SMM’s Social Science: Sci Fi Con

I’m helping! Just kidding, this old fart doesn’t remember shit. Costumers: Kris Heding and Paul Haga. Photo by Alex Hall.

On October 11, the Science Museum of Minnesota had a “Sci Fi Con” event as part of their Social Science series. I volunteered as part of Minnesota Superheroes United, and pretty much spent the evening playing with the exhibits and being a giant goofball. It was a blast!

Most intense game of illuminated poker ever? Costumers: Kris Heding, Mike Bartos, and Paul Haga. Photo by Alex Hall.

Indie band album cover? Costumers: Paul Haga, Kris Heding, and Mike Bartos. Photo by Alex Hall.


Magic tornado!

The news is…not good. Costumers: Paul Haga, John Whitt, and Kris Heding. Photo by Kayla Beckemeyer.

None of us know how to run a newscast. Costumers: Paul Haga, John Whitt, and Kris Heding. Photo by Alex Hall.


MCBA Fall ComiCon


Peggy & Cap! (Costumers: Kris Heding and Aaron Lilyerd.)

On October 6th, I attended the MCBA Fall ComiCon at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. I didn’t volunteer for any groups this time around, which felt kind of odd. I did, however, debut my Peggy Carter costume and got a lot of really lovely compliments on it! I was surprised. I didn’t think anyone would be that wow’ed by it.


The crossover you didn’t know you needed. Costumers: Kris Heding and Mike Giralico. Photo by Heather Nicole.



Not Bad for a Rookie

This August, the 501st Legion Central Garrison held its annual banquet (which I was unable to attend). They give out awards to its members based on nominations, and I ended up winning two awards: Trooper of the Year and Rookie of the Year!

It’s pretty cool considering I’ve only been a member of the 501st Legion since April. I absolutely love volunteering and it brings me so much joy and fulfillment. I’m glad that basically being a big kid and playing dress-up is something that can positively affect others.

Private Wedding


Costumers: Erich Schwab, Jordan West, Mike Giralico, Jennifer McNitt, Ben Marolt, Madeline Anderson, Aaron Weiss, Kris Heding, Porky Shears, and Shtey Short.

On September 22, we made an appearance at a wedding at the Como Zoo! It was a really fun time. We surprised the groom and most of the guests when we appeared after the first dance. As the evening went on, we definitely busted out some wicked dance moves.


Costumer: Erich Schwab.


Hard to eat cupcakes with a helmet. Costumer: Mike Giralico.


Peggy Carter Makeup & Costume Test

I put together this costume pretty fast, which I was not expecting. I thought it would be more difficult to find the different parts of the costume, but it was a lot easier than I anticipated.

The most difficult part was the wig styling, and mostly just because I’ve never done a 1940s hairstyle before. I used the “Aries” wig from Epic Cosplay Wigs in Dark Brown. I started off by curling the entire wig with some larger foam rollers, and then basically followed this video tutorial for styling. I did end up stitching in the combs on the sides because combs just don’t seem to hold well in wig hair (and I wasn’t about to back comb this wig and potentially damage it) and I think it works alright. We’ll see after I wear it for a while. The victory roll is held in place with a bunch of bobby pins.

The main costume is from Cosplay Sky, and I didn’t have to do anything to tailor the jacket and skirt except take the cheap lapel emblems off and replace them with metal SSR pins. The shirt it came with was kind of a cheap, satin-y shirt that definitely didn’t look like a military shirt, so I ended up ordering a women’s white military shirt. It also didn’t come with a tie, so I ordered a replica WWII tie. The shoes are a pair of chestnut-colored pumps I bought from JCPenney that looked pretty period-accurate.

The makeup was fun to do! 1940s makeup is pretty toned down, so all it really took was some subtle eyeshadow, some black eyeliner, pink blush, and screen-accurate red lipstick (Besame lipstick in Red Velvet). I also have the screen-accurate nail polish (O.P.I. “Cinnamon Sweet”) but I didn’t put that on for my test photos.

I’m holding my cheap $20 Captain America shield in this photo, but I did order a really nice Marvel Legends shield that will be coming soon that I’ll carry around instead. I figure if I have that, people will have a better idea of who I’m supposed to be since I won’t be wandering around with a Captain America costumer all the time.

All in all, I’m really happy with how this looks and I can’t wait to debut it at MCBA Fall ComiCon in October!

Techie Makeup Test

Last week, I did a Techie makeup test run. I have improvements to make next time, but I’m pretty happy with the results.

I started with my usual base foundation/concealer/powder. For the eyes, I used a bunch of different eyeshadows. The bruising effect was a mix of the darker purple from the NYX Cosmetics “Brights” Ultimate Shadow Palette and the blue from the Huda Beauty “Electric” Obsessions Palette. The pinkish-red is Manic Panic “Vampire Red” eyeshadow. It’s incredibly hard to find a good, bright red eyeshadow. Everything is either too pink or too burgundy. I’m not even sure I’m totally happy with this shade, but seeing as my choices are limited, I’ll stick with it for now.

For the eyebrows, I used some of the bright yellow from the Huda Beauty “Electric” Obsessions Palette first (for some reason, Techie’s eyebrows look kind of yellow in the movie, and I don’t know if it’s just the saturation of color or what) and then filled in with my go-to for red eyebrows, NYX Cosmetics 3-in-1 Brow Pencil in “Auburn.”

I attempted some contouring that ended up being waaaay too much when I look at the photos now, so I’ll definitely go more subtle next time.

For my lips, I used NYX Lip Primer in Nude to kind of give them a pale, colorless look. Then, I used a pinkish lip pencil to sort of add some color back in toward the center of my lips.

The forehead tattoo was drawn on with a navy blue eyeliner pencil (and, let me tell you, that’s hard to do in a mirror).

I don’t have contacts to make my eyes look bionic/mechanical (I have astigmatism in my left eye so costume contacts are a little difficult) but my eyes are dark enough blue that hopefully they still look kinda creepy with the rest of the makeup.

I did have a blast doing this makeup test because it’s so unlike anything else I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to debut this costume!

Of course, I had to ham it up for a couple photos because I can’t take anything seriously.

Techie Shirt & Shoes

I’m more than halfway done with my Techie costume (Domhnall Gleeson’s character from Dredd 2012), so I wanted to share my progress!

I totally spaced and did not take any photos of piecing together the shirt (durr). What I ended up doing was ordering a short-sleeve t-shirt in yellow, a long-sleeve t-shirt in white, and a short-sleeve t-shirt in a charcoal grey. I used a seam ripper to remove the collar from the white shirt and the yellow shirt, and then attached the white collar to the yellow shirt. Then, I cut off the sleeves from the white shirt and sewed them onto the yellow shirt to create a faux layered shirt. I used some of the fabric from the charcoal grey shirt to create the trim on the left sleeve. After I worked my Dr. Frankenstein magic on the shirt, I began Phase 1 of the weathering process. I used a seam ripper to make holes in the shirt, using reference photos of the actual costume to make holes and tears as close to screen accurate as possible. Then, I washed and dried the shirt a couple of times to help fray the holes a bit more.

Phase 2 of the weathering process was as simple as tossing a bunch of tea bags and some old coffee grounds into a giant stock pot and boiling the hell out of the shirt to give it a dirty look. I washed and dried the shirt again.

For Phase 3, I used a few different colors of rubber stamp ink to add stains to the shirt, and in some places I sprayed the areas with water to dilute the stains. I allowed everything to dry overnight.

Phase 4 of the weathering was a super fun phase. Armed with a can of Aqua Net and a sock filled with Fuller’s earth (it was cheap cat litter made with 100% Fuller’s earth), I took the shirt outside to my back stoop and sprayed Aqua Net, then beat the hell out of the shirt, shook off the excess, and repeated the process all over the shirt. It really added a wonderful dirty, dusty look. I also smell like clay, but whatever.

The next major part of the costume was the shoes. For a piece of the costume you see for about one second in security camera footage in the film, I definitely spent more time on these than I should have. Oh well.


Techie’s shoes are a modified pair of Converse All Star Hi Tops, but I wasn’t about to put money into a real pair of Converse, only to destroy them. So, I found a cheap pair of Converse knockoffs on Amazon that fit the bill perfectly! These are the shoes after I took out the shoelaces.


Then, I used Rit Dye in Tangerine to dye the shoes. I probably wouldn’t recommend using this color because it’s a lot more red than it is orange, which was pretty disappointing. I considered bleaching them and starting over, but then I decided against it since most people have no clue what his shoes look like anyway.


I used watered-down brown acrylic paint to add a ton of staining to the shoes, which definitely helped tone down the brightness of the red-orange.

I painted the white soles black with a couple of coats of shoe sole coat, which technically is not intended for painting rubber soles, but I figured it’d be better than using plain black acrylic paint. After that dried, I sealed the shoes with a couple of coats of matte Mod Podge.

Then, I did further weathering with more watered down brown acrylic paint, sanding off some of the black shoe sole coat, and then some grey acrylic paint to give the black areas a dirtier look. I covered the logos with black pleather fabric (gluing them into place and then hand-stitching them down). Then, I made shoelaces from twine and cotton yarn (which is what I think was used in the actual costume, but it’s kind of hard to tell from the photos).

The final bit of weathering was a beat-down with Fuller’s earth like I did for the shirt. I assure you, my neighbors gave me odd looks when I was sitting on my back stoop beating clothing with a cat litter-filled sock.


As a reference, this is a photo of the actual costume from the film. I’m actually pretty happy with how close the shirt and shoes are to the real costume.