new york comic con part 2 – the cosplay/tutorials


WARNING: long post ahead…

Today’s the day!  I have been SO excited to share my most recent cosplay, which I wore earlier this month to New York Comic Con.

Even though I consider myself a Marvel girl, I do love a lot of the DC characters.  A few years ago, artist Ant Lucia  and DC comics redesigned some of the most iconic characters and illustrated them in retro/pinup styles.  Those pieces then became statues, in an amazing line of DC Bombshells – each with a 1940s-era look.  Now there is even a DC Bombshells comic book series!  Check out this video below for more info:

Although most of the girls have a gorgeous pin-up vibe, I LOVED that Bombshell Hawkgirl was more of a World War II fighter pilot….with a jet pack instead of an airplane!

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The costume was SO much fun to make. Other than tailoring the jumpsuit and adding the tuxedo stripes down the legs, most of the work went to constructing the helmet, jet pack, and accessories.  Scroll all the way to the bottom for some pictures of the process!

Dave wanted to have a coordinating costume, so we knew we had to stick to DC comics, and it needed to be retro.  Although more inspired by the 50s than the 40s, artist Denis Medri created “Greaser Batman:”

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Dave’s bloody pipe was sadly confiscated at the door, but after lunch a different guard was there – and he let us through with it!

My absolute favorite part of the convention was meeting the artist who created the Bombshells, Ant Lucia.   He was SUCH a nice guy! I wasn’t surprised to see a few other gals there dressed as some of the other characters.  Ant put up these two great photos on Instagram:

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Of course, I just had to have him sign my jet pack! 
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And here’s one that Dave snapped at pretty much the exact same moment:


Sorry for the poor quality of all of these pics – all we had on us was a cell phone, and most areas of the convention floor lacked good lighting.


I felt pretty limited with my posing, because there’s only so much you can do while wearing a jet pack.  Do you know who else had a limited range of movement?  This amazing Hawkgirl!


Her wings were so awesome!  As tough as it was to move around, I did manage to sit myself down in a Star Trek Captain’s Chair made out of Mega Blocks:


After I got out of the chair, I was attacked/possessed by evil steam at the Lego booth…I think it knew that I had just spent some time with its archenemy, Mega Blocks.


At Comic Con, Dave and I always have our eyes peeled for great costumes.  Check out this amazing Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6:

My apologies to Honey Lemon for not capturing her face and great helmet – I think I was too distracted by her glowing purse!

We also were impressed by….

…this cute group of ladies:


A frightening Jafar:


An equally frightening Ra’s al Ghul:


(did you catch Joker’s perfect photobomb?!)

And last but not least,



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I love checking out all of the statues, figures, and collectables at the con, so I practically squealed when I saw this line of toys from Mattel:


I grew up playing with Spiderman and Superman action figures, and totally loved them.  But I know for sure that 7 year old Jen would have thought these were even cooler.

Since we don’t take our cameras when we cosplay, sometimes the best pictures are found online after the show is over.  Again, I apologize for a lack of creativity in my posing!

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Dressing With Class as Bombshell Hawkgirl, with friend as Bombshell Batman.

Also find her on Instagram

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Dressing With Class as Bombshell Hawkgirl, with friend as Bombshell Batman.

Also find her on Instagram

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Dressing With Class as Bombshell Hawkgirl, with friend as Bombshell Batman.

Also find her on Instagram

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The Batusi!

For some reason, Dave and I always take pictures during lunch in costume.  Usually we hit up the Subway a few blocks from the Javits Center, but I had a wisdom tooth removed a few days earlier and there were a bunch of things I couldn’t eat.  I was stuck with a salad at a diner down the road – luckily it tasted good! 🙂


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Although accessories were made by hand (keep scrolling!), the clothes I wore were purchased and then altered to fit.

Jumpsuit:  Forever 21 Utility Jumpsuit in Olive
Tank Top:  Sofra Ribbed Tank (Amazon)
Boots:  Mark & Maddux Military Riding Boots (ebay)
Helmet:  Spirit Halloween Army Helmet
Gloves:  FUNOC Faux Leather Opera Gloves (Amazon)
Goggles:  Black Welding Cup Goggles (Amazon)
Wig:  Yupo Long Wavy Wig in Wine Red
Custom Military Dog Tags:  Kenmore Army & Navy


I know most of you probably don’t care about how we made things, but I figured I would post them just in case anyone was interested!  Sadly, I didn’t take pictures of every element or every step of the process.  Just let me know if you have any questions!

Dave’s Cowl:

To ensure a perfect fit, I decided to make a mold of Dave’s head.  The material I was using (blackboard fabric) is really stiff, so there wasn’t much room for error.  I had never done anything like this before, but I’m glad I have the method down for future projects!

I covered his head in aluminum foil, then once I had the basic shape I covered that with duct tape (we used white tape).  I cut out the shape when it was still on his head so I knew it would look right later.  Once it was molded, I drew guidelines along the areas where I assumed I would need a seam.  I was just guessing at this point, but it worked!


I labeled each section and added hashmarks where the parts joined together so I could use them as guides to re-assemble.


I only had to focus on half of the helmet, because the other half would be symmetrical.DSC_0022-small DSC_0025-small

Then I cut out the pieces, and traced them onto the back of my blackboard fabric, making sure to transfer the guide marks and add a seam allowance.DSC_0026-small DSC_0027-small

Pinning was challenging around the curves!  I also didn’t want to pin the parts of the fabric that would be visible, since the pin holes are permanent.DSC_0028-small DSC_0029-small

I completed each half separately, then had Dave try it on (inside out) to join the two side portions along the center seam.DSC_0061-smallDSC_0062-small

Haha, he looks like he’s wearing a strange swim cap.

To flatten the seams and give them nice detail, I topstiched along every seam.DSC_0047-small DSC_0055-small

The nose portion needed more structure, so I used a sheet of plastic cut and sewn onto the blackboard fabric.  I could then bend along the bridge of the nose, and the fold stayed crisp.

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To finish it up, I sewed on the two ears and added exposed snaps to go with the silver hardware on his jacket.

Dave’s shirt:

I created a freezer paper stencil using my Silhouette Cameo.  Once Dave ironed the freezer paper to his shirt, he sprayed it with Tulip Color Shot fabric spray.  This stuff is awesome – the shirt stays totally soft and it looks professional.DSC_0219-small

My goggles:DSC_0070-small

This one was easy – I took apart the goggles and traced around the lens onto a red plastic sheet.  Once I cut out the circle, it was easy to re-assemble the goggles, stacking it with the clear lens that came with it.

My military dog tags:

I thought this was a fun detail.  I had these printed with Hawkgirl’s real name (along with a birthdate we made up based on her original appearance in the comics, and a fake blood type.  I researched to see if hawks have a blood type, and apparently they do not, lol)DSC_0220 (2)-small

My button and jet pack emblem:

The button is just slightly smaller than the emblem for the jet pack. I made them both out of polymer clay.  I used circle cutters and a pasta machine (both are only used for clay) to create the base of each emblem.


Then, I printed out the Hawkgirl logo and cut it out from another thin sheet of clay.  Once each clay piece was assembled, I baked them following the instructions on the package. (FYI – I do all of my clay work and baking on a heat-resistant tile I got from the hardware store, and my clay of choice is Fimo).

I used E6000 to glue the large logo to the jet pack, and to adhere the backing to the pin.


My wig:

The wig I purchased was pretty long, so I had to cut it.  If I do this costume again, I think I will dye my hair – although it looked good in real life, it ended up looking artificial in flash photos and direct light.  To cut down on some of the shine I sprayed on a dry shampoo, but it still wasn’t perfect.IMG_2963-small

My helmet:

This is another thing I would do differently.  With my natural hair in a wig cap and the wig on top of that, my head was pretty big.  I needed a larger helmet to fit over it, and then once I started added the other elements to helmet, it got huge!  I kind of felt a bit like Dark Helmet from Spaceballs, haha.

This was my first time heating and sculpting foam.  (I’m almost embarrassed to post this part, because I’m sure many cosplayer folks out there are MUCH better at this!)  Well anyway, when heated, EVA foam will form to molds and can be shaped to create helmets, armor, accessories, weapons, etc.

To create the top of the helmet, I cut out a piece of foam, then threw it in the oven to heat up.  I’m sure the fumes aren’t good, but I already used the oven to bake the polymer clay, lol.  This piece was taking way too long to heat up with my heat gun because of its size.  All other pieces were done with the heat gun.


When I was done cutting and forming each piece, I glued them to the costume army helmet I purchased at the Halloween store.  I used industrial strength contact cement to make sure I had a good bond.  This stuff is smelly and probably toxic, so I made sure to wear a respirator mask.

I posted the following pic on Instagram when working on the helmet:IMG_2981

Lovely, don’tchathink?


I used some kind of DAP sealer (I forgot which one!) to smooth out the wrinkles and fill in cracks.  DSC_0217-small

To create the indentations for the eyes on the side of the helmet, I burned through the foam with a wood burner (and wore the respirator again).DSC_0218-small

Next, I sealed the entire surface of the foam with two layers of Mod Podge, then sprayed it with Plastidip.  When that dried, I went back and applied a few coats of spray paint in black and silver.  (again, the respirator was worn – it’s important to stay safe!)

My jet pack:

The wings and center back section of the pack are all foam, so they were created in the same fashion as the helmet.


Dave created the rest of the pack using PVC pipes – he did such an awesome job!

While he was assembling the pipes, I created the logo on the side, using the statue as reference.  I did this on Adobe Illustrator, and it took a while to get the shapes and sizing correct.  If for some reason you end up wearing a Bombshell Hawkgirl costume and want the file, just let me know and I’ll email it to you! ( No use wasting any of your time when I already have it done 🙂DSC_0207-small

Once the sizing was correct, I printed the logos onto inkjet vinyl material, then used my Silhouette to cut it out.  Perfect little decals!

I added rivets to the jet pack by gluing on these little clear plastic dots from the craft store.  You can find them in the floral area – I believe they are vase fillers.  Then, Dave went ahead and sprayed the whole thing silver.

Haha, the kitchen in our little apartment was a mess!

Overall, the jet pack is definitely my favorite part of the costume.  Sadly, we ran out of time before NYCC to finish up all of the details – we even had little lights to make it look like there was fire coming out of the bottom!

I’m almost positive I’ll wear this one again, and that will give me the time I need to fix the helmet, dye my hair, and jazz up the jet pack.

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Phew, that was a long post!  Congrats if you made it to the end 🙂

You can also check out past costumes via these links…

PAX East ’15 (Beat and Gum from Jet Set Radio, revamped)
PAX East ’14 (Kat and Dante from Devil May Cry)
NYCC ’13 (Clobberella from Futurama)
PAX East ’13 (Gaige and Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2)
NYCC ’12 (Black Widow and Hawkeye from Marvel Comics)
PAX East ’12 (Beat and Gum from Jet Set Radio)
NYCC ’11 (Rogue and Gambit from Marvel Comics)
PAX East ’11 coming soon (Faith from Mirror’s Edge and Alex Mercer from Prototype)
NYCC ’10 coming soon (Domino and Deadpool from Marvel Comics)


4 thoughts on “new york comic con part 2 – the cosplay/tutorials

  1. Lindsey Puls (@HavClothWilTrav)

    Wow, wow, wow! Your cosplay is phenomenal!! You two are certainly talented costume makers! I loved the military dog tags detail, and I really enjoyed learning how you were able to make your costumes (even if I will never be able to replicate it in a million years, haha). And how cool that you were able to meet Ant Lucia!


    1. jenniferrzasa Post author

      Thank you so much Lindsey! It is always amazing to meet the artists – in my mind they are the true heroes of comic books! I know you love costumes too, so I won’t be surprised if you start doing the whole cosplay thing too!

      Hope you enjoy the rest of your week, and have a Happy Halloween!

      On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 1:23 PM, Dressing With Class wrote:



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