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Cosplay Spotlight with: Rebecca R.!!

Originally from Utah, currently live in Virginia

2014 is my first “official” cosplay year

Characters: My first build was my Sister of Battle from Warhammer 40K. I am currently working on a Night Elf from World of Warcraft, Hilde Von Krone from Soul Caliber 4, and a Grey Warden from Dragon Age

Facebook: Foxy Roxy’s Cosplay Forge

Who inspired you to cosplay?

I inherited my “maker spirit” and creativity from my dad, who could draw, paint and/or build just about anything. And although he’s passed away, he was a major creative force in my life. I was always making elaborate costumes, and yard decorations for Halloween. And so when my husband started talking about building a Space Marine from Warhammer 40K, I (naturally) started looking at the “couples costume” possibilities, and found the Sister of Battle (SoB), which led me to a few amazing WarHammer cosplayers like Aurelius’s Armoury and Henrik Pilerud, which led me to the idea that I could actually teach myself how to build armor!! Ack! Awesomesauce! I was so excited that I actually started having dreams about building armor! And once I jumped in – I haven’t looked back – it’s been the most amazing year of my life. Oh, and my husband never did build that Space Marine – go figure!

What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying?

I am a Network Operations Manager – I am responsible for the day to day operation of the computer network, the help desk and the IT department budget. I have also volunteered with my local Freecycle group – an on-line community that finds new homes for old/unused stuff – keeping thousands of pounds of stuff out of landfill every month, world wide.

What costumes have provided the biggest challenges and rewards?

My Sister of Battle was such a puzzle, because there weren’t any patterns – unlike many armor builds that have existing pepakura (a type of Japanese paper fold patterns) or even patterns specifically modified for foam. So, I had to figure out the paper patterns, then figure out how to transfer that onto foam, then figure out how to finish them, rig them to stay on, and build them so that they could be packed to go to Cons. That’s a LOT of figuring. However, when I debuted my SoB at AwesomeCon ’14 in April, in Washington DC, the crowd reaction was so overwhelmingly positive that I knew that all of the long hours I spent researching, cutting, sanding, molding, and gluing were time well spent. I won First Place in the Solo Costume Contest at AwesomeCon ’14, which spurred me to do the (previously) unimaginable – enter my costume into the Masquerade at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) – the big show! They receive hundreds of submissions, and have fewer than 45 slots, so I was stunned and excited (and pretty nervous) to be accepted. And, after having my craftsmanship judged up close and personally by Ve Neill, I was almost literally on the floor when they announced that I had won Best Workmanship. This was for my first build at SDCC? Over the moon doesn’t even begin to describe it. And then meeting and taking pictures in my costume with hundreds of attendees who were so nice, and so complimentary of my work, on Sunday at SDCC made me so proud to be able to call myself a cosplayer. My newest build, Hilde Von Krone from Soul Caliber 4 is a whole new challenge, because Hilde’s armor is more traditional, middle-ages type armor, rather than the oversized forms of WarHammer. So I’m learning how to use kydex (a type of thermoform plastic) to form more delicate armor pieces. Heat safe gloves are my new best friend!

Best advice to a new cosplayer?

Pick a character you LOVE and go for it. The love (and understanding) you feel for your character will come through every part of the work, and make a better cosplay. And start with EVA foam (those puzzle piece floor mats they sell to put down in an exercise room or garage)! It’s cheap, forgiving, and you probably already have everything you need to make some kick-a$$ armor! C’mon, everyone has a hot glue gun by now, right? Although I have to say…hot glue is the glue you date, but Barge (contact cement for shoe repair) is the glue you marry! Seriously! Talk about clean seams and permanent bonds, whoa! A million thank you’s to Holly Conrad for the info on Barge (from the Nerdist Cosplay Panel at SDCC)! Oh yeah, and go to Cons and talk to cosplayers, ask them how they did their stuff – everyone is so excited to talk about their process. And sit in on the cosplay panels, TONS of useful tips and stuff. Oh, and YouTube, so much YouTube (especially Evil Ted who taught me a lot).

What is something that the cosplay community could do better?

There is a bit of judging, over body type, and being “right” for a cosplay. I don’t subscribe to any of that – I’m not 7 feet tall and 140lbs, should that stop me from cosplaying a WoW Night Elf? I don’t think so! There’s also been a lot of talk recently about female cosplayers being touched and photographed inappropriately – even veterans like Yaya Han have had bad experiences. We need to do a better job of looking out for each other, of calling BS when we see someone is doing something that we know shouldn’t stand. If we (guys and girls alike) all stop accepting bad behavior at Cons, we’ll all have a better time. As an aside, I really wish more game designers would put their female characters in more reasonable armor! How is that bra top and bare midriff protecting you from an Orc attack exactly? One of the biggest draws for me of both my SoB and Hilde is that they are *dripping* with armor. I think if you are comfortable in a “Slave Leia” cosplay, go for it, but I for one am not so comfortable with that much of “me” out there, and would love to have more female characters that are strong, beautiful AND have heavy-duty armor! Talk about sexy!

One thing that the cosplay community does RIGHT is the sense of camaraderie and kindness. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen (and occasionally been) a cosplayer giving a costume assist to another – helping fix a broken rig, or a missing piece or just producing that much needed safety pin when it really counts. Cosplayers are generally excellent to each other, which makes me even more happy to have found cosplay, and so proud to count myself a member of this amazing group of talented, creative people.

About Armand (1270 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill
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