Wow thats amazing! I'm quite an amatuer and I am actually currently in the process of making myself a Wang Yuanji costume, and WILL make a Sima Zhao for my other half too.
I just have a couple of questions if you dont mind me asking.
1) What did you use for the detail on the "neck belt" as I call it and shoulder armour?
2) for the rest of the costume how did you get the gold and black i.e on the bottom half of the coat? My thought was iron transfers? (I am thinking of doing that for mine)
You say you used craft foam for the shoulder armour? Wow why didnt i think of that, I was going to use leather for mine I'd probably use leather for the 'neck belt' now xD I hope to find a large enough sheet of black craft foam x3
As for the detail wow I know what you mean by it is a killer xD
All the details on the costume were hand painted. The insignia's on the belt and such were 'potato stamped' basically i cut the design from craft foam and stamped fabric paint onto my pieces before i assembled them then touched up with a brush and fabric paint.
you could do iron transfers as well it would be faster. but i painted because the details are so small it was a pain for me to even think of that method haha!
most of the large pieces you see were smaller pieces joined together. its a matter of hiding the seams with hot glue
i cut and styled my own wig. it was just a normal shoulder length auburn wig with a long fringe. Just backcombing and hair spray. My shoes were made from craft foam like the armor i just made them like boot covers that fit over a regular pair of shoes
yep craft foam is good because it is a little like fabric. So you can sew through it etc. But you need to prime it with a waterproof sealer like fabric glue or mod podge so the paint can adhere to it and your sweat wont destroy your armor because the material traps a LOT of body heat. yep my first armored outfit was DW6's Gan Ning [link]
yes it was an arduous task but im glad i was able to complete it i got it from a store in chinatown here that stocks many different colors of satin so i used that. Didn't get it right on the first time tho, got one that was a shade too dark so i had to go back and get a lighter one
I got lucky with the last cosplay I did, Doc Scratch from Homestuck; all of the costume itself I could buy from a second-hand store, and the only real challenge for me to make, the globe-head-thingy, didn't involve any details, just engineering difficulties.
You know, I should probably get some pictures of my cosplays up on here, because I spent a lot of time and effort and that stuff for just two days of Anime North.... Not as much as you did, though.