Mikey a Cosplayer since 2007 is here to bring you tips, tricks, and ideas for all of your cosplay needs, and hopefully all without breaking the bank. And of course a bunch of awesome cosplay work that's already been done!
Welcome back everyone! Sorry for the hiatus, but I’m currently smack in between two vending events so I’ve not been doing as much cosplay work to focus on having enough inventory for my shows! However, I have finished two major projects and I have some other stuff in the works and I’d like to share all that with you lovely people.
First up we have the finished suit of armor that I’ve been working on! I’m super happy with how this guy turned out and I can’t wait to see Indi in it cause they’re gonna be such a wonderful Silas!
My second finished project is the Dark Magician staff I’ve been working on for a long-time customer of mine! And yes, the orb on the end does in fact glow!
I’m happy to have my first two commissions under my belt for the year and I look forward to seeing both of my customers’ full cosplays when they’re all put together!
Next on the list I have some minor progress on my current personal project which you’ve already seen some work from. That would be Frog from Chrono Trigger, who I’m hoping to debut at Tekko in April. I already have the head 90% done (I just need to add a few small details like barbels and tympanum). so I started working on a few other bits. Thankfully the pants are just plain pants, but I needed a shirt that looks like his skin so I made one with the leftover fleece from the head so it would match.
I did my best to show off all 3 colors here, since the front is all white and the back is all green.
I’ve also started putting together his breastplate, which I’m making out of 3 different types of foam.
The base is a large peice of EVA foam floor mat, with the weird texture facing the inside. The white bubbles are halves of styrofoam balls, and the rounded edge is part of those foam insulation tubes that you get to insulate pipes and things (you can find them at the hardware store. I also have some heavy-gauge galvanized wire on the inside to help it keep its shape since I don’t plan on putting worbla on the outside of this guy, I’m gonna try doing a plasti-dip coating instead. Unfortunately I can’t really do that until it gets a bit warmer, so this is about as far as that part’s gonna get for a bit.
The last project I’ve started is a new commission from a friend of mine who’s a member of my steampunk group, the Cleveland Zeppelin Union. It’s not actually a steampunk project but it seemed like a good reason to plug our club. Anyway, it’s actually a project I’ve had before, but it’s been quite a few years since I had my first go at it. It’s Isabela’s necklace from Dragon Age 2.
This was my first go at this project, which for reference is from 2014. It certainly doesn’t look terrible, but unfortunately my client wasn’t super happy with the way it fit so I ended up having to redo it. Regardless, I think this definitely shows how far I’ve come over the last 5 years.
Between my familiarity with materials, my greater attention to detail, and just having a better feel for how to use what I have to make something look nice, this is going to be a major improvement over the foam pieces I made in 2014. Beyond that, I’ve been a lot more proactive with looking online to see if and how other cosplayers have made their stuff. Much like with constructing Frog’s head, I managed to find an awesome Isabela cosplayer who had a detailed description of how she made the jewelry (and the rest of her cosplay). So a big shout-out to Azzura on RPF for guiding me on this project!
I obviously still have a good bit of work ahead of me, but I probably won’t be doing much more work on this stuff until after my second event (which is the first weekend on March). I may try to crank out Isabela’s necklace though, so I can get it to my friend sooner rather than later.
So now that I have my first con of the year under my belt, commission season is open yet again, meaning that I’m going to be busy making a bunch of awesome stuff for great people!
First up o the list is a project you’re all aware of already since I’ve been working no it off and on for quite some time now. It’s the 3rd set of Nohrian armor I’ve been tasked to construct, and this time it’s for Silas. I’ve shown you all progress photos of the build and now we’re into the finishing stages!
Those of you familiar with my MO know that I generally try to spray the metallic bits when I can, as it’s a much faster and more consistent way to achieve an even color on them, so I sprayed the silver details on the pieces that have them.
With the rest of the armor being black, I’d be brush painting the majority of bulk of the surfaces. In order to keep the silver details from needing touch-ups by getting black on them, but to save myself the time of painting a giant surface with a tiny paintbrush, I followed the normal procedure for painting walls. You “cut in” around the edges with a smaller paintbrush, then you use your larger brush to fill in the middle (when you’re painting walls, it’s usually a roller rather than a brush to paint the bulk, but I’m not going to roll paint armor… I don’t thing it’s turn out well XD)
Thankfully black paint covers pretty well, so it only took 2 coats to cover solidly (1 on on the first photo, second coat on the second photo)
Normally for stuff like this, I’d do contour painting to make the shapes pop a bit more, but that’s really hard to achieve when the surfaces are black, because despite what Sterling Archer might tell you, there’s no "slightly darker black” to use for shading, and it looks grey instead of black if you do too much highlighting. So I took my opportunities where I could and did some shading on the silver bits, where appropriate.
The shading is pretty subtle, so don’t worry if you don’t notice it, it is doing it’s job ~_^
As per usual, the whole armor set is getting a top coat of matte mod podge to give it some moderate sheen and help protect the paint. I’ll also be using it for the back to seal the foam and make sure the silver overspray on the undersides doesn’t get on Indi’s cosplay.
There’s only a few bits left to do, mostly put together the pieces for the boots and seal the exposed foam on the undersides of all the pieces, so I’m glad to be nearly finished with this big project!
The second project I’ve been actively working on is a dark magician staff from Yu-gi-oh. A great big shout-out goes to Giant Dad for his continued support and business. He’s commissioned a number of things from me including the Fat Man from Fallout, and the Zweihander from Dark Souls. This latest project is only getting started but I’m hoping to crank it out in the next couple of weeks.
This is the only photo I have at present, because I’ve just started working on it. The staff head is foam with worbla on both sides. For armor I usually only cover the outside and wrap a lip around to the back, to save weight and material; since you see both the inside and outside of the petal shapes I needed to coat both sides or it would have looked super weird. As you can see, the ball on the end lights sup too! I still need to color it green so it lights in the correct color, and somehow all of my green sharpies have disappeared…
You also may have noticed that the shaft of the staff is in fact a broom handle, you know how much I love using random junk in my props! And it works particularly well because it’s hollow so the light that illuminates the ball on the end fits nicely into it. You’ll be seeing more progress on this over the coming weeks.
The last project I’m actively working on is a personal one, that I’m hoping to have done for Tekko in April. If you know me you probably know I have a love of amphibians so I’m particularly excited to be cosplaying one of my favorite anuran characters: Frog from Chrono Trigger. I’m pretty sure I posted a few photos from my early construction of his head, but we’re gonna do it again anyway cause I can’t remember for sure.
I did some research on furries for this project, because it seemed to make the most sense to me to construct the head the way they do, and I was fortunate to find some WIP photos from Tionniel on dA of how they constructed it so I had some good guidance.
I decided to cover the head with fleece, mostly for the sake of simplicity, and the face that it would be easily correctable if I messed anything up.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to trace the foam pieces before I put them together so that I had an accurate pattern for the fleece cover… so I had to eyeball it a bit. Thankfully, the fleece is pretty forgiving, though there are a few big folds in the back that… just have to be there lol.
As you can see from the photo here, the nose is my only way to see (though you’ll see later that I have a second option). The eyes are the two halves of one of those big, clear, plastic ornaments. I used contact adhesive to attach the ring of green fleece around the base so they could be stitched onto the head. You might also notice that there’s pieces of masking tape on the eyes, that was to give myself a guide for painting the pupils. I wanted to paint the eyes on the inside of the baubles to they stayed nice and glossy, and to protect the paint from getting scratched as I continued to work on it, and of course later when it’s actually being worn. So since the layer against the plastic is the one you’re going to see, I started with the pupils and worked out from there. They’re not actually attached in the photo above yet, they’re just pinned into place so I could make sure the eyes weren’t gonna be looking in weird directions.
So now the eyes are done and attached! And the nose is fixed too, so it doesn’t look all janky any more.
The last bit I’ve done with the head is the eyelids, which is more bits of upholstery foam with fleece around it.
With that detail finished the only thing left are the tympanum (frog ears), which should be pretty easy.
And I did mention there was another way for me to see…
That’s all for this week! I have a handfull of other new commissions in my queue so as soon as that armor is done (which I’m hoping to finish ASAP) you’ll be seeing some more new projects coming together, so don’t forget to check back! And also another friendly reminder that I am most consistent with posting WIP potos on my instagram, @mikeydoescosplay, so feel free to give me a follow to stay up-to-date!
Hello again, my dears! I’m back from one of the best Ohayocons I’ve been to in a long time, and I want to tell you all about it! If you’re wondering about the post name (although most of you weebs probably already know this) “ohayo gozaimasu” means “good morning” in Japanese, which is relevant for this con in particular because I stayed up much later into the wee hours of the morning than is customary (there’s a reason #GrandpaMike is a thing between my friends and I).
Actually, the story really starts on Thursday when some time in the afternoon/evening, our furnace decided to die… for the second time in a week. It was late enough that we didn’t have heat for the night, so Jordan, Donner and I grabbed lots of blankets and sleeping bags and snuggled in the living room in front of the fireplace, which we kept lit as long as we could manage with the wood we had. So Friday morning was not exactly a great start to the weekend, since it was cold, I had to wait around for the repair guy to fix our furnace before I could go anywhere, and I was out about $200 before I’d even left for the con.
Once that was all dealt with and the car was packed, it was finally time to head out… to Akron. So this Ohayocon was special because it was my good friend Speck’s con debut! The main reason she cae with me is because we won free badges from an Ohayocon event at the Cleveland Museum of Art, in which our team was the first to correctly complete the scavenger hunt (we weren’t the first ones back but the teams ahead of us didn’t get some of the answers right). So with a free badge she decided it would be a great opportunity to check out this whole con thing that I’d been telling her about all these years. The third free badge, which unfortunately couldn’t be used by our last team member as he’s currently in France, went to sunsetsirises after winning having a little giveaway event on my fb/instagram/twitter.
When we finally got down to C-bus on friday afternoon, I got into Newt Scamander, which is the first time I’ve actually worn this cosplay! You all might be surprised, given my penchant for magical creatures, but I usually dress in an OC cryptozoologist chatracter who everyone just assumes is Newt because we are basically the same person. Both Hufflepuffs, both like dressing in vests and wearing bowties, and of course our shared love of magical critters, and huge collections thereof. But since I managed to snag the Newt cosplay on ThinkGeek when it was on supersale (seriously I paid $30 for the coat, bowtie & vest and it would’ve cost more than $30 just for the coat materials so SCORE), I decided it was time to actually cosplay him for real, instead of just being his spiritual doppleganger. Unfortunately, since' I’m not proportioned like a normal human being, the vest didn’t fit properly… it also didn’t have real pockets which annoyed me but that happens all the time so I got over it. So naturally I spent the few days before the con constructing a new one since I already had appropriate fabric for it that who even remembers what I originally bought it for because that’s the story with 80% of the fabric in my collection.
I patterned the vest myself because like I said, I’m not proportioned like a normal person (torso is too long & skinny so big vests can fit 12 of me in them and small vests stop at my navel -_-). I made real welt pockets because I am that extra, and because Newt carries some sort of pocket watch or something like that which needed someplace to sit. And of course I lined it with adorable dinosaur fabric because that seemed appropriate (headcanon: accepted). I was a dummy and forgot to make a facing for the side with the buttonholes so I had to jankily fix that after I’d already done the buttonholes themselves so you didn’t see a weird white edge along that side, oops. But ultimately it came out looking good. (standby for Sunday photos to see the whole thing cause that selfie is the only one I got on Friday since I wasn’t wearing him for long).
We went to the formal lessons, taught by the wonderful Trickssi and got some refreshers for use at the fantasy ball later, and stopped by the Fate photoshoot that afternoon before going back to the room. I had every intention of going to the Fate shoot except our room hosts didn’t get there until later and I was not about to try to put on a white satin dress, petticoat, and hoops in the heckin parking lot cause we all know I would have dropped it and been reaaaaaal mad at life. This is the only photo I actually took at the Fate shoot since we didn’t stay long (though I did ogle a lot of the other cosplayers there).
This was an awesome Mashu Alter that I chatted with for a hot second because he looked amazing and I couldn’t figure out who he was cosplaying from behind, but the lance and armor were beautiful and the shield was a dead giveaway once I saw it up close. (Also, you may want to take note of that Achilles in the background because you’ll be seeing him again later).
After perusing the Fate folks for a bit, we went back to the room to change, grabbed dinner, and headed to the drag show!! I wasn’t aware that friday’s show was actually a Drag Race competition, hosted by the magnanimous Oriana Perone and we arrived in time to see the dance battle that took the contestants from 8 to 4, and was definitely a good moment to catch. The 4 remaining did a cute Mad Libs version of The Princess and the Pea, where they lived “prickly ever after” and was hilarious on the whole. But the most impressive performance was next as the bottom two contestants (one of whom was that Achilles in the background up above) Lip Synched for their lives. You can watch the video here because I cannot adequately describe how incredible it was, but needless to say, no one got eliminated. The final round was a makeover competition between the final 4 in which they each had a model and had to create their own Sailor Scout and come up with their “special move.” The winner was an amazing Haruhi (Ouran) cosplayer who presented “Sailor Fab,” and the “one-Kiss Kill.” If I can find them on some social media platform I will link you all to them because they had the perfect combination of attitude, dance moves, and cute face to have been deserving of the win.
After the drag show we went to the Fantasy Ball, also hosted by Trickssi ,and had a lovely time dancing and even made a new friend! Highlights from the ball include me still not figuring out the Tokyo Polka despite my efforts, since they were just finishing teaching it when we arrived at the lessons but one of these times I’m gonna get it! Also, I almost couldn’t get back off the floor during the Cha-Cha slide after the “how low can you go” part. Lastly I almost got whiplash when I heard the opening chord to one of the songs and was like “BASTION MUSIC???!?”
At the formal Ball! Sadly you can’t see Speck’s fabulous sequin dress under the bright pink coat
After the ball was over, we headed back to the room and celebrated Christmas with my roomies, changed again, and headed over to the EDM dance party for the night after stopping at the hotel bar. I was super into the music and going pretty hard so I’m glad Specks made me stretch my legs after the rave. We also ran into that same Achilles cosplayer and the winning model from the final drag race competition on the way back to the hotel room, so I stopped and complimented them both on their fabulousness from earlier (they were both exceedingly attractive so that provided some extra motivation for me to stop and say something since I’m often too awkward to talk to people).
Saturday morning was a bit rough since we closed out the rave and as such didn’t make it to bed until after 2, and my wonderful inability to sleep in meant I was awake at 7 and couldn’t get back to sleep. But it wasn’t all bad cause I got bearkfast at the hotel and had plenty of time to shave and do my makeup for Fran before we headed over to the con to check out the leatherworking panel that morning.
Saturday was fun and pretty chill for most of the day. We hung out for a while, got coffee, ran into some other Fate cosplayers, I finally got to see Genki since she didn’t make it over to the con Friday night.
We ran into this awesome Cu & Irisveil in the dealer’s hall.
I spotted another adorable Fran in the hallway!!!
We also ran into this Mashu Alter again and I got another photo
I was also delighted to run into Holy.Grail in her adorable Nursery Rhyme cosplay (she was our Jack the Ripper at the Apocrypha shoot at Youma). I ran into her earlier in Ereskigal as well, but sadly didn;t get a photo.
After spending most of the afternoon hanging out in Fran, it was time to go change (she’s super comfortable but I was ready to not have to wear a wig any more), and I put on my Witchsona for the Saturday night drag show.
The show was absolutely phenomenal, all of the performers were amazing, and the outfits were amazing, and everything was just awesome. It was particularly great to see the Haruhi cosplayer who’d won the drag race the previous night get to perform and hot damn I’m pretty sure they paid for their whole con with all of the money the audience was giving them. Oriana was also a star in her Daimonds/Titanium mashup, that the whole audience lost their mind when she came out in her sheer cloak that had lights in it which looked like a galaxy. Also the shimmery silver number underneath the galaxy cloak was just as impressive! All in all it was one of the best drag shows I’ve been to.
I love this outfit so freaking much and I can’t help but slip into diva mode when I’m wearing it. I walk differenty, carry myself differently, it’s great. My favorite thing was that I had 3 separate people comment on how fabulous I was, and two of them even asked for photos! I wasn’t expecting that at all since I wasn’t cosplaying a known character so it was definitely a nice confidence boost.
Leading the Wolf Pack to dinner.
After dinner with the Wolf Pack we went back to the room and changed yet again for the Saturday night rave. I wasn’t feeling the music quite as much because the beat was really inconsistent, and also super fast most of the time so I had a harder time dancing to it than Friday night’s DJ. Fortunately that problem solved itself almost immediately because I was waylaid by to exceedingly attractive young men who cam and started dancing with me. As you may have guessed, that same Achilles cosplayer (whose name I finally learned was John) was one of them since we kept running into each other all con, and the second was the winning model (not the Haruhi cosplayer but the one that was done up to be Sailor Fab, whose name I also learned, was Andrew) from the Drag Race the previous night. Specks also made friends with an adorable 10th Doctor cosplayer so she had a dance partner too since I was a little preoccupied. After the rave we chatted with John for a while (since Andrew left to go to a friend’s panel) and finally went back to the room to call it a night. Well, that was the intention anyway but when we got back to the room I realized that the one occupied spot in the other bed wasn’t actually Salem, but her Majima pillow, so I figured she & Genki were still hanging out over at the con center. Since I’d been spending most of my time with Specks and not as much with them I figured I’d go hang out for a while. There was also some ulterior motive that I might here from the two boys again, which to my delight I did. So after hanging out with Genki & Salem for a bit I chatted with Andrew, who was shortly joined by John, and we ended up having a big ol cuddle party on one of the couches in the convention center. Honestly it was a highlight of my convention because they were both very sweet and genuine (and a-fucking-dorable) and we just chatted and snuggled together for a few hours getting to know each other. By the time 5:30ish rolled around I finally decided I needed to go lay down in a real bed, since as much as I was enjoying snuggling with the boys, I totally would have fallen asleep and woken up so sore I wouldn’t have been able to move.
3 very sleepy, very snuggly boys
I actually managed to sleep in a bit Sunday (compared to usual at least, cause I was till up by 9) and we got the car packed up and got some brunch with my good friend Nick, who lives down in Columbus these days. We ate some delicious tacos at Condado, then hung out at the convention center for a while before taking off. We did hit up the Potterverse shoot, since we were in Newt and Umbridge that day. It was a pretty small shoot but it was lots of fun. We also met up with our Doctor friend from the previous night, who was no longer dressed as the Doctor (I believe he said something about “Cells at Work?” I’m not familiar with whatever it was so that might not be correct). He did get one of our only photos of the two of us dressed together (though we haven’t seen any from the Potterverse shoot yet, so there should be more floating around at some point).
Thank you for the photo, Dustin! And thanks to whoever made created Portrait Mode cause it’s lovely.
I did manage to connect with Andrew again for a bit on Sunday morning before we left (John was already gone by then), which was nice. And that was pretty much my con! We did have a long trip home because we had to detour down to Dayton for work-related stuff, and we drove together so I had to drop Specks off at home before I could head home myself. Thankfully the roads were clear after the snowstorm we got hit with on Saturday so it was a fairly uneventful drive home.
As promised 'I’m back with some 2019 updates! Mostly just my new cosplay lineup for 2019. Granted we all know I have ADD when it comes to doing new cosplay so I’m sure there will be a bunch of other random new stuff within, like, 3 days of me posting this but that will be then, THIS IS NOW!
First I should probably point out that my Con Schedule page has been updated for 2019! Obviously it’s a bit early for me to be planning most of this but you’ll see some tentative cosplans in there, and you’ll see what all I’m presently planning on attending!
Now, on to cosplans for 2019! I’m not making anything new for Ohayo cause that’s next weekend and I have enough other projects that need work right now, but I did finally put together a lineup:
Photo by Robert Tate Photography The major one is Fran, which I’m bringing comfy shoes this time. I do need to do a few things so she’s ready so hopefully I remember that.
And last up is my witchsona because I want it to be very magical this weekend. There will be a few updates to the look, perhaps a fabulous hat… we’ll see.
Second is Newt Scamander… like actual Newt not my cryptozoologist OC. The friend of mine who won a free badge with me will be hanging out in Dolores Umbridge so that’ll be fun. I will of course have a few creatures with me.
As for the rest of 2019, here’s the stuff I’m hoping to get put together:
First up is Frog/Glen from Chrono Trigger. Almost anyone who knows me knows I have a fondness for amphibians, and particularly anurans (frogs & toads) so I’m sure this comes as a surprise to no one. I played through Chrono Trigger for the first (and only, as yet) time a couple years back and I fell in love with the game. At some point I’ll have to replay it but I doubt I’m going to have time to do that between now and April, when I’m planning to debut this cosplay. I’ve already started working on the head, which has been an interesting experience. God bless Tionniel on deviantArt for posting WIP photos of the head because I was at a loss of where to even start.
It’s obviously nowhere near being done but you can be sure I’ll post progress photos as it comes together. Unfortunately it’ll be a bit before I can get to that since I have other, more pressing projects to finish first.
Second on the list with an actual debut date is Shigure Rangetsu from Tales of Berseria, who I plan on having done for Tekko. Berseria was the first Tales game in a while that I really got into since Symphonia. It took me a while to figure out who from it I wanted to cosplay and ultimately I decided on Shigure. I like his design (I can only pray to have half those abs by the time I cosplay him), I like his character, and I have a friend who cosplays Rokurou. I promised them a while ago that I’d make this and I’m finally resolving to do it, and setting a debut con of Matsuricon this summer so that I can have proper motivation (both internal and external) to get it done! And don’t worry, I plan on having a very fat Morgrim plush with me.
Next on the list is a new pair for Jordan and I. It’s been a while since we’ve cosplayed together (I really need to get some real photos of Ruby & Penny together because we have zero), and our two options are Kamille & Quattro (Jordan & I, respectively) from Zeta Gundam, or the Fischoeder brothers from Bob’s Burgers. I’ll let you guess who’c going to be who on that second one ;-) If we do something new, it’ll likely be for Colossal, cause that’s really the only one Jordan comes to with me.
The last “for sure” cosplay I plan to do this year is a new Christmas cosplay. I’ve been having a lot of fun with that over the past few years and I want to do an entirely new one this year, rather than just festive-ifying an existing cosplay. I’m keeping the specific character a secret for now, but I will say it’ll be someone from Fire Emblem.
The rest are “maybes” that I don’t have solid plans for yet but I would love to make them happen this year!
First up is Saber from Fire Emblem: Gaiden/Echoes (the Echoes design, obviously). This sultry rogue really did it for me in this game and he anded up being one of my favorite (and strongest) characters. I also finally managed to get him in Feh so I am determined to cosplay him this year some time. Also it just doesn’t feel right not to have at least one Fire Emblem character on the list. Beyond that, it’ll be nice to have representation from a new FE game I haven’t cosplayed from yet. And it’ll get me closer to having a cosplay from every FE game in my repertoire (Shadow Dragon/Sword of Light is the only one I’d be missing once I do Saber), and of course I’d love to expand my repertoire too by watchig Let’s Plays or emulating some of the ones not available in the US. Or maybe we’ll get lucky by then and we’ll have more Remake/Updates like we did with Echoes.
Next on the list is a character from a game I haven’t even played yet, but I already promised my friend I’d cosplay him. This is Eve, from Nier: Automata. I do own the game, I just haven’t gotten around to playing it yet. But I liked the design enough that I’ll gladly cosplay him regardless of how I feel about his character in the game.
Hey everyone, hope you all had a fun and safe time ringing in the new year! Since I still have minimal new projects progress to share (but I will soon, I promise!) I thought I’d take a look back at my 2018 cosplays. This was a big year for me for a couple of reasons, I definitely expanded my horizons this year and I’ve grown a lot as a crafter. 2018 also marked my 10-year cosplay anniversary! That’s right folks, I’ve officially been cosplaying for a whole decade! It’s amazing that you can be doing something for that long and still be learning and growing in your craft.
My first cosplay of the year really highlights that. I’m referring to my favorite member of the Fire Emblem A**hole Archer Squad: Innes.
I really need to do an actual photoshoot in this cosplay because this is the only good photo I have of him where I’m not hunting dinosaurs *facepalm*
Ohayocon has become kind of a weird convention for me cosplay-wise, because my usual folks who I tend to cosplay with don’t always make many plans for Ohayo, it tends to be our chill con and I’m perfectly happy with that, because it usually means I can work on something personal over the winter that doesn’t rely on anyone else (because we all know how much of a whore I am for cosgroups). Innes was that personal project this year and I have to say, it is probably my most well-made cosplay to date. The amount of time and effort that went into the elaborate applique, the trim that I had to attach entirely by hand, the gold filigree on the belts and breastplate, and of course the construction of Nidhogg, made for a lot of work but I am so pleased with the result. Innes has been a favorite character of mine since playing FE:SS and when he was released in FEH with an even more foppish design I decided it was finally time to make this cosplay a reality. It’s also surprisingly comfy with is great because I can hang out at con in it all day without wanting to die (a sentiment that is not shared with my two other major cosplays from this year).
My second project was a good bit simpler but was also a blast to make and wear: Mordred from Fate/Apocrypha. This cosplay came together kinda last minute when I discovered RiteoftheFrozen was coming up for Colossal and wanted to cosplay Astolfo. Since they don’t live in the area any more I seized my chance to make a good excuse to hang out with them a bunch at the con by making Mordred (who I already kinda wanted to cosplay anyway because a Fate cosplay was way overdue).
The cosplay itself was super simple, and I thrifted everything but the jacket which I had to order online. I even got a prestyled wig because I really don’t enjoy styling wigs and it turned out great! I did have to do some work but I’m gonna do that whenever I can now, assuming I ever pick another character that’s mainstream enough to find one.
The major build for Mordred was of course the sword: Clarent Blodod Arthur. I have a lot of fun making swords, they’re one of my favorite type of prop to make and this one turned out beautifully. I even had the fortune of meeting Erica Lindbeck, who voices Mordred, at Matsuricon later in the year and had her sign the sword! She was super cool and as I was leaving she said Mordred’s opening line from the show and I just about died because I was not at all prepared for it.
Matsuricon was also a debut for another major cosplay project: Vaida from FE:BS. This was my first attempt at sculpting a breastplate out of EVA foam and it worked out surprisingly well!
The best part of this was having our huge Blazing Sword Group and getting to work with Cosplay In Black and White, who as you can see take beautiful photos!
This photoshoot was insanely fun and I got to meet a bunch of awesome people who I will hopefully get to cosplay with again in the future!
My last big project for the year was for another big group and it was definitely something different than I’ve constructed in the past. I’m talking about Frankenstein’s Monster from Fate/Apocrypha. The wedding dress was definitely a first for me but it came out surprisingly well! A lot of trial and error went into the pattern, the crinoline, the giant mace, and pretty much every other aspect of the cosplay, but it came together and I am super happy with the result! This was another great time to hang out with other awesome cosplayers and work with a fantastic photographer (Robert Tate photography)
I still can’t get over how beautiful this photo is
2018 really was a great year for cosgroups, between the ones involving my new cosplays, and even a few involving older cosplays! Tekko had another great FE: Blazing Sword group where I got to dust off Guy and get some lovely photos with the talented Cosfame - Cosplay Photographer.
And last, but certainly not least, I was involved in yet more Fire Emblem shenanigans with a return of King Ashnard to Youma 2018.
So all in all I had a lot of fun this year and I hope all of you did too. I’m going to be doing some updating this week, particularly with my con schedule for the year, and I might put together a 2019 cosplans post soon too… not to mention that Ohayocon is next weekend and I have no idea what I’m doing for it yet x_x Anyway, may your 2019 be blessed, love you all and Happy New Year!!!
I hope everyone has been having a lovely holiday season! Sonce Christmas is this week I wanted to share some fun holiday photos with all of you!
I’ve made it a bit of a tradition over the last few years to try to do some sort of holiday cosplay photos and things keep getting more serious as I get better ideas and more elaborate with it. Let’s take a quick stroll through the last two years…
Phoenix, what are you doing? WRIGHT GIVE ME THE CAMERA!
2016 was kind of a last-minute decision so I had to use stuff I already had lying around. If my Phoenix didn’t live a couple states away you can be sure we would have taken some beautiful photos together but alas. The next time he comes to visit, however, I might just make him do it, regardless of what time of year it is.
2017 took a bit more setup than just putting a santa hat on an existing cosplay and taking a selfie. Since last year was The Year of the Magical Creature for me, it seemed appropriate to let them all help with the decorating,. I also co-opted Ashnard’s cape that fits the holiday aesthetic perfectly without the spiky shoulder pauldrons on it. And voila, we have a beastly magical christmas.
Now most of you already know this, but I play the flute in a volunteer christmas concert every year in Peninsula, so I’m used to dressing up for this sort of thing anyway. We always perform as elves and I finally got off my lazy butt and made my own costume pieces for it. I also finally got to use the ears I initially bought for a certain Hylian that I have yet to cosplay…
Featuring Deb & Kathie, two of my fellow musical elves.
The top half has become my standard christmas attire, regardless of wheather I’m trying to look overly elfish or not.
And at last that brings us to MDC 2018, which I’m sure many of you already have some idea just from the title of today’s post…
SHAKALA! Koroks love to celebrate the seasons too! And I heard humans decorate a tree with lights and ornaments for their winter festivities. Since I’m related to trees I thought it would be fun to decorate myself! Sometimes the ornaments fall off when I dance around though…
From my family to yours, I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a fantastic start to the new year! Cheers!
So since I don’t have a ton of updates to work on, and I forgot to answer these on Twitter, I’ll just do them here and pretend like it’s a legit blog post…
1) Favorite Cosplay - Wow starting out with a tough one. My favorite at any given moment is usually whichever one I’ve just finished, and does kinda hold true at the moment with Fran. I love that cosplay to death and I love the character and I really really want to find flat silver shoes so I can wear her around at con without my feet feeling like they’re gonna fall off.
Photo by Eric Cosino
In the long term though, I have to go with Hestu. It’s such a fun and comfy cosplay, and plenty of people recognize it, and even the ones who don’t usually laugh or smile because I’m wearing a giant broccoli on my head.
2) Least Favorite Cosplay - That’s another hard one because I like pretty much all of my cosplays but it’s probably Roxas. I’m not a huge KH fan, though I have enjoyed playing 1 & 2, and I put a lot of work into the keyblades and the cosplay itself but I was never super happy with how any of it turned out. I was also lazy and didn’t have a wig and by the time I got a wig I wasn’t cosplaying him any more so yeah. Perhaps, with KH3 coming out I might be inspired to make a new Roxas that I’m actually happy with (it was a super early cosplay so I didn’t really know what I was going in the first place)… but we’ll see cause I already have too long a list of prospective cosplays lol
3) Make or Buy - I generally make most of my stuff or alter things I find at the thrift store. But as a general philosophy I think making and buying are both great! There’s a lot of stigma in the cosplay community about buying cosplays but seriously, that’s dumb. We all just want to have fun cosplaying whatever characters we want so why does it matter where the costume comes from?
4) Favorite part of cosplaying - Making a connection with another nerd over whatever nerdy thing we’re sharing. Cosplay is a great way of broadcasting “hey I love this thing that I’m dressed up as” so I always have fun chatting with people at cons who enjoy the character or series I’m cosplaying from.
5) What order do you put makeup on - What a weird question. I honestly don’t know how to answer this so moving right along…
6) Most comfortable cosplay - Banjo-Kazooie. It’s literally some fleece leggings, yellow shorts and a hoodie. I even get to wear slippers with it!
7) Most uncomfortable cosplay - Well the last two new cosplays I’ve done have involved stilettos which make my feet want to die but besides the shoes the cosplays themselves aren’t that unfcomfortable. So I have to go with Thanatos because suspending a bunch of coffins around me was a terrible idea. The whole reason I wore it once and then threw most of it away was because it was horrendously uncomfortable.
8) Best memory in cosplay - Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Probably meeting all my TWEWY friends for the first time? Also the tiny airbender that was at the ATLA photoshoot the first time I wore Tenzin.
9) Dream Cosplay - HOO BOY I HAVE A LOT. But most of the things on my “dream cosplay” list are fairly achievable for me at this point. THIS ONE, HOWEVER, remains the pinnacle of the list because I still have neither the skills necessary, nor the money with which to purchase, HIM HEAD
10) Someone you’d never cosplay - That’s a super broad question. There’s a lot of characters I wouldn’t cosplay for a variety of reasons and I don’t feel like explaining all of them for the next hour so we’ll pick a rando from the list. How about this douchebag:
11) First cosplay - Davy Jones, featuring my mother as Tia Dalma
12) Most recent cosplay - Fran from Fate!Apocrypha. You’ve already seen the only real photo I have of her in Q1.
13) Full cosplay or costest - I don’t know what this means exactly but I try on all the pieces as I make them so probably costest?
14) Selfie or shoot - Yes, please. Next question.
15) Friends or solo - Also both, but I definitely have more fun when I can cosplay with friends. I’ll still solo the random characters none of my friends know anyway.
16) Cute or mature characters - Also both. Sometimes at the same time.
17) How many cosplays have you done - If you include Newt Scamander who I’ve kind of cosplayed but really it was an OC who also loves magical creatures, then I believe the count is up to 46. And you can see all of them (besides Newt) in my Character Compendium.
18) How long have you been cosplaying - I believe this is my 10 year cosplay anniversary cause it should be 2008 when we had the pirate party… OH SNAP I FORGOT ABOUT NABOORU. THIS HAPPENED IN 2007 you can ignore the whole Davy Jones was my first cosplay thing… So that makes it 11 years as of Halloween.
19) How many conventions have you been to - I’ve been to maybe 8 or 9 different cons? If we’re counting each individual time I’ve been to a convention I don’t have the patience to sit here and figure that out.
20) Form fitting or flowing garments - Yes please
21) Colored contacts or natural eye color/editing - I’ve worn contacts once for a cosplay and I’m not motivated to do it ever again really. The only exceptions I’d make would be for characters with heterochromia. I’d love to get a close-up of Fran with her different-colored eyes but I’d probably edit > contacts
22) Why’d you start cosplaying - I’m a huge nerd and I like dressing up…
23) Perfectionist or not - I tend to be a perfectionist but I cut corners like nobody’s business
24) Embarrassing cosplay moments - Ripping the entire crotch out of Zelos’s pants. As a bonus I was wearing dark underwear and Zelos wears white pants. You do the math.
25) AU or canon - I’m a fan of both but I usually stick to canon designs.
26) Dream photoshoot - getting the entire Valuan armada together
27) How do you choose your character - a) Whoever I’m really feeling from whatever media I’m consuming in that moment, b) whoever fits in well with a group y friends are doing, or c) some super-obscure character from an obscure/old fandom that I’ve loved forever
28) Secret cosplay or tell everyone - I did a secret cosplay once and I got too excited so I gave some people too many hints XD
29) Character you’ve worn most - Hmmm, honestly I’m not sure. Probably either Junpei or Edgeworth because they’re more comfy cosplays that I’ve had for a long time and have worn for lots of groups and stuff
As promised I wanted to show off my new crafting space now that we’re settled in a bit more. Things certainly aren’t all put away yet, and we haven’t even decided which rooms what furniture is going in yet, but I’ve had some time to stake out and organize my crafting areas!
First up is the armory! I already have plans to put in pegboard in the left area to hold most of these props. This is also the only area with concrete flooring so it might serve (at least to start) as my woodworking/dirty workspace. If that happens I’ll tent off the section where I work so sawdust doesn’t f*** up our utilities… Needless to say it’ll be a bit before I can start doing much propwork again, which is fine because it’s almost December so xmas orders of other stuff I make will be picking up here shortly.
My other main crafting space is a large, rectangular room, also in the basement. Benefits include lots of built-in cabinets/drawers and counterspace!
On opposite sides of the room there are these weird-shaped desk…. things. They work fine, and I can set up a machine on either side and store stuff on the weird middle angle! The lack of drawers means that I’m gonna have to keep that space organized or it’ll just avalanche out of there. I’m also looking for more of those sewing stools like the one in that photo; ideally one for each spot where I’ll normally sit. That way I don’t have to move that one around (since it is full of shit) and I’ll have some extra storage that is also practical!
The weird desk on the other side is going to be crafting space! I’m gonna set up some shelves to hold things like paint, adhesives, etc. It’s also going to work opposite the sewing desk, I’m gonna store stuff under the side wings and sit in the center diagonal part because the shelves underneath are set back a bit so my knees will fit under there.
This monstrosity is set up along the wall with the sewing desk. Yes the fabric is all color-sorted. I’ve been wanting to do that forEVER and I finally have room. This doesn’t include fleece or the prints I use to make my ties because I have too many so they all live in totes elsewhere.
I also sorted all of my buttons and other closures into this fun drawer-storage thing! It only took, like, 4 hours X_X
The last thing in the crafting room is this large white storage cabinet. Right now it’s housing a bunch of aror bits, props, and other random cosplay bits. My cosplay closet is a good bit smaller than the one I had at our old house so I had to find somewhere new to put all this junk.
Speaking of which, here’s the overcrowded closet! Not much to say here except good god I have so many cosplays XD
So, that’s the new setup! I’m super excited to start using it more regularly now that we’re more moved in and I have some time to work on projects again.
Sorry for the long hiatus… I realize you’re probably used to that at this point but I’d love for that not to be the case lol. Since I last posted a bunch of stuff has been going on, which is mostly why I haven’t been posting. Youmacon was a couple weekends ago, and it was super fun! I have a couple photos to share from that, and eventually I’ll have my hands on some more when I get photos back from the shoots I was involved in.
The other big thing that’s been going on, and the main reason I haven’t been super active online lately is that Jordan, Donner and I have moved! We didn’t move far, we’re just a few minutes down the road from our old place, but the new house has a bit more room, which will hopefully be filled up in the not-too-distant-future with an expanding family. We’ll see how that process goes. Anyway, things are kind of a mess right now but when I have most of it put away I’ll make another post to show off my new craft areas!
So Youmacon. I had a blast at Youma; despite having a pretty full cosplay schedule it was a pretty chill con, which is always nice. The impromptu Fire Emblem gathering we had was waaaay better attended than I was expecting! Look at all these folks!
And look at the wealth of game representation we had! We planned the Tellius stuff around my friend’s Lord Ike and my Ashnard, but we got folks from Blazing Sword, Fates, and Geneaology/Thracia too!
This is exactly what we’ve been waiting for.
We also got some fabulous derp photos with all of the caped characters (and Rhys (and Reyson)).
Look, a flock of birbs!
I’ve also wanted to get something resembling this art forever and I finally made it happen!
Also, while we were hanging out waiting for the official shoot to start, we got our photo taken by the folks at MLive!
So Ashnard got to have lots of fun this year, and the other major thing was my debut of Fran! I’m so excited with how this cosplay turned out and I love her so much I want to wear this all the time!
I had so much fun wearing this cosplay even though it was a bit of a chore between the somewhat unruly weapon and the giant hoops, but I was so happy it didn’t even matter.
I definitely learned some things wearing it the first time too, so I can improve my experience next time. Mainly that the horn needs to attach to the wig, because as soon as I started sweating a bit the lace front tape just gave way. I’ll still use the tape to keep it in place but I need a strap or something integrated into the wig to keep it on my face when the tape gets loose. I also need a pair of flat shoes because I would have worn this on the con floor way longer if my feet didn’t want to die in those boots after the 5-6 hours I was in them. When I took them off to eat some dinner my feet were so happy lol.
We had an awesome Apocrypha group and did some shooting with Robbie; I’m super stoked to see the results since he always does an amazing job. It was cold as shit out by the river but it was so beautiful! You know I’ll share them as soon as I have them but for now, ta-ta!
Alright, as promised last week, I wanted to show off the making of my new cosplay for Youmacon. For those of you who don’t already know the details, it’s Berserker of Black (Frankenstein’s Monster/Fran) from Fate/Apocrypha!
Now despite all the cosplays I’ve made in my life, this project was pretty daunting for me. I’ve never really made a dress like this and I wasn’t entirely sure where to start. Thankfully, once I did a little research online and started drafting my patterns, it wasn’t as scary as I thought.
I started with the structure that would be underneath the dress: the hoop skirt! This is basically a waistband with some hooks & eyes, several lengths of satin ribbon with loops sewn into them, and some galvanized steel wire. I had to adjust the size of the hoops several times before I was really happy with it, and I ended up using packing tape to keep the ribbon in place with respect to the wire hoops. So yeah, it’s kinda janky but it’ll work. I had some help from this tutorial to get the basics. She uses thin, flexible PVC instead of wire, which probably would’ve worked better but since I already had the wire and I’m a cheap S.O.B. I figured I’d try it this way.
With the hoops themselves done, I needed to soften the edge of the lowest hoop a bit so my dress didn’t end up looking like some sort of flying saucer, so I used a loooooooooong piece of tulle that I gathered (by hand, I might add) that falls just beyond the lowest hoop.
I also lucked out in that I already owned this cute white petticoat to use over the hoops and under the skirt of the dress. It’s even the right height, YAHTZEE!
Now came the fun part of patterning the dress. I had a decent idea how to do the bodice and the skirt, but I wan’t so sure about the actual breast cups so I cheated and just built them off of an old bra.
Yeah, the UFO shape is what I was trying to avoid. This is from before I added the tulle and reduced the bottom hoop a bit.
With the pattern done and tested (both on my dress form and on my body), I was ready to put the dress together for real!
The red details were attached using a satin stitch, the same way I usually do those types of details on my csplays (maybe some day I’ll own an embroidery machine…. yeah I’ll keep dreaming). Also, the center bit is actually lace instead of ruffles because I thought it would look nice. Also I was too lazy to make ruffles and already had some lace trim that would work.
The breast cups are literally attached to the bra you saw in the last photo, and I hand-sewed a bunch of the top part together on the dress form just to get it situated properly. The last bit to add to the dress was the top part with the sheer black fabric and strappy bit… which apparently I don’t have a photo of it after I added that part, oops.
The gloves are in two pieces, with the actual gloves parts being an antique pair I found at a thrift store some time ago. The sleeves are a separate piece made from rayon/spandex knit and the red sections are literally from an woman’s t-shirt I thrifted (since they don’t make stretchy enough fabric as Joann’s in this color).
Next up we have some headware! Yes, those are headphones that I built the ear thingies off of, and the veil actually attaches directly to the band across the top. And the unicorn horn is cardstock with worbla over it, and miraculously enough it’s lightweight enough to stay on my face just using lacefront tape.
And moving right along we have some legggggggies! The base boots are actually something I’ve owned for a long time because any time I find heels at the thrift store I can actually fit in they refuse to leave my basket. I’ve even performed in drag in those boots, but sadly they’re old enough that the outer layer of the faux leather is literally disintegrating everywhere so they’ve been making a huge mess of the house. I finally chopped the tops off (cause they don’t need to be that tall anyway) and scrubbed as much of the outer layer off as I could manage. The front metallic bits are craft foam that I attached permanently to the front of the shoes (contact cement), because obviously I’m not going to be using these for anything else anyway with shit constantly falling off of them. The legs are metallic 4-way stretch knit (yes, I broke down and bought the Yaya Han shit cause it was the best thing for the job and thank christ I had a coupon). To keep the leggings from riding up, there’s a small piece of velcro that attaches them to the front of the boots. And to keep them from falling down, I pretty much turned my hoop skirt into a garter belt, and there’s ribbon with buttons that goes down the back of my legs, with an little elastic loop to hook around them on the tops of the leggings.
With all that done I was too excited not to try the whole thing on! (sans gloves so I could hit the button on my phone)
I’m so pumped to wear this, cause it’s super pretty on it’s own and you’re not gonna see my dumb face most of the time with her hair like that. I do have two details to finish: the egg & the weapon.
The egg is finished I just need to make it attach to my hip somehow (probably velcro).
The weapon is gonna take a while longer to finish because I’m a little overambitious with it. I really want the globe at the end to light up, which only makes sense if the plates are extended out. So naturally I’m using giant styrofoam bowls and a translucent globe light fixture to achieve that.
Thankfully the rod is fairly straightforward, even though it is rather detailed. Also thankfully I found an actual fixture to attach the globe with, which means it’ll be easy to remove.
Details on the rod include: cardboard mailing tubes, MDF discs, Foamcore board discs, worbla, wooden knobs, toothpicks, dome stickers, an actual light fixture, and a Mason jar lid. So this is the most “me” part of this cosplay, obviously, given the random trash incorporated into it :-D
That’s all the progress I have, since the plates on the top are nowhere near ready to start painting, but soon I’ll have a fully functional light-up mace! Soooon. Hopefully soon. Dear god I hope it doesn’t take as long as I’m expecting. Pray for me.