Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Viper Madame Hydra Cosplay Take 2 / Free Comic Book Day plans

I finally got to fix my Viper costume after the Wondercon fiasco, and perfected the scarring technique for a Healthy kids event last weekend. Apparently the small fix of the thigh holster/ make up was a vast improvement as it has made it to other pages like wild fire. So I will share them here.
I also wanted to take a moment to address the Spoiler costume which also received rave reviews (from those nerds who actually knew who she was) and will be going round two for Free Comic Book Day at my local comic book store for a contest...cross your fingers for me! At Wondercon I had lost the thigh holster (strike two for thigh holsters that weekend) and also my cloak's hood was complete fuggled the whole night. I found the thigh holster and will be fixing the hood on Friday. I strongly recommend checking out your local comic book shop's FCD events....they look huge everywhere I have seen.

Close up of the scarring effect, tutorial here: Cosplay Scars
For more pictures from the Healthy Kids Day event, stay tuned to the Facebook Page: Nerd Rendezvous

Not to mention the Green Arrow/Black Canary is still in the works, the  Bat Signal is in the works, the flat shoes are I SWEAR in the works, and many many other things. I have been dealing with an insurance/courts ordeal and have been supa busy. I hope to get to these projects soon!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cosplay Masks Type 1

What does every vigilante need to conceal their true identity? A mask. Well, a mask or a hood...or some sort of mutation or power that allows them to change their face, or they really don't care if you know who they are for a myriad of reasons........but most of the time, masks.
There are a ton of ways to make eye masks, including super cheap (without looking cheap) versions that are very easily made.

For Green Arrow New 52 I wanted to try a few different versions, first up is the foam version (SUPER cheap, as in I spent about 1$ and five minutes).
Buy a sheet of craft foam in the color you want your mask. At Micheal's they cost about .89$
Sketch or print out the mask pattern on a piece of paper, cut out the eye holes and lay it on your face to see if you need to change the dimensions at all. I sketched out half of the mask as you can see in the picture below. Lay it on your foam sheet, trace it, and cut it out.

You might say to me at this point, ".....hey...this flimsy piece of foam is great, but it doesn't mold to my features...." and I'd say, "...yet...patience young grasshopper."
How you make it mold to your face? A very small amount of heat.for which I have experimented with two methods: oven and/or hair dryer. If you don't happen to have a mirror near your oven, I'd say use the hair dryer, which is what I had to do since the foam sheet cooled down too much before I could make it to the mirror. So, if you opt for the oven method, it goes like this:

Oven Method
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.
Lay foam mask directly on oven shelf.
Leave in oven until it starts to droop. (About one minute)
Press against face, molding to your features.

Hair Dryer Method
Turn your hair dryer on to the hottest setting, point at mask.
When mask appears to be flimsy, press against face, molding to your features.

I found that parts of the mask cool faster than you can conform them, My solution was to use the hair dryer on only that spot to re heat it and mold that piece to my face, one section at a time, The bridge of the nose for instance is really hard to get shaped on the first try, so I ended up heating it in the oven once, and using the hair dryer about three times to get the whole mask skin tight.

You can decorate the front side of the mask if need be, there are tons of techniques for that, fabric paint, rhinestones, glitter glue, spray paint over lace, etc.

You can use string to attach your mask, but I wouldn't want to use string to cheapen the look of a character, so I used eyelash glue on just the outer points and especially on the bridge of the nose. You can also use spirit gum for a  more secure hold. Voila! Fightin' crime and lookin' good!

Side note, the foam had smudges and some crappy corners because it was a test run for the Green Arrow mask.

I will be updating my facebook page over the next few weeks with photos from soon-to-be-happening superhero events....stay tuned: Nerd Rendezvous Facebook
Don't forget to check out your local comic shop's FREE COMIC BOOK DAY May 4th! I know many of them have cosplay contests, events, games, and duh.....free comics.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Central Coast Comic Con Cosplay (Whew...alliteration in your face!!!!)

Why hello there dames and gents, I am super excited to say I am working on my third/fourth cosplay of the con season....Black Canary for myself, and the new 52 version of Green Arrow for a friend. Green Arrow has so many fun toys that require plenty of creativity, ingenuity, and tears when trying to make them from scratch, but honestly my fingers have been itching to get into a complicated cosplay for a while. I will make tutorials for this one, who knows...maybe you need to learn how to make cosplay arrows too.

Today's tutorial, which I am super proud of by the by, is the first of several trick arrows from Ollie's quiver.
I looked online for existing tutorials on the subject and found great ones, but none for special arrows. I also looked up how to dye feathers on the cheap since getting custom neon green ones from the internet would cost me a pretty penny. Some plain white quill feathers with a few craft supplies, and tadaaaaa you've got bright green feathers ripe for the pickin'.

So how do you tackle making an arrow from a dowel, string, glue, feathers, and foam? Easy peasy (that was a complete and utter lie). You know that scene in Labyrinth...where all the stones are telling them to Go back, go no further, etc.? I wish I could insert that right here. Instead maybe I can try to help you with what I did/learned in making the first of many trick arrows. How I dyed feathers:
Mix paint, a small drop of dish soap , and water. Brush it lightly over both the front and back of the feathers.

They dry a little darker than they look wet, so the light green turned out neon!

The base of every arrow in Ollie's quiver is a dowel and three feather bits. Cut your dowels down to size (whatever size arrow shaft you want), and cut a groove in the feather end so it can rest on the bow string like a real arrow would.
I apologize for the blurriness and the fact that it is already painted, but you couldn't see the groove on the one pre-paint.

Paint them. Hint: Prime the dowel, or mix your paint with mod podge gloss or else the wood will suck it all in and you will have to put on thirty bazillion coats (yes...thirty bazillion).

Next, determine the size/shape of the feather bits. I chose a sort of leaf like shape that was about 2 inches long, and no wider than 3/4 of an inch which I sketched out on a piece of cardstock and cut out for a template.
I made three templates from card stock. They will bend or get chipped while you use them. It's best to have some just in case.
 I don't have a picture, but I used an X-acto blade to split the feathers right down the middle. This was somewhat difficult and dangerous, until you get a feel for it. If you aren't concerned about archers coming up to you informing you that your feather bits (I'm sure they'd use the correct terminology for them) are from left and right wing feathers you needn't worry about only using right wing feathers for each arrow or visa versa. I was mainly concerned on getting the over all look and color scheme right, and utilizing what I had to get it done.
Place your templates around on the feather, flat side against the middle, to see where you can get a full cut out. I ranged three to five feather bits from each quill (I split the feather down the middle, you can use both sides if you are trying to get all the bang from your buck.)
 Leave an 1/8 of an inch at the end of each feather bit for the string tie. They should look like this:

 Next...hot glue weeeeeee.  I piped hot glue onto the stem edge of the feather, and stuck it directly onto the groove end of the arrow shaft (dowel). Leave up to one and a half inches from the end for your fingers to be able to grip the arrow. Three feather bits per shaft. Then it's just a matter of wrapping the ends of the feather bits in string (ensuring they stay put and adding a nice decorative touch).

Now for this particular arrow I wanted the triple-barbed arrow...you have a ton of options for these trick arrow tips. Spray paint a piece of a toy arrowhead green, make one out of clay, cut it out of card board and duct tape, or like I did...craft foam Christmas tree shapes slid together and glued into the right position.

I will be making many more of Oliver's trick arrow heads which I will be putting on here for you guys. Stay tuned for the C4 cosplay projects, and many others...I swear I will get to those flat shoes!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New Project Line Up, What I Am Reading, & Sum Up of Wondercon All-In-One Special Issue!!!!

 Whew! I have been a busy, busy girl the last few weeks. I want to start off with my experience at Wondercon:
AMAZING! The trip started off really shaky. I left early Friday morning, giving myself plenty of time to navigate what should only be an hour forty-five minute trip (which ended up being almost two and a half hours, thank you traffic...) I barely got to the con in time to start my shift at SuperHeroStuff's booth, say hi to my friends who work there and get my new staff shirt (yippeeeee!) and run into those tiny restroom stalls to change into it. At the random plopping noise I turn around and see my brand new Deadpool fascinator floating in the toilet :( In. The. Toilet. I thought it was going to be a bad day, but it turns out all got turned around once I got into volunteering mode and made new friends.We were sent on an exhibitor run to hand out their coupons and met a ton of very cool people. Very cool meaning, holy crap look at all of this wonderfulness everywhere around me. These are great feels. Around four I changed into Spoiler, and instantly made several notes on how to fix the costume so it looks better for the next time. My thigh belt got lost somewhere between the car and the hotel room, which was foreshadowing for the next day, when as Viper, my thigh holster snapped off.
Hands down, cosplay is THE coolest experience. Kids are happy, people who know your lesser known character are happy, other cosplayers have a great time posing with you, everyone gets into this gigantic happiness energy ball....FANTASTIC. Now if only I could convince most of my friends to pick characters and do it with me!
Next...cool junk I got while at the con....coolest thing? Memories. Second coolest thing? Darkwing Duck The Duck Knight Returns graphic novel signed, drawn in and signed again by its artist and creators. A ton of t-shirts and other things from our booth which all of you can find here: SuperHeroStuff if you weren't lucky enough to be there in person, and Deadpool/Spider-Man comics I needed.
I highly recommend finding and going to all cons in your area and cosplaying if possible. Even if you can't afford to go inside, there are usually tons of events (photo shoots and photo ops) outside the main event.

Now onto what I am reading currently: Darkwing Duck (duh), Gotham by Gaslight and Deadpool Team-Ups, followed by Avengers Classic. It should be against the law to love Deadpool so much, really.

I have a ton of projects I need to be working on for here, and I added a few because of the Wondercon thigh holsters breaking/being lost fiascoes.
40's set light will be cleaned up and turned into a Bat Signal decor pice
Tricky part is the bat symbol, still working on it.

I've been working on this X-Men piece forever and the only panels that are done are the Beast panel and the Sabre tooth panel.
A myriad of symbolic tattoos like this skull compass, a steampunk scale, a seahorse and a wolf/bat one.

A lighted wall art piece of my fav Marvel comic art.

Green Arrow (New 52) cosplay
 Also on my list: Flat shoes, belts and head bands, as well as my  custom TTop covers. Stay tuned...

Monday, April 1, 2013

WonderCon 2013 Cosplay Adventures

Hey everyone! Wow, was Wondercon super excellent or what? I can't even begin to describe everything I saw, every awesome person I met, it was a whirlwind. So for now I'm just going to post these pictures some are from the SuperHeroStuff booth, some are from my phone, I was so busy I forgot to snap pictures most of the time. Also...I know Spoiler has a thigh holster, mine apparently fell out of my suitcase on the way :'(

Made super awesome friends

Wonderful Power Girl

Had fun while working!

Surprised by my bestie!

Viper eyes

This girl's Wasp costume was SO amazing! She was super awesome! I hope she finds me via here or facebook!!!!

These two are just....AWESOME... Power Girl and Hal Jordan/Clark Kent(glasses)
So....I am very tired, but I will write up a post about everything Wondercon when I get the chance!