Alright, so my last troll horn guide disappeared when I tried to put a Read More on it. I won’t be doing that this time. I apologize to everyone who had reblogged/liked the original post.
But anyway, here we go again.
I was recently asked how I made my Sollux horns, so I figured I’d make a guide to show you my method. Guides are cool.
— STEP 1 —
Find something to mount your horns on.
For smaller horns (ex. Karkat, Terezi), I know that a lot of cosplayers use barrettes. For larger horns (ex. Vriska, Kanaya, Gamzee), people tend to use headbands.
I used a headband for Sollux’s horns because I don’t have enough hair for barrettes, and I found a very nice double-banded one that allowed me to easily make the horns fit on two separate planes, as they do in canon.
This is what I mean when I talk about a double-banded headband.
A good place to look for headbands is places like CVS, Walgreens, etc.
— STEP 2 —
Sculpt the horns!
To actually make your horns, I recommend using a very light material that is easy to work with and will not weigh down your mount. You’re going to be wearing these things on your head, probably for prolonged periods of time. Trust me, the lighter the better.
For my Sollux horns, I used white Model Magic. Model Magic is cheap, incredibly light, and pretty easy to work with.
I can’t really give you a ton of advice on how to model your horns because that’s really up to you, but I can give you a few tips:
- Be patient. These things take time. Work the material in your hands until it’s soft and malleable, then spend as much time as you need getting the shape right.
- Measure and eyeball the sculpted horns next to each other. Unless you are making an asymmetrical pair of horns (ex. Vriska), you are going to want to make sure that each horn looks almost identical to its partner.
- Don’t worry about making your horns absolutely perfect. You’ll be sanding them later. Concentrate on smoothing out major bumps and imperfections. They should look moderately to pretty good by the time you’re done sculpting them.
This is what my Sollux horns looked like after I finished sculpting them.
— STEP 3 —
Let them dry/set.
If you are working with Model Magic, you need to make sure that you let all surfaces of your horns dry for a good 24 hours.
The great thing about Model Magic is that it air-dries, so you don’t need to bake it, but the problem with that is that it does dry very slowly. Put your horns somewhere out-of-the-way and safe, preferably in the sun, and leave them alone for a day.
If you are working with another material, check the instructions.
— STEP 4 —
Sand your horns.
Once your horns are completely dry, you can sand them.
Use a small piece of sandpaper to gently rub out any imperfections and/or bumps on the surface of your horns, and to give the tips a little extra point.
BE CAREFUL. Sandpaper is pretty unforgiving. If you’re careless, you could end up with horns that are flat on one side, round on the other, etc. Apply the sandpaper evenly to all sides of your horns and you should be fine.
Wipe the horns down with a dry cloth once you’re done sanding them to get rid of any dust.
— STEP 5 —
Paint your horns!
This is arguably the most fun part of the whole process, and probably also the most finicky.
Painting your horns is a very creative process, so I can’t help you too much with the details, but I’ll give you some pointers and some steps to follow:
1. Use ACRYLIC paint.
Acrylic paint is the best kind of paint to use for cosplay crafts like this. It’s bright, bold, and doesn’t come off easily.
2. Reference your colors.
Troll horns have a yellow, orange and red color scheme goin’ on. As a general baseline, you want to look for three different paints when you go to buy your materials: a bright sort of mustardy-yellow, a light orange, and an orangeish red.
A good idea is to bring a picture of your troll with you, or another picture that shows a good reference for the horn colors. I recommend taking pictures directly from Homestuck itself as opposed to fanart, because that way you’ll be sure to get the canon shades.
3. Find some inspiration.
Many cosplayers chose to paint their horns very differently. What I recommend is finding a style that you like and that works for your character.
I got the idea for how to paint my horns from a piece of Sollux fanart.
4. On actually painting your horns:
There are a lot of different ways to paint troll horns, so depending on how you want to paint them this guide may or may not be very helpful.
However, I can tell you how to paint your horns so they follow the canon design (which in most panels is just straight lines of color):
- Paint the entire horn yellow first. You may have to use 2-4 coats, depending on how thick your paint is. Keep your strokes moving in the same direction, and don’t clump the paint.
- Let the paint dry between each coat.
- Paint orange over the lower half or so of the horn (use a picture for reference).
- You may need 1-2 coats of orange, again depending on your paint.
- Let it dry, then paint red over the lower 1/3-1/4 of the horn (use a picture for reference).
That will get you the basic canon look. To make your horns look like mine, all you need to do is add some creative strokes and bleed them into the color above them. Use a fine-tipped brush and a lot of patience.
I would also suggest not painting the bottoms of your horns. This gives you a stable base to let them dry on, and it’s also really not necessary. No one will see them anyway.
My fully painted horns.
— STEP 6 —
Mount your horns.
The final step in your horn-making process is to mount your horns to your headband/barrettes/whatever you’re using.
I will tell you how to mount your horns to a headband, because that’s what I did.
To make sure your horns line up correctly, put your headband on and stand in front of a mirror with your horns. Position them on the headband while looking in the mirror to make sure they look good, then mark their position on the headband with something visible (white chalk usually works pretty well).
Now you’re ready to actually mount your horns! In a perfect world, you should mount them with a hot glue gun. Hot glue guns are wonderful things because the glue dries quickly and dries clear.
However, if you’re like me and don’t actually own a hot glue gun and cannot steal one from your art classroom, another good alternative is Gorilla Glue. Gorilla Glue is a particularly strong kind of superglue. It dries very slowly and does not dry clear, but you can be assured that it will keep your horns stuck to your headband for life.
So, once you’ve found your preferred mounting tool, you can mount your first horn. Go one at a time, and go slowly. Put a small amount of glue on the mark you made earlier when you were aligning your horns, then press your horn on, hopefully aligning the middle of the bottom of the horn with the headband. Keep pressure on it until the glue has dried (you can test this by wiggling the horn a bit).
Note: If you’re using Gorilla Glue, you’re gonna have to hold the horn on for a really long time. It sucks. I’d advise pulling up an episode or two of your favorite TV show or whatever else you like to watch while you’re doing this (I marathoned Avatar: The Last Airbender while making my Sollux horns).
Once you have one horn mounted, just repeat the process for the other(s).
Leave your horns to sit for an hour or two once you’re sure the horns are in place to let the glue set, and then…
~*~*~ VOILÀ! ~*~*~
You should have a successfully mounted, ready-to-cosplay pair of troll horns!
** I hope that this guide was helpful. If you have any questions, including specifics related to your own set of horns, just send me an ask. I’ll be happy to help you out. :)
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed. **
zohmygawd yayyyyyyY! Reblogging the whole thing (like a jerk!) just to make sure it doesn’t disappear.
So I was foolish at the store and mistook Crayola’s air-dry clay for model magic, but near as I can tell, it will still work (just not be as light). My horns are currently in the “dry for 24 hours, NO REALLY!” stage, and eeee. I will probably post progress shots eventually, I will certainly post finished cosplay shot unless I decide that I look like a complete tool.
Also, fun fact, I’m working on an Equius cosplay but for some reason there is a wire crossed in my brain, and nine times out of ten when I mean to say or think “Equius”, I say or think “Sollux” instead. It’s completely ridiculous.
And yes, I *am* leaving for Atlanta on Friday morning. I half-expect to be wearing the still-slightly-paintwet horns through airport security. This is not going to go well (in the most amusing way possible).