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ColossalCon 2011 Live Blog – Sewing 101

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Sewing 101 I believe is run by Rachel, the same girl who did the wig panel yesterday. This is going on at the same time as Cosplay 101 but I decided to go to this one since there have been a few other general cosplay introduction panels I’ve gone to and I haven’t really been to many dedicated to just sewing. The panel is starting a bit late since they’re waiting on a microphone. It seems like she got roped into doing this panel too and wasn’t originally supposed to do this panel. I guess the original panelist for both dropped out last minute. I guess that means it’s potentially going to be some sort of Q&A.

The first thing she mentions is that if you know how to drive a car you know how to operate a sewing machine.

She starts out by giving a brief rundown on how to hand sew which I’m interested in since I had to hand sew the last part of my Roy Mustang cosplay and I wasn’t totally happy with how it turned out. The proper way to thread a needle is to knot it at the end not at the base (not sure why anyone would ever to think of knotting it at the eye of the needle). She goes over a few stitched like the straight and top stitch. You should hem everything so you don’t have loose threads.

Machine sewing is a lot easier and you should start out by reading the instruction book and knowing where everything is. If you don’t use the correct tension you can have a lot of trouble.

An audience member comes up and draws on the whiteboard a diagram of how to tie a knot which involves holding the thread in a loop and rolling the thread with your thumb.

She then asks if anyone knows what a serger is. Sergers are commonly seen on T-shirts to prevent fraying of the fabric edge. There’s a blade that also cuts off the excess fabric. Roll hemming is an alternative and can be a difficult technique.

An audience member asks about making a garment that come out at the bottom. It sounds like she needs to use some wire support which the panelist suggested too. She also suggested gardening hose as an alternative to hoop steel.

Another question elicits a discussion about bias tape. I get to point to my Roy cosplay which has plenty of bias tape all over.

The next question is about how to prevent a sewing machine from jamming. It was most likely a result of incorrect tension. She was using felt which requires higher tension. Tension goes up for a lot of thicker fabrics and should be lower for easier to sew fabrics.

Next question – how do you do a cross stitch (hand sewing). I think it should be fairly easy to find how to do this online or from a book.

The next question is about altering store bought patterns. The panelist says that you can make a cheap mockup using cheap bedsheets you buy from the thrift store. Also measure twice cut once.

What is the one fabric you would never use? Costume satin. The panelist says that vinyl is great and easy to work with but you have to be careful since puncture marks stay. Her favorite fabric to work with is fleece since you don’t have to hem or serge it and it’s really easy to sew it.

For sewing stretchy fabric you can use stretchy thread. You also need to be careful of whether it’s 2 way or 4 way stretch fabric. You may also need to get specialty needles to make sure the sewing machine doesn’t ruin the fabric. You should also use a zigzag stitch.

She also had a few suggestions for staying safe with using a sewing machine such as making sure everything is secure.

You should also backstitch when using a sewing machine because it ties knots at the end.

There’s a lot of trial and error when sewing and you should make mockups if you don’t know what you’re doing. I probably should have done this but I didn’t. I guess I got lucky that it still turned out ok.

Spend money on a good sewing machine if you’re going to be in the hobby for a while. Get a Brother or a Singer since they’re not too expensive and work well. The Viking ones are really expensive.

You can do embroidery using a zigzag stitch that’s really wide and turn the machine power up and feed it really slowly.

One suggestion for the con staff in the future would be to have all the panels behind closed doors since this was held in the lounge and it was sometimes distracting to hear a lot of noise coming from outside.

Colossalcon 2011 Live Blog – Friday Fashion Show and Cosplay

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So my batteries kept running out for my external flash so I had to run back to my room to get the charger first.

The Friday Fashion Show and Cosplay is a much more laid back version of the Masquerade. It starts off with people going on stage in cosplay and was followed by people “acting” as their character.

Kuwabara makes an entrance every year and this year he did it bounding with energy, so much so that he actually ripped his undershirt.

They needed to stall for a few minutes so the two MCs who are also part of the Who’s Line troupe decide to do the question game. It’s got some funny moments in there. mostly revolving around the Kuwabara who’s got his shirt half off.

And now they’re back with a trivia challenge where the prizes are glow sticks.

In FMA, Winry’s dog has a automail limb. Which one is it?

In the manga Witch by Clamp, which gender are the angels? It’s a trick question – they don’t have a gender.

I can’t even understand what series they’re asking about for the next question. All I know is that it’s a Clamp series. Apparently they were watching X the movie.

In Ergo Proxy the name of the proxy that is held captive in Rondo is what?

In FFX the little boy wants to be something unusual when he grows up. What is it? He wants to be a Blitzball.

In NGE, what is the name of the final angel?

Kaleidostar has a very famous director. Name another one of his works. Princess Tutu

I think they’ve run out of stalling content.

Now they’re showing a “half time” video. They’re going to show some AMVs

Nostromo – Running Man

Next is a Haruhi Suzumiya AMV (contains lyrics like “i like the way you talk to me i like the way you look at me” and some other English mixed into a Japanese song that has rap elements. – might be Skittles

No idea what the last one was – it was some horror series.

Followed by jihaku – Foo Fighters Best of You

Next is Matchbox 20 – Let’s See How Far We’ve Come

The Race edited by Hito

Awards

Fashion Show – Couldn’t hear over everyone screaming

Next is a special prize for Ichigo (girl)

There’s an excellent lolita outfit for a guy

They either need to display these on the screen or hold off on applause because I can barely hear anything. The judges also are not speaking totally clearly.

Next is for Orharra from Star Trek

Next is a award for Boogie Woogie – he was in a gar suit and did a funny dance

East Asian category

3rd – Rachel for Lina Inverse

2nd – Emily for April (from Trinity Blood)

1st – Shawn for Vash the Stampede (Trigun) – he had all the accessories including a duffel bag

Character Portrayal

Talia for Tensa Zengetsu – she sang a song

Hitaachin boys from Ouran

2nd place – Ryuuk from Death Note

1st place – Sebastian from Black Butler – he did a whole monologue (I believe it was from the first chapter)

ColossalCon 2011 Live Blog – Cosplay for Beginners

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This panel is run by five people, including Axelious, LuckyGrim, and two Sams.

Wigs are an excellent way to bump up your cosplay. Some good places for wigs (in order from ok to best quality):

1) some eBay site (didn’t catch the name)

2) Cosplay.com

3) Arda Wigs

Getting a custom color is a pain. Easiest way to do it is to get a silver white wig and then use sharpie (which takes forever). If you wash a wig wash it with mild Dove hand detergent which is the same stuff they use on animals in oil spills. Get hair conditioner for “sassy black ladies” which will get out any tangles. To store your wig you should put it in a clear ziploc bag and press it flat in the bag to get out most of the air and then store it out of sunlight. Build-a-Bear boxes are handy for carrying a styled wig and a wig head. Always wear a wig cap unless you’re bald. You need to bobby pin your hair to the wig cap and then put the wig on. This will prevent the wig from slowly falling off. The process only takes about 5 minutes.

AndSewingIsHalftheBattle apparently has a tutorial on braiding long hair to put under a wig cap.

Underdress

Supposedly about 30% of the time planning the cosplay is spent deciding on what to wear underneath everything. Swimsuit bottoms are good to wear if you’re wearing a short skirt or something similar for a variety of reasons. For guys wearing skin tight clothes wear compression shorts.

For materials you’re not familiar with start with making something small. Also if you’re starting out go to Goodwill and modify the clothing since it’s much simpler than making something from scratch. “You have to start out somewhere.”

corsetpattern.com – you put in your measurements and it’ll spit out how to make it. If you buy it from eBay make sure you get steel boning – plastic is prone to breaking and can hurt more. You can use a combination of spiral and solid steel boning. Spanx and shapewear can help you feel better about yourself if you don’t have the most flattering figure and it also helps the costume lay better.

corsetsupplies.com is where you can get steel boning.

Binding

cosfu.org has a Dante open shirt binding where she uses ace bandages and puts latex over it and airbrushes muscles on it. Don’t use open shirt binding unless absolutely necessary since it can be dangerous. If you’re bustier you can use compression vests. Another tip is to put some vaseline on and then bind or else it will be fairly painful.

Fabrics

Ones to never use – shiny satin is a no no. Sign up for Jo-Ann mailing list. Hobby Lobby is great, Michael’s got caught stealing peoples’ credit card info so don’t go there. Home Depot is great for a lot of things. She buys Scotch Guard by the bucket and dips all her cosplays in them so they’re spill-proof. Try to avoid PVC vinyl and latex unless you’re really experienced. Industry people use stretch cotton and spray a sheen on it. For Wonder Woman she uses a high grade non sheen satin and lines it in muslin to make it really stiff.

For every different type of fabric you should change your needle and thread. Your sewing machine will only do so much. A lot depends on the needle and thread. Buy a Teflon foot for your sewing machine so it won’t stick on fabrics like the metal one can.

Hand sewing needles are usually not as sharp so stay away from shiny fabrics and high weave fabrics. Hand sewing works for a lot of things. There is no way to avoid hand sewing even on the most advanced costumes.

Snaps are your friends. You can make things removable and it just makes everything easier. As a judge, LuckyGrim says well done basics are more impressive than huge things with some things not done well.

Patterns are your friends. Don’t get Simplicity patterns since they use an odd measuring system. There’s a lot of free patterns online. McCall’s patterns are easy to use. Patterns will teach you the basics of sewing. Patterns are very helpful especially if you haven’t made it before.  LuckyGrim says that she keeps a long list of formulas in her sewing room. This is somewhat counter to what I’ve heard about seamstresses where math is more or less irrelevant.

Pin everything. It’s easier to do everything right the first time than having to rip it apart and redo it.

Some good starting projects – vests, circle skirts. No two people sew the same. LuckyGrim says when she judges she can tell a lot about the costume based on stitching, type of thread, etc.

If you’re not a good seamstress don’t worry – just commission it. A good reliable site is Etsy.

Makeup

Use foundation, even for guys. It’s important to start with a good base. It’s like a primer for your face, protects your pores, and evens out the tones. Buy makeup brushes since it’s more efficient than sponges. There are makeup tricks for making you look thinner or any other look. Look at the reference images to look at the makeup to make sure it’s not overdone. A way to get 5 o’clock shadow is to use something similar to steel wool and mix it in with foundation.

For special effects makeup make sure you know what’s in it and how to remove it. Get barrier spray especially for red dyes or else that area of skin will be red for a few days.

Props/Accessories

For Keyblades you can go one of two ways – if you’re going light you can use balsa wood. She then uses a hand drill to sand it down.

Another way is to use expanding foam and spray it over a cardboard structure. Then wrap it in plaster and sand it and paint them.

Another way is to use dowel rod or PVC pipe and use a variety of materials over it. Her favorite is Krylon spray paint. It sounds like they use spray paint without a respirator. I would NOT recommend this. I wear a respirator for pretty much everything since I value my lungs.

Never spray paint over foam. Paper mache it first. Flour, water, and newspaper. One way to get some shading on a super shiny finish is to use a rag and wipe a bit of black acrylic paint on it.

A popular material is paperclay – it goes a long way and is pretty much like paper mache.

A few techniques on armor:

Wonderflex. It’s expensive but it goes a long way. It usually gets purchased in bulk so it can be used to make a lot of things. Cut a practice piece out of foamie and then use it as a guide. Buy a heat gun to work with Wonderflex and heat it up until it gets floppy. It will cool hard and then you can just cut it out, sand it, bondo it, and then paint it.

Foamies also works and there is the famous Amethyst tutorial. Put elmer’s glue or gesso over it and then you can paint it.

Resin casting is excellent but is hard to work with and expensive.

One way to make pauldrons is to blow up a balloon, paper mache it, then use a product called friendly plastic and you can put it over it (can be purchased from cosplaysupplies.com).

You can make your own vacuum former for $20 and it’s good for making armor.

Photography and Cosplay

Every person is different. What may look good for one person may not look good for another person.

Look in the mirror to practice your poses. If the character has a signature pose learn it and perfect it. However, don’t do the exact same pose every single time. Practice your facial poses. Don’t smile and make it look fake. A tip is to fake a laugh and by the time the picture is taken it’ll look more natural.

Hallway pictures usually are not edited so it may be prudent to wear makeup. The infamous “shine”.

It makes your face look bigger if you extend your neck and tilt your head slightly up. Make friends with photographers and you can pick up a lot of techniques.

If you’re larger turn to the side and bring your arms out a bit.

Play with different angles since posing for your body size is different for each person.

Final Remarks

Make the costume fit you.

Experiment. Try new things. Pick something different every time.

Youtube tutorials can be useful.

Someone out there is going to be better than you. Someone out there is going to be worse than you. Just be proud of what you did. No matter how bad it is as long as you’re proud of it that’s all that matters. Don’t mind the haters.

LuckyGrim’s group is on cosfu and they have reviews on conventions, hotels, and tutorials as well as other miscellaneous information.

ColossalCon 2011 Live Blog – Styling Cosplay Wigs 101

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It seems like the panelist was just roped into doing this panel so she didn’t really prepare. That means it’s going to be a Q&A session. I have zero experience with wigs so I won’t really be able to explain anything discussed in further detail – I’m basically just making a transcript of what the panelist is talking about.

For styling don’t use gel since wigs are not the same as human hair. Hair gel will destroy the wig since the chemical reactions will make the wig into a big unworkable mess.

The best way to de-tangle a wig is to use fabric softener.

It takes a long time but it’s very effective. Spray diluted liquid fabric softener over the wig and then work section by section using a hair dryer. A straightener can ruin the wig if the wig is not heat resistant.

It seems like a lot of things can be fixed using a hair dryer.

A question about the price of the wig versus the quality. No matter how much you work with a $5 wig it won’t ever look as good as a more expensive wig. You should spend at least $15-20 on a wig. The price will go up if the wig is thicker which is necessary for up-dos.

Some of the best wigs? Disclaimer: advertising – Arda Wigs, Epic Cosplay (recently merged with cosplay.com). Epic cosplay is more expensive but feels closer to human hair in terms of weight and how it drapes.

A parted wig can be difficult since you’ll be able to see the netting if you don’t do it correctly. Parting a wig is more difficult that it seems. One method is sewing more hair to the underside and is a long difficult process. Another method is to buy extensions and put cheese cloth and then make it into a weft, pull it in half and then sew it on to make a “cover”.

For the wigs with huge buns one method is to use a headband underneath the wig with wires poking through that goes into styrofoam shapes covered in more hair.

Freeze spray and Got2B are good for making gravity defying hair structures. Sometimes you can use diluted Elmer’s glue which works similar to freeze spray – the only downside is that it takes a lot longer to dry.

The recommended dye for wigs is sharpie diluted with alcohol sprayed on. That’s something I’ve heard and seems to be the most popular method.

A site that might be useful: Katie Bair

Use hair cutting scissors but they will get worn down faster because you’re cutting through plastic although knowing that hair contains hard keratin I would say that it would be somewhat be similar.

Before you start on your wig you should have a plan of what you’re going to do so you minimize the chances of messing up. If you need tutorials you can check on cosplay.com or DeviantArt (usually has more images).

The most complicated wig the panelist has done is the one she’s working on right now which is a character from Harvest Moon: Tree of Tanquility. She says she’s spent over $100 already and isn’t even close to being done (talk about commitment!). Again you have to figure out what’s realistic otherwise you can get a wig that’s really really heavy.

For washing wigs you should use warm water. You can also use certain products like wig shampoos. After washing it you should just hang it up to dry. It’s not recommended to blow dry it since you could lose fibers that way. Proper wig care is important and if you keep it on the wig head, etc. you shouldn’t have to wash your wigs very often.

If your head is big you could potentially sew elastic to the wig cap or use the waist part of pantyhose.

For long wigs like Jam from Guilty Gear you could use pool noodles and then make a sleeve of hair that goes over it. Be sure to not use more hair than you need on your costume.

Sometimes you’ll have itchy wigs which can be remedied with some lotion and making sure the wig cap covers the entire area.

The panelist has also used hot glue for areas where spiky hair is needed but it won’t stay in place when styling it.

If she had more advance notice about hosting the panel she was going to go and get a wig and do a live de-tangling to demonstrate. The de-tangling method was the aforementioned fabric softener method.

One of the audience members said that she uses steaming for styling the wigs. She also warned to make sure to get clear fabric softener for blond wigs or else it could get tinted.

Teasing the wig is basically tangling it purposefully to make it big. Tease it on the inside/underside so no one can see it and it looks good from outside.

Be cautious about ordering from China because the shipping times can be very long. While it may be cheaper it could take months to receive. She says that she had a good experience from TaoBao (Chinese eBay) and would recommend it.

Well that wraps up the panel. It was somewhat disorganized but there was a lot of good info in there.

Colossalcon 2011 Live Blog – The Closest Fit

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Let me begin by welcoming everyone to this year’s live blog of Colossalcon. I apologize for arriving a bit late but not to fear – there’s still a lot of the convention to talk about. Unfortunately the other writer, descent, could not make it due to car troubles and not being able to procure a ride so I will be doing it solo this year. I just got my brand new external flash in the mail yesterday (Nissin Di622 MkII) so I’m excited about getting some use out of it for this convention. Also, I’d like to thank Colossalcon for providing me with a press badge. Alright, now on to the content!

The full name of this panel is “The Closest Fit – Finding a pattern for your cosplay.” It deals with making patterns for unconventional designs found in cosplay material. There’s only so much in the real world in terms of patterns so often you will have to find patterns that are similar and alter them. There’s a total of four female panelists running it.

In terms of patterns, you want to start by taking away all the fluff and get down to the basics of the costume. For instance, take away the bows and the fluffy stuff and you’ll end up with a dress. You then look for a pattern that is similar to that dress and then attaching the additional aspects of the costume. That way you won’t end up at the end of the day going “Oh goodness I’m tied up in a giant bow.”

Also, don’t always think you need a new pattern for every new cosplay. A lot of the time you’ll have everything you need from previous cosplays, whether it’s parts of patterns or an entire pattern. You can always recycle patterns and most patterns are fairly compatible.

At this point they discuss the measurements of patterns since your clothing size and the pattern size often don’t match. You should look on the instructions for the pattern for the measurements particularly the given sizes for the finished garment. When in doubt make it larger since you can always take things in but you can’t really add more fabric. People will often have different sizes for different parts of the body (i.e. bust size or hip size) so you should pay attention to that. One tip is to cut out the largest size pattern you need, pin it and then use chalk or a sharpie to follow the lines as they fit you. As far as the sizing of the pattern goes, two different brands of patterns may have different sizing.

As I’m sitting here I’m now wishing there were more panels on the props side of cosplaying.

They also emphasize the importance of getting lots of reference images. I stressed the same thing for my plastic model panel last year and it applies to a lot of crafts. One thing to be careful of is to remember that you’re making it for yourself so don’t get distracted by the character’s physique. “Anime characters ALWAYS look good – it’s disgustingly true.”

There’s a question about the skirt for Aqua from Kingdom Hearts and the panelist suggested looking at Victorian era or saloon style clothing. She once again breaks down the costume into parts for ease of construction such as making the skirt such that there’s a piece of it that goes across the front. The white “belt” will cover it so it won’t even be seen. Also, with patterns you can always just use part of a pattern – there’s no rule that says you have to use the entire pattern.

Another tip is once you find one color of fabric that you like, match the other colors to that fabric; don’t try to match every single color individually to the reference material.

“If you can make the big piece you can always add the little pieces.”

There’s a question about Estelle from Tales of Vesperia. For large floating shoulder caps you can use a material that’s similar to styrofoam or use stabilizer. Looking at it I would think you could put some sort of wire support at the edge of it. Oh, another good suggestion the panelist had is to use velcro or something similar to reduce as much of the weight as possible that way it’s not the full weight of the fabric. “Boning is your friend.” I guess that addresses my thought of using wire support.

Coupons are your friends. Sign up for mailing lists since they often send out the occasional coupons. I did this for my Roy Mustang cosplay where I waited for the 40% off coupon to buy all of my blue fabric.

The last few minutes was discussing the business side of things, such as if you are commissioned to make a costume. Often you will have to be more deliberate about fabric choices based on the available budget. You can’t do a full brocade costume for under $100 – at least it would be hard to find someone willing to do it at that price. It comes down to talking to the client about the expectations, the budget, and how much time you’re willing to put in.

Roy Mustang Cosplay

Roy Mustang

Note: This is meant to be an archive so I won’t check this site as much. I now have my own personal blog over at pandamajikhobbies

Have you ever wanted to make your own Fullmetal Alchemist military uniform? I will detail exactly how I made my own from scratch. I will prove that you don’t need a lot of experience (this is actually the first thing I’ve ever sewn by myself) and you also don’t need fancy things like commercial patterns and dressforms. I drafted all the patterns myself so if you are attempting to make your own make sure to get your measurements correct. First off I want to thank AndSewingisHalftheBattle for all the info they had on how to make the uniform. I used it as a guide and made a few adjustments and improvements along the way.

Components

Jacket – the jacket will give you the most trouble by far. It’s quite boxy in shape and has an overlapping front panel that had a fold down rectangle. There are two epaulets, one on each shoulder. The cuffs fold up and have a V-shaped slit in them.

Pants – fairly regular looking slacks except that they appear to be a bit wider at the bottom where they tuck into the boots.

Butt cape – this is what everyone else calls the thing that wraps around the waist and goes all the way down to the shins. Open on the front and the back has a long slit running from the bottom up to about 1/3 of the way down from the top.

Boots – there’s some debate on what type of boots they wear. All the source images I found showed the boots as being totally smooth meaning there are no laces.

White gloves – not much to say here. Find white cotton gloves that fit, nothing fancy.

I have a link to the PDF file of the pattern I drafted so make sure to check out that file. Just scroll down a bit to find it.

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Ohayocon 2011 Review ver. pandamajik

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art by Robert DeJesus

Ohayocon is billed as the largest anime convention in Ohio, drawing in just over 10,000 people last year. Last year was my first Ohayocon so I was expecting this to be as fun and awesome as it was for me last year. I pre-registered for a weekend badge but was not able to get to the convention until around 10 PM Friday night, meaning I didn’t even get to roam around until 11 PM or so. The reason I got there so late is that I was stuck in anatomy lab for medical school until 6 PM.

How this review is going to work is that I’m going to give a day by day explanation of things I did with some comments thrown in and then at the end I’ll have a general discussion section (makes this sound almost like a lab report for school or something).

We’re not affiliated with Ohayocon or any convention for that matter. We’re here to make unbiased reports. That means there will be criticism. It also means there will be compliments on things so don’t think we’re just being mean. With that please enjoy reading my review of Ohayocon 2011.

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Cosplay – Get ready for Fullmetal Alchemist

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First off, Merry Christmas everyone!

Like a lot of people out there I’m spending my much needed break doing something to give me a break from all the studying of the last semester. A few months ago I got asked to join a Fullmetal Alchemist group with a few friends and I kind of put it on the back burner since I didn’t really have the time to work on it while school was going on. It was suggested that I go as Roy Mustang since I “have the hair for him.” That’s totally fine with me since he’s my favorite character out of the whole series. I find both Ed and Al to be a bit annoying at times. Don’t get me wrong – I loved the story; I just found their characters grating at certain points. On the other hand Mustang always keeps his cool and also who doesn’t like playing with fire?

I’m taking pictures throughout the construction process so once I get everything done I’ll put together a more thorough write up of the process. I’m taking a lot of cues from “And Sewing is Half the Battle” site as well as reading about general sewing tips. One of the keys to doing a good job with any project is to do your research. I’ve spent much of the past week on research and only a day or two on actual construction. I’m done with the pants after much struggling with attaching the zipper. As for fabric, I found some nice royal blue bottomweight fabric from Jo-ann (they call it Canvas Target). It’s actually 30% off right now, but you can find a 40% or 50% off coupon for even more savings.

ColossalCon 2010 Live Blog – Cosplay Masquerade

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7:59PM

descent and pandamajik here. After a good hour of waiting we just got to our seats inside the main auditorium. pandamajik will be working on bringing everyone some high quality photos of the Masquerade while I try my best to keep some running commentary going. As expected it looks to be a rather packed house tonight which is what you can always expect from a convention’s premiere event.

8:02PM

Sitting two seats over from a Suigintou cosplayer right now. She always was my favorite Rozen Maiden character, being teased by that warm heart hidden inside her deep dark soul was always so tempting. Oh my little “Angel of Death” so cruel yet cute. I should thank the staff for having a very orderly seating procedure. It might be running a little behind schedule but for the most part groups are easily able to stick together and my handicapped fellow con-goers are being well accommodated. Look for things to get going in another 10 minutes or so.

8:06PM

Hurray someone has a chibi Stormtrooper doll, now there is something you don’t see everyday.

8:09PM

Just heard a cosplaying Marisa describe Touhou with the following quote: “Its a loli game where a bunch of lolis kill each other!” A very apt description I might add, and probably the big secret behind its appeal to the rabid fanbase. I mean how can you even mentally comprehend this much moe in one sitting?

8:16PM

Almost starting time I assume. The shenanigans with the stormtrooper and other associated dolls is still going on, displayed on the projector for all to see. Sitting next to two very friendly con-goers who are both doing some nice thematic cosplay. One is dressed in the Steampunk style and the other is wearing a tasteful China doll style outfit. Haha chibi-Deadpool now makes an appearance on the cameras.

8:19PM

And now we’re getting started! The hosts are greeting the audience and just announced that they will be giving away a trip to Japan tonight!

8:21PM

The judges have just introduced themselves. There will be 5 craftsmanship judges for cosplay and 3 presentation/skit judges. Fabulous cosplays by them all. Chris and Sonya will be the two judges for the Japan trip, not yet sure what they will be doing but I am excited to see.

pandamajik: Chris is also known as 4ng31 and is also working on Zero from Megaman X. He’s an amazing cosplayer.

8:24PM

Skits

Skit #1: Real Dance Battle

Seems like a rather random dance themed skit that hasn’t been fabulously choreographed. Props for the Haruhi and Lucky Star inserts though. And the fans got some pokeballs thrown at them.

No! They killed Carmeldansen girl :(, and for Christina Aguliera, really? Oh no Poker Face now too, I used to like that when I was less cool.

The Dragon Ball Spirit Bomb made of flexible plastic was beyond lame, as is most of the dancing unfortunately. The song selection is hit or miss but it works, its more fun than not.

A decent way to start off the show but it only gets a 5/10 from me.

8:29PM

Skit #2: Bittersweet Myu (A Sailor Moon Themed performance)

A solo dance performance to a Sailor Moon theme song I am not familiar with. A strong effort but not particularly impressive. Compliments to anyone who is willing to perform however. Props on the splits attempt at the end even if it didn’t end flawlessly.

Gets a 2/10 from me.

8:31PM

Skit #3 Hetalia’s A Little Bit Racist

A great play on some of the more controversial “stereotyping” aspects of the Hetalia series. Leading into a interpretation of the”Everyone’s a little bit racist” song. Japan and USA are the two featured performers early on.

Haha and now Canada makes a appearance, eh?

And here are Russia and China, some of the singing isn’t the very best but this is still pretty enjoyable.

Very nice costumes all around. I really enjoyed that, definitely a 8/10 for me (haha, to give myself some leeway for the rest of the night)

8:37PM

Skit #4 Nurse Joy Skit

Pallet Town’s Nurse Joy is apparently paying us a visit here at Colossalcon.

Oh wait she is secretly from Team Rocket!?!?! Transformation time! This is getting awful, oh man I don’t really want to watch anymore. Please get to the point. I mean its supposed to be an excuse for some standup but really this doesn’t float my boat at all. The performer doesn’t seem to feel any shame though, so props on the confidence. There, I said something nice.

Straight to the 1/10 Dustbin.

pandamajik: I hate to be mean but it’s at least a step better than last year’s. And shorter so the pain is less.

8:44PM

Looks like that is it for the skits, too bad there weren’t a few more waaaay to short. Was a fan of the Hetalia one however, they definitely stole the show.

8:45PM

Walk-ons

Junior Category

Juniors first, we have an adorable 3-year old doing a Bleach Character.

Followed by a fairly decent Soul Eater Cosplay, self-made too so big props.

Novice Category

-Mechazolla from Cromartie High School, thats was big robot lol, must have took some work.

-Zeon Soldier from Mobile Suit Gundam, fairly impressive.

-Now a Riku from FFX2, decent effort.

-A Shinku from Rozen Maiden, I love me that show and her outfit.

-A Kelsey Steele from Duarara.

-A FFXIII cosplay.

-Buggy from One Piece, very well made

-A great Suigintou costume, saw it early today, was impressed even more up close.

-Legend of Zelda and Ookami team cosplay, 2 furries, pretty cool looking.

-Barry the Chopper from FMA, a very good effort.

-Pepe from Shugo Chara, very well done.

-Domo-kun! A big one too.

-A double Pretty Solider Sailor Moon Costume pair.

-Lightning from FFXIII, very well done.

-Hitsugaya and Byakuya from Bleach, good effort on the hair.

-Ash ,Dawn, Brock, and ummmm someone else from Pokemon, pretty well done though.

-Now a nice looking Tales of Symphonia cosplay, great work on the story.

-Space Captain Harlock, looking good.

-Gundam Exia from the show by the same name. He’s huge! And it looks good.

-Naruto Uzumaki cosplay, its been done obviously but its ok.

-Oh wow a C.C. from Code Geass, pretty cool.

-That got a cheer, a rather different but well done Elric Brother Team cosplay.

-Kraehe from Princess Tutu, thats a little different…

-Seras Victoria from Hellsing, thats one biiiig gun.

-Chobits cosplay, good work on the dress.

-And there is an Ichigo cosplay, run of the mill but props.

-A Zoid cosplay, very puffy but somehow it works and appeals.

-Temari from Naruto, nice fan for sure haha.

-“The Original Vizard”?, weird but sure.

-Haha a Gaiden Kakashi cosplay, there is getting creative with standard fare, I likes.

-Lol another Kakashi, not as good but its fine.

-A not that good Sonic cosplay, try harder please!

-Claire from Claymore, nice to see something different but could be alot better.

-LOL just got a Clorox Bleach bottle cosplayer, totally made my night, she wins my award haha!

-Roxas cosplay, needs more detail.

-Ino and Sauske from Naruto, the Sauske was well done.

-The sumo guy from Street Fighter, not that bad.

-Yay something different from Naruto! A Sasori cosplay, lots of work went into that. They had a huge cart for his larger form

Journeyman Category

-A good looking Blair costume from Soul Eater

-BlazBlue team cosplay, looks pretty good.

-WOW an amazing Tousen, not a lot of detail but the guy fits it so well. Love it.

-Another Sauske. The detail was just difficult to see from where we sat.

-.hack//SIGN team cosplay.

-Older Gaara from Naruto Shippuden, a pretty good cosplay.

-FF9 cosplay.

-Blademaster from Monster Hunter Tribe, don’t know anything about it but its very detailed.

-Wow now a Silent Hill Pyramid Head, very good and scary.

-Athena from Saint Saiya, LOTS of work going into that, she looks golden and fabulous. The wings can actually expand and move.

-EVA Unit 1 from Eva, VERY BIG, hahaha, looks very top heavy, props on the effort there, looks good.

-Another C.C. from C.G., like this one is a little better.

-Soifon from Bleach, meh.

-Grell from Black Butler, wow.

-Testament and A.B.A, some very good looking props, VERY Impressive. From Guilty Gear, this is gonna win something.

-A very good Hetalia cosplay. Representing England, even stuck the Captain Morgan pose for the fans, lol.

-Chun-Li cosplay, looked pretty good.

9:02PM

Props to Christina Vee, the well known America VA apparently had to miss the con due to some industry work. She had the decency to tape an apology and message for all the fans, I know many were excited to see her and while it doesn’t completely make up for it I am sure it improves the situation.

9:08PM

Time for some games with audience participation. The first game will be “Questions Only”, contestant are only allowed to interact and converse with questions only. The conversation topic will apparently be “Ramen”. Lets see how this goes…

Lol everyone is failed, but sometimes that just makes it pretty funny, I like this game, I wanna play it sometime. The last girl who got picked just dominated, props to the underdog.

9:12PM

A video is now being shown, not sure what its about yet.

-The first part looks a like a fairly well made Kanagi AMV. A very nice touch, using K-On in the background for some of the shots.

-A pretty funny Yu-Gi-Oh gag interlude.

-Now a compilation AMV set to some awesome hardrock (“Life is Beautiful” by Sixx: AM), the theme: Life is Dark, but Beautiful. Some animes I can recognize: Higurashi, FMA, Code Geass, Naruto, and many more I can’t even begin to name. Ah there is some Haruhi, and Tokyo Magnitue 8, Soul Eater, FLCL, and many more. Not sure about the song but the catch line seems to be “No one will cry, at my funeral”. Any ideas people? Kinda want to save that one.

-Now those are some high quality AMVs.

9:21PM

Looks like I will get a chance to see the con video I missed on Friday now, lets see how this goes.

-A man eating a burrito, ok…

-Now a lampooning of the “Wheel of Morality” (kindly provided by Fox Kids Network).

-Haha now some crazy Japanese games how time, say the tongue twister or get kicked in the nads. LOLZ. Now funny faces brought to you courtesy of a rubber band around the nose. Oh those Japanese!

-Whoa now some Sumo random and lol-inducing.

-Now an AMV with the song “Watch Them Fall Down” by DJ Spoke. This looks promising but I can’t tell what it is yet.  Looks like a very cool techno medley. Some Shakugan no Shana thrown in there. Catch line from the track seems to be “Watch them fall down…” definitely a techno beat, pretty solid. Ah now some AIR and Clannad, despite what is sounds like this is pretty dramatic. We’ll get the AMVs linked up on here soon when I can find them, this is very impressive. Just spotted C.C so there is another person I know. Wow this has such high production value, I promise I will feature this on the blog soon.

AMV made by Nostromo

Anime: Ah! My Goddess (Movie), Air, Akaiito (game), Appleseed: Ex Machina (movie), ARIA The ANIMATION (TV), Ashita no Kimi to Au Tame ni (~Till I Reach Your Tomorrow~) (Game), Carnelian, Chaos Wars (game), Chrono Crusade (TV), Clannad (TV), Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion (TV), Daisuke Nakayama’s Global Astroliner, ef – a tale of memories (TV), Ef – The Latter Tale (Game), Ergo Proxy (TV), GANTZ, Gatekeepers, Ghost in the Shell: GIG2, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Godannar, Gun X Sword, Gunbuster 2 (Aim for the Top! 2), Haru no Ashioto (game), Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (TV), Kiddy Grade (2nd Season promo), Macross Frontier (TV), Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Melody of Oblivion, Night Wizard (TV), Place Promised in Our Early Days, The (Beyond the Clouds), Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea (Movie), Ray, Real Drive (TV), REC (TV), Shakugan no Shana (TV), Shakugan no Shana Second (TV), Shining Force EXA (game), Sky Girls (TV), So long, Mr. Despair (TV), Starship Operators, Third, The (TV), Tide-Line Blue, To Heart 2 (PS2), Tokyo Underground, W-Wish (Double Wish), Wild Arms 4 (Game), Xross Scramble (game), Ys I & II: Eternal Story (PS2), Zegapain (TV)

Music: DJ Spoke – Watch Them Fall Down (Montano Dub), DJ Spoke – Watch Them Fall Down (Original Mix)

9:34PM

That was really fun. Now it is award time, the judges are lining up to present the awards.

Honorable Mentions, the “fun” awards:

-Most “colorsafe”: Tia Molcon for the Bleach Chlorox Bottle, I loved it!

-“Props for props” award: Samantha Hagyle, Riku from FFX2 for her attributes and props.

-“Light speed Award”: Jordan Esselman for Sonic the Hedgehog, really though? It looked like it took 2 minutes to make but at least he is in character or rather he is a character.

-“Guts and Glory Award”: Tate Shuley, for his bravery by entering in the journeyman division at his first con.

-“Rising Star” Award: Christine Pangel for her amazing first time costume of Oreba Dia Vanille from FFXIII.

-Judge Award One: Chloe Kale, for Celty from Durarara. A very nice helmet design.

-Judge Award Two: Stephanie another first timer cosplaying Shinku from Rozen Maiden, I loved the effort she put into this, it looks perfectly authentic.

-Judge Award Three: Stephen Lodge, Chaos from Xenosaga III, the judge was very impressed with the use of stretch fabric in the cosplay.

-Judge Award Four: Karl Clover and Nirvana from BlazBlue, I really liked this one personally.

-Presentation Judge’s Award (for sass and audience love): Arianna Coffman as Lightning from FFXIII. (we’ll fix this later)

9:43PM

Presentation Awards

-Best Presentation: Space Channel 5, Skit #5, was kinda bleh imo, but they did try.

Craftsmanship Awards

(all winners get free registration for next year’s con)

-Best Group Craftsmanship: The Ash, Dawn, Brock, and Paul cosplay group, They did a decent job and everyone looks fairly authentic, congrats.

-Kawaii Junior Award: Piper, Sena from Bleach, she looked absolutely adorable, another of my favorite characters.

-Junior Craftsmanship: Megan doing Maka from Soul Eater. A great self made costume for a 13 year old.

-Runner-up Novice Craftsmanship Award: For Domo-kun, but then again everyone loves him so it doesn’t matter.

9:48PM

-Novice Craftmanship: Miyaka from Fushigi Yuugi, sparkly.

-Runner-up Journeyman Craftsmanship: Witch Blair from Soul Eater, she really did have an awesome hat, I loved the authenticity of her entire outfit.

-Best Journeyman Craftsmanship: Becky, as Sauske from Naruto. Impressive work in adding on her scars and singing her costume for authenticity, up-close it really is amazing.

-Runners-up Masters Craftsmanship:  Grell from Black Butler, a very awesome cosplay chainsaw and all. She just won in the master class after entering in journeyman, very impressive.

-Masters Craftsmanship: Testament and A.B.A from Guilty Gear, Great costumes and amazing props. Even designed in AutoCAD, from the moment he saw them pandamajik was sure they would win and win they did.

-Best in Show Award: Axis Powers Hetalia Skit, very deserving it was well planned and the characters fit very well. Congratulations!

-Cosplay Head Award: Linsey Lash for her Liger Zero cosplay from Zoids. The judge love her mobility and improvisation with a very hefty and complex costume.

9:54PM

And now on to the last award and the Japan trip! This will be a week long trip for two to Akibahara. They will also get preregistration pass

Japan Trip Award Winner: Christina Karl Williams for her Pirate England cosplay from Axis Powers Hetalia. A great costume and show put on by here. Very awesome indeed and many many congratulations, I am sure she will have the time of her life.

9:56PM

And thats a wrap folks, thanks for hanging with us. Congratulations to all the winners it was a great show and a great time.

EDIT: 6/8/2010 6:48 PM

Awards list from Aquas Rhapsody

The first set of awards are major awards that count towards your awards total for moving up in division. The second set are judge’s and special awards for cosplayers that did an amazing job as well. The last set were extra “just for fun” awards.

Craftsmanship Awards

Overall Best Craftsmanship/Japan Prize- Crystina Williams as Pirate England from Axis Powers Hetalia
Best Master Craftsmanship- Alexandria and Nick as Testament and A, B, A from Guilty Gear
Runner-Up Master Craftsmanship- Courtney Segota as Grell Sutcliffe from Black Butler
Best Journeyman Craftsmanship- Becki Yoakam as Sasuke from Naruto
Runner-Up Journeyman Craftsmanship- Morgan Fitzgerald as Blair from Soul Eater
Best Novice Craftsmanship- Angela Johnson as Miaka from Fushugi Yugi
Runner-Up Novice Craftsmanship- Kyle Ehnsberger as Domo-Kun from NHK
Junior Craftsmanship- Megan Muniak as Maka Alburn from Soul Eater
Kawaii Junior Award- Piper as Sena from Bleach
Best Group Cosplay- Christa Boocher, Paul Boocher, Dawn McLaughlin, and Marie Ballard as Dawn, Ash, Paul, and Brock from Pokemon

Aqua’s Rhapsody’s Award- Stephen Lodge as Chaos from Xenosaga III
Oshi’s Award- Chloe Keil as Celty Sturlson from Durarara!
Jenny-chan’s Award- Stephanie Vanzandt as Shinku from Rozen Maiden
Sugar’s Award- Lauren Correntot and Carrie K. as Nirvana and Carl Clover from Blaz Blue
Bobbi’s Award- Lindsey Lash as Liger Zero from Zoids
Props for Props- Samantha Hagle as Rikku from FF X-2
Rising Star- Christine Pongle as Oreba Dia Vanille from FFXIII

Lightspeed Award- Jordan Eshelmon as Sonic from Sonic
Colorfast Award- Tia Molchan as Colorox Bleach
Guts and Glory- Tait Clewley as Naruto from Naruto

Skit Awards

Best in Show – Hetalia Everyone’s A Bit Racist
Best Presentation – Space Channel Five

ColossalCon 2010 Live Blog – Cosplay 101

colossalcon-2010-banner-mini

It’s run by the girl who was doing the Osamu Tezuka panel (Cody) and is part of “Speed-Wagon” so I know it’s going to be good. She’s cosplaying as Nausicaa. The other panelist is Matt Romeo.

Find a character that you’re familiar with.

Patterns

You don’t have to start out doing intricate math. You can start out with patterns. Her cosplay is made from three different patterns put together. Some good sites:

More often than not you can find sales on patterns since they usually run for around $10. It’s good to put them in a manila envelope and file them in a filing cabinet.

Fabrics

Don’t use satin- it’s very hard to work with. It burns easily, it frays, it stains easily, and it wrinkles easily. You also have to use stabilizers since it will shift around on your sewing machine. It’s not cheap and it’s difficult to work with. It’s not the answer.

Kona cotton is good for beginners. It’s easy to work with, doesn’t wrinkle that much, and is amazing. When working with military or more historic uniforms use twill. It’s about $6-7 a yard. Twill will also hold creases for pleated skirts. You can use “extreme starch.”

Buy the right thread. Use matching thread or else it will stick out like a sore thumb. A tip is to use slightly darker thread than the color of the fabric if you cannot match it perfectly.

Wigs

Get a wig. Get a wig. Get a wig.

Cody told a story about having to pay $200 in hotel fees when a friend wanted to bleach and dye their hair for a cosplay.

Sites:

Amphigory also has the same color extensions and also other accessories. Cosworx is run by the people who run Cosplay.com and you should give them about a month to ship and get it to you.

Aquanet in the purple can will help for styling wigs. The other one is got2b glue. Aquanet is cheaper (a bit over $1).

Wear wig caps. It also helps keep your wigs in place. Pin it in place after putting it on.

Socks/Tights/Stockings

Go to the local thrift store for some boots, shoes, etc. for really cheap that you can easily modify if needed.

Buy some comfy insoles at the local store if you’re going to be walking around all day. You can find amazing insoles and padding at places that sell stripper clothes.

Makeup

Wear makeup. Mary Kay is your best friend.

Nobody has perfect skin, especially in photographs. Bare Minerals is a good mineral makeup. If you have some sort of allergic reaction stop using it immediately. If you’re not going to use the mineral route (it does get pricey) you can go liquid or powder. There’s a good Maybelline that’s good if you perspire a lot or if you have red areas. Concealer is good for covering the bags under your eyes. Use SuperStay Concealer by Maybelline. If you have a really red face get green concealer and put it on the red spots first before putting on the rest of your makeup. Another recommendation is using brushes to get everything even. Also get some blush and just get the apples of your cheeks so you don’t look super pale. Always use eyeshadow to make you pop out a bit more. Mascara is good since anime characters usually have really full eyes.

Don’t share makeup.

Take care of your skin all year round

Cover up your tattoos if you’re going to show that area of your body.

Don’t keep your makeup for too long. They have expiration dates. Don’t be a pack rat. Before applying makeup wash your face.

Contacts

They can add that extra little bit to your cosplay. It can be a plus for judges when competing.

Don’t borrow your friend’s contacts!

Extras

Practice your poses in the mirror. You might look dumb but it’ll help a lot before people take lots of pictures of you and posts them online.

Makeup is also recommended since a lot of photographers use flash.

Always check out the photoshoots. Be yourself and have fun. It’s a good way for people to recognize your outfit or make some friends.

Set up a Cosplay.com or American Cosplay account. Another good way to make friends or use the marketplace. It’s a very good place to get hints/tips/advice. I can personally attest to this last part.

When binding inhale first and then bind. This way it’s a lot more comfortable. Ace bandages are pretty easy to use.

Screen printing stuff is the best to use. Hand painting can be troublesome and time consuming.