Ysera Build Log
Updated: Jun 11, 2022
This Build Log is kind of special to me. Not only will it be one of the longer logs, but it's also very nostalgic. Ysera was my first serious cosplay, made in 2012. It's a cosplay that I learned a ton of new techniques with, and I participated in my first serious competition and placed 1st. It's uncommon but not unheard of people qualifying for the SCC (Swedish Cosplay Championship) with their first cosplay so, understandably, it's very dear to me. I am strongly considering remaking Ysera sometime in the future, and see how much I've progressed over these 8 years (as of writing this).
I have a LOT of photos for this, so you're in for a long read.
Also back in the days, seeing other people's WIP photos of how they made things was an enormous help for me. That's one of the reasons I'm making these logs, perhaps someone one day will find them useful for their own projects. For Ysera I looked especially close on how Kamui made her Alextrasza (as they share the same base model) and her Druid who has the same shoulder pieces. When I made this it was before the advent of Worbla, before EVA foam became a common thing to use, and LED's were basically unheard of in the Swedish Cosplay scene. So do keep these things in mind as you read on.
Ok enough nostalgia, let's dive in!
To start with I wanted to incorporate lights. The issue being though that I had no one to teach me how to solder or make tiny LED's myself. I had read about using powerbanks or big powerpacks hidden into a dress or other parts of the costume, but given that the places I needed to fit mine into were a lot smaller than that, I required another solution. Enter: The Clas Ohlson LED caps. These have been vital in all my projects with LED's, as they have a perfect small pack for batteries, a flat button and a row of LED's. Nowadays I usually take it all apart and re-solder it with my desired length of wires, but for a long time this was my go-to as is. If they ever stop selling these so I can re-purpose the parts I honestly don't know what I'd do, hah.
So here you can see the cap before slaughtering it, and to the right is how the wires and everything look inside the cap. They are super cheap going for about 5 euro (50sek) a cap, and this is in my opinion the absolute cheapest and easiest way to minimize soldering work.
Next up I picked out my shoes. I decided on a pair of pumps for some reason, I think they were on sale. Consider I didn't have a job at this time and was at the economic mercy of my parents to make this. In any case I covered them up with 2mm eva foam and made a nice fit that I liked.
Next up I picked out a bra with removable straps, and decorated around it with 2mm eva foam. I also ordered a green chiffon fabric off of ebay, along with my wig and a set of long green gloves.
All pieces were basically made with 2mm eva foam and then hand-cut bevels. I covered everything in green fabric that I then painted, and I covered the bevels with silver fabric (because this is how Kamui did her Alextrasza).
The lower leg parts, and the arm bit
A pile of bevels cut out of thicker eva (puzzle mat eva) and all the tiny spikes being cut out
Heatshaping the 2mm eva before adding the fabric on top
As aforementioned this was my first time for doing a lot of things, including resin casting. I bought a powder silicone that you mix with water to create silicone paste, and a type of fiberglass resin. I then sculpted all my gems in plastilina clay, tested how they'd look on each piece and started making my molds.
The silicone and resin packages, and testing the size of the chest crystal
When the molds were done I was unable to get all the clay out, but still went ahead with doing my resin casts. I put the LED's directly into the resin as it was going to harden, wires and all (since I didn't have any other option).
My excitement when taking them out of the molds and having made glowing crystals was incredible. They were quite bubbly and uneven, but that didn't bother me too much. I went over with a bit of sanding (as much as I bothered with) and then I painted them, and added aluminum foil to the back.
After all the crystals were done, I tested the placement on the armour bits, and added 2mm eva foam dressed in silver fabric around the edges
Testing the placement on the arm, and after adding the silver decoration
When I was happy with the placement of all crystals, I dressed everything in green cotton fabric.
I then painted everything with dark green acrylics
After the paint, it was time to add all the bevels
Bevels being added to the lower leg pieces, upper leg pieces and the chestpiece
I used hotglue to glue everything on this cosplay
After all the bevels were glued down, I dressed them with silver fabric
Lower leg part and bra being covered with silver
As for the shoes, I used a green lycra and made a shoe cover which I then decorated with 2mm eva foam covered in silver fabric
Now for the most iconic parts of the cosplay - the horns and shoulders. I made both of these parts using expanding foam covered in newspaper and homemade paperclay. The homemade paperclay was not super good, and I had to work in sections smushing and gently patting it down with a spoon to get a good surface.
For the base of the shoulders I cut out the parts in puzzle-mat eva foam
I then added the expanding foam onto them, and started carving the shape
I then added a steel wire glued down, in order to create the roots sticking out. I also managed to get my hands on a pair of perfect sized green plastic balls that split in two, to make the floating orbs. I incorporated the LED in this stage too, so the on/off button would be hidden in the root and give me access to the batteries on the underside/inside of the shoulder.
The basic shape with the steel wire, and taping it all up with paper tape
Covering everything with newspaper and wallpaper adhesive
Covering them all up with my homemade paperclay and starting painting
Mid painting, adding the crescents in front
All painted up, with leaves, bear paw accents and green ball
The shoulders have tiny fabric hoops on the inside that the bra straps go through, and that's how they stay on. They're surprisingly lightweight for being of such a substantial size.
I made the horns twice because I wasn't happy with the size and shape of the first pair.