Realistic Ice King from Adventure Time

So let me preface my article with this. I have seen some of Adventure Time, but not much. I know, I know, it is available (at least season 1) for streaming on Netflix, so I don’t have any excuse. I do enjoy watching it, I really wish that more was available to stream. Ugh.


So anyway, the Aradani crew was going to play True Dungeon again at GenCon this year, and we decided it would be fun to dress up in costume for the event. For some crazy reason, we agreed it would be fun to do Adventure Time costumes, and Mike said he would only cosplay as Finn if he got to do a realistic version. I thought that was a great idea, and decided to make a more frightening, gritty version of the Ice King. My cosplay was partially completed for the TD run, but in the few weeks between GenCon and Dragon*Con, I was able to put on some finishing touches to complete (or as least progress) the costume.


Make-Up and prosthetics

Probably the two most exciting parts of the costume were the make-up and the crown. Mike got to play around with our new airbrush at Dragon*Con, and this costume was a great practice run for Mike, since he also had to paint up a bunch of Irathients for their Defiance costume group. Mike sprayed a base light blue make-up all over my face, neck, and hands. I then finished the make-up using purples and whites, adding shadows, highlights, and a few creepy veins here and there. I also painted my lips a light purple.

To complete the look, I used one of our Aradani Witch Noses, and a pair of our Small Anime elf ears. I don’t know if the Ice King has pointed ears, you never really see under his mass of hair. But I figured if Simon grew a long pointy nose, why couldn’t he possibly grow pointed ears too! It was my interpretation, so meh, why not.



For my crown, I decided that I loved the style of Brian Mutschler’s rendition of the Ice King. Since I couldn’t afford to get someone to make a crown for me in metal (and I don’t have the knowledge to do it myself), I settled on making it out of leather instead. I cut pieces of leather and wet molded it to have the curves and bends in Brian’s art. I was then able to find some bracelets at a local store and cannibalize the various gemstones to attach to the crown. One of my favorite parts of writing these articles is to reveal all the little tricks that go into a costume, not only to make it, but the things we do in the hope of making our costumes in such a way that they won’t fall apart in the middle of a convention!

Since the gemstones were part of a bracelet, the stones’ settings had small holes, perfect for fishing line. I drilled small holes in the leather crown, and laced and knotted fishing line for each stone. I then used some 2 part epoxy to lock the position and angle of the stones. While the epoxy was the main method of attaching the stones to the leather, if the epoxy failed, due to the leather bending or warping, I had the fishing line as a back up plan. I also purchased some small flatback rhinestones, just to help enhance the crown, as well as cover up some of the rivets in the leather.

The final step (well, actually the step before attaching the stones), was to spray paint the leather with metallic gold paint from the local hardware store.

My bearD!

A friend of mine made a Lanfear costume from Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, and had some extra white fur, that was amazingly soft and beautiful. My sister used a portion of it for one of her costumes, and I immediately thought it would work great for the beard and the hair for my cosplay. I made a pattern out of poster board, and kept playing with the pattern until if fit just right, around my mouth, over my ears, and up around the back of my head. I then hand-sewed the entire hair piece to ensure that the fabric backing wasn’t visible. And then I did the unthinkable, I put tea and paint into the beautiful, beautiful fur to make it look dingy and gross.

However, I then made a fatal error. At Dragon*Con, I decided to glue some strips of fur onto my real eyebrows to “finish the look.” Holy crap did that hurt when I removed those at the end of the night!


The rest of the costume

I found some really nice, inexpensive costumes from a seller on eBay. They are made of a crushed velvet, so a little cheesy, but I felt that matched the Ice King’s persona. I purchased both a robe and a cloak. Unfortunately the seller didn’t make a robe in the correct shade of blue, so I opted for a navy blue robe, which I felt was less cartoony, but would still work well with the overall look. They did offer a nice sapphire blue cloak, which matched the cartoon character’s robe quite well. I thought that the cloak would complement the robe quite nicely, and give just enough of the correct color to the costume.

I plan on continuing to embellish and improve the costume. My next step is to make the pouch and evil eye that the Ice King carries. I figure that Adventure Time will be around for quite some time, and I will probably binge watch all of it soon enough.