Armageddon Auckland 2014

Well that was exhausting, validating, and fun. It’s the first time I’ve gone to an event with the express purpose of cosplaying for three days, and I had no idea how it would go.

It went awesomely.

Photo byNingkun Lu

Saturday was the most crowded day, and we had our camera guy following us around as well. The photo requests started as soon as we got into the convention, and really didn’t stop till we left. We managed to hook up with another Warden and ran around as a party for a while, then did the cosplay parade on the main stage for a laugh…

Photo byKeith Smith

And also did some relaxing in the dedicated area set aside for cosplayers to hang out, rest, and do repairs. Hawke sisters chilling..

Photo by Kylie Scollick

Day 2 was our off day, on which we weren’t required for filming, so the monsters got to cosplay. It was interesting watching people try to work out if they should recognise them, and I overheard several Mums and Dads asking their kids what they were. Some people got it, others didn’t, but the monsters (as usual) got lots of hugs and toots of horns as they walked down the road from the motel.

Dangle as Slave Leia, Mangle as Morpheus (but looks more like a vampire IMO)

Tangle as Neo
Photos byArkham City Comics

Day 3 was contest day and I was nervous as fuck, mostly because electronics. I knew the lights would work if I got my wrist flick right, but I wasn’t sure I’d get it right even though I’d practiced heaps. Of course, it worked out fine. Better still, someone caught it on camera.

Photo byRed Tail Design

Our cameraman also caught it on video, but we won’t be seeing that for a while because he got So.Much.Footage. that he’ll be at it a while to turn it into a 10 minute video. When it’s published I’ll link it and you can hear my rank kiwi accent as I rave about geeky stuff, and wave my arms around in a vaguely magical looking way. *ahem* Meanwhile, have a pic.

And I also ran into some other Dragon Age cosplayers from Wellington (and a barbarian from Diablo 3) and we made a party and ran round being silly for shits and giggles..

Photo byJ toy master Hobby ONE

Weirdest party ever. We decided that qunari must aspire to be dwarves, which would explain all the squatting. And yes for those who are geeky about Dragon Age, that elf on the end is the one from the PC loading screen. She is awesome and beautiful and I have costume envy.

And we got on TV! (we’re at 0:50 for about half a second, yelling our heads off).

I didn’t get a prize in the contest but I really don’t mind because a) my balls worked! Eeeee! and b) the quality of the cosplay was so high that it’s no insult to not get a prize in that company. Honestly, I picked about 6 other costumes that I thought were better than mine, that didn’t get a prize either. I’m in very good company. πŸ˜‰

And the one that won, well.. even if you’re not into the whole Hunger Games fandom (which I’m not really), anyone who’s ever tried to make anything ever will appreciate the workmanship and quality and creativity that went into it:

She fully deserved to win the Trans-Tasman Cup for this IMO.

So yeah, as first experiences go that was pretty awesome. I have my next costume lined up already, and have decided that to challenge myself I’m going to do all the weaving involved by hand.

And Inquisition is out in three weeks, and I *just know* there’ll be some obscure character in there whose costume makes me go *slobber* and the whole thing will start again. Never mind Dr Wheel’s Amazing Idea…..

4 thoughts on “Armageddon Auckland 2014

  1. My comment has to do with the 1st photo on this page. First, let me say I’ve enjoyed your creative endeavors, appreciated your skill at fabricating unusual designs and concepts and bringing them to life, and found your tutorials to be excellent. I did notice however, you have not said a single word about the staff pictured in the first photo of this page. I would love to see a tutorial on that, but since those take time and much work, could you please at least describe the nature of what appear to be blue crystals in that staff? Are they lighted from within some way or is that the effect of their coloration? Indeed, how are they colored and how were they fabricated? Of what material are they? I would really appreciate more information about the manufacture of this staff. Thanks much, Gydestar.

    • Hi, thanks for your kind words. It’s always nice to know people are getting something out of my tutorials. πŸ˜‰

      To answer your question, you’re right I haven’t transferred the tutorial for Cold Blooded to this site yet, but I have made one. The staff was featured on the Bioware blog when I first made it, with a few details of how it was done. At the bottom of that page is a link to tutorials for all three of my staffs if you’re interested, including more details for Cold Blooded.

      In a short answer, the crystals are polystyrene covered thickly in crystal mortar which I pigmented with acrylic paint in various blues and whites, then that all covered in many layers of glossy heavy artist’s gel medium to give it depth. No lighting tricks in this one. πŸ˜‰

      • Thank you for your quick response. I didn’t reply right away because I got caught up in reading all the links the Bioware link led me to, including some stuff about cosplay, which I was a little familiar with because of Syfy, but I never really got the basics (thank goodness for Wikipedia). And thank you for the link’s; they’re fascinating. (Btw, I want to congratulate you on the fabrication of those “balls of light” and figuring out how to “generate” them with a flick of your wrists. I would love to see the video of that.
        My interest is in staves and that is what got me to your site/blog. I stumbled across the pic of you with “Cold Blooded” and it really grabbed my attention. Having then read on and seeing your globes of light I wondered if it were lighted. I realize now that what you love is replicating a design that exists in another medium and bringing it from fantasy into physicality. Your ingenuity in accomplishing that is impressive (and you really nailed “Cold Blooded”). My thing is designing a staff around a theme or concept. I’ve studied the “characteristics” attributed to wood and gemstones and so select those on the basis of their supposed metaphysical “qualities” and their potential relation to the chakras. I’ve figured out how to power lights from the staff’s handle for staffs that might have lights, so when I saw your “Cold Blooded” (and not knowing anything about that staff or it’s origin) it immediately spawned a design idea in my mind with a lightable “crystal” in its headpiece. My staff designs are intended to be of heirloom quality, to be passed down from grandfather to grandson, most of their elements turned on the lathe, with some being scroll-sawed or sculpted from wood (not that I couldn’t sneak in a lighted faceted polymer “crystal” on one or two πŸ˜‰).
        Again, thank you so much for your reply, and for the inspiration. And I’ve bookmarked your blog just so I can check in on how you are applying your ingenuity occasionally. It is fascinating to see how someone can bring something fantastic into concrete being.

  2. Thank you again for your kind words. πŸ˜‰

    I’m also interested in lighting effects on staves, although at the moment I’m making scythe with lit parts inset into the blade so it’s a bit of a departure from the norm. I would love to see some of your work, since props are my first love.

    Also, you might be interested in Yorick, a staff I made that has glowing eyes that switch on only when the staff is held by its owner. The tutorial for that is here. πŸ˜‰

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