Swiss Cosplayer Spent 1000 Hours Building an Amazing Anubis Costume

🇨🇭 Swiss cosplayer Martina (a.k.a., Polygon Forge Cosplay on Facebook) spent 1000 hours building an amazing Anubis #costume based upon a statue that she had seen. The costume has a striking CGI appearance and it’s only the 3rd costume that she’s ever made! Martina described it as follows:

“The character is a statue that I found online, designed by Hui Zou and built by R-one studio. I immediately fell in love with the design and asked the artist if I could make a cosplay from it. My idea was to make my own lowpoly version of the character and they agreed. Lowpoly means I want the costume to look digital and artificial instead of realistic, like an early stylized 3D computer graphic come to life. So I started making my own templates in Blender, a 3D software.”

Image credits: DomiFabienne Photography
Image credits: Seelenfang

Martina said,

“It took a year from planning to finish, I spent around 1000 hours on it. I’m still rather new to making costumes so sometimes it takes many tries to make something work. For example, I’ve never cast epoxy resin before, so it took four attempts to get the heart gem right. I spent a lot of time planning on how to attach all the floating armor pieces. I built the costume with PVC which is rigid, so I had to figure out how to be able to move at all, how I can get in and out of the armor on my own, and how to make the pieces detachable for transport because they’re huge – the scythe in particular.”

Videos of Martina’s amazing Anubis cosplay can be found on her Polygon Force Cosplay Facebook page.

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Cosplay & Fursuiting Sticker Shock

Many people who are new to #cosplaying, #costuming & #fursuiting experience #StickerShock when they first encounter prices for items needed for a particular #cosplay, #costume or #fursuit that they want to own & wear.

There are several reasons that contribute to this.

People aren’t often aware of the total cost of what they wear from day to day. To keep things simple, let’s consider how much a typical casual outfit that a man might wear in public could cost:

  • Blue jeans: from $38 – $75
  • Short-sleeved shirt: $19 – $80
  • Briefs: $15
  • Socks: $4 – $12
  • Shoes: $100 – $150
  • Belt: $20 – $60
  • Added up: a typical man’s outfit can cost anywhere from $196 to $387

When you put clothes on, are you aware of how much money each of those items cost and how much that complete outfit costs? Chances are no, and the above example doesn’t take other types of clothing into account, such as boots and other types of outerwear, any of which would only increase the total cost of a complete outfit. (For women, the typical costs are even higher.)

Nearly all of the clothing that people purchase today is mass-produced. Given that mass-produced items are done to keep costs and prices down, these are the prices that people are most familiar with; but a typical high-quality cosplay, costume or fursuit is mostly custom-made and hand-made. Anything that’s custom-made and/or hand-made is alway more expensive than anything that’s mass-produced, but there are people who don’t understand this fact because they likely haven’t encountered it before.

Commercially-produced costumes and costuming supplies are typically low-quality and intended for use only for holidays like Halloween. Thus, they are also very low priced. This can also mislead people into thinking that a quality cosplay isn’t going to cost a lot of money.

Photo Apr 29, 9 45 45 AM

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Sri Lanka Bans All Face Coverings

In response to a horrific series of bombings, the nation of 🇱🇰 Sri Lanka has banned all face coverings, which includes coverings worn for religious observances, as well as all helmets and masks that cover the face. While most #cosplayers, #costumers & #fursuiters will not be impacted by this, it is important to remind everyone in these communities that this type of ban can occur anywhere, and we have discussed “rules” of #cosplay, #costuming & #fursuiting that have to do with local laws in a previous post on our blog.

Cosplayers

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Costumes Go Missing at Atlanta Airport

After arriving on a flight from Chicago on March 25, 2019, a #cosplayer’s luggage containing two complete #costumes and part of a third went missing. The cosplayer, Joshua Duart, crafted, sewed and sourced the materials over several years to create the costumes, one of which was signed by Lee Pace, the actor who played the elf king Thranduil in #TheHobbit film series.

Below is a picture of Joshua wearing his hand-made Thranduil costume, which is one of the missing costumes. (The other missing costumes can be seen on Joshua’s Facebook page.)

Thranduil Costume

Cosplayer Joshua Duart wearing his now missing Thranduil costume.

We urge anyone with information on the missing luggage & costumes to contact Joshua Duart, the Atlanta police or Delta Airlines.

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Cosplay & Fursuiting Tip: An Easy Way to Reduce Cost: Keep & Maintain an Inventory

If you haven’t figured it out yet, #cosplaying & #fursuiting can each be expensive hobbies to have. The more accurate, ornate or complicated a #costume, #cosplay or #fursuit becomes, in general, the more #expensive it becomes. Then, multiply that by the number of #costumes, #cosplays & #fursuits one has, as well as unfinished projects, money is simply flying out the door.

Naturally, when have multiple costumes, cosplays or fursuits, you’re likely going to have leftover materials. If you also have unfinished projects, then you’ll have unused materials for those as well.

All of those materials (both used and unused) cost money.

Unless you were able to get some of those materials for free, then all of the materials that you have (both used and unused) represent money that you’ve spent. What’s worse is if you inadvertently purchase some type of material or items that you already have, but had forgotten about.

Buying materials that you forgot you have not only wastes your money, it may prevent you from being able to complete a project or from making it as elaborate as you had originally planned.
Further, buying more materials that you don’t need means you’ll need more storage space for items that you may never get around to using.

Cosplayers, costumers & fursuiters aren’t necessarily known for having a lot of money or a lot of living space. Thus, finding ways to reduce costs is going to be personally beneficial in multiple ways.

So how can you reduce the likelihood of buying something you already have?

Businesses already have a method for doing this: they keep and maintain an inventory.

Anyone can make the mistake of buying something that they don’t need because they already have it and the best way to prevent that is to track the items that you already have. The key term here is track: to track means to actively know how much of a particular item that you have and where it is. In other words, is the item part of a costume, is it part of or slated for a work in progress, or is it simply something that you have in stock and not currently using.

To start an inventory of what you have, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Setup 3 main lists and name them “Completed Items”, “Works In Progress” and “Raw Materials”.
    • “Completed Items” are any completed costumes, cosplays or fursuits that you have.
    • “Works In Progress” are any incomplete costumes, cosplays or fursuits that you are working on.
    • “Raw Materials” are any unused items that you have that aren’t slated for any particular “Works In Progress”.
  2. For each “Completed Item” and “Work In Progress”, create a sublist of the individual items that are part of that completed item or work in progress. (For a “Work In Progress”, you can have 2 separate sublists: items already used and items that you haven’t used yet.)
  3. For “Raw Materials”, simply list all of the unused items that you have that may be left-overs or for any “Works In Progress” that you may have abandoned.

If you want to track how much money you have spent, you can include the cost of each  item regardless of which of the 3 main lists it’s in. (You don’t need receipts to do this. You can always include what you think you spent on a particular item if you don’t remember.)

If you decide to repurpose specific items that are part of an existing “Completed Item” or an “Work In Progress” for another “Work In Progress”, then you can do that right in the inventory.

Just remember: the only way that the inventory will be of value to you is if you are accurate about what you have and you update it as things change.

If you don’t keep it up-to-date, then it really won’t serve its intended purpose well.

There are various apps that can let you setup lists with sublists or tasks with sublists. You could also use an online spreadsheet.

If you store your inventory in the cloud, then you can access it anywhere.

One final thought on keeping an inventory:

Sure, while this sounds like it might be a lot of work or time to setup and maintain an inventory, just remember:

This is about you and your money.

It won’t affect anyone else if you have an inventory system, but it can potentially save you money.

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What are the Differences between Cosplayers & Fursuiters?

While #cosplayers and #fursuiters both share a love of wearing #costumes, there are some distinct differences between the two groups. Technically, #fursuiting can be regarded as a type of #cosplay, but the differences tend to cause many to view them as being almost independent of each other.

The Fandoms that Inspire Cosplayers Versus the Furry Fandom

What motivates cosplayers to create and wear their costumes are the myriad intellectual properties (or IP’s) that are typically part of one of the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, superhero, horror, etc. Each IP is a unique and self-contained universe that includes a specific set of characters created by the IP owner(s), and each character (or type of character) will typically have one, or several, costumes associated with it.

In contrast to each of the IP-based fandoms, the furry fandom is comprised of individuals who are drawn to anthropomorphic animal characters that aren’t generally owned or part of any particular IP. “Anthropomorphic” refers to the association of human characteristics and behaviors to an animal. A typical anthropomorphic character is bipedal (as opposed to quadrupedal, which is typically how most vertebrate animals move & walk), has paw-like hands that include opposable thumbs like humans, etc. While not an aspect of anthropomorphism, furry fandom characters often (but not always) have a cartoonish (or “toony”) appearance: oversized heads, oversized eyes, oversized mouths, oversized hands, oversized feet, colors not typically found in nature, highly defined borders between colors, etc.

Predominant Costume Type Differences (Canon Versus Custom)

As the previous section suggests, while cosplayers typically reproduce an existing canon character that originated from within a particular IP, fursuiters typically create their own unique characters based solely upon their own designs. Thus, nearly all fursuits are custom furry costumes. (In designing a fursuit, a furry may be inspired by the works of other fursuiters and possibly furry characters from some IP’s, but the designs are generally regarded as being the unique design of the furry in an effort to embody his or her so-called “fursona”. A fursuit may also be designed based upon, or incorporating aspects of, someone else’s copyrighted unique anthropomorphic species with their permission. There are a few copyrighted unique species types within the furry fandom that require obtaining permission before someone can create a character based upon that copyrighted species.)

Now, while it’s both common and widely accepted for cosplayers to create customized versions of existing IP characters, it is both uncommon and not widely accepted for someone to create a modified version of someone else’s fursuit. The reason for this is due to the very personal nature of a “fursona” within the furry fandom. Any furry (a member of the furry fandom) can create his or her own fursona, which is a furry’s personal identify within the furry fandom that is based upon his or her own personally designed anthropomorphic character. Thus, to create a slightly modified version of someone else’s fursuit is akin to hijacking their personal fursona.

Character Recognizability Differences

Because various IP’s and their characters are often widely known by both the fandoms and general public at large, the costumes from those IP’s that cosplayers wear are typically widely recognized by many people. Conversely, because the fursuits that fursuiters wear are often of their own personal designs, they aren’t typically widely known outside of the furry fandom. Thus, a fursuit character that may be popular within the furry fandom itself won’t be widely recognized by the public at large. The general public will know that it’s a costume (and possibly that it’s a fursuit associated with the furry fandom), but not the character itself.

The Fur

Naturally, we can’t have a discussion about differences between cosplayers and fursuiters without mentioning the fur itself. This is because only a small fraction of characters from various IP’s that cosplayers like to cosplay are furry, so not many cosplayers wear furry costumes associated with those characters; and, when they do wear them, they are not wearing them as part of the furry fandom, but as part of their celebration of the IP that the furry character originated from.

Some furry IP characters that aren’t uncommon for cosplayers to wear as costumes (but only as a small percentage of the entire cosplay community at large) for include the following:

  • Chewbacca (from “Star Wars”)
  • A Wampa (from “Star Wars”)
  • An Ewok (from “Star Wars”)
  • Rocket the Raccoon (from Marvel Comics’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”)

But none of these furry costumes (or possible derivatives) are common within the furry fandom.

Various Cultural Differences

There are a number of cultural differences between cosplayers and fursuiters.

  • As we mentioned above, there is a large cultural difference between what motivates people to cosplay versus was motivates people to fursuit. Also, there is a significant difference in how the fursuit is very likely a representation of the wearer’s own personal fursona that he or she created, not the reproduction of an existing character from an IP.
  • Fursuiters have developed a jargon specific to their fursuits that isn’t used by cosplayers.
  • Obviously, the understanding of how to work with faux fur isn’t as widely well known among cosplayers as it is among fursuiters.
  • Fursuiters tend to attend furry conventions and might attend a comic or anime convention, but cosplayers don’t generally attend furry conventions (at least not in non-fursuit costumes) as they’re more focused on the comic and anime conventions that are better suited to the cosplays & characters.
  • Dancing in costume is very common among fursuiters and furry conventions typically have dance competitions for costumed attendees. Dance competitions are not part of comic or anime conventions, so dancing while in costume isn’t part of the cosplay community at large as it is within the fursuiting community.

Costume Cost Differences

In terms of having a complete costume made by someone for yourself, on average, a typical cosplay costume is probably going to be less costly than a fursuit. The creation of a fursuit (at a minimum) requires a head, handpaws and footpaws; and the head is often one of the most expensive items because of the amount of time required to sculpt the foam into an appropriate shape before applying the various types of fur to it.

A complete full fursuit (meaning that it fully covers the wearer), at a minimum, will likely cost at least $3000. The cost can very quickly go up from there depending upon the species type, how realistic it looks, how complex the patterns are, if electronics are used, whether the mouth can move, etc. The most expensive fursuits have sold for more than $10,000. The most expensive one that we know of sold last year for $17,000. We don’t know of any cosplay that comes close to that in terms of cost.

Many cosplay costumes cost well below $1000, such as Spider-Man, Doctor Who, Deadpool, a variety of Star Wars characters, a variety of Star Trek characters, etc. The high-quality faux-fur that is recommended for fursuits is rather expensive and the construction of a complete fursuit can require many yards of faux fur fabric.

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