Diablo 3 Barbarian Cosplay Took 8 Months to Make

A sobering reality for those unfamiliar with the world of cosplay is that all those months of hard work culminate in a paltry few hours spent actually wearing the costume. “I wore the barbarian for maybe 10 hours, tops,” Lily said. “I put an obscene amount of effort into gluing a bunch of feathers to a bra and panties for [my] Blind Mag [costume], and I’ve only worn it for a grand total of maybe an hour.”

Time isn’t the only consideration — making costumes costs money. While Lily can normally put together a costume for under $100, she spent close to $500 on the barbarian, and she knows cosplayers who have spent over $1000 on a single costume.

One factor that upped the price on Lily’s barbarian was her choice of crafting material: the shapeable and resilient Worbla thermoplastic. In a bustling convention setting in which passersby bump into you throughout the day, durable materials are important. “For armor, [Worbla] is the bomb,” she said. “It’s lightweight, it’s sandable, it’s paintable. I really love it.”

Fortunately, not every aspect of the costume was as costly. In fact, the least expensive piece turned out to be the most enjoyable to create. “The skirt was two pieces of fabric that I just ripped to shreds and then tied together,” Lily said. “That was fun. That was the single most fun I’ve ever had making a costume, right there — was making that ripped skirt. I tore it apart into little strips — and the cat helped — and I took it outside, and I stomped around and rubbed it in the dirt in the garden, and my neighbors thought I was nuts…”

Her cat isn’t the only one who helps Lily — her family supports her as well. Her aunt encourages her to move to LA and become a full-time costume-designer, and her grandparents… Well, Lily summed it up best when she said, “They’re so hip; they’re so cool.” Her grandmother, who owns an Xbox 360 and regularly plays Tomb Raider — “She’s an addict,” Lily said — proudly shows Lily’s cosplay photos to her friends. “My dear old nana taught me how to use her sewing machine,” she said, “and my grandfather is the same height as me in heels, so he wore [my costume's] cape as I hemmed it.”

For Lily, the best part of cosplay is arriving at a convention and being among fellow cosplayers. “You just get this flare of, ‘I’m with my people. This is my tribe.’ And you’re like, “I’m home now.” I do feel at home at a convention. It’s my element.”

Lily’s next costume in the works is Regime Wonder Woman from Injustice: Gods Among Us, so keep an eye out for it. And the next time you look at a cosplay pic, take a moment to appreciate more than just the pretty face — think about all the effort that went into the costume, look at the details, and remember that this was someone’s passion project.

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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!