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Gargoyle Cosplay Costumes
article by: Siryn
issue date: 9/28/03
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Gargoyles Cosplay

Short for 'Costume Play' Cosplay has been around for quite some time. Although when someone first hear's cosplay they immediately think of Anime conventions etc, a lot of other fandoms cosplay too! Including ours!!

If you're thinking of going as your favourite Gargoyles character for Halloween or get a head start on the 2004 Gathering Masquerade, we've assembled a few tips/ideas to help get you started!

The major rules of cosplay are that with any costume, 2 of the 3 rules will always apply. (You can _never_ have all three apply to a costume)

1. Fast
2. Cheap
3. Good

So, you can have a fast, cheap costume, but it won't be good (aka, as in the BEST it can be). You can have a fast and good costume, but it's not going to be cheap. Your best bet is for a fast, good costume. Which means planning ahead.

And what better time to plan ahead with costume making than during Halloween???

Pick a Costume:
First things first: Decide what character you're going to be. Are you going to be human? Gargoyle (note, if you're going to be a Gargoyle, fan created or canon, PLAN NOW..)? Faye? Misc character??? Also, try to pick a costume that's possible within your timeframe and skills. For example, you don't want to make a detailed ornate Japanese kimono if you don't even know how to sew! You also don't want to think about making a workable pair of Gargoyle wings less than a week before the convention either. This doesn't mean a lot of characters can't be done! I made my tom outfit out of a wig, tights, a pair of shorts, and two t-shirts. (No sewing at all!!) In fact, some of the most creative Gargoyles costumes I've seen are of human counterparts, including Vinnie (by Revel) , a stone person from City of Stone (by Batya), the original hunter, Fox transforming, and even the New York jogger!!!

When you pick out a character, make sure to get a LOT of reference shots of him/her. You want front, back, and side shots at the very least, be able to have enough references so you can get a sense of the whole costume. (This seems a given, but even with one costume I'm working on now I'm having trouble trying to find out what one part of the costume looks like!!) Watch the episode your character is from (if you're doing a canon character). If you don't have your own personal copy, Try Gargoyles-fans.de or the Avalon Archives. Both have a huge collection of screenshots from the show!

List of Materials:
Next, plan ahead. Make a list of the materials/items you'll need using the reference pictures as a guide. A lot of fabric shops (especailly right now), have sales encouraging people to buy halloween costumes. Also, look for Halloween sales BEFORE and especially AFTER halloween!! This time of year is the best time to get makeup, prostetics, etc for fairly cheap!

Search on the web, if you've missed halloween sales, or can't find what you're looking for..there are BILLIONS of sites that sell halloween stuff all year round (granted, they probably won't be cheap!) Researching other cosplayer websites is good as well! Some have helpful info on what you'll need and what you may run into while creating your perfect costume!

Lastly, feel FREE to improvise! A lot of cosplayers do it, and if you really need to modify a costume to make it work for you, then do so! :D Sometimes modifications can look even better than the original. :)


There are three types of wings you can make.

Type A: Cloaked wings
For these wings, you basically make yourself a cape, with 'arms' attached. I made my arms by sewing them seperately and then attaching them to my 'cape' (which I precut into a 'wing' pattern and sewed together) This kind of wing is the simpliest of the three, and can end up having a very nice affect. The only downside to this is that it does 'hide' the rest of your costume! ^_^;;

Type B: Stationary wings
These wings are a little bit more difficult to make (but that hasn't stopped people from making all sorts of them!) The plus to these is that these wings don't hide your costume like the cloaked wings do. However, depending upon how eleborate you make them, you may need to wear a harness, so take 'wing weight' into consideration for your wing design.

Type C: Workable Wings
These are extremely difficult, and may take handy work to pull off. I've only seen two types of workable wings. One type was by Dreamie, which she could manually 'fold and cloak'. The other set was by Rulok! These wings were automatic and open and closed (they did not however cloak) Wing weight is AGAIN an issue, so be mindful of materials you use! You don't want to walk around the entire convention wearing a heavy set of wings on your back!

For Gargoyle skin colour, if you're doing something other than 'tan', you'll have to consider one of two options, Body paint, or minimal body paint.

Full Body Paint:
If you go for this option, definately get something that won't rub off and run. (Costume balls can get pretty sweaty with all that dancing!) You'll also want to plan ahead and make sure you leave plenty of time before the masquearade to apply the makeup. Some cosplayers recommend doing a 'test run' in a costume before bringing it to a convention, just to make sure you KNOW you can walk around in it for hours.

Minimal Body Paint:
To pull off this, we're talking bodysuit and/or leotard. For the (very old) Siryn costume I did, I used a white leotard and white tights, so only my arms, neck, and face had to be painted. Cryzdemona used a full length bodysuit for her demona costume, which she put on, then her gargoyle costume over it. You'll still need some basic facepaint, and the bodysuit might be hot. Also, if your character wear's a LOT of clothing, you may be able to get away with only painting some of yourself, but again, make sure the makeup you use doesn't run! You don't want to ruin a really pretty costume!

I've seen horns done several different ways (the one I did for Siryn was made out of paper mache, and trust me, I won't be doing that again. ^_^;;; It was heavy, large, and I kept nearly poking people's eyes out!). Kythera has used crayola putty mold (which is fairly cheap and you can find in a lot of stores) to create horns. Depending upon the weight of the horns, and if you're wearing a wig, you could find a way to make horns and attach them to the wig scalp. You can also get a lot of prostitic horns at halloween costume shops (although they might not be as large as you want them to be!) Another option recently used is modifying a face mask. Kythera found a mask and modified it for her recent Orcus costume, and Aimee used a Goliath costume mask (most likely not available anymore) for her Angela and Raven costumes. Or, you can do what Rulok did, and 'create' your own Gargoyle head!

For the most part, I've seen people use just a huge piece of fabric and stuff it for a tail. Some have also made more 'stiffer' tails with wire etc. I recommend looking at furry cosplay sites for some good tail tutorials.

Always be sure to plan ahead on your costume.
If your costume is of a mutate, check out some furry cosplay sites for tips.
Give your costume a test run before the big day.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN and take LOTS of PICTURES!!!

If you're still very perplexed about costuming making, then definately stop by the costuming panel hosted by Cindy Kinnard at the 2004 Gathering of the Gargoyles! Cindy's made some wonderful Gargoyles costumes, recieved awards for her costume work in college productions, and finishing up her Masters degree in costume design this year!

Gathering of the Gargoyles 2004

Gargoyle Cosplay (and some of my personal fave anime cosplayer) sites:

Cindy's Costume Site
Aimee's Cosplay
Rulok the Gargoyle
Yaya's Cosplay

Wing Tutorials:

Cindy's Wing Tutorial
Griffin Fursuit
Rulok's Site

Cosplay resources (mostly anime cosplay sites, but _worth_ the research!):

Aimee's HUGE list of costuming Links
Cindy's Costuming Links
Cherry Blossom Festival
American Cosplay Paradise