Archive for the Cosplay Category

Batman – Nuff Said

Posted in Cosplay, DC Universe, Family, Mental Health, Personal Thoughts on April 28, 2017 by Neal


I Can Wait Till Tomorrow

Posted in Cosplay, Family, Parenting, Personal Thoughts, The World on March 13, 2017 by Neal

My youngest boy is a strange little man at times. He’s got the gift of the gab, can sweet talk like the best and is a world class negotiator. I’m sure some people think I make these stories up but even I would have a hard time thinking up some of his responses to things. The amazing thing I find about him is the limitless imagination he seems to have at times and an ability to come up with some very interesting things when he plays.

A classic example is when I work on costume parts for some of my ideas. When he was 2ish I was experimenting with foam Halo armour when he grabbed some of the parts to use as a Shell-Phone from the Nickelodeon’s version of Ninja Turtles. After some negotiation I got my parts back after making a quick throw together for him.

This then lead to him wanting to be a Ninja Turtle so I put things that I was working on on hold to experiment with some ideas. The end result was an unusual turtle shell, made from sign board and foam, and some foam weapons.

Since I experiment with my building at the moment he tends to end up with some of the parts that are too small for me or the other kids. For example the Demagol helmet that was too small for me fits him perfectly so I can use that as a test and give it to him when finished. The funniest part though is his 4yr old concept of time. He asks me to make all sorts of things and my usual response is “I’ve got a lot of things I’m working on. I’ll try to make it when I can.” I know sounds like I’m making excuses not to do things for him, the trick is I’d be making stuff for him all the time and not have time for my own things. His usual response is along the lines of “that would be great” or “when you finish yours”. 

His latest response has been the best so far. He comes out and asks me to make him a Stay Puft costume as he likes the char from Ghostbusters. I gave a usual response that I would when I have some free time and it may take a while to make and design as it’s a little complicated (I like to give my best to costumes for him to show I value him). He simply nodded and while walking back to his room shouted “That’s ok. I can wait till tomorrow to wear it”. 

I Am The Law – Part 1

Posted in Cosplay, Judge Dredd, Movies, Personal Thoughts on March 10, 2017 by Neal

I’ve always been a big fan of Judge Dredd and the 2000AD universe. It’s a brutal view of how things in the world could become so easily given our current trends of the last half century. The Sylvester Stallone version was almost comical in its portrayal and blended other 2000AD characters into the mix. The most recent version by Karl Urban was very close to the source material and very gruesome. But I’m not discussing the movies or the political connotations to today’s society. I’ve been inspired for another cosplay idea by Dredd.

Presenting Judge Death

Now before people that know me start commenting how I don’t have the stature to play such a thin character, keep in mind by the time I get around to making this costume I’ll probably resemble death himself. Yes it would be a challenge to make some of the components of this but that’s what has my interest. We shall see what happens.

He’s No Good To Me Dead – Making a Mandalorian Part 2

Posted in 501st, Cosplay, Mandalorian Mercs, Personal Thoughts, Star Wars on March 7, 2017 by Neal

Having looked at my current Mandalorian helmet and the design of the legacy armour I didn’t like how they looked together. So after some searching I found patterns for a range of different helmets. I’ve settled on doing a variant of Demagol’s helmet design.

As usual I managed to get the sizing slightly off. The helmet on the right fits me but doesn’t allow for any space and would need to be clam shelled to take on and off. However as usual it currently  fits my youngest so his armoury increases once again. Did some more resizing and the new one fits with enough space I can slide it on and off easily. 

Smaller helmet was a good practise as it helped me identify some of the tricky points that needed to be focused on during assembley. 

Next step is to fibreglass the helmets and then begin the slow process of filling out the shape and form with body filler. The armour I need to take a good look over so I can decide on the best way to connect the various parts together. 

Experiments in Cosplay – Part 1

Posted in Art, Coping Mechanisms, Cosplay, Craft and DIY, Depression, Mental Health, Personal Thoughts, Reasoning, Self Doubt on March 3, 2017 by Neal

The last two days I’ve been in a depressive slump. No reason that I can think of just felt like ignoring the world and staying in the dark. While my wish to be a vampire is whimsical it was a good thing I’d taken a few days off work to use up some over time I had earned. Now for me, I rarely have these negative slumps to such a high level. Usually if I have a slump I’ll just mope while around everyone at home. I function but it’s almost on autopilot. 

So what does my slump have to do with cosplay? My mind tends to wander around into all sorts of things and comes up with some very odd connections to an idea. For example – I was curious about what I would need to finish off my vacuform machine (will document that later when I can find it in the shed), this led me to look at ideas for furnaces to smelt your own metal, which in turn took me to making castings for props, then to plastics to use and finally recycling hdpe plastics. 

Yes confusing isn’t it? When I find the time I’m going to see about recycling milk containers and lids to us with my vacuform machine so I can do test forms without spending lots of money of plastic sheets. If I can get it to work properly it would give me plenty of  material to use and also help reduce our Eco-footprint. 

Stay tuned. 

He’s No Good To Me Dead – Making a Mandalorian Part 1

Posted in 501st, Art, Cosplay, Mandalorian Mercs, Personal Thoughts, Star Wars on February 24, 2017 by Neal

I’ve been throwing this mental football around in my head for ages and finally started to put thought into action. 

Being a Star Wars fan I’ve been keen on joining the 501st for several years now but cost has been a major limiter. Recently I managed to pick up several large sheets of 3mm PVC foam which is ideal for costuming. This gave me an idea and I went back to have a look at the Mandalorian Mercs website. I’ve got a half built helmet that I had started ages go when I attempted to make normal armour. Unfortunately the armour for crushed when I had things fall on it so I put things on the back burner.

With the PVC sheets I decided to take a big leap and started tracing out the patterns for a legacy era Mandalorian costume. I’ll have to make a different style of helmet to fit the style but that’s the fun part for me. I find building things can be very relaxing for me. 

Should prove an interesting learning curve as I’ve never used this material before. 

Burnout And Not The Fun Kind

Posted in Burnout, Cosplay, Depression, Mental Health, Personal Thoughts on February 4, 2017 by Neal

Since about September I’ve been finding myself in a very low state. No energy, always tired and just wanting to ignore the world. Naturally I figured my depression had swung back to beat me up again on one of its regular visits. With that in mind I followed all my usual methods for dealing with it. Watched videos, went to bed early, did some prop and costume building, spent time with the family, all stuff I do to push past the down feeling when it takes hold. But things didn’t help, I was still feeling down for no real reason. Wasn’t sad, angry or upset. Just felt off for no real reason. 

With the Xmas chaos now out of the way it was suggested I go see someone and do another mental health check. It had been over 2 years since I did one and it was probably a good idea to see if things had changed. So I do the test and the results don’t surprise me much. I’m in a good state mentally with my coping abilities. The medication must be helping maintain the balance. Yet if all is ok, why am I so down and unexcited about things? 

Burnout. I was hoping for something a little more dramatic. After all how could I be suffering from burnout when I start work at 5am, finish at 1pm, I’m on call 24/7, haven’t had an assistant manager for several months until just before Xmas, have staff injured and unable to cover their shifts, cover shifts for sick staff, help take care of family and animals, play taxi, cook dinners, help with chores around the house, spend time with family…..I don’t have time to be burnt out. 

The interesting thing is that both my depression and burnout have almost identical symptoms and end results. While I can’t reduce the impact my day to day has on me it helps to know that it’s not always my depression causing problems. My next challenge is to find a way to identify what is burnout and what is depression when it comes to my moods. With our recent move into a new house I’m hoping to set up what I call the “Fortress of Get Away From Everyone and the World” in the huge double door shed out the back. Couldn’t call it the Fortress of Solitude since Superman already has that trademarked. It’s fully powered and once I plough my way through all our stuff and tidy things up I’m hoping to make a space capable of more work on my cosplay ideas. Being able to make a mess that’s not inside the house will definitely be an advantage. With a bit of time I’m hoping this will give me the down time I need to cut my burnout down and keep it managed. 

Time will tell.