We have enlisted the help of a third UK community member at our next event! As well as our dedicated community photographer and Carmilla cosplayer, who will be on hand to bring a touch of darkness to our Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 stands at MCM London, we will be working with Nesabi; a Raiden cosplayer that will have a treat for MGR:R fans at the show.
We’ll have more info on exactly what that “treat” is in the coming days… In the meantime, we were lucky enough to grab some time with Nesabi and asked her a few questions.
How long did the costume take to make?
“On and off, the cosplay took a few months to make. It’s difficult to give an accurate figure of how many hours were put in as a lot of it was trying to find time in between work and moving house, but it did take a while. It was my most ambitious project to date – I’ve never made something of that scale before – but I loved working on it and I hope that shows in the finished costume.
One of the major challenges I came across was in making the jaw. I really wanted something that moulded to the shape of my own jaw, with a decent level of flexibility and movement. I tried so many different things (and wasted a lot of materials in the process!) before I came up with something I was happy with. It might sound odd because I had made quite a lot of the rest of the costume by then, but the point where I made that jaw and I was happy with it was the point I knew I could make the rest. It gave me a lot of confidence!”
Has the costume evolved since you first make it – cosplayers often like to improve their work once they’ve work it a few times, don’t they?
“Yes, absolutely. I debuted my Raiden cosplay at Ayacon this year, where there were some incredible cosplayers. I think surrounding yourself with other people who are as passionate about making these things as you are is a really healthy way of being able to step back from your own work and get ideas on how to improve it. It’s really inspiring.
There were quite a few things I wanted to improve on my Raiden when I returned, and I separated them into three categories. Based on how much time I had between work and other commitments, I realised that I probably wouldn’t manage to get all of them done in time for Expo, so I worked through the most important bits first (repairing anything that got damaged), then through upgrading bits I wasn’t happy with such as the chest underlayer which is now completely made of Worbla rather than fabric, and finally on bits I hadn’t included the first time around (such as the visor). I still haven’t finished a few bits, but there’s still time! I try to be really organised about these things, but in the end there’s always something you end up working on the night before an event!”
It looks great, so surely you must have had a lot of photographers asking for pictures? Have you had any interesting or exciting shoots?
“Thank you! I had the privilege of working with a number of very talented photographers at Ayacon, each of whom had some fantastic ideas, and I think their unique styles really showed through in the photographs they took of my cosplay. One of my favourite shoots was with John Paper-Cube. He had the idea of working with some coloured LEDs. I think we managed to break a few bits of the costume getting the LEDs on and off, and still didn’t get the shot he was after, but we’re going for round 2 of that at Expo so hopefully you’ll see the results of that in the near future!”
How long have you been cosplaying – and what got you started?
“I’ve been interested in cosplay for years, but I think the first outfit I actually made was about six years ago. It was Soma Cruz from Castlevania, which I wore to a party. I still have it somewhere! Maybe I’ll rebuild it at some point! Since then, due to time commitments with working and studying I’ve only been able to occasionally make my own things. I was still able to cosplay, thanks to my friend Zoe who put most of the hard work into a few of my previous costumes. However, over the past year or so I’ve been able to dedicate a decent amount of time to cosplay, and what was an interest/occasional hobby has become something I’m really passionate about. Quite honestly, there’s nothing like making your own costume, to be wearing something that you know is all your own work. It’s a really incredible experience.”
What made you decide to make an MGS costume – especially one so complex?
“I’ve wanted to cosplay Raiden since I first played MGS2. I know there’s a lot of resistance to him as a character, but I’ve really enjoyed his progression throughout the series. When I played Revengeance I loved the new armour design and started thinking about how I might make it. It was just an idea at first – I never thought I’d be able to actually make it work! I had worked with some of the materials before, but as I said earlier I’ve never attempted something this complex before. However, the more I thought about how I would make it the more accessible it seemed. My cosplay choices tend to be quite varied, but once I’ve chosen a character I’m quite stubborn about it. That stubbornness certainly helped, particularly in the early stages when it sometimes felt like none of it was working!”
Finally, are you excited about being an official Konami community cosplayer at MCM London?
“Yes, I’m really excited to be given the opportunity to work with everyone, and I hope this cosplay is liked as much as I enjoyed making it. :)”
Make sure you check on the photo gallery below, to see more shots of Nesabi’s Raiden cosplay. Let us know what you think about this amazing costume, and if you’ll be going to MCM London, by posting in the comments section below.