Tag Archives: costuming

MCM Expo 2013

Rooney and I had been looking forward to Expo for months and now sadly it is over 😦 but we had a fantastic time and here is a brief blog about what we got up to.

On the Friday Rooney and I wore our Jedi outfits as we knew that these would be the least popular of all of our costumes and decided to spend the first day mostly spending money at all of the lovely stalls. We were stopped for a few photographs but were mostly able to focus on looking around and seeing what there was in the arena, so we made a good decision on that one. It was a really nice day, quite chilled and after a few hours we headed back home with bags of shopping and spent the rest of the day preparing for day two.

The second day was absolutely crazy, Rooney wore his red spartan armor from Halo while our friend Darren wore his blue spartan armor. The boys have spent months and months on these and they looked incredible. Rooney managed to spare enough time to put together a marine costume for me to wear which looked great and also was surprisingly comfortable. The costumes were really popular and we had so many photos taken it was unbelievable. We met our costuming group for the first time Halo Cosplay Uk (https://www.facebook.com/HaloCosplayUk?fref=ts), the guys looked great and were all amazing people. As soon as I met them I felt like I had known them for years. Also on the second day we had an interview by Queens of Winn (www.queensofwinn.com) which was great fun and it was nice to see the full video and the other interviews. Rooney and Darren entered the masquerade, they did really well and it also gave me a chance to see the other costumes and performances while the boys where busy. Also while they were busy preparing for the masquerade I managed to sneak away to watch the Primeval panel.

On the final day I wore my Hit Girl costume while Rooney and Darren were Assassins again, it was the first time I have done a costume on my own which was strange but really fun. I had a few photos on my own which was quite daunting for me but I really enjoyed it.

Now it is all over I can’t wait for the next Expo in October, by then my Hit Girl costume will be improved and will hopefully look a lot better and Halo Cosplay Uk will meet again.

Until then…

Garrison Clearance Pt 2a

This isn’t really a full update to my quest for garrison clearance, but from my point of view it’s quite a big change – I’ve upgraded the helmet padding!

See, when I bought the armour it had a hard-hat harness wedged into the dome of the sun bonnet. This seemed like a rather good idea at the time, as it was adjustable, sat comfortably, and allowed the circulation of air around my head. However, in practice (and after the initial excitement had worn off and allowed me to actualy look at what I’d bought) I realised that it didn’t work. It lifted the helmet too high, so that the chin of the helmet barely covered my chin, and the eye holes were half way up my forehead!

So, I removed it, and set about figuring out another way to stop the helmet spinning freely around my noggin’. As I was quite pressed for time (I decided to start making these changes less than two days before my first public appearance in the armour), I got creative – and in the cupboard we had sheets of fake snow bought buy Hibiscus for a christmas photo shoot. Once wadded and stuck in place with masking tape it made perfect padding.

However, it didn’t last long. First off it would never last longterm, and secondly I made the mistake of letting a friend of mine try on the lid, and despite my stern admonishment that he not adjust the padding in any way, he did just that. Which meant it no longer fit properly.

So fast-forward to today, one week away from my next appearance, and I’ve decided to finally fix the problem in a more permanent fashion. Today at work we received a delivery of new hard drives, all of which came in their own little boxes, padded with sheets of foam! So after squirreling them away in the boot of my car, and much chopping, fitting, re-chopping, taping, and more fitting, I now have a very snug helmet!

OK, so it won’t win any beauty contests, but it stops the lid from wobbling about on my head! At least, that’s the plan. I guess I’ll see on Monday, when I’ll be in Harlow town centre at HMV….


Garrison Clearance, Part 2

Now that the insanity of moving house is more or less done with, and we’re confortably settled into our new home (the wonderfully named “Castle GreySkull”), I’ve finally had a chance to start making the changes to my armour pointed out by a friend of mine who has already gotten his armour through the clearance process.

First up is the simplest change – swapping the black strapping on the thigh drop boxes for white. Stupidly easy to do, since this particular suit is strapped together with Velcro, making changes and adjustments (such as for expanding waistlines…) a doddle. Sourcing the Velcro was also easy (and cheap), as I got it from a certain well-known supermarket, where every little helps. And it only cost me a quid (that’s £1 for all you foreigners). Not much more to say about this change since it’s ridiculous in its simplicity, so here’s some pictures instead.



The old black straps



The new white ones


Next is the first of the changes to make me nervous. “Why would modifying a costume make you nervous Rooney?” I hear you all ask. Because I have to cut lumps off of the most expensive thing I own…

In fact I was so racked by nerves that I completely forgot to take any “before” shots, so you’ll just have to make do with the one I made in Paint!



My MS Paint skills are unrivalled.

The belt came with squared-off corners, which aren’t screen accurate, so they had to be trimmed down…



More amazing Paint editing.

I still need to smooth the edges of the cuts – I made the cuts with a pair of snips which leave less than smooth curves –  but since I’m out of sandpaper that’ll have to wait for now.

So, with those two jobs out of the way, I am now one step closer to trooping around a town near you proudly sporting that little logo on my left shoulder pad!

Garrison Clearance. Part 1.

This is going to be the first in an ongoing series of posts following my attempts to get 501st Garrison clearance for my suit of Stormtrooper armour. But before I launch into the details of it, I should probably tell those of you that don’t know who they are a little bit about the 501st Legion.

I’ll let the Legions charter do the talking;

“…The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work…”

They’re basically costumers/cosplayers that dress as characters from the evil side of the Star Wars universe (their sister group Rebel Legion[add link] handles those that play characters from the good side), such as bounty hunters and Stormtroopers. As a non-profit organisation they do a lot of charity work – even when they’re booked for corporate events they don’t take the money. The company booking them donates to a chosen charity supported by the Legion – and so even though they’re not officially part of Lucasfilm (who obviously own all the intellectual property rights to everything from Star Wars), they are allowed to continue doing what they do, even being supported by Lucasfilm.

In order to keep this prestigious backing, they have very high standards for what is acceptable in a costume, always striving to be as near to screen accurate as is possible. This prevents the group being flooded with people in a £30 Halloween costume that looks nothing like the characters seen on screen. I whole-heartedly support these high standards, as they’re part of what makes the 501st so great. However, as I was to discover, those high standards can be a right pain in the exhaust port…

Cheap stormtrooper costume.

A few months back, due to a fortuitous windfall of funds, I finally realised a childhood dream (is it still a childhood dream if you still long for it in adulthood?) and bought myself a full suit of Stormtrooper armour. The chap I bought it from (who shall remain nameless for now) assured me it was all 100% accurate and Garrison approved. He even told me this when I went for the fitting and bought it, only admitting after questioning that the boots would probably need to replaced.

Me in my TK armour

Me in my TK armour

Only after completing the purchase and returning home did I discover that he had been less than truthful. This trader is apparently know to the 501st, and they advise people not to buy from him as his gear is not garrison approved as he claims. So of course, my very nice new Stormtrooper armour fails their clearance checks. Which means after spending a considerable amount of money on it, I now need to spend yet more money and time to get it up to spec. This is very irritating.

Of course, this doesn’t stop me from looking awesome in the armour, nor does it stop me from appearing at events on my own (or in support of the Essex Ghostbusters), so it’s not all bad.

I’ve contacted a few people who have got 501st cleared armour and have been getting advice from them on how to make the adjustments, and since there are bound to be others out the in the same boat as me, I thought I’d document it all here, so that anyone else that gets duped like I did will have some idea of what to do!

I’ve yet to make any of the changes yet since my armour’s boxed up ready for me to move house, but when I start chopping (*gulp*) into my expensive white armour, I’ll be sure and keep you updated…

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