I LIVE. Just for today though. I've pretty much lost interest in LJ. :< All of my friends are hanging out on new websites now, plus this site...well, it's left a lot to be desired in the past year.
However the one good thing about it is that it's still pretty easy to format. xD So I'm doing my Supercon posts here before I link to them everywhere else! Yes, this year it's "posts." I had to separate it into three because I went over LJ's character limit. >.> Judging by how my posts get larger with every year, I estimate I'll be able to write my entire 2015 NaNo entirely on Supercon.
This post is entirely about my cosplays, and is really just for those few friends of mine who actually like reading my insane overly detailed rambles and all the thoughts I have on them and all the details about how they were made. And who can put up with my camerawhoring. xD
If you’re looking for a recap of the con and pics of everyone/everything else, go check out Part Two (Friday and Saturday) and Part Three (Sunday and Monday)!
This post does contain some construction notes and tips on my duel disk and Black Rose Dragon plushie. If you’re interested in making either of those props someday, feel free to skip to that section so you can avoid making my mistakes. xD The pics are all of the finished products, but I do have a bunch of progress shots on my computer. Someday I might do a step-by-step tutorial for them. Until then, you’re welcome to ask questions.
Any photo you see credited to Rob or K-Cuf Productions means that it was taken by the cool folks here. Check out their page; they have a ton of great pictures from Supercon posted!
Photo by Rob
My “easy” cosplay first. xD The funny thing is that this cosplay managed to become incredibly complicated by the time I’d finished it. At first I only planned to buy a blue wig, wear a white shirt, paint a musical note on some old jeans, and wear headphones and big sunglasses.
So I bought a cheap blue wig on ebay and some cheap glasses off Amazon and got some paint for my jeans and was all, “yay, I have a Vinyl cosplay! Boom done.”
Or not. I began to get ideas. And those ideas led to this:
Photo from the cosplay photography booth
So yeah, definitely more complicated. But a TON of fun to wear. ^_^
The first change I made was thinking maybe I should wear a band shirt, not just a white T-shirt. A band shirt would be cool, right? EVERY Vinyl cosplayer wears a white shirt. A band shirt would make mine a little more original.
Do you know how hard it is to find a band T-shirt in white?! Every band T-shirt in the universe is black, and they all come in mens sizes which means they hang like giant bags on me! Oh, sure, I found some from “modern” bands that were cool looking, but I wanted a classic band shirt. Something any DJ would respect.
I would have preferred something more like Led Zeppelin or ZZ Top or Bowie, but I had to take what I could get in the whole white-shirt department. So I ended up spending too much money on a Pink Floyd: The Wall shirt on Amazon. Because everyone respects Pink Floyd. u_u
While I was shopping for shirts, another idea came to me. Should I have a horn and ears? I didn’t really plan to because I didn’t want to make any, but I thought they would be really cute if I did. I love animal ears. Besides, Yaya Han sells them online and I met her at Supercon in 2010 and she was really nice and sweet so I should help her out by buying her wares. (My brain is really good at convincing me to spend money.) So I broke down and ordered a white unicorn set from her. (Which I do not regret at all. Look at these, they're super cute! <3)
The problem was I quickly realized that if I was going to have ears and a horn, I should also have a tail. It didn’t seem right to do a gijinka cosplay but only keep the animal traits of ears and leave off the tail. I found a few Vinyl Scratch tails online, but they were all really expensive, and not really the style I wanted. And of course no single wig site in existence can actually have ponytail extensions in both royal blue and aqua blue in stock at the same time. So I had to order them from two separate sites. Which ended up being ANOTHER problem, because one of the sites cancelled my order without any warning. So fuck you cosplayanimewigs.com. B|
Luckily the one that I DID receive was the aqua one. Because you can always dye wig fibers darker, but you can never make them lighter. Also luckily, the aqua extension was SUPER long. 40” I believe. So it was easy to just cut in half and dye one half while leaving the other half aqua. I bought a few sharpies and mixed up some sharpie dye, but it didn’t make the fibers as dark of blue as I wanted, so I spent three hours one day coloring the wefts by hand. This resulted in me having blue nails for several days and the dye rubbed off a bit on my clothes at the con, but it was worth it for the nice deep royal blue streaks I got. The ponytail came with a clip so I didn’t have to worry about how I’d attach it to my jeans, but it did help that these particular jeans had a sort of decorative three-belt-loop thing on the back. The clip hung on really well to the three loops. Jeans with only one on the back wouldn’t hold it as well.
Around this time my overly expensive T-shirt arrived, AND IT WASN’T EVEN WHITE. Even though the site SAID it was. =| It was more of an off-white/almond color. WELP. There was no time to exchange it for another shirt, so I had to find a way to make it work by adding some actual white to the cosplay in any way I could. This was done by adding a white tank top (which I already owned) underneath, and then cutting the T-shirt up. I cut it completely up one side and knotted it under the sleeve and at the hem, leaving that whole side essentially open. Also I cut in an asymmetrical neckline for an off-the-shoulder look. Luckily the shirt was a very thin fabric, so it hung well.
It still needed more white, though, and in my experience Supercon is in a very cold building. I’d freeze in just a T-shirt. So my next idea was to make some arm warmers! (Bonus: the bell shape of arm warmers is very reminiscent of hooves.) This was actually super easy. I just bought a cheap white T-shirt, cut out two pieces, cut little slits in the two sides of the pieces, and laced them up with some blue ribbon left over from my Miiko cosplay. The great thing was that because it was for a punk/rock costume, they didn’t have to be even at all! I didn’t have to hem them or even care if the lacing was all even. The imperfections just added to the punk look I was going for, and weirdly, even though I was barely trying, they actually came out kind of classy anyway. And because I chose a shirt with a bit of stretch to it, they could stretch and be nice and snug on my arms without falling off. These were a super simple and cheap way of making the cosplay a little more interesting.
Minor off-topic aside: I’d recommend that ANY pony cosplayer consider doing some simple armbands. You can make them in like a half hour and they don’t need hemming or sewing because you’ll use the natural hem of the shirt you cut them from as the main hem by your fingers, and can just roll the tops under. (I added a few stitches to help mine hold together, but you could accomplish the same thing with glue if needles and thread are the enemy.) You can customize them with any color of fabric/lacing material to suit your character (maybe hemp or leather for an Applejack or Big Macintosh cosplay, or a pretty lace for a Rarity one? Mardi Gras beads for Pinkie Pie or a macramé lacing for Fluttershy. Sparkly streamers for Rainbow Dash. The ideas are endless!) and they’re almost impossible to mess up. Plus they keep your arms warm, if you get cold easily like me, and you can easily push them up or take them off if you get hot or are eating food or something and don’t want them to get messy. BASICALLY ARM WARMERS ARE AWESOME OKAY.
K back on topic now.
The jeans I kept simple. All I did with them was paint the cutie mark on. I didn’t style the wig at all other than a bit of Aquanet spritzed on after I arranged the hair over my ears/horn to hide the elastic bands. I added a few small touches: a pair of music-related earrings from Claire’s (one was a little cassette tape, the other a little pair of headphones), headphones around my neck, her sunglasses of course, and a Vinyl Scratch ID card that I bought while at the con. Which isn't in most of these photos because I wore it on Monday and I STILL can't find pics anywhere online from that day. =( But you can see it in this one:
Photo by Rob
This was a really fun cosplay and totally worth all the extra stuff I added to it. I guess other people liked it too because I won Best Animated/Cartoon character in the Monday runway contest with it! =D
Photo by Rob
More photos of this cosplay can be found in the main recap, because I took them with other people. =)
Aki Izayoi, the Black Rose Witch:
(Unless otherwise stated, all the following cosplay shots not by Rob were taken by his friend Kelly using my camera. I edited/cropped some of them. Photos of the props I took myself.)
My Aki cosplay was another monster entirely. I actually began planning early for it; getting fabric and patterns and stuff MONTHS in advance. The cloak and dress took shape, with some difficulty, because hems hate me for some reason and always start twisting up. =/
It was the props and smaller details that made this one such a nightmare. And it didn’t help that when I realized I was in over my head, instead of actually trying to find a way to make it work, I just bought a bunch of books and read for two weeks to escape my stress. EFFECTIVE COPING METHODS. /o/ Then I had to deal with the fact that I had six million things to finish and no time. So for the week leading up to the con I was up til nearly 4:00 am every night working on the duel disk, then getting a few hours of sleep before getting up again at 8:30 am to work a full shift at work. To this day I’m not actually sure how I survived that. xD Burger King frappes are fucking magical or something. Seriously one of them was enough to keep me going for over 24 hours, and then I had a second one that kept me going for at least another 24, and I never even crashed from them. DRINKS OF THE GODS.
I bought the wig from CosplayDNA on ebay, (link takes you to the exact wig I got) and cut and styled it myself. The color was perfect as it was, so I only had to shorten everything except her little tails and then feather the heck out of it.
The dress is based on Simplicity pattern 1993. I had to take it in a bit due to me not really being a misses size. I also altered it slightly by adding a slit up one side. The double bias tape on the neckline kept coming off, so in some of the pictures you can see a little red rose on it; that was sewed on to hide a fraying spot. xD Because I have no boobs, I actually had to buy a padded bra and stuff it to fill out the bust. Which was totally weird and makes me act slightly immature when I see pictures of myself in this cosplay. For example:
What I should think when I see this picture: "OMG what a nice shot. I look so ~thoughtful and cool."
What I actually think: "LOOK. BOOB."
I used Simplicity pattern 5794 for the cloak, version C. This I didn’t really alter at all except for making it shorter. xD
Both the dress and cloak are of a rayon/polyester gabardine, and the cloak is fully lined in the same fabric. (This stuff was really heavy, but that was good, because I didn't want the cape fluttering like a superhero cape. The weight kept it held down.) The hood is attached to the cloak, but the mantle around the cloak neck is a separate piece that can be adjusted, worn by itself or taken off. The belt for the dress is made of the same and attached with Velcro.
The finished mantle and belt. (I took this pic when I got home so they're slightly wrinkled from the trip still. xD)
I was just being a derp in this photo and hiding my face, but hey, I got a shot of the back of the hood! (It also amuses me that my dragon, who I named Tamir, appears to be staring at my hand like she's wondering if I have food or something. xD)
The mask is made of sculpey clay, coated in Mod Podge and painted. This thing was a pain in the arse from the start. D< It refused to sand well, was lumpy and gross, and had just about cracked in two by the time the con was over. I used some white T-shirt material left over from making Vinyl’s armbands over the eyes. It was impossible to see through, so I mostly just posed with it or hung it on the side of my head:
This was actually a candid shot that I was laughing in, but upping the contrast made it look serious instead! =D
Photo by Rob
I like a lot of the posed/holding the mask pics, but it would be nice to try making one someday that I could actually wear, too.
The gloves were actually the first part of this cosplay that I finished. I bought some black opera-length gloves from Amazon and hand-stitched the finger hems. The gold ribbon was also hand stitched on.
Now…about the duel disk. Let's talk about this bitch. xD
THE TROUBLE THIS PROP PUT ME THROUGH, YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I was able to make the basic shape from foam rubber floor mats hot glued together, but then I ran into trouble. All of the edges were bumpy and uneven. I tried sculpting them, but rubber does not sculpt well and it got even more bumpy and lumpy. Every idea I had sort of fell apart and caused more trouble. So I just kind of stared at this failed duel disk for weeks like, “why?” And pretty much gave up any plans of taking it with me at all and very nearly decided to just relegate the costume to next year's con.
Then, about a week before leaving, I tentatively decided to try using sandpaper to shape it. I was mostly just desperate to look like I was doing something productive, since my parents kept kind of looking at me like, “you put us through all your sewing angst and now you’re giving up on this costume? Really?” The amazing thing was that the sandpaper actually WORKED. WHAT. I sanded that sucker for days. It smoothed down the edges and gave the arm platform part a nice sharp edge.
Craft foam forms the shape and details on the wrist base and card slots. The "gems" are plushie stuffing wrapped in Seran wrap. At first I used clay to sculpt the details on it only to end in the metric fuckton disaster that I documented on Tumblr in all of my WTF I GIVE UP WHAT IS COHERENCE glory. So the next morning I replaced the clay stones with the fluff and used the craft foam for the base. This choice is pretty much the only reason I even had a duel disk to take with me. If it wasn’t for coming up with that idea at like five in the morning the day before leaving, I’d have had to give up on the prop entirely (again) because with the clay the thing weighed so much I could barely lift it with one arm. Now only the graveyard slot and the little edge around the smaller gem are formed from the clay.
The whole thing was coated several times in Mod Podge and painted with acrylics. (The red paint is metallic, so it has a bit of a sparkle up close.) Those are real cards in the deck slot; they’re all hot glued in except the top one, because I used the top one to “draw” during action poses. ;3
(I painted over my face there in the mirror. xD;)
The wrist strap is a cardboard tube, hot glued on, layered with foam and tightened down with velcro straps, all painted black. Originally I had a palm strap too, but that broke off like two hours into the con. =|
Luckily even without the palm strap, it held on okay and I was able to pose with it.
Considering that I very nearly had a duel disk too heavy to wear at all, I'm glad I was able to do poses like these at all!
The bottom is covered in a layer of black fabric. This was put together in the middle of the night literally two days before the con, so the backing is sloppy and wrinkled. X_x
Curse my procrastination! At least now I know what not to do next time. Fuck sculpting and clay, and break out the sandpaper!
Now, the prop that DID work out, my Black Rose Dragon plushie! =D
Capable of looking dignified and regal as she ascends the clothing mountain.
And also cute and huggable too! <3
I'm super thrilled with how she came out, especially because I didn’t have a pattern at all to go by. It was all trial and error with her. I based the design on a chibified version of the dragon that I’ve seen in a few fanarts, like this one, and this one. I liked this design because there were no visible feet, giving the impression that she sort of uses her petals or wings to shuffle along. Which meant I didn’t have to worry about making feet either. xD
No feetsies here!
The body/neck/tail is black fleece and stuffed with polyfill, all hand-sewn. The neck was definitely the hardest part to do. I tried and messed up a couple different methods before I achieved the curved shape, and her head is actually a separate piece entirely that I kind of force-sewed on and then used all the little details to cover the ugly stitching. xD
The wings are fleece, sewn along the top with supports inside. There are over 100 petals/scales, each cut from red felt and lined on both sides with black fabric paint, and hot glued on.
She is slightly front-heavy, so when sitting on something flat she has a tendency to tip forward.
As in the first pic, however, she looks quite digified when sitting at an angle.
Her eyes were drawn on paper and glued on. Her face and neck armor are soft black leather. The neck armor spine thingies are lined with red fabric paint and are five separate pieces. They're easier to see if you bend her neck:
Her face is one large piece of leather. I folded it at the muzzle so the wrinkles sort of formed nostrils. It also conveniently covered all of my shoddy stitching. xD
(I had to turn the contrast on this way down for you to be able to see where the armor ends and where her chin/throat is still fleece.)
The horns have wire (from a picture-hanging kit) inside them to give them shape and are covered with felt, then covered again in chevron shapes to get that armored look. Her mane is made up of a bunch of little petal shapes hot glued to a larger felt piece for stability. The little red forehead thing and her side spikes have red construction paper glued to the back of them to keep them a little more rigid. Although the side spikes still wanted to wrinkle. ^^;
The spikes on her tail are made from the same foam floor matting as the duel disk, painted black and hot-glued on. There's also the picture wire in her neck, tail and wings. The wings have bamboo skewers and craft foam inside them for extra support and are attached by a single pivot point, circled here:
Each wing can move indepedently.
They can’t stand up on their own, but they can be moved and arranged when she's sitting down! Most of the time she looks like this:
(This is also a nice picture of her tail. xD)
But they can be spread out too:
Or tucked neatly in:
For some reason her head has a tendency to tilt to one side. So while she might look a bit regal sometimes, at a lot of angles she has a somewhat curious/playful expression. xD Which is pretty cute, actually.
"What's that you're holding? Is it food?"
"Oh it's a picture of me!"
Due to all the trouble the duel disk gave me, I had to forego some details of the cosplay for lack of time. I didn’t make boot covers, (just used some boots from my closet) and didn’t bother putting the gold trim on the stockings.
Despite the fact that this cosplay caused me WAY too much angst (Emotional stability? What on Earth is that?), I was pretty happy with it in the end, and I love a lot of the pictures that my con friends Kelly and Rob took of it. =) I’d like to wear this one again someday, but I’ll definitely remake the mask and possibly remake the duel disk before then.
And now, more pictures from the photoshoot! =D
Photo by Rob
This was actually very likely a candid shot of when I was switching my BRD card between hands. (I did poses holding it with both.) But it came out pretty great!
Photo by Rob
(I admit to shooping this one a little. I tried to use a clone of the trees to hide an umbrella and table in the background. It was not very effective. xD)
Photo by Rob
This was my sexy leg pic. ;D Pat, a friend of Kelly and Rob's who flirted with anyone who wouldn't smack him, approved. He also kept trying to make me laugh because he thought the photoshoot needed more giggling, so he began really obnoxiously flirting and it was so absurd that it worked. xD
It was kind of windy out, and my hood kept falling down. Dx
It wasn't until I got home and uploaded all my pictures that I realized there were a couple almost-panty-shots on my camera. I actually think Kelly miiiiight have taken those on purpose. xD Meh, I'm 23, this would be the time for fanservice. 8D
SO. FANSERVICE~~. Also you can see the little rose on the neckline of my dress in this picture.
The photoshoot was really fun! I can't thank Rob and Kelly enough for all the awesome pictures. Normally I'm lucky if I have ONE really good shot of my cosplay that I actually like. This year I have a bunch! =)