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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!


Filtering by Tag: destiny

Ohayocon 2016 - Rise of the Mad King

Michael MacWolff

Ohayocon was absolutely amazing! I barely know where to start. First off, one of my oldest con buddies joined me again for the first time in a very long time. And of course she makes the most badass Imperator I know, which helps :-)

Our first set of serendipitous events of the weekend include meeting an awesome Max cosplayer on our way back to the room Friday evening, which delays our journey to our comfy beds by an hour or so but he was so awesome that we didn't mind :-D
Now we have a new awesome cosplay friend who fortunately we managed to find again on Saturday night (again on our way back to the room, but this time to extract the Mad King from me rather than head to bed). Sadly I didn't get a photo of him on Saturday because he was a badass biker version of Rainbow Dash. I did get him along with my Imperator on Friday though.

Second on our awesome new cosplay friends list is another wonderful MMFR pair we found on Saturday. A lovely Capable and an absolutely spot-on Nux. This badass cosplayer made me want to WAAAY up my game next time I cosplay our adorable warboy. Which I have now decreed will always come with me any time I go conventioning with my Imperator so I don't get left out of wonderful photos like this ;-)

The next lovely portion of my weekend was spending all day Friday with my wolf pack, which naturally we didn't get a new photo of, but here we are at Matsuri last year; we haven't changed much.

The word wolf pack seems all too appropriate for us, besides just being an actual pack of Wolf's Rain cosplayers, these people are truly my con family. I can't express how much I enjoy spending time with these nerds. And I'm even more humbled by the fact that they gave me presents. It's too freaking adorable to handle. Among them are my first two Pop! figures ever, including Old Man Solo, and a tiny Tenth Doctor, along with the only Star Wars hat I'll ever need.

I really don't know what else to say, other than to repeat my sentiments of loving the shit out of these fellow nerds.

Further wonders unfold on Saturday when I meet a badass New Monarchy Titan while dressed as the Speaker. Thank god people still like this game.

And perhaps the most miraculous series of events occurred in conjunction with my newest cosplay, the infamous [SECRET COSPLAY] that I've been ranting about for the last... many many months. Which, if you haven't been on facebook yet, it is none other than the Mad King, Ashnard.


The tale begins on Friday night, when our pack was dawdling in the lower floor near registration, and I see a very tall man with long black hair and a white robe go through the registration door. After a moment I start wailing to one of my pack mates that I think I just saw a Sephiran cosplayer, but that can't be right. Who would cosplay Sephiran, that's even more random that Ashnard. So I creep by the exit to the registration area only to ask, and discover that he is in fact a Sephiran cosplayer.

Apologies to anyone with delicate sensibilities. On that note, I now have a twitter which will be full of more swearing, random cosplay photos, and livetweeting of me being a derp and playing video games. Fair warning, spoilers will likely be abundant.

Apologies to anyone with delicate sensibilities. On that note, I now have a twitter which will be full of more swearing, random cosplay photos, and livetweeting of me being a derp and playing video games. Fair warning, spoilers will likely be abundant.

After flipping my shit more than just a little, I find out that he actually is supposed to have a Micaiah and an ASHERA (WTF?!?!?) and they're going to do a little shoot later. *LOUD WAILING NOISES* My intentions were not to be putting Ashnard on until Saturday because I already had a Soren and Lethe there and I sure as hell wasn't about to change at this point in the evening because that would be the biggest pain in the ass ever. We do, however, intend to get photos of these other lovely Tellius cosplayers when we can find them.
Praise Yune, goddess of Chaos, their Ashera was having some issues, and I don't think Micaiah ever even showed up , so Sephiran found us again and told us they were going to try again the following day. SCORE. We were already intending to do FE shenanigans on Saturday to it would work out perfectly, and since they weren't planning on doing their little shoot until the evening, our Lethe could actually finish working on her cosplay.
So everything is going great until the derp brigade marches through my brain and I realize I know neither WHEN nor WHERE they're meeting up for their shoot. *MORE LOUD WAILING NOISES* So we now have a Soren, Ashnard, and Lethe (and a few non-FE folks) wandering around for a good hour trying to find a very tall man in long white robes (we at least thought we remembered him saying something about 5pm). We finally decide we should just take some photos because we're in a good spot with some nice lighting and a blank background because Ashera knows if we're ever going to actually find these people. 

We got some photos with just the three of us (and those first two photos of Ashnard up above are from our little impromptu shoot as well), and were satisfied enough, if annoyed that we were unsuccessful in our search. Well, providence would have it that my dear friend Trickssi was going to be around for a little while yet and we should come meet her in another area of the convention center. I was super excited cause it's been forever since I've spent any actual time with her so we hustled over that direction and who should we meet along the way? CHANCELLOR GODDAMN SEPHIRAN. There are still no Ashera or Micaiah in sight, but he tells us they're on their way. So after a lovely time hanging out with Trickssi and the rest of the Trimeriad, we finally manage to assemble the ranks and successfully do a Tellius shoot. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! As we gather up for our shoot, an Ike wanders past (who just so happens to be a friend of a friend, no less) and we manage to wrangle him into our shoot as well. I'm not entirely sure he's a Fire Emblem person or just a Smash Bros person, as he didn't seem super familiar with the rest of our characters, but at this point I couldn't have cared less because the sheer awesomeness of our accomplishment in assembling the team was successful. Here are the fruits of our labor. I'm sure there will be more photos floating around as others start posting stuff, but bless Trickssi for sticking around and taking some shots with my phone (especially as she isn't remotely a Fire Emblem fan). 

Having an Ike around was clearly useful in giving us some actual poses and things, including the lovely awkward prom photos XD
So as you can see, it was a hella good con weekend. I found a bunch of awesome cosplayers, hung out with cosfamily, including some family members I haven't seen in forever, and made some new friends! If you want to see the full gambit of photos I took this weekend, you can find them on facebook in my Ohayocon 2016 album.
You can expect a post in the near future with the trials and tribulations of making the Mad King to be coming around shortly. In the meantime, feel free to enjoy all of the photos (and checking out some new additions to the Cosplay Plans Album (which is growing faster than I can control), and observing the spiral of inane livetweeting on my new Twitter account. The flavor of the month is Mikey Plays Tales of Xillia. Be warned there is no spoiler filter, and also no language filter.
Later, lovelies!

We were once much more powerful

Michael MacWolff

So it's Thursday again and I feel like there's been enough Fire Emblem stuff thrown at you guys to back off of that for a while (since I could keep going for a very long time on that track), so this week I wanted to introduce you all to a costume that's just recently become relevant again (kinda). It's a game that I played religiously after it was released, all because it was just so darn pretty. I'm talking about Bungie's most recent endeavor, Destiny. I'm really not much of a FPS type gamer, mostly because I'm generally just pretty bad at shooting things and therefore don't have much fun playing them... of course the exception is playing Goldeneye on N64 with my dear friends because even though I die a lot it's hilarious. But this game was so aesthetically entrancing I couldn't help but try it, and was consequently hooked. They released the second expansion, House of Wolves, just last week so after an extended absence from the world of Destiny, I'm back at it with renewed fervor. And that is particularly because this new expansion is centered around the awoken in the Reef, and I have wanted to be the Queen's champion since they had the queen's emissary in the tower shortly after the game was released as a special event. I  mean, let's be real, she's a bamf for taking control of a fallen house and the awoken are pretty baller in general.

So anyway, that is where the renewed relevancy of this costume comes in, but only sorta, since we don't really see him too often any more now that these new expansions have come out. I'm speaking of the Speaker.

I wanted to do a Destiny cosplay pretty early on in my playing of the game, beacuase as stated earlier, the game is so darn pretty, and as such the character designs are too. The trouble is, I'm not that talented at doing armor, and since everyone is fighting out in space that's a big part of what any of the player characters are wearing. So the trick was to find something doable, but that still looked cool and was still recognizable. Thus I settled on the Speaker.

I started with the helmet/mask/his face as that was the only really tricky bit to my eye because I'm familiar enough with patterning and sewing that I figured I could make any of the cloth parts without too much trouble.

Thankfully, most of his helmet is actually relatively flat planes, so I decided the easiest way to construct it would be to make it out of foamcore board (this might have actually been the project that started my love for foamcore) for all of the flatter pieces, then I could use craft foam for the rounded part since you can heat it up to curve it out. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the progress on this one, but I totally made it too wide the first time and had to slice it down the middle and make it thinner (which you can see in the photo if you look close). In any case, here's how it turned out.


The black sections on either side of the central panel are openings where I put some black knit material so I could actually see out of the mask, just not very well. If something was directly in front of me I'd have to turn my head to see it, but at least I could actually see!

So now that the mask was done, the hard part's over, right? I mean he just has a black hood and white robes, how hard could it be? Well I soon found out just how wrong I was... As I mentioned in my last post about Yarne, and how he has some lovely concept art that shows him from all his different sides and includes all of his details.... the same did not exist to the speaker so I had to go straight to the source. I went in-game with my Warlock and sat on the floor next to the Speaker and wandered around him, standing still long enough for him to turn back around so I could see the back and the sides of his robes. Thankfully he's an NPC who always shows up in the same place and is easily observable. This is the result of my research:

You can actually see the back of my warlock in this one...

You can actually see the back of my warlock in this one...

There were a lot more layers and a lot of extra details in those robes than I was prepared for. But me, being the devilishly detailed person I am, wanted to make sure I included as much of it as possible.

One of the most brain-wracking parts of figuring out his robes was deciding what materials to use for them. His outer robes have a nice texture so I wanted to do my best to find something that mimicked that. I initially had intentions of actually quilting it together, but I realized that would be way more time-consuming than practical, and wouldn't really give me the texture I wanted unless the quilting lines were tight together (adding to the insanely long process that quilting the fabric together would be). So instead, I found a nicely textured linen and used that. It actually worked out quite well because most of his robes are not a pure white, with the exception of the panel that hangs down from his waist. That made it simple to use a white satin for the panel and the almost-white linen for the rest.

Patterning out the robes wasn't all that difficult, once I sketched out how many layers were needed and how they all sat together. Building up from the bottom, there's (1) the lowest robe which covers his feet (I decided to simplify things and turn that into a skirt to eliminate excess layers up top), (2) the panel that hangs in front of his legs (I made this a separate piece that pins onto the bottom robe/skirt), (3) the robe which covers his torso and angles down in the back, (4) the belt, (5) the half-robe which angles across his torso from his left shoulder down to his right him, and (6) the hood. I'm not including his little pauldron things cause those aren't made of cloth.


The skirt part was easy enough to make, and I put elastic in the waistband to hold it up. The panel was a bit trickier because of all the detail on it. The repeating crosswork pattern was embroidered on my sewing machine with a tan-ish colored thread so it was a bit more subtle. The only trouble was that the satin would sometimes catch and so the satin-y quality was a little messed up in the end. Ultimately it turned out pretty well though, and worked the way I wanted it to. The raised edge around the design was done by sewing around a rope to give it the depth it needed. In retrospect I should have hand-sewed that part on so it would have looked better when it was done.

The next layer was the part that included the sleeves... so naturally it was a bit of a pain cause that's just how sleeves are. I used a slightly darker thread this time for the detailed stitches on the arms, and actually appliqued on fleece for the little uber-triforce designs on the sides. The white patches on the ends were also the bright white satin I used for the front panel. I went for simplicity on the closures, and just used white velcro to keep the robe shut. It was actually a good move too, because I could add small patches in a few places to keep the robe sitting in the proper place while I was wearing it.


 The next part was the belt. It's really just a tan strip of fabric with white craft foam pieces hot-glued to it. My intention was to use white vinyl for the details but when I tried to sew them on they stretched oddly and got all warped so I just threw out my first attempt. I think if I were to try that again I'd have to get a walking foot for my machine to keep that from happening. Regardless, the craft foam worked just fine. Also, I didn't actually include any kind of clasps, velcro, or anything for the belt, it's just held on with safety pins. That's mostly so if my girth fluctuates at all it can still accommodate that and because it sits a little strangely on my hips so it's easiest if I can just pin it where it needs to go.

Then we have the top robe. This one was pretty simple because there wasn't much to it in terms of patterning. I used a thin satin ribbon for the cross pattern on the front (which was a big enough pain in my ass that I didn't bother adding it to the back) and black bias tape for the dark outline. My favorite part is that the way it attaches on my left shoulder is with a suspender clip since I just happened to have one in my sewing desk :-)


The only thing left is the hood, which it's just a hood so it's not that exciting. The only bit that was kinda annoying was adding the part that draped over my shoulders but it wasn't that big of a deal. 


Put it all together and you almost get the speaker! There's just a few other details I haven't taled about yet. The first is his little Destiny emblem on his hood, which I made into a pin so I could use it to keep the hood part closed and could easily remove it.

We also have his little... nodes of some sort on the front of his robes. Those were constructed using compressed paperboard for the flat base, cardboard straws with polymer clay on either end for the little antenna-parts. I glued some felt on the back of each one so I could sew them to the robes.

The other thing are his shoulder pauldrons, which I used grey craft foam and an old vinyl placemat to put together. They attach to the robe parts with velcro as well. Here's how the whole thing looks all put together!

Oops, apparently I took my gloves off for this one

Oops, apparently I took my gloves off for this one

My plan was originally to debut this one at Ohayocon last year, but I sadly became violently ill that weekend and never made it down. So instead I wore it for a little while at Cleveland Concoction this past spring. It was pretty awesome because the fan table my groups was stationed at was on  a second story walkway that looked down on main lobby below so we got some awesome photos and I got to stand looming over everyone down below.

Behold my great kingdom! Of bellhop carts...

Behold my great kingdom! Of bellhop carts...

The best part was since I had the mask people assumed I couldn't see them and I totally caught a guy snap a picture of me on his phone and text it to someone. It should be noted that this was at the airport hotel in Cleveland  so there were lots of people around who weren't there for the convention. 

We also decided that the Speaker needed a vacation, and so took some photos by the pool. The results were glorious!

For as much work as went into this costume, he's gotten very little con time, so my intention is to take him to a few more before he goes into my regular rotation. He may go with me to Youmacon in Detroit and I'm definitely taking him to Ohayocon next year, assuming I don't come down with the plague again next year. Thankfully that'll give me enough time to add some side panels to the skirt/bottom robe so I can walk a little easier next time. I may also do some detail painting on his mask and pauldrons to highlight the shapes like I've been doing with a lot of my props recently. We'll see how far I get with that, but you can definitely expect more photos coming in a few months (it's too darn hot to wear him again before fall gets here).

Well, that's all folks, thanks for stopping in! <3