After cutting my cosplay teeth as Ellen Ripley at Rezzed 2014, I felt ready to attempt another. My choice was Rocket Raccoon for the MCM Comic Con at Birmingham 2014. Funnily enough I hadn’t even seen the movie before I did this, nor had I even heard of him before the movie was announced. Some might say that you should be an expert on your cosplay character. I don’t think so as it is all about the fun of it for me, and it should be for you too. Never be afraid to attempt a character you have only seen pictures of. The internet is full of resources for you to find out more if you so wish. I did this for Rocket and after seeing the movie he has become one of my favourite super heroes.
There is some amazing Rocket cosplay out there, check out this wonderful one made by Warrens Cosplay.
I didn’t feel ready to make a full fur suit. I also knew I would be spending along time walking around and didn’t want to get too hot. Comic cons are full of bodies and you can get very hot through the day. Keep this in mind when you are making your costume. However don’t let it stop you. If you want to go in a full 8 Ft Groot costume then do it, you can always take lots of drinks and step outside for a breather.
I decided to minimise my Rocket cosplay, going with little fur paw mittens instead of furry arms and a face mask instead of a full fur head. The ears were attached to a head band usagimimi style. I normally wear glasses, although I am going to try contacts for my next cosplay, so I attached my felt raccoon mask to an old pair so I could see what I was doing. I did just paint my face with dark eyes and a little black nose for when I was browsing the stalls but wore the mask when I entered the masquerade later. The tail I made with grey and black fur sewn together and attached to my belt with a loop. Wearing separate top and trousers made it a lot easier when going to the little girls room too. Something you also have to consider when you are attending conventions all day long.
I found lots of references for my cosplay on the net and I use Pinterest to collate them all. I find it really useful, as lots of peeps use it to put their own cosplay adventures on there as well as very useful tutorials.
For Rockets armour I was a little out of my depth. I am pretty confident when it comes to sewing but creating foam armour was new to me. Luckily lots of people have shared their knowledge and I was able to pick out a suitable way for me. I felt more comfortable in a top and trousers than a full jumpsuit, so I sewed the top myself from light canvas that I previously had dyed orange. The orange jeans I found on EBay (another wonderful cosplay resource). I layered various pieces of an old yoga mat into the back armour piece and between them poked led lights acquired from Ikea to make the blue light in the back. This was diffused with a blue plastic sheet from an old filing folder.
I found a wonderful recycling centre near me that is a treasure trove for the cosplayer. Always check near you to see if such places exist. Ours has many things local companies don’t need any more and you can find all manner of useful stuff. I was able to get hold of old seatbelts and leather material which went into making the armour patterns on the top and trousers, and a glass lens which I used in the back light. Tons of hot glue and spray paint later a Rocket Raccoon was born. All in all it turned out better than I hoped. Although I am always filled with envy when I see Rockets like that above.