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MJ's Ultimate Cosplay – Elesh Wins!


In what can only be called an epic victory, Grand Cenobite Elesh Norn of the Machine Orthodoxy has united all beneath her equally epic headdress. The elegant and haute couture Praetor of Unity defeated the firm and fiery Basandra, Battle Seraph in the final round of Ultimate Cosplay voting, carried to the win atop the flensed shoulders of her compleated loyal legions.

Thanks so much to all who participated! I really wanted this to be a community affair, and you totally made it happen.

In preparation for my big cosplay project, I’ve been keeping busy with some “quick & dirty” cosplays similar to the Queen Cymede I did for a local Theros prerelease. So far, I’ve completed a Jhoira of the Ghitu and a nameless Returned. My goal with these cosplays is to see how far I can push a quickie costume to be great. I think the results have been good.

Quick & Dirty Jhoira

Jhoira was the perfect target to test out my blue circle lenses. For all of the quick & dirty cosplays, I limit myself to what’s already in my house, and since I’m a packrat creative type, I’ll admit there are a lot of random tidbits that might not be present in your average home—but I think it’s still obvious in these costuming exercises that you can do a whole helluva lot with very little. I made a point of keeping this cosplay simple, as an exercise in distilling a character down to her most iconic pieces. Working under a time limit really forces me to focus, think fast, and innovate to get the job done.

I cut the white sleeve off a t-shirt, stapled it to the tank top, put a belt around my torso, subbed in Cymede’s hair band for a chunky necklace, and teased my hair into a side pony. To make the pauldron thing, I folded up a small paper bag, stenciled on the distinguishing diamond pattern, and colored it in with a blue Sharpie. I stapled the pauldron to the vest. I colored chunks of my bangs with a red makeup crayon (lipstick would work, too), but it didn’t show up as well as I’d hoped—I should have done thicker swaths of color. And I put on a lot of black eyeliner. More pics here.

Quick & Dirty Returned

This Returned cosplay was a great chance to test out the zombie contacts (I know they actually have blacked-out eyes, but I don’t have those yet, so the zombie ones were a close-in-meaning substitute). I also wanted to see what it was like to do a full skin-color change. I got the idea from a Tumblr friend who was considering going to a Born of the Gods prerelease as a Noston and asked if I had any tips. Luckily, I had one black crayon left from a Halloween face makeup kit. The gold mask was another leftover. There are really cheap metallic masquerade masks at party stores, and you could also buy a kids’ Iron Man, or other character, mask and spray-paint it gold.

I traced the pattern of the mask onto my face so I could color outside the lines (didn’t want to color any more surface area than I absolutely had to). Obviously, if you had a full-face mask, you’d barely have to color anything but your neck—but the neck is important! Any skin showing around the face has to be dark or it’ll ruin the effect. I did two layers with the crayon and then took a blush brush and powdered black eye shadow all over to add more opacity and pigment. Other than that, all you need is to put on head-to-toe, fitted, black clothes, and layer some Theran brights over it. Finish with some flashy costume jewelry. I made sure to style my hair forward and cover my head with a scarf because I did not want to deal with coloring my ears. More pics here.

What’s Next?

Due Respect

Can’t get around the fact that Praetor Elesh is rather svelte. So I’ll be revamping my diet and creating a workout plan with my Twitter fitness pals. Not to starve or anything, but just to get a little more long and lean—after all, Elesh is pretty prudish to flesh. And this is a great excuse to get back on the exercise wagon, cut back on drinking, and get healthier.

Ichor Wellspring

Next, I’ll investigate what materials are options for that headdress—since Elesh isn’t Elesh without her hat. My main concern is that we get the headdress as obnoxiously huge as it is in the art because that disproportionate look is a big part of the appeal.

Liquimetal Coating

I’ll be posting quick & dirty cosplays as frequently as possible to keep sharpening my skills and to help motivate me to get my costuming stuff organized, so follow along on Facebook or Tumblr.

Darksteel Forge

For those of you Journey into Nyx PTQing in Seattle, I’ll be at Card Kingdom’s March 1 event at Seattle Center, in the guise of card alterist and ne’er-do-well. Stop by and say “hi”!

Till next time, may Magic be your create escape.



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