Orianna – The Lady of Clockwork

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The Beginning

Prior to PAX East, I debated a lot on what character I wanted to cosplay from League. It wasn’t until November/December that I decided on Orianna after playing her in multiple games and discovering that I enjoyed her kit. Choosing to cosplay her gave me a challenge and a push towards building something I’ve never done before. It was my first time working with Worbla, making armor, making a mask, making a ball, making…well…everything. I had high ambitions and hope for this cosplay that I didn’t manage to fulfill. I didn’t realize how big of a scope this was and had some tall hurdles I barely managed to jump over or completely stumble on. While I’m not entirely pleased with the end result, I gained a lot of knowledge making her for my future cosplays.

The Build

I first worked on the bracers to get acquainted with Worbla. I bought a Jumbo sized sheet (which at the time was $80), but in the end it turned out to be not enough for my entire project. The huge benefit with using Worbla is that I don’t have to worry if I make a mistake. If I did make a mistake, I can tear my craft foam and Worbla piece apart and reuse the Worbla. I had to do that with my bracers. The first time I made them, I ended up with three layers of craft foam-Worbla combination which caused the whole piece to be really stiff and while I could force my forearm into it, I did so with a lot of scratches on my arm. So I pulled the bracer apart and remade it with one layer of craft foam for the base, another layer of craft foam for the trim and finally the layer of Worbla. This allowed the piece to be more flexible and I was able to open it to allow my forearm in. I used the folded-edges method because it used less Worbla than the sandwich method. And Worbla is definitely not cheap. I tried to use as little of my Worbla as possible.

After I got the base of my armors done, it was time to add the details. I referenced about 8 pictures and 3d models to decide on a design that I liked for Orianna. I settled with using the details in the new splash art for the back plate, and the details in the 3d model for the chest plate, created extra details for the bracer and upper arm armor with the 3d model details. The rest I stuck with the details in the 3d model since i liked how they looked.

I bought new shoes for Orianna which unfortunately had a large ankle opening, but I made do with it. I created the pattern for the shoe using the plastic wrap and painter’s tape method.

Once they were done, I had to figure out how I was affixing the armor to my body. For the chest plate and back plate, I used velco to adhere them together, for the bracers and shin guards, I used magnets to make sure it fit to my size. For the upper arm armor and thigh armor, I just threw them on and hoped they stayed on. (My bicep armor did but I had to occasionally adjust them by bending my elbows and the thigh armor just kept falling down)

By the time I tried the armor on, my right bicep had grown bigger than when I measured it due to doing indoor rock climbing for a month. It was cutting off the circulation to my arm. I had already primed the piece so I was afraid of doing anything else to it, but the greater evil was that I’d have to do the piece all over again. Given the amount of time I had left (about 1 week before PAX East), I couldn’t do that. So I used the heat gun and squished the layers together more to allow for more space.

Around this time I only had a week to finish making the head, ball, fingers, key, skirt and paint. Needless to say I was rushed. I took 3 days off from work to accomplish this and a couple of almost all-nighters. If it wasn’t for some of my friends I would never be able to finish this at all. One of my friends helped me hook up the mechanics of the rotating skirt and it worked beautifully. Some of my other friends helped me prime, sand, and paint some of my pieces. Without them I don’t think I would have made my deadline.

I was slowly coming down with something. Getting sick is the norm when you don’t get a lot of sleep and, for me, it usually correlated with cosplaying. The night before the first day of PAX East I pulled an all-nighter but didn’t quite finish. I slept for the day at the beanbag section at PAX and worked the night to finally finish her and got some hours of sleep.

It took two hours and an assistant to put Orinna on me. It was my first time putting everything together and for the most part it wasn’t a complete disaster. It soon became apparent that my skirt refused to work. I couldn’t figure out what the reason was. After diagnosing it as a hula hoop problem or the motor couldn’t handle the amount of weight it would have to rotate, or the contact of the rollers to the hula hoop weren’t flush, I gave up defeat and didn’t turn on the skirt. I later discovered that there were two contact points on the frame of the mechanics that touched the skirt that prevented it from turning. I only found one contact point at the time, fixed it, and then discovered the second contact point during Anime Boston. Oh well.

Overall this project was my most intricate, complex, and pain-in-the-ass to wear cosplay. It was an extremely good learning experience, but I didn’t plan well enough for it and came out with a sub-par cosplay.

You can find more pictures at my Facebook page: Orianna Album

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