#Mothra #Cosplay Actual Day 17: Completed in time for #RCCC

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

That’s right, gentle reader, I got it done and not a moment too soon. Today we are less than 7 days out from the Rose City Comic Con. I also helped stitch the skirt and cape for our Midna (of Zelda fame) that will be one of our cosplayers and then helped with the Godzilla cosplay (although that one may not make RCCC).

As an aside our Godzilla cosplayer has a conflict with the RCCC on Saturday so our plan to enter the team cosplay contest has been thwarted. Maybe we can do something like that when we get to the Emerald City Comic Con. Wish us luck!

I know last week I said it was day 14 but I went back and counted them up and it’s actually day 17 today. My total hours invested in the project are right at about 70. I splurged on two things this week for the costume, pushing the cost for materials up to $110.00 but several of the things I got are not absolutely necessary for the cosplay.

Yeah I got the bluetooth speaker.

Yeah I got the bluetooth speaker.

Perfect example: I picked up a bluetooth speaker (toy of the night when I brought it home) and bought the theme song for Mothra to put somewhere (possibly in the front vest pocket) and play while I’m at the Con. That was $30.00 I hadn’t planned on spending when I calculated the cost of the materials. In fact that little splurge is responsible for me going over my second budget estimate. Totally worth it though.

I finished up painting the vest, which is making up the main body of Mothra, and touching up the wings. Check it out:

Finishing the vest

Finishing the vest

Painting the feet on the vest.

Painting the feet on the vest.

It’s a good thing I tried it on and wore it a bit today. I broke one of the dowels in two places just wearing it. I’ll never get one piece of the dowel out of the sleeve I stitched for it so it’ll have to stay. Thankfully the 12 gauge wire was in place and that’s helping a lot. I have to decide if I want to use the dowels and replace one (for a grand total of $0.39) or go with softer wings. I really like the visual I get with the extra support along the leading edge the dowel gives me so I’ll probably replace it before the con.

I really did not want to go with a big elastic strap to hold the hat on. I was hoping that a few elastic loops and some bobby pins would do the trick. Once again, in the trial the hat wasn’t as secure as I had hoped it would be, and not secure enough for me to be confident of it in a large crowd. Because of that I went ahead and stitched an elastic strap on it and I’m very pleased with the result. It doesn’t go under my chin but rather around the back of my head and I like it much better. This will be secure in a large crowd.

Some bonus pictures from the construction and modeling of the cosplay:

Stitching the wings on the vest.

Stitching the wings on the vest.

Set up for painting, with the Mothra model.

Set up for painting, with the Mothra model.

Folded wings

Folded wings

Mothra will debut at the Rose City Comic Con. I am very excited and pleased. Looking at the pictures it looks even better than I imagined it would when I started it lo these many weeks ago. K.

#Mothra #Cosplay Day 14, Nearing Completion

layout

layout

layout

That’s right gentle reader, it’s almost completed. I almost missed a big part of the hind wing on the left wing when I was trying to finish up the painting today. I had to keep holding up the wing and turn it around in my hands so that I could really look at it. I have most of the touch ups done, although I think I could touch them up forever.

I did use the leather needles to affix the wings to the vest. I spent about an hour futzing with the tension, breaking the thread and damaging the leather before I got it figured out. Fortunately I was able to run my seam right over the same spot where I’d repeatedly broken the thread trying to figure out the proper tension on the machine. Since I bought my machine used it didn’t come with a manual so I have to guess at some things.

Sewing  wings to Leather

Sewing wings to Leather

With leather, it’s not like fabric, once the needle punches through there is a hole there that will not be hidden by fibers like with fabric. So that was a concern. Also it was very awkward trying to fit the vest and wing into the sewing foot. The wings are huge and the vest leather. I spent almost as much time just trying to get everything lined up to stitch as I did trying to get the machine to stitch it.

Tension Issues break the thread

Tension Issues break the thread

I have to confess that when I reached the point where the wings were assembled and the painting all but complete I had a moment of disbelief. It’s really going to be done for the Rose City Comic con. All that’s left is to stitch elastic loops on the underside of the hat so I can attach the hat securely with bobby pins and I think there are a couple of spots to touch up on the wings, small ones. Then I have to finish painting the vest and it’s complete. There’s probably not more than an hour or two left and it’s done.

I can hardly believe that it’s so close to done. I will post a picture of it complete and with the proper under dress and boots when I am finished. Also, I must confess, I splurged and bought the Mothra theme song so that I can play it on occasion when I’m in costume. It’s silly, I know, but why not?

So my total for the budget is right around $85.00 for materials, extra paint, brushes and the song. Not too bad. I’m over my original estimate by $35.00 and under my second estimate by $15.00. Not too bad. I’ve spent around 56 hours of my time designing, constructing, painting and sewing the costume. I can’t quite believe that I made this.

#Mothra #Cosplay Minimalist, Adjusted Budget Holding

Inside of the Left Wing is done

Inside of the Left Wing is done

Inside of the Left Wing is done

With the holiday weekend affording an extra day to work on the Mothra cosplay I was hoping to get the paining finished on the wings. Since I have to mix the colors myself from the available fabric paints I have it takes a lot longer than one might expect. They are turning out beautifully but it is taking such a long time to paint them.

I ran out of blue and orange paint so I had to pick up more. This pushed my budget ever closer to the hard limit of $100.00 for materials. True when I started I was hoping to keep it around $50.00 but that starting budget was quite unrealistic and only goes to show how little experience I have with making cosplays. I should have just started with the more reasonable budget of $100.00, and a more seasoned cosplayer probably would have.

Even with a budget of $100.00 I’m still looking for bargains and using coupons to buy my materials. Goodwill, and store coupons are great resources for getting materials and keeping to a reasonable budget. This weekend there were some particularly good coupons for some of the local craft stores due to the holiday. That’s something to keep in mind when considering starting a new cosplay. If you plan it right you can get your materials during a big sale.

Better planning in general would have helped keep the cost down. I didn’t know how much paint the fabric I chose would soak up so that is costing me in additional paint. I’m sure someone who has been doing cosplay for a long time would have chosen different fabric, treated it differently and planned things out better than I have.

We did get a cheap table cloth, a plastic picnic table cloth to put on the table while we paint. It protects the table and makes it less nerve wracking when we paint on the only good sized surface in the house for crafting.

Outside of the Left Wing

Outside of the Left Wing

All that being said, I still love what I’m doing and I love my costume. I’m learning a lot and having fun. My goal now is to get it finished up within the next two weeks. That includes touching up the paint where necessary, affixing the wings to the vest and stitching loops on the hat so that I can use bobby pins to keep it on my head in a crowded convention hall.

There are some flaws to the costume. I pretty much won’t be able to carry anything, so any tchotchkes or memorabilia I may want to pick up will have to be handled by one of my companions. The cosplay is designed to be portable though. I can roll the wings and vest up into a compact bundle to transport. The most difficult piece to transport will be the hat, due to the feathers.

Both Wings

Both Wings

We got our tickets to ECCC (Emerald City Comic Con) today and I’ll be wearing it there for certain. I’m still looking to debut it at the RCCC (Rose City Comic Con) in three weeks. We will see how well it travels then. K.

#Mothra #Cosplay Day 8 Still On Budget

Mothra Hat/Fascinator

Mothra Hat/Fascinator

Mothra Hat/Fascinator

This week has been extremely busy so cosplay Sunday is going to be brief this week. I’ve been contemplating how to affix the wings to the vest that will be the structural part of the body. I do not have leather needles which would be an additional cost.

Leather is tricky to work with. Not only is it a heavy fabric but also since it is hide and not woven any holes put in it by a needle are permanent and are not easily hidden should a mistake be made. A friend suggested a substance, an adhesive called sugru. The purist in me doesn’t trust an adhesive to be as durable and reliable as stitching but maybe I’m just a little bit more old-fashioned than I thought.

My friend insists that sugru has been successfully used to repair rafts, shoes and kayaks. I asked if it is pliable when set as I would be affixing fabric wings to leather at the arms and it would need to move like fabric. I was assured this would be the case. I still have my doubts.

Either solution would require a small additional cost: Either I am getting leather needles or I’m getting something else to affix the wings, sugru is a contender. I’d feel better about it if I stitched it but I may not have the skill or components.

I confess that I find myself very much looking forward to the next comic con I can get to. I’m looking forward to trying out the new cosplay. And I’m already looking for my next cosplay project! How crazy is that? I can’t imagine topping Mothra though.

One thing I’ve learned about cosplay while working on this project is that it truly is a labor of love. I mean I could always tell when others wore their cosplay but as my first real cosplay (not counting my steampunk cosplay which I assembled more than made) I’m finding that the choice of subject is something that can only come from a true love of the character. I never would have guessed I’d put so much time, effort, money and love into making a Mothra cosplay. Then I had the idea and the more I thought about it the more I liked it. Now I’m over half way done with the costume and I’m excited about wearing it. I’ve always enjoyed the variety of cosplayers and costumes at cons, I consider them an equal attraction to any panel discussion or star signing autographs but in making this Mothra cosplay I am coming to appreciate their efforts on a deeper level.

Here are some of my favorites from previous cons:

RCCC Star Wars Cosplayer

RCCC Star Wars Cosplayer

Captain America cosplay Portland Comic Con

Captain America cosplay Portland Comic Con

Dalek Wheelchair FTW

Dalek Wheelchair FTW

Harry Potter Cosplay ECCC2014

Harry Potter Cosplay ECCC2014

Wonder Woman ECCC2014

Wonder Woman ECCC2014

 Portland Comic Con

Portland Comic Con

Rose City Comic Con returns for 2014!

RCCC Logo

RCCC Logo

RCCC Logo

Portland’s home grown show announces dates for 3rd annual convention

Portland, OR – Rose City Comic Con saw record attendance during their second annual convention held at the Oregon Convention Center the weekend of Sept 21st & 22nd, 2013. Over 17,000 people attended the event, which marks an over 400% increase in attendance from year one.

Attendees turned out in all manner of costume to enjoy the over 2000 artists, panelist, vendors, writers, celebrities, droids, staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly all weekend to create an impressive fan experience. Heck, there were even 5 puppies and 3 kittens in attendance!

Rose City Comic Con is very proud to announce their third annual convention will be taking place September 20th & 21st, 2014, once again at the Oregon Convention Center. RCCC 2014 will feature a greater variety of film/television stars, voice actors, comic guests, vendors, merchandise, gaming, contests, artists, speakers and pop culture than ever before!

Look for regular press releases containing all of the latest news leading up to the show in September 2014. For more information, please visit RCCC’s website at www.rosecitycomiccon.com

Cosplay Panel at The Rose City Comic Con

Cylon & Batmobile

RCCC Cosplayers

RCCC Cosplayers

Yes there was actually a “Cosplaying 101” panel at the Rose City Comic Con. As you know, gentle reader, I find the cosplay an equal draw to the Con as the celebrities who graciously attend. It makes me happy to see other people dress up as their favorite characters, it makes me happy to see people express themselves and have such an uplifting creative outlet. I, personally, feel that it is good and healthy for people to let their imaginations run free and to express themselves so beautifully. Stepping down from my soapbox, it is just a wonderful extra bit of joy that cosplayers bring to cons.

The other thing about cosplayers is that they are happy to talk about their creations, the characters that inspire them and the trials and tribulations of costume design and crafting. The Cosplay Panel at the RCCC was every bit as informative as you might expect. The best bit of advice was at once surprising and eminently practical: Plan for a way to use the restroom and always take into account the weight of the costume. It’s one of those things that gets forgotten in the frenzy of costume creation and yet is so important. It seems small but it is of vital importance.

Cylon & Batmobile

Cylon & Batmobile

They also suggested lurking about ebay to find the pieces to construct your costume. Often times you don’t need a full sheet of something and a scrap or bit from another crafty person will do. You can build some really nice costumes without spending a mint. In fact I’m planning on taking that advice for some of the pieces for the costume I would like to put together.

The biggest thing though is to not be afraid or intimidated. It’s the joy and love that you bring to the cosplay that really makes it, not the professional seamstressing. Not that professional seamstressing doesn’t show in a well made costume but that’s not the point of it. It’s just a nice bonus.

Updates And Forward

Hubble Image of Magellanic Stream courtesy of NASA

Hubble Image of Magellanic Stream courtesy of NASA

Hubble Image of Magellanic Stream courtesy of NASA

As you well know, gentle reader, I took a short break from blogging. What happened is that I started a new job and it’s been tough getting used to the new schedule. It takes a surprising amount of time and energy to craft quality blog posts and I’ve been just mentally and physically exhausted for the past 6 weeks. The shorter blog posts you have noticed have been my attempt to post something that might be of interest. I thank you for your patience and I will be blogging once again.

For a brief update on my plans going forward: I intend to keep up with the Golden Age of Science Fiction Authors series as well as reviewing an assortment of movies. When it comes to movies, do keep in mind that I am a fan not a critic. Astronomy is a subject I adore and will be keeping up on.

As for my writing, I’m still working on the sequel to In The Flesh but I’m going to set that aside for a bit. What I want to do is start outlining my NaNoWriMo project for this year and it’s going to be the space opera I promised myself I could write. I’ve got a lot of ideas and I’m trying to narrow them down to the ones I really think will work best.

I have tickets to the Rose City Comic Con and next years Emerald City Comic Con so look for those updates too. It’s going to be a fun and exciting next few months. K.

Alien and Oregon Duck Attending the Rose City Comic Con

RCCC Logo

RCCC Logo

RCCC Logo

Star of Stargate SG:1 and voice of Magneto on X-Men: Evolution is coming to Portland’s own comic convention

Portland, OR – Actor, writer, voice actor, and football player, Christopher Judge, will be a guest for the upcoming Rose City Comic Con taking place on September 21st and 22nd, 2013 at the Oregon Convention Center.

Christopher is best known for his role as the alien Teal’cl on Stargate: SG1 where he appeared in more episodes than any other character. He also played the voice of Magneto on the animated series, X-Men: Evolution. Chris was also an Oregon Duck from 1982-1985 where he lead in kickoff returns and interceptions, as well as being a three time All American.

Christopher began his acting career in 1990 with roles in Neon Ryder and MacGuyver, but since then has appeared in Bird on a Wire, House Party 2, 21 Jump Street, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, He Man and the Masters of the Universe, Andromeda, The Mentalist, and most recently in The Dark Knight Rises.

Other special guests at this year’s Rose City Comic Con are Avery Brooks (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Jewel Staite (Firefly/Serenity), Sam Jones (Flash Gordon), David Giuntoli (Grimm), Billy West (Futurama), Lee Arenberg (Pirates of the Caribbean) and John DiMaggio (futurama).

Sponsoring RCCC this year is one of the largest comic retailers, Things From Another World, a leading comic book publisher, ONI Press, the premier source for nerdy socks, Sock Dreams, Portland’s long standing gaming store, Rainy Day Games, Dark Horse Comics, Oregon’s premiere Tattoo studio, Infinity Tattoo and Oregon City’s epic, Stryker’s Main Street Arcade.

RCCC 2013 will feature even more of a variety of film/television stars, voice actors, comic guests, vendors, merchandise, gaming, contests, artists, speakers and pop culture than its previous groundbreaking year!
With an anticipated attendance of over 15,000 in 2013, Rose City Comic Con has established itself as one of the most exciting new conventions on the scene. Founded by Portland-area entrepreneur Ron Brister in 2012, RCCC is one of the fastest growing conventions with the focus of fan and family-friendly fun.

Look for regular press releases containing all of the latest news leading up to the show in September 2013. For more information, please visit RCCC’s website at www.rosecitycomiccon.com

Pacific Rim, How To Train Your Dragon, Godzilla and More!

How To Train Your Dragon Movie Poster

How To Train Your Dragon Movie Poster

How To Train Your Dragon Movie Poster

That’s right, gentle reader, today is a medley of updates, impressions and thoughts. First up I saw a trailer for How To Train Your Dragon 2 and it gave me goosebumps! I got goosebumps watching the first How To Train Your Dragon. The visuals, even though they are stylized CGI are stunning. Yes I know it doesn’t follow the books hardly at all but I enjoyed the movie anyway. Anyway check out the official trailer from Dreamworks:

Fabulous, no?

Now as you know I’m totally a fan of Pacific Rim. I love, love, loved that movie. I’m going to see it again next weekend. I might sneak away and see it again mid-week too. We’ll just have to see. That being said, as a nerd, and let’s be honest here, I am a nerd; I’ve been following Pacific Rim’s performance at the box office. I know that if it does well enough, if it grosses enough money there will be a sequel and I really want a sequel. I want Pacific Rim to be a franchise. I want lots of Pacific Rim movies. The pundits say it needs to gross better than $40,000,000.00 domestically over its opening weekend to be on track for consideration for sequels. I’m hoping for it to do far better than that. It’s not quite there as of this morning so I’m kind of hoping that Sunday is a huge movie day for Kaiju fans. It’s an amazing movie. Go see it. Examples of the genre this excellent are few and far between.

Gipsy Danger & Mothra action figures

Gipsy Danger & Mothra action figures

Oh! And I went to Things From Another World and picked up a Gipsy Danger figure for my collection. They had Crimson Typhoon too but I didn’t have the second generation Mothra and she was really nice so I got her instead. Things From Another World is sponsoring the Rose City Comic Con and they have a lot of cool stuff. I was transfixed by the wall o’ Doctor Who collectables and they had several rows of Godzilla figures too. Yes this is a total plug but they’re a good, locally owned business. They have a website at www.tfaw.com where you can order your own cool things rather than always wondering, “Where does he get all those toys?” 😉

Speaking of the Rose City Comic Con, that is coming up in September and I am very excited about it. I couldn’t make it to the San Diego Comic Con this year, sadly but I will be going to the RCCC. Comic Cons are so much fun. I love seeing all of the amazing cosplay costumes and being amongst thousands of geeky, nerdy fans having fun. I also missed G-Fest this year, which is going on right now. One of these days I will make it to G-Fest.

Speaking of G-Fest and the SDCC Godzilla Encounter is still posting teasers and they’re fantastic. Godzilla 2014 will have a discussion panel at the SDCC, those of you going might check it out if you’re fans or looking forward to the new Godzilla movie. K.