CONvergence 2017

Are you ready for an onslaught of posts? I hope so, because it’s coming. I’m playing catch-up from my hiatus, and it’s gonna be a doozy!

CONvergence was AWESOME, as usual. I was really busy this year, and while everything I did was fun, I’m not sure I’ll pack my schedule so tightly next year.

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Thursday, I dressed as General Hux. The “Generally Angry” ribbons were a huge hit, and people were very excited to tell me why Kylo Ren is a punk-ass bitch.

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Coffee, blacker than Hux’s heart. (Just kidding – I drank it with cream and sugar.)

Thursday night was my first time working in the Mos Icee Cantina party room (hosted by the Minnesota Force). I was in charge of grinding up the ice for sno-cones. I donned a very cute apron, too. It was a lot of fun working in the cantina! We were really busy.

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Costumers: Paul Haga and Kris Heding.

Hux is not putting up with Kylo’s crap.

Friday was the “Ladies of Star Wars” panel, which I think went pretty well. We had a full room, which was awesome!

After the panel, I changed into my Poe Dameron costume and headed to the Star Wars meetup. The photo on the left is all three Poe’s that were there (photo by Annalie Munnings Morgan), and the photo on the right was a shot of the Good Guys (photo by Pari Bailey). We had such a huge group, it was nearly impossible to get everyone in the shot.

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Costumers: Bri Kerschner and Kris Heding.

My friend Bri debuted her Hera Syndulla costume! It turned out awesome!

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Costumers: Kris Heding and Paul Haga.

And I had to try and take out Kylo Ren, of course. (Bless Paul’s heart – he’s always willing to take stupid photos with me.)

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I found a tasty beverage in the bar over at the Sheraton.

Saturday was Rebel, Rebel Princess day, and also masquerade day! I woke up early for orientation, and then headed back a couple of hours later for pre-judging. Then it was back to the hotel room for food and a nap.

Masquerade was really fun, even though I was a nervous wreck. Everyone was so awesome and talented! I didn’t win anything, but that’s okay…I had a lot of fun and the experience was awesome. Lots of cool photos were taken of my time on stage, but the above three are my favorites. Top left was taken by Catherine of the Sea Photography, and the other two were taken by Peter Verrant.

After masquerade, it was time to meet up with friends!


Sunday I had planned on dressing up as Scarlet Witch, but I was just too tired, and we needed to get checked out of the hotel. Before I left CONvergence for the weekend, I found out that the Minnesota Force won an award for “Best Use of Theme” in the party room competition for the Mos Icee Cantina! It’s funny, because we’ve had the same “theme” for many years. Still, it’s nice to win something, right?

I had so much fun, and I can’t wait for next year.

 

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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.

Back From Hiatus

Mum066

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.

CONvergence!

Hooray, it’s CONvergence time!

Thursday through Sunday I’ll be at CONvergence, my favorite Minnesota convention! I’ll be doing all sorts of things this weekend, and hopefully I’ll see you there.

Activities

Mos Icee Cantina – The Minnesota Force has a super fun party room, the Mos Icee Cantina, where you can cool down with a sno-cone. I’ll be there throughout the weekend, so stop by and say hello and grab a sno-cone! The Mos Icee Cantina is open 8:00 PM – 12:00 AM on Thursday and Friday, and 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM on Saturday.

Ladies of Star Wars Panel – I’ll be on the panel for “Ladies of Star Wars” on Friday at 2:00 PM.

Star Wars Meetup – From 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM, there is a Star Wars meetup. I’ll be there hanging out with other Star Wars nerds.

Masquerade – On Saturday, I’ll be competing in the masquerade! Masquerade is at 6:00 PM, and doors open at 5:30 PM.

Costume Schedule

Thursday: General Hux
Friday: Normal clothes (until 4:00 PM), then Poe Dameron
Saturday: Rebel, Rebel Princess
Sunday: Scarlet Witch

Badge Ribbons!

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Find me on Thursday dressed as General Hux and tell me why Kylo Ren is a punk-ass bitch to receive a “Generally Angry” badge ribbon! (There are no incorrect answers.)

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Find me on Friday as Poe Dameron (Jakku) or on Saturday as Rebel, Rebel Princess (David Bowie/Princess Leia mashup) in your rebel/resistance costume to get a “Rebellions” badge ribbon! I’m also willing to trade ribbons.

Hope to see you there!

 

Twin Cities Pride Parade & SaberCon

I meant to post this a while ago, but I’ve been so caught up in last-minute costume stuff for CONvergence that I forgot!

Two weekends ago I attended The Saber Legion‘s SaberCon (two days of it, at least) and it was a lot of fun! I realized I didn’t take any photos, so I apologize for that.

June 25th was the Twin Cities Pride parade, and I walked with the Geek Partnership Society‘s float as part of the Minnesota Force. I’ve never been in the Pride parade before, and I can’t describe how incredible it was. There was so much positive energy and excitement from the crowd! I had an absolute blast, and I hope I get to do it again next year.

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Photo by Tatiana Allen.

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Kylo photo-bomb! Photo by Tatiana Allen.

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Minnesota Force! Costumers from left to right: Jeff Allen, Tatiana Allen, Jordan West, Jo O’Hanley, Madeline Anderson, Lindsey Rae, Kris Heding, and Paul Haga. Photo by Madeline Anderson.

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Minnesota Force! Costumers from left to right: Jordan West, Rin MxCruz, Madeline Anderson, Jo O’Hanley, Lindsey Rae, Kris Heding, and Paul Haga. Photo by Madeline Anderson.

Busy Weekend!

I’ll be at two different events this weekend!

The first is The Saber Legion‘s SaberCon. This con runs Friday through Sunday. I’ll be volunteering at the Minnesota Force table on Friday night and most of the day on Saturday. Come on out and watch some awesome lightsaber combat!

The second is the Ashley Rukes LGBT Pride Parade on Sunday! I’ll be marching with fellow Minnesota Force members as part of the Geek Partnership Society. I’m super excited! We’ll be toward the end of the parade.

Hope to see you this weekend!