HAPPY TUESDAY EVERYONE!
Welcome to creature features number one! In these features I’ll be going through the various different creature Cosplays I’ve done over the past few years and some tips on how I’ve somehow gotten them done. Mainly on what not to do to prevent stupid injuries such as hammer stuff on a solid surface to stop yourself of jiggling and smashing your thumb in! I’m also doing this to remind everyone, especially myself, that we all start off small with Cosplays that we’ll look back on and think oh dear lord why didn’t I do this better!?
Anyway here we go, VOLUME NUMBER ONE!
The First Moogle! My First Ever Mascot Cosplay!
This was my very first attempt at a mascot Cosplay all the way back in October 2009. Having only done sewing and a little bit of wood work on staffs beforehand this was quite ambitious project for me, venturing out into new territory. Even when I started out I had set my sights on new an fasinating skills. The focus of the mascot was foam work and how to make a mascot head! Looking back on it I can spot all the things I wish I had caught when I was making this but that’s no matter. I was immensely proud of this Cosplay when I brought it out (even though there was a WAY better mascot moogle Cosplayer at Expo at the same time as me, this will inevitably happen when you start venturing out into new and exciting Cosplays which you’ve never really tried before. Everyone is their own worst critic so remember just how much you’ve invested into your Cosplay. It’s yours, one of a kind, because you made it!) and this Cosplay taught me the inevitable dangers of working with Hot Glue.
And here is the culprit, my favourite of injuries I’ve ever received from Cosplay is due to this thing! My moogles head! But it wasn’t in this stage in which I inflicted said injury unto myself. But before I get to that I’ll give you a little lay down on just what I used to make this mascot style Cosplay.
I used Blue upholstery foam as the base, cutting out eye holes & gluing on a styrofoam nose which I had covered in fabric. I warn anyone here and now, do NOT put your hands inside a mascot head when you know all too well there is hot glue inside! Unless you’ve left it to cool for a good 5 mins you’ll end up like me blistering your fingers and losing the prints on your right hand for a week and never being able to propperly grip anything as well as you used to! Yes I was really that stupid….
However one thing I learnt as a basic must do for mascots, keep your vision clear. In later projects I learnt how to do this without having a gaping hole in the mascots. With this being my first mascot I just kept the eye holes as small as possible altering it after a few test wears to ensure I could actually see where I was going with this thing on. I hadn’t realised the importance of having a friend or a spotter with you when wearing a mascot cosplay with limited vision.
Experimentation is key! This applies to ANY form of Cosplay in my view. Go out there and look for something new to try, go beyond your comfort zone and you’ll discover some amazing new methods you’ll find a lot easier to do than you’d origionally think! Google, YouTube and here on JustCosplay you’ll find loads of tutorials and tips on what materials to use and how to put together your dream Cosplay or new project! The sky is the limit! Well that and your budget… though that’s why we have poundland, eBay and Freecycle! Praise be to poundland and its bounty of unexpected Cosplay goods!
You’ll notice that pretty much all mascots start with a base for shape before adding a ‘skin’ for the final look. This tends to apply to the majority of mascots, as tempting as it is to glue on that skin as quickly a possible AVOID THIS TEMPTATION! Take your time and see how the fabric folds around the head, once you’ve figured this out it’s time to glue. Once again be careful when using hot glue, you don’t want to loose your finger prints it is painful!
How to survive a con in a mascot cosplay!
1. HAVE A SPOTTER!
I cannot itterate enough how much easier your life will be at a convention in a mascot or fursuit with a friend to help you get around! Alongside this sometimes you may find yourself circled by eager photographers and it’s hard to say no when you’ve gotta make your way to a masquerade judging or that all important signing you’ve been waiting eight months to attend. Having a friend around who can help explain ya’ll have to go, trust me it’s hard trying to get your point across when you’ve got a truck load of foam upon your head, does make things a bit easier.
I cannot be thankful enough that I have the best spotter for me as they know how I look if I am overheating inside the suit. He’s always there to help me in and out of the suit, you made need someone to help you in and out of certain cosplays as you get more ambitious with your projects. Ever seen a 10 foot tall space marine? You can bet he had at least two people helping him in and out of that epic to scale armour!
The spotters/ Cosplay mules / helpers / Cosplay b*tchs are the unsung heros of Cosplay! Without these amazing people and how they take care of the Cosplayer there are so many large Cosplays that may very well have not come into being!
2. STAY HYDRATED!
This is an obvious one for surviving a convention in general. DRINK YOUR H2O! KEEP YOURSELF WELL WATERED! Granted in some Cosplays you may be tempted to fast whilst in it as getting out of the thing to pee may feel impossible, but it’s better to suffer with the need to pee than pass out on stage due to dehydration.
3. KNOW YOUR LIMITS!
I tend to forget this one more often than not because I am stubborn and rather silly at times. Thankfully I have a good spotter to remind me to know when to take a break. As wonderful as you feel in your well crafted Cosplay that you’ve spent what feels like forever working on you really cannot survive in a mascot cosplay for excessive periods of time. The human body just isn’t made to endure such humidity and exercise all at once (trust me even the most simple looking mascots will give you a shit ton of exercise whilst wearing them in character.) Have a sit down and a snack, take the all important loo break before the photoshoot, EAT, DRINK and above all else HAVE FUN!
After all that’s what cons are for!
Before we wind up this first Creature Features I want to link you to one of the best fursuiters out there in my view. I’ve learnt quite a bit through her videos and her progress pictures are a fantastic reference for how you can build up the muscles of a mascot whilst still keeping it natural looking and sleek.
And with that we’ve come to the end of this weeks creature feature! The first mascot and the beginning of my obsession with Final Fantasy creature Cosplays.
Next time we’ll be taking a look at one of my favourite Cosplays, Black Waltz No.2!