Hours spent making this cosplay
Total cost involved in making cosplay
Sliding Doors Cosplay / DS17077
Kylo Ren from Star Wars The Force Awakens
December 2015 but still ongoing…
1 year so that’s a lot of hours LOL
Aprox R 7,700
Info for the costume
Kylo Ren has to this date been my most complicated and detailed cosplay, the outfit is deceivingly layered and has so many attributes to it. Four layers overall, a cotton undershirt with pleated sleeves, pleated middle tunic, cotton undercoat or ”Starkiller Base” coat and basket weave overcoat. Leather belt with black arts Worbla belt buckle and lightsaber clip, leather neck seal consisting of six pleats, basket weave hood and cowl and of course the iconic cross guard lightsaber. Because I wanted every detail present and accurate down to the type of fabric this was seriously time consuming and taxing.
All the basket weave fabric as well as the pleated sleeves I had to wax to achieve the slight shine in the film. I’ve been through six helmets overall until I was happy as well as three lightsabers. My final lightsaber is a 3D printed hilt with my own custom blades made unstable with hot-glue and cellophane. All this work was rewarded by not only my personal satisfaction, but it finally got me the 501st Legion approval I was seeking.
I made this costume because….
… I had wanted to cosplay a Star Wars character for ages. Upon seeing the first teaser trailer for The Force Awakens I immediately was drawn to Kylo Ren. The mystery of the character and also the unique lightsaber design. Later as more info surfaced about him I got more and more involved with the costume and character and by the time I saw the film when it was released I was so glad that I had chosen him. I felt like I bore a resemblance to Adam Driver and have the same body type and height as him, so it all just fit so well. He remains my favourite cosplay and character of all time.
The first thing I believe I started with was to seek patterns for the clothing. The tunic was easy enough, the inner and outer coat required some adjusting and self-made patterning. I needed to source the fabric types which became pretty difficult because SA stores didn’t supply it all. The helmet and lightsaber required some planning and saving for as none of the components came cheaply and soldering and wiring was a skill I had no previous experience with. Getting into the character for me is always part of the planning, I tapped into the loneliness and rage that Ren suffers from.
- Sewing – A lot of this cosplay requires sewing, a skill I can do but not as well as I’d like so some friends helped with parts of that element.
- Painting and weathering – The props were a joy to create, I really enjoyed painting and weathering the lightsaber hilt and the helmet. Adding all the battle damage and fraying on the cape was a time consuming but fun task.
- Pleating – … ah pleating, that terrible process was the worst part of this costume and still haunts me.
- Electronics – The most fun part had to be wiring and soldering the LED lights for the lightsaber blade as well as the voice changer module inside the helmet.
Did you have to learn any new techniques in order to make this costume?
Oh yes quite a few, but obviously the sewing was a big lesson for me. The electrical parts were also very new to me but with every update and improvement on the cosplay over the past year I got more used to the tasks and techniques.
Does this cosplay need special make-up to be done?
For Kylo no, not so much. When I go unhelmed I sometimes add the scar he acquires through using collodion liquid and some deep red eye shadow.
At which cons and events did you wear this costume?
I wore what I call my Kylo V1 at rAge 2015, and after some improvements I wore V2 to the Force Awakens premiere in Sandton in December 2015, and I’ve worn V3 to rAge Cape Town earlier this year. Most recently I wore Kylo V4 with its new screen accurate gloves and outer surcoat to FanCon Cape Town Comic Con in May 2016.
Have you won any awards for this costume?
Even though I’ve never entered it in any competitions, we (MimzCosplay and myself) won Fans Choice Cosplay at FanCon 2016. I do however consider achieving 501st approval the best award I could get for it.
Any last thoughts on this costume? (Upgrades you would still like to do, alterations etc.)
Since my approval of 501st membership I’ve added small upgrades to the boots, the helmet, my lightsaber hilt and I am also busy working on a new undercoat made with softer fabric that flows better.
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