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  • Writer's pictureTrixie

Keyblade-smithing like a Pro

See the Finished builds HERE!

Terra and Aqua were some of my biggest and most intricate builds, since I took on the construction of both costumes entirely on my own down to assembling, bodyshopping. detailing, and finishing of every hard and soft part you see on them.

Speaking of hard parts, I made sure to get them as flawless as I could given the circumstances and time I had to work with. I wasn't originally supposed to be the one to work on the hard parts, but sometimes life has a way of getting to you like that and one of the biggest parts of cosplay is rolling with the punches for me. A bump in the road is just that, a bump, not the end of the world no matter how infuriating or irritating. The keyblades and armor pieces were assembled with Super Glue (CA) & Accelerant between their seams and I used 60, 100, 150 grit to dry sand and once I hit 250, 400, 500, 800, and 1000 grit, it was all wet sanding. This really broke down the striations left from the prints, along with the help of a LOT of sandable primer and Bondo inbetween, with some spot filler for the little trouble spots. The prints were a bit rushed thanks to scheduling, so they weren't the best, but I wasn't going for the best, I just wanted to be Aqua!

This process was really fun, I just wish I had more time to work on it without a deadline! Below are the Paint Guides I made for these projects since one of my favorite parts of cosplaying is getting to paint and weather props and armor, it brings life to them and really cleans up any prop.

Aqua was the most intricate in terms of paint work since her keyblade has a flash quality to it that has a violet and blue hue which I wanted to achieve and make a prop that looked like it stepped right out of the game. I forgot to mention it when coming up with the paint guide, but the FolkArt color shifts were a godsend on this project, you can where they were used in the graphic below, however, they are extremely thin. This is great if you need a dry brushed color shift accent (like how I did my Griffon horns from DMCV) but for this, it wasn't ideal since the base coat of the Keyblade was a metallic silver. I highly recommend putting down a base coat of the opaque flat color you are painting. For example, I put down a coat of royal blue on the length of the "blade" of my keyblade then put the color shift over that, uses WAY less coats and gives it a much more rich look.

The Colorshift paints are a wonderful look and while I got to use them a lot on Aqua, there wasn't much of a use for them on Terra's look since he is a lot of earth tones (appropriate.) The colorshift paints, thinned a little, can be put through an airbrush and don't lose their effect if you are looking for a way to put them down and are worried about brush strokes (after a few coats with a brush, they're hardly noticeable.)

All of these paints were bought from the local Michaels & Joanns, so they are pretty easy to find or at least were at the time of making. If you have any trouble locating these paints, please let me know and I can help find alternatives! Currently the 3D model armor and keyblade kits I use are by faithlessfew at the time of writing this, a new post will be made with an updated guide following the process better since I am upgrading and redoing Aqua now that the stressful crunch on her has passed and can give her the love and care she deserves. I will provide links to the shops I use for the new prints when the time comes!

Thanks so much for stopping by, see you next time!

- Trixie

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