How to Make Homura Akemi’s Shield Prop
It's been a long time since I last wrote a tutorial so pardon me if I'm a little rusty! When i first made the shield, i was rushing it for Best of Anime (Manila) 2014 . I had initially wanted to debut my Elsa cosplay at BOA14 however I wasn't able to complete it in time and decided in the last few weeks to re-cos Homura Akemi instead.
I decided it was only right for me to make more effort for the event and thus a new shield had to be created. The shield in my previous photos belonged to the lovely and generous Yuanie.
My favourite part about this Prop and my method is how little I spent on it! Most of the materials that I needed was already available at home so the actual amount I spent on this prop was LESS THAN SGD$3.10 !!!
Materials & Tools :
- 9 inch plastic plates. ($1.05 . Find something you can cut through easily)
- 5mm EVA foam (or furnish from old mouse pads)
- Glossy medium thickness paper ( or try salvaging from old calendars/posters)
- Hard cardboard
- LED light setup ( DAISO $2)
- Black permanent marker
- Black & silver spray paint
- Black & silver acrylic paint
- Paint brushes
- Purple markers/ pens
- Hot glue
- Contact cement glue
- Pen knifes or scissors
- 2 big round gemstone (Learn how to make Hot Glue Gem stones here)
STEP 1: Find a suitable plastic plate. I managed to find this 9 inch plate with a smooth bevel at the edge and a slight raised feet/circular rim in the centre.
STEP 2: Flip the plate over and measure the diameter of the centre circle and draw out the circle on a piece of paper. It doesn’t have to be fancy paper because this will just be a template. Next trace the circle on another piece of photo paper. Any paper will do as long as it's hard enough but i choose photo paper because i thought the glossy surface can provide a better finishing.
STEP 3: On the first piece of circle, trace or draw out the pattern of the inner shield. You can take reference from either the anime or the figurine but I found this very nice line art online.
Homura Akemi's Shield Outline by tanyopo
You can probably figure out a way to print this design in the exact dimension and diameter but I decide I wasn’t going to mess around with my Printer and went ahead to draw it out with a pencil.
Here's how mine turned out. Make sure everything is size appropriate and symmetrical.
STEP 4: After you are done, cut out the parts that will be made with foam; they are the purple parts I highlighted in the diagram below. This shall be our paper draft.
STEP 5: Put the paper draft we cut from step 4 onto some EVA foam. Trace around them then cut out the foams. I used eva foam that are 0.5 mm thick. If you cannot find eva foam, just use some old mouse pads that uses old fashion foam.
STEP 6: Next i cut a circular cardboard slightly smaller than 9inch in diameter. This will be the cardboard that covers the unsightly-ness at the back. This is a test and trial process to find the right diameter but I'd say it's roughly 8.5mm in diameter. Cut 8 slits ( 2 slits on each quarter) on 4 quarters of the cardboard (they are drawn out in pencil below) .
In the middle of the circle, cut a flap shaped like “H”.
STEP 7: Next i took a plastic dessert container cover and cut the unnecessary parts away with a pen knife. This will be the middle piece of the shield. I know it’s not the most accurate shape around but I think I’ll just settle for it.
I don’t have a better photograph of the dessert container cover I used other than the photo above but it kinda looks like the 2 photographs below.
STEP 8: Now spray all the parts! That includes the plate, the cut out foams , the circular photo paper cut out and the big circle cardboard (not in photo below) . I used matte silver spray paint as the base then i sprayed some metallic black paint around the edge to create more depth and shadows.
I probably used have used a primer spray or at least sanded the plastic plate surface because without that primed surface, paint comes off plastic pretty easily =/ .
STEP 9: Prepare a rectangular piece of fabric long enough to wrap around your forearm. This will be the part that attaches the weapon to your arm. I made mine with Velcro's on either ends. I'm not going into details about how to make this so please use your own creativity and common sense
STEP 10: Now comes the hard part; painting the internal design onto the photo paper. I found it easier to paint the pattern by placing the paper into the centre of the overturned plate (the hollow portion), arrange the foam patterns on top of it, then trace around the foam patterns to create a visual guide of where things should be and get a rough outline of all the swirls.
Take the foams out and then hand draw the rest of the pattern with a mixture of black permanent markers, black ballpoint pens and acrylic paint (black mixed with silver acrylic). I used a combination of dry brushing and normal brushing to create the shadows and highlights.
I repeat the same colouring and shading process with the foam patterns.
STEP 11: For the wheel details in the centre of the shield, i just use a screenshot, modify it to the correct size and shape then print it out on glossy photo paper. Cut to shape and that's it. It’s so ghetto and ugly, I know T_T. But I really didn’t have the time and materials to make clockworks….
STEP 12: Time to assemble everything. Stick the circle paper onto the plate then stick the wheel printout , plastic cup cover and foam patterns onto the paper. I'm not going into details the exact sequence of sticking because I'm sure all of you are smart enough to figure that out .
I stuck them on with Contact Glue (as pictured below)
I know i could have done all the painting on the plate itself but i didn't want to risk screwing up the entire plate and felt that working on a separate piece of paper is easier than painting inside the circle. Let dry.
STEP 13: I used a combination of purple and red markers to draw out the two lines of details connect the 2 gems to the middle structure. Really nothing grand but i guess it works!
STEP 14: Then we work on covering up the back. First , mark out 4 spots then hot glue 4 strips of thin ribbons down. The 4 ribbons should align with the 8 slits in the circular cardboard.
STEP 15: Now we stick the LED into the plate.
Turn the plate up and cut the slits necessary to push the LED bulbs through. I found that for the 2 gems, i had to cut a cross slit to allow 2 bulbs to poke through.
I poke 4 more bulbs into the middle area and then duct tape everything down
STEP 16: Now pass the battery pack of the LED lights through the slits in the middle and pass the rectangular fabric through the 2 slits in the middle. To prevent the cardboard flap from opening up, I taped over the opening with some scotch tape.
STEP 17: Next I stick the gems into their places. I believe I used my trusty Contact Cement glue.
This hot glue gem coincidentally has a rim around it which i painted silver with nail polish :D
STEP 18: Finally, push the ends of the ribbons through the cardboard slits, tie them up (making sure it wouldn’t come apart) then cut the excess ribbons away.
This picture shows the ribbons tied up but uncut. The battery pack comes out through the middle slit .
The Battery pack hidden in the middle. In this photograph you see the arm fabric to be silver colour. This was my first fabric arm thingy, however the fabric turned out to be too fragile for this purpose and tore away with a bit of pressure. I was devastated =(
The fabric in shreds =(
Here’s a close up of the ribbons tied up. If you made the slit less than 1 cm apart and used slim (5mm width) ribbons, the evidence of the ribbon will not be very obvious. Now you have a nice and neat backside (of the shield)
STEP 19: Spray over the ribbons and cardboard with silver spray paint and we’re done!
I hope you guys enjoyed reading through this step-by-step guide! Remember to share this blog , subscribe and comment ^_^!
I know my Prop making skills are so juvenile they are laughable but I did put in a lot of brain juices to figure out the most effort and cost efficient way of making props. The shield is probably not going to last for a decade (hey actually it might be able) but for as long as I’m going to Cosplay Homura, I think it should last. It is relatively sturdy and very very lightweight. The paint tend to flake off very easily because I didn’t use any form of primer on a smooth plastic surface. Some parts of the attachments could probably be done with other methods so I implore you guys to test and trial for yourself.