DIY: How to Construct A Metal Helmet (Video Tutorial)

For those #costumers & #cosplayers who like metal, here’s a video tutorial of how to make a metal helmet as presented by David Guyton (who provides templates). This is an advanced type of #costuming that requires experience with metal working technique known as “sinking”:

Sinking, also known as doming, dishing or dapping, is a metalworking technique whereby flat sheet metal is formed into a non-flat object by hammering it into a concave indentation.

LED’s and some knowledge of electronics is also needed.

Rare Spider-Man Costume Found Hidden in Closet for 50 Years

A rare #SpiderMan #costume that was hidden in a NYC closet for 50 years was found! Originally commissioned by #Marvel to a seamstress to be used in a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade along with several other costumes was never seen because the hired actors got drunk the night before the parade and never showed up.

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This very rare costume, believed to have been made circa 1964-1965, was displayed by the table of Roy Thomas, co-creator of Marvel’s Wolverine and Iron Fist, at the Big Apple Con yesterday and will likely be auctioned.

The costume (along with the others created) has a crude, DIY quality and (for some inexplicable reason) a bit off-model with a purple tights. “I can only assume they didn’t give the seamstress enough money,” Roy Thomas joked. The costume had been hidden in one of his closets.

Reference to original article: This rare Spider-Man costume was hidden in a closet for 50 years.

Real-life Costumed Crime-fighter “The Black Widow” Patrols Norfolk, VA

DJ turned real-life #costumed crime-fighter named “The Black Widow” in homemade masked #costume patrols the streets of Norfolk, VA using his martial arts skills. Inspired by Marvel’s character #SpiderMan, this masked avenger (who uses an alias) said he was inspired to take up the role after being bullied as a child. He told one local TV station, “I stopped fights in some of the bars around here. I stopped carjackings in dormant areas. I stopped a woman from being assaulted.”

Among the various types of #costumers, being a real-life #costumed crime-fighter isn’t new, but very uncommon. Good luck to “The Black Widow”.

“Star Wars” Stormtrooper Costumes Banned by Princeton Reunion Committee: Seriously?

Graduates from #Princeton’s 2012 class will not be allowed to attend a #StarWars-themed party in #Stormtrooper #costumes due to unfounded fears that it will convey a racist message. In other words, one of the most iconic and most recognized science fiction costumes from the “Star Wars” franchise won’t be permitted because the name “stormtrooper” was derived from soldiers so-named from Nazi Germany.

The organizers of the 2012 Princeton graduating class reunion should consider learning that there is a vast difference between “Star Wars” and Nazi Germany. While Nazi Germany committed many heinous crimes against humanity, “Star Wars” is purely science fiction that never happened. Also, while events from World War II were part of the inspiration for “Star Wars” and its characters (as created by George Lucas), there is absolutely no connection between “Star Wars” and any form of past or current racism that occurred any where on the planet Earth.

We are genuinely shocked that a plastic costume worn by characters from science fiction that don’t actually exist and (therefore) never actually harmed anyone, would be banned due to unproven claims of racism caused by these non-existent characters.

Let’s consider other places where individuals wearing “Star Wars” stormtrooper costumes may be seen:

  • Since Disney theme parks are now filled with actors wearing stormtrooper costumes of various types, is Disney promoting racism or harming anyone? Absolutely not.
  • Are the 10,000+ members of the #501stLegion #CostumeClub (many of which wear stormtrooper costumes) promoting racism or harming anyone while raising millions of dollars for various charities while they’re wearing stormtrooper costumes? Again, absolutely not.
  • Are the hundreds of millions of people who have watched one or more “Star Wars” movies or animated TV shows been inspired to be racist because of “Star Wars”? That seems very unlikely.

If the organizers of the 2012 Princeton graduates reunion can prove that wearing a “Star Wars” stormtrooper costume promotes racism, then by all means ban stormtrooper costumes. Just make sure that all Imperial costumes are also banned. In fact, if “Star Wars” is so racist, why have a “Star Wars” themed party to begin with? Take our advice: don’t have a “Star Wars” themed class reunion. In fact, don’t have a theme at all because who knows what other heinous forms of racism weren’t actually ever inspired by other fantasy & science fiction genres.

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Original article (also linked above) can be found here: http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/1/stormtrooper-costumes-banned-from-star-wars-themed/

Attaching Rubber Soles to a Spandex Costume

DIY #costuming tutorial: attaching soles to a spandex #costume. If your #cosplay has spandex feet (like #SpiderMan), you can attach rubber soles to the bottom of the feet to make it easier to walk and protect the spandex costume itself.

Bear in mind that once you attach soles to the bottom of your spandex costume, you won’t be able to remove them without damaging the spandex, so you want to be careful how you do it.

At a minimum, the supplies that you’ll need to attach soles are as follows:

  • A pair of rubber-soled boat shoes.
  • Fabric scissors.
  • Shoe-goo (or similar glue, such as E6000, Super Glue, hot glue, Gorilla Glue)
  • A box cutter or exact-o-knife.

Basic instructions:

  1. Using the fabric scissors, carefully cut the uppers of the boat shoes from the rubber soles.
  2. Save the insoles from the boat shoes: you will need these later.
  3. Using the box cutter or exact-o-knife, carefully cut a number of lines into the top side of the rubber soles (the side that your foot will be on). Be careful not to cut all the way through to the bottom of the sole. The cut lines will help the glue to adhere to sole.
  4. Apply glue to the top side of one of the rubber soles (left or right) and spread it around.
  5. Insert the insole from the boat shoes (that you saved earlier) into the foot of your spandex costume that matches the rubber sole that you applied the glue to.
  6. Insert your feet into the spandex costume legs. Make sure that the insole is where you want it to be and that there aren’t any unwanted wrinkles or folds in the spandex fabric.
  7. Place the rubber sole onto the floor and carefully step onto it with the matching foot that has the insole inside and apply equal pressure to help bond the fabric, insole and rubber sole together. Be careful not to get the glue onto your skin.
  8. After you have waited for a while, you can try to carefully slide your foot out of the spandex costume. Place some wadded up paper into the foot and then press something heavy on top of it, like a sack of rice. You could also wrap some rubber bands around the rubber sole and top of the spandex of the foot. This will permit you to walk around while giving the glue more time to set. We recommend 24 hours.
  9. Go back to step 4 and repeat the process with the other foot. You can try starting the other foot before the 1st one is finished, but this ensures that each one will be done well.

This tutorial video by “asleeplessvision” also shows this process. There are multiple, similar “how-to” videos like this on YouTube that you can also reference:

Why Face Shells Are Important

Any #cosplayer or #costumer who wears a spandex hood or mask will quickly learn the value of wearing a #FaceShell underneath. This is especially true for #SpiderMan & #Deadpool #cosplayers.

But what is a face shell and why is is important? Typically, a face shell is a molded piece of plastic worn between the face and a spandex hood that is worn above it.

Spandex is a very stretchy, form-fitting material. When worn, spandex (or Lycra) very quickly takes on the shape of the what it is covering. Hence, when it is worn over the face, the wearer’s facial features will quickly be visible beneath the spandex hood. When the wearer talks, observers will quickly see the moving lips of the mouth beneath the spandex hood. However, when viewing live-action Spider-Man or Deadpool movies, one thing that’s obvious is that when the actor beneath the costume talks, his moving mouth isn’t visible, nor are his other facial features. In the case of Spider-man, the face is supposed to be very smooth. In the case of Deadpool, a very distinctive facial shape should be present.

Thus, simply wearing a spandex hood or mask over a bare face and head can’t achieve the correct facial shape for the character being depicted. Also, movement from talking distracts from the illusion that the hood or mask is trying to create.

A face shell solves the problems of not having the correct facial shape and hides mouth movement because it causes the spandex hood being worn over it to take on the shape of shell. And, as long as the shell extends to cover the mouth, any movement by the mouth and lips will be hidden beneath the shell and not cause the spandex to move with it. This is illustrated by Spider-Man cosplayer “SonicSpiderman” in a video that he posted to YouTube, and which we have shared here.

There are some important considerations when wearing a face shell that SonicSpiderman doesn’t talk about in the video, but we will share here from our own experiences wearing them.

  1. The face shell should be sized correctly to the size of your face and head. You won’t be able to wear it if it’s too small and if it’s too big, it will leave edges where the spandex moves away from the shell and towards your head underneath. Also, it may become uncomfortable when the spandex is worn over it because the spandex will press the face shell more tightly against the head & face. (We address discomfort issues below.)
  2. The face shell should be well ventilated. The head is one of the human body’s primary means to cool itself. This is why our heads sweat when our bodies begin to head up from exertion and/or when the ambient air is hot. Wearing a mask or hood of any kind can exacerbate the heating of the head and while spandex itself is very good at allowing moisture and heat from escaping the body, a plastic face shell is not. Thus, it is very important for the face shell to be well perforated to permit airflow underneath and a way for heat and moisture to escape. If it’s not well perforated, after a short amount of time (especially in a warm, humid convention hall) not only will you start to feel very warm with the mask on, beads of sweat may collect at the bottom of the face shell and begin to seep out and cause an unsightly wet spot on the bottom of your mask.
  3. The face shell should be completely smooth on both sides. Any sharp edges on the face shell should be smoothed by sanding. Otherwise, it may cause discomfort and potentially damage the spandex material if it stretches over a sharp edge and snags. Snagged spandex can’t be repaired and may be difficult to hide, especially since it would be on the most visible part of the costume: the head & face.
  4. A small amount of foam padding may be needed on the inside of the face shell. If the face shell becomes uncomfortable when the spandex hood is worn over it, a small amount of strategically placed foam padding can alleviate the discomfort. But, it’s very important not to overdo the padding because it will reduce air flow and ventilation. Our advice is it use if sparingly if needed. We’d recommend foam padding that is typically used in pillows: very soft, but not too thick and easy to cut with scissors. For attaching foam padding we recommend Velcro so that it can be removed and re-positioned as needed. Encasing the foam padding in some fabric simplifies adding the Velcro. Sticky Velcro should be sufficient and the fabric can be glued into place over the foam padding.
  5. Make sure magnetized eye covers are secure and not likely to fall off when the mask is worn. If they aren’t sufficiently secure, you should consider adding more rare earth magnets to the face shell and the eye covers.
  6. Keep extra rare earth magnets & glue on hand while you’re in costume. Should a magnetized eye piece fall off and one or more of the rare earth magnets that hold it to the face shell falls off when it hits the floor, you may need to do an on-the-spot repair. If you don’t have any extra rare earth magnets & glue on hand if this happens, then you’re stuck with a mask that isn’t complete when worn and you won’t be happy.