Welcome to the Cosplay Artist Spotlight!
“Let them come through ME!” -Asura, Guild Wars 2
Today we’re taking a closer look at the gorgeous and whimsical construction of Enayla Cosplay’s Golem from Guild Wars 2.
Asura are a race of tiny gnome-like creatures from Guild Wars 2. Highly educated and technically-minded, they make up for their size by building giant mech robots (golems) to fight alongside. I love their lore (and their look) and had wanted to make an Asura cosplay, but unfortunately I’m not two feet tall…so I built a golem to give it scale! It stands about 9.5 feet and is one of my favorite creations to date.
As with any large project, my golem started off on paper. I spent a long time examining references, sketching, and generally wrapping my brain around how all of the pieces would fit together. Because this was such a large build, it was important to choose fairly inexpensive and lightweight materials, so I opted for EVA foam over a PVC pipe skeleton.
I constructed the main understructure first, from a giant roll of piping and connectors. I used lightweight PVC for the non-load-bearing portions, and heavier pipe for the legs/feet so that they would support my weight. I had originally intended to be able to walk around in the golem, but it ended up being too unwieldy, so I settled for climbing up and posing inside it.
I patterned the outer skin just as I would pattern a sewn garment, by ‘draping’ paper on my structure and drawing in details and seamlines. Once I was satisfied with the paper pattern, I transferred it to EVA foam sheets and started constructing the outer layers.
I added finer details with 2mm craft foam for all of the tiny raised portions, which I adhered with superglue (I had to resist the urge to stop here and leave the golem rainbow-colored!). I used velcro strips to attach all of the foam pieces together while still being able to split them for travel.
Next, it was on to priming the foam in preparation for painting. For this, I used about 40 cans of plastidip, a spray rubber, which creates a smooth surface and prevents paint from soaking into the foam. Plastidip is very toxic to breathe, so I primed outside while wearing a respirator.
Resin Gem Casts
The golem is covered in glowing blue gems, which I cast from dyed resin (paint trays made perfect molds for this step!). I embedded LED lights into the resin before it hardened so that the gems would glow from within, and wired it all up to a battery hidden in the body of the golem.
Finally, I got to painting. I painted the entire golem by hand using a mixture of matte and metallic acrylic paints. I started off with a base color, added gradients and shading, and finished off with drybrushing for that worn metal look.
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