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Here's where the magic happens. I'll be posting about all of my experiences and experiments (both failed and successful ones), introducing you to my costumes, sharing fun stories, linking tutorials and useful products, and who knows what else!


WIP Wednesday

Michael MacWolff

Hey everyone! I've been busy working on commissions and trying not to get too sidetracked by personal projects and vidya games (I've only had moderate success in that respect) but even so I've made some good progress on stuff so I wanted to share.

First up is my most recently finished commission!


This is the Zweihander from Dark Souls. This photo might not properly show how big this thing is, so here's a child for context.

 Photo courtesy of  ashenonecosplay

Photo courtesy of ashenonecosplay

So yeah, it's 5' tall and it was a pain in the ass to ship. But fortunately one of my worbla boxes was tall enough to wrap almost the whole thing, with an extra box to fill the gap.

This guy is made entirely of MDF, so it's nice and sturdy, which was important given the length and width of the blade (it does get a little droopy if you hold it with the flat part of the blade parallel to the floor). There's also a few small details made from cardstock and worbla.


As you can see, the sword is so long I couldn't make the whole thing in a single piece of MDF. Fortunately the split is in the hilt portion, so there's no worry of having a weak point because it's sandwiched between two other solid pieces of MDF.

This was a pretty straightforward prop since there's not a ton of intricate detail, the only cumbersome part is it's size... which just meant I had to spend about 4 days sanding the damn thing.


But once that part was done, it was a quick two days to get the whole thing sealed and painted! I'm super  happy with how this one turned out, and I'm loving the MDF for projects like this, it just work so well for blades! I'm going to be making Mordred's Clarent Blood Arthur for Colossalcon and I'm pretty much making it the exact same way. There's a bit more detail on that one so there will be more craft foam and/or compressed paper board to use but it'll be a comparable build (thankfully it's not 5' long like this one).

The other big project I've been working on is Xander's armor from FE Fates. It's been a project long in the works, if any of you even remember when I made Seigfried (hint: it was in 2016), that's when this project was initiated, but it wasn't until the beginning of this year that I actually started working on the armor. Things have come together pretty quickly, which is good because I need to get it finished and shipped off soon!


I'm building it the same was as I did with Leo's armor, and most of the other armor pieces/sets I've done. The base is craft foam and/or cardstock, and then craft foam and EVA foam for the raised details. Wrap all of that in a layer of worbla and you have your armor section!


At this point, all of the pieces are built and sealed, so all that's left is a few days of painting and some strapping and it'll be ready to go! I'll definitely be posting more photos once things are painted and put together, though you won't see the full suit put together until my client actually wears it nice my dress form is not sized right so I'm going to have them piece it together and get the velcro placed so it actually fits well.

Well, that's all for now, time to get back to painting!

A Tribute to Nobody

Michael MacWolff

It's throwback thursday again and this week I'm showing off my only Kingdom Hearts cosplay to date: Roxas. It'll be a short entry as I really don't have very many photos, since I wore him a total of... twice, maybe? Also I'm not super into KH in the first place, I really just wanted to make some keyblades, and I liked his design more than Sora's.


As you'll probably notice... I don't have a wig. Why, you ask? Because I'm lazy. It's as simple as that. I put all of my effort into my keyblades that I didn;t really care about anything else so I said "to hell with the wig."
Ironically enough, I did eventually get a wig with the intention of "doing this cosplay properly" but I never actually wore it all together. This was pretty early in my cosplay career when I was still so gung-ho about making new costumes that I didn't often wear any of them more than  a couple of times because I was pumping out new ones so fast. Fortunately, the wig didn't go to waste, because I ended up using it for my Spark cosplay.

 The spikes might be a bit long, but it still works.

The spikes might be a bit long, but it still works.


Colossal was one of the two cons I wore Roxas to (the other being Tekko), and I met a pretty fantastic Axel so we decided to take a couple of photos together, particularly given my choice of keyblades.


As I stated before, the biggest reason I wanted to do a KH cosplay was to have an excuse to make some keyblades, which is why more work went into these than any other part of the cosplay. They're not very clean & polished, but considering how early this was in my cosplay career, they actually turned out pretty well. These are made from cardboard, paper mache, and some craft foam (primarily for details).

The specific keyblades i chose to make were very intentional. Roxas is most often seen wielding a black and white duo of keyblades known as "Oathkeeper" and "Oblivion." The designs are super cool, but because this is the standard pair of keyblades associated with Roxas, almost every Roxas cosplayer out there uses them for props. So, in my usual fashion, I decided I wanted to do something different, whicle still being relevant.


The first blade I went with was "Two Become One." This keyblade is styled after Roxas himself, with lots of nods to his design. The four-pointed ninja star-looking keychain mirrors the metal piece on his jacket, the checkerboard pattern mimics his wristband, and the nobody symbol can be seen on the hilt. To me, this combines some facets of both Oathkeeper and Oblivion into a single keyblade, which had a lot of appeal to me.


The second keyblade is the "Bond of Flame," a keyblade which represents Roxas' best friend, Axel. You actually recieve this keyblade in KH2 after Axel sacrifices himself to save Sora. Given their strong bond (yeah, I ship it) I thought it was a fitting second choice for a keyblade.


And that's all there is for this week, since I'm out of photos, and out of anecdotes.

Fire Emblem!Con (aka Tekko 2018)

Michael MacWolff

Just got back from Pittrsburgh and I had a fantastic weekend at Tekko!

We all know at this point how obsessed i am with Fire Emblem, so when I saw an instagram post by CarletteCosplay that they were doing FE7 stuff at Tekko, I immediately hopped on that train.  Little did I know at that point that I also knew almost everyone else in the group. It was several weeks later (and two days before leaving for the con) that I was still trying to figure out what all to take with me, and discussing prospects with Marjolycookie and finally decided to just make this Tekko Fire Emblem!Con.


Friday was Innes, because I am so pleased with how this cosplay turned out that I just want to wear it all the time. And his underneath bits are comfortable enough to travel in. I was super lucky too, because I arrived in just enough time to get a great parking spot in the close cheap lot just before it filled up. Also it was 60* out so I could just put my costume on in the parking lot, without having to wiggle into things in my car.

The friend I was staying with in Pittsburgh was actually staffing the con, so I even got a free badge, which was awesome. And I immediately saw Big O Cosplayers as soon as I got out of the badge line.


After fangirling at them for a bit, I finally made it up to the con, and found a bunch of friends. I was pretty impressed that there were some people who actually recognized Innes. There were definitely a few people who asked for photos who were like "I don't know who this is but it's pretty awesome," which frankly is one of the best compliments as a cosplayer because you know it's sincere. They're not asking for a photo because they appreciate the character so much as they appreciate the cosplay itself.

There was a second, smaller convention going on concurrently in the other part of the convention center, and it was actually a yarn/fiber arts/craft show.... which was perfect to go along with Tekko. The knitters/crafters were definitely entertained by all of the costumes, and a bunch of the con-goers went over to check out all of the yarn and other cool stuff at the crafting expo. My friend and I went over and checked it out, and I got lots of compliments and questions from the folks running the different booths. I also discovered a needle felting booth called GoingGnome which had awesome stuff, including a Smaug and the entire crew of Dwarves (plus Gandalf & Bilbo) from The Hobbit. They were doing needle felting classes where you could make a gnome. Unfortunately they didn't have any openings left for Friday, so I signed up for Saturday instead.

After hanging out at the con for a while, my friend and I decided to head home and order some dinner from an asian noodle place (which was soooooo good) and watch Thor: Ragnarok... which of course we fell asleep halfway through.


Saturday morning I decided it was far too appropriate not to go back to the yarn festival as anyone other than Yarne, so I suited up in my fur loincloth and we headed back downtown.

My friend staffing had to be there at 8.... and literally no one who did not work at the convention center was around. So I hung out and played Heroes for a bit while people started slowly trickling in. Allison was the first to find me, dressed at Kylo, and we hung out and chatted for a while. Another Kylo cosplayer wandered past and recognized me, telling me his girlfriend loved the character and was cosplaying Grima!Robin. So they came back by later and we got this gem together.


I was also amazed to meet an Athena cosplayer, PhantasmagoriaCosplay, while I was hanging out there.


There was an FE photoshoot at noon, so I went to that. It wasn't huge but it was still fun. It was about 90% Awakening, and 80% of that was all Robin (and a Morgan who pretended to be Robin for a couple photos).

After the shoot it was time to change for our FE7 meetup. We had all 3 lords, plus Florina, Ninian, Nils, Guy (obviously), and eventually we even had a Rath! And because we're all ridiculous we had 5 disguises to play with too. If you're unfamiliar.... this actually happens in the game:


I'm stupidly excited to see photos from this. We all froze our asses off (Except Hector and his stupid sweater and armor and stuff), but it was totally worth it.

When it got to be evening again, we went back and ate at a little restaurant that;s close to my friend's house... that I can't remember the name of, but it was delicious and food coma-inducing. Nevertheless we went back and actually managed to finish Thor before passing out for the night.

Sunday was Ranulf, since he's comfy and pretty easy, besides all of the stupid wrappy bits that all of the Laguz (except Naesala because he's too fabulous for that) seem to have. I spent 20 minutes wandering around the outside of the Westin trying to figure out how to get to the Starbucks, but eventually managed to get some breakfast/coffee. When I got back to the convention center I was immediately recognized/photographed, which was pretty cool. And then at last all my friend arrived in their rainbow of FE4 outfits.


I've never played this game, so I don't know any of the characters besides Sigurd and Dierdre in the middle (thank you Heroes), but this still made me so happy. And what was even more miraculous was that while we were all standing around, a Lyon materialized out of the Aether.

Well, I couldn't well pass up the chance to get photos with him since I had Innes in the car, so I went and changed.


It was pretty great, because anyone who had already seen me that morning immediately went "wtf?" when they saw I had changed costumes, because who the hell does multiple cosplays on a Sunday. Clearly only this guy, and only when hypermotivated lol.

Well, that was Tekko, and it'll be a while before I have any more con stuff, which is probably a good thing because I have a bunch of commissions that I need to be working on. But I will definitely share photos from out FE7 shoot once we start getting them back.