Methodology of Cosplay Construction, Part 1: Scaling and Models

Costume Planning:

Planning in costuming is a critical part of making the actual costume. Good planning is an excellent way to prevent many problems and mistakes that can occur during construction. It will help gauge the cost and time to make the costume as well. This is very helpful for costumes that require a frame and/or function.  In such a case, wings.










Wings commonly are supported with a frame hidden within them. The frames strength is determined by estimating the amount of material used in the wing with durability in mind. Why the extra durability? At some point they will be shown off at a convention crowded by people and obstacles that will most likely be bumped into accidently. This includes taking into consideration of points that may fail, such as a joint which would be wise to reinforce.




The best process to follow when planning may sound obvious and simple but… it is. Pencil and paper, sketch it out! Your ruler is your friend. Why? Scaling. Accurate dimensions of the drawings help solve sizing problems, which in turn; help judge material and help form the best plan of attack. If possible, full size drawings tend to be the most useful. This for the simple fact that not only is this drawn to size, so math involved in scaling, but can be cut out and used as a stencil.







Even better! For the people who fret over symmetry, like me, we all know that paper can be easily folded and cut symmetrically. A good example is when made a pair of tonfa props. We drew out a profile, made a stencil and cut out exact mirrors of each other. This is also useful for reproducibility; for instance if someone needed to cut out a gazillion little bows for a dress or scales for scalemail, very useful.legarmorkneelowerleg








This compounds when working with a group of people: this helps coordinate as a group bringing consistency in the parts being produced. A drawing or stencil is easy to store as well for later use. Lastly, but the most cost saving in my book:paper is far cheaper than any costume material. Cutting out a paper stencil and messing up is far less costly and painless than say cutting out a piece of worbla and messing up. In conclusion, I look at it like a war being waged; Any smart general will definitely have a plan before the first move.

Nerds of Play
Through everyday and every night
No cosplay idea will escape our sight
We'll do them all and do them right
Beware our power, Nerds of Play take flight!

The Nerds of ‘Play are a band of 5 misfit cosplayers based in SL, UT that come together to create mischief, mayhem, and incredible cosplays. With enough cosplays planned to get them through eternity, these Nerds still manage to find time to fight through the water temple and train their pet dragons (Daenerys could learn a thing or two). They consist of an alien from another planet (or so he’s convinced) who is searching for the tardis (containing Karen Gillan, of course), an indestructible nerd-knowledge think tank who will mega evolve all of his Pokemon, a master sword wielding she-halfling that we can’t seem to get rid of, a borderline evil tech-scientist/engineer who is likely building a robot to take over the world as we speak, and an overly logical she-geek who insists on being ALL THE CHARACTERS, regardless of their gender or species (seriously, we’re a little worried about her identity crisis). Together they will take over the (cosplay) world, or at least their own fantasy worlds…. Find them here, on their official cosplay page ( or lost somewhere in time. Welcome to the Geekdom.