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The Penitent One Build Log

Cons and events are back for real now it seems, and so am I with more ridiculous armor!

I'm absolutely in love with the over the top yet somehow realistic stylistic choices of the characters and setting in Blasphemous and after finally playing the game on console I thought "huh, would be kinda funky to make The Penitent One". With some hype by my friends backing me up I finally got to work on Mr Cone early 2022, after considering for most of the autumn and winter whether or not he was going to happen any time soon or just be left on the pile of "neat things I'd like to do one day".

I set myself a deadline for Volta 2022 given that I'd been accepted into the event around January 2022 and figured he'd be an alright choice to bring. I've got a whole other post about the event so I won't mention it here, check that out if you're interested!

Let's start with the list of materials and tools I used to make this cosplay, none of which are sponsored. Brand names/stores are only mentioned for those wanting to replicate my choices:

* Hot air gun

* Hot glue gun

* Soldering iron

* Woodburner

* Handsaw

* Sandpaper

* Wood

* Worbla (both black and brown)

* Wood glue

* Contact cement

* EVA foam in various thicknesses and firmness

* Plastilina clay

* Silicone

* Scalpel

* Carpet knives

* Overlock/serger sewing machine * Regular sewing machine

* Cotton rope

* Rit Dye Fabric dye

* Rit Dye Fabric dye fixative

* Faux leather

* Hobbypaint of various colors

* Silk/duchesse fabric

* Purple linen fabric

* Sewing thread in various colors

* Foamclay

* Styrofoam head

* Mattress foam

* Cotton stretch fabric

* Construction paper

* Various types of tape

* Elastic ribbon

* Kwik seal

* Baking paper

* Awl

Whoo alright that was quite the list, let's get into the work! I'm sorry beforehand that some of the side-by-side photos are not properly aligned, it seems that the formatting has changed in a year and I've not yet figured out how to make it look like previous blogs.

I used the cosplay guide provided by the developers, The Game Kitchen, which was invaluable to see everything in detail and get some of their thoughts on what material some parts should be. For example they specify that the rope is a cotton rope etc.

I'll write this in the order of when I made things, which is kept somewhat consistent part-by-part for once.

I started out with trying to assemble a photo of Mea Culpa, the sword, in as high resolution as possible so I could upscale it using posterazor and print it. To do this I printscreened the sword in sections from the guide as zoomed in as possible, and then assembled them together and cleaned it up with a transparent background.

The finished assembled sword ready to be printed

Printing the template on A4 paper

Checking the scale!

I did a small writeup on both Instagram and Twitter about how I measure things to calculate templates for my props, and it goes something like this:

I measure a section of the sword on my reference, in this case the handle, and then a part of the character adjacent to the sword section that holds a similar angle. I then measure that part of my own body, the lower arm in this case. My arm measurement was 35 cm, so that means that the entire handle of the sword should measure around 35cm in the final template. To calculate the rest of the length of the sword I measure the handle on my reference on my monitor, which was 11.3 cm. I then divide 11.3 / 3 which is ish 3. I then measure the rest of the blade on my monitor which was 29.5cm. 29.5cm multiplied by 3 is ish 88.5 cm. I round it up to 89, add 35 which totals to 124. So that means my final length of the sword in its entirey is 125-130cm.

I know that's a super wack way to calculate things probably, but it works for me.

With the template done, I got to work on the wooden base. I used a handsaw to saw the base out of some wood that I may or may not have "borrowed" from Allion (sorry, I'll get you new ones when we start on your Nier sword ahahahaha).

The base all sawed in one single piece. I've got some trust issues given my past of props having their own opinions about whether or not they'll break so given the massive amount of detail going on this I opted for the safer choice.

I then took a break from the sword for a while, and started work on my partial muscle suit going underneath the rest of the costume. I had some light beige stretch fabric at home and opted to use it since it's very comfortable to the touch and has a lot of give.

I placed one of my swimsuits on top to trace the base body pattern.

All parts cut, I decided to have short legs on it and also long sleeves to make sure it would stay in place comfortably.

All parts pinned together with the zipper in the back for a first test-fit

I'd overestimated the amount of fabric needed as usual, but it didn't look too bad for the first iteration!

Back view

After that I decided to start with figuring out the base for the Cone. This is the part of the costume I dreaded the most to make since it's a very tall cone and I had to put a lot of thought into how to make it keep the shape especially being transported all the way to Italy.

Yup, I'm a great artist

I cut out a hole in the front to start figuring out how to place the mask so I can see out of the front somehow. Incredibly impressed facial expression at this stage.

In any case, let's get back to the sword a little. I sanded down the edges of the blade and then glued extra pieces of wood for the handle.

All sanded

Gluing extra wood with woodglue and wrapped it tight with string to keep them in place when I left it to dry for a couple of days.

While waiting for the glue to dry, I traced and cut the cone base from high density EVA foam.

Glued it together with contact cement

And taped it together with duct tape so it could dry without popping open.

Time to head back to the muscle suit and finish it up! I started by sewing the zipper in the back on my regular sewing machine. The reason for sewing this first was so it'd be a bit easier to take in all the measurements while wearing it.

It may not be the most beautiful stitches, but that's OK since this doesn't show once I'm having the entire costume on.

After fixing the zipper, I basted the suit together. This is because I intended to sew it on my overlock and it's not recommended to have pins in your fabric when overlocking unless you know what you're doing. Needless to say, this was my first project working with an overlock sewing machine so I didn't feel confident enough to do that yet. But also since it's a stretch fabric it really helps to keep things where they're supposed to be without sliding apart or making the final bits turn out awkwardly shaped.

Basted sleeve

And here are all the pieces sewn with overlock before final assembly.

The final base suit! Time to get the muscles on.

I started with putting a plastic bag on my mannequin, and then putting the bodysuit on. This is because I'm going to glue the muscle foam fillets onto the suit and I didn't want it to get glued onto the mannequin itself.

I drew a basic placement of where I wanted to place the foam bits, and then started carving them from soft mattress foam.

After all the fillets were carved, I started gluing them.

All the muscles glued. I didn't bother to make it super anatomically correct since the only reason for this suit existing is to make my body shape and silhouette more straight. The outside of the cosplay doesn't have any tight elements or muscle defined elements.

After the muscles were glued, I added additional fabric on the inside and outside of the muscle sections. This helps to keep them in place, but also so the surface isn't abrasive on the inside and that the foam doesn't tear on the outside when I have everything else on top. I stitched these sections by hand.

The inside with fabric being placed

The outside

While stitching the outisde, I took care not to flatten the foam too much.

Side view of the finished muscle stitching before cutting excess fabric


And the glorious creation was done, at last.

Side view!

I'm really happy with how this section turned out, I've always found muscle suits or adjacent projects to be a bit daunting so I'm very happy with my first try. It also helped that I didn't have to feel huge pressure on this being what would show in the end result so I had a bit more leeway on the construction.

With this "undergarment" being done, it's time to move on to the clothes. I had to get the muscle part done first so I'd be certain that the clothes got their proper size and look. I chose a purple linen fabric for the clothes that I had in my fabric stash since forever ago.

Basic huge pants cut and pinned to test the shape and bagginess

Due to the fabric already having been cut into when I got it, I had to make additional lower sections for the pants since I couldn't cut 4 full length pant legs. The shin armour covers this part of my leg anyway so I wasn't too worried about that.

Overlocked all the pieces to get some more practice in

Sewing pieces together on my regular sewing machine and then pressing the seams

Shirt and pants coming along!

For the sleeves I added a wedge up by the armpit to increase my ability to move in the shirt.

After adding the wedge I attached the sleeve

Ironing the edges down on everything

Handstitching the top collar to make it as invisible as possible

Very neat!

The finished clothes. I added an elastic band for the waist in the pants so I can easily get them on and off. The Penitent One basically has a super cozy pyjamas as his base clothes so for once I felt confident that an "armour cosplay" would perhaps not be awful to wear.

So! With all the base items finished it was time to start patterning the armour. To do this I put the muscle suit back on my mannequin to make sure the placement and scale would be correct.