Monday, February 13, 2012

New Naka Neighborhood

All alliterations aside, this post is to talk about Naka Kon 2012, which I attended.

First and foremost, the con had a new location!  The old location had its benefits, so there are some mixed feelings about that.

Old Location PROS
-Connected via tunnel to a mall with a food court, so that there's no need to go outside during the entire stay.  Since the con is usually in Febraury, a wintery month, that's definitely a nice advantage.
-Actually... that's pretty much it, aside from familiarity.  After you go to a con at the same location a few times, you start to memorize where each room is, and you don't have to look at a map anymore.  But don't take this to mean that the old location had no or few advantages, because not needing to go outside, when your costume may consist of very little or at least not much that's warm is really huge.

Old Location CONS (heh heh, con cons)
-Naka kon is a fastly growing convention and with the old location being right in downtown Kansas City, the hotel it was hosted at got plenty of business without the con's help.  The con people filled up every room so that there weren't many rooms for normies, and on top of that, normies were wierded out by the con people, and complained over the stay.  In other words, the hotel was not very happy with us.
-Naka Kon is a fastly growing convention, and even though the hotel it was at was not small by any means, it was getting to the point that they just couldn't hold all the con-goers anymore.
-To abide by the hotel and normies will, Naka Kon was becoming a very strict con, rule-wise.

New Location PROS
-The new location is specifically a convention center, separate (for the most part) from any hotels.  We can be as weird and loud as we want to at the con, and the limitations on such have been laxed just a bit.
-The new location is MUCH BIGGER, which is good because Naka Kon is growing a lot faster than I had originally seen.  Even with the new location, there was a cap on registration.

New Location CONS
-The hotel that Naka Kon used is not directly a part of the convention center.  It has a single connected hallway, that our group didn't even discover until the second day.  Perhaps it would have been easier, had we been able to stay at that hotel, but that brings us to the second point.
-The Sheraton associated with the convention center is slightly smaller than the previous hotel.  It may have been mostly devoted to hosting con-goers, and less complainy about it, but with part of the reason that we needed a new location being that there wasn't enough room, that posed some problems.  Also, part of the Naka Kon contract with the ability to use the convention center, was that they were not allowed to create deals with overflow hotels. (This may not be one-hundred percent accurate.  Con gossip is shady business.)
-The hotel that is right next door is NOT connected at all to the convention center.  It was fortunate that it was right next door, but having to walk a few yards outdoors in the winter is not fun.
-Finally, limited food availability.  There were a couple of places that, during certain hours of the day, you could purchase food at the con... and I'm certain that to those who stayed at the Sheraton, there was a con suite available... but for everyone else, you had to fend for yourself, and if you happened to have the time and hunger during the hours that everything within the convention center was closed, you had to venture outside to feed.  While that is the norm for many cons, it was not so at the previous location, at least not as much.

I think I approve of Naka's decision to move.  There was definitely a need to change location.  On the other hand, I don't think the convention center is quite the location we need.  It is closer, and perhaps if the schedulers had made better use of the rooms they had, it would have been nicer, but with the con growing as rapidly as it is, we need something even bigger.

Now, on to other aspects of the con!

The panel selection was sadly sparse this year, but that isn't entirely the con's fault.  If few people decide to run panels, then you must deal with the panels you have.  I enjoyed the brony panel, the Mii plaza panel, and the game show panels the best.  I'm finding that I'm growing more bored with Tales of Con Horror panel, mostly because repeat guests tell the same stories over and over, and new guests don't have as many stories to tell.  Still, it resulted in many jokes about Kansas being "a comfortable place to ejaculate" which got so overused, but is still somehow funny. I also enjoyed how the 18+ panels were in a separate part of the convention center, so that you didn't have to check badge right outside every single door.  Idea! There should be a small area in the convention center totally dedicated to 18+, and it just be a place for adults to hang out without the small and innocent.

Boyfriend tried to enter the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tourney and was put on a waitlist.  I think that bigger con should also equal bigger game room and bigger planning for tournaments.  There should not be a huge waitlist for a gaming tournament, in my opinion... and if you expect there will be, then there should be some warning and perhaps pre-elimination so that the tournament is actually between those who have skill and is interesting.

On the subject of the gameshow panels previously mentioned, I tried to enter the Anime Press Your Luck show, and failed.  I *did* get into an audience game, but what I failed to realize until it was too late was that any prizes during an audience game are nullified, and all I got was a lousy T-shirt. (That seems to happen to me a lot...)

I didn't attend the cosplay contest, but I did see some pretty awesome costumes!  Unfortunately, I derped and didn't get pictures. Except for this one:

I tried to get more of a side picture so that you could see more detail, but she kept moving.  Let me just say, it was very impressive, especially the hair and legs. And SOFT!

I'm always open to answering more questions, but...

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It weel not break! It weel not br- ..oh.. it broke.

Aladdin references aside, I did think I ought to mention that the air-dry clay was put to the test, and it failed.  JUST as I was getting out my painting supplies... the horn fell off my pony.

So, I need a new sculpting material.  Other, more professional artists have been recommending epoxy?  I don't really know much about it.  They claim it's easy to use, but considering the cost of the material, I really want to be sure before buying.  Advice would be appreciated.

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Custom BB Pony Experiment - Luna Edition - Step One

Since one of my favorite characters from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is Princess Luna, I decided to try and make a custom Blind Bag Pony, from some non-cannon bb ponies donated to me by a friend, and a couple that I bought myself.  Not wanting to ruin his ponies, should I fail, I began with Sugar Grape.

Step One is: Add horn and crown.

I'm a little anxious.  I just finished constructing them, which was far more difficult than I expected, due to how small they are... and I'm waiting for the air-dry crayola clay to dry.  I'm very concerned that the material of choice is too brittle, and will break when I try to paint.

So far, it doesn't look too impressive, but 99% of attempters would agree that this is probably the hard part.  The original picture reference I had for a completed BB Luna had fixed the hair to be more like hers... I think I'mma wait to do that until I'm a little more advanced... if I do that at all.  I've seen other BB Lunas without the changed hair, and they look just as good, so my concern has dropped on that end.

Here's how it looks so far:

I've also noticed that adding the horn and crown has made her a little topheavy, and she tends to fall over a lot.  I might have to stuff some clay in the little hole in her hoof to balance things out a bit.

Just did.  Seems to help a touch.

Also, I've been updating my DeviantArt a little more, recently, and have been participating in Equestria Daily's Mock War challenge, if anyone is interested.

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Simple Costumes

Here are some ideas for men and women for cosplaying, that are fairly quick and easy to put together.  I know that for some, crossplaying is possible, but in case you're like me, and you really can't look like a guy (or are a guy and vice versa), I've got an equal amount of male and female simple costume ideas for you, today.. plus a couple of easy group ideas!


Character: Ichiro
Source: Nerima Daikon Brothers
Distinguishing Features: short brown hair, black pants and suit jacket, blue collar shirt, black tie, snazzy hat, optional panda.
This one is actually a bit complicated, unless you already own a couple of components... but I figured, many people wishing to cosplay this one, wouldn't even have to buy a wig, which saves quite a bit of money.  Also most men already own a suit of one kind or another, as they come in handy.  Then really all you need is a blue callar shirt and a snazzy hat.. and possibly a panda.

Character: Shigure
Source:  Fruits Basket
Distinguishing Features:  short black hair, greyish robe, blue/black belt, optional black pointed doggy ears
This one is as about as simple as you can get.. Grey robe. Black belt.  Seriously. You don't even need shoes (although most cons frown upon bare feet) So you might wanna wear slippers... make them puppy slippers. It'd be funny.

Character: Keitaro
Source: Love Hina
Distinguishing Features: Short brown/black hair, glasses, and optional turtle.
While he has a couple of recognizable costumes, he doesn't really regularly dress the same.  Therefore the most distinguishing thing about him is the turtle.

Character: Ryu
Source: Street Fighter
Distinguishing Features: White ghi with the arms ripped off, black belt, red headband, and red gloveythingies.
Not all cosplays have to be from anime!  Video games are also popular among otaku.

Character: Hideki
Source: Chobits
Distinguishing Features:  He has brown/black hair and sometimes wears a green sweatshirt and blue jeans.  On his own, not too recognizable, but fortunately...


Character: Chi
Source: Chobits
Distinguishing Features: Freakishly long blonde hair and white/pink robot ears that have many simple online tutorials for making.
Fortunately, Chi is also a very simple costume, so if you want to go as a couple, try this simple cosplay pair.

Character: Panty
Source: Panty and Stocking
Distinguishing Features: Long blonde hair, red mini dress and shoes, bangley jewelry and pearl necklace, optional gun.
Her partner, Stocking, is not as simple a costume to make, but with the rising popularity of this series, I doubt you'd have to have her, in order to be recognized.

Character: Misty
Source: Pokemon
Distinguishing Features:  Ginger hair with a dorky side ponytail;short, light blue shorts, red suspenders, yellow tank.  It's only slightly more difficult than a generic Team Rocket costume. ;-)

Character: Ponyo
Source: Ponyo
Distinguishing Features: Ginger hair, red dress, ridiculously puffy white bloomers.
This one is good for a kid, too!

Character: Namine
Source: Kingdom Hearts
Distinguishing Features:  White dress, midlength blond hair, blue sandals.


They dress like normal people, they're just bloody and carry weapons.

If their individual costumes are too hard, you can just each wear the flag of your chosen country.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
There's a lot of creative freedom, here!  You don't necessarily have to be ponies.

Ouran Host Club
Since, you all wear the same costume, and have different hair and personality flairs, it's fairly simple to get the costumes made, compared to other groups, at least.

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
There are a LOT of choices, and some of them are pretty simple to make.  It would make a fun group!

I hope this helps!

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie