|Cost :||Somewhere in the region of £300|
|Awards :||MCM Expo Mini Masquerade 1st Place Category|
|Time Taken :||Approximately 3 months.|
|So, my brother's a huge fan of the Metal Gear Solid series. Personally I always preferred RPG's so he was constantly nagging me to try the Tactical Espionage games. |
When The MGS HD Collection was released last year, I finally yielded and started playing the games. To my great delight, I loved them (Mr. Kojima's penchant for self-promoting and in-jokes withstanding.)
After completing all of the games and unlocking all the achievements (From Hell's Heart, I stab at thee, Great Dane) I decided that Snake Eater was my favourite to date, having not played Guns of the Patriots at the time of writing this.
Having gotten into cosplay approximately a year and a half before, the wheels started to turn, and I thought to myself "Why not? It's probably one of the easier costumes to make and he is Big Boss after all."
Thus so it began.
I sourced Vietnam-era clothing from Army universe and acquired the utilities associated with the character a piece at a time from various international sources. It was more costly than I anticipated due to concurrent shipping, import and customs fees (from which I have learned my lesson, thank you Royal Mail) but it was as screen accurate as I could hope it to be.
The Stabo harness was a different kettle of fish though, as a genuine article was priced at almost $300 from surplus stores. Therefore, I decided to try and fashion one myself - which meant learning how to sow from the internet.
Using 2 inch black webbing, slide adjusters and clasping hooks I was eventually able to make something that didn't cut off the circulation to my groin, though I did have to re-stitch for positioning 3 times. All in all, could've been better, could've been worse. But I was happy with it.
The radio wasn't too much trouble, thanks for advice from fellow cosplayisland members. It was basically and old phone headset with the wires cut for authenticity and the switch box concealed in a multi-layered box of craft foam with the centre cut out (Kind of like a book with the pages missing for a liquor bottle) which was then varnished with a 1:1 ratio of craft glue and water and painted with details. Velcro secured it to the harness.
The gun proved to be disappointing however, as it was a rubber training pistol which I attempted to prime and paint. However, despite my efforts and multiple layers of paint, it chipped constantly during use over the convention. Perhaps I was using the incorrect paint or rubber isn't a suitable material to paint. Nevertheless, I shall learn from this and be more vigilant in the future.
The CQC knife holster was simple cut leather that was sewn to the harness and secured with black electrical tape, once again, to maintain screen accuracy.
The bandanna was cut from cotton and glued to get rid of rough edges with the ends torn and burnt for a worn effect. Note to self: Apply more face paint next time as it wore thin surprisingly quickly.
Surprisingly, it was extremely difficult to track down a cardboard box I could fit in. Nearby self-storage facilities didn't have any large enough (which surprised the hell out of me) and every supermarket/high street shop/utility company/builder's merchant I tried constantly recycled them after use, making it almost impossible to get a hold of without standing guard at the delivery doors and grabbing one from the staff as soon as they were done with it before being baled. In the end, I just went to Ikea, re-arranged some displays in a manner that was aesthetically pleasing so as to avoid the staff any unnecessary hackling from their customers or bosses, and just walked out the door with one of the giant displays. Nightmare getting it home on the bus.
Was it worth it? It was worth every goddamn second.