Tag Archives: wip

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.

Etsy shop has been reopened!

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click to see the shop now!

You probably noticed by now, but as of late September, my Etsy has finally been reopened! It will be featuring top fabrics from my Spoonflower shop (and items made from those textiles), and other cute made-to-order items such as amigurumi. I’m also in the process of cleaning through supplies I don’t use, like beads, so sometimes you may see art/craft supplies. So far I already sold a zipper pouch, internationally!

With AAC right around the bend, I’ve been finally working on my Mei cheongsam. Normally I don’t rush to get garment patterns for a project (I like to make it myself, especially since a lot of cosplay has to do with crazy designs that just don’t normally exist unless you customize a pattern anyway!), but with only one yard of my Mei fabric on me, I really didn’t feel like messing up ^^;. Fortunately, Pinterest didn’t fail me like it did Soldier, and the pattern I found for my cheongsam was a perfect fit!

I paired it with a polyester sherpa for a wintry look, and it is SO comfy! Definitely the best dress I ever made! Now I’m kind of sad I didn’t bother biting my pride and use a pattern for my Elphelt gown way back. I’m a stubborn goof like that.

As of the Soldier mask for Nick, the base paint is done and the gesso did a great job reinforcing it, the frame especially! I’ll be adding the finishing touches this weekend so I can ship it to him Monday with my Phasma helmet. (Between transferring trains to get over to him for the con, I was nervous I would damage both of them.) That way, he can bring the box of them over in the car when we drive up! Life hacks!

Take my Shopkin, my seafood, and all of my craft foam! Shining Bucket!!

Now that I have your attention, I can explain why it took me so long to post some progress again!

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I really own a Shopkin now! He’s a cute little book! A co-worker gave him to me ^^.
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I also finally went to the legendary Pop’s Seafood Shack on Long Island. I still dream of doze oystehz.

I am happy to announce that my Phasma costume is about 95% completed, just in time for CtCon in 10 days! Wow!! Aside from a holiday 3-day weekend, it’s the only other weekend I care about throughout the year. Hey, I’m honest.

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The craft foam armor actually reflects! Say whaaaaaa
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My blaster holster. Really is just pleather glued together. Glue is my best friend.

If you saw my Instagram eons ago, you saw the helmet getting its layers of gesso and sanding….and more gesso and more sanding….I basically lost count after 6 layers and decided enough was enough. So I whipped out my other favorite glue besides Fabritac and Krazy, which is dimensional fabric/3D glue.

The bottom-right is the helmet after the 3D glue, and then the finished results going counter-clockwise. (Sorry for the weird order, it was how the site compiled the collage.) Some battle damage got scuffed on before I glued in the lenses! In regular photos you don’t see my eyes and the lenses don’t reflect, so I tilted my head here so you can see them better. I’m really excited to wear this for the con!!

Of course, on my journey to find references of her gloves so I could start on the armor plating for that, I saw someone made a pepakura pattern for her helmet! Oh well. It basically is almost the same as the standard First Order troopers anyhoo.

For my next post (unless the con happens before then, then after that!), I hope to bring some exciting news! Here is a preview:

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Coming soon…

Adult Paint Date Night, Cosplay Edition!

Since I was away to see the boyfriend over Memorial Day weekend, we decided that it would be a good opportunity to help repaint his Kylo Ren mask. Jokes about dates at Wal-Mart (where we got our supplies), dinner dates at McDonald’s (obviously we didn’t do that), and adult paint nights ensued. Though I imagine if both persons in a relationship are also cosplayers, almost every other date involves a paint night at some point.

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Virgin strawberry daiquiries awaiting our victory!

You might have seen the collage on my Instagram already, but I felt showing larger photos of the details in the post here might be helpful too. Of course, the finished product looks much better in person 🙂 but at least we know it photographs well too.

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Angry baby ready for his close-up.

The mask he got was the Disney one, and at the time of purchase we were excited to find out it does fit adults too! (They advertise it under the kids costume section, but a sales associate at the store said it could be for all ages.) The plastic was nice and sturdy, though since getting the rest of the costume in, we felt we could do a better job on the “metal”section of the mask. AKA he had chrome paint envy after seeing my blaster repaint.

So we ventured to the store, got our supplies, and prepped the mask for its new paint job.
Lots of MacGuyvering was involved (YEAH WALMART), though he was sad when all the prep work took more time than the painting itself. Well..that’s a good thing…right?

(You know you’re reading a WordPress blog when the blogger breaks out the hipster backdrops. Except this was completely unintentional :O honest!)

The paint used here is similar to my chrome spray paint, but I don’t think it was enamel-based though (could have been oil, because it advertised as being plastic-safe anyhow), as the sharpies we tried to use for details didn’t work, and my paint worked with the sharpies. Oh well, it’s all a learning experience! Didn’t stop us from getting out the black acrylic as a backup plan!

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Time for some battle damage!

The acrylic worked much better here, especially when it came to buffing it in some scrapes and scratches. He was very excited when it was all done! I plan to touch up with some silver paint at the con, but until then, I think it looks just fine, and much better than what we started with. What a difference some paint can do!

As of Phasma, the major pieces of her armor are ready to be painted, so next up are smaller detail armor pieces, like the gloves and bootcovers. Once those are ready I plan to paint everything in one go, so assembly would be quicker. I can’t believe the convention is a month away already! Time flies!

Mother’s Day, Phasma’s blaster, and LIPopCon

I’m not feeling very successful on the topic-naming department today, so I took the guesswork out for you. Yay for being lazy thoughtful!

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I whipped up some yummy breakfast for the lovely lady.

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A breakfast isn’t complete without a heart-shaped hamsteak and loving support for indie comics!

More celebrations will happen tomorrow since it was a busy day for some on the actual day, so we kept it light instead. I got her the blu-ray/DVD combo set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and a replacement pair of gardening gloves in her favorite color (purple). The latter sounds like a complete stereotype, but there’s a legitimate reason for the gift choice – I busted one of our pairs the other day while helping with some yard work. Now we can be pretty AND hard-working~! (And enjoy a kickass movie afterwards.)

Speaking of galaxies far, far away, Captain Phasma’s blaster is completed!

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Hit me with your best (hip) shot!

After spraying the chrome paint on the Nerf gun and quoting Spongebob the entire time (I can blame this on the fumes all I want, but I was wearing proper safety gear, so…), I painting accent parts with black acrylic and touched it up with silver Sharpie for crisp edges. Then I sealed it with clear acrylic sealant (the one that they sell next to the Mod Podge) since I had it lying around and also wanted to experiment how the finish would turn out. Not only did it preserve the chrome’s shine, it also slightly weathered it! Perfect!! I plan to use the same technique for the rest of Phasma’s armor, to make it feel more worn-in.

As of the armor itself, I hadn’t been able to make much progress significant enough for photos, but I am surprisingly on schedule despite the fact that CTCon is less than 2 months away. (::girlish squeal::) I’ve been able to salvage pieces from a costume I bought from another cosplayer who was retiring it years ago, so those parts will be reused for the pauldrons, upper arm guards, front chestplate, and kneecaps. I’m also reusing parts meant for my Ultra Sword Kirby costume that were never finished on time, so those will form the backplate and waist guards (is there a word for those? Let’s use that for now). I also have my jumpsuit on the ready, though I’m ashamed to admit it’s not the official one with the ribbing. I’m not making this to enter in the 501st Legion anyway, though I would be mighty flattered if I was ever asked.

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I’m the lady in the pink blazer. Look at us, hiding our product placement! jk, we didn’t get endorsed. Thank you Laura for the photo!

(UPDATED 6/2/16 I found a photo of me at LIPopCon 2016! Yay!) It was a lot of fun participating in my first year, though a lot of the day I was running around jumping from panel to panel, assisting with any setup as needed. In the morning I was in a cosplay panel, and a lot of my things from the NYCC panel was covered in it, though in more detail. It was fun talking to other librarians about it ^^. We got some good questions too!

The second panel was on the state of diverse cons and other issues happening in the world of fandom. I admit by this point in the day I was exhausted, and I’m pretty sure I zoned out at one of the questions ><;;; I felt horrible about it but I was told I did well! I got to speak with fellow artists and overall I would do this again for sure! Next week I’ll be meeting with the committee to discuss plans for next year.

Sorry for not having a photo-heavy post today! When more of my armor is done I plan to show off more stuff! Normally I’d plug what my cosplay lineup is for CTCon by now but I keep changing my mind on what to bring for Friday (aka what level of lazy I plan to be). Phasma’s my main for Saturday of course, but I plan to give Parasoul a break since I’m already taking along armor and a blaster in terms of props. This leaves me with either Villager or some sort of Luka Megurine streetwear, besides my Mismagius dress for the dance. I’ll just wait until the week before to announce I guess, lol!