Awesome Comic-Con Okami Costume

Ōkami is an older Capcom release for Wii and Playstation and deserves far more attention than it gets. That being said, a lot of suffering went into making a set of armor dedicated to it, and that’s getting all detailed below!

For the helmet/mask piece, I really can’t give an explanation. It’s pieces of cardboard held together with masking tape and sheer willpower with some cheap Crayola clay-but-not-clay stuff slapped on and covered in layers and layers of canvas primer. If it helps, start with a mask from a craft store and start slapping cardboard on that thing! Bend it to your will, make it submit!

The rest of it’s an unholy mix of foam, hot glue, tears, cheap vinyl and Worbla (a heatable thermoplastic)– all for the small price of some seriously toasted fingers. Oh and the bracers are chopped up Pringles cans. Recycling, it’s good for the environment, people!

On the topic of actually building, in all seriousness, this was actually miraculously simple. Trace some swirly foam shapes, cut ’em out and layer them, and you’ve got yourself a brand new, spiffy wing… Thing. I actually have no idea what the technical term would be for such a thing.

The most challenging piece is without a doubt the breastplate. And since there’s no mature way to say boob, I’ll just say it, the boob pieces were the hardest part. Heat it, round it out, heat it, round it out, on and on for eternity– REMEMBER! IF YOU’RE UNCOMFORTABLE USING HEAT TOOLS, HAVE A HELPING HAND. AND ESPECIALLY FOR YOU KIDDOS, A PARENT IS HELPFUL!

Beyond that, the key to detail is layers, and the paint job. Make it white, slap some grey shadows on there, the red markings too and outline everything in black! The paint job is very heavily inspired by the game’s graphics, which were based off of those really gorgeous Japanese watercolors.

The beads on the belt are just foamboard and painted, and the segments on the vinyl panel-skirt thing is all foam. The fabric’s mostly scrap stuff that’s been hodge podged together, and the fur on the cape is just A WHOLE FREAKING LOT of fun-fur strips. And I mean a lot. And beware, it sheds everywhere.

If you use straight foam for the armor, this would be a wonderful first attempt for homemade costume armor, it’s mostly simple shapes and getting your fingers used to hot glue. Sadly for me, I’m a hard luck joe, so of course it didn’t work out for me that way. In the process, I’d get weird tingly feelings in my wrist while using scissors to cut things out. Lo and behold, a little later, I was no longer able to hold onto things and struggled to write. Nerve damage, woohoo. The ensuing nightmare has been long and daunting, but to be frank, there’s no way I’d ever regret making this and going through it. (I’m getting sentimental, I know) I’ve made a whole lot of new friends in the process, I’ve learned a lot more about art and about myself, and I wouldn’t trade it back for the world. Sometimes there’s consequences for what you do and you’ve just gotta tough it out.

There were a few times about halfway through where I thought about quitting because of the nerve issues, but I didn’t. The major moral point of Ōkami, the character and namesake of the game, happens to be resolve. And as corny as it sounds, I learned a little bit about resolve in the process.

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