About 7 years ago I had this idea — if I ever got into cosplay I would make a Steampunk Weeping Angel because HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE?! Of course, the world turns and you get busy and some, or many, goals get pushed to the side. And, tbh, cosplay can be intimidating! But life is funny because then, not long after, I met the wonderfully talented and hilarious Dovah Design and she taught me allthethings and now here I am!
I built this monstrous costume using multiple techniques and materials, somehow fit everything into our car, and geeked out for an entire day at DragonCon while wearing it. I even competed in my first ever costume contest!
THE WEEPING ANGELS
Weeping Angels are the creepiest and, some would argue, most merciful Doctor Who monsters. They allow their victims to live out their full lives in a different time period and feed off the potential energy/time paradox this creates.
Weeping Angels are quantum-locked, meaning they can’t move while observed — even when observed by their own species. As soon as you so much as blink, they can move at incredible speeds to touch you and send you to the past.
When Weeping Angels are starving, they grow weak and decay. This build is a Weeping Angel from a post-apocalyptic future with a low human population. Her wings have been replaced by metal wings after decaying and she carries a backpack that contains a reserve of time energy to keep from starving in the barren wasteland she’s left in.
THE FABRIC BITS
Prior to this build, I was lucky if I could manage sewing a button back onto a shirt so buying a sewing machine and learning to read patterns and research fabrics was daunting—to say the least. I had a vision in mind for putting a steampunk twist on the classic Weeping Angel garb and it involved a bustle, a corset, peplum, and some spats! Fortunately, the internet is a treasure trove of steampunk inspiration and it didn’t take long to find the exact silhouette I envisioned.
I knew the finished wings would be heavy so I wanted the dress to be breathable and stretchy. You have to add in comfort where you can when making costumes! Because of this, I decided on a rayon fabric for both the corset and the bustle with a heavier suit fabric for the underskirt. I frankensteined two patterns together (Butterick B5969 and Simplicity 8159A) to complete the dress and made my own patterns for the spats. Overall, I was pretty happy with how it came out!
Rather than painting my entire body stone gray, I opted instead to wear gray nylon stocking on my arms and legs. Obviously, wearing tights where they’re supposed to go (on your legs!) is no challenge but a little work is required to accomplish a perfect fit on your arms. I cut the groin out of a pair and pinned along my fingers and wrist to turn the the feet into gloves— sewing along the pin lines. Once done, I sprayed everything with a combination of fabric and spray paints to give the piece definition and texture.
THE WING BITS
When your wingspan is 6 ft. long, you want them to be as light as physically possible. To accomplish this, I chose craft foam as my building material. I began with a wooden base and used wire to form the initial shape of the wings. I covered the wire on both sides with large cut-outs of craft foam, glued onto the wire framing with barge cement, before cutting, shaping, and gluing individual feathers to the inside and outside of each wing (nearly 200 feathers total)! This made for light, bouncy and bendy wings. I then secured the wings onto my back with two leather belts (one on each shoulder) like a backpack!
The wings were first sealed with mod podge and then spray painted with Krylon Metallic Silver spray paint. That was covered with darker acrylic paints to give them the dirty, aged metallic look and then highlighted with a pearly white acrylic. The rivets on each wing are thumbtacks purchased from Michael’s!
THE TIMEY WIMEY BITS
As mentioned above, Weeping Angels feed off the time paradox created when a person is bounced back in time and rendered incapable of living out their intended lives. But what would happen to the Angels if the human population was severely diminished? Would they die off as well or would they evolve? Could they evolve?
My Weeping Angel, whether on her own or with the help of some masterful, maniacal, helper, has survived this fate by stocking up on time energy and keeping a reserve of it on her back. Hoping for another light material for this one, I went with a thicker EVA foam. I added in various gauges (non-functioning, unfortunately), pipes, and tubing. I tossed in a few simple LED circuits, a plasma disc and constructed everything around the wooden base of the wings. The painting process was the same as with the wings. The backpack front opens on two hinges and locks on one side so it is an entirely con-storage-friendly storage space. :p
The Angels zap people out of the present with just the tip of their finger and this energy backpack would be no different. I crafted a full arm piece to serve as the "conduit of energy" that funnels the victim's time energy into my angel's backpack.
THE FINAL BITS
To complete the look, I threw on a yarn wig, painted and textured to match the rest of the outfit. I glued on false nails to each finger and found a pair of black leather oxford heels that I painted gray with regular acrylic paint.
On my face and neck, I used Mehron Fantasy FX Makeup and various colors of gray eye shadow to create the chiseled stone effect the Angels have. Of course, no angel is complete without spiky teeth and colored contact lenses!
THIS ANGEL FOUND THE PHONE BOX
For my first build ever, this costume may have been slightly ambitious but I’m happy I saw it through, nonetheless. It gave me the opportunity to learn A TON about costume and prop fabrication and it was a blast to show off on the convention floor. I did, however, end up retouching a lot of this costume for a later convention.
How do you feel about cosplay mash-ups? I’d love if you shared your thoughts in the comments below or by messaging me on Twitter or Instagram!
One final note of caution:
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Rotten Rider Costumes + Props is run by husband and wife duo, Jackie and Matt. Located in Orlando, FL, Jackie and Matt spend most of their time at home with their two pups and one kitkat.