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