Minnesota Men’s Roller Derby Star Wars Night

We attended the Minnesota Men’s Roller Derby Star Wars night on December 2nd, and it was awesome! It was my first roller derby bout, and it was super fun to watch.

A young Padawan takes on Kylo Ren. (Photos by Joe Clerkin)

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Costumers: Alex Hall, Anna Sawyer, Madeline Anderson, Nick Hickman, Katherine Hickman, Kris Heding, Jordan West, and Adam Matson. Photo by Joe Clerkin.

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Photo by Joe Clerkin.

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MN Adopt – Circus of the Heart

The Minnesota Force appeared at a private charity event this afternoon called Circus of the Heart to celebrate adoption from foster care. They had a bunch of fun things for the kids to do, and it was fun to interact with them!

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Costumers, from left to right: Eve Zabronsky, Kris Heding, James Douthitt, Phil Glover, Molly Fineran, Amanda Fineran, Madeline Anderson, and Jordan West.

I got to drive around Madeline’s MSE droid, which was SUPER fun! The kids loved it, and I had a blast having the droid roll around. Eventually I’ll build one of my own, but that might be a winter project.

They had a petting zoo outside, and I absolutely love farm animals so I made friends with this adorable ginger cow. BOOP.

This was also my first event with my new sideburns. They seemed to work pretty well!

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Afterward, I went with Amanda (friend and fellow trooper) to her brother Ryan’s house (who runs Ryan’s Reptile Outpost) and met so many geckos and ball pythons, but also got to hold a little fox snake and pet a tegu! This ball python was such a little (okay, BIG) cuddlebug, though. It was a day of meeting a ton of animal friends, and I couldn’t be happier.

General Hux – Reusable Sideburns (Tutorial)

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I’ll be taking submission photos for the 501st Legion of my General Hux costume once my commissioned costume is complete, and one of the requirements of the CRL is sideburns. Being female, I can’t quite grow my own, so I decided to make some.

I found tutorials for creating sideburns using crepe hair and spirit gum, but those could only be used once. I wanted something I could reuse in case I ever want to wear the sideburns again. This tutorial explains how to use liquid latex and crepe hair to create sideburns (or whatever sort of furry thing) you can use again and again.

This is a pretty photo-heavy tutorial, so click “Continue Reading” to view it in all its glory.

Continue reading

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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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.