Friday, November 14, 2014

Daft Punk Tron Cosplay: Final results!

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for: The complete cosplay, in action! (I actually didn't get any good shots from PAX East, so these are a conglomeration from MIT Maker Faire, and Halloween from this year.)

And a very terrible quality video of the lights reacting to external sound input: 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Daft Punk Tron Cosplay Build 6

While I was dealing with the frustrations of thermoforming and trying to tint things, I was also working on the rest of the cosplay: the costume itself. I went on a consumerist mall safari to acquire a leather jacket. At first, I stopped by the Garment District, which is a consignment and thrift store in Cambridge that tends to have nice vintage retro things. But their leather jackets, while awesome and great quality, were running more than $50 on average, and I didn't want to spend so much on a jacket I'd end up modifying and sticking things on. So I headed to the mall, and ended up buying a men's pleather jacket from H&M.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Daft Punk Tron Cosplay Build 5

Exhibition at Techfair was a great time. I had a lot of fun explaining my inspirations and process, but it was a bit of a bummer having to say that it was still a work in progress. I went onto Mcmaster and ordered some PETG to thermoform the visor, before it became too late. The helpful guys at the Pappalardo laboratory (Super shout out to Professor Braunstein for dealing with my constant pestering) were kind enough to let me use their thermoforming machine in the middle of the 2.007 class. I caught them during the tail end of spring break.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Daft Punk Tron Cosplay Build 4

Wow, this is a long build sequence. But I was determined to make this pipe dream of mine work out.

I was under the impression that thermoforming would be easy. I had the visor set up on blocks, and I made a nice wooden frame using some plywood and nails that I had lying around. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Daft Punk Tron Cosplay Build 3

I put off carbon fibering my helmet for so long. Part of it was because I was still busy marveling at the fact that I had rotocast my own helmet hnnngggg.

And part of me was scared. I didn't have a vacuum former or any way to shape the carbon fiber other than draping. The helmet had a lot of curves, and I didn't have a very fine carbon fiber weave (something something budget something something close enough). And I really, really didn't want to ruin everything forever. 

But I had to do it. It was four days until techfair. I had these four days to carbon fiber, attach electronics, thermoform and tint the visor, and do any cleaning up. Not a lot of time, so I gritted my teeth and buckled down to work. 

I started by dremeling out the visor. Yayyy more pretty pictures of the hollow thing I made omg--

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Daft Punk Tron Cosplay Build 2

I'm not sure why I keep wanting to do this to myself. Silicone is gross, my floor is even grosser, and it's painstaking and time consuming and nothing ever goes right. But I got funded by the excellent Techx, which can reimburse selected projects up to $500 in funding for a project to display at the annual Techfair at the end of January. It really let me splurge and do this project all-out, as far as materials goes. But while all of this cash is great, it does mean that I had very specific check-in deadlines I had to have results for. It's the golden rule of cosplay, folks. Cheap, good, fast: pick two. And apparently I picked good and fast, so it was really the funding that allowed this all to come together.

As it happens, the major deadline for a halfway point happened during the same weekend as the annual MIT Mystery Hunt. For those of you joining us new to the world of the Institvte, Mystery Hunt is a huge world-reknowned puzzle hunt, where dozens of rounds of steganographic codes, ciphers, and real-time activities are released for solving, in the hopes of one team eventually finding the location of a coin hidden somewhere on campus. The hunt typically starts on Friday and goes until at least Sunday, sometimes spilling over into Monday. I've participated in Hunt with a very large team for three years now, and hunting is a 24-hour activity. While I'm not as hardcore as some of the hunters, I like to be on site at HQ to help people solve and bounce ideas off of others, so I was rushing back and forth in the ten minute walk and four flights of stairs between hunt HQ in the Stata center and my helmet in my room on Fifth East. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Daft Punk Tron Cosplay Build 1


I don't know what it is about helmets. They're bulky, expensive to make, hard to breathe in, and retain heat like greenhouses. They make it awkward to talk to people and usually you look like a bobblehead.

But I just keep making them. Part of it is about the anonymity, and part of it is me being socially awkward and not wanting to make eye contact. I'm self-conscious enough that I don't want people to see my face in regards to my cosplay. I'll have to get over this for next year's PAX East (my planned cosplay has me both wearing a dress and showing my face, oh dear). But for now, I'm happy just rocking it in a kickass helmet and leather jacket.

I've been a huge fan of cyberpunk since I first read Neuromancer in seventh grade. It all started with the literature: console cowboys surfing the crystalline matrix of cyberspace, hacking across the net and tearing down firewalls and black ice. I'm an avid speed-reader; I tore through each of the Harry Potter books in hours and finished the Dark Tower series in a week. Cyberpunk was my introduction to science fiction, and I devoured Stephenson, Sterling, and Gibson's books without discrimination. And then I watched the Matrix in eighth grade, and everything changed. It wasn't just a genre of books anymore; it was a complete aesthetic, slick black pvc and fierce mirrorshades, blaring neon and crisp chrome, high-tech hexagons and low-life grunge. I'm a visual learner, so it took seeing the look to really bring the scenes I had read about to life. I was hooked.