November 27, 2012

Absol gijinka redesigned

First some background information. Absol is one of my absol-ute haha favorite Pokémon and I've been wanting and meaning to do a gijinka (human version) of it since 2010.

Official art of Absol
I drew my first gijinka version of Absol back in the start of 2010. It was basically a kimono style shirt with a fluffy collar, black gloves, a black sash tied in a ribbon at the back and white pants and generic black shoes. The hair was white and short (neck length) and layered with medium long bangs. Red eyes of course. Pretty boring right? Not so interesting although it wasn't really terribly bad either.
At the end of 2010 I redesigned it slightly; the pants, gloves and sash were the same and the shoes were pretty similar too. But I changed the kimono style shirt into a keikogi (with the tie at the chest) but the collar was still fluffy. Also added a black headband and the white hair was slightly past the shoulders and smoother, medium bangs still. I had planned to make this second design for a long time until last week when I started thinking about redesigning my Absol gijinka for the third and hopefully last time because it still felt.. lacking and bland... and just not so interesting.

So today I sat down and redesigned it. I kept some of the earlier elements but instead of black I decided to go with dark blue because I read somewhere long time ago that it's body is actually dark blue but commonly mistaken for black by fans. I also added some details and stuff and I must say I'm very pleased with this new design. Now it certainly has some attitude and looks much more interesting than before. I won't show how it looks surprise surprise~! but I really want to cosplay it next year, if possible. Masamune will take a fair chunk of next year to complete. If I start working on it I will post the progress here and you all can guess what the final product will look like while I work ~

November 25, 2012

Masamune Date - upper half coat patterns

Hi guys!

I drew and cut out the patterns for Masamune's coat today, the upper half of it. Mom has been inspired to sew clothes for herself the last few weeks (she's a former fabric store owner and sewer after all~) and now she had been planning to make some kind of vest-like garment and after she had cut out her patterns I went and looked at it and thought "hey this could maybe work for Masamune if I modify it a bit!" - BOOM, said and done!

Good reference for the coat's upper half
So I first took mom's back piece pattern, went to get the pattern paper roll and pinned it in place. After some thinking and staring at references I figured that it's mostly the shoulder part that will need modifying on the back piece. So I curved the shoulder upwards and then cut it out.

Modifying shoulders
Back piece pattern cut out
Then I took the newly cut out back pattern, pinned it in place and drew out the front pattern with the same shoulders and width and stuff. I just modified the front to have a curved V-shape in the middle.

After I had drawn out the lines and was about to cut out the front piece
Front piece pattern cut out
I will need to use interfacing fabric to get the shoulders to stay up like that as well as the collar.. which I haven't made the pattern for yet. I tried the patterns on and it seems like they will work quite well. I lucked out on the measurements too because that lower half's pattern (aka spiky buttcape) is 100 cm wide from tip to tip and this coat pattern was by default 25 cm wide on the front and the back of course 50 cm because it will be cut from the fabric's fold. Perfect. I didn't even plan to get them to match up like this when I started planning out the lower half's pattern some days ago. xD Voittajafiilis!!

Bye bye!

November 23, 2012

Plastic for armor making

So some month or so ago I ordered a white matte polystyrene sheet from Etra store in town. I went and picked it up today when I finally got the chance to. I can't remember its measures or thickness right now but it's pretty thin, not super thin though. I've never worked with plastic before but I decided to give it a go now.. I hope that after all the research I've done that it will work for making Masamune Date's armor. At least based on what I found it seems like a material with good qualities for armor making.. but we'll see when I start working with it.

The polystyrene is rolled up inside this blue protection thingy.
Just to show how big it is
(yes, I'm wearing kimono just because I can. Yes, mirror photo)
That's it for today. Hopefully I will do some Masamune cosplay progress this weekend.

November 22, 2012

Masamune Date - lower half coat pattern


Decided to start working on my Masamune Date cosplay for real, my big "projektarbete" for school. I already have the wig and eyepatch but now I need to start making the costume itself. Again, this will be the default armor version and currently I plan to do the game version, which is slightly more detailed than the anime counterpart, but I might end up doing some kind of game-anime hybrid version. We'll see. xD

I didn't get so much done today but I managed to draw and cut out the pattern for the lower half of the coat.  I did it all by myself after a lot of measuring and planning. It took me pretty much 2 hours.. It looked surprisingly good after I test-wrapped it around my waist. I was pretty sure at one point I would screw it up but luckily it seems like I didn't.

Lower half coat pattern cut out
I'm going to make it in an upper and lower part with a seam that will likely be hidden by the belt. Me and mom figured it might be easier that way and I wouldn't get any side seams on the "buttcape" part. lol buttcape~

Oh, and I used this as a reference:

It's from some kind of reference sheet for the anime.
A godsend for cosplayers haha ~
I know it's the anime version but it's much easier to find good references from the anime..
As I said I will aim on doing the game version when it comes to those finer details and colors and stuff. I will probably use the base references from what is easily available (aka anime references) and then, when working, compare the game and anime versions with each other and then modify accordingly so that my costume looks more like the game variant when finished.

I hope that now when I started working on this cosplay that I will keep the fire burning until it's finished because I have just about half a year of time left to finish it, document the progress and show my project supervisor what I've done. I should have started this earlier but I'm a procrastinator and had some other issues and I know that this is quite the challenge so I can't sit still and do nothing with the time I have left. Neither can I take on any other cosplay project (unless it's super-mega-easy or some wafuku cosplay..) alongside this now until I've progressed a lot further.

See ya!

November 9, 2012

A new wig + fabric for Masamune

So today I went to the post office after school and picked up two packages. It was a white juban and a new wig I will use for season 2 (aka short hair version) Hijikata from Hakuouki. Funny thing is I was searching for a Hijikata specific wig but didn't find anything I thought looked just right so I wondered "what other characters have a similar hairstyle as Hijikata?" and BOOM instantly Sebastian Michaelis from Kuroshitsuji popped into my mind.

Sebastian Michaelis - Kuroshitsuji (aka Black Butler)
I found a Sebastian wig I thought looked really nice and it wasn't very expensive either so I bought it for Hijikata. Now I must admit there is something about Kuroshitsuji which captures my interest; I've been feeling for quite some time now that  I want to watch it even though it's rather mainstream. Also I heard from Sairu-chan not so long ago that she already has a Ciel cosplay and a Kuroshitsuji cosplay group planned with her friends who live around northern Finland. Group cosplays are always great so that is even more a reason to watch Kuroshitsuji so I could hang around with them in some northern con.. not to mention I've always liked Sebastian's design - red eyes me gusta mucho!!, hairstyle, "penguin coat" lol (seriously I want a coat like that.. if I do him a get a reason to make one hohoho~) and yeah, there just is something interesting about him. If I now watch Kuroshitsuji and end up liking Sebastian I will do him, I would already have the wig too and I need to buy red contacts anyway *coughrasetsucough* so I would get more use out of them also. XD We will see ~

I tried the wig on quickly (read: no cosplay make-up) after I got home. At first I was all "not sure if gusta" but after I arranged the fibers around a bit it was rather awesome.

I also went to Eurokangas with mom before getting home and she bought me some fabric for Sengoku Basara's Masamune Date cosplay. I will use this fabric for the coat and pants.

Masamune reference
The fabric is some kind of denim with 5% elastane and it has this.. interesting touch to the surface; a bit like it would have a thin coat of some kind of plastic on it. It is also a bit heavier and drapes rather well. I think it will be great for Masamune's coat especially. I just really need to start working on this cosplay for real; it needs to be done and documented before next summer vacation I'm going to die. If you remember it was a school project so it's really important I get this done in time before I graduate.

November 8, 2012

Skecon 2012 - Metapods, hamburgers and Buttman

I attended Skecon in Skellefteå last weekend, 2-4 November. It was a small convention (they had 200 tickets) held for the first time and I must say it was very successfully arranged. Despite being small it was a very enjoyable con experience and I'm certainly looking forward for the next time it is held.

I'm sorry I didn't write this earlier, I've been a bit lazy and I've also been waiting to see if I could find some photos of one thing during the convention..
Oh well, now on to the con summary.

Okay so me, my twin Jäätynyt Enkeli and Sairu-chan started our trip to Skellefteå on Friday morning. We woke up 07:00 Swedish time and put on our traveling clothes, took all our suitcases and shit with us and mom drove us to Haparanda town where she dropped us at the bus station while herself heading for work. We three sat and waited inside for the bus, which came 08:30. It was a Norrlandskusten bus, it's a nice dark blue double-decker. I think the trip took around 4,5 hours.
My new friend Sebastian got on the same bus further down but I wasn't sure it was him until we were in Skellefteå bus station and I saw him wearing the Hajime Saitou (from Hakuouki) wig and had two swords wrapped in fabric. xD We all four then found our way to the Skecon building, aka the Efyran.

We got our con bands and soon decided it would be better if we went to the sleeping accommodation place (which was on a class room floor of the nearby school) to dump our luggage and shit. Everyone of us four changed into cosplays there. I cosplayed Falkner, Sairu-chan cosplayed Erika and Jäätynyt Enkeli cosplayed Silver, all from Pokémon. Sebastian cosplayed a hakama version of Saitou from Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan.
We walked back to the con building and walked around a bit. Soon our "original trio" -aka me, my twin and Sairu-chan- found a nice blue painted wall so we decided to take turns and have a photoshoot of our Pokémon cosplays.

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai
Photographer: Jäätynyt Enkeli

We mostly just chilled around and hung together and derped the whole Friday. The con atmosphere was relaxed, cozy and friendly and everyone seemed to have a good time. My favorite chilling place at the con was, without question, the bean bag chairs!! <3

"Life's tough being a Pokémon trainer" lol
I tried to take some self-photos just for fun but the (red) lighting was rather bad...
At one point we three went on a building exploration. We wound up in the Shimbukan dojo's "backside", aka changing-room-private-shower-and-sauna place where I noticed this sign someone had.. edited..

"såskopp" xD
It reads in Swedish:

No shoes in the changing rooms.
It's easier to clean that way."

But someone added "-skopp" to the last word which changed its meaning to:

"It's easier to clean sauce cup"

I found it funny. Even though I think it was made before the convention.
Oh well, we went back to the more main-ish part of the convention and derped some more. Walked around and stuff.. and of course I drank some coke.

When we three started to get tired we headed back to the sleeping place. Sebastian stayed behind at Skecon and came to sleep later. Our trio went back seemingly rather early because we were the only ones in the class room we had picked. Well, good for us because I think I was on some sugar high thanks to the coke drinking combined with con excitement so that when we pulled out our sleeping bags.. well.. as soon as I got into my green sleeping bag...  


I don't even
My sleeping bag was named Metapod because.. duh, it's green. Sairu-chan's was Pinkpod (obviously it was pink) and Jäätynyt Enkeli's was Emo Kakuna because it was a mix of black and neon-ish orange.
After the Metapod rampage I got exhausted and went to lie down on my place, on top of a fitness mattress. lol I can't say it was really comfortable.. at all. But it worked.. somehow. After we had finished talking about our cracky ideas like for example what Hijikata would hatch into if he slept overnight in a Metapod... rasetsu anyone? XD

By the way this was the first time ever during any con when I slept at the sleeping accomodation place instead of at a hotel or at some friend's/relative's place. In Sweden and Finland anime cons pretty much always organize this budget option for congoers to sleep at some random school's floor or something like that.

Oh, and on the roof close to me there was a paper airplace which had gotten stuck.

Saturday morning came. Me, Jäätynyt Enkeli and Sairu-chan put on normal clothes, took our Hakuouki cosplays with us and walked to the con. We didn't wake up Sebastian because he was sleeping so peacefully. At the con we changed into cosplay because the toilets at the school was too small/narrow to allow for putting on hakama and stuff. I didn't bother to do any hardcore cosplay make-up because the con feeling was not the oh-mai-gawd-look-at-that-cosplayer kind and well, I was lazy.

Most of Sunday me and Sairu-chan just chilled in the bean bag chairs and occasionally wandered around. Actually, soon after we all had changed into Hakuouki cosplays I asked Chizuru -aka Sairu-chan- if she could braid my wig because Hijikata's hair is looooong and I wasn't very keen on having to make sure it doesn't tangle the whole day. She agreed ~

Braiding, braiding..
My expression.. xD
During 14:00 I went to the Shimbukan dojo (it's in the same building) to attend the "try-on" budo/martial arts. Me, having already practiced kendo for a few years (but for the time being I'm on a pause ever since I got a bad lung sickness last year's February..) went there anyway. I already knew all stuff they showed us and then we got to do the fourth kendo kata, the one with Hasso-no-kamae and Waki-gamae. I was feeling like a boss when I already knew all the movements.  XD We also got to do a harai men on a person who was wearing kendo armor. After the quick kendo try-on we switched to kyudo. Just so you know, I've been wanting to try kyudo a long time but there are veeeery few clubs in Sweden and Finland so I've never gotten the chance. Needless to say when it was kyudo time I was all rhghjreghjfdshagjd and about to explode!! <3 Everyone who wanted to try got to fire three arrows with a beginner bow at some kind of white foam-ish target.. I have no clue what it was really. Of course one of the budo guys (it seemed like some of them practiced several different martial arts) gave everyone some guidelines how to stand, how to hold the bow etc. But seriously.. DAT FEELING when you fire an arrow for the first time with like a 2 m long bow-of-awesome.. it was so agjhfdgsha oh my god. <3<3<3 Sain ihan jumalattomat kicksit siitä. xD eiku One of the coolest things I've ever done ahaha. I did hit the target on my second try.
   I'm really sad I don't have any photos of my time in the dojo because I was there some hours and it was so damn awesome listening to Magnus-sensei's stories from their kendo club's Japan trips (some things which happened them in Japan were hilarious. I laughed so hard I almost cried many times XD) and his "ninja's didn't really exist" speech was very interesting, not to mention he also showed some jodo techniques and some moves with a naginata and stuff. It was so damn cool. We also got to hold this huge shinai and look closer on a sharp iaito katana. Me gusta mucho!!

After I had been there listening and laughing with the sensei, the budo guys and some other congoers my company came and was like "Hijikata-san we will go eating soon" and so I had to take my leave, haha. I'm sorry, they probably waited for me all this time. :$
Oh well, all four of us made our way to the nearby Max - a Swedish hamburger restaurant. We sat in the same table and next to us was a kid family... the kids stared at us so damn much oh my god. But now for some shinsengumi hamburger time feat. Hijikata! 8D


Hijikata eating fries!
I just had to put these photos together into a hamburger "comic" XD
Enough of hamburgers. 

We went back to the con and waited for the food coma to pass by in the bean bag chairs. That was when I heard an interesting sound coming closer.. it sounded like... geta... and then I saw a dude walk by with tengu geta (one-tooth geta) and I went

I want tengu geta so much!! *grabby hands*
At some point we went to the room where you could draw, make pins and perler beads and stuff. Sairu-chan had to draw Buttman there after I had been insisting "I AM BUTTMAN" the whole con time. It was too much fun!

My idol. <3 err maybe not xD
 And in case you have no clue what we are talking about:
(Finnish only!)

Later during the evening maybe 30 minutes or something before the cosplay competition was about to start I noticed Sairu-chan was shaking. She said she was freezing so I gave her my shinsengumi haori. We started walking slowly towards the second floor where the cosplay competition was to be held and while sitting on a couch up there a man came and asked if we were going to compete. I said that we weren't and then he said something about that we couldn't be there because the competitors were practicing how to walk on the scene and stuff. I think I asked if we could sit there because Chizuru wasn't feeling good and he then asked if we wanted to go to the con's health care. The "con nurse" came and led us up the stairs to his little health care room. He asked some questions and gave Sairu-chan a warm blanket-ish thing and told her to take it easy and drink water because she had some temporary fever. When the cosplay competition started it got noisy so we migrated over to the first floor's café where it was calmer. Me and Jäätynyt Enkeli -aka Sannan- tried our best to keep her company and comfort her.

Luckily her fever seemed to go away (or at least her forehead wasn't hot anymore) after a while and she said she felt much better; the shaking had gone away. It was a relief. Now we did miss the actual cosplay competition but I don't really mind.. my friend's well-being is more important. <3

After Chizuru had recovered it was my turn to derp. I started feeling my breathing was fucking up slightly and I just generally felt a bit.. dizzy. HIJIKATA YOU CAN'T BE OKITA NOOOOOOOOO I dealt with it (after all I'm used to breathing screw ups ever since that bad sickness..) and when it got late we went to the place with blue wall were we had photoshooted our Pokémon cosplays yesterday. But this time we went to sit on that wooden bench which was half-way hidden behind a wooden screen.. thing. lol you see I get language block right now. OTL We ate some candy we had bought at Ica yesterday and took some last photos. I can't say we got anything sensible but oh well, here's some derp photos!

Empty coke bottle storage.. it was my RATTLE dammit!
I was tired.. and le wig is a mess
"Fuck this shit, it's hot here" *takes off haori*
Chilling together
 And then the obligatory self-photo...

Soon after these photos we three changed back to normal gear and went to sleep. We had decided to not go to the con on Sunday because it ended early anyway and if we took the bus home on the morning we would be back home before it got dark. So on Sunday we woke up, packed our belongings and left while everyone else in the class room were sleeping. We headed to the Skellefteå bus station.

I saw this Skecon poster on the bus station's bulletin board thingy <3
We sat and waited for the bus to arrive. We were early so we had to wait one hour or so because the bus came 10:30 if I don't remember wrong.

I'm wearing my Saitou wig because of a really bad hair day. I noticed some people gave me dem looks. Oh, and the bus driver said to me after Sairu-chan had gone into the bus (she was wearing her Ciel wig) "oh, you also have such cool colored hair. Why have you colored it like that? :D" and I was all:

Because it was a wig and he thought it was my real hair..
I was so tired when we got on the bus so I slept most of the journey back. But. We had to change bus for some unknown reason (even though this bus wasn't supposed to change as far as I know) at Luleå bus station. The bus driver said that when we arrive there the change bus would already be there but when we got there the other bus wasn't there. He then said it would arrive behind the bus we had been in. So we stood and waited... in like 15 minutes or something and it was cold and we all were freezing. Our feelings:

Oh well. We got home and the trip was successful. I hope there will be more Skecon events in the future.


-Warning. Rant ahead-

Except that I got offended by some few people during the con who would misgender me and when -I or my friends- corrected them they would insist on correcting me.

I'm the one who knows myself the best. No one else has the right to define who and what I am, except myself. It's not my damn fault that I currently have some physical shortcomings, so please understand or at the very least accept that not everyone and everything is what it might look like at first glance. If I correct you don't insist on correcting me, that's rude. You might think it's not a big deal but it's my identity in question and that is indeed a very big deal to me; I want to have a right to be who I am and not be treated wrong all the damn time. I've had to deal with it 19 years so you can guess how fed up with that shit I am by now. I just want to be seen as the person I am.. is that too much to ask?

Of course I understand if someone who doesn't know me messes up when they first meet me -but- after I correct them and they don't do those mistakes again it's fine. But. If they still insist on calling me wrong things after that then they piss me off with their ignorance, very much. It's painful; I'm sick of being mistaken for something I am not and have never ever been. I'm a guy. Thank you. /end rant

Bye bye!