HALLOWEEN SPRINT pt 4: Things I Wish I Had #ElectronicHalloween

(Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) Will I have this NeoPixel Reaper costume finished for the Horror convention tomorrow? Probably not…unless I were to pull an all-nighter, but I’m kind of capital-d Done with that phase of cosplay. I’m not too concerned…I have other monsters to wear…then there’s still ample time to wrap up the Reaper for Halloween Proper, then fully document for a guide. Hopefully there’s just enough details in these blog posts that someone could follow along before then.

I’ll put in a little work after dinner, but not wreck myself. It’s a good time to reflect: what would have helped this come together sooner?

#1 More Time and More Discipline

When everything’s an emergency, there’s “no time” to put the last project away before starting on the next. Tools and materials pile up. It becomes very stressful just extracting the glue gun from under a pile of delicate wiring.

Not staged — that’s my actual workbench at the moment. I’m self-conscious about it but thought it best to be honest and share. It’s a constant struggle.

With a little more time and planning — and yes, mostly with more discipline and less procrastination — I’d make a more strict point of cleaning everything up at the end of each day. Even though much of it just comes out again the following day, the mess wouldn’t build and build on itself and cause this anxiety.

#2: An Exact Clone of Myself

Someone with the same skillset, same aesthetic sense, and the exact body size and shape. Of course that’s only possible in science fiction teleporter accidents. But we can approximate!

The first half of this is finding cosplay buddies who mesh well. Complimentary skills, for example — maybe one works on the “soft arts” while another tackles the “hard arts” in parallel, getting twice the work done in the same amount of time. I do have cosplay buddies…but work schedules, residual pandemic distancing and such have made social meetups infrequent. At the moment, this is a solo act and I’ve fallen behind. Don’t be me. Find your people!

The body-double part has to do with fitting and measuring. The Reaper requires very specific lengths of wires routed closely around the body. Can’t get those exact measures unless the garment is over the actual body…but I can’t take those measurements when it’s on me…across the back, for instance.

I do have a “duct tape dummy” — an unpleasant process of being wrapped mummy-like to produce an approximate body double — but that’s tied up at the moment with another unfinished costume (a Xenomorph!). It might be time that I invested in a mannequin or a male dress form. Yes, I think that’s the next acquisition.

For the moment though, it’s a matter of going back and forth with the incomplete costume sometimes on my body, and other times being hung on a contraption formed of a photo light stand, a couple coat hangers and a foam wig head. It’ll do, but it’s not filled out for my size, and it’s time-consuming moving the costume back and forth.

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