Cosplay Conversation – John DiMauro

Tell us about yourself:

Name: John DiMauro
Location: Ballston Lake, NY
Twitter: @jtdimauro
Cosplay Affiliations: 501st Legion

About this specific Cosplay:
Tell us about your cosplay. What was your inspiration?/why did you choose this character?
My primary costume is a TIE Fighter pilot from A New Hope. I’ve always wanted to be a pilot, and TIE Pilots look really cool. I’m also working on a Tusken Raider costume, and I have the parts to make a Stormtrooper sitting in a box on my work table.

How long did it take to make your Cosplay?
I didn’t make the pilot per say. I got all of the parts already assembled. The most I had to do was install the shoulder straps, and fix up the helmet with fans and more padding. It took about a year to get everything together though. The Tusken I am making completely from scratch – with the exception of the helmet kit.  It’s actually been a few years in the making since time to work on it just hasn’t happened.

What was your biggest challenge?
Sewing the robes for the Tusken Raider. I haven’t touched a sewing machine since Home Economics class back in 8th grade (30 something years ago).

What was your budget? Approximately how much did you spend?
For the pilot, I spent about $800 all together. The Tusken has been significantly cheaper. Not counting some tools, it has been less than $200. The Stormtrooper armor I got at a discounted pre-release price from Anovos. It was about $350 for everything except boots and blaster. I still need to purchase those, and a new belt. That should be about another $250.

What special techniques did you use?
None so far! I’ve just been kind of winging it. Luckily, Tusken Raiders aren’t known for their finesse and construction techniques.

What was the most satisfying about making this Cosplay/What made you proud?
The best thing about portraying a character in the 501st is the interaction you have with kids. Seeing their faces light up when they see you – or even better, when they are too scared to approach you at first, but you end up being their best friend and they continuously come to you for a high 5.

If you had to remake this Cosplay, what would you do differently?
Different fans and audio system in the helmet.

About Cosplay in general:

How often do you Cosplay?
About once a month at least.

How many cosplay do you do?
Just the one right now.

What do you want to make next?
I want to finish the Stormtrooper and Tusken. I also have plans on a 181st TIE Fighter pilot, an X-Wing Pilot, and a Rogue One Rebel soldier.

Favorite cosplay moment?
Walking through Star Wars Celebration in Orlando with 99 other pilots.

Favorite fandoms to follow?
Star Wars, Marvel, Firefly, BSG, Doctor Who

What sewing machine do you sew on?
My mother’s old 1970-something Kenmore.

Thanks for sharing your cosplay with us, John!  Want to be featured on our site?  Check out our Submissions page and send us an email! 

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