when you’re smoking & your parents come in the room


The total area of solar panels it would take to power the world, Europe, and Germany

Invaluable Books on the Art of Making Props and Armor

Hey there kiddos, I bought these 3 books a while back on making cosplay props and armor that I thought I’d share with you.

Alright, so this book caught my attention because while I’d seen tutorials on how to make this or that all over the place, I hadn’t yet scene a book on it, let alone something I could get for $5. This book is basically invaluable, it’s $5 USD for something with loads of information on it, there’s information on the tools of a prop maker, materials, painting techniques, putting the finishing touches on your work, and you can refer to this thing again and again, I’ve always found something to help me out.

It’s about 20 pages long, and you download it in PDF form, which I find really handy, especially since you don’t have to wait for it to ship. Basically, for anybody interested in prop making, check this book out, you’ll be glad you did.

**There is a second book by Bill Doran on his site, the “Convention Prep Kit 2014”. Basically it’s his book along with a load of blueprints, so maybe it’ll be good for some of you.

This is a bit of a two in one, and if you’ll notice I linked to her Storenvy shop, why? Because I don’t wanna write two different things about two connected books made by one author.

But hey, I’ll just jump right into this one. So KamuiCosplay has written to date 2 books on the art of making and painting cosplay armor (and is working on a third, I believe?), and they’re some of the most useful I’ve seen. If you look at her portfolio, you’ll see a lot of her cosplay involves armor, and it’s all fabulous, there’s absolutely no reason not to trust her on this. The grammar, at times, is a little off, but it’s not terrible by any means, and if I ever find myself in need of armor, I’ll probably keep this book close at hand. 
It’s $5 for the PDF of a single book, or $20 for a printed copy, personally I can’t afford the printed copy, so I bought the PDF and it’s perfect for me. I’ll probably buy any other books on the subject of armor or prop making she publishes.

Where to Buy Contacts

So here’s a quick, short post on where I go for my lenses (or where I wish I could go in the case of 9mmSFX), by no means are these the only reliable places, these are just the ones I go to.

**Also please keep in mind the risks of using contacts in any capacity, and definitely think about if it’s the thing for you, and if it is, learn how to keep them clean and safe from damage to minimize the danger of using them, and also learn to put them in well before the shoot/event/convention because it’s tricky.

Decent place to get the more “crazy” kind of lenses, like solid red or pink or neon colors, pretty much the average prices you see for contacts.

This is where you should go if you have like $200+ to drop on a pair of contact lenses, because these aren’t cheap (the listed prices are for a single lens, I believe), though they’re of amazing quality, this is where you should get stuff like sclera lenses from.

One of the two places I’ll go for circle lenses, or things thatare more “realistic” since I generally can’t afford 9mmSFX lenses.

The other place I go to for realistic or circle type lenses, and my favorite place for lenses over all.

Where to Buy Wigs

Alright, so this is a short write up on where I get my wigs, and how I feel about the quality and customer service of each seller. These are by no means the only places to get wigs, they’re just my favorites and the first places I tend to go. All the shops are rated out of 5 stars.

Arda has to be my absolute favorite wig seller, and the very first place I go when I find myself in need of a new wig. 
They cary wigs in a huge variety of colors and styles, they have amazing lacefront wigs, extra wefts (that come in these amazingly long pieces, they definitely don’t cheat you on this), and they have a lot of the tools needed to style them (wig heads and stands, clips and pins, wig shampoo, lacefronting needles).
The staff are helpful and polite, they can answer any questions thrown at them.

Basically 5 stars all around.

Alright Epic Cosplay, this is the second place I check for any and all wigs I require. They again have lots of styles in lots of colors, but I find the selection is nowhere near as good as Arda, though the customer service is still pretty good. (However they do seem to cheat you on buying extra wefts to the point it’d be better to just buy a wig and cut the other wefts out).
That being said they are a bit cheaper than what you get at Arda, so decent if you’re on a budget.

I give them 4 out of 5 stars.

Match is about tied with Epic Cosplay for me. Again lots of colors in lots of styles, but again they also lack the variety and quality of Arda. Staff is a bit more difficult to work with but, I still totally trust this seller, especially if you’re on a budget too tight for Arda.

4 out of 5 stars.

I’m gonna dive right into saying that Wig is Fashion was better 2 years ago, since then they’ve gotten rid of loads of styles and colors to the point I barely check the site, what I’ve gotten from them isn’t horrid, but it’s also not the most amazing wigs I’ve ever seen. Customer service and the lack of variety definitely lower my opinion of the place, but again, better if you’re on a budget.

3 out of 5 stars.

Decent at best, the wigs from here are generally good on the color, but they’re also extremely thin and if you’re buying a character wig that looks styled, chances are it won’t come styled. The wigs are about the same price as you’d pay at MatchWigs or Epic Cosplay, though sometimes they’ll change a wig drastically and fail to update the product photo which results in receiving something you didn’t look at and choose to buy, they will send you a replacement without asking you to ship the old wig back, but it’s really not worth it to chance for me, also to keep in mind the shipping from China to the US is murder on the wallet. The staff also speak decent enough English, but that being said it could be better, so I tend to not order from here.

3 out of 5 stars.

By far I trust eBay the least of everything on this list. There are a lot of shops using the same photos and who knows if you get what you ask for here. I do know people who have gone with eBay and gotten some great things off their, but for the most part I don’t tend to trust it because I’ve had bad experiences with receiving something drastically different from what I’d ordered in the first place.

Over all 3 out of 5 stars, though there are a few great sellers on here people seem to find trustworthy.

Basically China’s eBay. I don’t have loads of expereince ordering from Taobao (mostly because I hate going through middlemen to buy stuff and with Taobao you pretty much have no choice), but from what I’ve seen there are a few cosplayers who do it with a lot of success (DerseDreamer and AngryJaeger, both of whom I look up to a lot in cosplay seem to have a lot of success with this site however, so I’d trust their word over mine anyday).

(**Also to be noted FantasySheep, the well known and trusted eBay seller has a shop on Taobao which is great, especially since their eBay store appears to have been closed down.)

4 out of 5 Stars.