HalloweenTown Sora - Kingdom Hearts - Fall 2003

Otakon 2004 Judges Award in the Hall Competition

I had liked this outfit when I played the game, and was toying with the idea of cosplaying, but what pushed me over the edge was when I was meandering through Joann's and found the fabric. It's a grey semi-iridescent taffeta, and to me it looked just like the colors on the character, shifting shades of grey. Add to that, the fabric was 50% off, and I just had to do it. I found the fabric in September, and decided to make the costume in time for Halloween, just for fun. I was at school however, so I purposefully waited on the Keyblade until the summer when I would be home with a garage full of tools. I managed to get the costume completed in time for Halloween, and a few trick-or-treaters even recognized me! In preparation for Otakon, I ended up needing to redo the belt a little, redo the mask (the first one had warped) and of course, make the Keyblade. I am very proud of this costume because of the effort I put into and the accuracy with which I managed to portray the character. And particularly that stinkin' Keyblade! The Pumpkinhead is a pain in the ass to construct!

This was, without a doubt, the most complicated costume I've ever done. It had alot of pieces, and some of them were complicated pieces. I also made it harder because I decided that every piece would be finished. The shirts are lined and the pants have french seams. For this outfit there was: black leotard (purchased) grey undershirt with zig-zag opening on front, over shirt with white cap sleeves, wings, gloves, mask, wig, flying crown brooch, pants, belt, grey tights with red ribbons and shoes. Some highlights: the brooch was cut from plexiglass and painted, with a pin backing glued on. Very stable. The wings were a wire fram covered in padded fabric. The attached to a yoke which went around my neck beneath the collar of the overshirt. Straps then passed through holes beneath the collar to go and hook together behind my back to stabilize the wings. The overshirt was a strange strange exercise in lining since it had a collar with a cape coming out and strange cap sleeves. Boots were highly amusing to make since they were huge disney feet. I fused the grey fabric to a thin foam material, with the stripe fused to that. The huge curvey boots were sewn together with sandal-like straps inside to keep my foot stable within a shoe that was about 5x too big.

So much work went into this freakin' keyblade it's kind of obscene and sad at once. I carefully drafted a schematic based on the in-game Pumpkinhead with exact proportions, then constructed this out of wood and plexiglass. The hardest part was getting the proper geometry on the mace-head of the blade, which can never be done justice in photographs. Each of those spikes has such a bizzare shape. This really tested my use of powertools. Fortunately I was up to the task - table saw, chop saw, belt sander and planer were all used in this project. Oh, and the bat was cut out of plexiglass with a dremmel, so you can count that one too. I did a faux finish to make it look somewhat like wrought iron. Black with a slightly silvery sheen, just like I thought it looked in the game. The hand guard was made in the same way I made the wings for the costume, wire frame with padded fabric over. The face of Jack Skellington was cast in resin over a screw, painted, then screwed into the wood shaft. Alot of work, but it's my best crafting project to date; still very proud of it.

Finally, a note on the keyblade: the head is smaller than most people's rendition of the keyblade. this is because I didn't use the concept art for the Pumpkinhead, but instead used the actual game renderings. It was painstaking to pause the game at each cut scene when I won a battle in the Coliseum to see it properly from different angles, but I think I got a very accurate rendition of the keyblade. Anyway, somewhere between the concept art and the game the design got altered. I chose to depict the in-game Pumpkinhead.