March 25, 2014

Saitou gets an update for the better!

Hello peeps!

On 19th March I decided it was about time that I cut my Saitou wig a little. Sure that it has always been fine but for the past few months it started bothering me slightly that the bangs are kinda long mostly because they block out my right eye and this doesn't always look good on photos. So yeah, cutting time!

Before cutting to the left, after on right.
Also on the next day I went to a fabric store in town and bought some fabric for the scarf. Yeah, I do have a scarf already but, as some of you might know, it loves itself some strangling antics and it's just heavy and annoying to wear after a while; I've wanted a thinner and more flowy scarf and so I decided to make another one. The fabric that I bought was unusually wide around 2,4 meters so I only had to buy a small strip of it. I didn't purchase more than 30 cm, although afterwards I realized it wouldn't have been bad with a bit more. I tend to always buy too much fabric for bigger projects and not enough for smaller projects, lol. Not like it was bad though, the scarf turned out okay anyway.
I didn't really take any progress pictures because it's so simple to sew a scarf just zigzag the edges, fold in the edges, fold the whole thing in half and sew it shut with a straight stitch.

Started sewing the scarf shut.
With the scarf done I was ready to go take a few photos and so I did on 25th March, aka today.
Me and Hasakitsuki (photographer) went outside the apartment and had a quick shooting to show off the costume updates; it's nothing mind-boggling but still something fresh!

The scarf seen from the back. (yeah I know, should have ironed it...)
This fucker even blows in the wind! 8D (if you're lucky)
I'm still a bit meh because I would have wanted the scarf a bit wider (yeah, it still bugs me) than what it is but oh well, at least there's no way in hell this thing could attempt strangling techniques on me anymore, unlike its predecessor. It's very lightweight and comfortable and cost me 4 € to make.

Enough of the scarf. Next up is a photo that shows the wig's makeover better:

Oh the joy when the wig doesn't completely block out my right eye anymore! I still frequently have to move hairs away from my eye especially when it's windy before a photo is taken but at least it looks better and hey, it's never bad to be able to see properly in cosplay. xD
Lastly here's a cropped close-up of the contact lenses that I will wear for Saitou from now on. Yeah, it's totally the reason I opened my Beaucon Vibrant Match Blue lenses. Surprise motherfucker!

Sure that his eyes are violet-ish in the anime but in the game they are blue and well, the game came first so I consider it the official/original. Blue-eyed Saitou it is, deal with it ~

That's it, new cosplay previews for this year's con season will follow!
Valkoinen Samurai says bye!

March 21, 2014

Lens review: Beaucon Vibrant Match Blue

Hi everyone!

It's time again for another contact lens review guys! This time it's the Beaucon Vibrant Match Blue. I bought these some time ago and I've been waiting for a reason to open them and well, the reason you will find out in another post soon but now let's get on with the review!

Lenses in vials.
Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.0 mm
Water content: 45%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)

These lenses look a medium blue when not worn; they are rather pretty if you ask me. I like the design of these surprisingly much and I think I'm starting to really prefer lenses with a black outer rim haha. Regarding the design there are some small black dots close to the pupil hole following a star shape, otherwise the blue color is pretty solid while also imitating the patterning of a real iris.

Lens on my finger.
One thing that's not so pretty though is that when I tried to open the bottles I had problems with not one but both of them. The plastic lid just went off without taking any of the metal protection with it. Meh. I had to fetch a knife and massacre my way through the metal...

This is not cool bro.
Not saying this only happened with the Beaucon lenses; I've had this problem with pretty much any lenses. I think it's just how lucky you are if you get a metal troll in yours or not. xD
But yeah, back to the lenses. I popped one into my eye and it went in without any problems. The description on the bottles say that the diameter is 14.0 mm which is pretty much as small as circle lenses can be.
These blend really well with my natural eye color and look surprisingly natural while still having that noticeable color oompfh. I actually went to do some quick business with these on and didn't get any comments or questions I assume either the light was too bad for the others to see or these lenses just look natural enough to pass for real eyes. I would say these are good for cosplay as well as for everyday fab contacts.

One lens in. (taken in bathroom light)
These contacts don't hinder my vision; I have no random blue corners when I move my gaze or anything. They are pretty comfortable but even though I wore them for around 4 hours I could still always feel that I had contacts on, it was slight though. It wasn't uncomfortable at all or anything but I just felt them when I blinked. Also, maybe it's just me but it felt like these started to feel dry faster than other contacts I've tried. I don't know, might also be because putting contacts on was pretty much the first thing I did today when I woke up and well, my eyes were a bit tired. Nothing bad though overall, I'd still say they are comfortable to wear.

I took a couple photos just to show what the lenses look like when worn. There's no color filters or anything to alter the color on these photos.

Taken indoors during daylight hours on a cloudy day.
Taken while facing the window from a distance.
I don't really know what more to say. I find myself liking the blue shade a lot and I'm pleased with these contacts. They aren't super noticeable in darker/dim lights but in brighter lights or outside they turn this vibrantly awesome blue that is striking and just looks some sort of awesome. I definitely dig these contacts.

Took a distance photo just for demonstration.

(am I the only one thinking Kuroko from Kuroko's Basket? xD)
Want to read reviews of other colors in the Vibrant Match series?
Check out these reviews: Green, Violet, Brown

Short summary:

Color: 9/10 
Nice vivid blue shade that shows up nicely. Looks great on light eyes!
Design: 7/10 
Design seems to mimic real eyes and does it well.
Opacity: 8/10
Covers my real eye color surprisingly well!
Enlargement: 2/10 
Barely enlarging, which I like. I don't always want obviously enlarging lenses...
Comfort: 6/10 
I can sometimes feel I have contacts on when I blink and they seem to dry out faster than some other lenses, still okay though.
Naturalness: 7/10 
Except for the vibrant blue shade these look pretty damn realistic.

I don't have so much more to say I think.
Any questions just leave a comment! :D kthxbai! ~

March 14, 2014

Souji Okita from Rurouni Kenshin photoshoot!

 Hi everyone!

A few days ago I received a few new wigs and one of them was a wig that I plan to use for Rurouni Kenshin's Souji Okita the Tsuiokuhen/Trust & Betrayal OVA version. Yes, I do plan to cosplay him this year!
Okay, so today I tried the wig on and decided instantly that it needs to be cut a bit to fit him and so I trimmed one of the sides, the one with the longer end, as well as shortened and layered the bangs so that I wouldn't get the Rock Lee effect when wearing it, brrr. Yeah, it had way too much hair in the front. ._.

Wig uncut, without the ponytail clip.
With the wig styled I put on the rest of the cosplay which is basically recycling parts from earlier cosplays, haha. The violet-blue kimono is new though and it's made by Hasakitsuki's mom as a gift, thank you. I wore my Volte Brown contacts for Okita and I think they are perfect for him!
I wanted a cosplay preview and a photoshoot on the same go and so we went outside the apartment and took a shitlot of pictures; it wasn't all that cold at the beginning but it was very windy and towards the end it got so damn cold I could barely move my fingers and hold the sword and, well, I was shaking quite badly... which could have been seen as being in character *coughsickcough* but oh well. ^^"

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai (Souji Okita)
Photographer: Hasakitsuki

Nothing more to say, I'm terribly stoked to wear this to a con! I hope I will find someone who cosplays Battousai version Kenshin so that we could have an epic photoshoot. Would be so awesome!

But now Valkoinen Samurai goes samurai-ing elsewhere ~

March 11, 2014

Dokuganryu, you have too many swords – pt.3

Hello peeps!

Way back on 1st September last year I went to mom's place and continued working on Masamune's swords. I didn't get all that much done that day but I at least started sanding and filing down the tsuka (sword's handle) with a rasp and rough sand paper. The blade I had filed and rougly sanded already earlier. I only had time to sand one of the swords because I was helping Hasakitsuki with her cosplay as well.

Tsuka untouched.
Filed and roughly sanded.
I still need to give the remaining five swords the same treatment but I did ask my stepdad if I could borrow the rasp and rough sand paper – it was green lights!

Okay, fast forward to a weekend in the middle of February 2014 when I finally got to work on the swords again; I have no idea where the time went but I know for sure that it's about time I continue this mission!
I spent 14-16th February at mom's place and took with me the swords and equipment for woodworking. I filed and roughly sanded the tsuka's end round-ish. Rinse and repeat for the remaining swords over the duration of the stay, until all six had gotten the same treatment. I must say it's rather tiring to do this process all by hand but that's how I roll.

Even more sanded and filed.
All six done.
But when I was done and checked the swords over –for any spots that I had missed– I saw this unsightly view instead:

Hey wait, what's that...?
*zooms in*
I have no idea when it appeared but I know it wasn't there in the very beginning – it must have appeared at a later point, possibly during the last days. Oh well, I need to fix it somehow and the safest bet is to wait until mom and stepdad returns and ask him what to do about it...

So on 2nd March, while I stayed at mom's place over the weekend for Kitacon, I took with me the swords there. I showed the crack to stepdad and after getting some possible explanations for how it could have appeared he said he'd fix it for me. After the anime convention but before I left to return to my apartment he had repaired it and I could take it with me home. This is what it looked like:

Mended crack.
He said that he filled the cavity with some glue and then used car putty/filler on top. It's repaired now which means that I can continue the finer sanding work of the swords. Yes, I need to sand all the swords once again – but this time with even finer grit sand paper. I want it to be really smooth before I put any paint on them...

On 7th March I decided to start doing the final sanding of the swords (tsuka and the whole blade length) and this time I did it outside my apartment with some borrowed sand paper... from stepdad of course, who else?

Finer grit sand paper. (this brand is nostalgy for me because
in old woodworking class in school we had the same brand)
I only managed to finish 2 swords before my arms wanted to quit though; it's more tiring than what it looks like and I pretty much only sand with my left arm because of the finer precision (I'm left-handed) and it just feels less clumsy so yeah, when my left hand gets tired it gets annoying because my right hand just won't do the work as well. Blah.
On 10th March I sanded two more swords and on 11th March, aka today, I finished the last two.

Here's some comparison shots of both sides of one of the swords:

Top photo of roughly sanded side, bottom photo of finer sanded side.
Top photo of roughly sanded side, bottom photo of finer sanded side.
And finally a close-up photo of one finished blade next to one unfinished:

Top sword finely sanded, bottom roughly sanded.
Sweet Jesus, I'm done with the sanding! Now I just need to find something to use as a base coating before I can get on with painting these things. I was thinking that gesso would be good but I have to find some first... otherwise I'll just use ordinary white primer. We'll see.

But for now, Valkoinen Samurai out!

March 4, 2014

Kitacon 2014 – What do you mean I was supposed to be serious and creepy?

Hi there!

So not so long ago, on the weekend of 1-2 March, Kitacon was held in Kemi. Of course me and my company would drag our asses there because c'mon, it's the closest con to where we live and free entrance!
About Kitacon: this year it was a 2-day con. Actually, the later Kitacon events have for some reason, as far as my crappy memory goes, been only one day but this year they went back to having it last both Saturday and Sunday. I say sweet!

Kitacon poster.
So, back to the beginning. Friday evening me, Jäätynyt Enkeli and Hasakitsuki went over to mom's place to sleep there over the Kitacon weekend because, well, it's closer to Kemi + free ride to the con and back, wopee!

On Saturday morning I woke up, went to shower, had breakfast and started changing into my Sannan cosplay. Too bad for me it took forever to get the goddamn eye makeup to look decent (I had to redo parts of it a lot) and so everyone had to wait for me while I was battling in the bathroom a very serious fight – because cosplay is not so serious business.
When everyone finally was ready mom drove us to Kemi and there we stepped into a building we had never been in before. See, Kitacon has all these previous years been held in another building. I must say that Sauvotalo is pretty cool.

It didn't take long before we found Sairu-chan dressed as Sieni Shiemi!
(random mirror picture and yeah, I have beautiful camera face censor)
We also ran into the epic werewolf guy from Oulun animeseminaari, also known as Karri. He is just too awesome for words and we spent quite a lot of the con hanging with him!

Karri feat. borrowed pink hat
Except for striking chats with familiar faces, photoshooting Sairu-chan's cosplay, checking out the building as well as the Dealer's Hall and Artist's Alley I didn't do anything else on Saturday. There were some interesting panels on both Saturday and Sunday but I either missed or saw the time it was held too late. :( Also I must say that the air inside was pretty bad; I couldn't stay inside the con for very long before getting a major toast effect and needing to go outside to cool down.
Kitacon is mostly a hang-with-friends con for me; it just feels very relaxed, slow-going and chill compared to the bigger and more ambitious cons with a lot of panels and people crowding everywhere.

Random con picture feat. Dealer's Hall &Artist's Alley.
At some point we got bored so we went up to the second floor, occupied an empty table and played some Monster Hunter. It's always a good idea to have a handheld gaming console or something else with you in case you need entertainment!

Gaming time, gaming time ~
We did look for a location to have a sort of "creepy!Sannan feat. ochimizu" photoshoot at some point but it quickly fell through when it became obvious that we were in the middle of the city and Hakuouki and modern buildings just don't work well together... at all. Also, the weather was very dull and gray and I wasn't eager to walk in waraji on more or less stone-y and slippery roads to go see if there would have been some less modern areas nearby.

One thing I did though was buying a Tracon ticket! Yeah, you could buy them in advance at the photo studio for a cheaper special price, namely 15 €. 

Tracon ticket bought! (and Okita plushie photobombing wanting to be on the pic)
Not so much more to say about Saturday because we barely did shit. We did go eat at a Chinese restaurang when we got hungry during mid-day; otherwise we stayed at the con until they closed the first floor and that's when we went back to mom's place to eat salmon soup and sleep.

On Sunday when I woke up early I felt so laggy, lazy and blööörgh that I highly considered not cosplaying at all and just going casual to the con. I probably experienced all possible stages of "can't be bothered" and whatnot but after having my breakfast cereals something magical happened – I felt like I maybe could be bothered to cosplay after all.
So yeah, I put on my Gin cosplay and soon enough our Bleach cosplay trio arrived at Kitacon. At the con we just walked around until Sairu-chan showed up, aka Rangiku Matsumoto and our final cosplay group member. With everyone together we went outside to have a photoshoot... and I can only sum it up by saying "ei siitä tullut helvettiäkään". :-DD

And, if you wonder, the quality was something of this caliber:

I don't even.
Gin demonstrating how to eat cereals!
Everything was hilarious. Even stupid things.
HURR. Gin approves photographing Rangiku.
Yeah, herpsis derpsis everywhere and beyond. My cereals must have been drugged because I couldn't be serious to save my life. The so-called photoshoot was nothing else but glorious photobombs that I failed to eternalize (provided by Jäätynyt Enkeli, of course), laughter, so-bad-it's-good faces and horribly frozen fingers.
Oh well, some hours later it was time for FFFight, this time an improvised one – the pre-planned one was on Saturday if my memory serves me right. I admit the main reason I went to watch it was because Karri would participate and the other reason because there wasn't much else to do.
About FFFight I can say that sometimes it was hilarious and sometimes pretty meh. The final fight between the Dubinators –holders of FFFight– and The Challengers –including Karri– though was something so awesome. I kind of hope it was recorded because it was really funny and I'd like to see it again! "Ylipaino on ylivoimaaaaa!"

such quality. much violent. wow. (FFFight)
I don't remember when exactly it was but at some point in the Dealer's Hall/Artist's Alley someone started a "letkajenkka" and soon there was a long line of people following the leader who was blasting at least the What is Love song from a cellphone and walking around. xD It was beautiful.

Part of the "letkajenkka" line.
I don't have so much more to say about the con itself – it was nice and relaxed just like previous Kitacons. I did hear though that the cosplay competition was pretty bad (I didn't watch it this year) or well, more like that the judges were inexperienced and that some competitors got more attention than others and that it basically was very unprofessional. I hope for the contestants that this will be fixed in the future because hey, even Kitacon's cosplay competitions have had the quality of the costumes rising over the past years and so the judges need to level up to the next level as well and have some actually knowledgeable people judging, so that it's fair to everyone.
Oh, and speaking of other cosplayers here's a little shitty photo video I quickly put together with a few cosplay pics and randoms:

I don't have more to say. Bye bye and thanks for reading ~
Le Samurai is out.

March 1, 2014

Lens review: Dueba Volte Brown

 Hellou! :>

Another contact lens review incoming this time Dueba Volte Brown. Seemingly they are also known under the name Dueba Twinkle Brown. I've reviewed the Volte Green earlier so for more details/comparison go check it out. ;)

Lenses in solution, taken in bathroom light.
Sorry about the horrible photo quality.
Lens on my finger.
Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.5 mm
Water content: 38%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)

With just one lens in. (bathroom light again)
Indoors, natural daylight.
I bought these some time ago (as usual, I have a bunch of contacts yet to wear and review) and by cosplaying Sannan-san I got some use for them earlier than planned. The first time I used these I wore them for the Sannan photoshoot.

I'm really fond of the design of the Volte series. It just looks plain cool with that swirl and black outer rim. The diameter is 14.5 mm same as on the green ones. These look almost golden-brown when not worn!

The first time I put 'em on I got in the first lens just fine but the other one stung like hell immediately so I had to take it off. I don't know why it did that but when I tried putting it on again after cleaning it of course the same thing happened. This time it wasn't as unbearable so I just waited a while to see if the discomfort vanished and so it did. I don't know what was up with that but it has happened with other lenses before as well. *shrugs*
Oh well, while in my eyes they were comfortable; they don't hinder my vision or anything and I get no random colors at the corner of my vision. Then again that might be because these let a bit of my natural eye color through the pupil hole; my blue-gray eyes blend pretty well with the brown and it comes off as a light brown shade, almost with a golden tint. I really like this shade, it's pretty much what I was hoping for.
Oh, one thing though. I don't know if it's just me or what but I found these getting the "dry feeling" in my eyes earlier than the green ones do. I took them off not long after the photoshoot because they felt dry. For some reason at least so far it seems to me at least that the green ones are more comfortable long-term... oh well, I can't tell for sure yet because I haven't worn the browns many times. A bit weird though. xD

Distance photo.
Enjoy Sannan edition without glasses!
These look sort of natural as far as circle lenses are concerned because the enlarging effect is quite small and these sport no kawaii-desu-bling sparkles or anything of the sort. Pretty subtle if I do say so.
So yeah, these are not all over your face but noticeable nevertheless. Personally I think the brown ones show up better on my eyes than the greens do, but that might be because green is closer to my natural eye color than brown and thus the difference is more striking with brown contacts. I occasionally have my eyes look green-ish in some lights anyway, hence why sometimes I call my eye color blue-gray-greenish.

Want to see how other colors of the Volte series look? 
Check out these reviews: Violet, Gray, Green

Short summary:

Color: 9/10 
A gorgeous shade of golden-ish brown that looks awesome on my eyes.
Design: 8/10 
I'm a fan of the swirl design, also black outer rim looks really good and gives anime look.
Opacity: 7/10
The edges have nice color coverage but the center blends with your real eye color a bit.
Enlargement: 4/10 
Doesn't seem to enlarge much but this is how I prefer my contacts.
Comfort: 9/10 
Highly comfortable but for some reason I found the green equivalent even comfier.
Naturalness: 4/10 
Ignore the black outer rim and these look surprisingly natural.

That's about it, if you have any questions about the contacts just leave a comment!