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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Weekend almost over, bought some stuff at Närcon Gävle

Yours truly trying hats...
So as mentioned before, Närcon's first convention in Gävle (where I live close by) and before hand I new that this might be in a smaller scale than other conventions. I liked it though, and I am sure that Närcon wish to continue to have this event in Gävle annually. I sure hope so, and it sure has potential to grow bigger. The estimate for the weekend was 1000 visitors and I think that is pretty good for a first time.

Unfortunately the master cosplay contest was cancelled due to last minute drop outs. Too bad, I had been looking forward to this.

Well, myself and my girlfriend did go through the vendors quite a few times. We are both suckers for collectibles and the basic nerd stuff. I got an ear infection Friday night so I wasn't really in shape for the long run so we browsed through the convention a couple of hours on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. That satisfied me enough.

Point outs of Närcon Gävle 2016

  • There was a vaste number of Pokémon GO stuff available among the vendors (No shit?)
  • There was a German guy selling exclusive collectible figures, oh my god the prices!
  •  A Polish guy had the best merch in form of variety, anything from coasters to pillows.
  • Anime prints seemed to be the best seller this weekend(I think someone bought nine of them).

We also got some Japanese candy. More on that another day...

Later, awesome nerds!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

My 5 dream cosplays

There is a vast number of potential cosplays around. Extremely many so called mainstream ones from hit movies and television shows, you know the type any average Joe can spot in a convention. There is also a lot of obscure characters out there, some you have a vague memory of but can't place, and some you have no idea whatsoever what the hell it is. But it is fun. For my part, I have very little or no knowledge of japanese anime characters. Some I have seen before but I can't tell from what show they come or their name.

When I look at characters I want to cosplay, I tend to look at the mainstream ones - more or less anyway. I might go for a supporting caracter in a movie but mostly I go for the well known and I also go for what I like and think I can pull off. Both in my appearance and the skill of my craftsmanship. I am still a beginner so I should not go overboard the first thing I do.

I am currently doing a genderbend of Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels, and I recently posted pictures here on the blog with my progress so far. I don't know about you other cosplayers out there, if you constantly think of the next costume  you want to do. I sure do anyway, and I think most people working creatively do in some way atleast.

Here is my, without any specific order, the 5 cosplays I want to do:

Greedo, from Star Wars A New Hope Tusken Raider

Greedo is only in one scene of Star Wars A New Hope, but an iconic one. The rodian bountyhunter is really cool.

Tusken Raider, from Star Wars A New Hope

The Tuskenn Raiders, or Sand People, in the first Star Wars movie was intimidating and had a very different look. Fairly easy to cosplay to and I have actually already made the tunic and the garderffii stick.

The Lich King, from World of Warcraft
This one really takes some work. Lots of detail. Most cosplays I have seen is very good but are made in the cosplayers hight, which is a common way to do it. I made a monster for this Halloween which involves a body rig that when worn makes me over 8 feet tall. My idea is to rebuild this into the Lich King.
 Jason Nesmith, from Galaxy Quest
This might count as an obscure character to do. I know it has been done before by other cosplayers, but I like this movie. One of the best spoofs ever. Tim Allens character Jason Nesmith would be a great one to do and I already have the Galaxy Quest uniform patch, so....
Any male Togruta, from Star Wars
There are so many great female characters around. I love Ashoka Tano, but I will settle for any custom male Togruta instead. A really cool alien species. 
I could list a couple of dozens of other characters I would want to cosplay, but I picked five I can think of right now and that I have a personal connection with. Many Star Wars characters here, but hey I am a fan so... 
Lunch now and then time to make ready for Närcon Gävle!
Later, awesome nerds! 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Närcon Gävle 2016 is live!

Närcon Gävle 2016 opened the gates at Gavlerinken Arena in Gävle today. The cosplay convention will be open all weekend until Sunday. In my eyes the biggest focus is on the master cosplay contest, where the winner will qualify for The Swedish Cosplay Championship in March next year.

The convention also have a lot of other things to do and see, for example E-sport contests. Unfortunately I can not attend this Friday evening due to other life things, but tomorrow I will be there all day! Looking forward to see amazing costumes and meet equally amaing people!

Later, awesome nerds!

The Nordic Museum(Nordiska museet)in Stockholm hosts cosplay contest

Well I am not worthy, but looking forward to see the results of this upcoming contest!

During five months, Nordiska Museet in Stockholm (Nordic Museum) is hosting a contest where creative cosplayers create costumes for the theme folklore beings. Here you can follow the participants' work until The Swedish Cosplay Championship (Cosplay-SM) in March 2017. Here you can also immerse yourself in the subject of folklore beings with the help of the Nordic museum experts, collections and archives.

Conditions of contest

If you are applying for the contest, you must be at least 15 years old and live in Sweden. Participants are expected to share their creative process in social media. Nordic Museum has the right to disseminate the participants' pictures, and the museum's own descriptions of the process and the costumes, in social media and on the museum's website. Participants are expected to display their costume at The Swedish Cosplay Championship 2017 in Stockholm.

In order to take part in sponsorship money for the costumes, you need to be able to bill the museum through your own company, or (if you have no company) through online billing services such as Freelance Finance. We will help you to use the service if new to it.


Creating the costume

The creative process begins after the selected participants first information meeting, where participants can share information about the theme and conditions.

The participant shall create his own suit without outside assistance.

The contest is formost a crafts contest, which means that completely bought costumes are not allowed. Few details and modified components may be included in the suit as long as the participant is able to describe the work around the parts purchased or modified.

The contest encourages all or part originally designed characters. Feel free to use the museum's source material to create your own interpretation of your folklore being.
It is allowed to create the outfit for a model, which then also expected to show off the suit during the evaluation and demonstration.

The suit may not violate Swedish law.

The judging

  •  The costume will be assessed by a jury in a closed room.
  •  During the assessment the participant should be wearing the suit itself, or have a model show it.
  •   The contestants will then be able to account for both the creative and technical process behind the suit (ie the participant's interpretation of the theme "Folklore Beings", the participant's vision and how he then chose to portray this through his craft).
  •      Participants are encouraged to share their "work in progress" pictures, films and other materials during evaluation. Reference materials will be prepared by the Nordic Museum.

During the assessment points are awarded according to the following model:

Craftsmanship: 0-15p
The suit's crafts; workmanship, choice of materials, techniques, etc. will be assessed.

Interpretation of the theme: 0-10p
We assess how the suit is linked to the theme "Folklore Guard and Nordic Lights" and the interpretations
of the source material made by the participant. Creativity and originality are encouraged!

Display of costume

As a participant in the contest you are expected to show off your costume on stage during The Swedish Cosplay Championship in 2017 and do a short catwalk / interview and during the price ceremony. However, this will not affect the outcome of the contest.

Preserving the costume for the future

It is desirable that the participants within a year from the end of the contest leaves the suit to The Nordic Museum's costume collection, to be preserved for the future (optional).

Later, awsome nerds!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Recent and coming products from Sideshow Collectibles

Sideshow Collectibles has since 1994 provided us with fantastic figures and figurines of our most beloved heroes and villains. Their work is out of this world and when you buy a collectible from sideshow then you get your money's worth, even if it makes a hole in your wallet. Sometimes it feels as if I could just as well change the name of my bank account to Sideshow Collectibles.

Over the years they have given us fine old heroes and characters from the  film and comic book world, some have later returned in special editions, but there have always been new ones as new movies and TV series are produced.

As a fan of Star Wars I will shout out some new figures that was released recently or will be released in the coming months. 

 Nice Luke Skywalker sixth scale figure from Star Wars The Force Awakens, $229.99

Jyn Erso premium format figure from Rogue One - A Star Wars Story, not released yet, price unknown...

Deathtrooper specialist sixth scale figure, from Rouge One - A Star Wars Story, $234.99

Han Solo and Chewbacca sixth scale figure set from Star Wars The Force Awakens, $519.99

Later, awsome nerds! 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Inferno review

As mentioned earlier, I have seen all the film adaptations of Dan Brown's books with Professor Robert Langdon, and I have not been completely satisfied with either The Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons. The first thought I was too short and could well have been an epic three-hour movie, while Angels and Demons was more or less a messy movie in my taste.

Basic plot if you did not read the book - Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florece, Italy, with a gunshot grace to the head and memory loss. He has no idea how he even got to Italy. A female assasin, Vayentha (Ana Ularu), show up at the hospital and try to kill him and Langdon flees with his doctor Sienna Brooks, played by Felicity Jones. The odd couple end up in Sienna's apartment where Langdon finds a biohazard capsule in his jacket. They open it and find a hi-tech projector that shows and image of Dante's inferno from which Langdon continously had visions of during his trauma. Somehow it seems to be connected to a billionair named Bertrand Zobrist, played by Ben Foster, an eccentric tyrant with a vision of killing of half the world to save it from overpopulätion.

This movie starts off quickly with Langdons trauma and memory loss. He also suffers from visions, really creepy ones from the Dante's inferno which makes you squirm in you chair. The pace is constant through out the movie with people always chasing our heroes, and they trying to stop the maniac Zobrist and the secret organization he has behind him, lead by Irrfan Khan beautifully played by Harry Sims.

I think the movie holds up pretty good, read the book or not, it feels tighter than the previous movies and outshines them even if I atleast liked the tone of The Da Vinci Code. Ron Howard made a decent movie that I really enjoyed. Good performance from the lead actors and a thrilling story. It is not a materpiece but still...

Rating (out of 5): 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Another Dan Brown movie....and other things

Tonight I'm going to the cinema to see the new Dan Brown adaptation Inferno with Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones.

I can say right away that I like Dan Browns novels, and I have read most of them. The film adaptations on the other hand has been, well...a little meh! Actually I liked the tone of The Da Vinci Code, I also think Tom Hanks is the perfect Robert Langdon. Many of the actor/actress choices for the characters in this movie was spot on. But the movie itself? Not so much. 

The tone of mentioned film is good I think, but the storys about Robert Langdon is packed with a lot of information and subtletys, like Dan Brown intended when he wrote the novels. To cram this much information in to a two hours film is hard, hence the waste amount of good stuff that was left out in The Da Vinci Code. In my opinion, these films should be epic three hour long moviefests similar to types of movies like The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan and such.

Inferno is also only around two hours in length, but I have hope for this since it is a more of an action packed story than some of the previous ones.

The second full length trailer for Rogue One - A Star Wars Story has been out  for a while and many have reacted and reviewed it before me. I'm not going deep on this but as a super Star Wars-nerd I think I may have to atleast say something about it.

I liked the first teaser that came during Star Wars Celebration 2016 in London, and I think Gareth Edwards made a perfect tone for this movie. That is just it, it's feels like a Star Wars film ofcourse, but it also feels like a really good movie that anyone can like - SW fan or not. From the last trailer we got a little more about the story and the characters seems interesting. Will this be the movie of the year? Well the potential is there.

There have been a lot of talk about the re-shoots Disney made Gareth Edwards do, but I think that is just blown out of proportions. Have you ever had your boss come to you and say "I'm not completely satisfied with your work, can you do a little better?" Probably happens to anyone in there worklife one time or another. The photography, tone, story and the exciting sequences in the full length trailer shows that this is going to be a great film. I also am a fan of many of the actors in this film, like Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn and Mads Mikkelsen.

See for yourself below if you haven't already.

 Lucky me I live in Europe....because we get to see this movie already on December 14th!

Well, I will be posting a few word about Inferno tonight or tomorrow!

Later, awsome nerds!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A little bit of cosplay progress

Hello cosplayers! Thought I would give you a small update on the progress on my latest cosplya which is a genderbend of Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels.

As mentioned before in a previous post, I gained some weight lately, so I decided to start with the props before the actual costume because I want to be slightly more fit before I get into tight pant and a shirt like Sabine has. Ofcourse I could just make a suit that fits me as is, but I really want to make my beer belly disappear a bit. The end result will be so much better. Don't get me wrong here, I am not the shallow type and I actually encourages people to cosplay nomatter what they look like. Cosplay is for everyone, and I do not, or will ever not have a perfect body anyway. Just a little better proportions is what I am after here.

Anyway, here comes some pictures of my progress so far with the Sabine outfit and som ideas I have for future parts.

The Mandalorian helmet

This is the top dome of the helmet made out of EVA foam. For this I checked out Evil Ted's awesome Youtube channel for how to make this. You can see the tutorial on how to make a foam helmet here.

I then drew around the base of the dome to cut out at flat round piece. You will see further down why.
I used the flat round piece of EVA foam to tape the cardboard templates of the helmet sides on to it. This way I had the helmet perfectly sized after my measurements.

Then I glued the dome on top of the round piece, and then built polyester resin and glass fibre(the kind you fix and build boats with) layer by layer around the template to form the sides of the helmet.
I also covered the EVA dome with polyester resin to make it more sturdy. The dome itself is still there and actually makes the helmet more comfortable to wear. The surface of the dried polyester resin is pretty gritty so I used just polyester resin and mico glass ballon to make a putty for the finish. It did involve a lot of sanding afterwards. But totally worth it. The surface is now completely smooth and ready for small parts and paint.

Guns and holster

I have seen a few different ways to do the guns and holsters for Sabine costumes, and it has been made in EVA foam aswell as balsawood and plain hard wood. I know EVA foam better than any other material so I went with that, both for the holster and the guns.

I just drew out a template I found online on printer paper and cut out two layers of 12 mm EVA foam. Then I glued them together and stroke som wood glue on cracks and dents to make it smoother. 

The holsters I cut out the frame from 6 mm EVA foam and cut it to fold around the gun. Check out this clip at 3:17 how to do it. It is a little tricky but the result is worth it even if you fail a couple of times like I did.

Here is the result of the glued holsters with the guns. I made the small parts on the guns with 2 mm EVA foam.

My uncle in Finland had a good elk hunt last year so he sent me som left over elk skin a couple of months ago. Lucky me. The skin came in handy for the holsters, and I think it turned out to be a perfect detail to the finished job. 

Well, future work continues. The costume itself will need to be made. The idea is to sew the shirt from scratch. The pants I will buy a pair of cargo type pants and alter them to look more like the pants Sabine use. The belt I will also make from scratch since the style is typical Star Wars and nothing like that really exist in the real world, and attach the holsters on it. The armor I will continue to make from 6 mm EVA foam, the templates are finished after my measurments, they just need to be cut.

I hope you liked the progress I made so far considering this is my first cosplay. Please come with suggestions, tips and comments below.

Later, awesome nerds!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Trends in cosplay

Cosplay is currently one of the fastest growing trends in Japan and the quality of costumes is remarkable. Fans of the crafting hobby goes to great length to create proffessional hair, make up and props. In Japan, a cosplay meet can bring 100 000 visitors without raising an eyebrow.

As a Swede, and a noob cosplayer,  I can also say that the interest for Cosplay over all has increased greatly even here in Sweden. It has always been around since a long time back but only during the last few years it has exploded. In someways, you can even say that it has become a little more mainstream. This has been proved by Swedish public service television in recent years broadcasted the Swedish and Nordic Championships at NärCon live, first online, later live on the main channel. In 2016, NärCon is hosting a third convention for the first time in Gävle, with qualification contest för the championship show on TV in February 2017. Cosplay is growing.

Photo: Shila Forsman Photography   
The levels of Cosplay in Sweden is wide, from the beginners like myself, to experienced cosplayers holding high international standard. One of a handful is Linn Eriksson from Stockholm. She finished at least top 3 in every Swedish or Nordic Championship she has entered. To the left Linn as The Emperor from Final Fantasy 2, a costume which she won the Swedish championship with in 2015.


Trends come and go, that's why it's called a trend, duh! Often it is inspired by films, TV-series, games and comic books that have become popular. Last year it was not uncommon to see atleast a handful of Dead Pools at almost every convention. The trend now Among many female cosplayers is Harley Quinn as of the movie Suicide Squad. The comic book version we saw even erlier. During the last six months we also have seen a lot of pokémon cosplays since that darn game showed up...

Some try to be as unconventional as possible deciding their next cosplay. the most obscure costumes can be seen at most conventions, and sometimes you have to ask the character name and from the wheret it belongs. Some odd costumes you might know, but may also surprise you since you couldn't dream someone would pick that particular character. At The San Diego Comiccon 2015 there was a Triceracop costume present from the kickstarter marvel Kung Fury. If you do not know what the hell I am talking about, follow the link. You should though.

Mostly, cosplayers chose a costume based of a character they like. I am a Star Wars fan, and when I think of cosplay my thoughts goes to characters from that universe, and that's a big universe. My two current projekts revolves around Star Wars characters.

What will we see in the future then? Probably the usual stuff from the big productions coming to theatres, the most recent and old computer games and comic books. I would like to see more characters from the background, or characters that probably wouldn't be the first pick of most people. Perhaps someone from the recent movie The Girl with All the Gifts

Well, cosplay is here to stay and is coming closer to the homes of average Joes.

Later, awesome nerds!  

Sunday, October 9, 2016

A hell of a summer....and good ending of the year 2016

In my last post I promised more to come during the summer, well I hit a wall with my studies this spring and got behind some. Been catching up since and suffered from a minor depression during the same time. So with the lack of strength I have not held up my promise. Sorry about that, but I hope I can make it up to you know when feeling better again.

I have been taking it easy during the summer not doing much but been outside fishing on the lake nearby or working a little on my next cosplay and helping my youngest son with his cosplay.

Sabine Wren helmet in the making
Curious? Well, if you follow me on twitter I revealed my cosplay there not long ago, If you missed it the costume is a Sabine Wren of Star Wars Rebels genderbend. I really like that show since it is part of the new canon and actually Sabine is my favorite character. The idea was to have it ready for Swedish cosplay convent Närcon (more about that further down) in my town last weekend of this October, but I will not be able to finish it in time...and I packed on a few so I really want to lose some weight before I make a tight outfit like that, LOL. I have begun on the helmet, armor and weapons though, and I am pretty far in the progress of that as you can se in the pictures. Hopefully I can lose some weight and be able to finish the costume for The Scandinavian Sci-Fi, Game & Film Convention in early December.

Dinner party Jason 

My 10-year old son, Mattias, has caught up with the liking of cosplay and wanted to join me at the convention in December, where they have a cosplay contest for kids. Because of the small amount of time we decided to make a mash up cosplay we call Dinner part Jason, basically it is a Jason Vorhees costume but instead of the movie G.I. Joe kind of gear we have resown an old black suit of mine, adding a white shirt and a red bow tie. Voilà! Dinner party Jason! LOL. 

Making a cast of Mattias head to build goalie mask and rotten head
I helped him ofcourse but he did do a lot himself on the head part we made from a bald cap bought from a movie make up shop. We then sculpted burnt and distorted skin on it with latex, grease make up and acrylic paint. The picture provided isn't the best but I will upload better ones. The iconic goalie mask we will make from scratch in polyester resin.

Conventions comes in three....? 

This fall and winter is heaven for a convention lover like myself. First up October 28-30, it is Närcon in my town of all! Amazing I´ll say. Närcon is the largest convention in Sweden with around 8000 visitors when they crown the Swedish champion of cosplay every year in February and The Nordic Champion in July every year. These two conventions take place in Linköping, but this year they decided to have yet another convention in another town so the luck fell on my town. Happy me! Fifteen minutes from home to the convention arena. No cosplay ready for this since they dropped the announcement as late  as June, and I was in the making of my Sabine Wren costume. Did not have the energy to start something new.

The weekend after, November 4-6, the MCM Comiccon takes place in Kista Convention Center north of Stockholm, less than 2 hours travel with train from where I live. Nothing to argue  about. Taking girlfriend (am I aloud to use that word at the age of 42?) there and staying att the Kista Victoria Tower Hotel wall to wall with the convention center. Can not be better I think. We also celebrate the first year together that particular weekend.

A little rest then for a about a month before The Scandinavian Sci-Fi, Game & Film Convention, December 10-11. Lots of vendors at this convention, hopefully for my liking a lot more Star Wars vintage than usual. Lots of cool other stuff it will be though, and cosplay competition debut for my son also. My friend Björn and my girlfriend will probably acompany us there.

A couple of days later is premier date for Rogue One - A Star Wars Story. I really usually don´t like fall and winter, hard not to like this one.

Later, awsome nerds!