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When Salem was first revealed on RWBY, I was in love.  Originally I was going to cosplay Cinder… but that was immediately shoved aside for RWBY’s Big Bad.  She was so… serene, and evil, and terrifying.  And for whatever reason, I love cosplaying evil characters!


I don’t usually attempt dresses.  My specialty is armor, not sewing.  But this one didn’t seem terribly difficult.  It was solid color, form fitting, and all the way to the floor.  In other words… a catsuit with no leg holes!  I would have loved to make it out of actual velvet for the extra quality that comes from it, but quite frankly velvet is terrifying.  Stretch velvet at least has the benefit that it I make it a bit too small in places, it will just stretch until it fits.  So stretch velvet won.  I used a couple basic patterns to help me get it right as well, and the end result fits very well.


Originally, this wig was used for Nidalee.  It was perfect – a long white ponytail made for a great base to start with.  In order to create the large bun, I started with some upholstry foam.  I cut it to the right basic shape, first.  Then I cut a hole through the middle (so it looked like a donut) that I could stick the ponytail through.  From there, it was a long process of slowly gluing hair little bits at a time around the foam “donut” until it was fully covered.  After that was done, I took some spare white wefts of hair and wrapped those around some diamond shaped pieces of craft foam to create the six “spires” that stick out from the bun.

The whole wig is actually very secure, although it’s a bit heavy.


For the painting, since it’s such a small area (just the face/forearms) I generally stick with easy, water based paints.  My favorite is Wolfe, a brand you can often find online or in specialty costume shops that are open year round.  It goes on very clean, allowing you to get a nice, consistent color.  One of its downsides is that it doesn’t layer nicely – It’s best for projects with only one base layer.  In Salem’s case, I layered down the white base layer, then used liquid eyeliner to apply the veins.

It’s not very durable however, and wears off my hands quickly.  In the future, I may upgrade to alcohol based paints.

Costume Details
  • Costume Debut: 1/21/17
  • Bodypaint Brand: Wolfe
  • Materials (Dress): Stretch Velvet, Red Brocade
  • Brand (Wig): Epic Cosplay
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