CHOOSING THE COSTUME
Cyberpunk! Even the name is cool, isn’t it? I really like the setting and ideas of the board game and the follow-up computer game so much. When Cyberpunk 2077 was announced, I knew it will be big!
Keanu Reeves was introduced at E3 as part of the game portraying Johnny Silverhand and right in that time, the opportunity for cosplayers in form of a big-bucks cosplay contest popped out too!
I’ve read all about the Cyberpunk’s cosplay contest and picked up few problematic points in THIS post on my facebook page. I was actually voicing an opinion of more cosplayers, that I was talking to at that time and tried to point out, what struggles cosplayers had with the contest and why I wouldn’t join the contest myself.
I know a lot of companies would totally blacklist me as a cosplayer: Voicing an opinion that was critiquing their effort! But CD PROJEKT RED people approached me personally after that, told me they valued my feedback very much and were sad I don’t want to participate in the contest. The also released the so needed cosplay guides a day following my facebook critique.
I was very surprised by their positive approach and decided this is the company I would love to work with, this is the game I want to be part of!
One of the initial struggles was to choose the character from the game. I didn’t really wanted to portray V, because I think I’m not very fitting for her and I didn’t wanted to be one of hundred V’s in the contest. I was seriously considering cosplaying Sasquatch, but it was too much to create in less than 30 days. I decided to go out of my comfort zone and portray so far my fav character from the game, Johnny Silverhand, as a genderbend cosplay (=female version of a male character) and started gathering materials!
MAKING THE COSTUME
1) The Guitar
If you try to dig out some info about Johnny Silverhand, you’ll find out his guitar is one of the main features in previous alliterations. He is a Rockerboy, he’s a musician and guitarist in band Samurai.
I decided I will create a guitar for my cosplay and capture the true feel of the character like this.
I took inspiration from the guitar displayed at E3 Cyberpunk booth (bottom shape of the guitar), fot he neck of the guitar, I took inspiration from the album cover „Never Fade Away“ from Cyberpunk 2077 promotion materials and older picturesof Johnny Silverhand from the board game and for the paint design, I took inspiration from a few fanarts portraying Johnny with a guitar.
I carefully worked into the guitar also programmed LED lights and battery, 3D modelled a bunch of stuff mainly from red transparent PETG material to let the light shine through and kept the guitar still fully functional. The process of making is documented in this video:
And there is a small bonus for you – I uploaded the file for the Knob with a little S – you can download it HERE.
2) The wig
It was suprising to find out the cutting and styling of the wig was much more demanding than I originally expected.
I wanted to mimic the behaviour of the hair of Keanu Reeves with different layering and curling in different ways with this little „unwashed“ look and widow’s peak.
I started with a lace-front dark brown wig and ventilated the hairline to match Keanu Reeves widow peak in the front. I’ve used some hair I cut from the back of the wig for that.
Then I started to cut and style the wig. I tried to follow the John Wick 2 haircut tutorial posted below for the basic cut, just made the hair a little longer than the tutorials says. I tried the wig during the cutting progress on, so it fits my head shape and to be sure it is not too short. When I was done cutting, I curled the hair by spraying the with water and using hair straightener into the desired shape and I hairdried the hair and styled it further in progress. Then I’ve used got2be glued spiking glue (gel) and applied it gently with my fingers into the hair to make them look a little greasy and I’ve used got2be hairspray for the final styling.
The arm and hand was made this in literally 2 days, because I’ve spent too much time on guitar, plate carrier and other parts of the whole cosplay (shame on me ?), but it was the most difficult part of the whole costume. I really wanted to make it look like a real cyborg hand, not just a hand in armor.
The whole prop consists from 4 parts:
Glove, Sleeve, Muscles, Armor
Glove holds all the finger parts in the place and all the finger pieces are made from black worbla. I connected two sheets together, traced my patterns I made, added few creases withscissors and heatshaped on my fingers. I also made a small caps on the ankles. Then it was primed with latex cement and painted with black and silver acrylic colors.
Sleeve was made from bathingsuit stretchyfabric and I added a strong skintoned rubber band, that will hold it in it’s place over my biceps. On the bottom part, I added the hand armor from 5mm polyprops foam, added few engraved decorations and knuckles, primed with alcordip and hexflex black till the surface was shiny and smooth. Then I’ve used Aclad and Tamiya colors from chromy shine. I added some old wiring from the upper side of the armor for a better ‚robotic‘ look.
I’ve sewn the sleeve using a can, so I didnt have to sew it on my own hand.
Muscles were made from black fake leather and red leather pieces. I started by printing a hexagon pattern to use as a stamp, since there are hexagon prints on Johnny’s muscles visible and stamped the hexagons on the leather with acrylics.
Then I’ve sewn small tubes from it and attached it onto two strong black rubber bands. I made few black rows in the front, smaller red rows on the top finished with pieces of primed and painted 2mm foam and few decorations and few longer red rows on the back.
Armor was the most difficult part to make. It was foamsmithing, 3D modelling and printing, engineering all in one.
I started with patterning the bottom part of the arm – first just by drawing out the shape on a piece of paper trying to be as accurate as I could make it from the refferences. Then I cut the each individual panels and changed the shape to a little curve, so it copies my hand better and it doesn’t look like a straight wooden log without any shapes. I transfered it to a 5mm foam, added layers of 2mm foam, sanded the edges and added a lot of wires and red leather tubes from the bootom of it, where i abig cut shows the muscle part and made a closing there with velcros. I decorated the foam piece with angraving tool and dremel.
Then I modelled a hinge for ellbow – there should be two hinges on the sides, that cover the ellbow, so I modelled them in Blender, added a screw with washer and attached it to the bottom part of the foam arm armor and later to the upper armor too. I added few foam pieces to cover the hinge according to the referrences.
The ellbow is covered from the other side with a small motor with two short blades. I modelled the motor and blades and cut a space for my ellbow there. I printed the pieces, glued them together, primed and painted it. I attached a strap to it from bottom and top, which connected into bottom and upper armor.
I also covered the blades with 2mm foam to make the more safe for bug conventions, so I don’t hurt anybody.
The strap is adjustable and the adjustement allows my arm to move better (the more free it is, the more I can bend my arm, but the more the back motor sags when my hand is straight).
I also made the boxes on the top and bottom armor, which are connected with weird tubes/ropes, I made them from 5mm and attached to the bottom and top arm armor from the back.
Top armor was made also from 5mm foam and it connects to the muscle part of the whole armo with velcros. Figuring the right shape of it was kinda hard to fit with the muscles. I made it from 5mm foam, attached it to the both ellbow hinges and motor and added electrical wires for the inside part of the arm where it bends. I also added few muscles under the armor to complement the musle part of the arm and blend better together.
4) The vest
I wanted to make the vest from a real material and that meant a lot of handsewing was included.
I started with buying canvas material and a basic tactical vest, which I cut in parts and used different pieces for my design.
I made a pattern according to the referrences, but when I made the whole piece, I realized it doesn’t fit, because I basically designed a man’s cut and I couldn’t put my breasts inside there. So I had to remake the whole thing in a less accurate way to accomodate fro my breasts and make the vest a little bulkier.
I transfered the pattern onto a foam, cut and dremmeled the foam and covered it in the fabric. I glued the fabric onto a foam, sewn the whole thing together and added top and side attachements and straps.
Original „flat“ (manly) version on the left
Adjusted new „bulkier“ (female) version on the right.
The I’ve sewn the backpart covering most of the seams inside with handsewing and sewn lines through the backside for more structure and more accurate look.
Then I made a Samurai logo in a graphic editor, printed it on 4xA4 papers and I painted the backside using my sponge technique for not very sharp look. I didn’t paint the white places like on the referrence.
I’ve also sewn straps and 3D modelled and printed some of the buckles, which I combined with different buckle types, that agreed with the referrences.
I’ve tried to figure out from the referrence pictures the patches visible on the plate carrier vest and I was successful only by the bigger one being a California bear upside down in Texas colors and a star. I designed the smaller patch like a leg stepping over a wall, because that is what it reminds me the patch most of. I’ve used Inkscape vector program to do that.
I booked a company to make them custom for me, because I don’t have the right sewing machine to create them. When they arrived, I weathered them + the whole vest, made a few tears here and there, some dirt and worn places and sewn them by hand onto the foam plates.
5) The belt and trousers
I decided to mamy own belinstead of a generic ammo belt. It seemed to me, that the ammo on his belt is not one big long piece, but rather 2 bullets above each other, that are a little flatter and sink alittle into the belt. So I decided to design a generic bullet with flat head and cut a little part from it so it can lay flat. I printed around 150 pieces, which I attached to double sided tapes, primed and sanded extensivelly, painted black and then chrome with Aclad silver.
Then I bought a 5mm wide army strap and wrapped it in fake leather and sewn. I attached a 5cm wide buckle on the end and sewn into place. Then I glued the 3D printed bullets arounf the whole belt.
Then I 3D modelled the belt buckle in Blender, printed, and then I added two decorative lines, that I forgot to model with Apoxie sculpt. I sanded it, primed, and painted and glued to the plastic belt buckle.
I also weathered the whole thing with Tamiya colors.
I had a big luck with the trousers, because I found them in the thrift store. They were made from black fake leather and I just resewn small details and painted them with leather and acrylic colors leaving some creases and places black, so it looks very worn.
I also added leather holders of the belt from brown leather. They are from a different brown color on the referrences so I used also a different shade.
6) The gun
I’ve used the file by Further Fabrication to print my gun. It was a great help, because there are (were) not many referrences for the guns in this game.
I decided to make this gun, because I felt the costume would be not complete without a badass gun involved. I’ve not seen a gun on the referrences of Johnny Silverhand, so I decided to attach it on the guitar strap, so it is more independent from the costume.
I printed the gun on my Prusa printer, glued it together with epoxy glue and used clamps to held it together. Then I got rid of the glue, that popped out with a knife, primed and sanded the gun till smooth. I wanted to make the grip a little different, so I’ve used Rust paint for that part, that created this different structure, that is better held in the hand.
I’ve used Tamiya and Skoda paints for the painting and weathering.
7) The Shin armor
I felt like the bottom part of the costume is a little empty and since I didn’t have referrences for it, I decided to take inspiration from the costume of Royce guide, that was released already and make similar shaped Shin armor for Johnny. I streamed my whole proces of making it (video below) and I primed it lated with alcordip and hexflex, painted with createx pearlescent black and tamiya for weathering.
Then I’ve made a padding under it with attachements from black cotton fabric and 2mm foam + black straps and buckles.
There are so many details to this costume, that are maybe not very significant at first glance, but they make the whole cosplay much better as result.
The shades were very hard to choose, but I bought several ones from Aliexpress and tried how the colors behave in different light. The best ones are the ones, that appear purple on the picture, because they reflect the light in red the most.
The boots were bought in thrift store for 3 Euro. When I bought them, they were very unattractive, so I had to invest a lot of time into cleaning them and creaming them, so they look like this now, but I think they are a perfect addition to the Rockerboy outfit of Johnny.
The rings and the dog tags
I’ve seen Johny’s dogtags have inscriptions on them, so I decided I wanted to stamp his name into mine too. First I bought cheap dog tags from aliexpress, but the dog tags, that arrived were from a hard material with chrome silver finish. It was impossible to stamp in them and they didn’t look convincing. I decided to buy proper american dog tags from army shop and make a stamping in them.
For the rings-since they are not very visible on the referrences, I bought just generic cheap silver metal rings, that would go with the costume.
The finished costume:
I hope you like my turn on this character and my guides will help you create something breathtaking!
If you happen to use some of my patterns/models/files/ideas, don’t forget to give credit
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Published: 07.09.19 7:11, Pacific Standard Time