Diablo 3 Barbarian Cosplay Took 8 Months to Make

Cosplay – it’s not just pretty girls in cool costumes.

While for most of us, the net result is a few seconds spent admiring a photo, that snapshot fails to capture the incredible amount of effort that goes into the hobby. One such hobbyist is cosplayer Lily Spitfyre. With about 15 costumes under her belt and eight years of experience, her focus has been on comic book characters. But a video game character occasionally piques her interest, like her latest creation, a spot-on interpretation of Diablo 3′s female barbarian.

“I like strong female characters,” she told Game Front. “I like to think that I am a strong female character.”

For the past three years, Lily has been actively working to make a name for herself in the cosplay community, and her barbarian costume won her her first big awards: Best Novice and Best Gaming at the Fan Expo masquerade — Canada’s largest multi-genre fan convention, and one of the largest in the world, with 91,000 attendees in 2012.

While her barbarian costume wasn’t as recognizable as past costumes like Thor and Power Girl, she believes it is more important to stay true to your interests than to chase popular trends. “That’s what matters in cosplay — do what characters you like, not what’s gonna get you the most attention,” she said.

When Lily started out, she would begin working on a costume the week before a convention. Her journey into the world of cosplay started upon being invited to a convention and learning that many attendees wear costumes — and so she created her first, a gender-swap of The Comedian from Watchmen. While she did receive compliments at the convention, today, she insists the costume was “terrible” and “horrible.”

Now that her skills have progressed and she has a better grasp of scope, Lily gets started months in advance. “If I thought to myself, ‘Okay, I have to start and finish a costume in a week,’ I’d just probably burst into tears, really.”

Lily’s barbaric oeuvre took eight months to complete — from September until August, with a few months off in between when setbacks prevented her from working on the costume. Toward the end, she was working on it for four to five hours a day. “There’s a lot of last-minute stuff [that goes into costume-making],” she said.

“The week before [Toronto's Fan Expo] was super crunch time. The day that I was leaving to go to the convention, I woke up at 6 am, painted the last leg bracer, stuck it under a fan, went outside, painted the axe, came inside, stuck them both under a fan, packed everything else, and then wrapped them in plastic bags just in case the paint wasn’t dry, and put them in the suitcase, hopped on the bus and went to Toronto.”

If you examine the concept art that Lily based her costume on, you’ll realize how faithful she remained to the original artist’s vision. “Everybody sees the whole costume, but there’s a whole bunch of little details [that tend to go unnoticed],” Lily said.

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3 Comments on Diablo 3 Barbarian Cosplay Took 8 Months to Make

Heru

On October 10, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Too bad the actual game didn’t have this much care and detail put into it.

CatmanStu

On October 14, 2013 at 9:48 am

The two pictures in this article nicely illustrate why so much visual design in games is awful. The cosplay version is infinitely better than the conceptual version because of just one fact; it’s (conceptually) practical.

This one advantage means that a) it is visually more easily recognizable (the concept art suffers from what I call Top Cow syndrome), b) mostly non sexualized (meaning not tailored to look gender specific) implying that on the field of battle men and women are equal, c) it looks like it would actually do it’s job.

CJ Miozzi

On October 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm

@Heru:

Hahah, classic!

@Catman Stu:

Excellent points!