September 25, 2013

Kemi's manga day 2013 - cosplay plans!

The next anime event I will be going to is Kemi's manga day; it's held on 5th October so there's a little more than one week left. It's an 8 hour event in Kemi duh in Finland.
I decided who to cosplay there already pretty long ago so why keep it a secret well, some people know already any longer?

Toshizo Hijikata (Sweet School Life version) from Hakuouki
Yup, basically I'm being lazy. :'DD I don't feel like donning a cosplay that takes time to put on for such a small event - aka no kimono-time this time. So yeah, SSL!Hijikata to the rescue! Being lazy is not the only reason I do this version over the kimono version though; truth is, I can't even do half my cosplays right now -because my sword broke after Tracon- but I'll do a post about that some other day... Luckily I already have everything for this version, except for the violet tie but I found one at eBay so it should arrive any day now. Gonna do a cosplay preview when it gets here.
As far as I know at least Sairu-chan will cosplay SSL!Chizuru and she said something that there might be a few other SSL Hakuouki cosplayers running around; we might have a cosplay group, yes!

Not so much more to say. My con season for this year is drawing to an end; after Kemi's manga day Chibicon in Oulu might very well be the last convention I will be seen at 2013. But before I start thinking such depressing thoughts I need to remember that Kemi's manga day is still ahead! Forward we go!

September 22, 2013

Masamune arm guards pt.2

I guess no one remembers how I back in April this year started working on Masamune's arm guards? Feels like so long time ago, heh. But hey, guess what? Today on 22 September I finally finished them! .. or well, sort of.

Needless to say I went to mom's place today and started painting!

This is where I stopped last time and thus started with today
And of course I need dem references:

Reference picture
Now I checked several references of Masamune and noticed that the patterns on his arm guards change on pretty much every picture; sometimes they were these softer "waves" and sometimes more like jagged lighting bolts. I decided to go with the more wavy approach. Oh, and I just free-hand painted all the designs instead of doing exactly like they were on a specific picture.

I used a metallic gold colored paint. When I started painting it didn't look like it would turn out good.. but luckily when the paint dried it went from crappy looking to pretty fabulous. Yes!

Painting in progress ~
You can see here that parts of it has started to dry and turn goldish and shiny
And here's some more painting progress pictures!

To the left is a sort-of-dry guard and on the right an unfinished one
The painting mission didn't take very long and they dried surprisingly quick too. This is what all pieces looked like after I had added the golden "waves" to them:

I let them dry for a while more -just to be on the safe side- and a little bit later I figured I could paint the undersides black so that, eh, if anyone would catch a glimpse of them when I'm wearing this cosplay at least the color would be black. Not so much more to do than grab the black paint can (it's actually paint for walls but who cares, still paint!) and start painting! One, two, three, go!

The piece closer to the paint can has been painted and the one farther away is still its original color - dark blue
I finished painting all undersides black and left them to dry at mom's place; I had to go back home to my own apartment at some point ya know. They will be dry the next time I go there and with that the arm guards should be finished unless something crappy happens. You won't get any try-them-on pictures now because I don't have any (and it's hard to put them on alone, yes, I tried) but you'll get to see them worn whenever I do either a second "this is what I have so far!" post or at the very least when I do the cosplay preview or a test-run photoshoot or something.

Bye ~

September 18, 2013

Tracon 2013 - Red eyes and a bottle with the blood of Moomins

A few days after Tracon it feels good to come back and write a little about it. This time I don't have all that much to say I hope so let's get on with it!

But first...

Have some ducks!
(from Sorsalampi outside Tampere-talo of course)
My journey to Tracon started early on Friday morning. Me, Jäätynyt Enkeli and Hasakitsuki woke up, ate breakfast and put in the last stuff in our suitcases and then we waited for my stepdad to come pick us up from our apartment. He drove us to Liikekeskus Corona in Kemi where we waited for the carpooler to turn up. Meanwhile we waited we went inside to Prisma and bought provisions for the trip - Moomin lemonade and candies, what did you expect?
We drove to Oulu where Jäätynyt Enkeli jumped off at the bus station (he would take the train) and then we went to pick up the driver's cousin from Oulu and then the journey down started. During the car trip down I mostly just played on my Nintendo DS and PSP and lagged. It didn't feel like it took super long (then again I'm used to traveling long distances) and soon enough we were in Orivesi. Yes, Orivesi, not Tampere. The carpool duo stopped here so me and Hasakitsuki had to take a train from Orivesi to Tampere, luckily one came after around 30 minutes. Now we hadn't preordered train tickets but that proved to be a good move and that's because when we were at the train the train conductor never came.. or it was that one guy who super-speeded past the cart. FREE RIDE AAAAWWW YEEEAAA! >8D
Oh well, at Tampere train station we were met by Ri-kun, exchanged hugs and walked to Omenahotels.. but before going to the hotel we went to a nearby foodstore to buy something to eat at the hotel. At Omppu we just chilled around until Jäätynyt Enkeli arrived and when it got late we went to sleep.


The first con day arrived. We woke up at 08:00, had some breakfast and then started to put on our cosplays. All three of us had simple/casual cosplays so it didn't take all that long until everyone were ready. My cosplay for the day was Kureno Sohma from Fruits Basket and Tracon would be his debut con. I'm kinda happy I didn't choose Hijikata for Saturday because Saturday was a rather hot day and I would so have toasted.. c'mon, even Kureno was toasty! D: Then again, having a flashier cosplay on Saturday would have been more fun I guess.. Well well, our group of four walked to Tampere-talo and soon we split up because me and Hasakitsuki had to find the Fruits Basket group. It soon turned out that the meeting time had changed from 11:00 to 11:50 or something but we found everyone and took some pictures together. After that the group kind of split up and I just randomly walked around the con building, taking pictures of cosplayers, meeting friends and checking out the dealer's hall.

Random Kureno self-picture feat. pocket monster bird!
15:00 it was time for the symphonic wind ensemble at Iso Sali -which I had been looking forward to- so I went there with Ri-kun, Jäätynyt Enkeli, Hasakitsuki and Sairu-chan.

Symphonic wind ensemble playing the Red/Blue Medley from Pokémon, duh
I must admit that I didn't recognize any of the songs except the Pokémon medley (oh my god the waves of nostalgy when they played that one! <3) but that didn't stop me from having 45 minutes of my life well spent.
After the symphonic wind ensemble we all were super hungry except Sairu-chan so we headed out to town to get something to eat. Sadly Sairu-chan had to go back to the con half-way to help a friend or something and change cosplays but oh well. We ended up roaming a kebab place not too far away from the con and of course that meant what was on my plate was a..

Kebab animal!
Or well, we are more used to it in this form:

I must say the kebab was surprisingly good! I wonder how come I have only eated kebab maybe 5 times in all my life.. this needs to change!
With kebab animals inside me we rolled hihi back to the con and had a photoshoot at Sorsapuisto outside Tampere-talo. Gosh I love this place!

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai (Kureno Sohma)
Photographer: Jäätynyt Enkeli

Soon enough we moved to another spot and had a follow-up photoshoot.
Again photographer was Jäätynyt Enkeli.

I didn't really do anything special on Saturday so I don't have so much more to say, when we got tired we just walked back to Omenahotels and derped around the rest of the night. I must say that the Saturday weather was surprisingly hot, felt like a summer day even though it's autumn! Not that I really complain though, Kureno isn't the warmest of cosplays. *coughunlikeprettymuchallmyothercosplayscough*
Oh oh, that reminds me! I met two of my con friends at one point and they told me this one pretty awesome story or whatever to call it - basically they had spotted me as Kureno from a distance and been asking themselves something like "is it [insert one of my internet nicknames here] or is it not? He's not wearing a kimono but it looks like him.. is it or is it not?". The thing is, I've pretty much always worn kimono cosplays to conventions (like, 95% of the time) and some people know me by that and well.. when I suddenly turn up in western clothes it seemingly throws people off and they don't instantly recognize me. :'DD Well, me too. lol My trademark is kimono style BOAHAHAAH ~ ... ehrm, yeah.


We woke up one hour earlier than on Saturday, which meant 07:00 it was time to lift our asses up from the bed. Oh, ya know, everyone had casual cosplays on Saturday but Sunday was like.. how about the total opposite? :DD Yeah, so for me it was rasetsu!Hijikata and for Hasakitsuki oni!Chizuru from Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan, Ri-kun turned into Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit and Jäätynyt Enkeli into his signature cosplay - Kratos Aurion from Tales of Symphonia. So yeah, there was contact lenses, kimono dressing, horns to put on your forehead, making ears pointy and gluing of feet hair going on in the hotel room on a Sunday morning. Hey, seems perfectly normal to me!
What also is perfectly normal is having a suitcase that is overflowing with ~STUFF~ and having Chizuru ordering Hijikata to sit on it so that there would even be a slight chance of getting it closed. It's not like we got it fully closed but almost.

This is how you do it!
(shitty photo quality is shitty, taken with my old camera by Jäätynyt Enkeli)
We left the hotel around 10:00 and walked to Tampere-talo with all our luggages. I'm happy no one died because it wasn't all that awesome.. and the weather wasn't either; kinda cloudy and boring but not cold at least.
When we got to the con I put on the rest of my cosplay - namely the ponytail, swords, headband and... blooooood ~ >8D Yup, it was weirdly fun to get your face and hands red! Hasakitsuki's face when a bloody Hijikata came out of the bathroom was pretty fabulous. When I was all donned up we went to walk around the con a bit and low and behold, we spotted Kazama!

Just had to strike a rival battle pose ~
Soon enough we decided to go outside to have a photoshoot because the weather forecast had promised slight rain around 13:00 to 15:00 and well -as our luck would have it- when we reached the wooden dock next to Sorsalampi and had taken a few pictures it started raining and the umbrellas came out - save the silk!

Luckily the rain ended soon enough so we just stood there waiting under our umbrellas until it ceased. Then our photoshoot continued! (and our efforts to not get ducks photobombing everywhere as well...)

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai (Toshizo Hijikata), Hasakitsuki (Chizuru Yukimura) 
Photographer: Sairu-chan

Of course I also got my time to shine alone and some pretty cool gusts of wind made me look 20% cooler!
Photographer is still Sairu-chan.

Under the photoshoot someone else had laid their power-hungry eyes on ochimizu...

After ending our Hakuouki photoshoot I went to shoot Ri-kun's Bilbo Baggins cosplay. I must say that meanwhile I was shooting their cosplay I noticed that not all people around me were con-goers, then again it makes sense because we were in a pretty well-known park in Tampere. I swear some of the looks I got from the non con-goers were priceless, the best one being that little boy (maybe he was around 8 years old) who passed me by and stopped and stared with these huge eyes and open mouth. His expression was something between fear and fascination (or both?) and even when he had passed me his head turned back and he still stared at me while he walked. I swear his eyes were glued on me for what felt like 5 minutes.. xD I was trying not to scare him by doing a creepy smile or something because hey, it's perfectly normal [not] to have a bloody samurai with white hair and red eyes who walks with an obvious limp next to you. But yeah, pretty much everyone who wasn't a Tracon visitor stared at me.......... :'DD I wonder if anyone thought I was actually hurt..

After the photoshooting was over we bumped into Anniilaugh as Battousai version Kenshin and well, Kenshin got a sip of our drink of madness.. which is made by the blood of Moomins.

"This looks suspicious.."
One bad thing was that I missed the Zelda piano concert! It started 13:00 and during that time we were photoshooting our cosplays outside, damn! I had really wanted to go see it but meh, shit happens I guess. :'( Oh well, maybe this chance comes again...

The advertisement for the Zelda piano concert
When inside we went to sit in the cafeteria to relax. My hurt foot had been, well, hurting, over the weekend because of all the walking around so sitting down for a while was really appreciated. Hasakitsuki bought a bread to eat and we just sat there chilling.

Hijikata chillin'
Because I missed the Zelda concert I didn't have anything else to keep track on time for.. except that the carpoolers had informed me that we would need to leave 17:00. I decided to not go eat during the con time because if we went to eat outside it would probably take us an hour or two and I wanted to spend as much time with my friends as possible, especially Ri-kun whom I probably wouldn't see anymore for the year.

You know, except for the fact that it was pure awesome to be all bloody it was quite a bother sometimes too, mostly because I couldn't really touch anything without having to think first. Sure as hell I didn't want blood on my silk kimono because I don't even know if this thing washes out! With that said, I needed help whenever my cosplay was going everywhere as well as with carrying stuff and that help was always in the form of a certain oni. But despite the extra brain activity needed to do anything myself I'd totally want to be all bloody again!

assistant!Chizuru fixing headband
The Sunday went by really fast, really.. or more like, the whole Tracon did. During the last hours I just hung around with my friends; sadly Sairu-chan had to leave a few hours before us and I didn't get to say goodbye to her... :'( Neither did I get to say goodbye to Ri-kun. ;_; But at least one hour or so before we left I decided to take a roof photo of our group (except Sairu-chan who had left) looking up.. funny thing was that this random masked guy ninja'd his way into the photo just at the right moment! And the scary part was that I didn't even notice him until like 5 seconds after the photo was taken. Damn.

Random masked guy ninja photobombing.. WITH STYLE
With that I'll end my Tracon summary. All in all it was a great con (with surprisingly little rain for a change, if compared to the other cons of the year) and Tracon still stays as my favorite Finnish anime convention. Tampere-talo is just such a great location to host a convention in!

Oh, and lastly here's a cosplay photo video of all the photos I took of other cosplayers during the con weekend:

Thanks for a great con and bye bye ~

Wait, you really thought I'd just let you leave like that?
This time I don't have any bonus pictures but I have...

When I tried to get up - also known as "Chizuru, don't step on my hakama dangit!"
Drinking ochimizu... it's seemingly not very effective.

September 16, 2013

Got fake blood on your wig? No problem!

Tracon is now over but you won't get to read about the con just yet; I have a fucklot of photos to go through so, yeah, 'dis gonna take some time. xD But you can expect a Tracon con summary to pop up later this week!

So, uhm, let's get on with what this post was supposed to be about.. namely a quick discovery I made after Tracon. You see, I was cosplaying rasetsu version Hijikata (Hakuouki) on Sunday and I had fake blood on my face, neck and hands. You'll get pictures in the Tracon summary later! During the course of the day I got some blood in the wig because the bangs would occasionally touch my face and such. I tried to avoid having the wig touching the blood as much as possible but, yeah, kinda impossible. But yeah, when I had to leave from Tracon I just took off the wig and put it into its plastic bag with pretty much all blood still on it; not like it was much but you could still tell it wasn't pure white everywhere.

When I finally got home a few hours ago I took out the wig from the bag. This is what it looked like:

Colored wig ends
Random bloody streak
It's not super noticeable on these pictures but the wig had some obviously pinkish red coloring going on. :D Still minor though.
What I did was hold the wig in my hands and carefully wet it with some tap water. I'm not sure if it matters or not but I just took the first best water temperature that came and it was semi-cold. I made sure to only wet the parts of the wig that had been in contact with the fake blood to avoid unneccessary tangling. Oh, and while holding small clumps of wig fiber under the water I rubbed them carefully between my thumb and index finger. To my joy the blood came out like a charm!

Then again, it might depend on what fibers the wig is made out of (this one is some kind of heat resistant fibers, I don't know the actual fiber name..) and what fake blood you use; the brand I used was Grimas.

Wig put to dry on a wig head
When I was done I just put the wig on a wig head to dry. Don't try to comb a wig while it's wet! Now I'll just wait for it to dry and with that I now know that getting fake blood on a wig -even if it's pure white- is seemingly not a problem!
Hohohoho, bloody photoshoots.. here I come! >8D


September 12, 2013

Rasetsu out for blood and a mummy foot

Okay, first things first. Some days ago I had a mishap with my right foot and it seems now that it won't be okay until Tracon. I figured today err, yesterday, it's past midnight lolol that I should try if I can even wear my zori shoes for the Sunday cosplay and, well, I could but it wasn't painless. The thing is - it hurts if I bend my foot so I will likely walk like a limp penguin around the con. Oh well, not like it really bothers me but just thought I'd say that so that not everyone who sees me asks why I suddenly mangled my foot. :DD

Zori test with foot in mummy mode
And -as we all know- putting on a cosplay shoe soon results in having contact lenses on and then a wig and then some cosplay make-up and... boom ~
Yes, I totally thought that because my Sunday cosplay is rasetsu!Hijikata from Hakuouki I could get away with walking with a limp if I did a sort of bloody/"battle damaged" version.. So guess if me and Hasakitsuki went outside our apartment to the forest-ish area next to the train rails and had a photoshoot when it was getting dark outside? Hell yes!

Oh, I or more like, Hasakitsuki only put fake blood on my face and hand for now because I didn't want to have bloody and possibly sticky-yucky hakama and stuff in my suitcase... just, no.

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai (Toshizo Hijikata)
Photographer: Hasakitsuki

I played around with color filters and stuff on this because the original lighting was kind of bad..
And lastly the obligatory ego-photo ~

For Tracon I will kinda likely end up having blood on my hakama and haori as well, this is gonna be fun, ku ku ku ku... ~

Nothing else to say, smell you guys at Tracon! >8D