Freak Out Moments











{June 18, 2014}   MCM, YCC6 and other things…

So.. it’s been a while and that’s mostly been to fighting a bout of depression that I really didn’t fancy boring folks with. Depression is to me a personal thing, when it comes to causes, but the upshot is when you come out of it the other side fighting it’s a good thing to apologise if you mucked up. Sincerely, I can admit I make mistakes and I think people should be able to do that. It’s not weak at all in my book to say, hey I f*cked up I am so sorry.

So after that I was in talks with my doctor and he suggested instead of giving up and moping around I should go to MCM London, get my costumes out and generally stop putting myself into the gloom and self-doubt.

On the Friday me and my friend Kyle headed off with the car loaded up, the traffic was surprisingly easy going and we hit London before the event opened. Checking into the hotel we were surprised by how nice the Travelodge was, (I haven’t used them before) and then proceeded to unpack and get our costumes on. I took Ezio from Assassins Creed 2 for my first day, I got to wander around and look at the stalls. The ticket system was fairly fluid on the first day and we had a nice time. A few drinks the night before, something to eat and a late-ish night we were all happy to get ready for the big day on Saturday.

Saturday I chose my crossplay of Chris Redfield, lost in Nightmares from Resident Evil. I love meeting up with REUK and I always feel so happy to see everyone. Leon Chiro and Philipe Lauby were there looking awesome, along with Neil Gorton of Capcom who took some pics and videos. It was a lovely day, packed however and I am told that the ticketing system in the morning was pretty much a hellish run, when I went in a bit later it seemed that they had ironed that out significantly to be fair. It rained terribly, and heavily, and a lot of folk outside got a nasty drenching, me included. It sparked a mass rush for the cover but the security at the exit spotted the problem and opened the doors to prevent further troubles.

Saturday night we went for a nice Chinese meal, had a few glasses of wine and then went into the Fox. I walked home after a few drinks and wandered back with another friend in a nearby hotel. We had a nice chat and then it was great for me to relax and settle down before my friend got back. It was a great night and it really did serve the purpose of relaxing my already anxious self. Well served friends, cosplayers and bar staff!

Sunday – Well I decided that after loosing over 9 stone in the last couple of years, of paying the awesome CosplayUK to make the base of my dream dress I would get my guts sucked in a bit and cosplay Anya Stroud’s CIC outfit from the first and second Gears of War.

I was so lucky! Me and my friend, who borrowed the Stranded coat and a lancer, were picked by MCM to be in a video! And then we got some wonderful pics by the gent below. I was so very proud of the dress and all the bits I added to it. I felt like the dieting, the work and the effort to get out all paid off in that regards. I have achieved one of my Dream cosplays and it’s all down to support and friends who help me out.

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Work in Pixls Facebook 

YCC6 – Yorkshire Comicon.

So after the big weekend at London, we had a break and went to YCC6 in Doncaster, at The Dome. It’s my first time making a costume utterly without purchase off commissioners and friends so I was nervous I admit.

I picked a Death Knight from World of Warcraft, and I went for their starting kit. I know there’s plenty more I can do with it but I made a point of buying scrap materials from work and then from trying to reuse things as much as possible. The whole thing cost me about £10 in total and about a month on and off of sewing.

Suffice to say I felt quiet nervous about this one but the new medication has kicked in, my panic attacks are down and I am generally thinking that it’s perfectly okay to try these things because hey, everyone has to learn somewhere!

I met new friends, saw older ones, I loved the venue but it was a bit warm being next to a swimming pool! The day went really fast in fact, but we did have a giggle surprising local Asda (Walmart) people by wandering around, the Ghostbusters even got picture’d by staff. Overall when we left, a little tired and possibly bedraggled it was in a high spirit.

Our next outing is to LFCC (London Film and Comicon) and I am taking Anya again. I simply love the costume and am hoping that CosplayUK will see me, my costume and the bloody big grin all wrapped up in one. I know Stan Lee will be there but I didn’t get a ticket and photoshoot organised in time, so my loss but I hope if you did you get to have an amazing time.

So what are your next plans? And if you ever spot me around a convention here in England PLEASE stop me, say hi and if you are in costume and I have my camera tell me to get a pic for you because I am probably so happy to meet you I might forget that part.

Frag out!

Rea

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Yup tis me again!  I’m going to write about something dear to all our hearts, money, lack of or overspending of.

All too often you will see people searching the pages to get cheap commissions or to get costumes fast because a) you might be new to cosplaying or b) you are restricted on funds.

You might well be dismayed when that comes in the post because, and don’t think you are alone here, what turns up doesn’t even vaguely look like the epic costume you envisioned. And sadly this is why – pay for cheap you get cheap. And I am not going to be arrogant and say I told you so… because that assumes it’s about you being stupid and it’s not. It’s about learning what and where to order from. Not everyone is able to sew, for instance I find it very hard to find the space in a small flat so something’s I will order from people.

What I learnt by trial, error and money is that you need to research what you want and carefully… First time I brought something it was a total disaster, nothing like the thing I had ordered and consequently sits in a box of shame with the idea I might one day find a use for the component parts.

It’s akin to buying a Walmart/Primark suit for a job interview then wondering why the guy in Prada has nailed it… the investment speaks for itself. Of course if you’re new to the whole thing and you want to get something cheap and fun until you think this is the hobby for you ignore me!

I also don’t include this when we’re talking about home made costumes, if you can make it and try then I think it’s great because it’s a creative thing and more to celebrate. However I guess this is more for me when I say keep it in perspective – if you want to have a totally epic armour set that looks like it was made by professionals you either need to be that said professional, talented or pay the cost. Don’t get upset if you aren’t stopped for you’re Link costume if the Link beside you is home made or cost an extra few hundred bucks.

What I love about seeing costumes way better than mine is thinking, well that’s about ten million ideas I use to make a better one next time!

And on that joyous note I wish you all a wonderful Con Season and hope that you love your cosplays as much as I do!

And just for a laugh see my Gears of War Stranded that I took to MCM Telford. If you like it you can hit the link here and say so, thanks!!

Peace out.

GearsGirl

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{September 1, 2012}   Nero’s Gun from DMC4

Okay! This one was a bit crazy mostly because half way through this I suffered a break out of contact dermatitis. Maybe I will post about that at some point, I end up looking like a leper!

So, Nero is one of my favourite boys of all time! I mean it, seriously love his little punk attitude and the clothes. Now obviously I love the original Dante and I won’t start a rant about how much I hate the reboot but I thought you might like to see what a few hours and a £10 budget can do for Cosplay. This is Blue Rose – aka Nero’s gun.

What you need – 2 plastic guns, a hacksaw, paint, some cardboard or filler of some sort and time… lots of time. At the end you can also tidy this up with varnish for more protection.

I got two “Cowboy” guns for “£3, you can see I pretty much just hacked off   barrel and put it on to another. Then put some card in to fill the centre and built the little extra box. It doesn’t look sturdy but you can see the overall shape roughly matches Nero’s gun.

After that was the fun part of spraying! I used Games Workshop’s white paint as a base coat but it wasn’t really necessary. I just sprayed it with a light silver paint then hand painted with another silver paint over to give it more texture. Again just leave it plenty of time to dry, I had to take this outside because I picked model paint and it stank!

After that I paint the handle with “leather brown” paint. It wasn’t amazing looking but it’s more about representation than exacts, especially when I decided I was going to save myself the costs online.

I paint the box with the rose on next, I had metallic coloured paint in the stores but honestly I think you could get away using just the colours you fancied.

Then to get the rose outlines for the vines I drew them on with a soft pencil, the design was then painted on as a mix of black and silver paint with a fine brush.

Once all of it was done it was a matter of varnish over the top to keep it protected a little more. It’s not exact but I am pretty confident that you could recognise what it is and that’s more important.

So costs?

£3 for two plastic guns from Amazon.

Paint – already had but still cheap enough if you wanna get some.

Hacksaw (for the love of Holy if you are trying this and young get your dad or mom to do it for you!)

Glue and card.

Varnish (or as an alternative some clear nail varnish you could pick up from a market etc)

 



{July 28, 2012}   Weiss Kreuz Tie

This was used making up some scraps because I wouldn’t like them to go to waste.

I thought I would share it, very easy to make. Cut a length of white material and make the end flare out. Then lay over the red and sew a cross shape.

Simple but nice to make for any fans of the series.



{July 17, 2012}   Making Sora’s Halloween Top

Hey tis me already again?

The reference picture, isn’t he adorable!! So a few things to let you know, firstly I have NEVER made something like this from scratch but I can tell you now it’s been amazing fun to try. I decided that  in reality the basics were going to be a jacket then to add everything on.

Since this is for Cosplay and  not a Prada Fashion show mistakes should be okay right?Right I spotted a version around on the internet and it was like £130 or so. I figured since I am not a professional cosplayer (and there’s gotta be a way to do it cheaper) I would be SUPER brave and try  the following!

So I laid on the side and got a rough idea for the length and width, did a tape measure check too then tidied up the lines. After making a little adjustment it got cut out. I cut the two pieces and then instead of getting too far ahead, both were sewn like a tabard together. Then I added the arms after. You need to make the top of the arms longer than the under so they lay down your arms more equal.Materials – the black is 3.5 metres of fabric. Half a metre of white fabric, a strip of old grey, a grey vest top, toy stuffing and some old cabling wire. Oh and cotton, pins, blood and patience.

The hardest part here was the sewing! I fortunately have a nice sewing machine but I pinned and tacked my heart out here. The sleeves were hard as I hadn’t really got a clue but basically what I found was you can pin around and then look, take time to line it up. Use a white cotton to tack it cos then you can easily see what you did, and remove it if needed.

You will need to iron the seams once you have sewn them too. This is because you can get a good clear view of what you have done and you can see how the additions are going to lay as you set them. If you don’t and you make a mistake you could end up unpicking for some time!he sewing of the basic part could probably be used for other things too. Then I cut the centre to open it as a coat and turns the seams inside to keep a tidy line. I did double sew all the lines to keep them fairly robust too. Another piece of advise, if you don’t have a willing victim just keep trying it on yourself. If you are worried about stabbing yourself on pins just get some masking tape over them.

Once you have the basics of the jacket you need to add the collar. This was by far the trickiest part. I was really daunted by it, the way I did it was to measure the back as a straight piece. Then I made the parts for the ends separately and attacked them. Remember to get the fabric right side up for the way you want it.  After I had the collar in once piece I was able to shape it to the jacket. Pins and tacking materials are my best mate here!

Okay so far I have a jacket basic, some bloodied fingers and a headache from leaning over but then it’s a nicer bit. The white seams around the edge of the jacket were just strips sewn around, then the collar designs. I did have a little trouble sewing the little claws under the collar as they didn’t really seem to have a place they could sit persay…

I did the white panels on the front then and after that looked at the scary bit, the wings! For a start I wanted them to match the outfit and I wanted them to be quite solid. I don’t want them getting broken an hour into playing around in them. They were sketched on paper to get a size I liked, then cut and sewn. I then ‘ribbed’ the wings with cable wire and then toy stuffing was put in to give them some bulk.

I then attached the whole wing fixture to the jacket and manually (yes with ma own hands!!) sat to sew this down. The reason was I didn’t fancy risking catching the cable along the back with the machine and damaging it.

The cape was made by a half metre of the material, it was folded in two and then measured across the back. I tacked the cape and then having sewn it across the sides and bottom I turned it out, again iron the seams. Then I tacked it to the bottom under the wings. After that it was secured on. I noticed in the game  video’s that it did not seem to be fixed anywhere else so mine is able to move.

The under top was more to fill in the space, I figure you could just put a black top on but I wanted the little cross effect on the white. The black material was placed over an old vest top, then the grey panel stitched down it. After that I got some white strips and lay them on, pinned, tacked and then had them fixed via sewing machine.

After all that it was time to tidy up the loose threads, sew down any bits I spotted needed fixing and to try it on!

Total cost is about £36 with all the threads etc.

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{July 14, 2012}   Dante’s Amulet

Hey,

Back on the run of Cosplay stuff. Rin’s still got a few additions to go but that’s not stopped me looking around at other things.

Today’s is the amulet that Dante wears from DMC. Had lots of help, and advice. I am sure there are better ways to make it but for a first effort I am quite happy indeed.

I wanted to find a way to make it on a budget, I think that whilst we can all spend a lot of money on these things and enjoy trawling sites to get the best costumes if you are trying to do things without spending a fortune there are ways.

Firstly I do have Dante’s jacket and unlike the £117 pounds most sites advertise for his costume I got the jacket for £30 by being patient on Ebay. Fortunately the sellers measurements matched mine and so I got a good deal. I am particularly chuffed with this of course but on to the amulet.

Firstly, air dry clay for the sculpting, this cost £3.99 and there was enough to make a fair few of them anyway.

The chain was £2 from hobbycraft on a clearance sale. I am sure there would be better ones to use but like I say, attempting to do these things on a budget in case others are looking for help that way.

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The paint was silver model paint, £1.60 and then the red paint was Asda’s George Nailvarnish (on sale for £1) and the clear varnish was the same.

So the total cost was: £9.59. The ones I found on Ebay were around £30 or more.

Firstly the amulet was made, the basic shape then chain was fed through before the final shaping was done. After that the amulet base was left to try, it was easier to do this than to oven bake. Once the amulet was dried the base coat of silver was applied, I believe the only difference for Vergil would be to use gold paint. This was then built up over a few more coats to ensure that the clay underneath wasn’t visible.

Once the metal look was sorted out the red nail varnish was used to pain the red part in the centre. It took a few coats to get it to shine (picture may not really show that too well) but after they were dried off the clear nail varnish was put on. Again this was used to give the whole amulet a shine, the entire thing was painted with the clear nail varnish.

Once it was dry it was fine to put on and play with. It wouldn’t suggest dunking it in hot water or anything but for cosplay purposes it seems pretty tough and durable to wear. Obviously I doubt throwing it around would do it’s health too many favours but that’s how it was made and I think it passes for the job it’s intended to do.

 

That’s it for now.

MJ



{June 30, 2012}   Rin Okumura Cosplay

Okay so it has been like forever haha! Here goes, cosplay doesn’t have to be about spending a fortune.

One of the things I think I should explain is that I am on a pretty major diet at the moment. Part of the reason for this blog is to see how that looks as I loose weight. Since the Cosplay for Rangiku I have lost over a stone. This may not look it in the pictures but that’s meant a lot off my waist and thighs so yeah I am feeling a lot happier but a long way to go.

Rin Okumura is from Ao No Exorcist, I started watching it and reading the books because I thought they were kinda cute. Having spotted the main jacket on the internet (EZcosplay) I had that made up and determined to try and make the rest of it myself as a fun project.

So below are the results.

Two plushies I made, one is a Coal Tar which are little demons that are floating around. I made him from felt and he is stuffed with toy stuffing. All in all the cost of him (rather than the £20 on ebay) was 50 pence per coloured felt and the toy stuffing is a massive bag of the stuff I got in hobbycraft. Kuro the cat was made of felt and loose bits of material such as old buttons from my button jar. He was also stuffed with the same materials.  Both of them together would have cost 5 sheets of felt and the stuffing. So… for £2.50 felt and £5 bag of stuffing I got around the plushies cost of nearly £50. Granted they are not as amazing looking but they do the job right?

The sword case – I made this from a metre of red material that I got for £2.99 on our local market. I got the black material from Jessops (aka John Lewis) for  £3 and the strip of ribbon over the top was £2. Again this sells on Ebay from around £15 upwards. I have made this for £8 plus the cottons and time. It was made by sewing the length of red material, turning it around and then sewing the black and red strips on to make the carrying strips and decor. Yes I realise it’s not perfect but again part of the charm of Cosplay is to enjoy making things if you can I think.

Right so… the tail. I looked around on ebay and was dismayed at the cost of a bit of wire and fluff. It was again £15 to £20 and I wasn’t willing to spend it myself if I wasn’t using the costume daily haha! So wire from the local DIY merchants, some black tights over it and then some spare blue fluffy material from a mate mate the tail. Total – 79p for wire, free old black tights that were laddered and free fluff yay!

The total cost of the costume was thus:

£45 for jacket, white shirt, tie and black pants.

£7.50 Plushies

£8 for sword case

79p for tail.

£61.29 total, not bad eh?

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et cetera