Over the past couple of weeks I have written quite extensively about my Shadow costume. I have been working in my off hours to get the costume to as close to perfect as I possibly can. Now, just three days before LexCon, I can finally say that the costume is complete and ready to roll.
This has been a long and drawn out process, but I have to say that it has been worth it. When the idea first occurred to me to create a costume for The Shadow, I had no intention of doing anything with it. My original thought was that if I put it together I could run around my yard looking tough when the sun went down. That was about it. I had no idea, back in the infancy of this project, that it would turn out as well or as accurate as it has. This slow and methodical development of the costume ultimately led to my deciding to use it for cosplay, something that I have never done and am still somewhat nervous about.
Everything about this costume came together so well that it seems as if it was almost fated for me to create it. I found the coat, as if by magic, at Goodwill. The cape was perfect with only minor modifications. I constructed a homemade hat-stretcher to bring the hat up to my specifications, and it worked amazingly well. All of my efforts to sew or modify any part of this costume worked out without any failures, which is a total first for me. Never in my history of making things has everything gone off without a hitch. This time, it did.
Once everything arrived in the mail or was modified to fit my needs I could not have been happier. I made a rudimentary display dummy in my home office and placed each piece of the costume, almost with a touch of reverence, upon it as they were completed. The final piece of the costume to arrive, the ring, satisfied my needs at least temporarily. I wasn’t pleased with it because it wasn’t entirely comic accurate, nor was it the right size. In order to get a stone that looked even halfway right I had to order a ring two sizes bigger than what I would wear while wearing gloves. Then, I had to use a combination of yarn and friction tape to modify the inside of the band to fit. It was crude, but it worked.
Thankfully, I have access to a 3D printer. The art teacher in my school building, Mr. Withers, offered to 3D print a replacement ring for me. After several tries to get the shape and sizing right, it worked. We painted the band gold and I applied about seven or eight layers of nail polish to the stone. These tactics helped me finally end up with a ring that is comic accurate and that actually fits. I wish I hadn’t ordered the first one, but as it was only ten bucks it hardly seems worth the frustration to send it back for a refund. Perhaps it would make a good giveaway item?
The costume, down to the smallest detail, is complete. I am excited and nervous. As I mentioned, I’ve never cosplayed before. However, having a costume that is this accurate and that has involved this much work definitely makes me feel a bit better about the whole experience. I’m sure that I’ll have a great time on Saturday, and that all of my hard work will be rewarded.
There is one more installment to this series, a follow-up that I will be published here on NerdMerge a week from today. Stay tuned to see how the costume goes over at LexCon, and what my overall thoughts on cosplaying turn out to be.
Update: I received some info from the folks at LexCon. My guns are going to have to be heavily modified in order to meet convention rules. Rather than do this (because I like the guns the way they are) I ordered a couple of rubber ones with bright orange tips that will suffice. It’s a sacrifice, but I don’t think it will make a huge difference. Stay tuned for next week when I will post the final installment of this series!