Why do I Cosplay?
- I enjoy the creative challenge of planning, sourcing and putting together an outfit from scratch.
- It’s a great way to express my love for my fandom(s) and to meet new friends as a result.
- It’s a lot of fun, both to make and to wear.
- It’s a massive confidence boost. I’m pretty shy in real life and when I go to conventions and events just as myself I have a hard time approaching people, but when the helmet / armour / wig whatever goes on I am transformed and have so much more fun interacting with everyone from guests, stallholders and attendees to fellow costumers -and especially kids. Dressing as a Transformer goes down incredibly well with the younger convention goers and it’s so much fun interacting with them:
– Hi Arcee! Arcee, Arcee will you turn into a motorbike?
– I’m under strict orders from Optimus Prime, bot mode only today I’m afraid.
I’ve done a few costumes in the past: mostly notably Chell from Portal and Sasha Kaidanovsky from Pacific Rim, both of which I’m pretty proud of, but in 2014 I really wanted to up the stakes and do something Transformer related. Arcee is one of my favourite characters from Transformers Prime and she’s much more slender than most of the other characters which I thought might make building (and wearing) the costume slightly easier. I also like to pick costumes where I feel I’ll be able to get in character, at least partially. That doesn’t necessarily rule out the male Bots but with her dry wit and aloofness Arcee is probably the one I can most easily relate to out of the Prime cast. (My very favourite character is Knock Out but that’s a cosplay I don’t think I could even begin to pull off because
I’m just not sexy enough damn that voice.)
I’d never worked in foam before and wasn’t sure if I’d pull it off but I was so excited to try! Although I didn’t tell anyone (except B, who has helped throughout) what I was working on for several months, until ‘she’ was clearly coming together just so that nobody would know if all I ended up with a big pile of foam and fail!
Glad to say, however, that was not the case! I’m really proud of this costume. Here are some shots of me as Arcee from Xmas DevCon in Plymouth.
I started planning and sketching this costume in August 2014 and managed to get it ready to premiere at a local convention in October, before upgrading it for DevCon and the shots above. In other words it was a big project and took up most of my free time.
In brief: the costume is built predominantly from camping mat foam with plastic and cardboard inserts for the wheels and a more expensive furniture foam for the wings all coated with PVA then painted with acrylics and plasticoted.
The central piece is a silver corset with painted PVC embellishments and most of the ”armour” pieces velcro on around this.
The helmet is foam too, from a design B and I put together ourselves but we found this Instructrables tutorial useful to get us started.
If you’d like more specific info on how I made any part of my Arcee costume do ask. I’m happy to do a follow up post with further details of the costume components.
I’ve now been bitten big-time by the Transformers cosplay bug! I’m hoping to make a few more outings with Arcee yet but will be starting a new TF costume project very soon. Now that this blog is up and running I’m planning to chronicle the build and share pics as I go this time. So watch this space & wish me luck!