Sunday, May 20, 2018

ComicCon!

So I have cosplayed for awhile now, but I had never made it to...
a COMIC CON!

free comic book day this year 3rd place cosplay contest!

First the costume:
So backstory, recently Marvel comics started up the Exiles comic again. Originally Blink picked up a team and travelled the multiverse fixing various problems (pretty cool right?) that run ended and then recently the display a cover that had blink and mystery silhouettes; these were revealed slowly and as it turned out one of them was a Sarah Connor esc version of Ms Marvel!
I thought it was so cool looking that I had to do a cosplay as her!
She has a big gun (which why does everyone in the Marvel universe who goes to the future have a giant gun?) and I wanted to make it and everything else for the con!

So I built this gun that is more than half as big as I am, updated my Ms. Marvel armband and bought a jacket and pants to match (I know lame should have made it!!) and we went to the Motor City ComicCon in Novi!

The Con:
 I saw Bombshell Mera! She made her fabric!!?! so cool
The dragon won the cosplay contest! 



 The baby wanted to touch bell's hand!
 Wrong optimus, but super cool anyway, plus the work put into that! woot woot!
 It should be noted that cosplayers are the best and super excited to have their pictures taken!

 Old rex!

It was so much fun!
Tara Strong broke her foot so she signed stuff and sent it instead of herself! So sweet (but get better!) and we got a free signature!!?

We 'saw' Summer Glau (we didn't have time to see her see her but still super cool)!

The cosplay contest was exciting and fun, though I'm pretty sure I dashed on stage and off before I knew what I had done! Ha!

But I have to say one of my highlights was seeing a Ms. Marvel cosplay in person. Honestly (besides my own versions of her), this was my first time seeing anyone cosplay as her. I hadn't realized how much that meant to me until after I didn't get a picture with her :(  (um twice I might add)
The more I thought about it the more I realized that I got to see my favorite comic book hero in person and it was just amazing! 
Kamala Khan is such a great hero and I love almost everything about her, and seeing her in person was like being a kid again! 
So thanks to that cosplayer for being amazing!

All in all it was a great time, and I even got to be in an interview!
It was a super great experience that I am excited to repeat in the future!


 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Gladiator Sandals

So I don't have any cosplay (per say) or finished Doll armor (though some is in process), BUT!

I Did decide to make a pair of shoes for myself.
So between the Cosplay and doll cosplay (?), I've learned a lot about making things. One of the big things I didn't do with the Wonder Woman costume was use patterns. ALWAYS USE PATTERNS!!!!!
I watched some Evil Ted Smith videos, where he talked about pattern making. I applied this knowledge to the doll making that I've been doing, but had yet to do it for me! So I foiled up my leg and duct taped it, till I almost couldn't walk. Using a sharpie I figured out where I wanted all the lines...

I used the above picture for referencing approximately what I wanted to make. I wanted it all to mostly be one piece so I didn't make different strips. It worked out pretty good!
I transferred half of the leg pattern to paper (so it will be the same on both sides)

As you can see in the picture I did end up with two pieces, one that was the full foot and half the leg. I did the full foot because the foot has such a drastic angle change vs the leg. This pattern allowed me to trace it all out onto my fabric (Jo-Ann's).
I did this 4 times for both pieces! Lot of work...

Here you can see that I have assembled most of the pieces and was adding the zipper up the back! The zipper runs from the heal to the top (making it easy to get in and out while keeping the whole thing tight to my leg).
then I had to make the sole.
I used EVA Foam, and a top piece of the fabric. I layered the ends of the leg and foot pieces under the fabric and above the foam.
Gluing it all together I now had a shoe!
I painted a little, but need to do a bit more where the white backside of the fabric shows in spots.

I was really happy and even had someone ask where I bought them! SWEET!

Turned out pretty good! REMEMBER ALWAYS USE PATTERNS!!!
Thanks again for reading!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Hippolyta

So After watching Wonder Woman, I was saddened by the fact that I really wouldn't be able to cosplay as any of the Amazons. Their outfits were so amazingly well done, and amazingly Feminine. Changing them to a masculine design would make them mostly unrecognizable as to what I would be cosplaying as. But I still wanted to make their armor. Well we bought a bunch of the Wonder Woman generic dolls.
look at that awesome armor! So cool, good job movie!


Hippolyta  was pretty great, she comes with a horse and all, but as far as her armor goes, well... look at the picture, it's missing some things... Also, umm why did they screen print a silver chest piece? It's totally bronze. So taking all my cosplay foam armor making skills I got to work!

First, I took off all the really cool armor pieces, and then I tin-foiled her up and duct taped that...
Why you ask? To make a pattern! I totally should have done that for my costume and I plan to make patterns going forward with whatever cosplay I do...

So I cut it off cut it to pieces until it laid flat, got rid of the right side. Why did I do that? You ask very good questions! Let me explain, see I want both sides to be even and exact. So you make one side pattern, then flip it to get the other side!
As you see I first traced it to cardstock paper and then I used those paper patterns to draw what I wanted onto it. Then I held it onto my craft foam and cut all the pieces I needed!
I labeled everything, which is a good idea, because even doing that somewhere along the way I flipped the breast pieces and the went in upside down! But it worked out perfectly because the seam ended up being just like the one in the movie! Yay mistakes that work out!!!

Next I used super glue and my heat gun to put the pieces together and form them to her body! I used my exact-o knife to cut the details, which the heat gun made show up nicely.  I also wanted to use the cool pieces that came with her so I cut out a layer to make the belt fit nice!
You may notice that in later pictures the foam skirt piece is longer than it is here, that is because I did this one looking at my reference pictures; they only had it run to just above the knee. However, when I put back on her screen printed underclothes the 'fake' skirt image was longer than the above. This looked ridiculous so I lengthened my skirt to match and it looks just fine!

After that it was time to paint the foam armor and paint all of the plastic armor she came with. Part of the goal was to make it less bright gold, and mostly more screen accurate!
It's mostly done at this point it took 4ish layers of paint. Also at this point I had decided that the belt and chest piece she came with was what was going to hold it on, so I cut the back armor corset back in half and glued each piece to the sides. This worked out much better than having seams on the side!

Also I should note here, I could find no reference material for her outfit past the cape she wears in the movie, so I made up the back part, guessing that since they reverse engineered Wonder Woman's outfit to make the amazons, it was probably similar. If later I find something different I'll just fix it up!


And Here she is with all of her armor painted and back on! I think it turned out amazingly!
I may add a furred cape at some point, and my wife thinks we should re-paint her face to match the new awesome-ness of her outfit...

Let me know what you think! It was a nice afternoon build and I really enjoyed the challenge of working in the smaller detail! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Wonder Woman? 3 weeks later...


Well as many of you know for free comic book day I cosplayed as Wonder Woman/warrior/man. Part of the choice to be her was to then get to use the costume again 3 weeks later when the (SUPER AWESOME) Wonder Woman movie came out! You know, dress up, get food and a movie...
Well being that I finished it the first time in 2 weeks, I had time to take apart what I didn't like, fix stuff up and add things that didn't get made the first time.

I circled lightly what I added or changed... 

I wanted to add:
Shoes! (didn't actually get to these the first time and just threw together shin guards that looked terrible...
A Sword!!!
And and arm band.
Things I wanted to fix:
I had a lot of glue goobers that I wanted to fix up.
The back had no detail and I wanted some.
The skirt had a hole, exposing my butt...

So I started making shoes...
I kinda thought it would be fun to make the whole thing... it was but I can definitely improve on what I did...


So as you can see I took foam and layered two big pieces, putting straps in between and attaching a back heal piece which ran up the back of my leg.
In hindsight when you are pinching two flat surfaces together, don't stand on them to get the glue to bond. That makes the edges pucker up! Next time I shall clamp the edges down so they don't need filling after I do that! If you look at the first picture of the shoes, you can see two little loops on each shoe, yeah those didn't work out like I originally thought so an improvement will be to make that strap go all around. Also this time around I wanted to try what all the cosplayers say they use, 'plasti-dip' but I got the cheap off brand kind and it doesn't really work well so don't do that!
If you look at this picture (after the whole day of walking in them) you can see the pitted part on the bottom shoe, that's what the off brand plasti-dip did...  Also this picture is a see how they did, pic. after having them on, from 9:30am till 8:30pm. I'd say they did pretty good, but as you see on the back "stalks" they got a lot of stress and started breaking apart. I think I can solve this problem by using one piece from angle to calf! But all in all I'm Impressed that they lasted all day, the soles are still good to go for more wear and tear!
 This pic has a great view of the shoes, I thought they looked pretty good, and very 'roman-y'.

The sword.
For this entire project I'm trying something new, but as I did each section or thing, I would try a new technique that I watched or read about. Here I am trying out the spray-foam technique. Which I honestly don't recommend. Maybe some day I'll try it again, but I think I can do a way better job if I don't do this... but it is what it was. So let me explain it! 
First I took a piece of cardboard and cut it to the length and shape I wanted, then I used spray foam to spray both sides of the cardboard (you have to wait till one side is mostly dry to do the other). 
then you take what you see in the above picture, and cut it until it's the shape you want. 
Now this leave lots of air pockets and odd shapes and at this point you're supposed to add tape and paper-mache and plaster... buuuuttt I didn't take into account how much bigger it would be when I made the form, so I didn't do that... 

No I added tape, then I covered the hilt cross guard with foam. That worked great. Then I covered the end pommel with foam, and that worked too! I even wrapped the handle with the same material as the skirt. The hilt looks amazing. Unfortunately the sword blade wasn't smooth enough. I got some HVAC tape (which I had seen Adam Savage use on a Hellboy sword) but with all the bumps, it doesn't look good. so I'm not showing a picture of just the sword close up. At a distance it looks fine and having the cool hilt stick up from my back looked great too!

Anyway if you look in the pictures above my bicep you will see the new armband. It was pretty simple, I just cut the Double 'WW' and made the wings wrap around, and I used the elastic left over from my headpiece to fasten it around my arm. After many coats of paint, it looks great!

On to the back which most will never see. (except here!!!)

So I tore off the back of my armor so I could cut it to fit better and add detail to the back! One of the things I noticed was that, because I didn't use a pattern (wait what??? Crazy guy) it was a bit big and didn't sit well on the shoulders. Also I couldn't sit well... So taking off the back was perfect for more than just adding detail but changing the shape of both pieces and how they re-attached.
So the design was a new technique I wanted to try, and one I look forward to trying more of in the future, because it worked amazingly! You cut (lightly) into the foam (and I'm told this only works on EVA foam) then take a heat gun (I bought one to re-work this costume, and it's a must have!!!! If you want to work with foam for costumes then go get a cheap one, I got it for $9 at harbor freight and it's the same one that Evil Ted uses on his foam making channel and he's a professional!). Heating the foam where you cut will have two effects. First, the foam will be heat treated, which I came to understand meant you don't need mod-podge, plasti-dip or any other sealer because it's sealing the pores and top layer of foam for you. Second it separates from any cuts in a nice smooth way (well smooth if you cut well). So boom cut your design and heat and you have a perfect design, no glue!!!!


It worked wonders! Ha! Wonders...okay yeah, moving on. If you look at the double 'WW' symbol you can see it looks pretty good and that was all just heat treating!! One of the nicest new tricks I learned the 2nd time around!

So I went to fix up some of the goobers around the front symbol and I accidently dremeled out a chunk of the 'WW' so I needed to add another layer, which I think looks amazing but was really hard, until I decided to lay a piece of thinner foam over the top, cut it and heat it until it came apart.
FYI thinner foam bends when heat treated and it IS better to use a sealer of some kind instead of heat treating! but it worked out okay...

Also this is where I REALLY learned that heat treating a knife cut will make EVERY cut you make show up. For a split second I was super worried, but then I just made it into a 'wear scrape' which when you add those to a costume and paint it accordingly really look great. It gives it a 'used' look. I'm pretty happy with it being up-raised more and everything.
Also check out the stars. I added those, because originally I wanted to add stars to the body, (like the newer comic book Wonder woman has) but I forgot (and it was good that I forgot, because it saved me sooooo much time) but I wanted to add stars to it anyway, so they went up top... which means you never really see them with the cape... but if I ever take off the cape (ha!) you would have that nice feature and the back too!

I fixed that skirt, but sadly didn't have time to add any paint or detail (which it needs)
Also I ran into a new problem. The fabric stretched and the clasp that I used needs pressure to stay, so towards the end of the day anytime I sat down it would undo itself! I only mention this because it's worth saying, 'If you are going to make a costume use clasps that will stay together no matter what!!!' You're costume is going to 'breath' with use and needs to not have this problem! I learned it the hard way, now you don't have to!

Now here are more pics!















The last one is with the Woman herself (well the cardboard version) right before the movie!
Which the movie was amazing! If I give myself time, I'll review it later, but suffice it to say it was great, go see it!

That's all, for the 2nd time, I'll probably work on it some more, but probably wont need to blog about it since most of the changes will be minor vs the major add-on's this time (though I do want to make a shield so maybe I'll jabber on about that when it comes time)!
Thanks for reading and as always click the adds (it should make me money;p)

Oh and remember if you're making you're own cosplay, have fun and give yourself more time to work on it! I enjoyed walking around all day and had many people ask to take pictures with me. Sure some probably made fun of the guy in costume (in a woman costume as a man?) but I had fun and many people had fun seeing me! That's what it's about, having fun and enjoying doing something different. Also someday I'll make it to a comic-con... ;)