Thursday, February 26, 2015

Star Wars Rebels Cosplay, post 1

In addition to my Peggy Carter cosplay, I somehow convinced The Boyfriend to cosplay with me at San Diego Comic Con this year.  Still not sure what changed his mind, but I'm suspecting it's because he'll get to dress up as a JEDI!

We were watching Star Wars Rebels one evening when he said something about cosplaying as Hera and Kanan.  Of course, I freaked out and got very excited, but I wasn't entirely sure that he was serious.  But he said he was, and we started (I started) planning our costumes.  A week later we went shopping for fabric and now I'm working on my lekku.

Hera's costume consists of... You know what? Dave Filoni, the supervising director for Star Wars Rebels, has shared costume information about the characters for cosplayers, so I'll just link that! He even breaks down Hera and Sabine's costumes, giving tips about how he would construct items. I love that he is supporting the female fans!

Hera and Sabine costume guides

So I need to make or source: lekku, her flight headgear with goggles, X-wing style trousers with rigging, an off-white shirt, leather chest and shoulder pieces, gloves, and boots/spats. The lekku will be the most difficult part for me, but there are plenty of tutorials using a variety of materials (cloth, latex) available online.

Kanan's costume seems easier when you look at it, but the armor adds a level of difficulty. We will probably make ours out of foam, though I really want to try my hand at Worbla someday.

For the Kanan costume, we will need: a dark undershirt, a yellowish overshirt missing the right sleeve, light trousers, boots, the armor pieces, gloves, belts/holster, knee pads, and his light saber hilt. I suck at making pants, especially fitted pants like Kanan's, so we will source a pair from Old Navy or something (so they'll actually fit and The Boyfriend won't split the crotch!) They will probably have pockets, unlike Kanan's trousers on the show, but that's just an inaccuracy I'm willing to deal with (an inaccuracy that will be very useful). For the boots we are going to make spats to cover a pair of shoes.

Currently I am working on my lekku, and I will explain how I made them in a later post... if I'm successful.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 20, 2015

#Fandom5: The Backlog... February 20th, 2015

Oh, this is going to be a rough post...

"5 Fandom Friday: 
Things I've Bought But Haven't Read/Watched/Played Yet"

Where do I even begin!?

I'm a grad student, working on my PhD.  There are only so many hours in the day, so I will buy a game or movie or comic that I really want to enjoy, and then it's still sitting unopened months later.  Usually because when I do have some free time I do something familiar and comfortable, like play Warcraft or watch Netflix.

At least I can leave my trade paperbacks off this list!  I read (most of) those earlier this month.

1. Wonder Woman, the complete series on DVD
This box set was on sale for $30 at Amazon so I picked it up as an early Christmas present to myself.  The cellophane is still on the box... I think the box is downstairs...

2.  Outlander Series, books 6-8
I got stuck in book 5, The Fiery Cross, back in the winter of 2013-2014.  I forget which month I stopped reading, and I've been struggling to get back into it ever since.  But holy crap, is this book slow - it's bogged down in too much detail, too many POV characters, and a lack of an overarching plot.  The remaining books are supposed to be much better, and according to Reddit many readers get slowed down by book 5, but right now the entire series is feeling like a chore.

I don't want to throw in the towel on this series yet, but I may have to skim the rest of book 5 to give the remaining books a fair chance.

3.  Child of Light, PC
I bought this game in the winter Steam sale.  It was very well reviewed and has a female protagonist, which caught my interest.  But I haven't had time to play it yet - I was working on my dissertation and starting a new job in January, and when I did sit at my gaming PC it was to play Warcraft (when I had game time, at least). 

4.  Hordes, Circle of Orboros
The Boyfriend and I bought starter packs of the Warmachine/Hordes miniatures game back in... October?  Our local comic store was having a sale.  I chose Circle of Orboros because I like the fantasy elements of the Hordes factions better than the space army aesthetic of Warmachine, and I thought it'd be cool to command an army of puppies (aka wolves/werewolves).  But mine are still sitting unpainted and unplayed.

5.  London/English history books
I have a great collection of history books (a few are pictured above), but since I read history books for work all day by the time I can sit down and read something for pleasure I want something easy to digest, entertaining, and preferably fictional.  I bought a few of these at Half Price Books and online for cheap, and I would love to have the time and brainpower to read them.  Urban and economic history in London is just too similar to what I'm reading for my graduate work.

Runner Up: Game of Thrones, PC
I bought a Humble Bundle just to have this game... and I have yet to even open any of the games I downloaded!  I'm so glad I shop sales and indie games on Steam, because this list would be much more depressing if I was paying full price for brand new games.

Pictures are via Amazon or the official website associated with the product.

Friday, February 13, 2015

#Fandom5: Favorite Fandom Couples/Ships, February 13th, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wuv, twue wuv, is what bwings us hewre today.  This week's 5 Fandom Friday topic is all about those characters we love to ship.

Do you like to ship based on canonical evidence?  Do you throw out the established relationships and think about who you want to see end up together?

This topic is a tough one for me... because I don't really participate in shipping.  So many of my favorite characters have established relationships in the canon (eg. Han and Leia 4ever!!! <3<3<3) and the ones that don't... well, I don't agree with pairing up characters just to pair them up.  But sometimes there's something there, a spark or a potential backstory...

Like this:

Yeah, pretty sure the noise I made when I first saw this gif wasn't human.  Just, oh my god...

That is Hera Syndulla, a Twi'lek pilot and owner of a ship called the Ghost.  And with her is Kanan Jarrus, who is in hiding after surviving Order 66 and the slaughter of his fellow Jedi.  They are two of the characters on the Disney XD show Star Wars Rebels.  (these links go to Wookieepedia, but may contain spoilers)

I went into the series expecting something like a close, but professional, friendship between these two that was slowly turning a bit parental as they added crew members and more to worry about.  Something based on a deal surrounding the use of Hera's ship, their shared participation in the rebellion against the Empire, and their ability to rely on each other as the unofficial parents in the crew family.

What I got instead was head-canon about a love that could never be, due to Kanan being a Jedi.  It's not a burning, will-they-won't-they love, where they are wasting away, pining for each other.  No, in my imagination it's mature, it's moved on, but every now and then one of them feels a tinge of "what could have been..."  Ugh, heart breaking!

There is a prequel book out, Star Wars: A New Dawn, that explores how Hera and Kanan meet and form their partnership.  I have not read this, though it is on my TBR list, so I can't speak to how that story aligns with this bit of fan-canon.  But I'm not the only one aboard this ship... I'll end this post with one of my favorite fan-art pieces, by Tumblr user Lorna-Ka.

(btw Hera is finally getting an action figure!!! The Mary Sue had an article about this back in December, so hopefully she'll be available soon!)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Peggy Carter Cosplay, post 1

For SDCC 2015, I have decided to cosplay as Agent Peggy Carter and wear her uniform from Captain America: The First Avenger.

The components of this costume include:

  • olive drab uniform, consisting of jacket and skirt
  • gold army shield buttons
  • two SSR lapel pins
  • white collared shirt
  • brown tie
  • brown heeled shoes

I will be making my own uniform and will use Simplicity pattern 3688 as a guide.  I could draft the skirt easily enough, but I need a pattern for the jacket, and this one is close enough that it should work with a few modifications.

I already bought the lapel pins and buttons on eBay - I ordered the lapel pins from a Chinese seller, and they should arrive in the next couple of weeks.  They cost about $15 for a pair of pins, including shipping - this price seems pretty standard for auctions.  Kevinericon on started making and selling SSR pins back in 2011, and charges about $17 for a pair, including shipping in the US.  I would have ordered from him, but I didn't realize this thread was still active... D'OH!  You will need an account at to view that thread.  As of 12/25/2014 he had pins in stock.

I bought the buttons from an American seller, who said they found them at an estate sale, which is pretty cool.  The maker's mark on the back of the buttons says, "Waterbury Cos Inc Conn," which refers to Waterbury Companies, Inc.  Located in Connecticut, they have been supplying the US military with buttons since 1812,  This is the design used on Peggy's buttons, a design used by the US Army and depicting the Great Seal of the United States.  These buttons can also be purchased from the At the Front Shop for $14.99 plus shipping.  I paid about half of that, including shipping, through eBay and saved myself at least $17.00.

Now I am sourcing fabric to make my uniform.  This is proving to be strangely difficult - I could dye fabric that was almost 100% natural fibers, but haven't found any in a weight I like.  And they're almost all out of my pride range.  Synthetic material is fine for my purposes (and might be more comfortable at SDCC, instead of 100% wool!) but I would need it to be the right color and I'm struggling to find the right shade of olive drab.  The samples I've picked up are too green and need more brown.  What do you think?

The green fabric is the sleeve of an army surplus jacket I have, for comparison.  The canvas on the right is a Fossil brand messenger bag that I think is pretty close to the color I want.  The square of green fabric is a synthetic olive gabardine I found online, and the larger swatch of fabric at the top is a synthetic olive bengaline I found at JoAnns and picked up to compare the color.

The bengaline is close.  My biggest complaint about the gabardine was that it was too green and too dark, and the bengaline is a step in the right direction, color-wise... but the weight is wrong!

That is my progress so far on my Agent Carter costume.  I have plenty of time to find fabric, since I won't make the suit until closer to the Con since I don't know what size I'll be by then.  I've pretty much given up on completing Bespin Leia in time for SDCC. While I would love to wear that costume, I don't have time to work on all that embroidery!  As for other cosplays, I am unsure.  I might re-wear/re-make my Endor Leia costume (I will need new trousers), or make an attempt at Squirrel Girl or Kate Bishop.

Friday, February 6, 2015

#Fandom5: Favorite Funko POP! Vinyls, February 6th, 2015

I was so excited when I saw this was the #Fandom5 prompt for this week.  I love the Funko POP! Vinyl collectibles. I think they are just so cute, and there are so many to choose from that everyone is bound to find one they want.

While I had followed the releases of various Funko POP! Vinyls for awhile, I didn't buy any until San Diego Comic Con 2014.  I watched their SDCC exclusive list, and thought how fun it would be to buy the limited edition Ghost pup from Game of Thrones.  It was flocked, which means it had fuzz on it instead of being smooth plastic.

Unfortunately the line was capped every time we walked past the booth.  I wasn't surprised, because I had done my research and knew the Funko booth was very popular and the exclusive POP! Vinyls were hard to get at the con.  But getting that exclusive wasn't super important to me, so I bought my POP! Vinyls from other booths instead!

I now own nine POP! Vinyl figures, purchased at SDCC, through LootCrate, and from Amazon, and I have a long list of more that I want to buy!  All of my POP! Vinyls are still in their boxes because I have no idea how I want to display them.

via Amazon
1.  The first one I bought was She-Ra, Princess of Power.  She-Ra was my first action figure, given to me by my uncle as a Christmas present back in the 80s.  She-Ra is a special character to me, and I'm glad she was my first POP! Vinyl.

via Amazon
2.  Another character I have is Amy Farrah Fowler, from the Big Bang Theory.  Amy is a great character, but to be perfectly honest, I bought this one because it looks an awful lot like me.  If I was turned into a POP! Vinyl, it would look just like this one.
via Amazon
3.  Another favorite is my Princess Leia, in her white senator dress from Episode IV.  She's a bobble head!  I stood in a long line on the last day of SDCC to buy her, after checking many other booths that were either out of Leias, or had marked up their prices.  I love Princess Leia - she is one of my all-time favorite characters - and I am so happy I have this one in my collection.  There really aren't enough Leia figurines in the world.
via Amazon
4.  Lady Sif, from Thor: The Dark World, is another favorite of mine.  Sif is a character I want to cosplay - I love her armor from the second Thor movie, though she appears in both.  As soon as they announced that she was being produced, I knew I would buy her.  And I'm so glad I did - besides being a badass female character, the level of detail on this toy is amazing.  Her shield could honestly be used as a cosplay reference!
via Amazon
5.  And number 5 is my Loki.  Funko reissued the Loki POP! with his horned helmet, and I jumped on that.  I love Loki, in the Marvel movies and in the comics, and I am very happy to have him as part of my collection.

all images via Amazon

Other characters in my collection include the regular Ghost pup from Game of Thrones, Brienne of Tarth (also from Game of Thrones), Star Lord with helmet (he was a freebie from Disney Movie Rewards), and the Joker/Batman from the December 2014 Loot Crate (not pictured).

via Amazon
I'm sort of crafting a POP! Vinyl army of badass women, and I'm planning on picking up Wonder Woman, Black Widow, Gamora, and Zoe Washburne sometime this year.  Based on the announced 2015 vinyls, I'm also hoping to grab Sailor Mars, Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, Leeloo (Fifth Element), Lagertha (History's Vikings), and Tina Belcher at SDCC, but that's only if those are released by July... and if the run actually includes those characters.
via Amazon
In addition to those, I would love to have Dancing Groot, Nick Fury, Agent Phil Coulson, Lando Calrissian, and Admiral Ackbar join my collection.

In the future, I am really hoping they'll make Ms. Marvel, Agent Peggy Carter, Agent Melinda May, and Captain Marvel (there's a good chance we'll get her around the time her movie releases, but I want her now!)  I also want a Batgirl and a She-Hulk.  And Hannah from the Rat Queens comics.  Kate Bishop.  Eowyn.  Storm.  Thor (female).  I'm going to cut myself off here, but you get the idea - I want more lady POPs!

Any ideas how I should display these guys?

(all Funko POP! Vinyl images are from Amazon)

To learn more about 5 Fandom Fridays, check out Megan's post at The Nerdy Girlie and Kristin's post at Super Space Chick.  They created this weekly blog meet-up.  To find other blogs participating in 5 Fandom Friday, follow them on Twitter or use the hashtag #Fandom5, and check out the weekly link-up on