Freak Out Moments











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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{February 4, 2014}   Cosplaying Perspectives

This is a about perspective. It’s a new year and last year I learnt a hell of a lot, mostly about me and my own shortcomings, as a cosplayer but that’s a good thing, I think its part of life lessons as well as exploring my hobby more in-depth.

Positives from last year – I lost over 100 pounds in weight. FYI that’s like a whole person in some cases! Met awesome friends, saw fantastic costumes and learnt some amazing new crafting ideas.

Negatives – fell into some of the cosplay/popularity traps of getting frustrated by lack of pictures. Had a few times where I was sure I was going to give up and just go back to hiding in my flat. Panic attacks and anxiety issues.

Cosplayer – Your costume and you are fabulous, you don’t need to be told this, you already know it. Don’t belittle what you do, I am terribly good at convincing myself I am terrible. This is a process of mental instability and other outside factors, I want to tell you now I am fully aware of how self-destructive this can be.

Okay I love my costumes, getting a picture and part of the fun is someone stopping you to compliment you but getting angry or upset people don’t only harms you. The guy that shoved me aside for a thinner model, the one that told me I was too fat for a picture when I never asked him for one in the first place and the guy that promises to take a picture then doesn’t? They are upsetting but I can bet you they have already forgotten you, don’t waste time dwelling on them, it’s giving the, too much credit.

Feeling fat, crap or ugly? Nonsense. Someone somewhere loves you for who you are, and whilst you may not see it in that moment take time to reflect on it. I have been guilty of letting a strangers comments destroy me and my confidence and yet in that same day someone else, in fact probably more than one, has mentioned that I look good or my costume is cool. It’s hard not to dwell on a bad comment but honestly look back at the good ones. 

This is not my chosen career, therefore I ask myself regularly am I keeping this in perspective? Selling prints, etc is all well and good if you are trying to make a model career or costume career out of it but if not then don’t be offended by it not being something that falls into your lap. It is not my career it is my hobby, if it was I would be at the gym for hours and over a sewing machine, or hiring a workshop. As I do not do this full time I don’t expect a full time span of attention for it. That said I love the idea that my hobby can be a thing I share and love with so may other people, career cosplayer or not.

So in summary, this year I just aim to have even more fun, keep being creative and let the positivity reap it’s own rewards. 

Wish me luck!

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And here’s a terrible mug shut of me with my super favourite prop at the moment. My Golden Retro Lancer from Gears of War. The lights awful but I hope that if you followed my blog you can see where some of the weight has fallen away 🙂



{December 28, 2013}   2013 What’s happened to me?

Wow what a year! And I really do thank my family and friends for it all.

1. Partner.

He’s suffered my obsessive cosplay outings, holiday and trips all over the place. We’ve both been very busy this year, he even ventured out to a convention with me despite hating them. He’s a rock when I am depressed, and I in turn hope I do that for him when he is low or wants comfort. We’ve been together for over a decade now, seems pretty impressive to me.

2. I changed jobs.

I went from a full time position dealing with complaints for the energy industry and it was a bit of a harrowing time. The place I was in took up a lot of my energy and I found it hard to deal with by the end, more so when I realised how many people I would leave behind. I have now got a new job, it’s part time and the money adjustments will really set in during 2014.

3. Venice.

This was amazing. I went with what I consider to be one of my best set of friends here in Nottingham. It’s a shame more friends couldn’t be mustered up but it’s really a place you can fall in love with. I am desperately hoping to return there, as much as I would like to go back to the USA and even Germany too. It was so hot and I even got a tan!

4. Other outings?

I was lucky to get to see the Mansion for Zed Events, I met a lot of amazing people there from both Zed Events and REUK (Resident Evil UK). It was so much fun! It was a great road trip with my friends and it was another great way of proving I can get past the years of sitting home, in semi-forced reclusion.

Sheffield and Birmingham Cemetery trips – again I went with friends or met friends there. I love to look around and see the beautiful gravestones, the plants and environment; I don’t mind if people consider it morbid. It makes me happy and I feel at peace in them.

I also took a couple of other trips, one to Haverhill to see friends I don’t get to see enough and also a random trip out to go and buy a Gears of War Lancer off a friend there. I fell lucky enough to catch up with another friend in Scarborough and so both trips were a great deal of fun.

5. Cosplay.

WOW where do I begin? How about the list of the ones I ventu

I have really enjoyed making so many friends, and I have absolutely learnt a lot about costumes. I have seen the good and bad side of the hobby. I love the costumes, the friends and I love looking around. I hate the blatant elitism and the downright rude way people can be, not everyone there wants to be an air-brushed model on a page, and I am definitely happy with just staying in the circles I do. If you want to say hi or get a picture do so, but I don’t approach photographers because I don’t need them to make me feel good. Especially when this year I lost seven stone, made friends by the bucket-loads and didn’t even need an agent to do it! (Yeah that was a cheap dig at the “I want to make friends, book my pictures” type of people). red too? So MCM Telford, both Birmingham events, both London events, LFCC in the summer, Insomnia47 (thanks to the awesome Tigerlily Cosplay and her competition), J-Con and Nerdfest. What a year?

6. Gaming.

Oh lords well – it’s really been the year for Gears of War and Resident Evil, mixed with a bit of Devil May Cry (original 4). I did also get my mitts on Metal Gear Rising. It’s been a great year for social gaming, I’ve spent plenty of hours on my Xbox and PC, and I also got a fair amount of time on the MMO I have played for quite a few years (yes the dreaded WOW player is here).

Gaming has been a good outlet for me, when I am not able to write, draw or muster up the energy to fight low points of depression it’s a way to escape the troubles. When I am in a good mood it’s a great way to clock up some kill counts too!

So how has your year been? I hope it’s been good and that come 2014 it will only get better.

Special thanks to Jon Fisher Photography for my Dante picture.

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1398370_654559424574369_1827787673_o (2)My Gears Collection



{November 3, 2013}   MCM Review Oct 2013

So it’s been a bit manic but finally I have time to get some writing about the event up and running, other than the previous comedy post about the situation with the weird man on the Sunday.

So here goes –

Friday: we had a few blips to get there, we were stuck in a two hour tail-back around the Birmingham area, I really needed to pee! But it’s okay once we got on the road it was a fun trip down and despite the cheesy music in the car my friend fared well and came in alive haha!

Getting our wristbands for the weekend on early entry wasn’t at all painful compared to the May queue. It was simple in and out, bands on *which by the way are a better quality so thanks MCM!* and then into the event.

Friday’s is for me the better day to try and shop, Saturday I barely ever go into the complex and hall. It is just toooo busy! So we had a wander and I brought some rather sexy Gears of War additions for my collection.

Saturday – Oh lords just TOO busy to be inside. And it’s not even just the staff that can be rude, most of them were okay this time. I’ve had the door staff and people being quite rude before but for the most part I escaped that. I will however say some members of the public should probably be glad there are not real weapons they are that damned rude! Pushing people, moaning about the fact there’s too many folks. It’s a convention expect people to be there, but if you can’t be polite or at least move out of the damned flow to have a twenty minute food break I’d rather you let your oxygen go to another person with a brain…

I went to the Fox the Saturday night, a little bold for me as I am terrible at these social things. Cosplay is the way I have picked to battle this social issue, so I went and I had a lovely time. I came back, passed out for about three hours and then woke up with an anxiety attack, however could have been worse because I at least got a little sleep. Did also have a lot of bacon for breakfast – mmmm bacon!

Sunday was a lot calmer indoors, it meant we got a little chance to do some last minute shopping. My friend James had found me a Robbie Rabbit from Silent Hill, I never did find the Konami Store! I was dressed in BSAA outfit, whilst I wasn’t stopped as much as others I really did have a wonderful time in that costume. REUK are just wonderful as a group, I feel like part of a family there.

So the organisation? I would say considering the volume not bad. Again I would say some of the staff/volunteers sincerely need to work on their damned attitude. It’s a nerdfest/geekfest of people that probably aren’t all as brave as they think and sometimes we need a little human touch even if we don’t look one. However when it came to a problem on the Sunday the security on site were on hand and dealt with the issue quickly.

Props/Con Goers treatment – whilst I had no problems myself I was really angry to hear that sensible con-goers with props were turned away whilst others in there I could see were more dangerous with their behaviour than any guy with a fake gun could ever have been! It’s not the Props it’s the bloody people that need chucking out. I would say there should be a check point where you can get your weaponry/props checked out by ONE central point. If the weapon is deemed safe and the cosplayer sensible then give that prop a tag to tie on or something that makes it clear it’s been deemed con-safe. It takes the personal issues away from the door security and means less trouble for those of us that can go in and out ten times a day, then suddenly stopped by the one guy/gal that suddenly takes a dislike. It’s far too based on someone’s personal opinion which means too much error with bias.

Stalls/stands – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHAT COMICS! Seriously it’s called Comiccon and there was like one, maybe two stalls of comics? Very disappointed that the gaming side is lacking, the comics were hit and miss on about two stalls. If I wanted to buy a lucky cat or a bazillion takes on Japanese sweets that we already could buy on the ENTIRE area of Japan food then wow great day. Didn’t see a damned thing outside of the Gears tucked away in some boxes and the Robbie that someone else found for me. I wasn’t impressed with the range this time, a shame as people go with all that money to spend on an event and can end up coming back with very little.

The Steam Punk stands seemed non-existent and even if you are not a major fan it’s part of the conventions generally. The Table Tennis area was a terrible idea, whilst standing by my friends waiting for his cosplay judging we were constantly bombarded by the damned things and watching some kid destroy a table and having to keep repairing it. Not a good idea MCM really, really not!

So overall? Negatives =Biggest lets downs? Not a single guest of interest for me as a gamer, I don’t give a shit about Young Dracula and I don’t care for half of the crap put on inside. Sadly it was just not exciting for the line up and I was sad to hear so many negative bits about it.  Gaming was not really that varied, a shame but the ones on there looked popular enough for the mainstream.

Highlights – I did chat to a developer for a bit who was making his own xbox game and that was pretty cool. Costumes – plenty of good ones and I got to see a lot of my friends finished products from their blogs and facebook make it into real life. New friends I made along the way, absolutely the highlight! A couple of people stopping me for my pictures, I’m not bothered by popularity but it’s a massive compliment when someone does stop me.

Go again? Yes I will be, I will be going to May to see if some of the points addressed by people are picked up on and resolved.  I don’t want people to think I don’t ever have a good time there, I really do or I wouldn’t go back but I’d hope for more variety on the menu by May. Please MCM PLEASE go back to the pre-mainstream crap, I’m a geek and I don’t want it to feel like a trip into the city centre over a weekend of celebrating that fact.

And LOVE to everyone I met there!

So some shoutouts and links for anyone that got to the bottom of this haha!

AJL Armours and Cosplay

Big Red Ape Cosplay

Capcom UK

Buster Boy Cosplay

Cosmic Workshop

Cosplay Without Bias

Cosplayuk

Jon Fisher Photography

Zed Events 

 



Or at least that should be my motto because honestly you read some stories and think, well yeah right, that shit happens to other people. So here’s the story (I will do a much better review on MCM London October once I get caught up around the home).

Friday and Saturday the only things I could say were the in regards to the “crack down” on weaponry this was a curious thing to me. If you are let in with a wrist band and already passed security three times I don’t see why it was necessary for them to THEN check it again, and again, and… and then decide to remove you? If something is banned it needs to be across the board not selectively based on the muppet guards who pick and changed their mind, probably based more on whether they liked the look of you as a person!

By Sunday I admit I was tired, VERY tired, but I was trying to stay in good spirits. Overall I think I did but I was not a happy bunny when I got some guy harassing me.

I was outside, minding my own business and looking around. I was dressed in a tactical vest and sporting a plastic AK47… so he comes over and says “Are there real bullets in that?”. I was like um.. no it’s illegal why would you ask that? And he says well what are you doing here? I said to him waiting for friends, please leave me alone.

So he stands there swaying in front of me, staring at me and I walked off. He then follows me and starts asking me why I won’t go with him, “you have great boobs under that” and similar comments. Totally freaking me out, I had to tell him to leave me alone numerous times and I have to thank NO ONE around me for the help I got as a distressed person. Seriously ignorant people all around me not one was willing to ask a girl why she was upset. So basically the idea is unless it happens to you don’t worry about it, the stupid cow over there got the weirdo not me hurrah! Shame on you people that were there and said nothing.

I have to thank the Security however who came out pretty quick, who also got the police involved because they moved him off site.  I don’t believe I was the only person that had trouble with him but I will probably be the one that speaks out about it.

And this is why from now on unless I have a companion who will give a toss I am not going to think about going to a convention again. I found it incredible that our friend on crutches was shoved around by the crowds, I found it disgusting that people in wheelchairs were being physically sat on.

So how about before moaning about the staff at these things people take a long hard look at their behaviour. There are some real dicks out there and just cos they are the con-goers they don’t get abused about their attitude.  I don’t think some people go in with a community spirit and they ruin it for the rest.

So that’s my bad story about it all, but I am going to post all the good bits soon! I also wanted to clear the story up in case someone starts raving I was being harassed by staff. I really wasn’t.

 



{October 24, 2013}   Pre Expo Blog

Wow it’s time already? MCM Expo in London, I am packed as much as I can be before setting off. Since May I have downed my size from 24 – 18 apart from my top half cos my stupid bewbs refuse to disappear on me just yet!

What a crazy few months of prepping it’s been too. I am taking an upgraded version of my Nero from DMC4, and I am taking Dante again, female version, with a sword I will be picking up the Friday. I am then going to be taking my first full Resident Evil one, I have made a crossplay (sorta) of Nightmare version of Chris Redfield.

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So here’s where the nerves start, despite loving the costumes and going out on a crazy train for three days there are some things I can’t ever stop. One is that sickly stomach feeling when I realise just how nervous it makes me but that’s okay this is a hurdle I would love to cross sometime and only by carrying on will I really get a chance to do that.

I want to thank my friends, you’re support has been overwhelming and to everyone that’s new to my little page I genuinely thank you for taking the time to read what I put on these pages.

Conventions are a fantastic way to show off the things you love, and the passion that you have. So far I have realised that there are some I enjoy as costumes more than others but the response to them varies too. For instance my Marluxia from Kingdom Hearts gets me a lot of nice comments but I have had a couple of nasty ones about others I do. I don;’t mind, I accept that everyone has a different taste but I think that overall it’s important to respect the work that people out into them. For this reason even if I don’t know the character or particularly like the character I will still compliment a job well done. I think we should all do that.

So to everyone off to London, or just interested in these things in general I hope to see you around or if not I hope you enjoy what I write.

See you all soon.

Yours.

Gearsgirl.



{October 11, 2013}   The Fat Factor and photography

I am realistic, I am a big girl. I know this, to be honest we are ALL aware of our own bodies and size.  Don’t be fooled into thinking I am unaware of my own shape and size, and why? I was for many years a dancer and singer and very slender. I was toned, I did ballet, jazz and tap, I danced for two to three hours a day and I would ride horses around when I wasn’t in school/college/work.

I didn’t have a full time office job, I wasn’t subject to injuries and at the time I wasn’t even aware of the horrifically cruel things human’s would do to one another just to make themselves feel better. And that’s the crux of this post…

I shied away from my picture being taken for years after I exited the entertainment business. At size 8-10 with fairly decent figure, fit, healthy, brown hair and brown eyed I was told more often than I would care to mention – you are too fat, need to loose a couple pounds. Basically in order to satisfy a man’s ideals instead of being happy that I was healthy they wanted me to starve. Ballet Dancers aren’t allowed to eat, shit or drink like a human they are expected to be some form of bone with a fleshy cling-film overlay.

My impression of the cosplay world for those that want to take it seriously is that it is just as brutal and rude. CRUDE would be a good word. I am not thin, I am not going to slim down for THEM I do it for me!

I have downsized from a UK 24 to an 18 in the last year, I have done it with a healthier eating pattern and by taking walks. I have done this for me not for a media photographer and yet I still see girls who are perfectly healthy and normal being told they are too fat, their breasts are too small.

It actually makes you feel disappointed that in a day and age where we are so willing to fight for the rights of a murder, or rapist that nothing is said about the media portrayal of people.  It’s easier to poke fun at the “fat bitch” than to think, hey she’s really fighting to get up in the morning, to do the right thing, I should ask her how she’s feeling… I should keep my damned abusive mouth shut.

It is true I feel that you can avoid internet bullying, but I also think it’s important to understand people that feel bullied won’t know how to deal with it. Sometimes we aren’t equipped with the mindset to walk away, you sit in front of the PC and see those comments, “fat” “ugly” “worthless” and buried in the myriad of beautiful praises they stand out, they are negative and they are hurtful. Internet trolls aren’t even clever people, they just think they are. Personally they are the ones I feel more sorry for when I sit down to analyse it, after all they are that needy for attention they have to try to destroy other people’s creativity and happiness.

So I guess really what I am saying is, I don’t think it’s important to you as a person if you cosplay and they ignore your costume for the thing girl. I’ve been physically pushed aside by men for a picture of a prettier girl by the way…

It is more important to evaluate your self-worth. I find this hard but here’s my example!

I love what I do, I have a balance of life and work, I love my friends and family equally. I won’t judge you as a man or woman, I will judge you as a person. I am not blind to my follies and faults, I will adapt and try to move forwards. I WILL love you no matter your size and I DO care if you are upset.

And, if anyone ever wants to talk to me outside of my blogs you can find me on facebook.

Take care all,

GearsGirl



{May 13, 2013}   MCM Expo London

Good day again,

Alright that was possibly the slowest of updates ever and I do apologise! I’ve been preparing for May’s Expo here in London.

Here are my planned cosplays.

MCM May 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And here are the reservations/problems I am facing.

1. I am a fairly big girl, I know this and I am constantly dieting, trying to improve that but alongside this is depression. For anyone that suffers this mental disorder it’s HORRID! Not because I cannot live with it most of the time but because other people quite often are not sure what to say to me when I am in a bad bout. And I can’t blame them… I’m always striving to do what I can but there are some very nasty folk out there who like to think that it is okay to be downright menacing and evil with their comments. Which by the way not only can destroy a gal’s confidence but also bears no relevance on the actual costume you have made.

2. The costumes I pick – I don’t pick anything fleshy for reason 1, I also try to pick them so that whilst I am not a slim girl they are not going to be offensive on the eyes. I am utterly critical of myself and my own face.

So the costumes I picked?

Well the first one for the Friday is Rangiku Matsumoto from Bleach, she is not a big girl but I decided that the one thing I could copy? My boobs. Yeah I figured if you got it once in a while you can flaunt it. Sadly they are not all the gift you might think they cracked up to be, finding a bra to fit is not as easy as I might like and one with cleavage instead of full on sports is even harder. If you look through my blog before there is a picture of this from a past convention but I think it’s looking better now. I have lost weight and got a better wig.

Saturday day I am taking my lovely Marluxia outfit. It’s so much fun and I got a giant pink scythe! This thing came and it was orange so I have had to repaint it, it was not easy but I think it’s much more bold and fun. Marluxia is from Organisation XIII and is one of the “le gasp” bad guys… but I totally love him and well I crossplay him.

The second for Saturday night is the one you see below. Dante-esque. I will never be male, muscular or sexy like him so it’s my slighty less awesome take on it with a a girly. I think I shall call her Toni Redgrave! Dante is one of my fave boys in all of gaming, and his little cohort in 4 Nero is a close second. Dante’s outfit was possibly one of the most fun and simple really… I utterly adore wearing the coat too.

Lasty on the Sunday – Female Nero. (or Nera as some suggested) I have spent so much time and money on this thing it is pretty scary. The wig is actually from Darker than Black but the shorter version just made me feel so uncomfortable. I like this one and it means it’s more individual to me as a person. There are blue contacts and they are going to be in for Dante and Nero but in most pics I haven’t bothered. The sword is MASSIVE I am going to try and get straps around it to ensure I am safer walking around. Nero’s gun is with me even though not in the pic and I have since got the boots.

So if you see me at London May Expo please say hi, and PLEASE don’t be mean as it can destroy a persons confidence which in turn sets them back on the health kick.

With love to all

Rea – MJ-Cosplay



{January 7, 2013}   Where have I been? and Nero

Oh wow well three weeks in the USA with friends,. roadtrips, dollar spending and wow the places I saw! I could write all year about that alone. I mean I have totally fallen in love with the USA but there were some things I had to get used to, slightly comedy some of them however. I forgot it’s not a “loo” it’s a restroom. I have no mathematics for the service charges… I love Samuel Adams Boston Lager. I have see the real Silent Hill aka Centralia and I have stood in Central Park… all of this and more but this is the cosplay thing I decided to try so here goes!

Project female Nero sword.

So basically my wonderful fiance got me the sword but I was unhappy that you could barely see the detail on the paint job.

As you can see the main hilt is just black but I think that the red and gold in the game are lovely and so I have had a play. I hope you like it!



{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)

 



et cetera