We’re bringing you more Cosplay Cover Spotlights! Next up is a Cap Santiago, who will be on Nova #1 Cosplay Variant, on sale now.
Born and raised in New York City, Cap went to his first convention at 10yrs old. It wasn’t until he started attending anime conventions that he discovered cosplay, debuting his first costume in 2006.
We asked David to walk us through the process of making a Nova costume
I started the black Nova costume by making a pattern out of cotton muslin, while taking into account the percentage of stretch in the spandex. In other words, I reduced the pattern size to accommodate the stretchiness of the fabric, so that it would fit snugly. I used a standard sewing machine with a zigzag stitch to sew the entire costume. The bodysuit and gloves are made of satin spandex, which is much shinier than standard spandex, and also very “slippery” to the touch. The gold parts of the costume are made of metallic spandex.
The design called for a gold band that encircles the shoulder area, a small shoulder extension, but also long sleeves. To accomplish this design, I made a sleeveless lined outer layer, which had the gold band appliqued in place, and also had an extended shoulder piece, which was supported on the inside by a band of stiffer fabric called spacer spandex. Then, I made a thinner lining piece for the chest, and attached the long sleeves to this layer. I stitched both layers together at the neck and waist, so that nothing would shift around.
The collar is stitched over the double-layered chest piece. To make the gold design on the chest front and back, I carefully hand-basted the gold applique into place about 1/16 of an inch from the edge. I had to be careful because metallic spandex will scar if pinned, so all stitching had to be within the area that I then machine zig-zag stitched to apply the applique. The applique is all one large piece that starts at the waist in the front, continues over the shoulders, and ends at the waist in the back. It was very tricky to apply it in one piece, but I didn’t want it to look segmented. It was especially
challenging to bisect it perfectly with the back zipper.
The boots of the costume were altered from faux leather superhero-styled
boots. I cut the front of the boots to be shorter than the back, as per the NOVA images, and then finished the raw cut edge by sewing a piece of leather to the raw edge and folding it to the inside of the boot. Then, I masked off the areas of the boots that needed black details, and painted the boots with acrylic paint for leather. I mixed a few different gold shades together to try to match the gold of the spandex. I used an airbrush to apply the paint.
The belt of the costume is made from a wide non-roll elastic band,
which I covered in spacer spandex, and then in the gold spandex. I
used the spacer spandex as the in-between layer to add dimension to
the belt. The belt is stretchy, so it can be a solid band with no
openings like the NOVA’s.
The helmet was a Vacu-formed Etruscan helmet that was recut and trimmed to fit my head, the face was sculpted to fit and applied to the front of the helmet. The face was attached with Methacrylite adhesive and the edges blended out with autobody filler “Bondo”. The seams on the helmet were made by appling a second layer made from a second Etruscan helmet. the raised ridge along the bottom edge was made from hand cut sheets of rigid plastic, seamed together with Methacrylite and blended with Bondo leaving the inside hollow.
The star was sculpted in clay, moulded in plaster and cast in semi-rigid latex with wire inserts for extra rigidity. after the latex was conformed to the helmet , it was coated with a thin layer of epoxy to create a smooth surface for paint. the eyes are made with a milky translucent acrylic sheet . the lights are a row of white LEDs wired to coin cells located in the raised edge along the bottom of the helmet. The paints are auto-body paints with automotive clear-coat.
The gaunlets are tapered vacu-formed cylinder .the outer layer was cut and trimmed from a second layer of the same cylinder and applied with Methacrylite adhesive. the hand back was carved wood then plastic was heated and shaped over the wood forms. the gold paint was custom mixed bronzing powders to match the gold fabric. the powders were suspended in a clearcoat and applied with a spraygun.
When he’s not working on his cosplay, Cap volunteers at a shelter to help stray animals.
For more from Cap Santiago, click over to his facebook!
Stay tuned to Marvel’s Tumblr as we continue highlighting more cosplayers from our Cover Variants each week!
Photographs provided by Judy Stephens