Monthly Archives: June 2014

SunnyCon 3

So SunnyCon was a thing that happened, and this year even with hiccups was probably their best event so far.

As a long-term convention-goer in the UK I always take new events with a pinch of salt and in previous years I’ve been very critical of SunnyCon. But there’s no such thing as ‘bad feedback’ – any feedback is useful and getting critical feedback is what makes the difference and gives organisers a kick in the right direction. At the very least it’s a decent starter event and a nice way to get into the convention scene, especially for younger fans.

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But the biggest thing this year was that I entered Madoka into their costume competition – last year had a top prize of £2,000 and this year had a slightly reduced £1,000, but it’s still an awesome prize for any cosplayer. It’s always nice to win a cash prize after how much time, effort and money goes into individual costumes. Last year I gave it a miss but this year I went for it, and after entering I’m quite happy to say I came 2nd in the competition, bagging a fancy £500 prize!

The standard of costumes this year was much better than last year, and all of the entries were great. The cosplayers were lovely too. I’m not very confident even though I try to come off that way and I was really surprised to win a prize at all if I’m honest, especially after seeing the effort everyone had gone to. It was nice that the judges were really friendly and had a chance to speak to everyone individually this year too, which was a big improvement from last year.

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Photos by scene42bseen

SunnyCon itself seems to have gone through a lot of improvements too, but it’s still a little haphazard. A lot of events ran quite late, but at the very least they apologised this year. But easily the biggest issue was the venue which was basically a glorified tent pitched up on a car park. It was still much better organised than previous venues, with a lot more communication and a much better layout, but that doesn’t change the fact it was basically a tent. That and thank goodness it didn’t rain!

One thing that needs to be said though is that it’s still impressive that SunnyCon manages to run with a tiny committee. That and as said before it’s nice that they actually listen to feedback, so hopefully next year they’ll take on even more feedback. It’s a family friendly event with a very young audience, so it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it’d be nice to see that they keep on improving.

As for me it’s back to the grind for Japan Expo next week, and then for ECG at the end of July.. non-stop working. 1 competition down, 2 to go!

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Learning Curves: Alicia, Part Two

Alicia. Why are you taking so long? Stop being so needlessly detailed and we’ll be friends. As said last time, this costume has the lovely tagline of “I have no idea what I am doing”, and this is still true. But somehow things are pulling together and she should be ready for Japan Expo this July!

Right now the costume is about 90% finished and there’s only a few things left now – some extra trimming/styling on the wig, making the belts, and finishing the gauntlets! They’re all annoying jobs but I can’t wait until they’re finished. Here’s the reference and how it’s looking so far;

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Being perfectly honest the whole costume has been kind of frustrating, even things like the dress were a bit of an ache – sorting the patterning was hard and the square details were really messy and awkward to do but it has turned out tidy and as accurate as it can be for how many references there are. But it looks tidy!

The armour is coming along quite nicely, and the boots are now complete. They’re not as tidy as the gauntlets, but they look pretty neat for my first attempt, and they’re functional! (This still amazes me). The shapes were particularly hard to do since it needed to be fitted around the ankle and wider at the top, but once I figured them out it was pretty easy to assemble. Everything is made with craft foam and worbla.

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Unfortunately a lot of the armour has been compromised because I’m running out of time, so the boots aren’t fully primed, but they will do for now and I can always smooth and respray them later if I need to. You can see them completed in the photo at the top. The plastic kind of digs into my knees… but it’s not all bad, at least it keeps my posture in check!

So now I’m on the final stretch which is awesome. The gauntlets are the only big job left, and they’re almost done too. To be honest I can’t wait until this costume is finished so I never have to look at worbla again!

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Cosplay Progress Books

I finished my progress book for Madoka Kaname yesterday and one of my international cosplay friends had never seen one before. In the UK they’re quite common now to go with competitions; most major competitions (including both European Cosplay Gathering and World Cosplay Summit qualifiers) now require a progress book, and some smaller regional events now request them too. I think they’re a great little momento for cosplayers to make and keep, especially for bigger costume projects. Most events will give you your books back so it’s a nice keepsake and chronicle of how you made your costume.

So with competition season coming up quickly I figured I’d share some advice for anyone to make a progress book!

My first progress book was made for Eiko Carol, the costume I qualified for WCS with. I had great fun making this one and it was very well received by the judges (excuse the terrible handwriting)!

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More photos of Eiko’s Progress Book can be found here!

Continue reading…

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Japan Expo: 1 Month to Go!

Japan Expo (held in Paris, France) is roughly a month away, and I’m absolutely terrified. I’ve never been to Japan Expo before so it’s a whole new experience, and there are so many amazing things happening there!! There’ll be tons of people from World Cosplay Summit 2013 there too so I can’t wait to see everyone again!

There are some amazing Tales of events happening, including the Tales of Ambassador competition. I’m entering this year (not that I think I have any chance to win – but nevermind!) and I can’t wait to meet more Tales fans there! And of course I can’t wait to go and see European Cosplay Gathering (ECG) for myself on the huge Japan Expo stage!

My current costume lineup is this: Madoka Kaname (Puella Magi Madoka Magica), Elize Lutus (Tales of Xillia), Rita Mordio (Tales of Vesperia) & Alicia (Tales of Zestiria).

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Elize and Rita are both very simple costumes, but it means it’s less to pack and easier to wear. I also have one more super secret silly awesome costume in the works, but I can’t say anything about that yet!

Alicia’s armour is still underway so she has the most left to finish, but hopefully I’ll get her done soon with a few days of hard work ahead to get it all out of the way, tried and tested.
Madoka & Rita are almost done; just finishing touches to go, but they’re all time consuming and as always I’m just really impatient. It’s things like handsewing small details, bits of unpicking and resewing.. all of the little jobs I hate doing!
And thankfully Elize is a teeny job. I’m waiting on my hoodie arriving but otherwise she’s pretty much done! I’m probably looking forward to having an excuse to carry Teepo around with me the most!

So right now.. I should probably get back to sewing. There’s a lot of exciting stuff happening (and I’m about to send off my application for ECG this year too!) but time is just zooming past and I have so much to do!!

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