"Cosplay" or literally, "costume play" is a hobby where people dress up as their favourite characters from everything from comics to anime to video games. Costumes are usually made from items found around the house -- or perhaps flea markets and consignment shops -- or hand-sewn and meant for comic conventions or contests. A berserker is a type of fighter character who is known for getting so angry that he "goes berserk" and continues fighting until his enemies are destroyed or he himself is unable to continue fighting. Making a berserker costume can be done mostly from items found around the home.
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Things you need
- 3/4 cup flour
- 6 cups of water divided in two
- 4-1/2 tablespoons sugar
- Large bowl
- Several strips of newspaper
- Measuring tape
- Large flat pieces of cardboard
- Duct tape
- Several pennies or penny-sized slugs
- Craft glue
- Silver spray paint
- Gold spray paint
- Leather strips, roughly 3/4 inch thick
Heat half of the water in a saucepan until boiling. Turn down the water so that it boils gently.
Add the flour to a large mixing bowl, stirring constantly with the rest of the water. The mixture will be extremely messy.
Add the mixture to the boiling water in the saucepan slowly, stirring constantly. It will be a thin, gruel-like consistency.
Remove from the heat and add the sugar. Transfer the glue to the large bowl from earlier, stirring carefully. Allow to thicken and cool.
Take your own measurements from the end of the shoulder to one inch from the neck -- roughly two to three inches. Measure the length from your armpit down to your waist. Measure the broadest part of your chest -- the widest part of the breast on your side horizontally to the other side -- and your waist from hip to hip. Write all the measurements down. When you make your armour, you will be making what looks like breastplates that are tied together at the back side with the leather strips, so the measurements do not have to be perfectly formed to your body. However, the closer they are and the more carefully you measure, the better the end product will look.
Use your measurements to make a pattern on the cardboard. It will look somewhat like a tank top shirt. Cut out the pattern. Use the pattern to cut another shape exactly like the first, so that you have a front and back to your armour.
Begin applying the strips of newspaper. This is done by dipping a strip of newspaper in the glue solution and removing the excess glue with your fingers. Apply it to the cardboard. Continue with other strips. It will stick where it lands, so try to be precise. A project this size will easily take 50 or 60 newspapers, cut into one-inch wide and 6 to 7 inch long strips. There is no exact number for this, as all measurements and body styles are different. It is very important that you keep the strips even, so that your armour doesn't look lumpy. Do this for one side, then allow it to dry. Then, do it for the back side. The back side goes closest to your body and does not have to be very thick. Be sure to layer over the edges of the cardboard so that all you see is newspaper. Allow to dry completely.
Repeat this step for the other piece, until both pieces of cardboard are completely paper mached. With the scissors, cut two holes in the sides of the armour, about an inch and a half from the edge. The hole should be no larger than a pencil eraser.
Duct tape over the main parts of the paper mache. This will give you a smooth surface to paint, to emulate the "shininess" of real armour. If you want to add some realism to the armour, then double the thickness of the tape around the neck and shoulders. Again, the straighter that you keep the tape, the smoother your armour will look.
Tape the shoulder parts together so that they match over your shoulders. This might take a lot of tape, depending on how heavy your armour is.
Glue the pennies or slugs to the curved part of the armour, so that they look like studs. Do this on the front and back.
Spray paint the armour on all sides, mixing the paint so that it looks somewhat weather-beaten. If you don't like the effect, you can always spray over it with one or the other of the paints. Allow it to dry completely.
Tie the leather strips through the holes and slip it over your head.
Tips and warnings
- Paper Mache is extremely messy, so be careful. Do your project on a flat surface that can be easily cleaned.
- Do not let children use scissors or boil or pour boiling water without adult supervision.
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