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!
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:”
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:
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.
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,
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.
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! 🙂
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!
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.
Haha, he looks like he’s wearing a strange swim cap.
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.
To finish it up, I sewed on the two ears and added exposed snaps to go with the silver hardware on his jacket.
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.
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)
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).
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.
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:
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).
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.
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! (firstname.lastname@example.org). No use wasting any of your time when I already have it done 🙂
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.
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)