Wolf O'Donnell

In summer of '09 I embarked on my first decently complex cosplay project. Wolf O'Donnell from Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Everything I'd done before then involved just buying cosplay bits online, or altering pre-existing things. I'd yet to really make anything from scratch with much success. I'm not going to say Wolf was made entirely from nothing. I'm not really a competent sewer, so his clothes were all purchased and modified. The from-scratch bit was moreso his head, armor and backpack.

(Apologies in advance for the poor picture quality. I only had my cellphone camera back then).

The first step to this project was research. Tons of it. I found some fantastic fursuit-building resources online. Yes, fursuit. Wolf counts as a partial fursuit and honestly there's nothing wrong with that. Let's all be adults and move on. In all my searching these were the most useful sites I found.

 I used the balaclava tutorial from Matrices' site for building Wolf's head and the trimming/painting tips on Beetlecat's site for cleaning him up once he was put together. The LJ community came in handy whenever I got stuck on something and needed help. Penwiper was invaluable for the armor. The craft foam armor tutorial there is amazing. If you ever decide to try out a project like this I definitely suggest making use of the helpful advice these sites have to offer.

Once I finally had a firm grasp of what I'd be doing, I went to work. I bought a balaclava, some elastic, a bunch of upholstery foam and set about building the shape of Wolf's head.

After that I covered the head in masking tape and drew on the details so I could make my pattern.

Then I cut the tape off along the markings and in sections that could lay flat.

It turned out to be surprisingly easy and made a wonderful pattern to work from.

I ordered my fur from imstuffedfur.com. Absolutely wonderful people. They don't show their entire inventory online, but if you call or email them and describe what you need, they'll send you samples. If you need faux fur, that's the place to go.

Once the fur arrived I trimmed it using my pattern pieces and went right to work gluing it on the head.

I was so excited that night I'm pretty sure I skipped sleep and kept placing fur until it was done.

As you can see he was looking pretty poofy and in bad need of a haircut. The following weekend I devoted a lot of time to trimming, combing, hairspraying, painting and installing the eye, nose and teeth.

Amazing what a difference it made! The nose and teeth were made out of sculpey painted with acrylic. The eye was made following Matrices' tutorial. I'd originally intended Wolf have the moving-jaw capability shown at Matrices. The elastic straps are in there, but the way I installed all the foam and fur had basically rendered the jaw immobile by this point. I was able to move it a little bit if I really tried, but in the end the open jaw only really served to provide airflow. Which is okay.

Next I moved on to building Wolf's eyepiece. Although it isn't armor, I used the Penwiper craft foam armor tutorial to make it. So step one was to build it out of black craft foam.

I made the shape of the box out of cardboard to support the foam. The blue lense was made out of the side of a plastic Q-Tip box.

After a week of coating the foam in glue to seal it, I gave it the silver finish, coated it in Future and voila!

I also gave the eyepiece another layer of black sheer fabric inside to prevent my eye from being visible. The collar seen around Wolf's neck there is just a belt that I trimmed short.

Next it was on to gloves. I found a pair of leather gauntlets on eBay (you can find anything on eBay). Made the claws out of sculpey, cut slits in the tip of each finger on the gloves and pushed the claws through from the inside.

I thought I was going to have to glue the claws into place, but it turns out they were so snug that they didn't need anything else to support them. An important note is that the base of each claw is larger than the rest of the claw to prevent them from just falling out the hole. The bases are also curved into caps to fit the tips of my fingers.

The rest of the claw details were done with craft foam and ribbon. The purple foam was just glued right on as-is. The metallic foam got the armor treatment.

For the shoulder armor I used the same craft foam technique. Here's the shoulder pieces covered in glue.

Really should have laid something under them. They did unkind things to my counter. Anywho, the armor is black craft foam shaped by heat and glued over fabric. The spikes were made out of thin cardboard (I think you'd call it cardboard.. it was a cake box). The details were done with puff paint.

Here it is finished, weathered and sewn to the vest.

Speaking of the vest, it was made using a Converse puffy vest. The original vest went down past the waist, so I trimmed it short, sewed the bottom up, removed a bunch of the collar area at the top and lined it with purple ribbon.

The necklace seen in the picture there was made out of gold-colored sculpey. I don't think I got any good detail pictures of it, sadly.

For the tail I followed a simple tutorial that may or may not have been on Matrices' site. I can't remember. You can find a million tutorials for making a simple tail, thankfully.

Technically Wolf's tail should split at the tip. I toyed with this a bit and in the end decided it was beyond my skills to make a split tip that didn't look horrific. So he got one tip.

For the area of fur that shows up on Wolf's arms, I sewed some fur, elastic and ribbon to the shirt that would serve as Wolf's tank top that isn't actually a tank top.

Cellphone mirror pics. Classy.

Next was the backpack, seen here. If I remade the backpack today I wouldn't use the same method I used for this, but it worked well enough anyway. By this point I was so accustomed to using sealed craft foam for building things that I decided to use it for this too.

The light in the middle is a little LED push light you're supposed to stick to a wall. Overall it looked pretty rough, but once painted it was alright. Not fantastic, but y'know.

Boots and knee armor were both assembled using pretty much the same process as the gloves and shoulder armor. Craft foam all around!

I didn't build the boots themselves, of course. They're a super cheap pair I found online and didn't mind destroying.

For the badge details on Wolf's vest I turned to Photoshop. Using reference shots from the game, I did my best to recreate high-res files of the badges.

I printed these onto iron-on transfers, which I transferred on to white t-shirt material. Then I glued that material to black felt, which I glued to the vest itself. I also attached the backpack, which neatly covered the point where the shoulder armor pieces join.

For the gun I went the classic route of modifying a Nerf gun. I grabbed one of these, glued on a few extra details, painted it and there you go.

It's not exactly like Wolf's gun, which defies the laws of physics by having a gigantic knife on the front of it that would prevent it from ever fitting in its holster.

And that was that! There were a few other details that I didn't take pictures of along the way, but for the most part that's every bit of Wolf's construction. Here's some shots the finished product, courtesy my good friend who had a real grown-up camera.

Thanks for reading along! Hopefully this process made some sense. I'm kind of stumbling over this whole blog thing. If you've read over this and have suggestions for better ways to organize future posts, please comment! <3