Cosplay Interview with Punished Props

We’re now presenting cosplayer interviews! The first one, shared from Cosplay Blog with a Brain, is an interview with Punished Props! He’s a talented cosplayer from Washington, who has quite the eye for making armor!

Punished Props as Commander Shepard in Defender Armor from Mass Effect 3, photo by Nate Zimmer

Punished Props as Commander Shepard in Defender Armor from Mass Effect 3, photo by Nate Zimmer

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
I go by “Punished Props” on my facebook and portfolio website. It’s a spin off from my old photography blog “Punished Pixels”. That name was a play on the concept that all post processing in digital photography is fair game and that all pixels were meant to be punished.

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I’ve been doing serious costuming since about 2009 when my friends and I decided to dress up as the blue team from Team Fortress 2 for the Penny Arcade Expo out here in Seattle. After that, it was all downhill and our little group went totally bonkers for cosplay.

Punished Props and friends as the Blue Team from Team Fortress 2, photo by Bill Doran

Punished Props and friends as the Blue Team from Team Fortress 2, photo by Bill Doran

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I do a lot of my prop making in plastics like styrene, acrylic, and PVC. I also do a fair amount of silicone mold making and casting in polyurethane plastic resin. Casting pieces from a mold is very, very satisfying.

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I plan on doing a lot more work with metals, like aluminum, in a machining mill. Building pieces with functional, moving parts looks like a lot of fun and it opens a lot more possibilities for me. I also have a background in graphic design and 3D computer art & design, so I plan on getting into some newer techniques like 3D printing.

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I like seeing costumes that have pieces that have been scratch-built to exactly match the source material. I understand that you can’t always fabricate some of the whacky space-aged details on your Mass Effect armor, but when someone goes the extra mile to reach that level of detail, I notice and appreciate it. Some of my friends like Harrison Krix, Zander Brandt, Reith Poppo, and Alyssa Smith are just a handful of the amazing crafters who really nail that level of detail in their costumes.

Punished Props as Wolverine from X-Men, photo by Bill Doran

Punished Props as Wolverine from X-Men, photo by Bill Doran

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I am totally on board with the scene. I have met some really fantastic makers and all around great people at cons and costume meet-ups. One of my favorite things to do is to huddle with a group of costumed friends talking shop over beers. For the most part, the “scene” has presented me with a lot of mutual respect and creativity from other cosplayers. I love it.

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Um, not too much. Most of the drama and conflict that I see comes from outside the community and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. I guess I’d just like to see more people trying out cosplay! Inclusion is good!

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
I think that the best thing you can do is to pick a character that you are very devoted to and spend a really long time building and re-building the costume. Give yourself a LOT of time to finish it. Don’t start it two weeks before SDCC and expect to have anything that you’ll be happy with. Start the costume 6 months in advance and be patient.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Dragon*Con is my very favorite, by far. I had previously done comic-cons and video game cons, but nothing could prepare me for my first D*C in 2011. The costumers there are miles above anything that you’ll find anywhere else and the sense of community is palpable.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
My Hawke costume has been to 5 conventions and never needed a single, functional repair. In fact, I recently retired it and sold it on eBay. I expect that the new owner will have a similar experience! Yay durability! I wish that I could same thing for my Mass Effect armor, but the TSA went ahead and mangled it on its way back from NYCC.

Punished Props as Hawke from Dragon Age 2, photo by Nate Zimmer

Punished Props as Hawke from Dragon Age 2, photo by Nate Zimmer

Thanks for the interview, Punished Props! If you’d like to see more of his work, you can go to his website!

Yunie

A cosplayer for over a decade now, Yunie is a giant nerd who still pretends she’s cool. She runs several sites on her own, including Engi no Shouzoku! Cosplay, Cosplay Blog with a Brain, and her store, Yunie’s Designs. An avid fan of fellow nerds, Yunie loves attending conventions and dorking around in costumes with all types. Oh, and if there’s shenanigans, even better!

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