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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Black Canary – DC Comics (Volume 4 Version)

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Photo Credit: Pense Productions.

Black Canary is just such a badass character, and I’ve always been a fan of the variations of her costumes over the years (mostly because it doesn’t look much different than stuff I would wear). The version from the Volume 4 comics is my favorite, though, because it’s really rock ‘n’ roll and she looks amazing. My costume isn’t based on any one look and is based on different elements from her various outfits throughout the series.

Jacket: I bought an inexpensive black faux leather jacket off of Amazon, and decorated it with two types of studs (10mm square and 10mm round).

Corset: I bought this black faux leather corset from Amazon and only had to take it in a little in a couple places, thankfully.

Shorts: I bought black leather-look dance briefs from Amazon.

Fishnets: I had some larger hole fishnets in my closet already, so I just cut big holes into them using scissors. I know Hot Topic will sell this style from time to time.

Fingerless Gloves: I bought these fingerless gloves from Amazon.

Choker: I bought this set of two chokers from Amazon, but I only use the O-ring choker.

Boots: The boots I bought for the costume didn’t arrive in time when I had this photo taken (so I wore different ones), but these are the boots I bought.

Wig: It’s the “Hestia” wig in Platinum Blonde from Epic Cosplay Wigs. I straightened it and trimmed off several inches, and then kind of curled the ends under a little.

Makeup: It’s mostly my usual makeup, except the eyeshadow is the blue and purple eyeshadow from the Huda Beauty “Obsessions: Electric” palette, and my lipstick (not worn in this particular photo, but I wear it with the costume now) is Too Faced Costmetics’ Throwback lipstick in “Pixie Stick.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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Costumers: Anita Larson, Ron Larson, Todd Murray, Nick Hickman, Amanda Fineran, Steve Carter, Kris Heding, Alex Hall, Katherine Hickman, Mike Giralico, Michael Tangen, and Eric Hanson. Photo Credit: Amanda Fineran.

On September 15, we attended the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Target Field. There was a really big turnout, which was wonderful. We posed for a lot of photos and had a wonderful time!

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St. Paul Saints mascot, Mudonna, came to take a photo with us! Photo Credit: Amanda Fineran.