This photo was taken in 2013, this was technically my first "cosplay" when I came across and image of Atomic Wonder Woman and absolutely fell in love with the idea. This was all bought items as I did not have any idea on how to make things. I also bought a stop sign shield for some reason because I thought that would be cool. I still have no idea what happened to that stop sign. How could as top sign dissapear?
Foundations of Licence Plate Forearm Armor & Belt Buckle
Belt Buckle: For the buckle, I used 6mm craft foam and found a jar that I could use to trace a circle around. I also printed out a Wonder Woman Logo and cut it up to use as my template. License Plate Forearm Armor: Originally, I found the exact size of license plates and made that, but when I put it up against my forearm it seemed waaaaayy too big. So I had to take some creative/artistic liberties and made them smaller so it would fit me. I used 2mm craft foam.
This is the skirt tie that I originally made back in 2013. It consists of bought ties from second hand stores tied around a belt. I ended up super gluing them to the belt to help them stay better.
Started painting the buckle with acrylics. For the license plates, I googled "license plate font", typed out what I wanted in word in the size I needed, then printed that out to use as my template. I transfered over to 2mm craft foam and used contact cement as the adhesive.
Belt Buckle: Added weathering to the silver part and added more layers of yellow to the Wonder Woman logo. License Plates: I primed with white plastidip, unfortunetly I was rushing it so I sprayed on layers that were too thick, and I KNEW it would do this but I went ahead and did it anyway. It caused bubbling effect so I tried to just keep spraying more layers of white paint over it. Now the paint cracks a bit easily, but I'm learning from my mistake and chalking it up to post apocalyptic damage.
Belt Buckle: Did some weathering to the buckle with black paint and a mix of black/yellow acrylics. License Plates: Mixed a dark and light blue to achieve a color close to that seen on licence plates. Hand painted the letters.
Bandana: Used a scrap piece of fabric from my Slave Leia/Mercy cosplay and sewed myself a bandana, used black textile paint to add the stripe, using masking tape to keep my lines straight(ish). Blue things: These will be the leather straps that will go underneath the license plate forearm armor. I used 2mm craft foam and did the same leather effect I did with the dogmeat armor - used a heatgun to heat up the foam, then stamped it with aluminum foil. Kneepad: Started creating spikes with my leftover worbla. Just blasted it with a heat gun, then treated the rest like clay. Also pictured: Found some sheet metal bracelets that I originally used with this costume, as well as red fingerless gloves. Bread: Someone in chat said you could make toast with a heat gun, so I decided to try it: https://youtu.be/vbI4ydh0lcM
Licence Plate Frames, Leather Backings and Knee Spikes
I created boarders for the licence plates with 2mm craft foam, primed with plastidip as usual and painted a bright red. The leather strips are going underneath my forearm to attach the licence plates to myself via velcro. I painted them here with Folkfirt Burnt Sienna and Real Brown as well as regular black. The first base coat is a mix of brown and white, then I layer the other colors on top. The knee pad spikes were created with scraps of worbla melted together. They are being primed here with 2-3 coats of wood glue.
The brown shirt at the top right of the image is going to be sewn into an arm sleeve that one of the licence plates will go over. I used contact cement to attach the borders to the licence plates. I also created the basic shape for a few lines that also go on the plates (next to the WW1) with 2mm craft foam. I distressed the "metal" part of the knee pads using black paint and constantly painting some on then smudging off until I got the desired aged effect. Knee spikes have been painted with a mix of black acrylic and silver enamel paint. Leather strap that loops around my neck has been cut, edges need to be dremel-ed to look more rounded.
Closer-up photo of some elements from previous photo.
Used contact cement to glue one side of the leathers to the licence plate, then added velcro to the other half so I could take them on and off with ease. I also finished painting the extra decorative part of the WW1 licence plate (the lines) and attached with contact cement. The long leather strip was painted with my usual leather painting technique. The "handle" is what I will attach to the tie belt so I have something that can secure the chains. It too was made out of scrap worbla, and primed with wood glue.
I didn't like the checkered pattern of the knee pads so I just covered over it all with black paint. It looks less childish IMO (I bought these knee pads at a second hand store, I'm pretty sure its a childrens size). Also showing off how the leather straps look attached to the licence plates and how they attach. I had the hardest time figuring out how to shape the football boobs. I bought some great football pattern vinyl, but its not a stretchy fabric so I had to figure out where to make cuts to make it look flat and be able to fold back behind the foam correctly. I was not pleased how it was looking over the foam boob cups I made.
The chainsaw I ended up buying off of Ebay instead of creating my own due to time constraints. It started off as an ugly yellow so I decided to re-paint it red. Distressed the licence plates using my black paint on rub off technique. Bought the 1in round PVC pipes plus a coupler to use as the handle of the weapon, and spray painted them silver. Unfortunetly I rushed and sprayed on too thick so you can see permanent drip stains on the back side of it. Have patience when it comes to spray painting people! Also technically Atomic Wonder Woman uses a square sign pole, but I decided to go with the round PVC because a) It would be easier to take apart, making it more transportable and b) It would be con safe (most cons don't allow real metal or wood). For the leather neck strap, started figuring out what buttons to add, of course one of my branded buttons would have to be on it. ;) Further distressed the ties on the skirt, splattered and rubbed black paint on them. Attached the chain handle to the belt (it can come off). I also made it the correct size so I can take the chains out to pose with, if needed. The chains are just halloween prop chains, I didn't make them. Would have been more a pain and waste of materials to make it than buy it.
I gave up on the idea of using the foam boob cups because I'm pretty sure I messed those up royally, so I went out to Walmart to buy a cheap bra for like $4.50. I started creating the football "laces" out of scrap worbla, didn't even have to use my heat gun, just cut them into the shape I wanted. Also cut out circles from 6mm foam that will serve as more buttons for the front of the leather neck strap. I added tape to the weapon pole to hide the coupler. I bought some 1in PVC end caps so that I could glue one to the chainsaw and one to the cement portion, so those pieces would be detachable as well. The chainsaw had all sorts of cheesy blood stains on the blade part, so I covered it with a mix of silver and black and added the "Alethia" text that Wonder Woman has on her chainsaw.
Primed the buttons with plastidip. Tentatively cut and pinned the fabric to the bra the best I could. I got poked a lot in the process. Also finished creating the laces. Bought some leather belts from a second hand store to hide the bra straps and look more dystopian.
Used hot glue to glue down the pieces of fabric I pinned. Primed the worbla laces with wood glue, then painted them white. Also added some shadow painted directly onto the vinyl to give it the effect that the laces are actually coming out of the fabric. I took this photo to show what a difference distressing and aging with paint can make. The one on the right just looks waaayy too bright and clean. Gross.
The finished football boobs. I added some black paint to the edges to further the dirty look, and it's not pictured but I attached the belts and some caution tape around the sides to hide the straps, and blackened/aged those as well. The bandana I ripped in a few places, used a wire brush to scratch the holes out a bit. Added some very light strokes of black paint, a few blood splatters, ET VOILA!
The finished chainsaw, nice and distressed. Took my black paint dirty method to pretty much everything.
Making Concrete Not out of Concrete
Coming up with this idea was the most challenging, as I needed a material that was light but could look like concrete. Luckily, I happened to look online and another cosplayer who did Atomic Wonder Woman mentioned this method of just using expanding foam, and it seemed so simple so I decided to try it. The important part is making sure the flat part is on parchment paper, so that you'll be able to lift it off when it dries.
I skipped a step between this and the last photo because it would have made for a boring picture, but after the expanding foam dried and hardened I used about 3 coats of matte mod podge to prime it. I'm not sure I really needed to prime the bumpy side as it was already pretty smooth but I didn't want to risk messing up so close to the con. Once the mod podge layers were dry I used some stone gray spray paint, I also bought some stone texture spray paint to put over on top of that.
And just like that, the chainsaw pole weapon was finished! Granted, I had to borrow a drill bit from my dad to drill a hole into the plastic big enough I could fit the PVC end cap, which we were successfully able to do. There wasn't much surface area so I used both contact cememt and E6000 glue around the edges to keep everything in place. I did the same method attaching the pvc end cap into the cement piece, but its so pourous in there, the glue kept disapearing into god knows where. It was still a bit wet as I didn't have enough time to let it fully cure before the con, but at least it didn't come out of the cement piece. Added some yellow rope to the top (also to hide the top end piece) and distressed it with black paint.
Stop Sign Shoulder Armor
I put this piece off until like 3 days before the con, because I had no idea how the hell I would make it. I'm so bad at patterning and angles, and had to take some creative liberties like the licence plate because a stop sign of actual size would have been wayy too big for my shoulder. I created a template of the pieces I would need with regular printer paper, which I still had to trim down because it was too large for the final form. The actual stop sign pieces were made using 6mm foam. I scored the bent sections with an exacto knife and went a little deeper for the scratches so I could reference where those would go to enlarge them later on. Not pictured but I hit everything with a heat gun so that it would bend/fit my shoulder properly before starting to prime and paint. VERY IMPORTANT. I've made this mistake many times before in the past, forgetting to heat form before painting and it's not good. (I forgot to do it with my forearm licence plates, and the paint chips a little).
There was a lot of rain the week before the con, which made it difficult for spray painting. Luckily, I had space in my garage so I just moved my setup there and aimed a fan at everything. This was my first coat of white plastidip onto the stop sign shoulder armor, I'm really bad at spray painting and globbing it on so I tend to be very reserved with my layers. I chose white because I really want the red to be able to stand out afterward.
Spray painting scares the crap out of me. So much can go wrong. This is why I prefer hand painting but when it comes to stop signs, you don't want any brush strokes. I downloaded a stop sign font, printed and cut it out, used painters tape to attach it where I wanted so it would leave the parts under white. I also added painters tape to the edges of the stop sign so I could get the white edge look. A lot of praying was involved here.
Ok, so far so good! Used the same stencils to do the other part of the armor. At some point I also found a back reference photo of Atomic Wonder Woman and relized she had leather straps coming down the back as well ... crap... so I made a couple of those real quick.
...IT CAME OUT BEAUTIFUL! This photo shows the comparison of distressing (the bottom) vs not distressing). I attached everything with contact cement and used a dremel bit to drill into the distressed parts more. I also had to hand paint/fix some of the stop lettering as it got a bit fuzzy, and I hand painted some other parts around the edges that got a little messed up. After dremeling in the battle damage, I painted over them with silver for the inside bits and then rubbed black around the outside.
This is seriously one of my most favorite props ever.
Not pictured, but after this I used gloss clear coat to protect the paint and give it a shinnier look. I used nylon webbing and clasps and hot glued the webbing to the inside so that I had a way to attach it to my arm/shoulder. I literally finished this piece the night before the con haha.
All Together Now
I'm pretty proud with how everything turned out in the end! I think younger me would be so proud. Everything held together pretty well, only couple of things I need to fix: It's hard to keep the PVC in the couplers because I'm afraid to press down too hard into the cement piece. I mean, it's not like the weapon just falls apart but sometimes I can tell (and by looking at where the 'clean' parts on the paint are) that it could be pressed in further for more security). I also need to keep the boob cups lifted somehow, as they tend to make my boobs look a little flat and the bra falls sometimes because I had to cut the straps off. I might just saftey pin them to the red tube top, but we'll see. It held together at least to get some photos and for future photos, so I'm happy!