Elle's Kigurumi Quest

      Elle's Kigurumi Quest

      I'm Elle, and I've been interested in kigu for around seven years. I've had a couple of masks before but they either didn't fit very well or weren't very well made. After waiting for a good amount of time, I managed to get my hands on a pre-painted Nukopan kit. I decided to go for a kit for several reasons. First, the simple factor of cost. Finished kig masks can be very expensive, and rightfully so. But at the time of payment I wasn't able to order a finished mask. Nor could I choose a single character to kig as! Which leads me on to my second point; variety of characters. As I've been waiting for around seven years to get my hands on a mask, I couldn't possibly contain my excitement and choose one character to have a finished mask made of. I chose a kit so that I could install interchangeable features and get as many characters out of the kit as I could think of, simply by swapping the hair, eyes and features around each time. And the cosplay of course! I went for a pre-painted kit as I don't have an airbrush nor the experience to properly paint it to a high standard. I had Nuko paint my mask to match the colour of my hadatai as closely as possible. I got a really lovely, well fitting hadatai from Ayame Store. I just chose one of their general sizes and it still fit me perfectly. If you're looking to order one, follow their guide and you should be fine. I've got a con coming up next week. I leave on Thursday. It's my goal to kig there for my first time ever, and have a blast doing it! I'm going to be kigging as Maki Nishkino from Love Live, as I already have the full cosplay, and I can finish the mask on a budget. So what do I need to do to finish the mask? I need to do the following. Install interior padding, install eyes and vision holes, create a wig and attach it, add lashes and brows. Now I have a wig that I used to cosplay Maki regularly that I'm willing to use, and my friend has a Maki wig of the same colour that she's willing to give me. Friends who I have made through the kig community have assured me that two wigs will be enough, especially for a Nuko mask! And I can confirm this! Well, I can make an educated guess at the VERY least. I stretched one of the wigs out over the front to see how it lined up, and amazingly, it fit pretty well. So considering that I'm working on a short time-scale here and a super-limited budget, I'm going to be cutting the wigs appropriately and and attaching with velcro. I'm going to heavily glue one side to the wig net, and then simply stick the velcro on the other side to the mask. I plan to stress test this first, so that my wig doesn't just fall apart whilst wearing it! I'm thinking I should probably also connect the two wig halves in some way rather than keeping them individually. Even if this is done in a crude fashion such as using duct tape. I'm going to print the eyes out on to photo paper and then duct tape them to the inside. Perhaps not the best method but certainly an effective one on my budget. The lashes and brows I'm still a little confused about, so any extra advice would really help!


      That was a super heavy wall of text so let's slow down a little bit and talk about my plans for the future. As lovely as my Ayame hadatai is, I'm going to be investing in a suit with individual toes and specific pockets that allow for cleavage (aka individual boobs). I'm also going to get a latex hadatai in case I ever want to take photos in the water, and also just to look super cute and shiny! I'm pallning on tackling a few more characters after Maki, including but not limited to: lots of Love Live girls, Asuna (SAO), Shimikaze (Kancolle), Inori (Guilty Crown) and very possibly Ryuko Matoi! I'll add a few pictures to demonstrate my findings and progress so far. I'll hopefully be back with progress soon!

      Addendum: I tried adding the image as an attachment but it didn't seem to want to show up so I've attached it as a link to a facebook version.
      Right now what I would do at the late in the game is NOT worry about the other characters and focus on getting Maki up and running.

      You have the eyes?? If so an easy fit is adding tabs to the back of the eyes to receive velcro. Four tabs on each eye should do it. place velcro onto mask and eyes, fit into place, done.

      Pads, four pieces 3x3x1 inch. glue them into place
      1. Forhead
      2. 2 temple pads
      3. rear (if needed)
      160801 - 1.jpg

      Lashes around the eyes, Tricky but doable, black craft foam. I'd make the bottom lashes permanent. The top lashes can be heat formed using a heat gun. Use velcro strips to adhere them around the eyes.

      Brows can be made using black electrical tape. You can peel and stick, easy to remove for future characters.

      Hair

      2 wigs minimum, using scissors, spit the rear of the wig up to the start of the crown.

      ref 2.jpg

      This will be the top wig

      Second wig cut wig alone just inside of the front of the crown cap.

      ref 1.jpg

      This will yield front bangs and the mid back filler piece.

      Third wig cut one inch 2.5 cm just inside the rear of the crown cap.

      ref 3.jpg

      This will yield the rear wig that is attached at the rear of the mask.

      Place the hooked side of velcro squares as need to the surface of the mask and the soft velcro sides to the wigs. I personally glue the velcro to the wigs.


      This is only a guide to get you started but should work generally on most masks. This took three wigs to make this style. You can't if clever enough do it in two however, the rear hair will always be too thin and you'll experience wig holes where the thinness of the hair shows through to what is underneath.




      Elle.

      Since you are customizing the mask to fit yourself consider the following. How it sits on your head will determine where you need to see out of it.

      When I fit a mask to me, I start by making a reference measurement. I hold a clear piece of plastic in front of my face, and look into a mirror. I then make dots on the plastic, where my pupils are. This gives me a reference as to how far apart my eyes are.

      Holding that plastic in front of the mask, I can then see where my eyes will be approximately be, when I wear it, horizontally.

      The thickness of the forehead and crown pads, will adjust the mask higher or lower on your face. That means your line of sight will vary. You will want to adjust the padding so that the mask sits in a natural position on your face. Chin not so low you have no neck, Chin not so high it looks like the mask is perched on your neck. You know, what ever looks natural for the character.

      If you hold the mask beside your head and look into the mirror again, you will get a feel for where your eyes will be vertically behind the mask, as it sits naturally. If you have no printed eyes in the mask and the eye sockets are open, you can just put the mask on. ( Did not see the Facebook Picture.)

      Combine these two measurements, and you will know where you need eye holes. Hopefully, they will be somewhere that is compatible with the eyes that you want to tape into the mask eye-sockets. A place like the eye pupils, which would naturally be black, so cutting them out would work. Or possibly the line along the edge of the eye socket, where your eyelashes will be added to the mask, where a slot would go un-noticed.

      Be sure to take a black magic marker and color the edge of whatever holes you cut in the photo paper, or you will end up with a white ring around the hole.

      Good luck with getting everything together for the convention. Be sure that you let us know how things go.

      Miss Kiki