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Submitted on
March 3, 2011
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1.7 MB


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The Warrior Princess by queencattabby The Warrior Princess by queencattabby

Very Talented Photographer: :iconkrisez:
Costume made, worn and image edit by: :iconqueencattabby:

This costume was worn on Sat and Sun of Armageddon Sydney. I participated in the cosplay comp with:
:iconechoing-artemis: as Gabrielle
:iconalita-b-angel: as Quorra from Tron
:iconarlo-arleh: as Gem/Siren from Tron

Interesting combo... yes... best crossover ever... I believe so... ^-^ Together we won best in show! Whoo!

Getting to meet Renee (Gabrielle) and Hudson (Callisto) in costume was definitely a highlight of the con!

This has been a dream of mine for a long long time. I adore Xena. Watching Hercules and Xena with my brother was a weekly ritual every Saturday night.
Hell yes for strong, gorgeous, interesting, dynamic female characters!

This costume took about 3 solid months to create. The dress is made from real leather which feels oh so nice to wear but I found it oh so hard to work with! The armor is predominately light weight air drying clay on wire frames with a thicker heavier air drying clay for details. I needed three layers of paint to create the weathered worn look.

This pic was taken on the Saturday of the con when my sword and chakrum weren't exactly complete... But they were done for Sunday and should appear in later photos...

There will be more Xena photos to come! Plus... I'm going to New Zealand later this year...
Am I taking my Xena costume..? Yes.
Am I going to find an Argo clone...? Yes.
Will I terrify/amuse the poor staff at the trail ride when I ask to photoshoot Xena on their horse...? Yes.
Bestest shoot ever...? YES!

A couple of people have been asking for a more detailed explanation of how I made this costume. I'll paste in the writeup I did for the competition. If I have time I may upload some progress pics, here you go:

The Xena dress is made from real leather using a pattern bought from the internet then modified. The original pattern did not have any internal structure – lining, boning etc. so I designed these myself. The leather was ordered from NSW Leather Co. – it’s sheep hide specially cured for extra softness. Working with real leather was a challenge and I needed to invest in a leather needle, leather sewing machine foot, upholstery thread and leather punch. Many MANY pins were bent and many sharp pin pokes were received in the making of this dress. The leather skirt consists of 21 different length panels and 11 strips of 11 half circles of leather. I needed to cut 121 little half circles from the leather, punch two holes into each piece then hammer a rivet through them in order to hold them together – VERY time consuming! Then add to that the 80 or so eyelets in the dress and gauntlets and you can tell my hammer and I become very well acquainted!

Xena’s armor is made from a flexible plastic, wire, paper mache, leather, lining fabric, light weight but incredibly strong air drying clay for structure, a thicker more malleable clay for detail a whole heap of paint and finishing product. For a previous costume I have a duck tape cast/dummy of my body (it involved being wrapped neck to toe in duck tape, getting cut out then stuffing the duck tape ‘skin’ with newspaper). I shaped the plastic onto the duck tape dummy (so it fitted to my body) then held it in place with extra duck tape. Several layers of paper mache were then applied to keep the desired shape and maintain the flexibility. The smaller armor pieces (arm, wrist and shoulder) were then covered in fabric lining and leather on top. The designs on the leather were copied from screen stills from the series and images of the original costumes then made from the lightweight air drying clay with the thicker clay for finer details.

The larger armor pieces have multiple little curls coming off the main structure so I added an internal wire frame to minimise the chances of breakage before applying the two layers of clay. Imitation rivets were made out of tiny balls of clay flattened, painted, detailed with pen and glued on individually (I guesstimate 100 of these were required). A lot of time was spent painting, weathering and finishing the armor to create as realistic metallic finish as possible. The colour of Xena's armor was a unique mix of brown, copper and gold paints. I needed a base coat the armor they go around each edge to make it look worn and battered then a thin top layer was applied to bring it all together and increase the worn effect.

To attach the armor I have created leather straps and will use authentic 'D rings' to be as accurate as possible.
Xena’s sword was made from a wooden carved base. The air drying clay was used to recreate the exact shape of the hilt and designs on the pommel New Zealand paua shell will inlaid into the clay (if it arrives in time! Ordered it from ebay and it should have arrived a few days ago...). Her chakrum (round throwing disc) was originally modelled in Maya a 3D design program in order to recreate the exact dimensions of her chakrum (these were taken from a replica ). The design was then flattened printed on to card then glued into place. I had planned to stuff it full of paper mache mixture but I soon realized however that this structure was quite flimsy. Instead I have sent my design to be laser cut into thick plastic - this means it will considerably stronger, the perfect dimensions of Xena's chakrum and the patterns will be perfectly symmetrical all around. After it is cut the chakrum will need to be painted and weathered like the armour and little green stones inlaid into the pattern.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2011-12-21
The Warrior Princess by *queencattabby The attention to detail on this costume is stunning, and the meticulous work must have taken ages to make this perfect costume! ( Suggested by NekoMarik and Featured by FrockTarts )
SuperDragonMasters Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Love watching Xena and Hercules on DVD with my Family.
The costume looks awesome!
PrincessOfTheDark Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing detailed costume!
Kharune Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
Beautiful :)
kanumbra Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013   Writer
This is AWESOME, seriously beautiful costume (and a little sexy too I have to say...). Looking great!
DressphereMasterYuna Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Xena ^.^
620brown Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
You're prettier than Lucy.
queencattabby Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013
Awwwwwwwwwww thankyou :) You are a very very kind!
RoanokeKeeper Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
You ought to be in the movies, baby! You look like the real thing!
queencattabby Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013
I wish! One day maybe :D
Until that day I will keep slaving away over my own costumes :) I love it!
Thank you so very very much!
edusek Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012
There's a girl named Lucy Lawless that have been cosplaying you. Have you ever heard of her? :) Amazing!!!
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