EB Expo 2011: Cosplay Evolved

The EB Expo held on the Gold Coast was the first games event of its size in Australia, seeing massive crowds, big name exhibitors, and a ton of gamers. Every...


The EB Expo held on the Gold Coast was the first games event of its size in Australia, seeing massive crowds, big name exhibitors, and a ton of gamers. Every convention sees its fair share of cosplayers and this occasion was no different; EB themselves even offered a variety of gaming characters for hugging and harassment, including the likes of Mario, Sonic and Sack Boy.

Just for you we’ve put together some of the awesome costumes and had a chat with the winners of the Cosplay Evolved competition who did a very impressive job on their costumes and skit “Mass Affection“. Here’s just a glance at the costumes that graced the expo, full gallery at the end of the article;

During the expo, costumed characters were able to compete in one of three competitions, Cosplay Undercover, Just Cos and Cosplay Evolved.
Cosplay Undercover rewarded costumed expo goers for their awesomeness even without entering an official competition. Undercover judges rewarded those who dressed up just for the funzies with gift cards, subscriptions and other such things.

Despite the expo’s focus on games, you would still often find yourself running into TV characters and internet fiends. The Just Cos’ competition allowed for individuals to be rewarded for dressing as their favourite pop culture icon, and it was fun to see characters you didn’t expect and some very creative costumes.

And finally the coup de grace; Cosplay Evolved, where entrants not only alighted the stage to show off their awesome costumes to 2,000 people, but were also required to enter their own 1 minute video of a character skit and perform a 2 minute skit on stage.

The overall winners were a mightily impressive Mass Effect 2 group, featuring Thane, Kasumi, Fem Sheppard, Tali’ Zorah and Garrus; also known as Elro, FrancesQuotidia, Sailor-Destiny and Zerebin.

Original photo by Mr Kitty

 

Through the wonders of the internet we managed to catch up with the group to find out more about what it takes to really do justice to a top game and epic team;

First up; Did you guys get a chance to play the Mass Effect 3 demo at the expo?

Frances (Kasumi):  No unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to play the game. We didn’t get to look around EBGames Expo as we spent our time finding out where we were supposed to be, then we were in lockdown until after the competition (and the Expo) was over. It was worth it though for the opportunity to compete in this competition :)

Okay so how did the group come together and decide on a cosplay tribute to Mass Effect?

Photo by Antonius

Frances (Kasumi): My friends Zerebin and Sailor-Destiny have been meaning to cosplay from this game for quite some time. They recruited Quotidia and my bf, Elro, both Mass Effect fans, and then they pooled their efforts to recruit me for Kasumi. I was sold when I heard Kasumi’s sad back story, and I knew from then on that I wanted to do her character justice! 

Was everyone in the group a fan of Mass Effect, or are some simply fans of cosplay? 

Elro (Thane): Zerebin and Sailor-Destiny had posed the question several months before the event, if Frances and myself would be interested in partaking in the Mass Effect group. Originally, I was supposed to be Mordin Solus, but after playing the game a bit I choose to be Thane Krios. I had preferred this choice, as when I cosplay, it means a whole lot more to feel a closer connection to the character you’re bringing to life. A lot of effort goes into the research of a characters story so that the creation process can be  fulfilled to an accurate degree and relevance to who the character is. I only agree to be part of something which I can relate to and am a fan of – To do otherwise would be against why I cosplay.

It’s awesome that you included so many of the iconic Mass Effect characters. How did you all decided who would and would not be included in the group?

Zerebin (Garrus): Well, the decisions were totally up to the members of the group. Originally it was Garrus and Tali, and when Thane and Kasumi joined up, i went in search of our Commander Shepard and eventually found our Shepard in an old friend of mine who is an actor, so portraying a strong female lead was something she could easily do. Basically we did characters we all liked.

Were there any other characters you wish could have been included, but for one reason or another were not?

Elro (Thane): When working in a team, you work with what you have got. There shouldn’t be wishing there were more people to fill gaps, or wishing someone wasn’t there. You take your team, figure out who is cosplaying who, and do the best damn job you can do so you can do justice to yourselves and just have a great time working towards a goal with your friends.

After you decide to work on a complex non-human character like Garrus or Tali
where and how do you start?

Photo by Zerebin

Zerebin (Garrus): The complicated characters were actually the most fun to make. We had some key features we needed to replicate properly. Garrus has his signature Armour and head and visor, and the fact he was tall, and had required stilts. Tali has her very unique helmet and the detailing on her belts and fabric wraps took along time to put together and paint on. For Garrus, i started with his torso armour, and worked out from there, while sculpting his head in my spare time. Tali’s creation was often complicated with the levels of detail and the very intricate way the costume has to be put on.

Elro (Thane): Zerebin and myself both sculpted our masks from plasticine. We then got assistance from our good friend Shannon, of Dreamweaver Masks, with the molding and casting to latex stage of these. After fully cured, Zerebin and myself painted the masks to match the characters. 

How did you go about designing and creating the weapons?

Photo by Elro

Elro (Thane): The design process involves obtaining images of the props from different angles and tracking details of the shapes and surfaces of the models. Designing basically is just a whole lot of research and planning on what to use, and how you’re going to assemble the prop.
This information is then applied to the blueprint creation stage – I made the blueprints for the two sniper rifles(Thane’s and Garrus’s) and the SMG for Kasumi. 

Thane’s and Kasumi’s weapons were my project to make. For my weapons, these are based on wood and shaped to correct proportions relative to the ingame models. All I can really say here is lots of sanding and cleaning up edges before painting.

And lastly what was it like getting up on stage in front of 2,000 people to  perform the skit? 

Frances (Kasumi):  Exhilarating!! The large screen, lighting effects, arena and the audience made the experience so surreal! I always enjoy performing skits, and performing alongside my friends made it even more special!

Photo by Antonius

 

Both the “Mass Affection” introduction video and performance are up online if you want to check them out. The group will also be heading to Supanova Brisbane, if you missed the opportunity to get your photo taken with your favourite character ;) You can also head on over to their DeviantArt pages to look at some more of top quality cosplays and artworks.

Thanks goes to the Mass Affection Team (see below) as well as Antonius and Mr Kitty for the photos.

    

Esperino Expo Cosplay Gallery:

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Jess "Ninja" Watson

About Jess "Ninja" Watson

Jess is a gamer that doesn't do things by half; she always plays games on insane difficulty, has a gamerscore of over 50k and can easily spend 100+ hours in online matchmaker. There are many games and extras in her collection, but currently her favourite items are her replica Halo Energy Sword, Gears Lancers and Portal Gun.