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Common Sense Cosplay Tip 1: Handling Big Props

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2fer deviation!
1.) This is progress on my Jack Frost staff.
2.) The cosplay tip:

It may seem like a very "Captain Obvious" tip, but it's really easy to get carried away when building props without stopping to consider how to make it manageable by making it break down. It won't work for everything, but when it can be done, it should be done. It saves headaches.

That was my problem with my Yeager gun scythe and it was a pain to transport or go into non-con areas with. At one convention, my friends and I parked in a government parking lot and had to exit through the building where they had a security checkpoint. This was an awkward experience, but the security guard was quite fascinated by costumes/conventions etc. so it wasn't much of an issue with HIM. But what about other guys???
I wised up and decided to make all my big props more manageable when possible. So I made my Jack Frost staff in 2 pieces.

SO, WANNA KNOW HOW I MADE IT?
I actually stopped procrastinating and put the tutorial together. Enjoy! fav.me/d6cbckz
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Comments16
anonymous's avatar
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NodokaChan1's avatar
ow to make the breaks? Like what do you put inside at the attachment joints? What kind of materials? Is it stable as is? Etc??? I'm sorry for all the questions, but basically I just have a large question mark over my head asking "How does that work?" Thank you.
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Finished the tutorial fav.me/d6cbckz Hope it helps!
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
I had planned to do a tutorial on building a separating staff and took photos back when I built mine. You're the 3rd person this week to comment/PM me asking how it was made so I'll try adn get this done next week. :)
ChelseaDanger's avatar
This is a really great idea! I wanted to try a Jack Frost cosplay for a convention I'm going to in May, but I have to fly down there so having a giant staff was not travel friendly, so this is a great idea to solve that problem. Are you planning to make a tutorial about how you made your staff by any chance?
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
I took all my progress photos, I just have not written the tutorial, LOL. I will try to get that done in the upcoming weeks.
ChelseaDanger's avatar
Oh that would be great, thank you so much! c:
AlaraLeongod's avatar
I understand that one! *-* When I con travel I usually have up to four people in the car with me, plus luggage and props, and it can get hectic! The worst one, I think, was when I had my Gojyo shakujo from Saiyuki. It didn't break down except to take off the blades, but the stick was still five feet long. Uuuugh.
Gwan-chan's avatar
Sure is handy to break down props, I've just learned.. Or, actually, I'm in very much trouble right now, since I have an upcoming convention where I have a staff that is 2 mtr. long, and the guys I'm driving with, says that it would be impossible to fit in the car. And my boyfriend says that we have no tools to make a screw-solution in the middle.. So seriously, I'm dying to know, how did you do it, with what materials and tools, and is it full-functional when put together (can it be swung around without breaking)?
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Ah, I am slowly in the process of making a tutorial for Jack's staff that kind of segues into making any collapsible staff.

Anyway, it's actually held together by compression fit. You can see the black piece sticking up in the photo of the separated pieces. Since my staff is made from a PVC pipe base, it was light enough to use more plastic. I broke off the plastic spindle from a CD spool (one that holds 50 cds) and glued it into place. For a better fit, I wrapped a few layers of packing tape around that. Given that the staff is made from PVC pipe, coated with paper maché, it is hardly "battle-ready" but it can be swung etc. without breaking.

If you are using wood for the staff, breakage is less of a concern. With wood, if you have a power drill, you could drill out both pieces of the staff where you want them to connect and use a wooden dowel instead of the plastic spindle. I would not recommend mixing a plastic spindle with a wooden staff. Hope this helps.
Gwan-chan's avatar
actually, it does! Mine is out of wood, so I would have to use power drill to do it. But I hope that it will be able to be swung around without breaking apart ^^; thank you very much for taking the time to answer! Will for sure read you tut once it's done
PaXingCai's avatar
WritheMarkers's avatar
and then you can act out the scene where it breaks too!! uvu
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Pretty much! That was another motivation for making it collapsible. :D
Koalois's avatar
Very clever idea! I really wish I had done this. My staff is going to be a monster to transport XD
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
LOL good luck! Prop tetris is funny the first time, then the more you travel with said prop, it becomes a bit of a pain like when walking along streets. I had to bring my gun scythe prop through a government building and security checkpoint because we used the parking garage. That was awkward though the guard was really cool about it. I'm so glad I can kind of "hide" this staff if I take it apart and carry it at my side.
Koalois's avatar
Yeah, not excited about that. The only saving grace is that the staff itself is really light. So at least I won't be lugging around something super heavy. If I decide to remake it at any point, I might just have to take this into consideration!
anonymous's avatar
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