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Manifest 2012

So, Manifest happened!  Some of you may remember my cosplay freakouts in the lead up to it.  

In the end, I was about two weeks short on the time I needed, and started shortcutting like MAD. Sanding and smoothing and edge reinforcement and extra coats of paint/sealant went out the window. Cut back on the detailing, and abandoned weathering on everything except the lance. Paint job was also pretty sloppy. Have to say, this was the most down-to-the-wire cosplay I've done. I was horribly worried about paint cracking or everything just coming apart on me on the day since I didn't actually get to do a test wear when it was finished, it was pretty much *finished-drying-pack-getonplane*

Luckily, the costume made the trip without too much damage - there was some paint sticking that required a patch job, and one of the spikes on the spear broke off but was easily hotglued back on. The tip and bottom of the spear both wound up a little misshapen too.  But more about that later.

Let me get all the feel good shout outs out of the way instead - thanks to both the Perth crew and the Melbourne crew for all the great company and tour guiding and other hijinks!  Manifest is pretty cool and all, but I definitely come for the company.  And it's always awesome to see agentlerain in person particularly~

It was a good trip, if tiring!  I developed an uncanny ability to run into people unexpectedly over the weekend - silver_lined in Melbourne Central after I'd parted ways with kaorismash (thanks for the unplanned hangout, it was fun!) and akinofujiko in Daiso doing last minute cosplay-supply shopping. <3  I actually want to go and thank everybody individually, but most of the Perth crew and so many of the Melbourne crew  aren't active on LJ anymore.  :(  (You guys know who you are anyway).

Flew solo for the first day and then caught up with the Perth crew and we shared an unexpectedly amazing apartment.  It was actually a massive shame that we didn't think to do a photo shoot in there until far too late.


A lot of aimless wandering/shopping/eating ensued.  P-chan and I became hopelessly addicted to Tutti Frutti at some point, while everyone else fell in love with Dessert Story.  I am quite sure Dessert Story is excellent, but it was difficult to have eyes for anything other than my new love.


SO DELICIOUS.  I have to console myself with Roc Candy.  :<  How does Perth have one of these and Brisbane doesn't?

We also stumbled upon this nifty sight while making a Lincraft run for cosplay repair supplies:


There was something oddly mesmerising about it.

Anyhow, I could talk on and on about random Melbourne adventures, but let's be honest, all anyone cares about is cosplay!

...Unfortunately, due to the difficulty of seeing/moving in my cosplay, I took almost no photos.  D:  Luckily, about a hundred other people took photos, and some of them were nice enough to upload theirs onto the internet.

(Credit to Daniel Jq)

So there's Kain and Onion Knight!  Extra special thanks to P-chan for being my cosplay companion on the day!  <3 Onion Knight.

As for the cosplay itself, it turned out both better and worse than I thought.  Better in that it's probably one of my best efforts yet, worse in that I was still unhappy with it and yeah, as predicted it barely lasted until the end of the day.  

Despite getting up super early, we wound up running quite late for the con, and wound up having to navigate the tram and walk a lot further instead of just taking the train.  The weather was miserable, too - freezing cold and raining, it was actually pretty lucky that my costume lasted the journey there, although by the time I got there my boots were already cracking. I was kinda of worried that would happen and was thus not at all surprised!

The velcro on my kneeguards was a bit temperamental, Onion Knight was sent scurrying after them more than once as they made truly valiant efforts to not just fall off my knees but stage an epic escape across the showgrounds.  In retrospect I should have just glued them to the thigh armour and left them to flap over the knee. Also the bike pants I was using kept shifting down, which wouldn't have been a problem if not for the Adidas logo I'd been hiding under the codpiece. Double-sided sticky tape didn't do the job in keeping it hidden, by the end of the day I'd given up fixing it and decided that Adidas could just be sponsors of the high jump or something.  You can see it in this one:

(Credit to James Katakis)
Kain Highwind: Sponsored by Adidas.  Leap Higher

Had to check in my spear almost as soon as I got there, so those two are about the only photos of it.  Considering the spear in total took about four hours to make (which was probably less than any other single piece of the damn cosplay) and was an incredibly pain to lug around, this did not terribly upset me.

Right thigh armour also kept falling down ALL THE TIME, it was a little too loose, so I had a bunch of awful poses which were me trying to not-so-subtly hold it up. Luckily when I got a chance to borrow some double-sided sticky tape that DID do the job of keeping it up and it held for the rest of the con. Just as well, because it was not long after that the torso armour decided to start giving up the ghost. I'd double-velcroed, but there wasn't a lot of give in the torso, probably exacerbated by my increasing slump as I grew tired, so the velcro started to tear off, and attempted patch jobs didn't really hold it.

Amazingly, helmet held up wonderfully!! There were no problems with the helmet, only with the hair underneath it continually trying to migrate into my face - I'd pinned it back, for all the ten minutes that lasted. Arm guards too lasted without any drama. And despite the fact that it didn't hold up for the torso, velcro for everything was a good idea as the inevitable breakages were for the most part easily rectified! (such as with the shoulder pauldrons and aforementioned escapee kneeguards.)

It's probably the most uncomfortable cosplay I've ever worn, yay! I was horribly sore for the next two days.

To break from all my post-mortem whinging, here's an adorable picture of Onion Knight grabbing some field rations.


Anyhow, there were a LOT of amazing cosplays at Manifest, almost none of which I managed to get a photo of but I feel a bit weird stealing other people's photos when I'm not actually in them.  Here's a compromise, we accidentally photobombed the amazing DW group Perth and Melbourne crew made up:


NOT OUR FAULT, WE WERE MAKING REPAIRS. Aren't they all amazing and shiny though?  So pro!  So much bling.

And yeah, that's about it, sorry!  You'll have scour the internet for more con photos, odds are they would be a great deal more awesome than any of mine would have been anyway~!  I hear there was a pretty fantastic Magikarp roaming the floor?  Also an insanely awesome Garrus from ME3.  And a trio of fabulous Lokis.  ;)  We also took some photos with a really awesome Squall and a pair of Lightnings!  

In terms of merchandise, I restrained myself from buying anything, though had they not already been sold out of Iron Man perfume I might not have been able to resist~

We trudged home at the end of the day thoroughly exhausted.  Cosplay is workout.  I do not think I am fit enough for it anymore.  Have sudden sympathy for costume actors.

Shoes just barely lasted the journey home before entirely ripping off at the base.  Yet miraculously, not a single spike was lost.


I'm not really sure whether I should remake/repair to wear to a different con or just shelve Kain entirely.  :/

We only went to Manifest on the Saturday, and that was quite enough.  After the con was over, the rest of the trip was a great deal more relaxing!  Though I have noticed that there's a direct relationship between the number of people involved and our ability to be punctual/plan anything.  But hey, we did buy some incredibly fancy tea at Lupicia and a lot of cool $2.80 junk from Daiso.  SUCCESS!  We also trooped out to stickybeak around St Kilda.  The markets were cool, Luna Park was interesting for a brief stroll, but the highlight was definitely the very awesome kiosk at the end of the pier, their chips and desserts were unusually fantastic for a place that's a ten minute walk from dry land.

An alarming number of people have since succumbed to the con plague, though, which has made the post-con blues unusually more severe.  :(

Anyhow, that's con/cosplay report enough.  Thanks again to P-chan for being Onion Knight buddy to my Kain cosplay, we'll overlook that part of canon where I technically betray you to save your life, okay? :D

Oh man forget all that, anyone wants to see a bunch of incredible Manifest cosplay WATCH THIS REALLY GOOD VIDEO:


It kind of summarises the convention better than I could anyway.

...Also kind of alarmed at how many people I recognise in this.  Australian convention scene is starting to feel small.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 28th, 2012 03:06 am (UTC)
Well, I think it looks great! Even if you did have problems with it. :D The spear and helmet are def my favorite parts. <3

"...if not for the Adidas logo I'd been hiding under the codpiece." Definitely one of the weirdest sentences ever! lol

I hope that I will one day get to go to a con. Sadly, there aren't really any near me, and I have a hard enough time as it is trying to get off work. :(

I have played Dissidia long enough to actually meet Kain, and then it has been shelved. I was just mainly interested in seeing the character you were cosplaying. I guess I should get back to it b/c his VA is one of my favorites. :D
Aug. 28th, 2012 10:07 am (UTC)
Thanks! LOL, proof that time spent does not alter result? I spent the most time on the helmet, and the least on the spear. XD

LOL, I'd never thought about that sentence without context. Damn Adidas logo! Next time I'll go buy plain ones instead of raiding the cupboard.

I'm sure you'll get the chance eventually! Maybe your town will eventually have one, or you'll get some holidays! They're usually on weekends so that helps, you don't have to take so many days off (I recommend scheduling time for recuperation, though!)

His VA is amazing, isn't he? *__* That voice. Glad I could entice you to play a bit of Dissidia! (I don't know how you managed to stop, I got so addicted.)
Aug. 28th, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)
Hahah, I'm so afraid. I'm going to my second con in a few days but it's my first time cosplaying. And OMG there are so many things!

1) My costume is still incomplete in a way I don't think I can finish! I'm cosplaying Itachi but I don't have the necklace, shoes, or pants yet! And a tropical storm just hit Florida so I haven't been able to go out and get the things I need, as I still need to fix the Akatsuki hat!

2) I'm... missing a toenail. u_u As a Naruto character, I'll have my feet visible, but the obvious lack of a toenail on my left big toe has me so self-conscious. I wanted to get fake French manicure stick-on nails for my toes (they have them!) but... yeah. Massive flooding. Can't drive. x_x *feeeear*

3) I'm afraid I'm going to sweat to death in the heat, as I'm going to be wearing a black cloak for the majority of the cosplay in August/September of the Southern US (Atlanta, Georgia). And when I get overheated, I get really miserable.

This whole thing gives me heaps of confidence though. You had a good time with a cosplay on a level of completeness above mine. Thanks for the encouragement!
Aug. 28th, 2012 10:22 am (UTC)
Ahhh, sounds like a bit of Murphy's law at work there, for the pants at least they're fairly generic so worst comes to worst you can roll up some tracksuit pants or jeans or something? Good luck! And no need to be nervous, cosplay is an awesome ice-breaker regardless of experience - my first couple were terribly simple but still disasters, yet they were still fun. Do you have a group or are you going solo?

And hey, if you can't get to a store in time, you can always say you lost your toenail in a ninja fight on the way to con? XD 'But you should see the other guy'.

Ouch at the heat though! And I don't know what your facilities are like but it's probably even worse indoors too - horrible choice between frying pan and fire. @__@ Just bring lots of water to stay hydrated! Maybe a Japanese fan? Maybe you'll be lucky and the weather will cool off in the wake of storms.

Speaking of storms, I've heard about all that on the news, stay high and dry and safe! And good luck with the cosplay!

Edited at 2012-08-28 10:27 am (UTC)
Aug. 28th, 2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
Okay. It *was* awesome. May I say, I called it (even if 'it' was, like, ten minutes ago? =P) Lord, but that armour, it's seriously amazing *___*
Aug. 29th, 2012 12:54 pm (UTC)
It's like having a magic eight ball and getting to verify it immediately! XD And thanks you! I can only really see the flaws at this point so it's nice to hear.
Aug. 29th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
Yes! Ooooor it could also be time-travelling. We're awesome like that =P

Still, it looks nice, it really does. I mean, I get it about you only being able to notice the flaws (tell me about it - we spent the first half of the year working on our Sengoku Basara cosplays for Paris' Japan Expo and I still have nightmares about fixing the horrid, mistake-full belt the night before the convention) but let me assure you - it looks quite awesome from those pics. Even if your velcro was temperamental. Or whatever. =) <3
Aug. 30th, 2012 03:00 am (UTC)
Y'know, first it's amazing that you made it, and then that you WORE it the whole way through. Even simple cosplays I've done in the past (ex. Itachi) I took apart halfway through the day because it was too annoying, haha. Cosplayers with intricate costumes always leave me in awe. *___*
Aug. 30th, 2012 10:17 am (UTC)
Believe me, I think I would have shucked it by the end, except it would have been harder to carry than it would to wear! XD Plus, you know, no other clothes to change into. The secret is to remove your escape plan.
Aug. 30th, 2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
You look awesome Sin (that said, you seem to do lots of costumes with headgear of some sort lol~ it's amazing how you can be bothered to make them~ anyway unless it's really obvious most people can't tell a costume is falling apart unless it's really obvious lol~ though to the person wearing it it can be pretty awkward =D (I remember I lost an arm cover at the last con though no one realised haha) P-chan is cute as always~ and the video you linked to is really neat considering I didn't get to go and see it for myself~ recognized a couple of faces there, loved the little Penguindrum ending though I haven't really watched much of it, how cute are those penguin plushies *_*
Aug. 30th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Ha, it's true! I guess I like making headgear. I think I honestly enjoy making the costume more than wearing it (less so this time because of time pressure). Heh, if you lose an arm cover, you can hide it with creative posing? :D

And P-chan WAS adorable! She was kind of freezing, though! Melbourne saved it's very best weather for us. :|
Aug. 30th, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
Lol Melbourne always has crazy weather, though somehow my body/nose reacts to it less than the weather here which is more constant, I think it's the difference in humidity.
Aug. 30th, 2012 04:24 pm (UTC)
ahh, forgot i'm not logged in on my laptop =D;
Sep. 2nd, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
Kain Highwind: Sponsored by Adidas. Leap Higher

I'm sorry, I can't stop laughing XDDDD

It sounds like a fun time! For some reason my internet is crawling and not letting me see the pictures, so I'll comment again later *_*
Sep. 2nd, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
Saw them and EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Man, I'm always so in awe of cosplayers like you who actually manage to craft and put together a costume ;A; It looks really hard.

So I have to say: GOOD JOB!
Sep. 3rd, 2012 09:56 am (UTC)

It was super hard! I think it was a little bit too ambitious and beyond my skill level really, but thank you!
Oct. 16th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)

You and OK both look absolutely fantastic! I would totally have gone just to be your, dunno, roadie or something, if that term applies. Following people around and taking pictures indiscriminately. XD XD
Oct. 16th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
Heh heh, thank you! We definitely could have used roadies, moving/carrying things was quite a burden! XD
Oct. 27th, 2012 07:35 am (UTC)
I should have started stalking you sooner. Then I would have recognized you walking about and spoken for longer than just a pic and a few queries on the cosplay.

I caught you towards the end of the day when I grabbed my pic. It's so true that as the creators we know every little error with our cosplays that others don't see. You looked great considering it was attempting to fall apart on you. You need more than just roadies. You need an entourage *grin* That way you'll have a built in cosplay group to do stuff with and also helpers for when your cosplay decides to play hard to control.

Hope to catch up with you at Manifest next year.
Oct. 27th, 2012 04:05 pm (UTC)
Ah, you were at Manifest? Awesome, were you cosplaying yourself? *trying to place you in my memory, but 'end of the day' was still a big bracket!* Thanks though, shame you had to see it as it was all falling apart (I never should have given into the initial temptation to sit down, it was a not a cosplay made for sitting!)

Heh, I like the idea of an entourage! Thankfully my Onion Knight buddy and other friends were very helpful with repairs and picking things up for me and generally steering me around.

Not planning on Manifest next year though sorry, maybe PAX instead? :(
Oct. 27th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
Friday I was 20yl!Lambo, Saturday I was Hitsugaya and Sunday I was VongolaGear!Hibari.

Sitting down is a must though. Last year I hurt my feet fairly badly as I was on them pretty much all day. Braska in all his petals and headdress is not easy to sit down or get up in. Which is why and entourage is so very handy *grin*

I'm only planning on Manifest next year. Maybe Supanova seeing as Easter falls early. Others will depend on available funds at the time. I want to head to the US again in '14 to visit friends.
Oct. 28th, 2012 07:09 am (UTC)
Yes, no matter how much you might hope, sitting down eventually becomes inevitable. Cosplay is tiring. (Also, Braska? *_* Awesome.)

Ah, that is indeed the problem when you have to travel for cons - those funds can be funnelled to more epic things. Shame, though! But who knows what the coming year will bring.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )