Here we are for Part 2 of our Cosplayer Spotlight. As I mentioned in Part 1, Cosplay is one of my favorite things about the conventions I get to attend. You’ll often see cosplayers getting stopped and more attention than some of the celebrities actually listed for the convention. It’s also a fantastic community to be involved in. Everyone I’ve met has generally been pleasant to speak too and loves talking about their costumes. If you’re someone looking to get into cosplay, certainly don’t be afraid to approach them and ask questions.
Mr: H: Tell me about a specific build you’ve done? What kind of materials did you use?
In January of 2016, I stumbled across a Gijinka design from That Grumpy Old Bastard Creations and I said ‘I want to make that and by the end of January, I started drafting up templates for the armor to create this build.
I decided on a few changes for this build, the most noticeable being the color scheme. I decided on mega Charizard x because my favorite color is blue, and I wanted to see a twist to this costume. I also opted to make articulated wings and a ‘see-through’ giant sword that would glow blue.
The base materials for this build were EVA foam, Worbla, Acrylic sheet (x2), and pepakura. For the leg, forearm, hands, and shoulders I used both EVA and craft foam. I created templates myself and traced these on the foam to cut, heat, and shape. I got a little creative with the belt and used the leftover Worbla I had from a previous build to make this piece more durable. Using my template each ‘scale’ was made, put together, and attached to a belt with elastic bands.
The hardest part for this build was defiantly the acrylic sword. It is also the most loved piece by myself and others, and even though the standard is to glow blue I often would have it rotate colors for that extra ‘wow’ factor.
Mr. H: It looks as if you’ve used some Pepakura files for your build. Can you tell me where you found them and how long it took to build from those files?
I used a Pepakura file for Charizards head. I knew doing that freehand would not have the details I wanted. The file I used I found by going to the RPF Forum and searching for a Charizard file. It took almost a month to get the size right. The first time my then boyfriend printed the file off for me it was too large. You can see him wearing it, it’s a perfect size if you wanted to make a mascot-sized Charizard suit though!
The second time it was a perfect size and fit my head nicely. I will add that it took over 6 hours from printing/cutting/folding/assembly to make this headpiece!
And finally the third time we printed it I wanted it smaller and it was just the right size! This was used on the sword as shown in Grumpy Bastards artwork but it held a second purpose, which was to both hold and hides the battery pack to power the lights in the sword.
Mr. H: I love the look of your armor! You had mentioned using EVA foam when we talked earlier. I also see one of those interlocking foam mats in your pictures. Can you tell me where you got your EVA foam from and how thick is that?
Sure what you see is a 25″ x 25″ EVA mat that is 1/2″ thick. I purchase most (if not all) of my foam needs from Harbor Freight as I have one local to me. They do lots of sales on the 4 pcs Foam Mat’s and often times I can combine that sale with a coupon and get my foam pretty cheap. A good rule of thumb is never to pay full price for foam. You can check garage sales, thrift stores, and even social media like Facebook has a local marketplace listed where you can search and see if any persons or daycares are getting rid of them sought-after foam mats.
Mr. H: I understand you’ve been cosplaying for the past 4 years. Tell me, what got you into cosplay?Growing up I was always the one out of my friends who dressed up a bit too much for Halloween or went a bit overboard on spirit days in school. I just loved to dress up whenever I could! My first experience with cosplay was in 2013, I went to my first convention, Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. In awe of the amazing costumes I saw, I took pictures of every single character I recognized. The passion that these people had for the costumes made was amazing, I was instantly in love with that art of cosplay and began work on my first costume.
Mr: H: What type of materials do you typically use and where did you find them?
I’m extremely lucky to live so close every craft store imaginable. I go to Joann’s for my sewing/fabric needs, Hobby Lobby for paint/brushes/glues/miscellaneous thing, and Harbor Freight or Lowes for my foam/power tool needs.
Mr. H: For someone just getting into cosplay/costume building, are there any do’s/dont’s that you could mention from your personal experience?
Find a character you can look at for months straight and not get sick of.
Take it one piece at a time. Think you’re going to have a really hard time styling that wig? Never worked with a certain material before? Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to make mistakes until you are satisfied with the final product. Use other cosplayers! There are so many online groups and forums that are ready to help you with whatever you need. I don’t think Sheik would have looked half as amazing as it did without the help of other cosplayers giving me advice on how to improve and make certain pieces.
What is cosplay for me? Cosplay for me is a way of therapy I use to help relieve my stress of PTSD, anxiety, and depression from my combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I also use this type of therapy for my son who also suffers from several traits of autism and was diagnosed with ADHD. Just the fun of dressing up and seeing other people helps a lot because he recognizes such as Star Wars Rebels, Power Rangers and so on.
I actually made the outfit and most of the easy to find materials like the shirt, pants, and belts can locally. As for the chest harness and chainsaw I purchased those items on Amazon. The chainsaw I chose has a chainsaw sound and the blade rotated. So really all I had to do was cut out the back of the chainsaw and connected a rubber plumbing connector paint and it was ready to slay some deadites.
It turns out, Chris and I were actually at the same Walker Stalker Convention at the beginning of October. He’s been pretty loyal to his Ash cosplay but is looking to branch out to something else in the future.
Are you a cosplayer? Would you like to be part of a monthly spotlight? Be sure to leave a comment in the section below or you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and also be sure to leave our featured cosplayers some love.