Halliween @ Hallie Q. Brown Community Center

On October 29th, Costumers for a Cause (the charity organization that includes the Minnesota Force, Minnesota Superheroes United, and The Royal Sisterhood) attended the “Halliween” party at the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center. It was a great time!

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Photo by Madeline Anderson.

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Zoo Boo 2017

Zoo Boo was held for it’s final year the last two weekends of October, and I was able to attend three of the four days. It was so much fun and I’m incredibly sad that they’re no longer going to hold this event every year. It was held at the Como Zoo & Conservatory, and a ton of families came out to it this year.

Zoo Boo 10/22:

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Costumers: Ben McConnell, Jason Brezina, Phil Glover, Kris Heding, Aaron Lilyerd, Madeline Anderson, Jim Maahs, Jordan West, Alex Hall, Erich Schwab, Sara Rae, Steve Carter, James Douthitt, Katherine Hickman, and Coley Lind.

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These two little girls had the coolest costumes! They wore tutus and Darth Vader and Stormtrooper masks! Costumers: Kris Heding, Jason Brezina, Jim Maahs, and Ben McConnell.

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Creeper Hux at your service. Photo by Sara Rae.

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Costumers: Ben McConnell, Jason Brezina, Erich Schwab, Steve Carter, Sara Rae, Kris Heding, Katherine Hickman, Alex Hall, Phil Glover, Madeline Anderson, Jordan West, Coley Lind, and James Douthitt.

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Costumers: Ben McConnell, Jason Brezina, Erich Schwab, Steve Carter, Sara Rae, Kris Heding, Katherine Hickman, Alex Hall, Phil Glover, Madeline Anderson, Jordan West, Coley Lind, and James Douthitt.

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General Hux, Jyn Erso, and Rose Tico having a bit of a break. Costumers: Kris Heding, Sara Rae, and Madeline Anderson.

Zoo Boo 10/28:

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Costumers: Nick Hickman, Colleen Dejno, Katherine Hickman, Eve Zabronsky, Karen Madsen, Sara Lilyerd, John Whitt, Amanda Fineran, Tom Chervenak, Erich Schwab, Yancey Thrift, Alex Hall, Lisa Trakas Duffy, Kris Heding, Paul Haga, Phil Glover, Blane Pierson, and Damien Woelful.

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Costumers: Paul Haga, Kris Heding, and Blane Pierson. Photo by Shane Lewis.

ZooBoo 10-28 Shane Lewis

Costumers: Paul Haga, Kris Heding, and Blane Pierson. Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Costumers: Paul Haga, Kris Heding, and Blane Pierson. Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Costumers: Paul Haga and Kris Heding. Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Costumers: Paul Haga and Kris Heding. Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Photo by Shane Lewis.

Zoo Boo 10/29:

ZooBoo 10-29 Kris Heding

Costumers: Paul Haga, Jason Brezina, Jeremy Horn, Karen Madsen, Amanda Fineran, Phil Glover, Jennifer Schubert, Alex Hall, Kris Heding, Robert Schubert, and Eve Zabronsky.

Anoka Halloween Parade 2017

October 28th was the Anoka Halloween Parade! We had a massive turnout of costumers, and it was so much fun! It was pretty cold outside, but we had enough coffee to keep us toasty.

General Hux and Kanan Jarrus getting warm beverages. (Photos by Madeline Anderson.)

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Coffee!!! (Photo by Amanda Fineran)

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Happy Hux and Angry Ahsoka – what sort of parallel universe is this? Costumers: Kris Heding, Eve Zabronsky, and Pari Beth Bailey. Photo by Keith Garrick.

Anoka Halloween - Jordan West

A bunch of awesome bad guys! Costumers: Todd Murray, Kris Heding, Paul Haga, Keith Garrick, Mark Fisher, Henry Fisher, Jennifer McNitt, Jeffery Knotz, Alex Hall, Kyle McKean, and Shtey Short. Photo by Jordan West.

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The whole gang! (Too many costumers to list, but these are some of the Minnesota Force/501st Legion/Rebel Legion’s finest! Photo by Jordan West.

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And we’re off! Photo by Madeline Anderson.

General Hux’s Blaster (Nerf Repaint)

Did you know that General Hux has a blaster? He does, apparently, although we have yet to see him use it. The greatest mystery to me is where the heck he keeps it, since he doesn’t have a holster. It seems unsafe to keep it in a pocket, but…what do I know? The First Order has a problem with installing safety railings, too. My guess is that it’s all due to budget cuts because of Kylo Ren’s tantrums and having to replace everything he breaks. But, I digress…

I planned on having Hux’s blaster 3D printed, and I will probably do that in the future. But, I was made aware that Nerf released a First Order Stormtrooper blaster (their version of the SE-44C) for “The Force Awakens” and those blasters are very similar to the one Hux uses. I decided to buy one and try my hand at painting it.

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That’s how it looked out-of-the-box. My first task was to sand off any logos and imprinted text. That took a while. I also sanded the majority of the blaster so that the paint had something to stick to. Then, my next problem was filling in the space where you could pull back the slide to get the blaster ready to fire a dart. I came up with probably the most ratchet-looking solution: I used a piece of foam to fill in the gap, and then sanded down a piece of a popsicle stick to fit across the gap, and then used Diamond Glaze to adhere it to the blaster and fill in any gaps. I normally use Diamond Glaze for jewelry-making, but it worked wonderfully for this! Once it dried, I sanded everything down smooth.

Then, I taped off the part that would eventually be painted silver with painter’s tape.

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I started painting the blaster before I remembered to take a progress photo. Whoops! In any case, this is what it looked like after the sanding and prep work.

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I used acrylic paint in Payne’s Gray for the entirety of the blaster. It has a somewhat matte finish, which is exactly what I wanted. It took about three or four coats to completely cover the blaster, but the paint dried quickly so I was able to paint the blaster fairly quickly.

For the shiny black parts, I used…wait for it…nail polish! Here’s the cool thing about nail polish: it’s enamel, and it comes in every color possible, and usually you can find it for pretty cheap. The kind I used was Wet ‘n’ Wild, so that’s about as cheap as you can get. Since I had already painted the entire blaster, I only needed to do one coat of black nail polish to get full coverage.

I used my trusty Shimmering Silver paint for the silver parts. Then, I painted the matte areas with a coat of matte Mod Podge.

I also decided to add a little special touch by completely destroying and rebuilding one of the darts that came with the blaster to create a red…laser? I don’t know. Something red. I cut up and re-glued a dart, and then painted the tip with red nail polish, and then glued it inside the barrel.

And…then it was done!

Here is the reference photo:

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And here is the finished blaster:

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There are obvious differences between the actual blaster and the Nerf version (mostly because of how it needed to be constructed so it could fire projectiles), but it makes for a fun prop for conventions or casual trooping. From a few feet away, it looks pretty cool. Up close…well, I know my painting job isn’t perfect, but it was a really fun project.

Back From Hiatus

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Hey there, friends. I haven’t posted much since July, and I apologize. My mum became incredibly ill, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and passed away on the 17th of August. I can’t believe it all happened in that short of time. Even while she was sick, she told me to keep going to events, to keep costuming, and to keep doing what I do. So, I did. I have events to post about and photos to share, and I will be catching up over the next week or so. I’ll be attending a lot of events in the next couple of months, and will hopefully begin work on more costumes.

Attached is a photo of my mum from Halloween 1996. She let me dress her up as a 90s punk/grunge kid (which I also was at that time – so I guess this was a Kris cosplay), complete with pink hair, fake piercings, and metallic green nails. She had so much fun with this costume.

Miss you, mum. I’ll keep on costuming as long as you keep being my #1 fan.

MCBA Fall ComiCon 2017

MCBA Fall ComiCon was held on October 7th, and I volunteered at the Minnesota Force/501st Legion/Rebel Legion table off and on. I guess I kind of forgot to document everything because I seriously only got one photo the entire time. But, it’s a good one!

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First Order cooperation at its finest. Costumers: Kris Heding and Paul Haga.

I did have a great time, though!