing feedback from it, so everytime I make new pieces of armour, I try to challenge myself and improve on it.
Which has been your favourite piece of armour work that you have done so far?
So far I would say my Mega Rayquaza. It’s had the most pieces of armour and the breastplate was a little tricky in some areas. I also made resin gems and used them in a piece for the first time and I really think it added an extra dimension to the costume! The headpiece to this costume is my favourite piece that I have made since I first started cosplaying. Although it does make hugging, and walking through doorways near impossible!
To anyone who is about to start worbla but is nervous, what would your main price of advice be to them?
I would say, not to be scared of the worbla. A lot of people I talk to are too nervous to use it, because they think they will mess up. Worbla is extremely forgiving and not a single piece of it goes to waste, as you can keep the scraps and reheat to use as detailing or sculpts (if you are careful with the heat). The trick is to stay calm and just make sure you have your templates right and ready before you cut in to the worbla. If your templates are correct and fit you right, then the chances are, your worbla work will go the way you want it. So basically, be prepared!
Even after working with worbla quite a lot up to now, I make things that I don’t particularly like, but I simply heat them up, and pull the worbla off and use it for something else. So to anyone who wants to work with worbla (or other types of similar thermoplastic) just give it a go. Maybe work on a small piece at first, like a bracer or a smallish headpiece and then once you are comfortable with that, you can try a breastplate/chestplate. There are a tonne of tutorials online to help with this sort of thing, so just do your research and be sure you have a plan before you start and you will be fine.
If time and money was no object what would be your dream armour build?
No doubt about it, it would be Bahamut from Final Fantasy X. I’d love to do a humanised battle armour based on the summon. Hopefully I will be able to put this in to action in 2016! I love the colours and I’m a big fan of dragons and all things fantastical and it was my favourite summon in the game (Bahamut is my favourite in all of FF games, but especially FFX!) It would be a nice challenge, since there is quite a lot of detailing and sharp edges in his design, but I think if I could come up with a clear idea for what to do with it, it could be pretty impressive in person. His wings are really cool too, which would be a new thing for me to try and make.
What has been the most tricky technique you have had to master so far?
Not a technique as such, but trying to avoid air bubbles while using worbla and foam. It took a while to get the hang of things, but now I keep a pin handy so I can pop them all at once after the piece of armour is entirely shaped and detailed.
What advice would you give to new cosplayers?
Just be yourself. A few cosplay elitists like to try and dictate what people should wear, or try and bully them because they don’t fit their perception of what a character should look like. If you are happy with your costume, that is all that matters. A lot of cosplay newcomers seem to worry about getting bullied, but the truth is the nice people outweight the bad. It doesn’t matter if you made your own costume or not, if you bought it, or had it commissioned, the main thing is that you are going to have fun. So just don’t let other people ruin that for you!