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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer Time Ms. Marvel

I've been working on several different cosplays lately and I'm excited to share a few pictures from a shoot I did recently! I did a summer themed shoot for my Ms Marvel cosplay. Because I shot these myself, it was a little challenging. But overall I felt good about the final product. I do think I need a better wig though. 

I have a few others that I need to get more work on before I share them, but I do think that they are going well and the more progress I make, the more excited I become!

Nerdy love to ya!

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Jurassic World

For years Jurassic Park has been my favorite movie. I do believe I wrote a Movie Monday post about it as well (it may have been my very first one actually). When I heard the rumors about another Jurassic Park movie, I was beyond excited! Time went on and I started seeing tidbits on Facebook about the movie, and even saw their website. Being the JP nerd I am, I loved their interactive website. My favorite part of it was watching the 'live feed' cameras. I'm such a dork. When the previews started popping up, I became even more excited! Especially seeing Chris Pratt. Um, hello, he's hot. I'd only seen him in Guardians of the Galaxy (which I loved), but I knew he was a funny guy. Still, I wasn't sure if the movie would be taking a more comedic turn or what. Needless to say, Chris Pratt, although very funny, did amazing! It was definitely a more serious role, but not hardcore serious (does that make sense?). Lets move on to the dinosaurs featured in this film.

There were the common dinosaurs found in the other Jurassic Park movies, Pteranodon, Triceratops, Galimimus, and Velocoraptors. There were also brand new dinosaurs that we had never seen (at least I had never heard of) before. The first being the Mosasaurus:

This giant lizard like dinosaur is kept in a huge body of water, where visitors get a Sea World experience on steroids. The handlers feed this thing sharks for heavens sake! This animal is huge, and ferocious looking, thats for sure! The Indominus Rex is also a new animal.

This is the brand new, wild card, genetically created creature that the park was getting ready to reveal. This animal is crazy. Definitely not a 'dumb dinosaur'. It not only has the ability to shield itself from infrared detection, it kills for the thrill of it. This dinosaur is what causes the chaos in Jurassic World. Its intense! Next we have four Velociraptors.

Now, Velociraptors have had big parts in previous Jurassic Park Movies (one and two), but none quite like this. Chris Pratt's character is the alpha of the four Raptors pictured above. They are his raptor squad, hehe.
His ability to lead and control (from a distance) becomes a cool twist to these animals roles in the other JP movies.

Now there are a few individual aspects (you might even call them separate story lines) that all mash together once the Indominus Rex brings a reckoning on Jurassic World. One character in particular I want to touch on, is Claire. Claire Dearing is the senior asset manager for Jurassic World. She has a very 'corporate' attitude through the first part of the movie. She calls the animals assets instead of whatever type of dinosaur they are, and she seems to only care, or have the ability to communicate by talking about numbers, statistics, and itineraries. Once the Indominus Rex goes on a killing spree, her whole everything changes. Her nephews (who were supposed to be spending time with her. But she was too busy with work to be with them) were out and about in the park and when it all went down, she was unable to communicate with them and freaked. This was her snap to reality. I'm so happy that she started to understand the scope of what was happening, but my only problem with her in the movie is this:

Do you see her shoes? This woman spent the entire movie, running, jumping, falling and climbing IN HER HEELS! Personally i'd rather run around barefoot before even trotting around in heels. This was the only thing I didn't care for too much. Without giving away anything else, let me just say that I loved this movie. There are a lot of parts of the movie that give you true nostalgia from that first time you saw Jurassic Park. The movie definitely has the same feeling of amazement and wonder that the original had, and I think that it was great. I really want to go see it again! Have you seen Jurassic World yet? What are your thoughts?

Nerdy love to ya!

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Friday, June 12, 2015

How to be a Psycho

Whoa, did I catch you by surprise? In case you were starting to get nervous, I'm not talking about being one of those psychos, I mean one of these psychos:

Borderlands is a really cool game series and i was pretty excited to work on a Psycho cosplay for my kiddo. The very first (and most important) part I chose to tackle was the mask. Let's face it, that's how you know they are a psycho! After searching around online, I found a Pepakura file for the mask ( I'll go into an in depth explanation about Pepakura in another post, but basically it is paper folding). So I printed, cut out, glued, and applied resin to the mask. If you haven't tried paper folding or paper crafting, I would recommend it. The only down side to paper crafting is that you have to have a good amount of patience. A lot of the files for things such as masks are complicated. Although this Psycho mask only printed on 3 sheets of card stock. There are some that are extremely difficult, and those babies use 10+ sheets of card stock. That's a lot! But as I've stated, I'll be talking about Pepakura in an entirely separate post.

Here you can see the finished mask. There are no attachments to keep it on, and the eye holes are completely covered still. My son just wanted to put it on so bad, so I let him.

I used a fiberglass resin mix in order to harden this mask. This was my very first project to add resin to, so I was both excited and nervous. I only added one coat to the outside. While that was enough for my nerves for the first time applying, I think that I really should have added a coat to the inside or a second coat to the outside at the least. It held up nice, so that's great.

The next thing I wanted to work out was the Buzz Axe that they carry. 

reference photo from

I tried to find good reference pictures and then decided to make a template. I feel like I kiiiinda got an alright shape, but it definitely wasn't accurate. I made a template out of paper, and then traced and cut it out on 5mm foam.
crappy paper template

cutting pieces out of foam
Once I had the base pieces cut out, I started to seal my foam. Yes, those are googly eyes. They are going to make great rivets once I get to the painting stage!
googly eyes!!
Painting time, yay! See, You'd never know there were googly eyes under there. Before I adhered the 'blade' to the rest of the weapon, I made sure to paint it with a bright silver. I didn't have any chrome spray paint, but that would have been better. Once it was dry, I glued it (using contact cement) to the part that makes up the handle. Then I painted the handle. I didn't have brown paint, so I mixed several shades and alternated different layers until I got a shade of brown I was happy with.

Then I tried weathering it, but I'm not that good at it. I do like the way it turned out though!

My child likes to ride his quad and wear his mask (i cut out eye holes for him). He looks crazy!

The final thing (that wound up taking too much time) was the pants. Psychos have bright orange pants with cell shading. For the life of me, I could not find a pair of orange pants! I searched and searched every thrift store around here and nothing! I decided that I was going to dye a pair of pants. Well, Polyester doesn't take dye. I learned that the hard way. So instead, I dyed a pair of my sons khakis. Although its not as bright as I was hoping for, they are still orange and you can still see the cell shading. I did the shading with a sharpie while waiting for paint to dry. Because the convention was in June, in central Texas, we opted not to do any cell shading on his body, so he just wore a tank and some fingerless gloves.

Nerdy love to ya!

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Faora Cosplay

So y'all know how I have been working on that Faora Ul costume, right? Guess what...its finally finished! YAAAAAY!!!!

It was actually finished over a week ago, Where I wore it to Hero Con in Austin, TX! It took what felt like a lifetime to make, but boy oh boy did I learn a lot! The experience of making and wearing a full armored cosplay is one that I will surely not forget. EVER. From shaping, sealing, painting the foam for the armor, to figuring out how to attach pieces together and how to get them to stay on your body. Whew! It was a humbling experience.

Tried the armor on, but didn't wear the wig or makeup this time.

Here is a picture of me and my son from Hero Con. My Faora, and his Borderlands Psycho (which I made for him as well.).

Faora, meet Psycho...

 Building isn't my forte, sewing is. And while I had a lot of fun building this armor, I am definitely going to stick to my strong point for the next 2 or 3 costumes I make. I am not avoiding fabrication, I just want to work on some easier costumes for a bit. I will definitely work more on fabrication, but maybe on a slightly smaller scale. I can do fabricated accessories, even a piece of armor or two, but not whole body armor. Its almost mid June and its already mid 90's here in Texas. I don't want to burn alive in armor anyways!

working on my angry Kryptonian face

shin guards and knee armor
I did have a blast creating this part of the armor
Leg pieces (that I later had to reduce in size)

As I stated above, the progression of the armor was very difficult. The hardest part of the entire thing was the breastplate armor thingie. I had never created such a large piece of armor before. I saved it for last because I really had no idea where to start. Below are progressive shots of me working on it.

Creating a breast shape alone was tricky, but after multiple tries, It got molded as good as I could get it and it worked out decently.

After getting the basic shape for the vest/chest thingie, I ran into another concern. I had no idea where to start with making a collar!! Masking tape and duct tape held it all down and in place until i got the shape I wanted. Then contact cement came in.

After I got my details on, I sealed my foam with white glue (4 or 5 layers I think) and began painting. I feel like My weathering skills are improving, but I completely suck at battle damage. Eh, baby steps, y'know?!

The chest/vest thingie after my first bit of weathering. 

*Things I Learned: 

  1. Contact cement is THE BEST adhesive for attaching foam together. Superglue is alright for small detailed pieces, but contact cement or Barge Cement (the best of the two) give a strong hold.
  2. Always use more than one method of attaching armor. Having only one method leaves you vulnerable in the event that you have an issue with that one attachment.
  3. The thinnest foam you should use is 5mm when it comes to armor. The thicker it is, the more durable, and 5mm is borderline too thin. 2mm is great for adding details over your base, but you definitely want your armor to be sturdy and thick enough.
  4. When weathering your pieces, do it all together. I initially finished the smaller pieces and weathered them as they were finished. That left me with groups of armored pieces that didn't match. I ended up having to go over them all anyways to make them even. That will save you A LOT of time. Trust me. 

All in all, I am definitely proud of this armor. With all of the lessons I've learned, in the next several months I expect to work on a small piece, although I have no clue what that would even be just yet.

Nerdy love to ya!

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