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Posted byMan Boy Genius at3/08/2013
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Home» warhammer 40k» 40k Cosplay as a Hobby -
Getting Started Guide
40k Cosplay as a Hobby - Getting
Started Guide
By Daniel
Høgh of
Roses
and
Boltshell
s for
Spikey
Bits
40k as a
hobby is
all about
collecting, assembling, painting and playing.
It’s about making awesome stuff you either
use or showcase – from the bog-standard black
primed starter set marines to Golden-Daemon
winner entries.
At the age of 12 I bought my first box of Space
Marines, but back then I never would have
imagined that today I would own several life
sized 40k suits of armor, weapons and
wargear.
I’ve made armour and wargear for Space
Marines, Sisters of battle, Inquisitors, ADMECH
priests and much more. Why? Because it’s
bloody awesome that’s why. I do stuff
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because I find it cool! I look at something
from a game, a movie or from artwork and go:
Oh gee, that would look nicely on my wall – I
just need to make it! Who wouldn’t like a life
sized replica of their favorite weapon from
40k?
A few years back I found the online 40k
costume community Obscurus Crusade. It’s
basically the best and brightest of 40k
costume enthusiasts from across the globe,
ready to help and provide feedback and just
be awesome. So rest assured, if you find that
40k costumes is your thing, you’re not alone.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
People often ask this and they’re baffled by
the fact it’s not that far away from
assembling actual 40k models. There are
myriads of ways of construction; Some use
advanced papermodels pulled from 40k games
(Pepakura) Some scratchbuild and others
sculpt their armour and vaccuform it. I am a
scratchbuilder, meaning I use only the model
or artwork as reference and I build from
scratch! No fancy templates or guides – trial
and error!
Most of what I build from can be bought in
your local DIY store and shopping centers. It’s
never going to be perfect the first time but
compare it to assembling and painting a 40k
miniature the very first time. Practice makes
perfect – okay maybe not perfect but at least
you gain experience.
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■ ianlogsdon
Man, I can't begin to think of the work involved. I'm
intrigued by the world of cosplay, but I've never been able
to justify the storage space. I could fit an entire army into
the space a suit of...
Spikey Bits: 40k Cosplay as a Hobby - Getting Started
Guide · 3 hours ago
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That's what I'm talking about
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Step one!  RESEARCH
Study what you’d like to make! Find pictures,
models and whatever sources you can find to
get an idea about what you want to create. A
good idea is to get prints or have a screen
nearby so you can reference the model as
closely as possible. As a scratchbuilder, you
will do a lot more work to reach the same
amount of accuracy as you would doing
Pepakura – but part of the joy of
scratchbuilding is the freedom of creativity.
Don’t start anything till you have a somewhat
decent idea about what you want. It’s always
possible to add more in the future.
Step two! Prepare a workstation
I’m not saying it helps to have a garage or
workshop – but it might ease your workflow
and daily life routine. I set up shop in my
living room, in my apartment, on the second
floor. Hardly the best choice but I make do.
Have lots of space, multiple trashbins,
multiple electric outlets, proper ventilation
and fresh tools! Put your health above
anything else (I speak from personal
experience)
Step three! Buy materials and tools
Regardless of the scale of the model you’ve
planned you’ll always require a few basic
things:
Craftknives/Hobby-knives with fresh blades.
Hot-glue gun (Better buy both small and big
version) 200+ glue sticks(as a start). Duct
tape, Heat gun, Soldering Iron, sanding
machine and a dremel tool.
This is the basic set of tools I use, but often
my most trusted tools are my hands and eyes.
So better buy a rebreather with proper filters,
protective gloves and proper headgear too.
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MAIN MATERIAL
Now you need to buy different kinds of foam!
Most of my creations are made from foam
and/or cardboard with the odd thingy I find in
DIY/toy shops or in my own storage. As a
start, you need the camp floor tile foam
plates. You’ll know them as having jigsaw
puzzle like sides that can interlock with each
other. They have a plain side and a
rubberized texture side.  Depending on the
size of your project you should always have a
fresh supply of these, but as a start you
should buy 4 packs. You can also freely invest
in foam camping rolls. Buy the thick version (1
-3cm/1 inch thick approx.) This is a lot more
flexible than the foam tiles, but also a lot
more vulnerable. It’s easy to cut, easy to use
and easy to bend – it is however, also rather
soft, so don’t use it for detail work.
SECONDARY MATERIAL
If you’ve got a weapon or rather rigid project
planned, you might want to invest in
industrial grade plastazote. It’s high density
foam used for insulating and shock absorbing.
It’s a lot thicker than ordinary foam and can
be carved for great results. You may also try
industry grade cardboard and Insulation
board, as both offer great rigid frames and
clean surfaces.
Step four! Get started
Don’t be afraid to jump knee deep into your
project! The first cut is sometimes hard, as
the first few pieces may look off. It always
helps to have a marker around to draw
temporary lines and a measurer to get the
sizes right. Also, never be afraid to look silly –
it will happen regardless and it’s a good thing
to have a friend stand by, to offer critique or
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If you wanted to try Daemons, but knew that YOUR army's
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still spend your money on Daemons?
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aid you in case you cut an arm off. Always be
mindful of your tools and have a clear picture
of what you want in your head.
Now I’ve given you the basics, according to
my own techniques. For some it comes
naturally, for others not so much. In honesty,
I don’t need to think much when I do
costumes – my hands just take over and I do
things automatically as though I know how to
do what and where.
Step five! Painting
Assembling the project is one thing. Making it
look cool painted is another thing! Here you
can pretty much apply whatever techniques
you use for your miniatures. A few tips
though; Painted Foam often looks just like
foam, if left unsealed. So before you paint
your project you should cover it in 2-3 layers
of PVA(wood) glue. This will give you a
somewhat hard surface that you can cover
with a few sprays of plastidip. The Plastidip
adds a protective layer of aerosol plastic
which helps in hardening the surface. If
you’re lucky, you might be able to buy
something called Smoothcast, which is a
polyurethane mix that basically turns the
outer surface to plastic. Add a few layers of
this and your armour/weapon is as hard as the
real thing.
My last recommendation is; always be mindful
of details! The details will make your suit
stand out in the crowd and finally – make it
your own! Go crazy and try something new
and don’t be afraid to experiment.
My own personal trademark is to drown
Page 5 of 8 Spikey Bits: 40k Cosplay as a Hobby - Getting Started Guide
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Ho o-
Con ert ing a
ast er oI
t he . . .
Skull Ior t he
Skull God
o ers oI . . .
Sno Pat t ern
ecrons-
east oI
Blad. . .
ast Coast
pocalypse
Big Game
. . .
Ho - o hr
Speed
Paint ing
eat h ing. . .
← GTA- Wreck Markers Back in Stock
Rumor Forecast- Cloudy with a Chance of Tau

people in det ail bot h const ruct ion ise and
paint ise.
Have fun and if you’d like,
follow us on facebook at
www.facebook.com/rosesa
ndboltshells
- Justina and Daniel, Roses and boltshells
Cosplay oses and Bolt shells Space arines
arhammer 40k
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• Reply •
ianlogsdon• 3 hours ago
Man, I can't begin to think of the
work involved. I'm intrigued by the world
of cosplay, but I've never been able to
justify the storage space. I could fit an
entire army into the space a suit of MK
III (the only kind I'd want to make)!
• Reply •
Sergio Jaquio• 6 hours ago
The Devastator Imperial Fist
armor looks awesome! o.o
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About Spikey Bits
Spikey Bit s is a blog about t he hobby oI
arhammer 40k and ant asy Bat t les bot h
t ablet op argames. t ry t o co er all oI t he
aspect s oI t hat hobby Irom con ert ing and
paint ing models t o act ually playing t he
game.
By nat ure am a compet it i e t ournament
player but my t rue passion is con ert ing
and paint ing. ill spend more t ime
making a Iigure t han act ually playing it h
it lol.
he aim oI t his blog it t o keep me
mot i at ed t o produce ne ork and t o
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share my e periences along t he ay. ery
much alue all Ieedback about my ork
and ill ans er any uest ions about it .
eel Iree t o send me an email or post a
comment about anyt hing on here.
Ho e er please no cursing Iirst oIIenses
ill be edit ed second oIIense result s in a
ban. ou can disagree it h me oI course
ust don t curse
Spikey Bit s Blog is a regist ered t rademark
oI Purple lephant s C. Copyright 2013.
ll right s reser ed. ll names t rademarks
and images are copyright t heir respect i e
o ners.
Click here Ior more det ails.
hanks Ior reading and happy gaming. -
BG
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Spikey Bit s is a blog about t he hobby oI arhammer 40k and ant asy Bat t les bot h t ablet op argames.
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