July 20, 2013

Creating Your Own Lara Croft TOMB RAIDER 'Survivor' Costume

In honor of Comic Con, which is in full swing this week in San Diego, I decided to resurrect this great cosplay tutorial by guest writer Amanda McGinnis, the powerhouse behind the geek fashion blog Console To Closet. Here you'll find step-by-step instructions for creating your own Lara Croft costume for conventions, Halloween, fancy-dress parties or whenever you feel the urge to let your inner survivor shine.

Please note that Amanda put together this costume in the spring of 2012, well before the game came out and before some details of Lara's "official" outfit were revealed. I think she did an awesome job.

(For pre-Legend Lara, check out this classic Lara Croft costume tutorial by Sara from LaraCroftCosplay.com.)


The Decision

I chose to cosplay as Lara Croft from the new TOMB RAIDER game because she's the first Lara Croft I actually feel like I connect to, both on a character and design level. She retains the best qualities of the previous Lara's (strong, independent, intelligent), and adds a more realistic element to the famous lady through her more "natural" looks and vulnerability. I whole-heartedly support the movement the designers are doing with her new look and wanted to design a costume around the new Lara.

Costume inspired by Lara Croft from the new Tomb Raider game.
Click image to enlarge.

The Materials

I used quite a lot of store bought things in this costume, as most was just clothing. I bought quite a few pairs of cargo pants before deciding on the pair I did because I couldn't find a suitable color. I also had some difficulty finding pants because I'm super tall. I'm 5'10" so finding pants is extremely difficult. The pants I chose are actually way too short for me, hence I added the tall wool socks. They hold down the pants, while adding a more hiker look. After I bought the pants, I used sandpaper to rough up the knees so they looked worn. I also ran it through the washer and dryer a few times to loosen it up.

I used boots that I already owned to cut some costs. I wish they were brown, but I used sandpaper to rough them up just like the pants so that they didn't look shiny. Luckily, I wore the boots to PAX East last year, so they got tons of wear and tear walking around all day—perfect for my survival look.

I purchased the tank top in what I think is the most perfect color ever. I looked so hard for that perfect shade of blue-gray. I actually found that particular tank top at Ann Taylor Loft for the very affordable price of $10. I used a white tank top that I already owned underneath, to add a layered look.

Lara Croft 'Survivor' cosplay by LadySnip3r.
Click image to enlarge.

As much as I love the costume, I have struggled with the leather holster. I made a makeshift holster for New York Comic Con out of pleather, but I think it stands out from the costume in a bad way. I'm hoping to improve this costume over time, since leather is expensive, so I will add more information as the costume changes.

Lara Croft 'Survivor' cosplay by LadySnip3r.
Click image to enlarge.

I made the necklace out of clay and leather. It was fairly simple to do, but very fragile. I also made the bandages out of ripped linen fabric. I wanted them to look like something Lara would actually use in a tight fix for bandages.

Costume inspired by Lara Croft from the new Tomb Raider game.
Click image to enlarge.

The Tutorial
Or How To Fake A Dirty Look


My lovely fiance actually did my makeup for Lara Croft and I think he did a fantastic job. Here's a quick tutorial of how to achieve the same thing:

Supplies:
  • Brown hairspray dye (Available at Halloween Costume stores or on Amazon.com)
  • Brown facepaint
  • Blood capsules
  • Charcoal (ground up)

Costume inspired by Lara Croft from the new Tomb Raider game.
Click image to enlarge.

  1. Make sure your skin and outfit are clean and oil-free so that the makeup will stick better.
  2. Apply brown hairspray onto paper towel or sponge and lightly sweep on areas where you want light dirt. Focus on areas that would get dirty if you were actually the character. (And yes, I thought about actually rolling in the dirt, but didn't want to be stinky at conventions. :P)
  3. Use brown facepaint on your fingers to streak areas that you want to look like mud-like dirt. We used lots of this to accent the lighter dirt.
  4. Break a blood capsule and drip onto areas where you want realistic blood look. Let it drip to where you want, and lightly dab or use a hairdryer to dry the blood. Now, the blood had to be reapplied a few times during the day because it faded into my skin, so keep this in mind for conventions.
  5. Use ground up charcoal to smudge over blood, dirt, etc. This will darken everything up and really give it a realistic overtone.
Lara Croft 'Survivor' cosplay by LadySnip3r.
Click image to enlarge.

Notes:
  • Remember to make everything pretty evenly dirty. If you dirty up your face and shirt but skip your chest or arms, it's going to stand out against the dirt.
  • Bring lots of those makeup removal wipes as the face paint and hairspray take a heavy washing to come out.

Amanda McGinnis, a.k.a. LadySnip3r, is currently a university student finishing up a degree in English and planning a career in the gaming industry. Her favorite games include Tomb Raider, Gears of War, Resident Evil 4 and Skyrim. This tutorial originally appeared on her Assassionista gaming blog, which is no more. You can contact Amanda and see what she's up to now at Console To Closet.

9 comments:

  1. I wanna fucking be a girl to cosplay Lara!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not do a gender-swapped version? There are a few non-Laras here (some a little cheesy, some great) http://www.themarysue.com/genderswap-comic-con-2013/#0 and James Croft has done a few brilliant male raiders: http://www.cosplay.com/member/65119/photos/

      Delete
    2. Why not the guy from Far Cry 3? Essentially a male version of her... Starts out passive and scared but then grows into his own and saves his friends and leaves..

      Delete
  2. Hi Stella !!!!

    My name is Melody (24 years), and I´m from Spain.
    I'm also a fan of the Tomb Raider series. I would like to invite you to my blog TOMB RAIDER MANIA (you can select your language) and share information about Lara Croft...

    http://tombraidermania.blogspot.com.es/

    I like your website, you have a follower anymore.
    Greetings from Málaga (Spain).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Melodie. Thanks so much for the compliment. I'm so glad you like my site. Your blog looks great. Unfortunately I don't read Spanish, but the tanslator helped a lot. I've added you to my follow list as well. Take care and raid on! :D

      Delete
  3. wow stella this was amazing blog post and i LOVE your cosplay so much! you should check out my cosplay sometime :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, but it's not mine. This cosplay was done by Amanda (a.k.a. LadySnip3r). She's on Twitter if you want to follow here--also a great writer and creator of the Console To Closet blog.

      Delete
    2. P.S. I checked your blogs and didn't see the cosplay. Maybe I missed it, but if I could get a link, I'll definitely take a look. :)

      Delete
    3. I put them on my twitter and i was going to post them in my blog but they got deleted :( but if i can convince my sister to take more for me and then i'll post them in the blog :)

      Delete

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