War Doctor: Wigging out

Another screen shot from The Day of the Doctors showing a closeup of the face and hair.

Today was one of those days where I was able to make progress on a lot of different fronts. In this post I'll focus on my progress with the War Doctor.

The belt arrived but is too short, so I'll add an extension in the back.

Pants from a local thrift store; they'll need some weathering.

A stripped shirt from the thrift store which also needs some weathering, although you only see some of the collar in the final cosplay.

I have a big piece of reddish brown suede I pulled out of my fabric storage that will be used for the gaiters.

First up, some pieces of the costume I was able buy or gather up. A trip to the thrift store provided me with a shirt and pants. These are probably the least noticeable parts of the costume, so dead nuts accuracy isn't critical. They are both pretty close already, and after weathering they'll be a great match.

I bought the belt on-line, but unfortunately it's too small. I'll cut the back and add a canvas or leather panel to size it correctly. That part will be covered up by the jacket or the waistcoat.

I also got the chance to go through my fabric supplies and found a big piece of suede I bought at a garage sale a couple of years ago. I'll use it to make the half-gaiters. The color is a little too red, but I'll spend some time weathering it as well to make it a more neutral grey.

Next up, the wig. I put together the tools and materials I need for cutting and styling the wig and set up my work station. My poor shop. It had gotten used to all the wood and metal work I've done over the years, but lately it's had to suffer through foam, fabric, and plastic fabrication. And now it's become a wig salon.

The wig as it originally appeared

Placing the new haIr part

Holding the hair and wetting it down 

Applying heat until the hair is hot to the touch, but not too hot to handle.

Both new parts in place and the hair flattened a bit into the new directions.

The wig I'd bought was the closest I could find from the cosplay wig manufacturer Epic Cosplay. But it's still too long and not styled the way I need it. So, I started by establishing some new partings. I spent some time researching this and came up with the method pictured above. I combed and held the hair with the part I wanted, wet it with a spray bottle, and then briefly hit it with the heat gun so that the wig would hold the new hair directions. Brief is the key. I'd sweep the heat over the part and then check how hot the hair had gotten with my fingers. The wig material is heat resistant to 410 F, but the low setting on that heat gun can go over 700 F, and I'd rather not melt the wig. Once I could feel that the hair had gotten hot (but not too hot to handle), then I knew it would set. The last picture above shows the hair after this initial styling.

Cutting in towards the head avoids the blunt blocks of tufts left by horizontal cuts.

One side cut, but you can see the blunt ends

The final cut all across the wig

Next, cutting it. I've never cut anyone's hair before, except maybe cutting the knots out of our dog's fur. So, I took to heart every on-line video I'd consumed and just started in. It was strangely addicting. I cut one side down first, and then took a picture to review. The length was pretty good, but it's a little blunt. I don't cut horizontally across the tufts, but in towards the head in order to avoid this (as shown in the picture, above). I think I'm probably cutting too much at once.

i continued in this fashion, cutting the other side and then the back, and finally the top. I stopped several times to put the wig on and make adjustments. The last picture above shows the final cut for length.

I did a little bit of styling with the got2B spiking glue that's recommended by just about every cosplay tutorial out there. I didn't want to do a lot because I still need to color this wig, and I'm not certain how the got2b will interact with the dyes. But I was pleased with the effect, and since the War Doctor's hair looks a bit sweaty and stringy, I think this will get me there. Plus it will hold that weird Mohawk look he's got.

So, here's the final test for the day. Not bad at all. It needs to be colored, and I'll need to color my goatee to match. I'll use the got2b to make it look less dry and blown out. But the length and basic hair directions are good. And that's enough for today.