Red Sonja, the She Devil with a Sword.
Who doesn’t want to try to embody the most beautiful and fearless woman in Hyrkania?! I’ve always had a love for Sonja. I just knew her chainmail bikini wasn’t my style. So when the Nicola Scott & Gail Simone redesigns appeared, I knew that THIS was the version of Sonja I needed in my life.
At the time of this build, I was working 70+ hours a week on a TV show. So time was at a premium. I decided I would focus on the leather, cloth, sculpting, molding & aging of the costume. I reached out to a wonderful artist named Skådi in France to fabricate the custom Scail Maille top. And to Mitral in Canada to fabricate the She Devil’s Sword. I couldn’t have managed to finish this costume without teaming up with them. Cosplay is really a group effort!
I started my build where I typically do, the leather! I chose to go with deer pelts since it had the desired look and feel. Deer leather is buttery soft and distresses beautifully! I did break quite a few needles sewing thru all the layers of leather to get the wrap skirt finished. Thankfully with it being a barbarian style outfit, my lines didn’t have to be pristine & perfect.
Next came the cape. Just like the leather, the look and feel of the material was very important to me. It took quite a while to find what I wanted, but when I did, of coarse it was a Cashmere / Wool blend (hashtag expensive AF). I then modified a simplicity 2499 cape pattern for the base and went to town. Followed by shredding the unfinished hems (my house STILL has cashmere tumbleweeds!) and giving the bottom an overdue bath.
Sculpting and molding Sonja’s belt buckle was fun. It had been a while since I had flexed that creative muscle. The most exciting part for me was incorporating REAL bronze Viking belt enders from 800-1000 AD!! I was able to obtain these ancient artifacts, mold them in silicone, then pour plastic duplicates of them. Being able to incorporate them into my costume, really made it feel extra special.
For her ‘Tooth’ armband, I utilized antler tips to get the correct look.
At this point, I was in a super time crunch. So I forgot to take photos of the finished, painted belt, and the process of adding rabbit fur to everything. I hadn’t even tried everything on until the day I wore it on the HeroesCon floor. Thankfully, with a few last minute teaks, everything fell into place. Here are a few of the images taken at HeroesCon (thanks to Wage War and Mike Dickens for the images). To see the rest, CLICK HERE
I look forward to wearing her quite a bit this year!