Theorycrafting: Shining Armor from ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’

Hello everyone! I’m writing this to get my thoughts in order and to reveal to you guys the thought process I go through when I make a cosplay. Hopefully you can use this to improve your own cosplay! Of course, discussions and recommendations are more than welcome.

By request of one of my friends, I’ll be looking at Shining Armor, from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, when he’s wearing armor.

Shining Armor by birthofthephoenix in DeviantArt

Shining Armor

Shining Armor is the Captain of the Royal Guard of Canterlot, brother of Twilight Sparkle, the Element of Magic,  and the husband of Princess Cadence, of the Crystal Empire. As his name and rank suggests, he is very magically powerful, especially with defensive spells. Even in a brainwashed state, his city-wide barrier was able to repel attacks by hundreds of changelings for a prolonged amount of time.

With all these things in mind, I will try to make a costume that harmoniously combines all the elements of his character (chivalry, love, and duty) into a physical form. A magical knight in shining armor.

Overview

Since I am unfortunately not a pony, making this cosplay will require significant reinterpretation to make it come to life. At a glance, I’ll need blue hair, a horn, white clothes, purple armor with gold trim, blue boots, and maybe even a sword and shield. Here’s a sketch of what I have in mind:

Sketch of Shining Armor and Princess Cadence that I intend to make with my friend SammBam.

Armor

Shining Armor’s armor is purple with gold trim and small half-sphere gems for accenting. There is a small shield in the center of the chest in the shape of his cutie mark and the rest of his armor swirls symmetrically around it.

I would make the armor out of worbla (a thermoplastic) because worbla handles stretching and organic shapes well. You could make the trim also out of worbla, or craft foam. The most challenging part of this would be the shoulder armor because it’s such an exotic shape.

For most of the armor, especially the shoulders, belt, and bracers, I’d use Volpin’s layering technique to get the desired shape. Though for the gold armor on the sides (thighs), I’d use Kamui’s sandwich method.

Clothes

I’d use white linen for the shirt and pants, and make the waist cape out of purple linen. The outfit is meant to be more functional than stylish, so any matte (non-shiny) fabric should do. I would get leather gloves and dye them navy blue.

I would make boot covers using the same leather and dye.

Accessories

Shining Armor has tri-colored blue hair. There are two ways I’d use to achieve this look.

  1. I’d get a wig of the middle blue color and wefts/extensions of the highlight and shadow blue and sew the wefts into the wig. The real question is how long I’d want the hair to be. I’d probably go for a medium-length wig for the head and a long wig for the tail.
  2. Get a white wig, alcohol, spray gun, and blue dye, and follow this tutorial. I think this method would be slightly harder or more time consuming than the first one, but it allows for greater customization.

For the ears and horn I would make them out of craft foam or just buy them from Yaya Han’s website. It’s not a bad thing to support other cosplayers!

Props

Ponies generally aren’t depicted as actually using weapons like a sword and shield, but in my experience it’s a lot easier to pose as a warrior when you have a weapon.

Shield

The shield would be a larger version of the shield in the middle of the armor (his cutie mark). I’d make this like how many people make Link’s Hylean Shield.

Sword

Being a prince of the Crystal Empire, I think it would be really cool if he had a crystal sword. I don’t know exactly what shape I’d make for it, I’d use my crystal creation method to achieve it.

If you make a sword and shield, you need to think if you’re gonna carry them all the time or not. I’d prefer not, so I would make a harness that goes over your back with a sheath to hang them on. It’s good to take inspiration from existing sources when you build things.

 

Thanks for reading! Feel free to post/message me if you have any questions or requests.

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About Kohalu

I'm Kohalu, a Cosplayer based in Southern California. I love playing video games, reading, painting, and making things with my hands. This page is dedicated to my creations and to helping you create things as well! So don't hesitate to ask questions if you have any.

Posted on January 2, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Oh man, would love seeing you two pull this off 😀 The designs look great and I love how you tell us how you’re doing everyting. It’s really helpful >w<

  2. Hey I was wondering if I would be able to use this as a cosplay myselt. Or if there was a way to commission this from you? The armor at least, not the white underarmor. Or if I could have someone make this for me? I would totally put all the credit to you and everything.

  3. Hello, I was wondering if I would be able to use this as a cosplay? I will totally credit you! If I can do you think I could have it commissioned or maybe you could make it.

  4. Hey there. First, let me start by saying how perfect the concept for this is. Can I use it for a cosplay with my little sister? We’re going to Anime Expo this year as Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor. Only thing I would possibly edit is the sword/shield combo. I was probably going to go with a spear, because that’s about the only weapon I’ve seen in the series. Anyway, I hope for a reply. 😀 Thank you.

    • Absolutely! Oh that would be fantastic!

      I hadn’t thought about making a spear. That’s a pretty good idea.

      I hope to see you guys at AX! I’m planning on being Rainbow Dash at the MLP meetup. Find me and we can take some pictures together!

  5. So, I saw you at anime expo and didn’t even know it! I was expecting rd but discord was who you were! Thanks man.

  6. Hello! A few friends, my sister and I are headed for BronyCON this year, and they’ve persuaded me to cosplay with them. After doing some research, I have found myself highly inspired by your concept for Shining Armor. Would you mind if I attempted to make a suit based on your design? (I would likely be making it from sheets of aluminum, though, rather than worbla.)

    Thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

  7. I also would like to know if I could use this design for Halloween and some convention that my sister wants to go to….in two years @.@ Think its metrocon.

  8. Just wondering, how would the back look o.o?

    • saphiredragon4

      That’s part of the fun… it’s entirely up to you! Just take a little time to sketch out a few designs, and decide what looks best to you. (Remember not to make it too complicated, though; you’ll eventually be building from these designs!)

      I’m actually about finished with the armor part of my cosplay, I’m just waiting for a couple of key components to arrive in the mail. Once it’s done I’ll share some pictures.

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