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Dec 20, 2014

The Crystal Anvil (Costume, Props and Armour guide book) review


The PR person for the Crystal Avil approached me a couple of months back and introduced their book to me. The book is a compilation of love notes crafting notes from Alexander Agricola; a professional Costume Maker who have more than 20 years of experiences in creating costumes for Film, TV, Cosplay, LARP and Re-Enactment


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I've been really busy the last couple of months so it took me very long to go through the book. I didn't want to blog about anything that was unworthy of attention so i made sure to go through every page to have a more insightful review.

And my snail's pace should be further empathised because the e-book is a hefty 308 pages of content! There is an introduction into the different factions of dress-up ( Why do people make Costumes? What Tools to use? What are the common techniques?) and detailed crafting instructions. If you were expecting a costume drafting book that teaches you how to make fabric costumes like the ones COSMODE used to make, then you will be sorely disappointed. As Alexander Agricola ( the author) is an expert in leatherworks and armouring, you will find majority (99% LOL) of the book touching upon how to work with leather and make armours.


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The last section of the book gives drafting patterns and step by step instructions on how to create each of the 16 featured armour parts.


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There is an Appendix at the back of the book that features high resolution patterns of all the armours featured in the book. But if you've got the digital copy like I do, I found out that I could just copy and paste the draft pictures from the tutorial section into MS Paint and it'd still be high res 8DDD


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As someone who has never worked with leather and has laughable armour making experiences; this book provides a lot of insights.


This book is for people who are interested to have their curiosity fulfilled about leather crafting and people who are intending to up their game in Cosplay; next level of costume making with real Leather. A good overall guide for anyone who is interested to learn more about the craft but to truly gain from the book, one must be be prepared to put those knowledge to concrete use.


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I liked how the book covers a wide enough spectrum of crafting technique pertaining to leatherworks yet still found time to introduce Cosplay and other general information.

I would have preferred for the tutorials to be furnished with more detailed photographs though. As of now, I often found myself required to imagine the visual scenes between the steps and photographs. .


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The book sells for £25 online at TheCrystalAnvil’s website.

Now disclaimer, I'm not saying you have to have this book. You can cosplay without it too. But if you're looking to hone your costume and props making skills to inch them closer to professional level, I guess there's no better way than to learn it from the real experts. Which of course is whom the author of the book is.

As a disclaimer, this is an affiliate link and I may earn if you purchase from them. If it makes you feel uncomfortable then please don’t feel presssurised to buy =)




1 comments:

Alex Agricola - Author of The Crystal Anvil said...

Hey :-) Thanks for the blog about the book as any feedback (honesty) is always a good thing. My only comment was to check you were aware of the 50 full scale (ready to print pattern books) that come With the book (but are separate from the book ??)

The Book is one thing, but you also should have had another file containing 50 full step by step set of instructions for 50 patterns including a couple of nice Cosplay sets.

Anyhow, thanks for the review :-)

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