Sunday, August 23, 2015

Nerdcon 2015 Summary

Hello all!

For exactly a week ago I came home from this year's Nerdcon, which was held during the 14th-15th August at Midgårdsskolan in Umeå, Sweden. Nerdcon's location this year was better than their previous location in every way, as the new location was bigger, comfier, brighter, fresher and it even had an enjoyable and pretty outdoor area. I hope that Nerdcon will stay many years to come at Midgårdsskolan because I, at least, enjoyed being there a lot. Not only was the con location different from last year but our usual con company (plus Marcus) also ditched the "bus to the con" tradition for the first time, as Sacchan had finally gotten her driving license. She was willing and ready to take the challenge to drive us all to Umeå in her white Renault. During the same day as the con would start everyone in our gang agreed on waking up at 4 am and be ready to leave my hometown at 5 am, latest. Our trip to Umeå took us around 6-7 hours and it was an overall enjoyable but tiring ride for all of us, especially for Sacchan who was the only one among us with a license. She drove well and we all arrived safely at the parking area near Midgårdsskolan, from where we walked the final meters to the con.

Friday

When we got inside we noticed that we were around 10-20 minutes too early, so we had to wait. Volunteers and crew members were allowed to go inside, but not others as the con still had some issues with the ticket registration. In our group everyone, except Sacchan, had a volunteer position but I and Hasakitsuki had the morning/day shift. I was an activity controller and overall helper and Hasakitsuki was in the cleaning crew - the same one I was in last year. When my clock struck 12.00 my shift started; one of the Nerdcon arrangers guided me around the building and informed me about what I can and should do as an activity controller. But I was also told that this year they had surprisingly many volunteers, so not everyone had something to keep watch over - I was one of these, sadly. Despite not having an "actual" place to watch over, I decided to travel the building back and forth during my shift, just to check that everything is as it should be and keeping an eye on congoers who might need assistance of some kind. I also took some cleaning responsibility in my hands - I picked up trash and carried cans to their recycle stations, just to give myself more to do and feel that I'm actually doing something that is visible for the con.

So for the next 4 hours -I had my shift from 12 to 16- I patrolled around the building and made sure that everything looked alright and that all the activities were rolling as they should. Almost all activities were on the building's second floor but the cafeteria and the Ginga Nagareboshi Gin corner were on the first floor. My focus was on the indoor area as the outdoor area was silent during my shift. All volunteers (and likely crew members too) had received 4 food tickets worthy of 50 SEK each and free entrance to the event. I'm a person who feels strongly that I have to do proper work for what is given to me, especially if the giver is expecting something in return for what they gave me. In this case Nerdcon gave me food worth of 200 SEK and I was determined to do my best to make them satisfied with choosing me as a volunteer in return.

Here are some local photos from the first floor and the outdoor area.

All photos taken by Shiro Samurai.

Nerdcon's entrance. The sign above says "Umeå music school".
Information desk.
View of the cafeteria area when you pass by the main entrance.
Outdoor area.
The cafeteria had a door leading outside, that you can see in the distance.
Outdoor area.
Sumo wrestling area. This was Shiro Samurai's working place during his volunteer hours.
This year's Nerdcon con band. The color combination make me think of bubblegum for some reason.
Cafeteria, which was a part of the school, not Nerdcon. They sold Ramune soda though.
View when you are coming from the cafeteria and heading towards the information desk or going upstairs.
When mine and Hasakitsuki's shift came to an end at 16.00 it was time for Shiro Samurai and Marcus to take over. Both of them were activity controllers as well and Shiro Samurai spent pretty much his entire volunteer time at the sumo wrestling outside - and enjoyed it. Marcus on the other hand didn't really have anything specific to do during the day, just like me, so I guess he ended up just walking around and checking so that everything was like it should be. At one point our gang of 5 got hungry and sometime during Shiro Samurai's and Marcus' shift, we all went to Umeå city by car to look after that Shogun sushi bar that Shiro Samurai had mentioned during the day. He recommended it as it was both good and cheap. The Shogun sushi bar was close to the con area if you drove there by car, but we (who had either barely or never been to Umeå city before) managed to, of course, get lost in the city. In the end we found our destination; it was ridiculous how many times we got lost in Umeå city and outskirts during both days.

At Shogun I ordered a sushi meal with 9 nigiri pieces, all of them with ingredients familiar to me. This meal cost me 120 SEK and I enjoyed it, but I had a small regret seeing that Shiro Samurai had the exact same amount of food, including maki rolls, for just 75 SEK. Oh well, next time I try the same of one he ordered.

My nigiri sushi plate.
Very close to the Shogun sushi bar was a small Ica food store, so our gang went there to see if they sold energy drinks. To our surprise they carried the Esa-Petteri (aka the Euro Shopper energy drink) so 4 of us bought it. It was the cheapest one available and our group actually even preferred the Esa-Petteri over the rest of the brands there. The Euro Shopper brand was deemed the winner of an energy drink taste test done in Finland for not that long ago, were the participants had to tell which flavor was the best one - without knowing the brands they tasted.

Back at the con I kept looking for cans, despite my shift being over, just to have something to do and make up for the first hour on which I didn't really do anything. At one point I went to the Dealer's Hall to buy this one C.C. (Code Geass) thermos that I've been interested in -and looking after- ever since I saw it back at Skecon 2013. The same table who had the C.C. thermos also had a Pokémon cap with a cool Charizard embroidery on it, so I bought it too. They had also one more thing that I had an interest in, but I wasn't sure about buying it so I just kept it in mind for now. I borrowed 280 SEK from Sacchan to buy the items I wanted, as I realized that I had no paper money on me and the seller didn't take credit cards. I paid Sacchan back what I was in debt to her as soon as I was able to, after the con.

Later when Shiro Samurai and Marcus' shift had ended, I and Shiro Samurai fetched some evening snacks from the cafeteria to eat before the con would close for the day. When the con had closed its doors we said goodnight to Marcus, who slept at the con's sleeping dormitories, and the rest of us drove to Hitsuyū's place where we planned to stay during our time in Umeå. It was really nice to see Hitsuyū again; at her place we talked about random things, had some tea and soon after that I went to sleep. It wasn't even that late but we were all exhausted from the long ride to Umeå and went to bed early. I slept fairly well despite not having a blanket (Hitsuyū had only 3 reserves and I forgot to take one with me) but what woke me up during the night was the fan. I slept right next to it and man, my leg hairs were standing up thanks to the cold air during the night. Grrreat.

Before I move on to the Saturday part of this summary, I want to show two pictures of what I looked like during Friday. I love the combination <3



Saturday

Saturday morning came and I found out pretty fast when I woke up that Sacchan had been toasting throughout the night, while I've been freezing. Great. I got up fast as I couldn't really sleep after my alarm had rung. I ate a small breakfast and started to change into cosplay. My cosplay for the day was Casual!Jean Kirstein from Attack on Titan and I just didn't bother with the make-up at all, as our group had planned to start the journey back after the con was over. Besides, there were very few cosplayers during Friday anyway and I bet no one would really care if I looked like shit lol. I also skipped the contact lenses as they didn't feel comfortable when I tried them on - like they were even comfortable to begin with. There was a clear comfort drop in them since last time. 
Once everyone was ready to roll, we jumped inside the car and Sacchan drove us all to the con area. We had to be there before 10.00 as mine and Hasakitsuki's shift began then.

Once at the con I started my shift with nothing specific to do, just like on Friday. During the entire Saturday I had more focus on the cleaning tasks as Hasakitsuki was the only one in the cleaning crew and I knew there was this one anime that she wanted to watch. The anime would start at 13.00 and end at 15.00 and during the running time I would do her share of work, while she was watching the anime. This wasn't a problem for me to take care of, as I still wanted something more proper to do during my working shift. I, after all, wanted to feel worthy of the food tickets I had received and satisfied with my effort. After that Hasakitsuki disappeared into the Anime Room, I went to fetch the cleaning articles that she had left behind in the cafeteria and well, I went through and cleaned the entire building with what I had, because why the hell not? To say the least, I felt really good afterwards.

Here are some pictures of the Dealer's Hall sellers and some of the different activity rooms that could be found on the con's second floor.

The Dealer's Hall table I bought my C.C. thermos and Charizard cap from.
One seller sold wigs and, well, let's say unique earrings along with other accessories.
Another one was selling geeky t-shirts, metallic character sword replicas, pins and small stuff like that.
The Game Room had Mario Kart: Double Dash in LAN mode. It looked like lots of fun but I didn't play it.
Still inside Game Room.
T-shirts selling table in the Fantasia Room, aka some sort of fandom room.
When I was done cleaning my shift was soon over, so I went to the bench outside the Anime Room to wait for Hasakitsuki to come out. While waiting, I played some Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite on my own and just tried to get one of the few gold crown monsters that I was missing; I got a fairly huge one but not huge enough and this didn't happen once but twice, hnngh! When I was playing on my PSP, Marcus came at one point to the Anime Room corridor, as he had been assigned to look after it during his shift. I was glad that he at least got something to do. Hasakitsuki also came out of the Anime Room and later I went downstairs to watch Shiro Samurai being the sumo wrestling judge. It was fun to see him being so much into it. When I had enough of fat sumo wrestlers I went indoors to chill at the cafeteria and it didn't take long before I saw Sacchan walking by. She came to give me company - we talked about one pair cosplay that we both really wanted to do. I also told her about my design idea for my cosplay and what I had seen at the Dealer's Hall that had caught my fancy.

At one point during our conversation I asked if she was hungry and well, she was, a bit. I went to fetch her a veggie pie with one of the food tickets I had, as she should really eat something for the day and she didn't want sushi. Gotta say that it felt a bit awkward to place the order as I had no clue what Sacchan would have preferred, or what salad and dressing combinations were good and went well together. It ended up being mostly a game of "pick and guess" for me, but I was relieved to find out that Sacchan actually liked the pasta salad and curry dressings that I ended up picking for her. Hasakitsuki came to give us company at one point and, once Sacchan was done eating, I went to look after Marcus and Shiro Samurai to ask if they wanted to eat at Shogun again. The answer was a yes and off we went to Shogun - after Sacchan had finished her pie. This time at Shogun's we all ordered take-away sushi as Shiro Samurai and Marcus still had work to do. This time around I tried the "liten sushi" (lit. small sushi) option, with 9 random pieces, that Shiro Samurai had ordered on Friday. The thing with some of the sushi meals was that they were so called "kockens val" (lit. chef's choice), which meant that what you got on your plate was random - so I just hoped that I would get pieces that I could eat. You always got 6 random nigiri and 4 set maki, with the "small sushi" order.
 It didn't take long before we got our full order and so we hurried back to the con to eat what we had just ordered. I was glad that all the nigiri that I got were ones that I could eat; for some reason I wasn't that fond of the shrimp nigiri, despite liking the shrimp maki. Anyway, I really enjoyed my meal - so cheap and good! <3

I relearned how to use chopsticks, w00p! *coughshirosamuraisenseicough*
Directly after the sushi I and Shiro Samurai went to fetch snacks and travel provisions from the cafeteria before it would close, so that we didn't waste our last food tickets. After that Shiro Samurai and Marcus' working shift came to an end they went to the Game Room upstairs, to spend their last con hours there - Hasakitsuki followed them later. I and Sacchan also went upstairs, but not to the Game Room, just to the main area there; we talked about randoms. At one point I speeded my way to the same Dealer's Hall table that I had bought my Friday stuff from. Once at the table, I bought one of the face masks they had for sale that would work for the design I had in mind for mine and Sacchan's pair cosplay. I hope that I can start on this cosplay in the near future, as I've been more and more curious about it, especially the make-up part of it. After my purchase, the two of us took a quick look inside the Game Room and found the rest of our group playing a Kirby samurai-themed reaction game. We didn't stay in the Game Room for long and went downstairs and planted our butts on the bench close to the information desk, waiting for the others to get ready to leave Nerdcon for this year.

Derpy Jean feat. volunteer badge. My badge says "Funktionär" in Swedish, which means functionary.
 Oh, before I forget! During the Saturday morning and daytime -at least- I saw these two guys travelling the con's corridor and information desk area on their small wheels. It was so cute! They were remote controlled.

Darth Vader (left) and R2D2 (right) from Star Wars.
When the rest of our group was done playing they came downstairs and it was time to bid farewell to this year's Nerdcon, which was really fun. We left our volunteer badges at the information desk, jumped into Sacchan's car and drove our way to Hitsuyū's. But before going to Hitsuyū's we made a stop at a Coop very close to her apartment, from where we bought our evening snack and travel provisions, again. When Sacchan parked the car and I got out of it, heading towards Coop, it happened. The thing that would make it so that Sacchan would never look at me the same way again, ever. I suddenly -without zero practice- learned to speak and sound like Mickey Mouse. Great. Now we didn't only have a Goofy (Shiro Samurai) in our car but also a Mickey Mouse!
After fetching what we needed for the evening we headed back to Hitsuyū's. At her place we chilled, talked about randoms and such before heading to sleep. At one point during the evening we all agreed on staying the Saturday night at Hitsuyū's (this time Marcus was with us) and leave on the next day instead. Hitsuyū was fine with this. It was a good idea to let Sacchan rest properly before the long ride back to the north, as she was still the only driver among us. I think I went to sleep soon after 21 pm.

Sunday (post-Nerdcon)

Sunday came and I took the chance to sleep some extra when I didn't need to think about getting ready for a con. It felt great. I got up around 9 or 10 in the morning and the first thing I saw, when I was drinking my yoghurt in the kitchen, was that the temperature outside was almost 30 degrees. This is Umeå, considered "northern Sweden" by some and we had flippin' 30 degrees, this just isn't happening! With the weather being as it is, I decided not to wear my non-costume outfit and roll with half-cosplay during the car trip back - and skip the wig. The last hours at Hitsuyū's went to watch hilarious crap on her tv and the hilarious crap was called Aku Ankan Kakka Onklema! <3

Finnish crap at its finest!
The laughters didn't stop at Kakka Onklema - we watched more of SilliS' beautiful creations and after that our group ran out of hilarious crap to watch on Hitsuyū big television; it was her turn to choose what to watch. When her "crap of choice" started playing on the tv, I just remembered how bad and hilarious misheard lyrics can be.

Probably the best Swedish misheard lyrics out there on Youtube. This is hilarious if you understand Swedish, that is.
After the videos and the laughters it was time to say goodbye to Hitsuyū and leave Umeå. But before we left Umeå, we went one last time to the city to order our final take-away sushi from Shogun for this journey. I'm gonna miss Shogun - it was so good! When we reached Skellefteå we ate our sushi meals and, despite Sacchan feeling bad at one point from all the driving, all of us managed to help her feel better later on. Eventually she recovered and made it back to the north, healthy.
We arrived safely in our hometown and Sacchan took a break at my place before driving back to her home in Finland. A few days after that we came home from Nerdcon, Shiro Samurai came to my place. While he was here and while I was busy, he snapped a photo of all the items that came with me from Nerdcon this year.

Charizard cap, C.C. thermos and face mask for my secret cosplay.
The first time I saw the C.C. thermos back in Skecon 2013, I had an interest in it, but I was fairly sceptic towards the quality as it smelled bootleg to me. But during last year's Nerdcon when I, Shiro Samurai and Hasakitsuki stayed at Hitsuyū's place, I noticed that she had one of these thermos bottles. I asked her about it and she told me that it's of good quality and can hold both cold and warm drinks. "The print is seemingly also solid" she told me, after the amount of times she had washed her thermos.

All in all, I really liked Nerdcon this year. The local was fresh, roomy, bright and welcoming. The outdoor area just made everything even better and it made the con more comfy and varied to move around in. Activities were varied and there seemed to be something for everyone - be it video games, anime, board games, origiami or sumo wrestling.
To me it looked like the activities were carried out well and there seemed to be no big misses in information. Then again, I can't say this for sure as I only watched the cosplay panel and, at times, the sumo wrestling. But I didn't hear about anything going against the wall. Overall I just want to say that Nerdcon's change of location was to the better and I will definitely visit Nerdcon again if the circumstances go my way. Thumbs up guys, you did great!

Goodnight peeps.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Nerdcon 2015 Cosplay Plans

Hey there!

I've been bouncing back and forth if I should go to Nerdcon or not this year, at first I planned to but then I wanted to participate more in this one historical event in town about the town's role during WWI. Yes, history was one of my favorite subjects at school and this time around I wanted to actually be a part of the whole project, namely having a role to play. Last year this event was cool and I dig the feel of it and ever since I came back from Germany during summer I've been waiting for this year's event. Days and weeks kept passing since I came back to Sweden and I started to really wonder why I haven't gotten any information about my role, as the event was drawing very close. I started to get worried if they had forgotten about my character and I decided to call them several times only to have them pushing my practice time forward to the SAME WEEK as the actual event. They also told me that they had somehow expected me to fully improvise my role, okay? Sure, I don't mind improvisation if I have some knowledge in the area I'm improvising but my theatrical experience is pretty much at zero, even if I have some stage experience from my time at the music high school. Having pretty much zero time to practice before the event, barely any knowledge about my character and especially how to play it, just put me in a stressful, disastrous situation. I felt I could no longer do my character justice -I always want to do my best- as I just won't have enough time to learn to know my character, how to play it and just simply get into character. With everything being a mess around me when it comes to my role, I had to cancel it and turn the direction towards my original plan - attending Nerdcon. This is sad as I would have loved to get a bit more into theatre (as I have an interest in it) and of course, participating in the event but no can do when the information is just lacking. I wish the coming years with this WWI themed event (2014-2018) are better structured and organized here in town -if they happen- as I'm still hoping to take part of it at least once.

Anyway, the past days I've been thinking what to cosplay at Nerdcon and it didn't take long for me to figure that one out. This is what I will roll with this time!

Friday

Casual!Jean Kirstein from Attack on Titan.
I originally had plans to debut Jean at Desucon Frostbite this year but since I felt weak-ish during the day that it was supposed to happen, I had to move his debut to a future con. Now, when I decided to head to Nerdcon I think he's just the perfect guy for a comfy, easy and recognizable Saturday cosplay. Besides, I still have the lenses for him and I want to use them at least one more time before it's time for us to part.

Saturday


I already know what I want to look like on Saturday and it won't neither be a cosplay or an Original Character. I won't spoil what I'm gonna wear but I'm looking so much forward to it, as I haven't really worn this outfit so much as I'd like to and I love it so <3

As you might have noticed Nerdcon is two days this year and not just one. But just like back in 2014 I decided to once again apply for the con's volunteer crew -as I enjoyed it last time- but this time I'm gonna be an activity controller and make sure that the con activities are rolling as they should. I'm also supposed to help congoers who are lost to find to the right place/activity and other various tasks the Nerdcon crew needs help with. I look forward to see what Nerdcon is like this year as they have changed their location to Midgårdsskolan (school) instead of the one they were in last year. They are getting bigger and wanted a bigger location. As always Nerdcon is still based in Umeå, Sweden and I will be going there together with Sacchan, Shiro Samurai, Hasakitsuki and our -lost-found- childhood gamer friend Marcus and possibly Sacchan's little bro as well.

Yes, I'm thrilled and excited for a con again as it's been a while I were at one the last time!

Jäätynyt Enkeli out.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cosplay Commission: Strange Land Costuming (Attack on Titan)

Hello all!

Note that all the opinions in this post are my own and yours might wary

For not that many days ago I went to fetch up a package from town that I've been patiently and eagerly waiting for since I took a commission in May 2014. Yes, this time -like the title suggests- I commissioned something from Attack on Titan, namely the missing parts for my Levi cosplay. You see, before the commission I already had the scarf, shirt, waist skirt, pants and boots and so I was missing the cloak, jacket and belts (harness). This is what I needed to commission so I went to Cosplay.com and asked the community there after commissioner recommendations in the Attack on Titan cosplay thread, as it was an Attack on Titan costume that I needed in the first place. It didn't take too long before I had one member suggesting me to contact Strange Land Costuming (aka CapsuleCorp at Cosplay.com) as this member told me that they have good quality costumes, fair prices and that they also listen to the buyer's suggestions and wishes, which I find very important. Sounded good to me so I gave it a go and took contact with Strange Land Costuming. I gave my first costume information to Strange Land Costuming the 14th May 2014 through e-mail and he always kept me updated about the costume progress, delays and other changes in the schedule that were of importance to me, right up to the day I got the costume. I, of course, also informed him about my con changes and such that would affect the deadline date and shipping. He always tried his best to answer me fast and asked me about material preferences and such, explained things well and just overall a very kind, pleasant and understanding guy to work with. The costume was finally done on the 17th July and I picked it up on 30th July, just a few days after it arrived in town.

My original deadline for the costume was July this year -as I planned to have it on Närcon 2015- but since I didn't attend Närcon the deadline got changed to the end of August, as I had plans to go and debut Levi at Tracon XI. However, the winds of change blew over my head recently and I sold my Tracon ticket, as I realized I just won't have the money for the con and I have way more important things coming my way now in August that I really need to focus on. Yeah, no Tracon for me this year but I got my costume and that's all that matters now!

Here are some photos of me wearing it and my thoughts about it. The day after I got the package I tried everything on, piece by piece, to see what each piece look like on their own and then finally I put on everything.

Note: I'm not wearing the full Levi costume as I'm doing this to only show the different parts of the costume that I commissioned.

Photographer: Shiro Samurai

Front view of harness.
Side view of harness.
Back view of harness.
How the upper part should sit if I hold it up.
Zoom on legs.
Chest part, front.
Back view upper part.
The first piece I tried on was the harness and holy banana cake! It took me waaay longer to put on and figure out were each belt was supposed to go and connect than I thought! I can say that I have stared enough at the character references to know were they are and go and such but when I was about to put the costume on... let's just say that my brain started to smell like burned plastic.
The harness came in two parts, upper part and lower part and to connect them you had to wear a belt and connect both parts "links" to the belt. I think dividing it in two parts makes it easier and more comfortable to wear?

Structure, planning and pattern wise the harness is well thought out. The upper part sits well on me but the lower part -especially those belts going around the legs- are a bit lower down than they are supposed to be, making the whole lower part look a bit off. When it comes to the belt material choice I would have wished for a more sturdy fabric choice. This to make the whole harness look more steady and keeping itself better in place, especially when it has metallic buckles which weights it down in some areas, so you need to have weight elsewhere balancing it out. The fabric (fake leather-like fabric) is of the thinner sort and has a very soft white underside, while the fabric itself feels more smooth and floppy-ish to touch. It is not as rough and doesn't have the same weight as leather-like fabric overall.
I would have also wished for the same color on both sides of the fabric. Why? Because the white underside of the fabric is easily showing as it turns and twirls more than I want it to. Aside from the measurements that are off -which is understandable in this types of commissions, were it is almost required to have your client nearby because SO MANY MEASUREMENTS NEEDED- I still think Strange Land Costuming did an overall good job on the harness. They described the materials and all but somehow I didn't expect it to be like this. Oh well, maybe it had to do with the amount of money I was willing to pay for the materials? Anyway, I would have wished for more material pictures in general.

If I can somehow fix/change the belt fabric to a more sturdier one and move up the lower half of the harness but still keep the structure intact, I might be able to make it the way I want. But if I can't do this, I might need to re-do the whole thing in the worst case.

Harness score: 6/10

Front view jacket.
Back view jacket.
Zoom on back emblem patch.
Shoulder and emblem focus.
Pocket.
Now to the jacket, which I gotta say is the piece I personally think was the most successful of this entire commission. I can't really find anything on the jacket that I would have wanted another way around. It fits well, the length is just right, the color is what I wanted it to be and so is the fabric, with the right feel to it. Patches are really nice especially the one at the back (all my YES <3) and overall sewing is clean and looks professional. No complaints or thoughts of improvement, brilliant work is all I can say!

Jacket score: 10/10

Front view of cloak.
Side view of cloak.
Back view of cloak.
With hood on.
Zoom on back emblem.
Button close-up.
Hem seam inside.
Hood inside.
Hem folds inside.
Last but not least is the green cloak that the Survey Corps soldiers wear in Attack on Titan. The cloak has the right length and just the right color in my opinion (I admire your eye for color Strange Land Costuming!) and the big emblem patch at the back is just so pretty to look at. It looks very well done! I do personally think that the sewing work on the cloak's inside seams could have been a bit more clean and proper; it looks a bit rushed to me (maybe he was in a hurry?). I can't really explain what I mean with "clean" look but always when I sew hems and such, I first sew around the desired part with zigzag to prevent the fabric from fraying. Then when I'm done with the zigzag, I fold the fabric in twice towards the zigzag, like 1-1,5 centimeter each fold so that I have two small layers of fabric on top of the zigzaged corners. When done folding, I just sew it with straight stitching and do my best to avoid sewing derps. If it goes well, the hems and such will look really nice and clean. This is something my mom (who is very familiar with sewing and has sewn a lot during her life) taught me early in my cosplay making. If this explanation of mine just sucks and is alien to you, just take a look at the pictures in this post, when I'm sewing the arms, and hopefully you understand what I mean. Since the seams isn't on the showing side of the fabric, it doesn't really matter as it, well, won't show. Aside from this, the cloak is really nice and I have no other thoughts about it; the button was a good choice and the hood fits well.

It's mainly the occasionally messy seams that bring down the score, otherwise I have no complaint.

Cloak score: 8/10

Everything on, front.
Everything on, back.
All in all I'm satisfied with the costume and I think the price was fair considering the quality and complexity of the finished product. I just hope that I can find a way to fix the things I want to fix. Thank you!

When I picked up the costume from town I got customs on it which -almost- ruined my day. I had to pay 713 SEK (about 84 $ or 75 €) and I just wanted to kill something afterwards. This is NOT the seller's fault as he can't control the customs without doing anything technically illegal.

Commission summary:


Name of commissioner: Strange Land Costuming

Commissioned item: Attack on Titan Survey Corps outfit. Includes: green cloak, harness, waist skirt, jacket.

Timeline: I took contact on 14th May 2014 and costume was shipped during the 17th July 2015 and it arrived in my country the 29th July. Payment was split in smaller sums so I didn't pay full price up front.

Experience with commissioner: Commissioner always answered as soon as he was able to. Very friendly, flexible and easy to work with. He always informed about costume progress and delays.

Would you commission from this person/company again? Yes.

Final score: B

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I'm Not Really Human - Change of Genberbend Plans!

Welcome back folks!

The last weeks I've been in Germany -where I was almost a month- and while being there, I gave my cosplay list some serious thought. So I went thoughtfully through my entire list once again, reflecting over each and every character on it, if I still wanted to cosplay them. A few dudes left my cosplay list this time just like last time, these were mainly characters that I didn't care that much about anymore. They just stayed on the list for months and years without me barely realizing that they were still there, lol. However, it wasn't only the dudes on my list that were in for a change - two of my planned genderbends from my last genderbend post got changed as well! And this post is about to tell you which ones!

This is what happened:

Peorth from Ah! My Goddess.
and

Lind from Ah! My Goddess.
got changed to:

Dizzy from Guilty Gear.
and

Milla Maxwell from Tales of Xillia.
Okay, so why did this change happen? The main reason for this change is that even if I really like the ladies in Ah! My Goddess they both lacked something I find very important in the characters that -very often- end up in my cosplay list - story and character development. Character development and story is pretty much non-existent in both Lind and Peorth which is really sad, this is the main reason why I replaced them. Another one is that I just couldn't come up with a design that I liked for any of them, which is a bummer as well. However, when I considered genderbending Dizzy I immediately got a very clear image of exactly what I wanted my Dizzy to look like and boom, it's already down on virtual paper just waiting to be brought to life. Those wings though, this will be swag <3

Milla Maxwell is a character I've been taking more and more interest in after hearing from some friends of mine who knows Tales of Xillia what kind of character Milla is. Yes, I haven't played the game but I plan to read the manga & watch the anime and if I can play Tales of Xillia from start to finish at a friend's place, I gladly play it. Tales of Xillia is also one of the few newer Tales of games where the design actually spoke to me and I just have a feeling that I will like Milla as a character. For the genderbend design, I have quite an idea what I want my genderbended Milla to look like. It's mostly the armguards and the boots that have my brain go 360 otherwise I'm pretty sure of my design. Oh and I can't really call myself a Tales of fan if I only cosplayed from one game, right? ;)

I was also really happy to find out -by surprise- that both Milla and Dizzy have red eyes! I bought red lenses for quite some time ago and I have been in a serious lack of red eyed characters since I bought them. Now I have two more to my list! ~

One last thing I really like about Milla and Dizzy - they both aren't humans and have supernatural powers of some kind.

That's all for now, see you later alligator!