At the end of February, I made a joke on my FB about how I haven't been able to afford a haircut, and as a result, I have "Winter Soldier Hair" - well, naturally, many of my friends decided that I HAD to do the costume. Since I was planning to go to ECCC at the end of March, I thought, sure, why not!
Well, really, it was because my friend, Tash, commented and said "I know how to make costumes. I can help." And since I don't know how to make costumes, I was like "this is the only way that this costume will happen, so, yes, please." It took us about 4 working days in total when it came down to it. Plus, some last minute trouble shooting on my end, but we managed to pull it off!
Since I don't have a job and am broke, costs had to be kept low. So, everything that we could was purchased at Value Village or the dollar store. Velcro and elastic was purchased at a fabric store, duct tape was purchased at a hardware store, and friends gave/loaned me the binder, undershirt, boots, and leather glove.
Jacket was $15 at Value Village:
First thing's first - let's cut the sleeve off that thing (but keep the sleeve! It's a good jacket!)
Using craft foam from the dollar store (10 thin sheets for $1), we cut out the pieces that would end up wrapping around my arm. Because the craft foam was thin and we had so many sheets, we then cut the "grid" pattern out of another sheet of foam and then glued it too the arm pieces to achieve a 3D "plated" effect.
Obviously, although the craft foam colours were very playful, they needed to look metal - so we did a base coat of white glue, let that dry, and then spray painted the pieces silver. The layer of glue is essential when spray painting craft foam - without it, the spray paint doesn't stick very well and ends up with a really bad looking matte finish that slowly rubs off.
We made a mask too, though I didn't end up using it. This is a picture of us midway through making it. We made it so that it could just be tied on.
I had to trouble shoot a little the day before I left, because we had accidentally made the shoulder piece too small to tuck up under the jacket - so I used some of the left over material from making the mask (.59 cents at the fabric store, btw) and cut something that I could tie over the top of the shoulder to cover up the fact that the shoulder piece ended too soon.
And here we have the completed costume! (The harness and Utility belt were made out of laptop straps - also from the dollar-store. I've got no progress pictures for that process though!).
I DID make a fake front piece to more accurately represent Bucky's jacket (which has cool leather strips across the front that do up with buttons), but on the day of the Con, I decided that it was too cumbersome to wear, and it detracted rather than added to the costume (or so I felt.)
If you're wondering where my boobs are - we designed the costume with me wearing a binder, because The Winter Soldier is a dude... and when I wear a binder it looks like I have huge pecs, so, added bonus. However, looking at pictures, I also think that when my boobs are gone, you really notice my chubby stomach - or, at least, I do. (Also, I'll never be more thankful that Sebastian Stan has fairly substantial ass and thighs for a cis-dude, because I felt like my luscious ass wasn't TOO out of character. :P)
A more pressing, and less vain, problem with the full costume was that I couldn't really use my arm. I couldn't move my shoulder at all, and could barely bend my elbow. So, for about 6-7 hours, I had my arm just hanging by my side... that was fine, I got relatively used to doing things mostly one handed - though, man, I have a strengthed respect for one-armed/handed people. What I didn't forsee happening was that my body wouldn't be able to efficiently drain blood from my hand... so, by the end of the day, my left hand and fingers were all swollen, almost painfully so. Also, my shoulder started cramping up from not moving.
This all meant that on Sunday, I decided not to wear the full costume again. I went with what I call "Minimalist Winter Soldier". I ditched the binder (although I was comfortable wearing it, I did get super dizzy at one point, and I'm either blaming it on the swollen hand, or the fact that I might not have been taking deep enough breaths because of the binder - concentrating on my breathing seemed to prevent any further dizzy spells anyway.)
I had brought the sleeve with me, so I reattached it using black gorilla tape - but only under the armpit. The top I left detached. I then dismanteled the upper-arm/shoudler a little, so that I could tape just the shoulder into the jacket... the result was an understated Winter Soldier cosplay that allowed for almost complete mobility of my arm. (I also did away with the harness, because I wanted to carry my own bag, and I knew the bag-strap would end up wrecking the harness if I wore it.)
(Also, please note that all sad-faces in photos are intentional - gotta be in character!)
All in all, a successful cosplay, I think! I had one girl tell me that my arm (the complete one) was the best she had seen all weekend! And I agree with her - out of all the Winter Soldier cosplays that I saw, and there were at least 10, if not more of them (and all women - which I found fascinating), only ONE other arm looked cooler than mine, and all the other ones looked pretty crappy.
My only slight regret is that I only saw one REALLY good Captain America cosplayer, but I was on my way out the door for lunch (and bathroom) and only had food (and peeing) on the brain, so I didn't stop to get a picture - I figured I'd probably see him again at some point... but obviously my food deprived brain is an idiot, because Emerald City Comic Con is HUGE and I never did see that dude again.
I might do another post about ECCC itself, we'll see... it DID kick off with not only meeting Kelly Sue DeConnick, but also escorting her to her booth! So, that was cool! :)