Cosplay Closet Essentials: Sledgehammer Cosplay

Photo Credit: Brent LaVelle

He’s big, he’s buff, and he’s delightfully nerdy. To see him out of cosplay, you might never know the nerd inside, but when he’s in the garb of his favorite characters his geekdom shines. He pulls off the biggest, toughest cosplays with ease. You can find dozens of photos on his Facebook page, go check him out!

When did you first discover cosplay?

“Cosplay has been an interest of mine since the first convention I attended: Youmacon 2008. I remember seeing a couple of people running through the parking lot in ninja costumes with their hands thrown out behind them like in Naruto. My first thought was, ‘I’m home. This is my people.’ [Laughs]”

How did you make/put together your first cosplay?

“My first costume was a disaster, as most cosplayers would say. It was completely inaccurate except for the prop. I asked family to assist me in making a majority of the costume since I couldn’t sew at the time. And honestly had no idea what I was doing with prop making either. The cosplay was of Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles. This costume was created prior to the characters inclusion into SmashBros.wii U, so he wasn’t widely recognized at the time. I was a little discouraged at the constant questions of whether I was cosplaying Sora from Kingdom Hearts, but peoples’ interest in my prop work kept me motivated to keep improving my skills.”

What are some of the cosplays that you’ve done?

“I’m fairly new to the cosplay scene (two years) and to date I’ve made four costumes:

Shulk: Xenoblade Chronicles (Though I tend to leave out Shulk as a cosplay because a majority of it was made by other people. I do take full credit for making the Monado I had with me.)

Sledge: Borderlands

Ike: Fire Emblem – Path of Radiance

Montana: BattleBorn”

You’ve recently started learning to make cosplay armor. Have you found this to be difficult to learn? How are you learning?

“Making armor for cosplay is an art. I’ve watched countless videos how to make armor, but nothing teaches you quite as well as trial and error. Watching videos may teach you how to make things, but they don’t teach you how to learn from mistakes. There are many different methods to making armor, and there isn’t a one-way-fits-all plan. It all depends on what kind of look you want your armor to have, and for what purpose it’s being used for. There is no wrong way to cosplay. You just do it.”

What, for you, is the best thing about cosplay?

“The best thing about cosplay? For me it’s the community. In general, it’s the most accepting and diverse group of individuals I’ve ever seen. When I’m with my cosplay family, I can be who I really am, without the pressures and expectations that society places on us. (I am not my car, I am not my clothes)”

What’s your dream cosplay?

“My dream cosplay has always been to make Judge Gabranth from Final Fantasy XII. That game (FFXII) is one of my favorites, and in order to do the character justice I believe I need to obtain a higher skill of armor making, as well as sewing, before I can attempt such a costume. But now that I think about it… what am I waiting for? *changes cosplay plans for the year* Judge Gabranth is happening! (Silently thanks Shia Lebeouf)”

Do you have any advice for aspiring cosplayers?

“The best advice I could give to people who want to get into cosplay, is to MAKE FRIENDS. Join a Facebook group dedicated to costumes based on the character you want to make. You want to make a Fire Emblem cosplay? Cool!  Join the Fire Emblem cosplay group. Stuff like that. Finding people who share your passion for a character is the best way to make friends in this community. And when you confront people in public that want to snicker or joke about how you look with snide comments? 


Be confident in who you are!! Be proud of what you’ve created! Surround yourself with other creative people and be happy .”

Name three items that you consider essential to any cosplayer’s closet or workspace.

“So there you have it! Fun Fun Fun. That’s what cosplay is all about. And don’t forget your hot glue gun, Duct tape, and super glue. You are pretty much guaranteed to need these on you at your next con. If not for yourself, for a friend who may be ‘falling apart’ [Laughs]”

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