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!
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
Welcome back everyone! I know I’m supper sporadic with posting here but I do have some progress updates on the commissions I’ve been working on that I wanted to share!
Let’s start with the projects you’ve already seen the beginnings of:
Silas’s armor is coming along nicely, though unfortunately I’ve run out of worbla so I can’t make any more sections until that arrives.
Next up, Opal’s bow is done with construction and I’ve started painting. The gradient painting is a huge pain in the ass but it does look pretty cool.
Now, on to new projects which I’ve somehow magically gotten further on than the stuff you’ve already seen! I’ve started working on Yuna’s staff from FFX. It’s the staff you traditionally see her with in all of the official artwork.
For the head, I used 1/4” MDF and thick craft foam to make the little blue details on the gold head. The shaft is a wooden broom handle I got at Home Depot.
The blade on my scroll saw broke in the middle of trying to cut the staff head out, which was slightly terrifying. Thankfully neither me nor the prop was hurt, I just had to finish cutting it out with my jigsaw instead.
Here’s the head all painted! Next step is to paint the shaft blue but I haven’t gotten to that yet.
The last new item on my list is Atalanta’s bow from Fate/Apocrypha! I’m making this for a friend of mine and we’ll be cosplaying together at Youmacon.
Much like Opal’s bow, the base is wood with a section of broom handle as the grip. Despite the overall shape of the bow being a little more intricate, this actually took way less time to put together than the other bow because it didn’t involve two layers of wood together (which took a LOT of sanding to even out) and the weird round spiral bit that also took a lot of time and work to get fit together and looking right.
The raised details are all made from either craft foam or cereal box… you can probably tell from the photo above which sections are which ;-) The bits around the grip are covered with worbla scraps that I heated up and mushed together.
With the details done, all there was left to do was paint and add the bowstring. The simple black & gold color scheme is what really made the difference as far as time spent detailing compared to the other bow I’m working on.
And that’s all the commission work I’ve gotten done recently. I was out of town all last week visiting friends and going to my brother-in-law’s wedding so I was not as productive as usual. This week I’m aiming to get Yuna’s staff and Opal’s bow done so keep an eye on my instagram to see more progress photos! I’ve also been working on my new cosplay for Youmacon which is mostly done at this point, so I’ll be posting again later this week or some time next week with all the photos and construction notes on that!
Hey everyone! I've been in and out of town a lot with all of my summer trips happening within a couple weeks of each other so I've not been as productive as I would be otherwise. That and I've been playing Horizon Zero Dawn so that doesn't exactly help my productivity XD
Anyway, I wanted to show you all what I've been working on lately!
First up is the only project I've actually finished: Yang's Ember Celica from RWBY. I've made quite a few RWBY weapons at this point, both for myself and others, so I'm excited to get a shot to make yet another one!
These gauntlets are made almost entirely out of EVA & craft foam of a variety of thicknesses.
But of course it wouldn't be a Mikey prop if there weren't some weird pieces of trash incorporated somehow, right? So in this particular instance I used a small cardboard tube that I acquired god only knows where and sawed it in half to get the gun barrels, and I also used four plastic spools sliced down the middle to get the shells for Yang's ammo. Thankfully I've picked up a bunch of random spools of thread at thrift stores and garage sales over the years so I have them in abundance. However, a word of advice to anyone thinking of doing the same thing: remove all the thread first. I was lazy and tried to saw straight through the first one with the thread still on there and it made a tangled mess.
We've skipped a few steps here, but the pieces are all assembled and the plates on the back have a layer of worbla on them. Everything was coated with mod podge a few times and then I sprayed it all yellow! Yellow doesn't cover very well so I sprayed it to avoid having to paint 437 coats to get the color even.
Details are all painted by hand and I did a bit of subtle shading between the plates on the back and on the red shells.
And here's everything finished and assembled! The cuffs have velcro on the one end and are permanently adhered on the other so they're nice and stable, but are easier to put on & take off.
Next up is Nero's sword from Devil May Cry: The Red Queen. I'm working on this for my friend Heckin Sleepy Cosplay. He's already put together a lot of the other pieces for the cosplay and has been posting photos on his instagram so you should definitely go check it out cause everything looks awesome so far!
I will be making the gun as well, but not until aster Matsuri. The blade for the sword is MDF, and the handle actually came from an old rake that broke a while back.
You can see the model in this photo too. It bleongs to Heckin Sleepy, but it's made of metal so it's super heavy and he wouldn't be able to carry it around at a con. I did some extra shaping with my dremel, as well as digging out the channel that run along the edge of the blade. The other details are all made out of a smattering of other things including craft foam, puff paint, masking tape, and worbla. The most interesting piece is the largest part at the start of the hilt. It's a weird plastic thing I found in my stash of stuff that I believe came from one of those giant rolls of paper. It ended up being a good size and the hole in the center fit snugly around the wooden handle so I went with it! Also, the goofy handbrake thing is a paper straw with worbla around it.
Those three round, silver things on the blade are actually magnets (the super strong ones you can get at the hardware store) so that hopefully it'll just snap right onto his back to magnets incorporated into the coat.
With everything assembled, it was time to start painting! I sealed the entire thing with a few coats of mod podge, then primed it with black paint. The next layer was the silver spray paint, and then I started adding the red details by hand.
And last up is all of the progress I've made so far! It looks done, doesn't it! But I haven't done any of the red details on the other side yet and the whole thing needs mod podge slathered over it so I have about another day or two before it's totally finished.
Last up is a Skyrim shield I'm making for my cousin's kid. Apparently he loves play sword fighting with sticks so his dad decided he needed a legit shield to play with. I had to make the thing pretty heavy duty so it could take the beating without falling apart! As such it's all MDF & hardboard, with worbla for the emblem on the front.
I'm not following any particular design for this guy, my only request was to have the Skyrim symbol on it so there he is smack dab in the middle! I haven't started painting yet but I think I'm going to go with dark blue & silver for the front.
And that's all we have this week! I hope everyone's enjoying their summers and don't forget to put on sunscreen! this has been a friendly reminder from your neighborhood ghostly white ginger.
Welcome back, folks! I've been hard at work putting together my next cosplay: Vaida from Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword. I'm super excited to have a big group of FE7 folks at Matsuri, hopefully we'll have a bunch of awesome photos when all's said and done!
Well, we all know you don't want to hear me yammering on, so here's some photos of what I've been working on!
Thank god the armor is simple, just a breastplate and a pair of shoulder pauldrons. True old school FE flier stuff. It's all EVA foam, heat shaped. The details are craft foam, and yes I did add some fanciness to the shoulders cause I thought it could use them. I initially painted the details light blue to match the fabric I got for her, then I looked at the reference artwork again and realized it was probably supposed to just be silver. So I painted it blue, and did a silvery metallic wash over it and boom, done.
Look, I made a tunic/dress too! The details are appliqued on the way I generally do, and the trim is the same satin that I made bias tape out of. The breastplate velcros on the front, and there's a strap that goes around the back to keep it snug. The shoulder pauldrons and the cape velcro on the shoulders. They're nice and lightweight so they shouldn't fall off like Ashnards always do.
Leeeeeeeeegy These boot covers were a pain in the ass to make but they turned out rather well. I'm going to be so freaking tall in these heel good god.
Here's the base material for the spear. The tip is MDF at it's core and foamcore extra layers for the design. I sturdied the end with some worbla scraps, and the designs along the shaft are in puff paint. The shaft itself is a curtainrod I've been waiting to use for a while.
Here's a closeup of the head so you can see the painted details. Not too shabby if I do say so myself ;-)
And that's that! I'm debating if I can get away with using my own hair, she's definitely blonde and not ginger, but my hair is pretty light when it's cut short. We'll see about that.