The work of Ryan Brandt Cosplay, a.k.a. Fake Nerd Boy, has caught my attention a few times. The first cosplay of his that made me take a closer look is his gender swapped League of Legends Vi costume. He wore the ensemble at Dragon Con last year, and it made an impression. Building the giant hextech gauntlets couldn’t have been easy, but it’s only one of the skills in Brandt’s toolbox. We asked him about his cosplay history, using EL wire, and techniques he’s learned over the years.
Photo by David Ngo
Adafruit: How many years have you been cosplaying?
Ryan Brandt Cosplay: I’ve been making costumes for many years but only started going to cons/making costumes specifically for cons in 2011.
Photo by TLY Photography
Adafruit: You have a variety of costumes in your portfolio; which one took the longest to build and what was the most time consuming part?
Brandt: That stupid Rogue costume! I will never let go of the grudge I have against it! I’m not the best at sewing so making a full bodysuit with inlays was NOT fun for me, haha!
Adafruit: I love the design of your Electro Boi costume! Tell me about what electronics you used and a little about the build process.
Brandt: That was most expensive costume and it doesn’t get much attention because it’s an original creation and not “from” anything in particular, so I appreciate you noticing! I learned to use EL wire for the first time and it’s kind of a pain at first and can get fairly pricey, but let’s just take a moment of silence to appreciate YouTube tutorials.
Adafruit: What new skills have you had to learn because of cosplay?
Brandt: I’m constantly leaning new skills and perfecting things I already know how to do. For example, I already know how to make foam armor but as I’ve been working on my Death Knight (World of Warcraft) costume, I’m figuring out new techniques to use to make things look cleaner. I can’t wait to start molding and casting things for props, weapons and accent pieces.
Adafruit: What advice would you give to people who want to try cosplay?
Brandt: I think it’s extremely important to make costumes of characters you love or appreciate aesthetically and just spend time perfecting the craft to make yourself proud and NOT for popularity or recognition from others.