Today I have a little crafting tutorial for you: The finger armor of Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 Remake. I myself needed several attempts and am finally very satisfied with the final result. So, how did I do those little finger shrimps? Find out!
First a short note: This tutorial is part of a "Making of Cloud" cosplay booklet. So this is a little teaser of how this booklet will look like.
I have also digitized the patterns for the armor pieces. If you don't want to make the pattern yourself, you can buy it for a few Euros in my Etsy store. (This one is closed at the moment, but will be open during the next week).
Enough talking: Let's go!
How to make cosplay finger armor out of foam:
Cloud Strife FF7 Finger Armor (FF7R version)
Before you start with the finger armor, the gloves should be finished. You need them to be able to adjust the finger armor properly. If this is done on the fingers only, the armor will be too small in the end.
There are numerous pictures and sequences where you can see the finger armor. However, to examine them in high resolution and from multiple angles, you have to search a little harder. I mainly went with the Mobile Wallpaper, which shows the fingers really well and in great detail. Besides that, there are the 3d models as well as thousands of ingame screenshots.
The finger armor consists of several elements and is flexible. So 5 fingerrings in total. I really struggled for a long time on how to transfer this look to my rings. After all: I wanted to keep the armor petite, since I don't have large hands. I wanted it to be flexible and I didn't want it to be glued to my gloves. So it had to stay in place properly and be sturdy enough that putting it on and taking it off wouldn't be a problem. It took me a total of three tries before I was really happy with how it turned out.
These are the materials that I used. Of course, other brands, materials and colors can be used. It's best to check beforehand what you have at home and what needs to be purchased. Some things like the rotary tool are optional, as you don't necessarily have to sand any of the pieces.
For the pattern
2 mm Foam
Priming and Painting:
acrylic paint (jaquard, pebeo)
You'll get most of the materials at www.cosplayshop.be or from Amazon.
(1) Put on the glove, wrap plastic wrap around your index finger, then wrap masking tape all the way around. Basically, it doesn't matter which finger you use. Remember, the thumb and pinky are different in size. I used the index finger because it is easier to draw the lines there. Of course you can also make a pattern for each finger individually.
(2) Using a sharpie, I drew on the individual parts as accurately as possible. Crooked lines can be smoothed out later. Also mark the centre of the parts. It will be easier to arrange the parts on top of each other later if you can align them. Then carefully cut the foil and tape off at the bottom. Be careful not to cut the gloves.
(3) Now simply glue the piece onto a sheet of paper so that it lies flat. You will need to make more cuts on the fingertip to make this work. I now traced the individual elements onto a new sheet of paper and corrected the crooked lines: straightened the lines and adjusted them symmetrically. To get a feeling for whether it looks good with foam, I cut out three small test pieces and taped them together briefly. (4) If you are not completely satisfied, changes can be made now. Make sure that the pattern pieces are symmetrical. You can also draw only half of them and then cut them out in the bow. Number and label the parts if you have did a pattern for each finger. I scaled the elements down a bit for the thumb and pinky and tested the pattern to see if it fit. This step can also be done later.
Crafting the finger armor
(5+6) Cut out each finger element 5x using 2 mm foam. For the fingertip I choose to use Worbla. After this, I briefly heated the foam pieces with a heat gun and shaped them over a long candle so that they were slightly round and would fit nicely on top of the fingers. I did the same with the knuckle guards so it would just fit better. Once I was happy with the fit, I started working on the fingertips.
(7) I could not just mould the Worbla over my fingers. Therefore, I made myself a "fake finger". I put a thimble from Prym ( it has this finger shape) over a candle and wrapped this part with plastic wrap and masking tape. This shape ended up being about the size of my finger + glove. Again, it's worth making a test fingertip to see if the size is accurate.
(8+9) I then cut the fingertip pieces out of Worlba, heated, carefully moulded them over my fake finger and let cool. I also drew a centre line on the Worbla pieces, just as I did on my candle. This also allowed me to position the Worbla piece correctly. If something doesn't work right the first time, the piece can always be reheated. Just make sure it doesn't get too hot. The Black Worbla does not tolerate that much heat. However, it's best to try to get it all done in one go. The piece of Worbla was always a little too big, so I was able to just fold the seam out and press it together nicely. I then quickly cut off that protruding piece while the material was still soft. So I could still press the seam nice and flat. (10) After that I tested if the size really fits. I did the fingertip a little higher than I actually need them, because it is always easier to make it smaller than bigger. If the fingertip pattern doesn't fit at all, you can make a new one with the candle or use something else as a fake finger. For me it was very practical to work with this fake finger, because I had both hands to work with. For the fingertip of the thumb, I wrapped a few more layers of tape around the candle to make the "finger" bigger. Sanding: Whether and when exactly to use the rotary tool on the parts is up to you. I didn't want such a harsh sharp edge, so I sanded all of the elements individually with a rotary tool. Here I used the stone attachment. 2 mm foam is really thin, so you don't need much sanding to round the edges. Also, you have to be careful so you don't cut off too much. With the Worbla finger tips, it took a little more finesse. But since I was using Worbla's Black Art it was already very smooth, so I didn't have to sand so much.
(11) After I gathered all the pieces, I taped all pieces to my finger and marked the overlaps.
(12) Next, I glued the pattern pieces 1+2 and 3+4 together by using contact cement (I originally had 5 pieces, but then glued one piece to pattern piece 1). In order for the glue to stick really well, it needs to be applied thinly to both parts that are to be glued together. If it is applied thinly and evenly, it will also dry faster. As long as the glue is not dried up a little, it will not hold well. Since the pieces are very small, I put some glue in a squeeze bottle. So I could apply it more precisely. You can also spread it with some foam scraps if needed. (13) Following this, I glued a narrow elastic band to the inside, thus joining the two parts together. It is important that the finger can be bent. You can also take a normal band. I took elastic and glued it a little tighter so that the fingertip is pulled back after the finger is bent, otherwise the ring can slide down easier. Finally, the long strips were also joined with elastic bands to form rings.
(14) This creates complete finger rings. By connecting them with elastic bands, they are stretchable and can be pulled over the fingers more easily and you don't have to be afraid the thin foam would tear. In my case, the foam rings were of a length that they touched each other at the bottom. The elastic is just there so that it can be stretched open a bit, making it easier to put on and take off.
Priming & Painting
(15-17) I did not prime the fingers. I painted them with a thick layer of acrylic gesso. You can also prime them with Plastidip or something else. However, you should do this before you glue the parts together. It should also be ensured that the primer remains "elastic", since the finger rings are very flexible.
(18) After that, everything was painted with acrylic paints. I used mainly colors from Jaquard and Pebeo, because they are perfect for elastic materials. I worked from dark to light, so I started with black and then continued with different shades of grey and silver (also metallic). Used a bristle brush and little paint and no water (dry brushing). To keep the silver from being too shiny, I did a black wash by mixing black acrylic paint with water. This was then stippled on and dabbed off again with a paper towel.
(19) I used black and silver Sharpies to bring out the edges a bit and for the small connecting rivets I used a metallic liner to imitate them.
(20-22) The finished finger armor.
Sealing: Basically, I think that acrylic paint alone is quite good for this. Of course, depending on your preference, you can then apply a sealing layer, but I didn't do that.
If this tutorial has been helpful, I'm very happy!
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