Saturday 29 December 2012

Replica 4th Doctor costumes on eBay

This past year I’ve spent a lot of time working on screen accurate replicas of the Tom Baker season 16 Frock Coat, as well as preparing to make a proper replica of the Romana Pink Frock Coat as seen in Destiny Of The Daleks.

I’m by no means the first or last person to have a go at either of these costumes, and if you cast around there are alternative cheaper options out there.

So I thought it timely to take a look at what can be bought for a more modest budget.

 At first glance these coats look pretty good, but at closer inspection there are a few shortfalls worth noting if you are looking for something more screen accurate.

Ecru brown long trench coat
Having worked on this coat extensively this year, I can immediately see a number of serious shortcomings in the cut of this coat. Some are quite picky, but others are more obvious.

  • One of the outer pockets is missing! The lower left-hand pocket has been omitted
  • The lower pockets have been confused, and large flap-less pockets are added at the back
  • The waistline pocket is too big and crashes the buttons. It should be close, but not that close. The buttons could be moved, and should be in a slight diagonal line, converging at the bottom
  • The piping around the edges of the lapels and pocket flaps are not the right colour. It needs to be a real dark brown (almost black) rather than a mik chocolate colour
  • The buttons on the back are set too far apart, and the back vent is exactly central, where it should overlap and be off centre

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Midnight -
fancy dress competition portraits

As part of the Midnight convention I entered the fancy dress competition.
I wasn’t aiming to win - the fun of taking part was enough.

As part of of the judging, a portrait photographer took all our pictures.

I really liked the picture Marco, the photographer, took of me.
Here the picture, and the rest of the entries.

Portrait ©
I’ve tried to fill in as many names as possible, but I have gaps.
If you are one of the uncredited entries or know who they are -
let me know.
Portraits ©
Tenth Doctor (Cherry Koivula); Tenth Doctor; Tenth Doctor and Rose; Tenth Doctor (Richard Ashton) and Rose (Tors Webster); Dinner Lady Rose (Kirstin Richardson)

Portraits ©
Silence; Cyber Shade (Scott Richard Mason); Ood and Captain Jack; Sycorax (Lydia Matts); Jade (Rhiannon Walker)

Monday 17 December 2012

Midnight - the many shades of cosplay

Midnight, like many conventions, was a great place to catch up with old friends, or meet face to face for the first time with people you know online.

One cosplayer I was pleased to see again was Jimmy Mann, who I had made a shirt for a few years back.

I’ve seen him at a few events now, including LFCC in July and Nor Con in September.

I like his style of cosplaying. Rather than spend months seeking out the right jacket, the right trousers, the right shirt - he blocks in the costume with anything that’s about, adapting and literally butchering where necessary!

That gets him out there cosplaying, before upgrading each garment as the opportunity arrises.

His Fourth Doctor costume is a great example. A stumbling block for the series 12-look is often the knitted diamond-checked cardigan. Jimmy found a plain brown one and PAINTED the design on.

Up close it looks ropy - but in all his photos and from a distance it looks GREAT and has gained many admirers.
Later he’ll upgrade if possible, but for now he has a great costume.

This weekend I caught up with Jimmy again to find he was already doing the new Matt Smith look with purple frock coat - though this isn’t a frock coat (its a coat that used to be his ten coat - now cut to length) and it didn’t start out purple (a quick once round a machine dye put that right). But again it looks great in his photos.

But the one thing I am not a cosplay-nazi. There is nothing wrong with cutting a few corners and getting a quick result, though I freely admit I’m of the opposite end of the spectrum and will research and perfect my patterns and fabrics until I am absolutely satisfied with the result.

My own Fourth Doctor costume, and soon to be seen Sixth are testament to that.
So it’s nice to get the chance to show them off once in a while and get some new photos wearing them.
It just so happened one of the official photographers for the event, Ciaran Brown, was a client of mine who’s shirt has been recognised at random American sic-fi conventions where even Doctor Who isn’t the main fan draw.

So it didn’t take much persuading for him to take a few decent shots on his professional camera, larking about with K-9!

These are my favourite pics from the ones Ciaran took for me.
Thanks to Ciaran Brown for taking the photos and letting me share them through my blog
Thanks also to Thomas Seymour for letting me take the reins of his superb K-9!
The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Sunday 16 December 2012

Midnight - guest group photocall

I attended the Midnight convention this weekend, which marked the first appearance of Billie Piper, alongside David Tennant who has now appeared a few events.

The way I see it there are two very distinct tracks to follow: the main hall events, with interviews and Q&A sessions; or the photoshoots and autographs.
It’s very much an either or situation, as the queuing needed to get your photos and autographs was prohibitive to seeing much of the main hall events, and all this despite having a gold pass for the weekend.

Saturday morning was the better of the two days, as I pretty effortlessly got my photocalls with monster playing cast members Barnaby Edwards (lead Dalek operator); Dan Starkey (who has played almost every lead Sontaran in the new series); and Annette Badland (notable for being a Slitheen in series one and now a supporting role in Wizards vs Aliens).

This was followed by the Torchwood stars Eve Myles and Gareth David Lloyd.

Both groups were happy to play along with my high jinx with jelly babies, though Gareth was the only one reluctant to join in. Eve soon put that right.

I wore my Ten outfit for the David and Billie photo, so donned my Fourth Doctor costume for these other shots.

The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here