I chose this one for a few reasons. The Theives Guild missions were one of the first I tackled, so I felt most familiar with the 'nightingale' characters. And also, a friend just happened to have a foam template for the armor design. If you want to check out his many files, you can find them here. So, after he sent me the files, I started work on this almost instantly.
I only needed to make a few small adjustments to the scale of the template (always remember to check this. It's easy to get excited and hit that print button as soon as you download a pep file. Much disappointment will be had once you reach the end only to find the template was scaled to fit someone 6 foot tall when you're only 5'3) so, I printed out my template, taped it all together, and began the cutting out process.
Now, there's no right or wrong way to do this part. Some people like to lay the paper template over the foam, cut both layers with a Stanley or carton knife. Some people prefer to cut out the paper template first, lay it onto the foam (as I did) and trace it. I prefer the latter as I feel like I get my pieces cut out more neatly than I do with a Stanley knife. Plus, for this design, I was only using thin sheets of craft foam, which was no chore for a decent pair of scissors.
The next part required my trusting old hot glue gun. It's also important to have you template file viewable on your PC so you can refer back to the 3D model to make sure you get all the pieces assembled correctly.
Now, some people may be more organised than I, or have a bigger better workspace where the space allows them to cut out the whole template. But I worked in sections. I also have two small children. So working in segments helped me keep it all organised.
For example, I cut and glued all the pieces for the upper part of the chest amor before cutting out any further pieces.
Progress went quite quickly once I reached this stage (as far as assembly goes) I had the upper body completed withing a couple of days.
But I got to this stage and began getting bored with the cutting, glueing, cutting, glueing and cutting and more glueing.
So I decided to start adding details to the foam. I used hot glue to draw on the raised design. I think this was the fastest method out of the couple that I tried. It also dried the fastest, and I was able to move onto the next step of prepping for the paint job in a matter of minutes.
So I used liquad latex to prep the foam. I guess any plastic type product would work, but I fell like this armor needed to remain flexible, due to it's close fitting nature and my desire to wear it and not walk around like I've got a pole up my butt. The liquad latex worked well in filling any small gaps and discrepancies with the hot glue. I applied it with a spray bottle, and spread it with a foam brush and regular paint brushes.
Aso important to remember, this stuff will drip everywhere!! And keep an eye out for runs where the product is over applied. After the initial coating I let it dry for a good 24 hours. I made a few touch ups in spots, and let it dry again.
I used regular acrylics to paint it. Some people like to coat latex with prosaide first, but seeing as I didn't have any left, and was on a bit of a deadline to get this costume finished (I wanted to wear it to a con, and I have to order my prosaide online) I went ahead and began painting it. Who knows, maybe it will come back and bite me in the bum for skipping this step. But I will let you know how the Costume fairs :)
I wanted to go with a slightly different colour scheme.
So I started out with a base of orangey-copper.
Followed by painting in the spaces with black
I didnt paint over the ridges in the armor at this stage. But rather, I went back and went over them later with a washed down black paint, and used the old apply, semi dry, wipe off technique I'm so fond of.
So, with the top half completed, I was left with this