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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.

Starting the pattern bases using the official guide as reference.

Back piece

Front chestplate, belt center and shoulder patterned

Back plate and shoulder backside

knee and elbow patterns

shin pattern

With all patterns cut, it was time to start working on the actual pieces. For this I used high density EVA foam for parts like the chest which I knew I'd want to strap tightly and thus needed additional strength, whereas I used low density foam for pieces like the toecaps on the shoes and the elbows.

Chest pieces cut

back view

knee pieces, elbow pieces

Pieces ready to be dremel sanded and glued!

Gluing all 2-piece sections together

While waiting for it to dry I started with the insignia on the belt center.

I begun tracing the center pattern onto some baking paper.

I then put the pattern on top of my foam piece

I then stabbed the pattern into the foam with an awl

all the little pattern dots stabbed into the foam

Using the dots, I drew the pattern again on the foam

I then carved the pattern with a soldering iron

Then I covered it with worbla and pushed the pattern down with this little stick tool thing

Pattern all pressed, and edges trimmed

I did the sandwich method for this center piece, so after all the detailing on the pattern was done I made the edges smooth using another type of wood soldering tool

And then I put a thick worbla sausage around the edge

I put Kwik Seal around the edge to fill the crevice around the edge, and once it was dry I sanded it down.

So with all that out of the way I went back to the armour which had gotten glued by now, and dremel sanded all the edges down.

Sanded pieces!

I opted to use the worbla sandwich method for all the armour parts except the elbows, kneecaps and shins. This is because those pieces will be on parts of my body that I'd prefer to have a bit more flex in. Pictured above are the pieces that went on the inside, as I used brown worbla for the inside and black for the outside.

Starting the sandwiching on the front chest piece

Shaping it to my mannequin

Shaping the backside to my mannequin

Around here I decided it was time to start on the shoes. I got a pair of base shoes secondhand and made a bunch of faux leather strips to "braid" on the top of them.

Gluing down the edges on the faux leather strips

Strips ready to be placed

Starting to figure out the "braiding" on the first shoe

First shoe done "braiding"!

Both shoes done!

I was kind of on a roll now with the faux leather and decided to start on the gloves. The type of faux leather that I got a hold of isn't really supposed to be used for clothing but rather furniture or other upholstery. So I had to be very thoughtful with my pattern and my placement on the faux leather so I put the small stretch that did exist on the right angle.

Figuring out the mock-up pattern

Base pieces cut

Basting the bases together

A little thumb

First glove basted, with added fourchettes along the fingers

At this point it kind of felt like a glorified dishwasher glove.

Getting a bit tired of this material I went back to the armor.

Tracing of the edge on the back shoulder

I used the previous pattern from the chestplate to draw the flower/thorn decorations and then cut it apart in sections, tracing the placement onto the chest plate itself

Middle flowers/thorns traced

All decoration placements traced

The absolute most intense part decoration-wise was the shoulder. It's entirely covered in filigree. In order to create that I traced the filigree off my monitor twice. Once for the front and once for the back.

The finished front and back pieces

I then VERY carefully cut out the filigree from my traced papers

One side entirely cut

I also did the same for the edge patterns.

The reason to go through all this is to trace the placement on the shoulder, and trace it onto 2mm EVA foam which I then cut and glued onto the shoulder

All filigree traced

Taking a break from the shoulder, I started the chest decorations with putting the edge on

And then I went ham on sculpting all the Worbla details. I've never attempted to make this fine level of detail before with Worbla so I'm pretty excited how it turned out

The first titty flower and thorn vine done

And the entire chest done!

Back to the shoulder, I started gluing the foam pieces

Working hard on getting it as symmetrical as possible

One side with all filigree and detail glued

Trying very hard at symmetry again

And adding the worbla edge decorations, after putting the bottom part (lacking decoration in this photo) and inner edge section (where my thumb's at). For these two parts I used hot glue to create the filigree detail.

Alright time for some more sword!

I started out with flattening two long pieces of black worbla

Then I sandwiched the blade in this black worbla

After cutting the excess, and before smoothing the edges

I covered the handle and pommel aswell, and added these "sticks" on the pommel aswell as an edge. The inside of the pommel is layered EVA foam, dremeled to shape

Making the bottom smooth

Now... one of the highlights of this cosplay - the sexy man on the sword. I stared out making him in tinfoil to get the basic shape.

I then went on to make the tiny bull skulls that were to be placed on the pommel.

I started with drawing the basic shape on paper, and then putting baking paper on top so I could heat shape worbla to sculpt.

Skull sculpted!

Since I needed 8 of these skulls, I decided to make a small silicone cast of the first skull so they'd all look the same

Tiny skull army! Ready to be cleaned up and placed on the pommel

I kind of got carried away doing the final detailing on the sword so I only have a photo of it done before paint and priming. But in any case what i did was place all the little skulls on the pommel and then added a styrofoam ball on top which I then decorated with hot glue. I covered up the tinfoil man with black worbla and sculpted him stuck to the handle and textured the handle. After I was happy with the man I started making all the thorn vines going from the handle almost all the way down the sword.

Close up of the handle and thorn vines

A snap from a little bit further away, showing more of the vines and thorns

Back to the gloves!

I cut 4 pieces to make the top cuffs, and stitched them on my sewing machine

After sewing the gloves together properly (not only basted), I added an elastic ribbon and spaced the folds of the glove evenly among it.

The elastic spacing pinned

I then handstitched ONLY where the fold edge met the elastic, in order to keep it elastic and able to expand when I put on or take off the gloves.

Base gloves right side out

Pinning the cuff flaps

How the edges look where both parts meet, carefully aligned so that the seam of the cuffs and the side seams of the gloves themselves meet.

One finished glove!

Both finished gloves!

A part that I sadly don't have a huge amount of photos of is the belt. I kind of just forgot to take any snaps when I was working on it. But I started out with measuring the size as it would be with the muscle suit on, and then cut a base in soft EVA foam which I then glued edges onto.

Belt base

Close up on the ridges/edges

After that I glued faux leather onto the belt and stitched it together in the center middle. I chose this way of going about it since there's no other natural placement for a seam or separation especially with the center armour bit going on top of it all. I tested it out and made sure that I was able to put it on sliding it on from the top and that it was going to sit firmly without slipping down due to the weight of the front armor and rope.

Here's how the front center seam looks, I handstitched this section together. The small leather squares are additional protection from where the small leather strips that keep the rope in place are sewn into the foam.

The rope itself is dyed by me, since I was hard pressed to find any red rope with the appropriate thickness. In the end it was probably for the best since I could actually use cotton rope, which the devs specified that the character has in the cosplay guide.

Rope before dye

Mid dyeing

Adding fixative to make it all stay!

After the rope had dried, I was able to place it on to the belt as well as add the front center piece which at this point I had already base painted in Pewter. The following photos are taken as I was writing up this WIP but it's better than nothing.

Close up on the leather bits keeping the rope in place

Finished belt front

So, moving back in time a little again there's one final piece of course that I've got to talk about. The cone. I kind of waited until last with the cone since it was a lot of mental gymnastics for me to figure out how to work it, but in the end it came out alright.

I decided to sculpt the face for the cone in plastilina, and in order to do that I placed one of my styrofoam heads into the cone and uh... imprisoned it with duct tape while I slapped clay onto it. This was to make sure that I knew my head would fit inside the thing, but also to get some help for myself with the placement of the face itself.

After I was happy with the sculpt I put the entire head in the freezer for 2-3 days so I'd be sure it was frozen solid for when I was ready to make a shape out of it.

While I was waiting for the head I covered up the entire cone in black worbla on the outside to make sure the shape would stay firm and not budge or turn weird in transportation.

After getting the head out of the freezer I put black worbla on top to replicate the sculpt. It's very important that the clay is as cold and frozen as possible when doing this method, otherwise the entire sculpt will melt once the hot plastic is placed on top.

I added some fancy edges to the mask-hole and the bottom

And then I struggled a ridiculous amount with fitting the face into the helmet without ruining the sculpt.

After finally getting the face in, adding some foamclay to the edges (and later on the face too) I put the hinge decoration in center front and started on the vines.

After I was happy with the vines I added all the thorns.

Finally I primed everything up with 2 layers of woodglue, and covered all pieces in a base coat of pewter

Then I safely packed up the cone and everything else and headed to Italy. As one does.

The final paint had to be done at the apartment where we were staying. I added a blue-green tint to all the armour, shading, and blood on the helmet and sword. In order to get the blood effect nice and gory I used a mix of red and brown diluted paints and let gravity do it's work in creating the dripping effect.

Close up on the thorns on the sword

The sword a bit further away

And a close up of the blue-green tint mentioned above.

And the finished costume!

The only piece I totally lack any photos of is the scarf. It's attached through the straps that go through the shoulder and connect the front and back armour piece together. The flap in front is glued together with the decoration painted on. The scarf is the piece I'm looking to rework as soon as possible to make it a bit more worn, and change how I attach it aswell as making a new flap that's actually sewn together with the decoration embroidered on instead of just painted.

Some other touch-ups I want to do is to weather the costume more and make it look more worn, aswell as touch up the paint job and maybe if I'm lucky figure out how to make the eyes cry blood without staining the whole costume in the process. That'd be cool!

As usual the fancy album with all the proper shoot photos can be found here!

Feels good to be back doing stuff. Let's see what's next!


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