Category Archives: Cosplay

Cosplay Cardboard Tutorial II – Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th)

IMG_20171004_194849_961To make up for the old tutorials I cleared out, here is a new one that’s more of an intermediate level in the world of cardboard pepakura/papercraft for cosplay. If you’re new to make 3D objects for your cosplays using cardboard or a similar medium, please see the Elphelt belt buckles tutorial first, since it’s a little more beginner-friendly.

This project arrived for me from a very excited Nick and his new Jason costume for AAC this weekend – the 13th falls on a Friday this year in October. I’m skipping the con this year due to a busy November (and opting to return to the NY Ren Faire at last), so when he asked I felt it was my way of being there in spirit!

You will need…

  • Cardboard (I used corrugated here for the thickness)
  • Paper and pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Elmer’s/School glue
  • A toothpick
  • Dimensional fabric/3D glue
  • Acrylic paint and 2 small paintbrushes (a good one and a beat-up one)
  • Paper towels and water for cleanup and texturing

The key to making anything from 2D/reference into 3D is to break down the item you want to make into simple shapes and layer them accordingly.

The first step is to start sketching what you’re making and its approximate measurements, based on the scale of the character and the scale of yourself/the person it’s going to. The tip of this spear might look complicated, but it really is just a bunch of triangles, cylinders, and curves combined together.

 

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Be sure to number your pieces! You can always trim afterward for a neater shape too.

 

If your object is symmetrical, the easiest solution to keep things looking ‘right’ is to just draw out half of the template, and then cut out your pieces with the paper folded down its middle. Once you’re happy with your template, begin cutting out your pieces on cardboard to build the basics of your object.

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For the fleur, I wanted to keep it simple with a tapered layer for the tip, the 2 sides for the petals at its sides, and then 2 lower shapes that will form part of its shaft (and will get glued onto the PVC pipe on Nick’s end). You’ll notice one is more curved than the other;  in the reference, that piece is slightly conical and gradually becomes a little skinnier as the petals form. (Not shown is a second strip of cardboard, which I added later to hide the ‘seam’ from gluing these two bottom pieces. Also great for adding details! Lifehacks!)

The key to a seamless closure is to glue along one vertical end of the piece that you’re closing, and wedge that into the other side. It’s hard to do with cereal boxes, which is also why I went with corrugated this time.

Start gluing your pieces together sections at a time, and you should have the petals, tip, and shaft pieces ready to be attached. Keep in mind that the petals taper as well, so fold it in half to round it out before gluing/taping to each other. The center should be rounded so it can attach onto the shaft pieces.

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You’ll notice the pieces aren’t completely closed yet, so now is the time to cut and glue on any filler cardboard to help close the fleur. If you have to do it in smaller pieces that’s fine too, since anything that still can’t be filled completely will just get covered with the 3D glue anyway! Be sure to also add cap pieces wherever possible, because this will help strengthen the project and prevent it from collapsing after all your hard work!

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Don’t forget to glue along the toothpick when you do this, as well as when you stick it into the item. Those gap pieces help it grab onto something too.

 

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One way to revamp a horror movie franchise – add glitter to everything!

 

(Sorry about the glitter glue, it’s the only 3D glue color I have left and I almost always end up painting over it for a project anyway.) Now your piece is ready to be filled completely before painting! I ended up going over a few areas twice, especially by those middle sections on the tip so it slopes nicely. Let it dry overnight before the final and fun step.

I didn’t paper mache before painting because we all know how much I love doing that, but it will result in a smoother finish. The rightmost photo is without flash.

I never painted a rust texture before so it was really cool getting the opportunity to do it for Jason’s spear! I experimented with mixing some brown and orange acrylics with copper metallic for the base layer, but it didn’t show up well, even in person.

Once the base layer is set, start scuffing on orange gradually when the coat is DRY for a weathered effect (don’t oversaturate your paper towel or dry, beat-up brush). Nick didn’t want it too rusted, so I stopped after one or two layers of the rusting.

I tried to be as even as I could when I glued it together, but one side does seem a little slanted than the other. Not sure how this happened, but I could have put too much pressure when I was gluing and taping pieces together. I’ve designated the side above as its ‘cosmetic/camera-ready’ side though. Either way, Nick was a happy customer!

 

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The final product, at home with its new owner and looking ‘killer’!

 

It was awesome to see the final prop all finished and ready for the convention! I was shown the spraypaint color of the bronze for the PVC pipe prior to painting the fleur, so it was amazing how close I came to replicating the paint color. The fleur is glued onto the shaft with Loctite, which is a brand of superglue/epoxy glue (anything similar will adhere well with the cardboard and PVC).

Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you understand more about how amazing cardboard is, and what you can do with it. Is it possible to make anything out of it? Probably. Try for yourself, and happy cosplaying!

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Post-con review: Long Island Retro Gaming Expo 2017

My committee wasn’t able to man our table due to lack of staff (weekends have been kicking our butts lately!) but I still wanted to enjoy the Expo anyway and attended on Sunday with a friend. We made like bandits! The selection from these collectors was amazing, and in incredible condition on top of that. These are no ordinary vendors who just pile in bargain bin GameStop fodder regardless of what state they’re in. If you’re on the hunt for something to start, continue, or complete your gaming collection, this is a perfect spot to go to without the hassle of navigating the boroughs and NYC.

 

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Shoutout to the Tuxedo Mask for our quick ‘skirmish’! 

Since there’s a lot of long-awaited Persona standoff titles coming out next year in Japan (I am excited for all of them!), I decided to be Mitsuru for the day and had no idea I’d get stopped so much for photos! Unfortunately I only have the one on my phone here above, but I’m still trying to find ones from CTCon, let alone from Sunday. (Over the years I’ve realized I will never get to see most of my cosplays online, so I don’t bother digging too much anymore. The fun is in the experience with friends and making new ones anyway!)

I’ve had bad experiences with Eternalcon at the Cradle of Aviation a few years ago, and was relieved to see their floor plans at the Expo here made way more sense of the space. (I know that the Cradle is a museum and was not really meant for stuff like this when it was designed, but still.) To this day I still kind of cringe when I hear an event wants to use the Cradle as their venue of choice, but I’m happy the Expo didn’t fall in that trap. Compared to its first year when I attended it briefly at the Upsky out east, there was way more room for them to really show what they had to offer.

Aside from navigating everything and checking out the selection of goods, I also appreciated that there was actual music playing throughout the Expo that weekend from live bands covering tracks of popular game themes. It made me a bit nostalgic for Video Games Live (which every fan should attend at some point in their life!). I still hover their tour date list for when they’re in New York again.

As a wrapup, I definitely will be returning to the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo! Hopefully they stay within the county since it’s centrally located for me and I know that area well (which means food isn’t an issue at all; the towns nearby all have really good restaurants). But even if they return out east it’s still only a drive away :).

 

Another fabric update and my adventure!

So I guess us Spoonflower folks stirred up quite the feedback, because the other day in my inbox I saw this:

Haldo to you too!

So I guess Poly Crepe is staying after all! Please disregard my other update regarding the Etsy inventory then (still doesn’t apply to the twill change). Hooray!

That aside, I was able to go to CTCon this year and it was a ton of fun! Nowadays I feel like these weekends don’t last long enough anymore :(. All that work prepping and traveling to the destination, just for 3 days out of the whole year! (Though if it was longer than 3 it would just assault my bank account, and that really wouldn’t be fun.)

Besides Nick, a few other friends also cosplayed (some stick to western animation, others like me gravitate to games). I was able to attend the cosplay meetups I wanted to go to this year, and also won a Judges’ Award in the Masquerade for my Reapfield puppet.

I ended up moving his body frame into a more solid build (literally a small beachball and an Easter bucket), which meant his head had a full range of motion while still fitting in a small duffel! All my costumes did better than I expected though, so I may bring back the puppet at some point in the future just to waltz around with. I’m gonna give Phasma a break though, as I really do want to fix my armor next time I be her. Mitsuru will be my new redhead mainstay for a while though!

This year, I also plan to return to the NY Ren Faire, so hopefully I can do a fun little review of that too. Not sure when that will be though, as after the opening weekend is the LI Retro Gaming Expo, in which I will be helping my library conference committee with a free outreach table on the Sunday. (Yes I will be dressing up!) Since I’ll be there a full day this time, I coud write up a review for that too? (I dunno how I suddenly got into the business of writing reviews, but people keep finding those posts so they must like them!)

Master* of Puppets

*Maybe someday I will carry this title but honestly I just needed something witty to name this post. Then again, it’s no different for the rest of this blog!

Oh hey wow it’s June! That sure went by quick. Sister’s wedding was amazing and I’m so happy everyone had a great time! Not a dry eye in the house either.

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I’m on the left as her Maid of Honor, and the bride is on the right! (But you probably figured that out already!)

(I really want to upload one with Nick but he’s super camera shy for such a handsome fellow! In case you’re wondering why he’s always under some helmet or mask here.)

For shop news, the Etsy has been back up and running. Thank you for your patience and understanding! It will still be open while I’m at CtCon in July, so no worries. Speaking of other expos, I finally checked out BookCon with a few friends on Sunday in NYC! I’ve always wanted to go, but other plans kept popping up at that time of year. It was funny to see the Javits so quiet, but it was such a lovely con! I plan to come back next year for even more free loot! I think I will be going to it more often than NYCC at least.


Anyway, I meant to do a tutorial for my puppet, but then realized that I forgot to do progress photos, and also had no idea what I was doing half of the time so I was pretty sure I would mess up a lot. I also really did not have time to finish it properly – this year, CtCon wanted photos of submissions including events like the masquerade, and then announced a deadline at a ridiculously short notice. (Apologies on the rough build!)

I never had done any sort of puppetry before, but I have made plushies, and noticed that the steps are similar to a degree, just hollow, lighter, and mobile. Since I will be the only person operating him, I had to keep some parts and functions in mind.

Reapfield’s head tilts around, and he can also hop/jump and move slightly to indicate more emotions easily. Due to the view of the audience, I only had to focus on one arm to operate. Right now it’s a simple sewn glove over a dowel, but later on we plan to not only give it better range of motion (joints), but he will also get a second paw.

I couldn’t figure out how to rig better facial expressions at the time (I wanted his brows to move), but when he gets angry or upset his eyes light up like in the photos! This was probably the one step I knew what to do already, because I had rigged simple LEDs before for Ultra Sword Kirby’s hat. I was so happy I upgraded to a AAA battery pack this time for 50 cents extra, as the coin battery setup was a little loose for Kirby at that time. I buy my kits from Model Train Software, no soldering required! They’re amazing and I highly recommend them.

Best of all, I wanted to make storing him a breeze, also to make traveling with him easier. His body is made of cardboard, and is assembled in a way where it’s fast and easy to put together, and then folds back down neatly. His body is simply a fleece cover with the mask attached already to save time. There are also holes for his arm and LED eyes. Eventually I want to give him a proper and more permanent body with the green high-density foam.

What’s New in the Shop? (May 6 edition)

Things have been busy here between work, other life events and projects, and then me being sick for two weeks on and off ^^; but I am fine now! In the mean time, I was waiting for Tracer swatches to come in from Spoonflower, so now that they’ve arrived, I can show them to you!

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Cavalry’s Here in yellow and orange! These would make super fun athletic leggings!

Tracer will be up on Etsy in a few days as well. My Etsy will also be on Vacation for two weeks starting May 15 due to my sister’s wedding, so during that time I will not be available to process or make any orders. If you want a gift for graduation, birthday, etc, contact me ASAP if you need it before June!

Aside from everything, I experimented with notebook-making lately and I love it! My current planner was getting too messy and I needed to go back to something cleaner and smaller. (I think the larger sizes make me go crazy with decorating, which makes things illegible and defeats the purpose of being organized!)

I switched months ago to a bullet journal format for my personal journal/diary and loved it, so I decided to investigate traveler’s notebooks to migrate my lists (minus the diary stuff) together with said planner into one smaller, portable book.

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These are my insert booklets I made in B4 size! The patterns I printed are from Vecteezy – Chinchilla and Floral. The rainbow one seems to be gone unfortunately :(.

These ones have dotted grid paper inside and the covers are cardstock, saddle-stitched (aka staple-bound). They came out so well that I plan to make a few more samples using my patterns for Etsy! Of course, they can be used as inserts for traveler’s notebooks, but they also stand up well just fine by themselves as a jotter for school, notes, etc.


I never announced my cosplay lineup for CtCon, did I? Well, here it is so far:

  • Friday: Mitsuru Kirijo (Persona 3)
  • Saturday AM: Cheongsam Mei (Overwatch)
  • Saturday PM: Off-the-Clock Phasma (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

This probably is going to be shuffled around when I hear more about my itinerary, and the Masquerade will also dictate this. So far Nick and I are planning an Overwatch skit and I may be rigging a puppet. We’re still brainstorming but otherwise I’m excited for the idea, and I think more skits need more puppetry anyway.