Monster Hunter: Velkhana

When I came out for Anime Expo to visit Hoku Props I wasn't planning on staying longer than I did. However, when I was invited in this insane project for San Diego Comic-Con for Capcom, and the stars aligned, time stopped, the calender cleared its dates and suddenly I was headfirst in a crazy NDA cosplay build. 

For what would have needed at least two to three months to build, we had about two weeks to start and finish the Velkhana Elder Dragon armor. This project was a roller coaster of a journey and all hands were on deck. It took an entire team and a few all-nighters to get what we had at the booth, which I think was impressive as is. However, imagine what we could have made if we had the proper amount of time to work on an intensive build such as this. I will say I'm extremely proud of the team I was able to be a part of and I'm extremely happy that I was able to stay and capture the hard work that went into this project. 

Capcom for the announcement of Linda wearing Valkhana needed an image to post. So, of course, I wanted to try and give more than what they were expecting. So Linda and I planned for a photoshoot with as much of the finished armor as possible for Wednesday night. However, that night swiftly turned into the wee hours of Thursday morning, and Capcom also needed that image that morning. So with time running out, we put all of the armor that we had on Linda went down to the workshop's large whiteboard and did our miniature shoot. I think I took three images and had what I needed for the composite.  I had maybe three hours to get this finished image to Linda to send out and happily, I was able to get it done within two. Though I will say I felt bad waking up an exhausted Linda once it was done. 

Let the planning begin! There were a few meetings, and test fittings with the 3D printed armor to make sure everything was good to go before the grunt work began 

Clear Warbla was one of the more crucial products for this build, but also one of the more tedious products to work with. Linda worked on the ice properties of the costume for days. Some of which the Warbla had to be rolled, which was a lot trickier than it would seem. Also, rolling ice and ice in general is officially a trigger word after this project.

 With any kind of armor building, there is going to be sanding, and boy did we have a  whole team of sanders armed to the teeth with sandpaper and palm sanders. We literally had a sanding party in the workshop with Panic at the Disco to carry our spirits. 

The Gorget was probably hands down my favorite part of this costume. I don't know if any of you have patterned and cut out things from leather, but this was a definite first for me and $100 worth of Aligator leather. I was so nervous about this part of the build. However, the drive to freaking get this project done overcame that, because by the end of the day it needed to be done. I also painted the leather with Angelus leather paint in 'Bone' and also did a black wash on top to not lose the detail of the scales. Again this is my favorite part of the costume just because it gives a more realistic Monster Hunter element to the costume. 

A huge dedicate team, a short deadline, blood, sweat, a few tears, and at least 10 virgin sacrifices later and we all were able to take a collective sigh of relief. It was finished, it made it to the convention, and we could sleep again, until the next project.

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