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May 1, 2013

Guardian Force Siren セイレーン from Final Fantasy VIII ファイナルファンタジーVIII

Guardian Force Siren セイレーン

Final Fantasy VIII


Photographer: Martin Wong

See more images of Siren

Siren was debuted at Fanime 2011 and I couldn't be more proud of how it came out. Final Fantasy VIII was one of my first RPG’s, and watching my best friend play through the game, Siren became one of my favorite junction/Guardian Force/summon. For years I considered how to properly translate her design into 3D materials, I thought 2011 would finally be the ideal time to tackle this with the skills I had learned in previous years of working with feathers and challenging projects. And she’s the perfect costume for me, feathery with a calm, benign nature.

Construction: Due to the placement of the wings jutting from her head, I knew I couldn’t approach this as I normally would with a pair of wings, so I devised ways to cut out as much weight as possible in order to make it wearable for more than 5 minutes.

The wings were made out of a copper wire base, embroidery floss instead of chicken wire for the body, light polyester batting, and of course lots of feathers. The wings sit underneath the wig on a metal and plastic headpiece lined with HD foam (otherwise I would hemorrhage from the pressure haha), and ended up being far less heavy than I had feared. The turkey rounds were ordered from Rainbowfeatherco.com who custom dyed them to the yellow I wanted, otherwise they would look highlighter yellow and very cheesy. I trimmed all 600+ feathers by hand and spray painted the colored ends of each feather individually on the wig, bra, wing tips, and tail when the dye I used wasn’t acidic enough. I also found I couldn’t dye the downs to fill in the spaces of the wings, so I had to cover any exposed batting with more rounds by breaking them right above the base of the stem.

I built a custom bra for the feathers at the bust and created several layers so nothing would be exposed, and did the same with the torso and tail feathers. The rainbow makeup actually takes the longest in changing into this costume, and the eyebrows are thin yellow feathers held on by spirit gum. My gorgeous harp was made by Lionel Lum out of balsa wood!

I've had a few questions about how I moved around in it, and generally it was pretty easy, I just had to move slowly because of the tail and wings. And avoid wind. And doorways.

Cosplayer: Etaru

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