Geek Fashion project: Steampunk Decepticon bag

I love working on cosplay stuff but Transformer costumes are pretty major undertakings. Sometimes it’s refreshing to take a break from large scale craft projects and make something that can be completed in a single weekend. Here’s a little something I finished recently…

What do you think is missing from this bag?

Obligatory before pic

Obligatory ”before” pic

If you said “a Steampunk Decepticon logo” then you’re clearly on my kind of wavelength!*



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The Many Faces of Starscream: Top 15 Expressive Moments in Transformers Prime

You there! Read this highly informative article.

You there! Read this highly informative article.

Ah, Starscream. Likeable? No. Loveable? Absolutely. I’m fond of pretty much all the incarnations of the Decepticons’ reluctant Number Two. Indeed, in terms of personality he’s a remarkably consistent character: the precise mix of ambition Vs cowardice and genuine Machiavellian scheming Vs overblown melodrama varies between incarnations but the mix itself is always there. I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite Starscream overall, but if I were forced to at null-ray point I would probably go with Transfomers Prime Screamer (brilliantly voiced by Steve Blum). Why? Mostly because Eyebrows! Uh, I mean, mostly because, as I’ve already noted, the detailed style of this show’s animation really allows the creators to have fun with the robots’ facial expressions. Starscream is surely the most emotional and dramatic of all Prime‘s cast and the show brings him memorably to life.

Let’s revisit this show. Here’s a list of his finest faces that I spent waaaay too much time compiling. Enjoy! WARNING: contains spoilers for all 3 seasons of TF Prime.

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Mixtapes, Supervillains and Corpsepaint

Peter “Star Lord” Quill from Guardians of the Galaxy, a movie a few of you might have heard of, has a mixtape of music from his home-world, Earth (a planet a few of you might have heard of). It seems to me, however, from looking at the cosmetic choices of his enemy Ronan the Accuser might also have been listening to the music of Earth. Those who are tr00 will know what I’m talking about.

I'm not the only one who thought this when they saw Ronan.

Ronan the Accuser, with Horgh, Abbath and Apollyon from Immortal

Ronan’s facepaint, mixed from ash and the blood of defeated enemies, looks to me like the corpse paint beloved by the black metal scene. I suspect that the Accuser might be a little bit kvlt behind closed doors, filling his own “Awesome Mixtape Vol. 1” with Immortal, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Taake and Tsjuder. Imagining the powerful alien warlord grooving around his spiky black spaceship to tr00 kvlt BM has us tickled pink here at AddAltmode, but we suspect Ronan’s actual response to Immortal might be a little less enthusiastic, and more quizzical:

Call of the Wintermoon

Card Game Review: Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre

Type of game: Card game
Published by: Cryptozoic Entertainment
Year: 2012
Played on: a table!

Did you know that magical wizards are battling to the death … and beyond … right now!? “Why battle?” you might ask. “What have I got to prove, magic man?” Only who’s the most awesomely powerful battle wizard in the entire realm, that’s what!

An ''Elemental" themed 3 card spell

An ”Elemental” themed 3 card spell

Bursting with crazy flavour, the introduction to this game lets you know immediately that you’re in for a treat, though not a particularly sane one! Let’s take a deep breath and say that distinctly unTwitter-friendly title together shall we: Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mount Skullzfyre (hereafter referred to as Spell Wars). It’s a card game for 2-6 players, it does a brilliant line in bright, cartoonish ultra-violence, and it’s a regular gaming night favourite Chez AddAltMode.

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TFA Slipstream Cosplay work in progress 2: Blasters!

What have I been up to on the costume-making front in the past couple of weeks? Quite a lot actually! So let’s talk guns shall we?

Now we're talking!

Now we’re talking!

Guns, blasters – you might have noticed I was calling them null-rays in previous posts on this topic. Null-rays are the iconic Seeker weapon and the guns that Starscream and all his clones – including the lovely Slipstream – are packing in TFA look pretty similar to how the null-rays look in other incarnations of the franchise, such as in the War for Cyberton game. But, having done some digging, apparently it’s not confirmed that the TFA guns are null-rays. It’s one of those (many) inconsistently signposted Transformers things. As TFWiki summarise it:

There is some confusion as to precisely what weapons Starscream has… His toy packaging declares that he has “twin sonic shock blasters” rather than the null-rays of his Generation 1 counterpart, while a bio on the Hasbro website declares that Animated Starscream does have null-rays… while otherwise being a direct copy of the press release text, which doesn’t mention them anywhere.

So yeah, confusion, controversy. “Twin sonic shock blasters” just doesn’t roll off the tongue like “null-ray”does, But whatever the hell these things are called, I needed to make some for Slipstream, and here’s how I’ve been getting on!

Slipstream gun unpainted build

Slipstream gun unpainted build

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The G1ening: Customisations for TFP Prowl

This is Prowl, from the Transformers (1985-):

Getting shot hurts.

A montage of images of Prowl from Generation 1. First, we’ve his box art, then there’s two frames of his unnecessarily violent death, just to remind how dark The Transformers was in the 80s. Character © Hasbro.

This is Prowl From Transformers Prime (2010-2014):

Stock photo of Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters Prowl, a Deluxe-class figure released by Hasbro in 2013. Photo and toy © Hasbro.

Stock photo of Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters Prowl, a Deluxe-class figure released by Hasbro in 2013. Photo and toy © Hasbro.

I decided to make a project of altering the latter to look more like the former. Part of my reasoning for doing this is that I love G1, and part of my reasoning is that this gorgeous sculpt deserves, IMHO, some less-plain decorations. Continue reading

Cosplay: Sasha Kaidanovsky from Pacific Rim

OK, I noticed something abut my post content from the past week: I seem to be incapable of writing without finding a way to work in references to Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. So today I thought I’d just run with it and actually post about that film, or more specifically, about the cosplay project it inspired a couple of years ago.

Pacific Rim was undoubtedly my favourite film of 2013 and it came as a bit of a surprise just how much it got me! I went in to the cinema just expecting a good time, and some geeky fun. I mean, giant mecha punching giant monsters and a computer voiced by GLaDOS, what’s not to love there? I got all the geeky fun I’d been hoping for but what I hadn’t expected was quite how strongly this film would put me in touch with my gleeful inner child. Sure, there’s some pretty awful dialogue in places and plot holes the size of the breach if you stop to think about them but none of that matters because it’s just such an earnest cinematic experience. Pacific Rim is made with real love and passion for the genre and that is wonderfully infectious. I mean we all know del Toro loves Kaiju, but there’s passion for the machines too: those awesome, lingering swooping shots of the Jaegers are the best kind of mech-porn. Plus there’s that Ramin Djawadi score, in equal parts rousing and rocking.

When I came out of the cinema I said two things:

1). “I wanna see that again.”

2). ”Cherno Alpha is the coolest thing ever and I want to be one of its pilots’

Screen shot from Legendary Pictures Pacific Rim

The Russian Jaeger Cherno Alpha. Screen shot from Legendary Pictures Pacific Rim

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Binding of Isaac Rebirth: The Most Brutally Effective Survival Horror Game I’ve Ever Played

Type of game: Roguelike RPG/Shoot-em-up
Designed by: Edmund McMillen
Published by:  Nicalis
Year: 2014
Played on: Steam

This doesn't look so bad; it's somewhere between The Legend of Zelda and Muppet Babies.

This doesn’t look so bad; it’s somewhere between The Legend of Zelda and Muppet Babies.

The starting room doesn’t look so bad, but I advise you skip the rest of this post if you’re disturbed by gore, Satanism, more gore, poop, aggressive sentient poop, yet more gore, Oedipal nightmare fuel, & even more gore. If horror games and gross stuff aren’t for you, don’t click the “Read More”.
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Film Review: Big Hero 6

Year: 2015 (UK release)
Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Starring: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter

Month number 2 of 2015 brings robot movie number 2, and a very different prospect from January’s Ex Machina. With Chappie releasing in March it would be amazing we could maintain mechanical momentum and have a new – and very different – robot-centric film every month this year. I doubt that will happen, but until the bubble bursts this robot-loving cinema-goer is planning on thoroughly enjoying it.

So then, on to Disney’s latest offering and, significantly, its first straight-up mouse-branded film drawn from a Marvel Comic. Disney’s version is a significant departure from its source, particularly with regards to the robotic protagonist Baymax, but the result is a film that – while it may not push any boundaries in terms of plot – manages to thoroughly warm the heart and to delight the eye.

Screencap from Disney's Big Hero 6. Official Trailer 2:

Screencap from Disney’s Big Hero 6. Official Trailer 2:

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