Ropecon 2019, with pictures

This year Ropecon was mostly about the cosplay. Which it often is anyway, for us, but this time I was really too worn out to do anything else. Plus the weather was dismally hot (despite the airconditioning in the convention centre), so I didn’t have the energy.

Still, the event was as wonderful as always and as full of my beautiful and colourful fellow Elevator People as ever. There was occasional heartache (the goddamn boffer fighters need to get over themselves and admit that what they do is just playfights with foam toys), but much fun was had, some games were played, and many, many euros were spent on loot.

As for me, I was low-effort all the way.

While Mrs. Hatboy and I poured a lot of effort into Wump’s and Toop’s costumes, and Mrs. Hatboy decided to simply dress up in some of her fancy and unique fashion items instead of cosplaying, I went with Fat Thor (at his lowest point) to fill out the Asguardians of the Galaxy plan we had going on.

My costume, then, was basically:

  • Let my hair go ragged
  • Unflattering shirt
  • Mjømjø

I cut the bottom off my stained old Oscar Wilde T-shirt so it would reveal even more belly, then I added a little shout-out to NoobMaster69, who needs to know he sucks and is right to go crying to his father.

The mighty hammer of Thor was a boffer effort all the way, with a rope strap so I could spin it (there may be a video of this somewhere but no pictures available), and was chosen because it was slightly easier to make than Stormbreaker. Maybe Stormbreaker next year, guess it remains to be seen what happens in the MCU.

Mjømjø also had the ancient Norse markings, drawn with great care and attention to detail in black marker.

Then it was time to crack into the Groot costume.

Wump was underwhelmed by the feet, but they would have made excellent robot-feet if we’d run out of time.

The feet, as well as Mjømjø, were made from solid blocks of sponge rubber that I ordered very last-minute (and a special shout-out to Tampereen Vaahtomuovi Oy, who handled the order and delivery extremely easily, quickly, and at a very decent price). I traced out Wump’s shoe-soles and cut holes for her feet and legs on the inside of the blocks, then shaped the rest around them.

There’s something strangely satisfying about picking apart sponge rubber.

Then it was just carve and carve and carve…

The tricky part was knowing when to stop.

And carve some more…

“The trick with carving Groot-feet out of sponge rubber is to see the Groot-feet inside the sponge rubber, and then cut away all the sponge rubber that isn’t Groot-feet.”
– Me, imparting wisdom

Finally they were ready.

Ready for Phase Two, that is!

They looked great, but I wasn’t the one who had to walk around in them all day.

Phase Two was spray-painting the Groot-feet brown. This was achieved by buying an aerosol can of brown paint, testing it on an off-cut to make sure it didn’t dissolve the sponge rubber, then spray-painting that shit. We were not here to fuck spiders.

The end of Phase Two was hoping there was enough paint left in the can to do the rest of the costume (spoilers: There was enough paint … but only just).

With the feet done, it was time to take care of some of the other bits.

Silk clay and foam clay make excellent lightweight decorations that look really good and take about five minutes to make. It’s revolutionised my cosplay game.

While I was doing this, Mrs. Hatboy was hard at work tailoring the main body pieces of both costumes. This involved some lucky finds in the attic and the local flea markets, and a whole lot of hot glue and sewing.

The kids collected some bark and moss from the nearby forest (don’t fret, it was all ecologically sustainable, deadfall, and otherwise fine; also how environmentally friendly do you think your costume was exactly?).

The shirt and the Groot headpiece (to back-track a second) were also decorated with wood-pattern using a marker.

The headpiece started out as a bunch of toilet rolls and tape painted with that aerosol paint I mentioned earlier. I think given time I can work another piece of foam into a proper headpiece that is more comfortable to wear longer-term. Also lighter than this one was.

The intermediate almost-finished Groot, therefore, looked like this:

“I am (almost, but not quite) Groot.”

Wump was pretty pleased already but we had a way to go yet.

There were hints of hair and toilet roll that we would never quite get rid of, but that’s cosplay in a nutshell right there.

Once the feet were dry I added some bark to them as well, and some of the specially made clay branches and leaves.

Fortunately I don’t think Wump paid much notice to the similarity between Groot’s branches and the Fairy Tree foliage.

Groot’s headpiece then needed to be finished up.

Its resemblance to the helmet of a Knight Who Says Ni never quite went away either, but it was still epic.

The leaves were added and the whole thing started looking a little bit Treebeard.

That didn’t quite go away either but if you think about it, Groot is basically an Ent Who Says Ni so who are you really kidding, Marvel?

The finished product was then ready for wearing.

A bit more testing, and a bit more paddding might have been a good idea … but Wump spent a night at a friend’s place right at a critical point in the construction process so I just had to eyeball it.

In the meantime, Mrs. Hatboy assembled her flea market finds and declared that they would make a fine Rocket.

Or an adorable bulldog, I guess.

She also got herself a fox-fur piece courtesy of her sister Bella to make into a more-than-acceptable tail, and the ears came together as well as you can see. The gun was a gracious loan from the Walder Palokas Collection (although it is apparently not obviously a toy so of course there was a Finnish sääntönatsi who insisted we put orange tape on the already orange bit of the gun to show it was fake). Toop practiced taking the gun and saying “ohh … yeah” in a happy Rocket-voice.

Pictured: Deadly weapon, adorabubble tail and ears.

The overall was created from a crummy old college T-shirt from a flea market, and was just the right shade of ugly orange. Some expert alteration later and Rocket was looking good.

This could be a mild understatement. Rocket was in fact looking like the cuddly-wuddliest little trash panda in the entire frickin’ galaxy. Only I didn’t use frickin’.

First layer of the costume was Wump’s old Wookiee onesie. Followed by the marker-coloured and tail-affixed orange T-shirt overall. Then an amazing Mrs. Hatboy face-painting job.

Sandals and hair-clips optional but they add a certain something.

Toop enjoyed herself a great deal, even getting in character enough to get very cross with anyone who called her “rabbit” or “raccoon”.

Adorably cross.

Add another brilliant face-paint job and a sponge-rubber video game for Groot to play incessantly, and we were ready to demolish Ropecon 2019!

The final product, this picture slightly out of whack in the Groot’s-head department on account of some discomfort issues and wadded paper napkins.

Knowing that we only had a short time before Wump and Toop got worn out (cosplaying is a gruelling business) and / or destroyed their costumes (indeed Wump was already shedding bark like Groot had a bad case of full-body dandruff), we ran to get ourselves photographed for the cosplay contest.

Toop was less than impressed in this picture for some reason.
(Photographer: Mira Ojamo, Conikuvat)

(Photographer: Mira Ojamo, Conikuvat)

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I was impressed at how long Wump and Toop managed to keep it together (and by “it”, I mean “the costumes as well as their fraying tempers”), and we managed to have a nice day getting photos taken and playing an assortment of games and doing some miniature painting and all sorts of stuff.

Then we were invited to the main auditorium with a very large crowd of our fellow cosplayers, for the (strictly voluntary) cosplay showcase. We would all be called up onto the stage one at a time (or in our group-effort case, three at a time) for the audience to admire, to answer a few questions from the presenter, and then it would go to a vote (to be tallied on Sunday). Who would win the contest?

Wump had managed her expectations well after seeing what an amazing bunch of costumes there were (check out the Conikuvat link above), and declared that it was at least impossible to imagine that we’d lose. I was fairly confident from the way our showcase went[1] that we’d do a bit better than last place, but there really were some great costumes.

[1] When the presenter asked us a series of questions and Wump replied “I am Groot” to all of them, that was when I knew we’d nailed it.

Anyway, when the results came in on Sunday we were already crashed out at home in near-comas, but it turns out we achieved second place!

I’m not certain who actually won yet, but hopefully there will be an update and a bit more info to add, as well as some pics from the showcase. Even as I wrote this, there were a couple more that showed up courtesy of Mira from Conikuvat:

Toop wondering just how many people are out there cheering; Wump all like “I am Groot.”
(Photographer: Mira Ojamo, Conikuvat)

And here’s a fantastic one of the whole cosplay crowd.

Props to Iron Man for shuffling in behind the Asguardians, I didn’t even notice he’d done that. Good man.
(Photographer: Mira Ojamo, Conikuvat)

All in all I couldn’t be (much) more happy with that result, though.

But if we have to lose to someone, I would like it to be this brilliant work of art, titled simply “Badger”.
(Photographer: Mira Ojamo, Conikuvat)

And that was Ropecon for 2019.

Next up: Worldcon in Dublin in a couple of weeks! I don’t think we’re going to be able to bring our Asguardians costumes with us, but maybe we’ll come up with something. And then?

Well, all that remains is to shoot for first prize in 2020. As Drax himself said, “it’s really Thanos I have to kill.”

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
This entry was posted in Hatboy's Movie Extravaganza, The Chucky Report and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Ropecon 2019, with pictures

  1. stchucky says:

    Update: The winner of the cosplay contest was the six-eyed “channeler” character, I’m not sure what it was from but you can find a picture there under Conikuvat link:

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