I first saw the character Deathstroke/Slade Wilson from the Teen Titans series. However, my interest in his character wasn’t truly piqued until I began watching the CW series Arrow. Slade himself is a highly intelligent, seriously skilled fighter with all the charm and attitude one needs to make a seriously badass villain. Combine that with that incredible black and orange armor and military style weaponry, there isn’t really a villain more impressive than Deathstroke, at least to me. He quickly became a personal favorite of mine, and as a cosplayer, his costume was way too cool for me not to attempt. One of the great things about the Cosplay community is how common genderbent cosplays are, and extremely widely accepted. I didn’t think twice about making a femme Deathstroke cosplay.
As anyone who follows my cosplay pages on Twitter and Facebook, you will know that all of my previous cosplays have involved a lot of sewing and embellishment. Deathstroke has been my first time working with foam to construct armor. Before beginning, before purchasing any supplies, I did a TON of research. I got on Pinterest and DeviantArt and browsed photos of Deathstroke, both cosplays and from the various shows, comic books, video games that he has been associated with. Upon all of this research, I decided the version of Deathstroke I preferred was the version from the video game Arkham Origins. The colors, styles and overall presence just really, really impressed me. After deciding on the version I wanted my costume to be inspired by, I did a mental sketch of how I wanted my genderbent version to appear. I am not great at drawing, so for me, mental sketches are as good as it gets. If you have artistic skills, I would definitely suggest drawing out your ideas. I decided I wanted most of the armor to be very similar to the male character, save for the chest piece. If any of you have made chest armor for a woman, you know the technique is much different from making male chest armor, for obvious reasons. I again used Pinterest to look for foam molding techniques and with a bit of trial and error, I discovered the version that worked best for me. I know many other cosplayers have their own way to do things, but I will just share what I found best.
For my chest armor, I actually used a fairly thick foam yoga mat. Find one that is very sturdy feeling, not the rubber feeling, super flexible kind. (The rest of my armor was made using Black Diamond Plate 2ft. Square Interlocking Foam Mats that I purchased from Home Depot. If I was starting this again from scratch, I think I would have used those for the chest piece as well. Once I had the foam, I followed the steps below:
I prepared my dress form by fitting it with one of my bras, so the chest piece would fit to my body shape. I then ended up laying the dress form vertically on my floor for easier use)
I cut the mat in a rectangle shape large enough that it would cover the front part of my body and extend to the mid back.
Heating up the foam is next. While I have a heat gun, I found that it is fairly difficult to use on large pieces of foam and heating them up in my oven on low heat. (Make sure that you are checking the oven often, as the foam will overheat and melt if left in too long.)
Once the foam was hot and easily moldable, I removed it from the oven and immediately started molding it around the dress form, in order to make the cups. I did not remove it from the dress form until the mat was completely cool.
Once cool, I removed it from the dress form and it held its shape perfectly. I then cut it in order to make the bustier style that I was going for. I have found an electric hot knife works incredibly well for cutting any kind of foam.
As for the rest of the parts of the bustier as well as the rest of the armor, the process was really the same. I used my photos as reference for cutting the shapes out of the foam, then heated and molded everything to my body. Any pieces that had to be glued together, I used contact cement, which I would highly recommend to anyone looking to use foam.
So far all of my armor is completely cut out and shaped. I have not begun the beveling, priming or painting. When that is all complete, I will write another post with tips on doing those things, along with more progress pictures.
**I should also note, the Deathstroke Helmet/Mask was a commission piece by David the Han Cosplay.
I really appreciate you all taking the time to read this!
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