Series: Kantai Collection
First worn: Ikkicon 2016, Austin, TX (first version), A-Kon 27, Dallas, TX (second version)
Awards won: Best in Master Division, Anime CTX 2018
It is a little known fact among my friends that I play the Kantai Collection web browser game, and to show that and keep to my philosophy of doing costumes that are rarely done, I ended up making a costume of Samidare, one of the five starting destroyers you get in the game. She is very rarely cosplayed, and she happens to be the first ship I picked, and the only ship in my fleet with a wedding ring.
Samidare’s costume went through multiple revisions because of various issues that I discovered after looking at photographs. Her uniform was made out of cotton sateen, with an embroidered stripe across the sailor collar. The blue accents were made with bias tape, with a ribbon inserted into the bias tape to ensure opacity. The center cravat is dyed to the correct color, with a yellow ribbon to finish off the cravat.
The gloves and leggings are made out of 4-way stretch fabric. Samidare’s costume is probably the first costume where I actually made the gloves from scratch, as there are no commercially available gloves that would suit this costume.
Samidare’s torpedo launcher backpack is a case study of the limitations of 3D printing for making large props versus more traditional materials like Worbla, foamboard, spray foam, and wood. Due to the sheer size of the torpedo launcher, it took approximately 200 hours to print every component of the torpedo launcher. It can be argued that the torpedo launcher could be made faster with other materials, but 3D printing is what I’m used to using to make props. The weight of the first version of the torpedo launcher was 12lbs, but I was able to reduce the weight on the second version by about 2lbs through adjustment of the torpedo payloads.
Samidare’s cannons were also 3D printed; the total print time for each cannon is approximately 20 hours to print every single part. The cannon are based on a combination of the official art, and blueprints of the actual cannon. I ended up adding a pistol grip to the cannon so I have a way of holding the actual prop.
I would like to give credit to my friend, Keith Blackard, for modeling the torpedo launcher. We actually spent an afternoon at a friend’s apartment doing the 3D modeling (he was modeling the torpedo launcher with Blender, while I was modeling the cannons with OpenSCAD). We were supposed to be socializing and mingling with our friends and the host of the party, but instead we took up the dining table and talked about things that went over the other guests’ heads, while everyone else was playing video games. Having these models will help considerably for future Kantai Collection cosplay that I may do.