Voting is over, and Major Spoilers (with your help) has crowned the champion in the 2014 Major Spoilers Costume Contest.
SAMANTHA: Usually what I am doing is sewing. My current project now is a renaissance type ballgown for a customer. When I am not sewing I like to help out by TNR (trap, neuter and release) feral cats to help keep the population down. I also like helping out in my local cosplay community by teaching classes on sewing, loving ones self while costuming, protecting ones self while costuming and generally just trying to be a good role model for the young people.
MAJOR SPOILERS: You had a number of great costumes this year in the contest, how long have you been cosplaying?
SAMANTHA: I have only been cosplaying for 4 years and making costumes for 3 1/2 years.
MAJOR SPOILERS: What originally got you into creating costumes?
SAMANTHA: Originally I commissioned my costumes from internet sites but one time I commissioned a Freya Crescent costume, (she is from Final Fantasy 9) and when I got it, it didn’t fit properly despite giving my exact measurements and the first convention I went to it fell apart! This costume cost me $600 and it was so cheap looking it pissed me. I decided afterwards that if I was going to spend that much money on a costume I might as well do it myself so I got a sewing machine and taught myself how to sew, read patterns, pick out fabric’s, the whole shebang. I had some help from other seamstresses here and there but mostly I did this all on my own.
MAJOR SPOILERS: Why the AT-AT? It’s such a unique costume.
SAMANTHA: The AT-AT was something from my kidhood that I always loved, but the actually push to create him came from someone being a huge doubting jerk to me and telling I couldn’t do it! I could never make a one person AT-AT costume. So I set out to prove them wrong and ended up doing so!
MAJOR SPOILERS: Give us the rundown of building this costume and how long it took you to build it.
SAMANTHA: Let me tell you…There are NO tutorials or anything on building a one person AT-AT. I think I am the first person to ever build one. I found help in the furry community particularly in quadsuits. Most of my AT-AT is cardboard, the frame for the head is the plastic canvas you use for yarn. The feet are couch foam covered with wonderflex and the front legs are PVC pipe with a joint. The little guns on the side of the head are nothing more then cardboard, felt and drinking straws. The guns on the front are wood dowels and card stock!
A lot of the shapes came from me just eyeballing a picture and then tracing it out on the cardboard free handed and if it looked good I would cut it out. There was a lot of trial and error but eventually I made it all work. This project took me about 7 months to make which looking at it you wouldn’t think It would have taken so long. But given I was on my own with this I had to wing a lot of stuff.
One day I am going to remake my AT-AT out of something a little more sturdy then cardboard but til then I’ll keep enjoying the looks I get when I stomp around the conventions.
MAJOR SPOILERS: What has been the reaction of the AT-AT at conventions?
SAMANTHA: The very first convention I went to with him I got a standing ovation and a roaring round of applause. No one in the local area had seen anything like this before! People lined up and took pictures. It was overwhelming! The most fun I have is when I see the little kids because they either do not know how to react or they just get all crazy happy! Especially when I’ll take one of my front feet and bro fist them! Hell even the adults went crazy when I would bro fist them. I entered the costume contest at that con and when I went on stage 90% of the audience started chanting the imperial march song. I about died on stage.
All the attention I get from other con goers is positive! I’ve even entered this costume in a craftsman contest at a different convention and won 3rd place with is an achievement for something I saw as so simple.
MAJOR SPOILERS: Congratulations once again, Samantha!