The “Joker” Moreau Cosplay Story

It’s funny what buying a house will do to your plans and related schedules. I just now accidentally clicked on an old post promising a proper cosplay chronicle that never happened. Here I am today to finally write that post and to backdate it to where it should’ve happened.

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Everyone who has ever met me or my wife knows that we are suckers for the entire contents of BioWare’s online store. She isn’t often seen during her time off without an N7 logo on every part of her body. One day during our very, very many browsings through the store, she comes across Joker’s hat from Mass Effect 2, and says she could see me with that. I respond “Fuck no, those are Cerberus colors! Maybe when they eventually release the Alliance ME3 version.” several months later they did exactly that, and the idea for my next PAX cosplay was born.

I wasn’t crazy enough to try and pull off Joker’s Alliance uniform form ME3 exactly (cosplay doesn’t have to be perfect, but I am obsessive) so I tried to think about what I could do that would feel and look right but be significantly less of a hassle. I decided I wanted to create a Joker version of Shep’s N7 hoodie casual outfit in-game. This outfit exists because they gave the character the same hoodie they’d been selling online for years, so the first step was to create a Joker hoodie. I had to think about what I thought the Alliance Navy would provide, and eventually came up with this.
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Alliance logo with ship registry, and the soldier’s last name, the logo style is based off of Vega’s t-shirt. I realized only too late that I should’ve done a t-shirt at the same time, but I wasn’t paying for the shipping on that twice.

Next I wanted dog tags (pictured at the top). I’m not entirely happy with how these turned out when I compare them to other in-game assets, but for a standalone piece of cosplay they turned out very well. The info on them is based off of data from the game, the wiki, and screen grabs of Shep’s dog tags. I figured it would also be damn important for his disease to be listed on his tags just in case.

Next came the hard part; the bottom half of the outfit. Despite how it looks in the game most of the time, the pants for the alliance uniform are grey, not blue. Once I finally proved that (thank you Citadel DLC) I grabbed boots and grayscale camo pants from the army surplus store. I also grabbed a pair of black pants to modify into the utility half of the pants. Decided to do this as two separate pieces means I can use it with other pants and have the full Shep casual cosplay as well.

Unfortunately I have few in progress photos. For the utility section, the belt is a separate piece as well, and I grabbed four pockets designed to go onto a belt from the surplus store and sewed them onto the pants section. I traced on the pants where I wanted the final edges to be and cut them accordingly, leaving enough room to fix it if I screwed up. Pinned into shape, I then cut the extra fabric I didn’t need and erased the lines. I had tried to use fabric glue for the pockets but that didn’t work well, so they are a mixture of stitched on and glued on. Doing this with finished pockets was difficult and I probably would’ve been better off making the pockets myself, but I wanted them to be durable and have utility for the show so I could carry less in a bag. Also it has been practically useful as a weird bulky tool belt.

For the straps I went with advice I got from the blog of an N7 armor cosplayer: buy surplus belts instead of straps and clips; far cheaper to repurpose the belts than to buy the materials to make it from scratch.

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That’s all I have for now since I don’t have any photos of the full outfit. I should retake the pants photos too. Eventually I may fix that but this post is years overdue at this point.

A Good Week

I’ve been working on some Mass Effect cosplay for PAX for a while. It’s got a lot done for it but I’m going to wait until it’s finished before I start doing a proper post for it. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this quick Photoshop job. Yes the years are both off slightly (2154-2186) but I was tired and apparently couldn’t read or do math at the time. Image

Other than that I just want to remark on how good things are actually going when I stop to think about it. Work continues to be work, but things are changing for the better in ways I didn’t think would be possible for years. Talk about a blessing in disguise… I’m losing a little money in this process for the moment, but in about a month that will be fixed.

I’m still having trouble believing the NHL is back. That might have something to do with the Leafs beating the Habs IN Montreal tonight. That definitely makes it feel less real, but infinitely more delicious. About as delicious as finally holding my Canadian Citizenship papers is.

Also I want to make sure everyone out there is aware of John Scalzi’s Redshirts. I picked it up Friday and couldn’t put it down. As the name implies, it explores the horrible, terrifying life that Redshirts have to live in a situation very much like the original Star Trek. I’m really bummed it’s over because I want to keep reading it.

That reminds me. I’ve been playing a lot of Star Trek Online, and I should really do a proper review of the game. I haven’t completed the Federation story yet (hit level 50 in season 6 so I stopped, again not wanting it to end) and started playing the hell out of the Klingons. I could go on for quite a while on that, but I’ll save it for a proper post. In the meantime, here’s where playing through Mass Effect again has left its mark.Image

Mass Effect 2: The Suicide Mission

This is my FemShep Mass Effect 2 final mission run, using some mods I made as I very impatiently awaited Mass Effect 3. View only if you’ve finished the game.

After playing through the game a handful of times, I got to the point where my attitude was “Fuck Cerberus, I’m taking my damn ship back.” I downloaded a couple of mods from the BioWare Social Network, but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. So I started making them. I found a couple of mods that removed the Cerberus logos from Miranda, Jacob, the uniforms and the ship, but these didn’t go far enough in my opinion. Getting rid of Cerberus wasn’t enough, it was time to show some Alliance pride. Logo and color swaps wherever I could manage it. I also found a mod that turned the Cerberus dress uniforms into N7 dress uniforms, but I wasn’t happy with the execution so I made my own. Considering the extremely poor options FemShep has, I considered this a priority.

Next I really wanted to turn Jacob back into an Alliance soldier, since at this point in the story I considered him as much Alliance as Shepard was. I went through several incarnations before I found a loyalty outfit change that I was truly happy with. Once that was done, I went ahead and changed his default outfit too. I felt like a soldier shouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb so I threw the camo pattern into the white area and toned down his Cerberus logo. For the loyalty version, the camo pattern is blue instead of gray.

Next I was absolutely determined to fix that god damn hole in Garrus’s armor. It made no fucking sense to me that they’d let him walk around in damaged armor that left his injury exposed. I tried everything I could think of to try and plug the hole in the loyalty armor, but I couldn’t edit the right values. I had to settle for modding the DLC armor to match his original armor much better than the original color scheme. I also wasn’t allowed to edit the right values on the DLC armor to make the visor the original color, and I was just stuck with it to my dismay. I toned down the lights on that monstrously large Bluetooth he is sporting though.

I’m a big fan of the alternate appearance packs BioWare has released except for one major thing: Each and every one of them have something over the character’s eyes. Garrus already has a visor all the time, so that’s not too bad, but Jack and Thane are wearing sunglasses that hide their eyes completely, and I just dislike the visors on Miranda’s and Grunt’s outfits. This bothered me the most because I LIKE having clothes on Jack. Having her run around half naked all the time was kind of annoying. I really liked the way everything but the sunglasses looked, and there isn’t any way to get rid of those. So I changed Jack’s loyalty outfit to have a shirt that is much more obviously a shirt , and any aspects from the appearance pack outfit I could make work.

With the things that were the most important out of the way, I could now fix people who had loyalty outfits in Cerberus colors to have better outfits with more of an Alliance theme to it. Zaeed’s was easy, and while Grunt’s was simple in design it took me forever to get the reflection to be blue instead of orange. Tali’s was a little more complicated, but Thane and Samara I had to fine tune the camo patters for a while before I was happy with the results.

And lastly, I gave the Normandy herself a paint job. I got rid of the Cerberus logos of course, and threw the red back where it belonged on the ship. I tried to bridge the SR2’s original lines with the SR2’s Alliance refit lines without trying to make it look like the Alliance refit. This was a dumb thing to do considering all the pre-rendered scenes that you won’t see any difference in, and the model in the CIC is covered with too much AR in the hologram to see much of a difference anyway.