Emerald City Comicon is next week!! In addition to wandering around the convention and going to some meetups (more details on that coming soon), there are several panels I’ll be on that I’d love to see you all at!
I was in love with Voltron: Legendary Defender from the first minute. Netflix and DreamWorks Animation have done an absolutely fantastic job of updating a show to make it new and fresh while still making it so nostalgic that it hit all the right buttons. Here is the full build write-up of the entire casual Keith cosplay. I am still in progress on his sword and paladin armor, so that will be a later write-up.
I did a 2016 review, so I figured I should also do a “what’s coming” for 2017!
To start off with, I thought I’d list out the cosplays that I currently have in progress for myself that I’m hoping to have done this year!
First up, I’ve talked about this one a whole lot, is Kanan Jarrus. I’m working strictly on Season 3 Kanan right now, but depending on how my work load goes and how well I do getting things crossed off of my list, I’m hoping to work backwards to also do a Season 1/2 Kanan. The nice thing is that there is some reuse between those two versions (blast, lightsaber, belt, and pants) which makes a second Kanan a little more doable. And a super stretch goal is to also add one or both of the Kanan’s that Lorna Ka came up with. I LOVE both of these renditions of Kanan (essentially a Season 1/2 and a Season 3 samurai version) and would love to wear them some day. Seriously, go check out all of her amazing art too. The first part of my Kanan build write-up is already available, with more coming soon. Remember, my Patreon supporters get behind the scenes and early access to all of my builds!
2016 has been a wild ride. My first 100% handmade cosplay (Ashitaka) won first place at Renton City Comic Con, and my casual Keith from Voltron kicked off this cosplay and prop business. I’ve made more bayards than I can count. I’ve learned SO much, from sewing to mold making and casting, to 3D design and printing. And I’ve met so many wonderful and helpful folks in the cosplay and prop community.
I’m really looking forward to what 2017 has in store for me. I have more cosplays queued up than I can realistically get done, but that won’t stop me from trying. I also have a ton of ideas for more props to build and put up for sale in my store. And hopefully even more commissions will come my way (I have three on my table right now!) I also have a ton of stuff planned for videos, tutorials, workshops at Sodo Makerspace, and even more for my Patreon backers.
Special thanks to a couple of folks that have inspired me and/or helped me in one way (or many ways) or another: Bill and Brittany from Punished Props, Eric from Coregeek Creations, Beverly from Downen Creative Studios, Charles from Ebony Warrior Studios, Anabel from Men vs Cosplay, and the Foam Friction Cosplay gang.
I recently mentioned how I won first-place at RenCon for my Ashitaka cosplay. Over the past year, I had published several work in progress articles over at GeekDad.com about my process for making it–everything, head to toe (yes, even my shoes) was scratch built by yours truly. Below is a slightly edited, combined version of all of those posts. If you like these write-ups, please consider joining my Patreon to get early access to tutorials, videos, work in progress pics, and more!
For anyone who doesn’t know, Princess Mononoke is one of my favorite films, so it was a no brainer for me when deciding on my next cosplay that I’d try Ashitaka.
As my work on my Kanan cosplay progressed, I was unhappy with my droid caller. I was using the only one available out there — Han Solo’s, but the only reference pics I could find of Kanan looked totally different. So I decided to model and print my own Kanan Droid Caller! I’m really happy with how it all came out. So happy that I decided to start selling them in my store! Right now just the 3D files and instructions are available, but once I finish mine, I’m going to make a mold and cast it so raw castings and fully finished props will soon be available.
I’m working on a couple of things I hope you’ll all enjoy including more detailed tutorials as well as some video tutorials and how-to type stuff. Let me know if there are any specific things you’d like to see. But in the meantime, I thought I’d do some quick updates on a bunch of the projects on my plate right now!
All of my cold casting supplies from Smooth-on just arrived. I have a little more work to do on prepping the masters for my Voltron coins. This is going to be my first cold casting project so there will be a little trial and error along the way which is also why I’m working on making it my first video. I figure learning and making mistakes together will be pretty fun.
And, while I’m at it with the cold casting, a friend asked if I could make her an actual pin or necklace based on the Rebel safety pin image that’s been going around. I said yes of course and will be making these as well. This is my initial prototype and my master is almost ready to get molded.
In between everything else, I’m still making good progress on my Rito Harp commission. I am almost done sealing and coating it and ready for starting on the final paint job. If you’re wondering what that “tongue” looking thing is on the bottom, that’s the harp strings wrapped in masking tape. I glued them to a dowel that is sandwiched into the foam since I didn’t want them getting pulled out, ever. Once I’m all done painting, I’ll then tie the strings around the nails in the top cross beam.
And lastly, more work on Kanan. First up is the lightsaber. I’ve gotten all of the parts sanded, puttyed, sanded, puttyed… you know the drill… as much as I plan to and am now starting on the final paint. I used a flat black primer on all the metallic pieces to help with the shading and to make the final metallic paints pop more. Using a white or grey primer under metallic paints just doesn’t seem to have the same great final look.
I’m also trying my hand at making my own gloves for Kanan. I’m just not really happy with any of the ones I can buy, plus I love being able to say my costume is 100% hand made :) This series of pics gives you some insight into my process on prototyping and making my own patterns. This is definitely going to turn into a how-to post.
What I spent most of my weekend on was my Kanan pants. I’ve only ever made one other pair of pants before–my Ashitaka pants, and those were a lot easier – sort of baggy and with a drawstring at the top. These are made from a much more form-fitting stretch denim and required a zipper or button fly. The pattern I loosely based my patterns off of had a button fly so I figured I’d give it a go. I’m REALLY happy with how they turned out. These are also the most comfortable pants I own now. I think I’m going to just start making my own clothes going forward. My wife said I was making jeggings and so now we have coined the term “Jedi Jeggings” to describe the pants Kanan wears!
I’m hoping that next weekend with the holiday will allow me to get a lot more done. We shall see.
What the hell just happened?
I decided to finally enter a cosplay contest. I choose RenCon this weekend because its local and small, and it’s the first year. The competition was amazing and there were a ton of great costumes in the contest. I mostly wanted to go through the process to get feedback from the judges so I could better prepare for future contests.
Once all the judging was through, I hung around to see who the winners were going to be. After third and second place had been announced in the beginner category, I was sure it was over for me. I thought I may have squeezed into third place, but there was no way I’d get first place on my first ever contest, especially not with these judges who have seen it all and judged dozens if not hundreds of contests in total.
I typed, “I didn’t win…” into my phone to text my wife and just before I hit send, they said my name. I was shocked…and still am. Despite the 150+ hours of work I’ve put into Ashitaka, I was just totally not expecting it! I am so thankful and grateful to the judges and to all the other cosplayers who have inspired me and taught me so many things on this journey. Now I need to figure out how I’m going to do even better next time! (Finally finishing the additional pieces on Ashitaka is probably a good next step).
The prize for first place was this giant box of supplies! A pack of EVA floor mats, a glue gun, contact cement, spray adhesive, instant epoxy, pencils, Sharpies, a heat gun, duct tape, sanding sponges, assorted chip brushes, two different cutting knives and extra blades, a mold making and casting kit from Smooth-on, and, the thing I’m the most excited about, a roll of Worbla.
While everything in the prize box will definitely get put to use, Worbla has been on my list of things to try, but I just haven’t been able to justify the cost. Now that I got a free roll, I can experiment without worrying about throwing away money!
Thanks again to RenCon and ZakLabs (who sponsored the contest) for making a dream come true!
And while I was writing this, I hit 100 likes on my Facebook page! What a great weekend!
I absolutely LOVE the new Voltron: Legendary Defender show on Netflix. As soon as I saw the first episode, I got to work on building my plain clothes Keith cosplay for SDCC. Somehow, even with a new baby, I managed to get it done in time.
If you want to read about how I made any of the parts of the costume or props, you can read my write-ups at GeekDad.com.
Next up is working on the armored version of Keith for ECCC. My original goal was to have it ready for DragonCon, but that ended up being way too ambitious! So far I’ve managed a base for the helmet. More to come on that in the near future!
In the meantime, I’ve been working on fulfilling orders for bayards. You can get a fully finished bayard for any character, or even a custom color, or a raw casting, or even the STL files I created to make my original master.