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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!


New Year, (mostly) New Projects

Michael MacWolff

So now that I have my first con of the year under my belt, commission season is open yet again, meaning that I’m going to be busy making a bunch of awesome stuff for great people!

First up o the list is a project you’re all aware of already since I’ve been working no it off and on for quite some time now. It’s the 3rd set of Nohrian armor I’ve been tasked to construct, and this time it’s for Silas. I’ve shown you all progress photos of the build and now we’re into the finishing stages!


Those of you familiar with my MO know that I generally try to spray the metallic bits when I can, as it’s a much faster and more consistent way to achieve an even color on them, so I sprayed the silver details on the pieces that have them.


With the rest of the armor being black, I’d be brush painting the majority of bulk of the surfaces. In order to keep the silver details from needing touch-ups by getting black on them, but to save myself the time of painting a giant surface with a tiny paintbrush, I followed the normal procedure for painting walls. You “cut in” around the edges with a smaller paintbrush, then you use your larger brush to fill in the middle (when you’re painting walls, it’s usually a roller rather than a brush to paint the bulk, but I’m not going to roll paint armor… I don’t thing it’s turn out well XD)


Thankfully black paint covers pretty well, so it only took 2 coats to cover solidly (1 on on the first photo, second coat on the second photo)

Normally for stuff like this, I’d do contour painting to make the shapes pop a bit more, but that’s really hard to achieve when the surfaces are black, because despite what Sterling Archer might tell you, there’s no "slightly darker black” to use for shading, and it looks grey instead of black if you do too much highlighting. So I took my opportunities where I could and did some shading on the silver bits, where appropriate.

The shading is pretty subtle, so don’t worry if you don’t notice it, it is doing it’s job ~_^

The shading is pretty subtle, so don’t worry if you don’t notice it, it is doing it’s job ~_^

As per usual, the whole armor set is getting a top coat of matte mod podge to give it some moderate sheen and help protect the paint. I’ll also be using it for the back to seal the foam and make sure the silver overspray on the undersides doesn’t get on Indi’s cosplay.

There’s only a few bits left to do, mostly put together the pieces for the boots and seal the exposed foam on the undersides of all the pieces, so I’m glad to be nearly finished with this big project!

The second project I’ve been actively working on is a dark magician staff from Yu-gi-oh. A great big shout-out goes to Giant Dad for his continued support and business. He’s commissioned a number of things from me including the Fat Man from Fallout, and the Zweihander from Dark Souls. This latest project is only getting started but I’m hoping to crank it out in the next couple of weeks.


This is the only photo I have at present, because I’ve just started working on it. The staff head is foam with worbla on both sides. For armor I usually only cover the outside and wrap a lip around to the back, to save weight and material; since you see both the inside and outside of the petal shapes I needed to coat both sides or it would have looked super weird. As you can see, the ball on the end lights sup too! I still need to color it green so it lights in the correct color, and somehow all of my green sharpies have disappeared…

You also may have noticed that the shaft of the staff is in fact a broom handle, you know how much I love using random junk in my props! And it works particularly well because it’s hollow so the light that illuminates the ball on the end fits nicely into it. You’ll be seeing more progress on this over the coming weeks.

The last project I’m actively working on is a personal one, that I’m hoping to have done for Tekko in April. If you know me you probably know I have a love of amphibians so I’m particularly excited to be cosplaying one of my favorite anuran characters: Frog from Chrono Trigger. I’m pretty sure I posted a few photos from my early construction of his head, but we’re gonna do it again anyway cause I can’t remember for sure.


I did some research on furries for this project, because it seemed to make the most sense to me to construct the head the way they do, and I was fortunate to find some WIP photos from Tionniel on dA of how they constructed it so I had some good guidance.

I decided to cover the head with fleece, mostly for the sake of simplicity, and the face that it would be easily correctable if I messed anything up.


Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to trace the foam pieces before I put them together so that I had an accurate pattern for the fleece cover… so I had to eyeball it a bit. Thankfully, the fleece is pretty forgiving, though there are a few big folds in the back that… just have to be there lol.


As you can see from the photo here, the nose is my only way to see (though you’ll see later that I have a second option). The eyes are the two halves of one of those big, clear, plastic ornaments. I used contact adhesive to attach the ring of green fleece around the base so they could be stitched onto the head. You might also notice that there’s pieces of masking tape on the eyes, that was to give myself a guide for painting the pupils. I wanted to paint the eyes on the inside of the baubles to they stayed nice and glossy, and to protect the paint from getting scratched as I continued to work on it, and of course later when it’s actually being worn. So since the layer against the plastic is the one you’re going to see, I started with the pupils and worked out from there. They’re not actually attached in the photo above yet, they’re just pinned into place so I could make sure the eyes weren’t gonna be looking in weird directions.

So now the eyes are done and attached! And the nose is fixed too, so it doesn’t look all janky any more.

The last bit I’ve done with the head is the eyelids, which is more bits of upholstery foam with fleece around it.


With that detail finished the only thing left are the tympanum (frog ears), which should be pretty easy.

And I did mention there was another way for me to see…



That’s all for this week! I have a handfull of other new commissions in my queue so as soon as that armor is done (which I’m hoping to finish ASAP) you’ll be seeing some more new projects coming together, so don’t forget to check back! And also another friendly reminder that I am most consistent with posting WIP potos on my instagram, @mikeydoescosplay, so feel free to give me a follow to stay up-to-date!

Ohayo (gozaimasu) 2019

Michael MacWolff

Hello again, my dears! I’m back from one of the best Ohayocons I’ve been to in a long time, and I want to tell you all about it! If you’re wondering about the post name (although most of you weebs probably already know this) “ohayo gozaimasu” means “good morning” in Japanese, which is relevant for this con in particular because I stayed up much later into the wee hours of the morning than is customary (there’s a reason #GrandpaMike is a thing between my friends and I).


Actually, the story really starts on Thursday when some time in the afternoon/evening, our furnace decided to die… for the second time in a week. It was late enough that we didn’t have heat for the night, so Jordan, Donner and I grabbed lots of blankets and sleeping bags and snuggled in the living room in front of the fireplace, which we kept lit as long as we could manage with the wood we had.
So Friday morning was not exactly a great start to the weekend, since it was cold, I had to wait around for the repair guy to fix our furnace before I could go anywhere, and I was out about $200 before I’d even left for the con.


Once that was all dealt with and the car was packed, it was finally time to head out… to Akron. So this Ohayocon was special because it was my good friend Speck’s con debut! The main reason she cae with me is because we won free badges from an Ohayocon event at the Cleveland Museum of Art, in which our team was the first to correctly complete the scavenger hunt (we weren’t the first ones back but the teams ahead of us didn’t get some of the answers right). So with a free badge she decided it would be a great opportunity to check out this whole con thing that I’d been telling her about all these years. The third free badge, which unfortunately couldn’t be used by our last team member as he’s currently in France, went to sunsetsirises after winning having a little giveaway event on my fb/instagram/twitter.


When we finally got down to C-bus on friday afternoon, I got into Newt Scamander, which is the first time I’ve actually worn this cosplay! You all might be surprised, given my penchant for magical creatures, but I usually dress in an OC cryptozoologist chatracter who everyone just assumes is Newt because we are basically the same person. Both Hufflepuffs, both like dressing in vests and wearing bowties, and of course our shared love of magical critters, and huge collections thereof. But since I managed to snag the Newt cosplay on ThinkGeek when it was on supersale (seriously I paid $30 for the coat, bowtie & vest and it would’ve cost more than $30 just for the coat materials so SCORE), I decided it was time to actually cosplay him for real, instead of just being his spiritual doppleganger. Unfortunately, since' I’m not proportioned like a normal human being, the vest didn’t fit properly… it also didn’t have real pockets which annoyed me but that happens all the time so I got over it. So naturally I spent the few days before the con constructing a new one since I already had appropriate fabric for it that who even remembers what I originally bought it for because that’s the story with 80% of the fabric in my collection.


I patterned the vest myself because like I said, I’m not proportioned like a normal person (torso is too long & skinny so big vests can fit 12 of me in them and small vests stop at my navel -_-). I made real welt pockets because I am that extra, and because Newt carries some sort of pocket watch or something like that which needed someplace to sit. And of course I lined it with adorable dinosaur fabric because that seemed appropriate (headcanon: accepted). I was a dummy and forgot to make a facing for the side with the buttonholes so I had to jankily fix that after I’d already done the buttonholes themselves so you didn’t see a weird white edge along that side, oops. But ultimately it came out looking good. (standby for Sunday photos to see the whole thing cause that selfie is the only one I got on Friday since I wasn’t wearing him for long).

We went to the formal lessons, taught by the wonderful Trickssi and got some refreshers for use at the fantasy ball later, and stopped by the Fate photoshoot that afternoon before going back to the room. I had every intention of going to the Fate shoot except our room hosts didn’t get there until later and I was not about to try to put on a white satin dress, petticoat, and hoops in the heckin parking lot cause we all know I would have dropped it and been reaaaaaal mad at life. This is the only photo I actually took at the Fate shoot since we didn’t stay long (though I did ogle a lot of the other cosplayers there).


This was an awesome Mashu Alter that I chatted with for a hot second because he looked amazing and I couldn’t figure out who he was cosplaying from behind, but the lance and armor were beautiful and the shield was a dead giveaway once I saw it up close.
(Also, you may want to take note of that Achilles in the background because you’ll be seeing him again later).

After perusing the Fate folks for a bit, we went back to the room to change, grabbed dinner, and headed to the drag show!! I wasn’t aware that friday’s show was actually a Drag Race competition, hosted by the magnanimous Oriana Perone and we arrived in time to see the dance battle that took the contestants from 8 to 4, and was definitely a good moment to catch. The 4 remaining did a cute Mad Libs version of The Princess and the Pea, where they lived “prickly ever after” and was hilarious on the whole. But the most impressive performance was next as the bottom two contestants (one of whom was that Achilles in the background up above) Lip Synched for their lives. You can watch the video here because I cannot adequately describe how incredible it was, but needless to say, no one got eliminated. The final round was a makeover competition between the final 4 in which they each had a model and had to create their own Sailor Scout and come up with their “special move.” The winner was an amazing Haruhi (Ouran) cosplayer who presented “Sailor Fab,” and the “one-Kiss Kill.” If I can find them on some social media platform I will link you all to them because they had the perfect combination of attitude, dance moves, and cute face to have been deserving of the win.

After the drag show we went to the Fantasy Ball, also hosted by Trickssi ,and had a lovely time dancing and even made a new friend! Highlights from the ball include me still not figuring out the Tokyo Polka despite my efforts, since they were just finishing teaching it when we arrived at the lessons but one of these times I’m gonna get it! Also, I almost couldn’t get back off the floor during the Cha-Cha slide after the “how low can you go” part. Lastly I almost got whiplash when I heard the opening chord to one of the songs and was like “BASTION MUSIC???!?”

At the formal Ball! Sadly you can’t see Speck’s fabulous sequin dress under the bright pink coat

At the formal Ball! Sadly you can’t see Speck’s fabulous sequin dress under the bright pink coat

After the ball was over, we headed back to the room and celebrated Christmas with my roomies, changed again, and headed over to the EDM dance party for the night after stopping at the hotel bar. I was super into the music and going pretty hard so I’m glad Specks made me stretch my legs after the rave. We also ran into that same Achilles cosplayer and the winning model from the final drag race competition on the way back to the hotel room, so I stopped and complimented them both on their fabulousness from earlier (they were both exceedingly attractive so that provided some extra motivation for me to stop and say something since I’m often too awkward to talk to people).


Saturday morning was a bit rough since we closed out the rave and as such didn’t make it to bed until after 2, and my wonderful inability to sleep in meant I was awake at 7 and couldn’t get back to sleep. But it wasn’t all bad cause I got bearkfast at the hotel and had plenty of time to shave and do my makeup for Fran before we headed over to the con to check out the leatherworking panel that morning.

Saturday was fun and pretty chill for most of the day. We hung out for a while, got coffee, ran into some other Fate cosplayers, I finally got to see Genki since she didn’t make it over to the con Friday night.

We ran into this awesome Cu & Irisveil in the dealer’s hall.

We ran into this awesome Cu & Irisveil in the dealer’s hall.

I spotted another adorable Fran in the hallway!!!

I spotted another adorable Fran in the hallway!!!

We also ran into this Mashu Alter again and I got another photo

We also ran into this Mashu Alter again and I got another photo

I was also delighted to run into  Holy.Grail  in her adorable Nursery Rhyme cosplay (she was our Jack the Ripper at the Apocrypha shoot at Youma). I ran into her earlier in Ereskigal as well, but sadly didn;t get a photo.

I was also delighted to run into Holy.Grail in her adorable Nursery Rhyme cosplay (she was our Jack the Ripper at the Apocrypha shoot at Youma). I ran into her earlier in Ereskigal as well, but sadly didn;t get a photo.

After spending most of the afternoon hanging out in Fran, it was time to go change (she’s super comfortable but I was ready to not have to wear a wig any more), and I put on my Witchsona for the Saturday night drag show.

The show was absolutely phenomenal, all of the performers were amazing, and the outfits were amazing, and everything was just awesome. It was particularly great to see the Haruhi cosplayer who’d won the drag race the previous night get to perform and hot damn I’m pretty sure they paid for their whole con with all of the money the audience was giving them. Oriana was also a star in her Daimonds/Titanium mashup, that the whole audience lost their mind when she came out in her sheer cloak that had lights in it which looked like a galaxy. Also the shimmery silver number underneath the galaxy cloak was just as impressive! All in all it was one of the best drag shows I’ve been to.


I love this outfit so freaking much and I can’t help but slip into diva mode when I’m wearing it. I walk differenty, carry myself differently, it’s great. My favorite thing was that I had 3 separate people comment on how fabulous I was, and two of them even asked for photos! I wasn’t expecting that at all since I wasn’t cosplaying a known character so it was definitely a nice confidence boost.

Leading the Wolf Pack to dinner.

Leading the Wolf Pack to dinner.

After dinner with the Wolf Pack we went back to the room and changed yet again for the Saturday night rave. I wasn’t feeling the music quite as much because the beat was really inconsistent, and also super fast most of the time so I had a harder time dancing to it than Friday night’s DJ. Fortunately that problem solved itself almost immediately because I was waylaid by to exceedingly attractive young men who cam and started dancing with me. As you may have guessed, that same Achilles cosplayer (whose name I finally learned was John) was one of them since we kept running into each other all con, and the second was the winning model (not the Haruhi cosplayer but the one that was done up to be Sailor Fab, whose name I also learned, was Andrew) from the Drag Race the previous night. Specks also made friends with an adorable 10th Doctor cosplayer so she had a dance partner too since I was a little preoccupied. After the rave we chatted with John for a while (since Andrew left to go to a friend’s panel) and finally went back to the room to call it a night. Well, that was the intention anyway but when we got back to the room I realized that the one occupied spot in the other bed wasn’t actually Salem, but her Majima pillow, so I figured she & Genki were still hanging out over at the con center. Since I’d been spending most of my time with Specks and not as much with them I figured I’d go hang out for a while. There was also some ulterior motive that I might here from the two boys again, which to my delight I did. So after hanging out with Genki & Salem for a bit I chatted with Andrew, who was shortly joined by John, and we ended up having a big ol cuddle party on one of the couches in the convention center. Honestly it was a highlight of my convention because they were both very sweet and genuine (and a-fucking-dorable) and we just chatted and snuggled together for a few hours getting to know each other. By the time 5:30ish rolled around I finally decided I needed to go lay down in a real bed, since as much as I was enjoying snuggling with the boys, I totally would have fallen asleep and woken up so sore I wouldn’t have been able to move.

3 very sleepy, very snuggly boys

3 very sleepy, very snuggly boys


I actually managed to sleep in a bit Sunday (compared to usual at least, cause I was till up by 9) and we got the car packed up and got some brunch with my good friend Nick, who lives down in Columbus these days. We ate some delicious tacos at Condado, then hung out at the convention center for a while before taking off. We did hit up the Potterverse shoot, since we were in Newt and Umbridge that day. It was a pretty small shoot but it was lots of fun. We also met up with our Doctor friend from the previous night, who was no longer dressed as the Doctor (I believe he said something about “Cells at Work?” I’m not familiar with whatever it was so that might not be correct). He did get one of our only photos of the two of us dressed together (though we haven’t seen any from the Potterverse shoot yet, so there should be more floating around at some point).

Thank you for the photo, Dustin! And thanks to whoever made created Portrait Mode cause it’s lovely.

Thank you for the photo, Dustin! And thanks to whoever made created Portrait Mode cause it’s lovely.

I did manage to connect with Andrew again for a bit on Sunday morning before we left (John was already gone by then), which was nice. And that was pretty much my con! We did have a long trip home because we had to detour down to Dayton for work-related stuff, and we drove together so I had to drop Specks off at home before I could head home myself. Thankfully the roads were clear after the snowstorm we got hit with on Saturday so it was a fairly uneventful drive home.


When I did finally get home, I left the packing for Monday morning, and cuddled with my own boys. I also promptly fell asleep on Jordan’s lap while he watched Aliens. It was definitely a fun and exhausting weekend and I’m already missing my con friends, new and old, but I’m not missing going back to a normal sleep schedule XD

Now that I have my first convention of the year under my belt, it’s back to work! I’m going to be finishing that Silas armor soon (hopefully) and I have a couple of other projects lined up, both personal and commissions. I do, however, have my commissions open again so if you’re interested in ordering anything from me now is the time so start that conversation!

Here we go 2019!

Michael MacWolff

As promised 'I’m back with some 2019 updates! Mostly just my new cosplay lineup for 2019. Granted we all know I have ADD when it comes to doing new cosplay so I’m sure there will be a bunch of other random new stuff within, like, 3 days of me posting this but that will be then, THIS IS NOW!

First I should probably point out that my Con Schedule page has been updated for 2019! Obviously it’s a bit early for me to be planning most of this but you’ll see some tentative cosplans in there, and you’ll see what all I’m presently planning on attending!

Now, on to cosplans for 2019! I’m not making anything new for Ohayo cause that’s next weekend and I have enough other projects that need work right now, but I did finally put together a lineup:

Photo by  Robert Tate Photography  The major one is Fran, which I’m bringing comfy shoes this time. I do need to do a few things so she’s ready so hopefully I remember that.

Photo by Robert Tate Photography
The major one is Fran, which I’m bringing comfy shoes this time. I do need to do a few things so she’s ready so hopefully I remember that.

And last up is my witchsona because I want it to be very magical this weekend. There will be a few updates to the look, perhaps a fabulous hat… we’ll see.

And last up is my witchsona because I want it to be very magical this weekend. There will be a few updates to the look, perhaps a fabulous hat… we’ll see.

Second is Newt Scamander… like actual Newt not my cryptozoologist OC. The friend of mine who won a free badge with me will be hanging out in Dolores Umbridge so that’ll be fun. I will of course have a few creatures with me.

Second is Newt Scamander… like actual Newt not my cryptozoologist OC. The friend of mine who won a free badge with me will be hanging out in Dolores Umbridge so that’ll be fun. I will of course have a few creatures with me.

As for the rest of 2019, here’s the stuff I’m hoping to get put together:


First up is Frog/Glen from Chrono Trigger. Almost anyone who knows me knows I have a fondness for amphibians, and particularly anurans (frogs & toads) so I’m sure this comes as a surprise to no one. I played through Chrono Trigger for the first (and only, as yet) time a couple years back and I fell in love with the game. At some point I’ll have to replay it but I doubt I’m going to have time to do that between now and April, when I’m planning to debut this cosplay. I’ve already started working on the head, which has been an interesting experience. God bless Tionniel on deviantArt for posting WIP photos of the head because I was at a loss of where to even start.


It’s obviously nowhere near being done but you can be sure I’ll post progress photos as it comes together. Unfortunately it’ll be a bit before I can get to that since I have other, more pressing projects to finish first.


Second on the list with an actual debut date is Shigure Rangetsu from Tales of Berseria, who I plan on having done for Tekko. Berseria was the first Tales game in a while that I really got into since Symphonia. It took me a while to figure out who from it I wanted to cosplay and ultimately I decided on Shigure. I like his design (I can only pray to have half those abs by the time I cosplay him), I like his character, and I have a friend who cosplays Rokurou. I promised them a while ago that I’d make this and I’m finally resolving to do it, and setting a debut con of Matsuricon this summer so that I can have proper motivation (both internal and external) to get it done! And don’t worry, I plan on having a very fat Morgrim plush with me.


Next on the list is a new pair for Jordan and I. It’s been a while since we’ve cosplayed together (I really need to get some real photos of Ruby & Penny together because we have zero), and our two options are Kamille & Quattro (Jordan & I, respectively) from Zeta Gundam, or the Fischoeder brothers from Bob’s Burgers. I’ll let you guess who’c going to be who on that second one ;-)
If we do something new, it’ll likely be for Colossal, cause that’s really the only one Jordan comes to with me.

The last “for sure” cosplay I plan to do this year is a new Christmas cosplay. I’ve been having a lot of fun with that over the past few years and I want to do an entirely new one this year, rather than just festive-ifying an existing cosplay. I’m keeping the specific character a secret for now, but I will say it’ll be someone from Fire Emblem.

The rest are “maybes” that I don’t have solid plans for yet but I would love to make them happen this year!


First up is Saber from Fire Emblem: Gaiden/Echoes (the Echoes design, obviously). This sultry rogue really did it for me in this game and he anded up being one of my favorite (and strongest) characters. I also finally managed to get him in Feh so I am determined to cosplay him this year some time. Also it just doesn’t feel right not to have at least one Fire Emblem character on the list. Beyond that, it’ll be nice to have representation from a new FE game I haven’t cosplayed from yet. And it’ll get me closer to having a cosplay from every FE game in my repertoire (Shadow Dragon/Sword of Light is the only one I’d be missing once I do Saber), and of course I’d love to expand my repertoire too by watchig Let’s Plays or emulating some of the ones not available in the US. Or maybe we’ll get lucky by then and we’ll have more Remake/Updates like we did with Echoes.


Next on the list is a character from a game I haven’t even played yet, but I already promised my friend I’d cosplay him. This is Eve, from Nier: Automata. I do own the game, I just haven’t gotten around to playing it yet. But I liked the design enough that I’ll gladly cosplay him regardless of how I feel about his character in the game.