Geek Life Video Games

Cosplay Progress & Lessons Learned

Delsin Rowe Cosplay Front

Regular readers might remember when I wrote about My Cosplay Bucket List and revealed Snow White from the Wolf Among Us as my inaugural cosplay. Well, what a difference a month (or 3) makes. Despite having started my Snow White costume, including shelling out for blue contact lenses, I seemed to hit roadblock after roadblock while putting it together.

However, the second, impulse cosplay I’d started putting together at the same time seemed to be coming together with almost no effort on my part. And so, after trying on the suit jacket I’d already started modifying and realizing that it no longer fit me, I decided for my sanity and self esteem to just focus on the costume that I was actually having fun working on.

The main reason I’d started on a second cosplay was that it seemed like it would be easy to put together for a cosplay noob like myself, but I also really liked the idea of cosplaying as a minority character. Not to mention the fact that I’d already planned on cosplaying at PAX Prime made the idea of cosplaying a character from a game set in Seattle almost a no-brainer.

Which is why I am now going to be cosplaying as Delsin Rowe, West Coast street artist and super hero/villain from Infamous: Second Son.

Delsin Rowe Cosplay Front

We’d gotten Second Son mostly so Rick would have something to play on the PS4, but he’d also been a fan of the first two games and the reviews had all been fairly positive. Personally I really liked the fact that Sucker Punch had made a game with a Native American protagonist who wasn’t some sort of medicine man or a stoic bore (sorry Connor). Also, Seattle is probably one of my favourite cities I haven’t lived in and the fact that many actual Seattle landmarks appear in the game was definitely a highlight for me. I was constantly badgering Rick to swing by the Pink Elephant car wash as he laid waste to baddies, much to his chagrin.

There was also something about Delsin’s punk rock attitude and devilish smirk that I could really relate to, so I scoured my closet and set about making a list of what I would need to make it happen. I found a great breakdown of the costume on Linkmaster 101’s Deviantart page and was also able to find an Etsy seller that offered all of Delsin’s buttons and patches already made. It would have been nice to be able to make them all myself, but being that I possess neither a button maker or a screen printing machine, buying them pre-made seemed like the most sensible option.

Delsin Rowe Cosplay Vest Patch Detail

The set-piece of Delsin’s costume is definitely his denim vest, which I created by cutting the sleeves off of jean jacket I thrifted for $7. The next step was colouring the top part of the vest black. I’d originally thought that it was some sort of insert and was prepared to buy some fake leather and sew it in place, but careful inspection of the costume in game revealed that it looked more like black denim than anything else.

Delsin Rowe Cosplay Vest Detail Buttons

After considering using fabric paint or acrylic, I finally hit on a bit on genius: black permanent marker. It would essentially dye the fabric and was something that a street artist like Delsin would definitely have access to. Who knows, maybe that’s how he modded his own vest. An afternoon of huffing marker fumes later, the top of the vest was completely dyed and ready for the next step.

I was able to find round metal studs at a local bead store and used a bit of E6000 adhesive to make sure they stayed in place as the tines on the studs were kinda short and nothing is less bad-ass than losing metal studs at a convention.

Then, it was patch time.

Delsin Rowe Cosplay Arm Patches Detail The patches I’d purchased from Pin Em Up Designs had adhesive on the back, so I ironed them on for the placement and then secured them with hand stitching. The hoodie was something I already owned but was going to be retiring soon due to some excessive tearing around the cuffs, so it was nice to get to recycle it for this costume. I also managed to snag a red tuque on Ebay and used the special hat patch to pull it all together.

The most complicated part of Delsin’s vest was definitely the Karma Crow stencil on the back. During the course of the game, the stencil changes depending on whether you play more good or bad, but to keep things simple I decided to just do the default red and white Karma Crow that you start the game with.

Delsin Back Patch Stencil As luck would have it, Linkmaster 101 had a few versions of the image up on his Deviantart page so I printed one off to use as my own stencil. After printing it out, I realized that I really only needed a stencil for half the image as both halves of the image mirror each other, so I cut out the print from a firmer piece of craft paper and got to painting.

While I’d originally intended on using spray paint in the spirit of the character, for reasons of expediency and precision I ended up just using acrylic paints I already had on hand. I then added a couple of “paint dribbles” to make it seems a little more authentic.

Delsin Rowe Cosplay Vest Back

The only parts of the costume left for me to find are a red plaid shirt (seriously, how do I not already own one of those) and a length of chain, which I’m hoping to find at my local hardware store. Since I already have a tattoo on my left forearm I opted not to try to recreate Delsin’s Native crow tattoo, but hopefully no one will give me grief about it.

All in all, I’m very happy with how my first real cosplay has turned out. I thought I’d also include a breakdown of the costs and suppliers to give you a better idea of exactly what went into becoming Delsin.

Cost breakdown:
Vest, Thrifted, $7
Hoodie, Already Owned, $0
Beanie, Ebay, $2
Studs & Glue, Bead Store, $5
Black Jeans, Already Owned, $0
Sharpie, Dollar Store, $2
Patches & Buttons, Pin Em Up Designs, $35
Shoes, Already Owned, $0
Chain, Home Depot, ?
Plaid Shirt, Ardene, 20
Total, , $71

All that’s left now is my trip to Seattle and a chance to show it off! I can’t wait!

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45 Comments

  • Reply
    Jessica
    August 13, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Very cool, Mariko! You did a great job on the jacket, I can’t wait to see pictures of you wearing it! 🙂

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks! I’m hoping to get some pics around town in Seattle, but I might also be able to do a pro shoot when I get back courtesy of a friend.

  • Reply
    Kerry
    August 13, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Wow – it looks great! I’m not super familiar with the game, so the links to the character breakdown came in handy. And, I love that you were able to put it together with relatively low cost. Can’t wait to see pictures of you looking badass in action!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 13, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks, Kerry. I think my next cosplay is going to be very girly to compensate, but I’m hoping it’s well received.

  • Reply
    kaycreate
    August 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

    It’s coming along great! Can’t wait to see you all decked out. And the cost is great too – definitely not outrageous by any means. Good luck with the rest, and your trip!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 13, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks, Kay. I wasn’t sure whether or not to include the price breakdown, but being that it was a first cosplay I figured I’d give a glimpse into what was involved in even a “simple” cosplay.

  • Reply
    Jane Y.
    August 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    it looks great! and i love that black permanent marker idea! 🙂

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks! I felt like such a genius when I came up with it. It couldn’t have worked out better, really.

  • Reply
    Megan
    August 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Very cool! It’s nice that you were able to find the buttons and patches online. There are way too many cool costume things online!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Yeah, I’m not I would have been able to pull it off without them, which is why I wanted to make sure I gave Pin Em Up Designs a shout-out on the blog. Everything looks great and they can very quickly.

  • Reply
    Nagareboshi
    August 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    That is so cool. I just wish I had the patience to make things…. Something I should meditate on perhaps? ^__^

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Yeah, honestly I had to schedule time to do it, otherwise I probably would have just left it ’till the last minute and nothing would have happened.

  • Reply
    margotmeanie
    August 13, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    awesome!!!!

  • Reply
    Jenn
    August 14, 2014 at 1:13 am

    The jacket looks great, and $51 is not bad for this much detail. I haven’t played the game, but Google images tells me the character is a badass. I can’t wait to see you in full costume!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you, Jenn. The biggest stress right now is finding a red plaid shirt… guess I know what I’m doing this weekend, lol.

  • Reply
    Amanda B.
    August 14, 2014 at 2:45 am

    This is looking so great, and it blows my mind that you were able to do this all for so cheap! You rock.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks. I was pretty lucky that I already owned a lot of the core pieces, but I think that’s part of why it was so easy/pleasant to pull together.

  • Reply
    Fiona
    August 14, 2014 at 4:48 am

    so awesome Mariko! I love how you got every single detail and also clever thinking with the permanent marker – I’ll file that for later (I’m sure it will come in handy!).

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      Thanks! Frankly, I’m surprised myself at how well the marker worked. Definitely filing it away for the future.

  • Reply
    Damaris / The cat, you and us
    August 14, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Looks great! I have not played the game but googling it the jacket has so many precise details! That permanent marker turned awesome, good thinking! and I love the stencil on the back result! Can’t wait to see you with the red beanie & in character 🙂

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks! I’ve been posing around the house for Rick so I can do it in photos later. I’m such a dork.

  • Reply
    Mia Moore (@xoMiaMoore)
    August 14, 2014 at 11:40 am

    This looks absolutely fantastic!! I tend to have a few cosplay projects going at one time – sometimes a seemingly easy costume hits a few unexpected roadblocks, and a seemingly difficult costume comes together easily. Great job! I can’t wait to see worn photos!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Thanks, Mia. It means a lot coming from you, you’ve definitely been an inspiration for me on the cosplay front.

  • Reply
    B
    August 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    You did a fantastic job! I love it! And what a bargain price putting it together!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you. I felt guilty about the price, but I guess compared to more custom costumes it’s actually pretty reasonable.

  • Reply
    Celeste
    August 14, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    It looks fantastic! I hope you’ll have photos of the finished cosplay soon.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Hoping to get some shots at PAX Prime to share with you all.

  • Reply
    Sophierocious
    August 17, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Great choice of character and great job, Mariko! I can’t wait to see the photos!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Thank, Sophie! I just got my plaid shirt, now all that’s left is the chain.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    August 18, 2014 at 6:27 am

    that looks amazing 😀 i wanted to cosplay as delsin some time if I ever got to go to comic-con. did you get the collectors edition? i did. for the buttons xD wow. jealous!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 18, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Thanks, Jenny! I didn’t get the Collector’s Edition, although now I wish I had. I actually ordered the pins and the patches from an Etsy seller.

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    August 19, 2014 at 11:22 am

    It looks so good! I can’t believe you were able to put that all together from things you mostly already had on hand. Makes me want to search through my closet and see what kind of cosplay I could put together. 🙂

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 19, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Totally! I’m also trying to put together an actual closet cosplay for the con. I love using what you already have on hand.

  • Reply
    John
    September 2, 2014 at 7:38 am

    How many black permanentes did you use to paint the denim? cause I painted mine with black spray paint (Montana) and the sleeves lose the colour when I put my backpack on.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      I used two from the dollar store, one regular size & one jumbo. I just used it for the top of the vest, but considering it actually dyes the denim I’m sure it would work fine for larger projects too.

      • Reply
        John
        September 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm

        Thanks for the answer! I already bought a black permanent and painted the shoulders and the back, cause I painted this (http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140325233702/infamous/images/7/77/ISS_-_Paragon_rank.PNG) on the back and I later erase it. Anyway your cosplay is totally amazing and keep the good work!

        • Reply
          Mariko
          September 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm

          Thanks so much! Hope you manage to get your design to work. I know they make Sharpies now specifically for fabric, but I found the big, stinky, cheap permanents work just fine for me.

  • Reply
    nerdburger
    September 2, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    MARIKO! It is so exciting to see you making a cosplay. You put so much love and detail into it. So awesome!!! I can’t wait to see you as Delsin.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      Thank you, Cazz! I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked in Seattle, but I’m going to try to schedule a more formal shoot with a friend of mine once I get back to Mtl.

  • Reply
    Linkmaster101
    September 25, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Your cosplay looks amazing. :3 I myself attempted it but couldn’t get a vest. But i did get a chain from a broken park swing and with a chain attachment and one of the broken links re-bent to make a nice hook so it can attach and detach with ease on your wrist.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 26, 2014 at 11:40 am

      I ended up buying a length of chair at the hardware store and then using clear zip ties to hold it together on my arm.

      • Reply
        Linkmaster101
        September 27, 2014 at 12:43 am

        ahhh nice. is there a photo of it all together uploaded?

        • Reply
          Mariko
          September 27, 2014 at 6:09 pm

          Not yet, but I’m hoping to do a big photoshoot with costume details soon.

  • Reply
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