Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Cosplay Goals

I'm finally done with finals hell, so I can focus on cosplay for a few weeks! That is, between seeing my friends and family and doing holiday activities. *sigh*

My biggest goal for this time period is making Suigintou's sword for my costume (see crappy picture to the left).

I registered for Anime Boston at the nice low rate of $35. I plan on entering the Hall Contest, I think, because I'm a little concerned with the masquerade taking up too much time (like Connecticon, though I'm sure it will be run better at AB), but I still want to enter the costume in a contest. It seems to be a good middle ground.

I'm planning on making the sword handle out of wood. I'm going to use two pieces, one for the front and one for the back. I'm going to cut them out and dremel the same design into each one. Then I'll sandwich the blade between the two halves of the hilt.

I'm going to construct the blade out of a (insulation) foam core that I will cover with plastic. I chose this method to comply with convention regulations. Many events absolutely do not allow wooden swords, so I figure this way I won't really have to worry about whatever convention I take it to. I made Zabuza's sword out of plastic covered foam last year, and that was huge, so I know they will allow it. In my opinion it's better to be safe than sorry with this kind of thing, lest you be left without the amazing prop you spent so much time working on.

At least that's the plan.

I'm going to try to make an instructable for the sword, or at least take photos and share them.

My second goal is to fix the wig for the Suigintou costume. It's a bit wonky right now. I got a curling iron with adjustable temperature so I think that will help coax the wig into doing my bidding. I'm also going to fix the cut. It's a little strange.

I'll be happy if I can get those things done while I'm here.

I'm in the process of making instructions for my Izumi goggles. I figure even if you never make an Izumi costume, it could be helpful for if you have to make any kind of goggles or similar item.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Phoenix Wright: Justice for All

I just finished the second installment of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series for Nintendo DS, and I had to write to say how amazing I think it is.

It's even more fun than the first one, more exciting, and more amusing (and I thought the first one was great). They expanded on the game's system to make solving the crimes even more exciting.

If you have never played or heard of Phoenix Wright, now is a great time to start; the third installment was recently released in the US. I'm waiting for my boyfriend to finish so I can borrow his. :3

PW is a "visual novel" type game. It is mostly text based. As a defense attorney, you have to defend your clients, scouring for clues and presenting evidence to prove them innocent. If you like solving mysteries, figuring out puzzles, and/or participating in an interesting and engaging story with a wealth of great characters, you will like this game.

I'd like to cosplay as Franziska von Karma some day. She's sassy as hell.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Costume Profile - Izumi from Genshiken

Okay, I've been failing pretty hard at updating, but in my defense, I had a bunch of school work and I also threw a bridal shower for my sister back home.

Anyway.

Here is the profile of my Izumi costume.

Character Name: Izumi
Series: Genshiken
Worn to: Tokyo Kid Cosplay Contest (Boston, MA); Will probably be worn the Sunday of Anime Boston 2008

Total Time: About 25-30 hours
Total Cost: About $70

Easiest things about this costume: The hat was incredibly easy. The black shirt I bought and modified.

Most difficult things about this costume: The shoes, which my boyfriend helped out a lot on... lots of gluing involved and I didn't have time for that. The skirt was also ridiculously hard.

Materials Used and Price Breakdown:

- Jacket, skirt, and hat: Plain blue cotton, $3.95/yd, Winmil Fabrics.

- White detailing on skirt, jacket, and shoes: White cotton/poly, $2.95/yd, Winmil Fabrics.

- Shoes: Yellow stretch synthetic fabric, $5/yd; Orange vinyl, $3/yd; White buttons, $1.30/2 pack; Fabritac, $7; all from Winmil Fabrics.
Felt (for structure), free (leftover from a long time ago).
"Kung-fu" shoes, $5, Chinatown.

- Shirt: Silk knit (yeah, I don't know why that exists, either) sweater, $.90 at the Dollar-a-pound at the Garment District.

- Mah-Jong tiles: Sculpy clay, $1.50(ish), Utrecht Art Supplies. Lovingly painted by my boyfriend. ^^

- Collar, Shoe, and Hat Stuffing: I stuffed these things with a combination of leftover polar fleece, felt, and foam from projects long past. The fleece made the hat really snuggly. ^^

- Other misc. elements, such as the zipper and elastic, were purchased at Winmil Fabrics or found in my sewing box.

- Wig: Chinadoll green wig, $27, Dorothy's Costume

- Goggles: Black vinyl, $5/yd; Black elastic; Buckle, $2; all from Winmil Fabrics.
Basswood for main construction, $2 for the size and thickness I purchased; Model maker's tin sheet, about $2; Model maker's plastic, $1.50 for the sheet; all at Utrecht Art Supplies.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Emergency Cosplay Results

So, I did, in fact, manage to somehow make a costume in less than a week. With some help from my boyfriend, of course...!

I will create a few entries on the creation process of the costume, maybe two or so. They will be put up over the course of the week.

To summarize: I made Izumi's costume from Kujibiki Unbalance/Genshiken. I showed up at the Garage in Harvard Square a little before 8pm on Sunday, where the judges had already sort of packed up... but of course, they still let me enter because I was there before 8.

They took my photo and asked me a few questions about my costume. I entered in the novice category. They didn't spend very long looking at my costume, maybe one or two minutes.

In the end, I got an honourable mention for my costume. It was a little disappointing... as does every cosplayer who works hard on their costume and enters a contest, I wanted to place. I was hoping for 3rd. ^_^;;; But that was optimistic, anyway, and I'm really proud that I was able to create a nice costume in less than a week and wear it somewhere where some people would appreciate it. One girl actually know who I was and what series I was from! That was pretty nice.

Here is a final costume photo of me as Izumi, after returning from the event, and a photo of the figure I based my costume on:



More later...!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Emergency Cosplay Project

So I found out just today that Tokyo Kid in Harvard Square is having a cosplay contest on Sunday, Oct. 28. Obviously, I can't pass this up (Tokyo Kid is one of my favourite stores, and it's another cosplay opportunity), but my costumes are at home in CT. >_>
Solution: I ran around to a lot of stores today and got almost everything I need to make Tachibana Izumi from Kujibiki Unbalance (which is, in turn, from the show Genshiken).



I'll be documenting the process of making a costume in less than a week, so I hope everything works out, and that I'll learn some things!

More updates to come. I have a lot of homework to do right now...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More Wonderflex and Feathers

So,
I tried to place an order for some Wonderflex and Friendly Plastic via cosplaysupplies.com, as I had mentioned in a previous post. Their methods are a little strange over there and they confirm your order via email before letting you actually place it. The reply to my order was that they were "having some trouble with their Wonderflex supplier" and therefore I can't place an order with them at this time.

All of this ended up being a blessing in disguise, as it were, because I have found other sources of Wonderflex that are far less expensive than cosplaysupplies.com.

Cosworx has Wonderflex, but their supply is apparently out at the moment. But when it's in, it sells for $30 for a big sheet, which is much less expensive than cosplaysupplies.com. I have also found a theatre supply company that sells it. I'm going to try to buy from one of these two places.

I would like to say that I still think cosplaysupplies.com is a great site and has a lot to offer, especially hard to find things like shoe-making supplies. I just won't be buying my Wonderflex from them, is all. Unless these other things fall through.

I have been doing a lot of research for supply resources, namely for plastics, armour, and feathers. I will need a lot of feathers for my Gwendolyn costume, and I was able to find a promising website or two. At Rainbow Feathers, they will custom dye feathers for you. This seems to be the way to go for this project. Their prices also seem pretty reasonable. I found a couple of other feather websites, but other than Rainbow, the only other one that seemed worth looking into was Lamplight Feathers. They seem to have a bunch of different items at a decent price.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wonderflex and Friendly Plastic

I've been reading up on this newfangled Wonderflex and its friend Friendly Plastic.
I've been searching for something to make, at the very least, the calf armour for Gwendolyn, and potentially any and all armour for Oswald, if my boyfriend decides to go as him. Both are from Odin Sphere:



After reading the FAQs and tutorials for using Wonderflex and Friendly Plastic, I feel confident enough that this could be a good solution for making armour and maybe even weapons. I am going to order a small sheet of Wonderflex and a small container of Friendly Plastic to experiment with.
I am also going to pick up some Bondo, because (1) I have never used it before, heard some mixed opinions, and want to see what it can do, and (2) I wouldn't use gesso as suggested in the Wonderflex FAQ because there is no way that will not come off in chunks.

Once I get the materials and play around with them, I'll post my results with photos.

Links:

Wonderflex, Fosshape, and Friendly Plastic Purchase Page
Wonderflex and Friendly Plastic Tutorial/FAQ
Wonderflex FAQ

Costume Profile - Haku from Naruto

This is the first "Costume Profile" post, where I, well, profile a costume I have made and finished.
The content of these posts will probably evolve over time, and I readily welcome any comments or suggestions about what you think these posts should contain.



Character Name: Haku (right, shown with Zabuza, left)
Series: Naruto
Worn to: Anime Boston 2007

Total Time: I didn't keep very close track of this one, but I'd estimate about 10-15 hours.
Total Cost: Again, didn't keep very good track, but I'd say about $40.

Easiest things about this costume: Shoes - Purchased for $2 in Chinatown, cut off ugly beads, painted with fabric paint.
Sweater - Found at used clothing store The Garment District for about $10.

Most difficult things about this costume: The pants were the most difficult, but weren't really difficult. I used an old pattern I had for pajama pants (will post the number and brand when I find it), only I made them shorter. I cut out triangular fabric panels and added them into the front to add volume to the pants.

Materials Used and Price Breakdown: -Pants and Sash: Plain cotton, $3/yd, Jo-Ann Fabrics
-Robe: Cotton/poly blend, $2.50/yd, Jo-Ann Fabrics
-Sweater: Found at The Garment District, $10
-Shoes: Found in Chinatown, $2. Fabric paint and foam brush, $3, Pearl Art & Craft Supply
-Hair: Fabric Scrap from making the robe. Modeling clay, $1.50, Utrecht Art Supply. 18ga. Copper wire, $3, Blick Art Materials. Silver enamel paint, $2, Utrecht Art Supply.
-Weapon: Double-ended knitting needles, about $4 for a set of 3, Jo-Ann Fabrics.
-Headband: $8, Ebay. From one of those Hong Kong guys. ^_^;

First Post... oh, how exciting ^_^;

O hi,

This is me.

And this is my brand new cosplay blog.

I hope to use this not only as a place for my thoughts on cosplay and updates on my costumes, but hopefully to also provide a resource to the cosplay community. I hope that through my experiments, successes, failures, research, and whatever else, other cosplayers will be able to make better costumes.

In 2007, I attended two cons; my first two cons. The first was Anime Boston in April, where I cosplayed as Haku from Naruto. The second was ConnectiCon in August, where I cosplayed as Suigintou from Rozen Maiden.

I learned an enormous amount from these two experiences, both about cosplay and conventions.

In 2008, I am planning on attending two cons, but they're both big. Anime Boston in March, and Otakon in August.
I plan on using Suigintou again for Anime Boston, though with some changes. For Otakon, I plan on Gwendolyn from Odin Sphere.

I hope to pass on what I've learned to everyone out there who might read this, whether you're just starting out or have been doing it for a while.

I'll be doing a lot of experiments for my Gwendolyn costume and my first ever weapon, Suigintou's sword! I hope that you'll enjoy following my progress through time and send along any comments or questions you have about cosplay, me, my projects, or anything else.

Long post is loooong... look for more in the coming days!