Cosplay Conversation: Timothy Harrison of HDC Cosplay and Fabrication

Name: Tim Harrison of HDC Cosplay and Fabrication.

Location: Chicago, IL.

Instagram: @HDCCosplay

Facebook: HDC Cosplay and Fabrication.

 

Tell us about your cosplay. What was your inspiration?/why did you choose this character?

This costume is based off a Smuggler from the Star Wars: The Old Republic video game. I chose to do this because I love the smuggler/bounty hunter aesthetic from the Old Republic era and it was a relatively quick costume to throw together having a lot of the items in the closet already. I also have been working on a Han Solo but that wasn’t ready for Star Wars Day so I decided to put a generic smuggler together.

How long did it take to make your Cosplay?

This didn’t take too long to put together because it was primarily a closet cosplay. The things that took the most time were the belt and the blasters. Both items are modified Han Solo prototypes I’ve been working on for a Rebel Legion certified Han.

What was your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge with this was getting clean casts for the guns. This was my most extensive mold and cast project to date. There was a little bit of a learning curve with this two part mold, but it gave me the opportunity to not only learn, but also make some custom dl-44’s.

What was your budget? Approximately how much did you spend?

Not too much was spent on this with it being a closet cosplay. Also, a lot of the work was prep work for commissions so it was a lot of prep work for a few builds. With resin and leather and a few other miscellaneous items, a couple hundred was probably spent on this.

What special techniques did you use?

There was a bit of sculpting, mold work and resin casting, painting, leather work, and some minor metal work involved in this costume.

What was the most satisfying about making this Cosplay/What made you proud?

The most satisfying part of this was the belt and the custom dl-44, I think. I felt like one of the classic star wars prop makers just finding items to add to the blaster to make it stand out. They took a lot of random items and added them to things to give the props that classic look. It was interesting to do the same.

If you had to remake this Cosplay, what would you do differently?

I didn’t have time to repaint the goggles and make a new strap for them. I’d also like to do a different a different hat and a more detailed vest. With the time it came together though, I’m happy with the results.

About Cosplay in general:

How often do you Cosplay? 

Depending on the events going on, probably once a month or more you’ll find me in costume somewhere.

How many cosplay do you do?

I do quite a few and the list keeps on getting larger.

What do you want to make next?

I think I want to work on finish my Rebel Legion approved Han next. Then my screen accurate Torbjorn from Overwatch for competition season next year. My Fallout garb needs a revamp too.   It’s tough to make a decision 😊

Favorite cosplay moment? 

My favorite moment so far is when I did my original take on the Final Fantasy Black Mage and wandering around the con and seeing big Final Fantasy fans light up with excitement when this classic character that they love and grew up with comes around the corner. It’s the moments of being able to bring these classic characters to life and the fans sharing your excitement. Those moments are what makes the work worth it for me.

Favorite fandoms to follow?

My favorite fandoms right now are probably Fallout and Overwatch, Star Wars as well. Star Wars is a long-time love but the thought and backstory that Bethesda and Blizzard put in to their franchises makes prop making and costuming from those respective universes all the more enjoyable.

What materials do you like using?

I love working with closed cell foam. Foam is just so cheap to work with and versatile. I also love electronics. Adding practical effects to props always adds so much, be it leds, electroluminescence, smoke, sound effects, it’s that extra little step to bring the character to life.

What materials do you want to try?

I want to play with Sintra and also Vacuum forming. Lots of different things out there but I think those would be my next two choices.

What materials do you wish were easier to work with?

Easier to work with.. hmmm… Some of the more extensive sealants/coats for foam and prop finishing can be a bit of a pain. Smooth-On Epsilon provides a great finish to work with but with larger props, you’re fighting pot life to get a nice coat on the prop and then if there isn’t enough, you need to mix up more and then keep on coating.

What techniques are you dying to learn?

I would like to do more 3d modeling and cold casting. More cold casting to get that nice metallic look without having the weight or trouble of working with actual metals.

 

Cosplay Conversation: Lisa Hale of Haelstorm Cosplay and Designs

Name: Lisa Hale, Haelstorm Cosplay and Designs

Location: Chicago (NW Suburbs)

Facebook: Fb.com/haelstormdesigns

Instagram: haelstorm_designs

Twitter: haelstorm dzynz

Cosplay Affiliations: We Are Cosplay; Costumers with a Cause Midwest; Rebel Legion

 

 

 

Tell us about your cosplay. What was your inspiration?/why did you choose this character?
I chose Padmè Amidala because for the longest time—ever since the Star Wars prequels came out—I’ve wanted to make her costumes. It all started with the desire to make the very first costume she appears in: her red Theed Invasion gown. In 2005, my sister gave me a book entitled: “Dressing the Galaxy: the costumes of Star Wars,” by Trisha Biggar. At that time, I was in my Senior year in college, studying Fashion Design. But, I wasn’t nearly as skilled in costume construction as I am now. So, this costume got put on the back burner.
Eight years later, and I finally tackled the red Theed Invasion gown for C2E2’s inaugural Crown Championships of Cosplay competition in 2014. Ultimately, I won 1st place in my category (TV/Movie) and 3rd place overall.
It wasn’t until December 2015 that I joined the Rebel Legion with this particular costume.

Fast forward 2 years later, and I decide to tackle Queen Amidala’s senate gown. I loved this particular costume because it proved to be more challenging, detailed, and involved more techniques than the Theed Invasion gown. So much hand-beading!

How long did it take to make your Cosplay?
The senate gown took over 300 hours to complete, over a 4 month period

What was your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge I faced was the actual design of the bead work. There weren’t many hi-res reference photos available. And most of the bead work is covered by the outer robe. I did find at least one behind the scenes photo of model wearing just the dress for the FIDM fashion show in New York and was able to see (somewhat) the general pattern for the bead work. Some of the bead work I had to come up with a design that made sense and fit with the rest of the established bead work design.
What was your budget? Approximately how much did you spend?
I am on a tight budget in general, so I try not to spend too much on my costumes, if possible. I think it cost almost $250 for all the materials.

What special techniques did you use?

Hand beading and hand pleating for the tunic and skirt.

Ruching, braiding, hand beading, hand painting, free-form quiliting for the outer robe.

Embossing, hand painting, hand sculpting/molding/casting for the headdress.
I also had to use out-of-the-box type thinking on certain aspects of the costume. The hanging tubes are wrapping paper tubes cut in half. And I used simple circular and rectangular shapes to make the outer robe.

What was the most satisfying about making this Cosplay/What made you proud?
The fact that I actual had the ability to make the costume makes me proud!
Also, I am rather proud how close to accurate I was able to get with the fabrics and materials. It’s all in the sourcing of your materials.

If you had to remake this Cosplay, what would you do differently?

I’d try to find a way to make the headdress lighter and more balanced. That’s the only thing that bugs me about this costume. And I’d probably go back and put some tulle fabric over the bead work to keep it from snagging. I get caught on myself quite a bit. LOL!

What sewing machine do you sew on?

I use a 1958 Singer “Slant-o-matic” model 401a sewing machine. My mom found it at a neighborhood garage sale a few years ago; I’ve been using it ever since. It’s outlasted most all of the machines I’ve used in the past.

How often do you Cosplay? 
I usually try to cosplay as much as possible. I attend about 7-8 conventions a year; some smaller ones in between. I also attend charitable events and movie premiers with a few of the charitable cosplay groups I’m involved with (We Are Cosplay and Costumers with a Cause Midwest). And I also try to troop with the Rebel Legion when I can. Mostly for Star Wars Day at Joliet Library.

Sometimes, my sister and I find events to cosplay at. We recently cosplayed as Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) at a Cubs game. The first Friday of June we went to Aurora dressed as Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar (Wayne’s World) to celebrate the year-long 25th Anniversary of “Wayne’s World.” Back in February, we dressed as Wayne and Garth for a special showing of “Wayne’s World” and got to meet Tia Carerre, who portrayed Cassandra in “Wayne’s World.” We’ll be dressed as Wayne and Garth for Aurora’s 4th of July Parade. A group of friends and I will also be cosplaying characters from “Jurassic Park” when we go to visit the Field Museum’s new Jurassic World exhibit.
How many cosplay do you do?
I usually do at least 2 cosplays from scratch (mostly for competitions). All other cosplays I do are pulled together from my own closet or found at thrift stores.

What do you want to make next?

I’m currently working on is Ankh-su-Namun from “The Mummy Returns.” Her 1930s reincarnated ensemble, not the gold body paint costume (yikes!) I hope to wear it when I go with a group of friends to see the new Mummy movie that’s coming out June 9th.
I also want eventually do a few more Padmè costumes and a couple of costumes to join the 501st Legion.

Favorite cosplay moment? 
Gosh! There are so many!
One time, my sister and I were dressed as 2 versions of Effie Trinket from “The Hunger Games” and I believe it was at San Diego Comic Con. Several memorable moments happened in these costumes. First, we stopped by the Lionsgate booth and wanted to do a photo op really quick with the Capital backdrop. Before I knew what happened, we literally became a part of the booth; so many people just bombarded the booth, taking our picture.
After that, we were just walking around and saw Ve Neil—who did the makeup design for “The Hunger Games”. We scrounged up the courage and asked if we could take a picture with her. When she saw us, she exclaimed, “Oh, my Effies!”

I also had several moments involving the Power Rangers. One moment happened while I was backstage, competing in a Prop competition in LA last year. I had made a Rita Repulsa staff. Some girl in the competition says to me, “You know the original Rita Repulsa is here, right?” I actually was not aware of that. The actress wasn’t even listed as a guest. So, after the competition, I walked around to the celebrity signing area–specifically near the Power Ranger actors that were there–thinking she might be somewhere near them. Lo and behold, there she was! At a table that my sister and I walked past at least five times! So, I go up to her table and we end up talking for about 20 minutes. And she even signed my staff. She told me that she had never seen someone make the staff before, and that this was the first time she had signed one. Talk about a childhood dream come true!
This past year, I finally made a Rita Repulsa costume. It was really fun being mean to people. They loved it! But what really was the best moment as Rita Repulsa was when I did a photo op with the Blue Ranger and Black Ranger in my Rita costume. My sister was dressed as Scorpina. When it was our turn to take a photo with the Power Rangers, they immediately began to pretend to cower in fear and exclaim, “Oh no! It’s Rita.” To which I replied, “Well, if it isn’t the Power geeks!”

Favorite fandoms to follow?
Doctor Who

Supernatural

Marvel

DC (Wonder Woman)

Star Wars

Star Trek

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

What materials do you like using?

Mostly fabrics (any kind)

Foam for armor and props

Cardboard

Worbla and wonderflex

What materials do you want to try?

I have such a wide range of knowledge on materials. But I really want to try my hand at metal smithing, someday. Forging my own metal. That’d be cool.

What techniques are you dying to learn?

Leather tooling. I have been wanting to do this technique for so long.

Cosplayer Focus – Chlöe Carroll as Chell from Portal

Today we’re featuring Chlöe Carroll as Chell from the video game series Portal. Want to know more about this character? Click here!

Be sure to follow both Chlöe and Foques Photo for more awesome cosplays. Their contact info is below!

Photo used with permission of the cosplayer and photographer.

Genre: Video Games
Series: Portal
Character: Chell

Photo used with permission of the cosplayer and photographer.

Cosplayer: Chlöe Carroll / The Twitchy Kitten
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/TheTwitchyKitten/ 
Insta: https://www.instagram.com/TheTwitchyKitten/  or @thetwitchykitten

Photo used with permission of the cosplayer and photographer.

Photographer: Foques Photo / Arseny Medvedev
Website:  www.foquesphoto.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/FoquesPhoto
Insta: https://www.instagram.com/foquesphoto/  or @foquesphoto

RNK and Sew Much Cosplay™ to Partner

New Products Coming for Underserved Cosplay Market

Plainfield, IL:  Sew Much Cosplay™, owned by Tracy Mooney and Cheryl Sleboda, is partnering with RNK Distributing to create a new line of products specifically for Cosplayers. Their new website, www.sewmuchcosplay.com, will feature tutorials and products that are custom made for this market. This collaboration will debut at Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis May 19-21, 2017.

During the 2017 VDTA in February, attendees heard Ricky Brooks of RNK Distributing say repeatedly that the Home Sewing Industry MUST give birth to a new younger generation of crafters. After attending C2E2, a comic book convention held in Chicago, Ricky and his wife and business partner Kay Brooks witnessed over 100,000 attendees that are passionate about creating Cosplay costumes. “I believe anyone talking the talk, should walk the walk,” says Ricky Brooks of RNK Distributing. “This new thing, idea, concept, entertainment called cosplay has captured the newer, younger demographic we have been looking for. Whether it’s a love of comics, movies, or video games (and more!), this passion is driving them to the sewing machine to bring their favorite characters and styles to life!”

By partnering with Sew Much Cosplay™, RNK is hoping to bring new and better products to this underserved sewing market. “I think that there is not only a lot of room for improvement in the products that are currently on the market that Cosplayers have been using, there is so much room for improvement in stabilizers and interfacings that would be more realistic to what cosplayers see on the screen,” says Tracy Mooney of Sew Much Cosplay™.

Cosplay is a portmanteau of “costume” and “play” and Cosplayers like to dress up as their favorite characters from TV, movies, cartoons, comic books and more.
• Considered “superfans” in the Pop Culture Industry, they are 64% Female.
• Cosplayers have been identified as the top spenders at conventions.
• They are young, 49% are 18-29!
• Nearly 60% describe themselves as super-fans, and a whopping 28% have been to five or more fan events in the past 12 months.

About Sew Much Cosplay™: Cheryl Sleboda and Tracy Mooney created Sew Much Cosplay™ to bring better products and education to the sewists of today, as well as to educate stores about this new group of sewists that are looking to learn more about the art of making cosplay.

About RNK Distributing: RNK Distributing is a manufacturer and distributor of high quality specialty Sewing, Quilting, and Embroidery Supplies for both the Commercial Embroidery and Home Crafting Industries including stabilizers, software, needles, thread and tools. Their brands include Floriani®, Jenny Haskins®, Quilters Select®, and Sew Much Cosplay™.

Announcing Sew Much Cosplay™

New Partnership Brings Cosplay to Sewing Stores Nationwide

Cheryl Sleboda and Tracy Mooney build a new sewing brand!

Plainfield, IL: Senior editor of GenQ Magazine, Tracy Mooney and art quilter Cheryl Sleboda have partnered to create their new brand, Sew Much Cosplay™. The two will bring their sizeable sewing prowess to a new audience – cosplayers. Their new website, www.sewmuchcosplay.com, will feature tutorials, products, book reviews and more. In addition Tracy and Cheryl have plans to educate stores about attracting this underserved buyer.

“I have been saying that this is the future of sewing for a long time. I love Cosplay and I can’t wait to bring cosplayers the products and techniques that will make their costumes better,” says Cheryl Sleboda. In recreating “screen perfect” costumes, young people today have been reinventing the wheel when it comes to the products they use to create their costumes. Currently, after spending upward of 200 hours and anywhere from $200-$2000 on one costume, the finished product may only be useable for the short term. “I think that there is not only a lot of room for improvement in the products that are currently on the market that they have been using, there is a lot of room between the armor making and the sewn costumes. There is so much room for improvement in stabilizers and interfacings that would be more realistic to what they see on the screen,” says Tracy Mooney.

Cosplay is a portmanteau of “costume” and “play” and Cosplayers like to dress up as their favorite characters from TV, movies, cartoons, comic books and more.

  • Considered “superfans” in the Pop Culture Industry, they are 64% Female.
  • Cosplayers have been identified as the top spenders at conventions.
  • They are young, 49% are 18-29!
  • Nearly 60% describe themselves as super-fans, and a whopping 28% have been to five or more fan events in the past 12 months.

About Tracy Mooney: In her work as Senior Editor for Generation Q Magazine, veteran quilter Tracy Mooney designs projects and writes patterns for WeSew2, a feature in Generation Q that teaches kids ages 7-16 how to sew and quilt. She has also been instrumental in creating GenQ’s Cut & Sew Club, a curriculum-based program giving dealers and quilt shops the tools needed to create successful kids sewing classes. She is a correspondent for “The Quilt Show”, teaches kids sewing classes in Illinois and teaches in-the-hoop embroidery classes for Pickle Pie Designs around the country. Tracy also blogs and lectures through her brand, Sew Supportive, about strategies, tools and equipment to help people with arthritis, autoimmune disease and other health challenges continue sewing and enjoying the many health benefits sewing and quilting provide. Tracy has been quilting and sewing for nearly 25 years, is the mother of 3 children and has created their costumes for cosplay, renaissance fair, Halloween, steampunk accessories and “nerdy” clothing hacks for her kids.

About Cheryl Sleboda: Cheryl is a 20-year veteran executive of the pop culture and comic book industry and been sewing for over 25 years. Trained in theatre costuming, she is an award winning art quilter who teaches and speaks nationally. Cheryl has worked with national sewing brands about the Cosplay market and has appeared on It’s Sew Easy TV in 6 episodes demonstrating projects for Cosplay.  Cheryl has a line of heirloom sewing tools and patterns as part of her efforts to make heirloom sewing “cool” again.  Cheryl also has a line of hip sewing “skull” brand merchandise that appeals to the “rock n roll” quilter and sewist in all of us.  She can be found online at www.muppin.com.