Admiral Ackbar – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Admiral Ackbar & Resistance Pilot! (Costumers: Amanda Fineran and Kris Heding)

Admiral Ackbar is one of my all-time favorite Star Wars characters, and I always wanted to figure out a way to make a costume, but I figured it was impossible, so I just didn’t bother pursuing it. Curiosity got the best of me, and I wondered if there was someone out there who actually made Admiral Ackbar masks and hands, and when I realized there was…I decided to go for it.

Mask & Hands: The extremely talented artist that made this costume possible is Chris Stephens. He does incredibly amazing work, and I can’t recommend him enough. If you’re looking for beautifully made masks for practically any Star Wars alien species (and some other creatures from other fandoms), please check out his page. Inside the mask, I installed two helmet fans from Henry’s Helmet Fans to help with the airflow.

Tunic: I bought some natural linen-like fabric and used my Poe Dameron shirt as a pattern base, but then I heavily altered it because Ackbar’s neck and arm circumferences are wacky. So, really, I just kind of winged it. The shirt has Velcro on the back since Ackbar’s head is massive and wouldn’t really fit through the neck hole.

Vest: I used some mustard yellow duck cloth/canvas-like fabric and some linen-like mustard yellow fabric as a lining, and completely made up the pattern on my own. With as few reference photos as I could find, my Admiral Ackbar action figure sure came in handy.

Belt: For now, I’m using the same belt I use for my Poe Dameron costume.

Pants: For now, I’m using the same pants I wear for my Poe Dameron costume, but I plan on making new pants soon.

Boots: I bought a pair of brown Teva ‘Capistrano’ boots off of eBay since they’re no longer being manufactured.

Rank Badge: I bought an Admiral rank badge from Interstait.

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Catwoman Costume Upgrades

I put together my Catwoman costume several years ago, and after wearing it the last time two years ago, I knew I had to make a lot of improvements to it before I could wear it again. So, I finally did!

I bought a brand new bodysuit because my old one still didn’t quite fit right (even after tailoring it a lot) and the finish was starting to wear off. I ended up buying a Leg Avenue bodysuit, and it fit perfectly right out of the package! I’m glad I didn’t have to do any tailoring this time.

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Old cowl.

My cowl was probably the part that needed an upgrade the most. It came with my original bodysuit, and I had to make a ton of adjustments to it because my head is tiny and the cowl was huge. One thing I never liked about it was the ears. They just kind of flopped everywhere, and it looked stupid.

Using the old one as a rough pattern, I made a new cowl using some pleather-like fabric I had leftover from my Scarlet Witch gauntlets. I made the ears using two layers of the fabric with a layer of upholstery pleather in the middle since it had some body to it. I think it looks a lot better. Ears aren’t quite perfect, but they look less floppy than before.

Like my old bodysuit, my old gloves were losing their shiny coating and looked pretty sad. I bought a new pair of gloves and a package of acrylic stiletto nails to make the claws. I had to take in the fingers of the gloves a little because they were a tad too long and a little too loose around my fingers. Then, I filed down the tips of the nails a little to get rid of the rough bits, and painted two coats of shiny black nail polish onto each nail (and some extras, in case the nails fell off). After the nail polish dried, I painted them with a coat of clear top coat. Then, I glued on the nails to the gloves using Loctite Vinyl, Fabric & Plastic Flexible Adhesive. I think they look pretty cool!

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One of the biggest challenges I have with most of my costumes is the fact that I don’t have pockets to carry my stuff in. With Catwoman, there is no room for pockets (unless I want to add them and look lumpy) and I was stumped as to how I could carry my essentials with me without it being a big purse or something out-of-character. Then, I had an idea as I was falling asleep one night: MONEY BAGS. I ordered some muslin bags and some DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Paint in Lamp Black. I made a dollar sign stencil with card stock, traced it onto the bags, and then painted them with the fabric paint. Now, I can carry my stuff with me and it’ll just look like Catwoman scored big from Gotham City Bank! I made a few so one of my friends who is dressing up as Harley Quinn can have a way to carry her stuff, too.

Han Solo in Carbonite Prop

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My boyfriend Dane is dressing up as Jabba the Hutt for CONvergence this year, and he wanted a little Han Solo in Carbonite to carry around with him as a prop. I found a 3D print file for it on Thingiverse and commissioned Identity Crisis Costuming to print it for me.

I sprayed on what felt like 800 coats of Rust-Oleum Filler Primer (it was probably like, three or four) and did some sanding when it was dry. Then, I painted a base coat of DecoArt Dazzling Metallics in Shimmering Silver and allowed that to dry. I painted a light coat of Plaid Folk Art Metallic – Gunmetal Gray, allowed that to dry, and then used Plaid Folk Art Metallic – Sequin Black to add depth. Once the paint was dry, I sealed it with a coat of Mod Podge Hard Coat.

The finished piece is about 10″ high, so it’s a perfect prop size.

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Ready for CONvergence 2018!

I am finally ready for CONvergence 2018! I spent the past few weeks making updates to a couple of my costumes and building a brand new one.

Thurs

I’ll be wearing my Kylo Ren costume on Thursday from around noon-ish to maybe 5:00 or 6:00 PM, and then switch to Catwoman. I made a lot of updates to my Catwoman costume, and I think it’s much better, now. I haven’t worn this costume since 2016!

Fri

I’ll start off the day as General Hux, and then I’ll switch (very) briefly to Admiral Ackbar, and then at around 5:00 PM I’ll switch to Scarlet Witch.

Sat

On Saturday, I’ll wear Admiral Ackbar for the Star Wars Meet-Up at 1:00 PM and wear that for a little while. Then, I’ll switch to my Twi’lek for the remainder of the day.

I have some ribbons to hand out, too!

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Find me as General Hux and tell me why Kylo Ren is a punk bitch and you’ll receive the “Generally Angry” ribbon (there are only a few left!) and/or give me a hug (or high-five, or whatever friendly gesture we’re both comfortable with) and you’ll receive the “General Hugs” ribbon.

I will have the “Rebellions” and “Twi’lek Sisterhood” ribbons with me as my Twi’lek, so come on up to me and ask for a ribbon, and you shall receive!

Find me as Admiral Ackbar and tell me IT’S A TRAP! to receive the “It’s a Trap!” ribbon. I will also have the “Rebellions” ribbon with me, so feel free to ask for that one.

See you all this weekend!

Twin Cities Pride Parade

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Costumers: Kayla Beckemeyer, Coley Lind, Kat Zabronsky, Kris Heding. Nick Hickman, Madeline Anderson, Jordan West, Paul Haga, Amanda Fineran, Eve Zabronsky, Shtey Short, Kate Daiker, Lindsey Rae, Eric Hanson, Ron Larson, and Anita Larson. Photo by Amore Fotography and Events.

June 24th was the Twin Cities Pride Parade! We had an even bigger group than last year, which is really awesome! We marched with the Geek Partnership Society again, so we had a giant nerdy group.

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Twi’lek (sort of) Rainbow! Costumers: Kris Heding, Lindsey Rae, Amanda Fineran, Eve Zabronsky, and Jordan West. Photo by Amore Fotography and Events.

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Carrying the Pride Squadron banner! Photo by Amore Fotography and Events.

The best part, though? Madeline proposed to Jordan! Jordan said yes, of course (even though she couldn’t put on the ring over her gloves). It was the cutest thing!

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She said yes! Photo by Amore Fotography and Events.

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Costumers: Kayla Beckemeyer, Kate Daiker, Coley Lind, Amanda Fineran, Madeline Anderson, Jordan West, Lindsey Rae, Kris Heding, Nick Hickman, and Eric Hanson.